Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 64
THE NEW COVENANT – PART 2
As we begin our study, we just pray now that you would use your Bible, as most of you write constantly that you take your notes as you study with us, and that you have learned how to study on your own. That’s all we ask. We don’t want people to say, “Well, this is what Les Feldick says,” but study the Word so that you can say, “This is what the Book says,” because that’s the only thing that counts.
Okay, we’re going to pick up where we left off in the last lesson. For this lesson we’re going to go back to the next covenant on the board, which is the New Covenant. Now, if you remember, those of you who were with me from the very beginning, seven is always the number of completion, and eight is the number of new beginnings. We see that over and over in Scripture, and now we’ve come through the seven covenants, and we’re going to look, this afternoon, at the eighth covenant, which will jump all the way into the Kingdom.
The New Covenant will not become a reality for Israel until they have the King and the Kingdom. Then we’re going to show what our relationship is with this New Covenant. Because I maintain that we, as members of the Body of Christ, are not covenant people. We are not under the covenant, per se. We merely are enjoying all the ramifications of what God did to fulfill the New Covenant.
All right, now turn with me, if you will, to Jeremiah chapter 31. We’re going to jump in at verse 31. Again, this is a series of verses that we use a lot, and again I beg people just read what it says. Not what someone has told you they think it says, but what does it really say?
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, (Now this is the word of God.) that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel,…” Can you make that any plainer? I don’t see how you can. It doesn’t say with the whole race. It doesn’t say the whole world. It doesn’t say with the Body of Christ. He’s making a new covenant with Israel. And Israel means Israel.
“…that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (That was at a time when the kingdom was split, remember.) 32. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD.” Now, what covenant did they break? Law. My, they broke it over and over and over and over. Yet, God never gave up on them.
So, the whole concept is now that under this new covenant; they won’t be breaking it. They won’t be tempted to rebel. They will not be disobedient, because they’re going to be in a heaven on earth environment. Satan is locked up, and there’ll be no temptations to disobey. But on top of that, the result of the New Covenant on the Jewish individual will be so domineering that they won’t have to worry about breaking anything. We’ll see that in just a minute.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will (That’s future. It hasn’t happened yet, but we think we’re getting close. That’s when Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom. Then this covenant will become an everyday reality.) make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law (Not on frontlets on their forehead – not on their doorposts, but where?) in their inward parts, and write it in their heart; (He will write it on their heart.) and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Now tonight, yes, Israel is still under God’s covenant promises.
He’s watching over them, but they’re not His people today. They’re anything but. They’re secular. They’re in unbelief for the most part, not all, but for the most part. And they are not His people. As He spoke to Moses, “they’re your people.” You remember? And Moses said, “No, God, I don’t want them, they’re your people.” Well you see, it was because of their rank disobedience, but that’s all going to end. All right, read on in verse 34.
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor,…” In other words, they’re not going to have to sit down and constantly be studying the Torah like Yeshiva students do today. They won’t have to study and try to figure out what is this verse? They’ll have full understanding, because it will be written in their hearts.
“…and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: (Why?) for they shall all know me,…” It isn’t like today where we have to be concerned about a lost loved one or a lost neighbor, and Israel is no different. My, the Jews for Jesus people are constantly handing out tracts and trying to win lost Jews. Well, that’ll no longer be necessary. Every Jew in the Kingdom will be a dyed-in-the-wool, heart-made believer. All right, verse 34 reading on:
“…for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” They are going to be in total relationship with their Jehovah God, who will then, of course, be also their King and their Messiah and the Redeemer.
Now, we’ve used these last three or four verses so often, I’m not going to take time today, but these verses are another guarantee that nothing, nothing will ever remove Israel from the scene. They are here and will be forever. My, when we were there a few weeks ago and we saw all those four lane highways, it was amazing. I mean, just like any other great city and bustling. My, you can’t imagine the activity in Israel, and it’s just all because God’s promises are coming to the fore.
All right, now let’s jump over to chapter 32 for just a second, where the prophet repeats it basically, so we won’t spend a lot of time on these verses, but drop over to verse 37. In verse 37 is what we’ve seen happening now these last 50 years, right in front of our eyes, we’ve seen it happen.
“Behold, (God says) I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger,…” Now, who can refute that? My, they’ve been coming from all over the world into their ancient homeland. In other words, it was a chastising act of God that took them out of the land after the crucifixion and 70 AD and scattered them into every nation under heaven. Remember we looked at the promises and the prophecies a while back in Deuteronomy? Way back at the time of Moses he wrote that they would be scattered into every nation under heaven and God would bring them back. All right, here Jeremiah’s prophesying the same thing.
