Better Covenant means a better future

Most of us have heard end time teaching in some form or another. This study is written to bring the focus back on the word of God, this I believe will help us keep our hope & faith in the One who is faithful. The foundational part to most popular end time teaching is Israel, as in the nation of Israel. I want to talk about this foundational part first, so we can approach any theory of end time teaching we hear or read from a biblical & contextual stance.

(This study deals with a biblical truth that will help us understand the scriptures better that usually gets referenced when an end time message is preached. We will not be touching on specific end time scriptures in this study yet.)

So at first let us look at what Jesus said about Israel as a nation(Jews). Keep in mind, Israel as a nation had a covenant with God, so according to them, they are Gods people. Lastly don’t forget throughout the new testament, that Jesus & also His disciples were sent first to Israel because God honoured the first covenant while it was still active.

Those who have received Him.

John 1:12-13 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Notes :

Many read this today & apply it to themselves. Obviously we who accept Jesus get to be Gods children. But we apply it without thinking of the context.

The context here is the Jews of those days. Israel of the bible times that had the covenant with God. Because John 1:11 says that “He came to His own & they did not receive Him”.

That is why it is intense that it says here “But to all who did receive him” & then also “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

It means the Israel(nation) that did not receive Him are not His children since they rejected Him. The fact they were Jews(blood) or had the law & Jewish culture( the will of the flesh nor of the will of man) did not make them right with God.

Jesus addresses the Jews(Israel nation) & told them about their sin.

Scripture comments : Below We have many verses to read from John 8, so read them slowly and take in the all around feel of these scriptures together.

John 8:

24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for nunless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,  then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Notes : Interesting that many believed, yet still struggled to recognize that they are slaves of sin.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

John 8:


39
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Notes : Notice here that Jesus tells the Jews they are not Abraham’s children, because of their rejection of Him. They tell Him that they have God as their Father, yet Jesus says their father is the devil! Verse 47 He tells them that they are not of God even though they believed the opposite.

Before Abraham Was, I Am

John 8:

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me,  of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Notes : Jesus tells them how  Abraham believed Him, yet the Jews were missing that. It has always been faith that pleases God & Abraham was their example of that, but they were clinging to their heritage instead of the faith that those before them lived by.

Jesus includes other nations(Gentiles) & speaks of Israel(nation) that is thrown out.

Scripture comments:

A centurion from the Roman army encounters Jesus & asks Him to heal his servant. This centurion honours Jesus’ authority to speak a word only to heal his servant & Jesus replies.

Matthew 8:10-12 ESV

When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heavenwhile the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Notes : You realise Jesus says here that gentiles(not the sons of the kingdom) will be with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob in the kingdom of heaven! These were the heroes of the Jews because of their history & faith!

Isn’t it about the sheep? Israel only?

John 10:  14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Notes : One flock! One Shepherd!

Jesus declares a new time(hour), new in the Spirit & truth.

John 4: 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that tin Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Notes : Jesus removes the idea of physical places that Israel & the Samaritans held dear through their culture & heritage. Now worship is in spirit & truth.

Promise of Covenant made to Israel first:

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                                                      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”            

Notes : This is a good example of where God promised to make a new covenant with Israel & Judah. The promise is unique since He says He “was” their husband, yet the new covenant will be different. The promise gets made to Israel & Judah, because we know they were the people of God at the time, yet today we believers, are all Israel(spirit) today. There are other places in the old testament which God says the gentiles will be included as well. Like for example Hosea 2  where God talks about about making a covenant & then in verse 23 says this as well :

“I will say to Not My People, You are my people and he shall say, You are my God.”

The New Covenant :

The dynamic of how the Old Covenant was setup to how Jesus made the New Covenant is different and is missed much in today’s theology.

Hosea 11:1- When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Notes : I won’t explain too much on how the old covenant is setup since most people know. Just see here that the way it is stated in Hosea, Israel is called a son & we know the covenant was made with Israel.

Matthew 2:15- and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Notes : This speaks of Jesus as the Son & therefore is the fulfillment of that scripture. As the old testament always spoke of the shadow of the real things to come. Israel fell short as a son, so God sent His Son to make the covenant with His blood. Now we can be right with God through His Son – Jesus Christ. This is why it is so different from the first covenant, in the new covenant the terms & requirements  are fulfilled by Jesus, we partake of the covenant by receiving Jesus.

