All my life I have been taught, I have read and understood that as a believer in Jesus Christ, God’s son and God himself that I am living under what is called the NEW Covenant. Therefore being under the New Covenant meant that some things in the old covenant still held true for us today but some things had changed. So is that true? Are we under a new covenant that did bring changes?
This post like the other nine will come from the perspective that JESUS is God’s son….God himself and that the whole bible (old and new) is full of God’s words, not man’s and therefore we can trust that GOD made sure that we had one book that is a completely reliable source of information for us to have faith in and live by.
I want to start a series of post addressing the above issue by telling you I have been researching what has been called our Hebrew roots and the Jewishness of Jesus and I have throughly enjoyed it. I have been blessed by this research and feel that in some areas it gives me a deeper understanding of God and how related to His people before Jesus. I also plan to continue to teach my kids throughly from both the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and I plan on teaching them about and maybe to a certain point observing the biblical feast that God had called the Israelites to celebrate. I believe these feast are a beautiful picture of GOD the Father and they also point to JESUS. I also want to say that I have no problem with anyone that chooses to celebrate the biblical feast and festivals or that has a desire to follow as many of the Mosaic laws as they can!!
I have to say that based on Jesus’ giving up His life, I do not believe a “believer’ is expected to follow the laws given in the Mosaic Covenant in reference to the Feast and Festivals. For one it is impossible to obey them the way God commanded them to be done; such as: there is no temple, and no earthly priest. I do not want to sacrifice a lamb for Passover/Easter and I don’t think God expects me to, though that is what was commanded at that time. If I celebrated them as God commanded then I would only be focusing on what God did for the Israelites back then and not what He did when He sent Jesus. I know many will say you celebrate them now by focusing on how you can see Jesus in them but that is not what God commanded at that time. If I am still expected to obey the laws of the Mosaic covenant then that means I am expected to obey them as God commanded them not how I think I should be able to do it now or the only possible way I can obey them. When God says do not murder, he expects me to follow that command as is, no excuses. If I must obey the commands to celebrate the Feast and Festivals than I must also obey everything else in the Mosaic covenant; such as You shall bind them (his words) as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Duet 6:8, and “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. Leviticus 15:19, and “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:9-11 Now the above are just a few examples of laws in the Mosaic Covenant, but my point is, either we are still under the old covenant, not a new one, and we are expected to obey the laws as God commanded them or we must except that we are under a New Covenant and therefore with the new comes change and we must look at each and every command in the Old, in light of the New.
Jesus said 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ~Matthew 5
I will not pretend that I have a complete understanding of God’s word but it seems to me if we use this scripture to say that we are still under the Mosaic Covenant and must therefore obey all the laws in it because heaven and earth hasn’t passed away, then we must hold ourselves accountable to obey all the laws and obey them as God commanded them to be obeyed. If this scripture is telling us we are still under the Mosaic covenant because heaven and earth hasn’t passed away than that would mean even though Jesus gave His life for us we would still need to offer sacrifices, perform cleansing rituals, etc.. We can not use this to say we must follow all the laws, then turn and make excuses or exceptions for other laws. It may be said we can’t perform sacrifices because there is no temple, but that doesn’t stop people from attempting to celebrate the feast and festivals but altering them based on present circumstances. Again my point is either we are still under the Mosaic Covenant, not a new one, and we are expected to obey the laws as God commanded them or we must except that we are under a New Covenant and therefore with the new comes change and we must look at each and every command in the Old in light of the New.
For this post I want to look at just a couple of scriptures from the old and the new Covenants of the bible in relation to the idea of a NEW COVENANT.
Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
1. Here we have before Jesus it being spoken that God will make a NEW Covenant. When you go back and research the original Hebrew language, you will see that the English word new was translated from the Hebrew word that does mean New. I know that you will find people who disagree with this but based on my research and understanding of the scriptures around this word new, I truly believe when it says New, God actually means NEW!! Even if you believed in a renewed covenant and not a new covenant, I would think you would still have to concede that renewed does not mean an exact duplicate of the first. If it was going to be an exact duplicate what would be the point of having the second.
2. Through these words God is pointing that there will be a change, and He will place this change on and within their hearts, and it wouldn’t have to be taught because people will know. With the old they had a choice to place it in their heart, to not only honor with lip-service but obey the law out of a heart of love. My understanding of the New is that GOD is doing the placing of it in people’s hearts, how, by His Holy Spirit that He permanently sent to believers after Jesus dies, rose again and ascended back into heaven. He does not force this knowledge on people, so I do not believe that this means everyone just automatically knows HIM and accepts Him but if they do accept Him and what He did through His son Jesus than they have the Holy Spirit and therefore they have the knowledge they need of this New Covenant.
3. Even if we did not have this set of scriptures telling us of a new covenant, one must concede that it is clear when Jesus came and did what He did, it brought change and though God didn’t change, He did change how He relates to us and how we can relate to Him.
Looks like God made it clear that a change was coming.
Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a [a]sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
1. Before Jesus only a priest could go past the veil to enter the Holy of Holies (God’s presence) but because of the blood of Jesus we can enter God’s presence.
2. Before Jesus people had to go through cleansing rituals to be considered clean and acceptable but because of Jesus we are made clean and acceptable because of Jesus’ blood
Looks like things do change because of JESUS
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20
1. Jesus himself is saying that the NEW has come! How can you have something new without a change?
JESUS himself confirmed something NEW had arrived on the scene
Hebrew 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
8For finding fault with them, He says,
“BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,
WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT
WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
13When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
1. This scripture explains there is a 2nd covenant because the 1st wasn’t the best
2. Here we have New Covenant scriptures (given by the Holy Spirit) confirming words that had been spoken in what we consider Old Covenant times.
3. It goes on to say that the New covenant makes the first obsolete, it is growing old and is getting ready to disappear. Here are words given by the Holy Spirit that something New has arrived because the Old was not perfect. With the new we do not need the old any longer.
This seems to say clearly look to the New because the Old is done, it’s purpose has been fulfilled and now we need to walk in the new.
This is just a brief look at scriptures that point to the idea of a brand New Covenant! I look forward (even if no one else reads this) to writing down my thoughts while I dig in and really examine God’s word in reference to this subject. So far one thing I know one must decide and be sure of, either we are still under the old covenant, not a new one, and we are expected to obey the laws as God commanded them or we must except that we are under a New Covenant and therefore with the new comes change and we must look at each and every command in the Old, in light of the New.