“…and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:” Now, they’re not dwelling safely, yet, but a lot of them are already there. Now verse 38, this hasn’t happened yet, it’s all waiting for the return of Christ.
“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear (or respect or reverence) me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40. And I will make (What?) an everlasting covenant with them,…” God will never let go of the Nation of Israel, and once this Kingdom economy comes in, it’s going to feed right up into eternity. They will forever be then, His covenant people.
All right, now I’m going to take you back to show you the difference between having these things written in their hearts and the way Moses left it in Deuteronomy chapter 6. Now, I just like to show the comparison that they, even as God’s covenant people in history, have never come close to the promises of the New Covenant. Deuteronomy chapter 6 and since we’re so close to it, I’m going to read verse 4. This is what the Jew even today, if he has any semblance of Biblical belief at all, will hang on this verse. And of course, this is where they have an argument with us about a Triune God. They said there’s only one God. Well, what they don’t comprehend is that it’s three persons in one, but they go back to this verse.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Now verse 6, and this was the every day condition of even the believing Jew in Moses’ day.) 6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (Now watch it, this isn’t mentioned in the New covenant.) 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” Why? To be constantly reminded of what the Word of God is saying. But see, when they come under the New Covenant that won’t be necessary. It’ll be on their hearts. They won’t have to read it and remind themselves and talk to their neighbor about it. It’s going to be as automatic as daylight following dark.
Now, that’s the vast difference then between the New covenant and the Mosaic or the ‘old’ covenant. All right, now let’s jump all the way up to the New Testament, because that’s what we like to do, not just stay in the Old, but compare it also with things in the New. Come up with me to Hebrews chapter 8. I’ll have to look a minute to see what verse I want, and that will be verse 6. I’m convinced that Paul is the writer of this letter to the Hebrews, but on the other hand always remember whom is he writing to? He’s writing to Jews.
“But now…” The but NOW’s in Scripture is what I’m hoping we’ll cover in our next few tapings, and here is one of them.
“But now (That is after this work of the cross has been accomplished.) hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Now, that’s one of Paul’s favorite words throughout the letter of Hebrews – better.) 7. For if that first covenant (the covenant of Law, the Ten Commandments, the Temple worship, and the priesthood) had been faultless, (or if it’d been perfect) then should no place have been sought for the second.” Naturally. If something is okay you don’t fix it. What’s our little cliché? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Well, it’s the same context here. If the first covenant of Law had been perfect, there’d be no need for a new one. But it wasn’t. It was full of weaknesses, and we’ll see it in just a minute. All right, verse 8:
“For finding fault with them, (its imperfections) he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” See, he’s quoting from Jeremiah 31, which we just read.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (Now, it has nothing to say about the Gentile world. This is strictly God dealing with the house of David, the house of Israel.) after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” They won’t have to do like Moses said, “teach every man his neighbor” and so on and so forth. Now verse 13:
“In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first (What?) old. (Worn out) Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Why? Because it’s no longer of any use. It’s worn out.
All right, now let’s back up a little bit and pick up a couple of contexts. Galatians chapter 4, because I think a lot of people think that the Law was perfect. Well, that’s fine if you think so. The Ten Commandments certainly are perfect. There’s nothing amiss in any of those, but still the whole function of the Law did not change anybody’s heart. They could be a law-keeper and still be as lost as lost can be. All right, Galatians chapter 4 verse 9:
“But now, (See, there’s another one. My, I’ve got all kinds of them.) after that ye have known God, (In other words, come into a real salvation experience based now on Paul’s Gospel of the work of the cross.) or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” Well, now what’s Paul saying? When you’ve got something so perfect as faith in the Gospel that was according to the death, burial, and resurrection, which brings in new life, why do you want to go back to something that’s less than perfect, which was the sacrificial system of the Law?
All right, let’s back up a little further. II Corinthians chapter 3 and we’ll almost have to read verse 5 in order to understand verse 6.
II Corinthians 3:5-6a
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (Without Him we’re nothing. All right, now the next verse, this same God, the same God who has saved us through our faith in the Gospel.) 6. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; (or covenant) not of the letter, (which is Paul’s term for the Law) but of the spirit: (Because now the very core of our life, the very core of our salvation has been brought about by the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and here’s the reason.) for the letter (The Law doesn’t give life, it what?) killeth,…” The Law could never give life to anybody. Never did. Doesn’t now and never will. All the Law could do was show a man his sin. And most of Christendom hasn’t got it yet today. That’s all the Law can do is show our sin. There’s no life in the Law. But, when we turn away from the Law after being convicted by it, what does give life? The Holy Spirit.