Isn’t there a church age now? Isn’t the church the Gentiles & Israel the Jews?

The first church members was & have always been Jews. Since the gospel came to them first.

Dispensationalism, which is a part of many end time teachings today, says that God put Israel on the side for a moment to start the church age.

Wasn’t the church born in the book of Acts? No, because Stephen makes it clear :

Acts 7:

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation(KJV translates as “Church”, Greek is “ecclesia”) in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.

Notes : So as Stephen lays down this message from Abraham to Christ, makes a statement to link between Israel & the church. Moses was in the church! Israel has always been the church. As it was never to separate things or something that only started later after Jesus.

Even if we try imagining them as different parts, like Jews(Israel) & Gentiles(Church), then the first church(in Acts) members would still mostly contain Jews anyway! Only in Acts 10 does Peter start to go out to the Gentiles(Cornelius). In Acts 2 the church finally gets endowed with power from Holy Spirit, so that was new to the already existing church.

Now we can also go through the parts where Paul explains things thoroughly.

Scripture Comments : Jesus faces the old natural in order to create a new way of the Spirit for us.

Galatians 4:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Scripture Notes : The law was the terms that the Old Covenant was made upon, that is also why they were slaves of the sin, since the law empowers sin. The law could never make them sons since they would forever fall short, so Christ came to redeem & enable them to be sons.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

             “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

            break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

            For the children of the desolate one will be more

            than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Scripture Comments : We can see the two covenants like this –

 Old Covenant = law = slave = physical Jerusalem =born flesh = Hagar = Cast Out

New Covenant =free = from above = promise = born Spirit

Israel gets redemption from previous error.

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Old covenant starting to fade.

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Notes : It is always good to keep in mind that the old covenant was still practiced as reality by many Jews during the whole new testament. The temple was still standing in the city of Jerusalem so most rituals were still being honoured by the Jews, except for the Christian Jews of course..

Old covenant had flaws.

Hebrews 8:7-8

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Covenant of the spirit:

2 Corinthians 3:6

Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Romans 7:6

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

How can it change?

Scripture comments : I have added these passages below, please read them slowly & take in the complete feel of the chapter(I did skip some verses though).

Romans 9:1-11, 13-33 ESV

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Notes : Paul said to the Roman church that the calling of Israel is in the gentiles as well since they are speaking of the Jews(Paul’s kinsmen according to the flesh) & their failure to accept Christ. This is the main focus of Rom 9, Israel(Jews). So the Jews were to be the vessels of God’s wrath/dishonour because of their disobedience. This is why Jesus prophesied their destruction in Mat 24 & other places as well, this was God’s wrath being poured out on them(We can talk about that more in the next study).

Gentiles & Israel – For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable :

            Romans 11:1-6, 11-32

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “ Lord , they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it  is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it  is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has  come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those  who  are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be  but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember  that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they  are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they  are  beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Notes : Paul says we have all been disobedient so we can now all obtain mercy the same. So when he says gifts and callings are irrevocable, it is not to still label them as a special nation as they were in the old covenant, but to convince the gentiles that God doesn’t reject Israel totally because of their disobedience, but that as God did call them, He will still have mercy on them as He has mercy now on us. If we accept Christ, then we receive His mercy & grace, it is a spiritual thing now. Said in a simpler way, Jews have the same access to the New Covenant that we now have.

What does this mean for end time’s messages?

It means when we look at future events for us today, we can’t look at the nation of Israel(Jews) to determine what God wants to do. We have to walk with the Jesus & the leading of His Spirit.

Now there are some key passages that you might be wondering about or prophecies that you are expecting to happen, we will talk about those in the next study. It is as simple as that, you are the Israel(spirit) of God today, so if it is prophecies that ignores the new covenant or the price Jesus paid on the cross to make a new way for all by the Spirit, then you know that prophecy was NOT spoken/written for you, but for the nation of Israel in bible times(not today) as the old covenant that singled them out as Gods people is now gone. The Old Covenant finally was gone when the city of Jerusalem & its temple was destroyed 70AD, about 40 years after Jesus ascended.

Hope you enjoyed this study, let me know if you learned anything or caught some revelation.

Blessings
Carlo Merrick

Heart Of the Father Ministries