STUDY 10: THE NEW COVENANT
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.”
Jeremiah 31: 31
THE New Covenant is the Scriptural name for the new arrangement between God and man which will be instituted at the beginning of the next Age. Its purpose is to receive the world of mankind back into favor with God. We learned previously that Israel failed to gain everlasting life under the Law Covenant which God inaugurated with them through Moses as its mediator. God foreknew that Israel would fail, but through their endeavors He was giving an object lesson which in the future would be a lasting blessing to Israel and to the whole world.
The mediation of the New Law Covenant will bring not only Israel, but all mankind, who will have come into line with the Kingdom arrangements, into actual covenant relationship with God. Then each individual will be finally tested by God, as Adam was in the beginning, to demonstrate whether he is worthy or unworthy of everlasting life. God will introduce this new Law Covenant through the Mediator of the New Covenant, Christ Jesus and His Church. For a period of a thousand years this Mediator will do a work of mediation for mankind, bringing the people out of their condition of death and degradation, to restore whosoever will of all mankind to the image and likeness of God, lost by Adam in Eden.
The Basis of Mediation
The basis of mediation on the part of the better Mediator will be the “better sacrifices” of this Gospel Age. Through the “better sacrifices” the antitypical Mediator will have the power to start the world with a clean slate, as it were. Then the work of uplift, of restitution, will begin, as the Lord declares through the Prophet, “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36: 26; 11: 19).
The joys which will then be theirs will swallow up the sorrows and tears of the past, and the minds of mankind will be filled with wonderful truths and blessings. Glorious new projects and prospects will continually open before their widening vision. To all eternity the perfected earth will be filled with a race of happy, perfect beings in the human likeness of their Lord. However, the work of taking away the stony heart, and the giving of a heart of flesh will be gradual. Many will awake to shame, in proportion to their willfulness in sin in the past. But the disciplinary processes of the Kingdom will gradually relieve all who are amenable to influences of righteousness and to the work of reformation then instituted.
Sealing the New Covenant
The first work of the New Dispensation will be the application of the blood upon the antitypical Mercy Seat, in Heaven, to make reconciliation for the sins of “all the people,” the entire race of Adam. This second presentation of the blood of Jesus will effect the sealing, or making valid, of the Covenant. The condemnation resting upon mankind for over 6,000 years will be cancelled, and they will start coming back from the grave, beginning with the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. Whoever then would attain life everlasting must accept Christ and subject himself to His training and uplifting. All mankind will receive some benefit from the New Covenant, irrespective of their acceptance of Christ, for they will be awakened from the tomb and brought to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2: 3-6). Those who will obediently do their best will receive all the blessings of the Kingdom, but the disobedient will go into the Second Death at the age of 100 (Isaiah 65: 20).
Only the Church has been on trial for life or death eternal during this Gospel Age. As the sins of the Church have been canceled, so likewise, the whole world will go absolutely free from the condemnation of Adamic sin as soon as Christ’s merit is applied for them. Nevertheless, they will suffer stripes as a result of the deeds done in the present life – not as a punishment for their sins, but because of the habits previously formed, the character developed.
The Earthly Princes
The Scriptures tell us that “out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2: 3) (Micah 4: 2). When the Kingdom is set up the Ancient Worthies will be made “princes in all the earth” (Psalm 45: 16), and they will have the Youthful Worthies as their associates. The Jews will be the first to come under the new regulations. In time others of the world will attach themselves to the Kingdom, which will be “the desire of all nations” (Haggai 2: 7). The earthly princes, free from imperfection, will be conspicuous amongst mankind. They will perceive that God has rewarded the Worthies by giving them an instantaneous resurrection to perfect life, and will learn that their “better resurrection” was given because of past faithfulness.
The Mediator will not hold the transgressions of this present life against anyone. Some among mankind have inherited greater depravity or have more perverse dispositions. But under the gracious arrangements of the New Covenant, the great Mediator will help people individually by promptly punishing any attempt to do wrong, by rewarding every effort to do right, and by supplying strength, physical and mental, to meet the requirements of His righteous and benevolent rule.
The Final Trial
Covenant relationship with God means perfection, either reckoned or actual. During Messiah’s Kingdom mankind will be approaching actual perfection, but they will not enter into it as a race until the close of the thousand years. The Mediator will then turn them over to God, they will enter into covenant relationship with Him and must stand or fall individually. Satan will be “loosed for a little season” and all who love unrighteousness in their hearts, regardless of their outward course during their trial time, will be manifested. They will be deceived by the Adversary and go into the Second Death, but the righteous will be rewarded with everlasting life. After the final testing, they will enter upon the Ages of glory beyond, the blessings of which are not revealed in the Scriptures.
Micah 4: 1, 2 reads, “In the last days . . . the mountain [Kingdom] of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms of earth], . . . and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” The following verses of the chapter depict the blessings and prosperity that will then be with those who will be in harmony with God.
The Blessings of the Faithful
Now it is different. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3: 12). They “shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5: 11). These passages indicate that all who are faithful to God during the present Age will have more hardship than those who are unfaithful. But the faithful have much advantage every way, in spite of the afflictions, knowing that in a little while the trials and afflictions will all be over. In the future Dispensation the tables will be turned. None of the wicked shall prosper. Then whoever is unrighteous shall suffer, and whoever does righteously shall receive a blessing (Psalm 37: 1, 2, 7-12, 22).
Glory be to God for this eventuality! For it will result in a clean universe in which everyone in heaven and on earth, and such as have been in the sea, the rebellious race, will glorify and praise the God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power, and the Lamb that is seated with Him on His throne forever and ever, saying, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5: 13). Amen and Amen!
Return to Studies Main Page