So now, in this Age of Grace, and Israel will experience it in the Kingdom, now when the Holy Spirit imparts eternal life, it’s not based on the Law, it’s based on the work of the cross, because the Law, now read the next verse, verse 7.
II Corinthians 3:7a
“But if the ministration of death,…” That’s the law, and oh, people don’t like that. That’s not what they’ve always heard. But that’s all the Law could do. The Law killed. Why? Because it condemned, and if a person was condemned what was the punishment? Eternal doom. It, consequently, became a ministration of death. Nobody could be saved by keeping the Law. Even in Israel’s history the Law didn’t save them. It was their faith in carrying out what God said to do as a law-breaker. But it never saved them. This is what we have to understand even today. You know, when they make all this commotion about the Ten Commandments, well and good, but the Ten Commandments never saved anybody. All they do is convict.
II Corinthians 3:7
“But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, (Paul says. But now it’s been done away with because of the cross. So, even though it was glorious,) so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; (That is when he’d been in the presence of God and received the tables of stone.) which glory was to be done away:” Why? Because, like Hebrews said, when something grows old and it’s worn out what do you do with it? You cast it away.
Okay, so in the following six minutes, we have to clarify that if we’re not under the New Covenant, then what is the basis for our salvation today under Grace? Well, to put it in a nutshell, the New Covenant itself could never become a reality until God the Son went the way of the cross. It had to be, even for Israel. Now, that’s one thing I want to clarify. In order for the New Covenant to become a reality written on the heart of a Jew during the Kingdom, it had to be based on that eternal sacrifice, the shed blood that was accomplished there on the cross of Calvary. But through His power of resurrection and imparting new life, in order to fulfill the covenant promises made to Israel, He now, as I call it, caused a splash over. We’re not under the direct covenant promise. But we are enjoying everything that was done on Israel’s behalf; it now becomes applicable for us.
So, consequently, how do we attain eternal life? By believing that this Messiah, Redeemer, this Son of God that presented Himself to Israel, who was rejected, crucified, and raised from the dead, that now becomes our salvation, by believing that plus nothing. And even though we’re not under the covenant, we’re enjoying all the excesses of it before Israel even comes into the picture.
All right, now let’s just pick up a few verses that will, I think, bring this to the fore. Come back with me again to Romans chapter 3. Now, this is where we come to that work of the cross that was accomplished according to the eternal promises and covenants with Israel, but now God extends it to us as Gentiles who are not members of the Nation of Israel. We are not under Israel’s covenant promises, but we are under God’s Grace. We are now partaking of that which was given to the Nation of Israel. All right, Romans chapter 3 verse 23. This is that all-encompassing statement that covers every human being regardless of station in life.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (There’s not a one of us that can claim not to have sinned. We are all condemned by God’s perfect Law. All right, but God doesn’t leave it there.) 24. Being justified freely (Not by His covenant promises, but by what?) by his grace (And how does that Grace flow from God to us?) through the redemption that is (that was paid for) in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, (That is His shed blood, which is the cleansing factor. It’s the redemption price.) to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Now, verse 26 – my what a promise! Again, most people evidently don’t read this verse, or they don’t know it’s here, but it’s plain as day.
“To declare, (Paul says) I say, at this time his righteousness: (Not ours. We don’t attain to anything. We don’t deserve anything.) that he (Christ, or God) might be just, (He’s never going to cut corners with anybody, He’s going to be just.) and the justifier of him (Or of that person who what?) which believeth in Jesus.” See? This is where so much of Christendom is ignoring the fact that according to the Apostle Paul salvation doesn’t come by walking an aisle. It doesn’t come by taking Jesus into your life and heart. It comes by believing!
I’m hoping that God is going to bend His thinking enough to save these people that think they’re being saved, but I’ll tell you what, it’s beginning to shake me up. If the Book says that we’re saved by faith, by believing, and they ignore that – I’ve got questions. I’m in no place to judge, naturally. But here is the whole emphasis in Paul’s epistles that salvation comes by believing.
Believe what? All right, I Corinthians 15. And then I sweat all night wondering how I’m going to fill thirty minutes, I never learn. I Corinthians 15 the first four verses, my, we should know them from memory now shouldn’t we?
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel…” Remember, there’s only one in this age of Grace. Verse 2:
I Corinthians 15:2a
“By which also ye are saved,…” It’s this Gospel that saves, nothing else. And here it is:
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (It was foretold) 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:”
That’s the Gospel. You don’t receive the Gospel of salvation by just simply saying, “I want Jesus in my heart.” No, you believe THE GOSPEL with all your heart for your salvation!
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