Archive for October, 2009

About the New Covenant

October 23, 2009

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. (Jer.31:30)
הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְכָרַתִּי, אֶת-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-בֵּית יְהוּדָה–בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה

The covenant has caused a lot of controversies in church history. The church spoke many times about the covenant but it often ended up in disagreement. For me, as a remnant of the Protestant tradition, I learned some clear sayings in the period of the 17e -18e century by e.g. Calvin, Owen, Brakel and others. After that era, clearness disappeared more and more. But all leaders and denominations deal with the same problems: they want to see the things you can’t see. They utilized the Roman-Greek way to make things clear. And the problem is they propagate a covenant in which you enter by birth. They correlate the Jewish covenant of circumcision with baptism. And they argue, as a result, to baptize children too. So if you are born from a father and mother who believe and are consequently “grafted in the Jewish olive tree”, you are into the covenant. And when you are in the covenant, you receive the sign of the covenant: baptism, a few weeks after birth.

When you do this practice, your are instantly confronted with the huge warn from the apostle Paul to the Galatians. The warning that the sign of the covenant (circumcision) nothing has to do with entering the real covenant of grace, the new covenant.

However, many churches did and yet do give value to this (ethnical) covenant.Covenant_of_Abraham

In contrast with the huge amount of books written by church members, it’s funny that the Apostolic Writings mentions very little about the covenant.

1.) Mark, Math. and Luke: This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Repeated by Paul, 1Cor.11:25.
2.) In Galatians the covenant with Abraham.
3.) In Hebrews the covenant with Israel, the Torah.

Yeshua spoke about his blood being the new covenant, and the writer of Hebrews spoke about the new covenant, besides the old, related it to the words of the prophet Jeremiah and compared it with the blood of Yeshua. Paul in Galatians only spoke about the covenant with Abraham, but with an allegory pointed out to the new covenant.

The new covenant is effectuated by blood. Once the blood comes upon the soul, it is established. This is nothing new, we’ve seen this before. The people of Israel said “We will hear and do” and offered sacrifices to God, and then Moses sprinkled the people with blood to seal the covenant. (Ex.24:8)

To enter the new covenant we have to be circumcised of the heart and baptized with the spirit of fire. Those people are new-born ones. They enter the covenant of grace of Yeshua the Messiah. They are not merely came to the mount Sinai of thunders and fire (Hebr.12:18) but came to the Heavenly Judge, the almighty King and also their own Father full of love and His son full of grace. Surrounded by angels seeing the Living One and say: woe to me because I’m a sinner. They “are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling…” (Hebr.12:22-24)

And then, what are they going to say? Am I going to give my whole live to Him? Sure! Sure I will do that! I love You and I will always do what You want me to do! I’ll sign the covenant and whenever I draw away from your law, correct me and guide me on your preferred way and teach me how to follow. I will do al You want me to do. And this (I think you can see so) is the new covenant. Initiated by HaSjem, signed with heart and soul of the individual. Caused baptism and full repentance.

Now a have a question. What is the value of the old covenant, the physic line of Abraham and Israel? Because the world and specially the church wondered about the establishment of the state Israel in 1948. We couldn’t get around that fact and must agree that there were some special promises in the covenant with Abraham. Paul argued to the Galatians that you don’t need it to get to be saved, but what is the benefit of the “ethnic” covenant?

PS: An easy article for more about biblical covenants you can find here. I think there are two main covenants, those with Noah (7 commandments) and those with Abraham/Israel (Torah) renewed with Yeshua.