Keith Hunt - The Old and New Covenants #2 - Page Two   Restitution of All Things

  Home Previous Page Next Page

The Old and New Covenants #2

Aspects of it all



CHAPTER THREE

THE PROMISE OF A NEW COVENANT

"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:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in
the day that I took them out of the land of Egypt; which my
covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith
the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with
the house of Israel. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put
my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and
will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah
31:31-33).

WHY WAS A
NEW COVENANT NEEDED?
Why do we need a new covenant with a testament? What was wrong
with the Old Covenant? Now we will see why a new agreement or
covenant was necessary.

A BETTER COVENANT
"But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much
also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was
established upon better promises" (Hebrews 8:6). Here we find the
apostle Paul stating why the new covenant is a better one. He
states that the primary reason is because it is based upon better
promises (i.e. terms, conditions and benefits). And as we will
see, these promises are far better than those given to the
physical nation of Israel.
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no
place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with
them, he saith, Behold, the days come, with the Lord, when I will
make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house
of Judah" (Hebrews 8:7-8).

The fault was not with the covenant; it was with the people
themselves. The covenant could be performed: God could perform
His part, and many individuals did perform their part. But for
Israel to perform her part on a national scale was extremely
difficult, as their history indicates. Even to perform it on an  
individual basis IS extremely hard and few could accomplish
this task and reap the blessings that were promised.        
(It was hard to perform because their heart was not right, and as
we have seen God did not call and give His Spirit to the MANY but
to the relatively few. So trying to perform the Old Covenant in
the flesh, on ones on steam, was then indeed hard to do - Keith
Hunt).

A PERFECT SACRIFICE NEEDED
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the
very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which
they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto
perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered?
because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more
conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a
remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible
that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins"
(Hebrews 10:14).

In verse 1, we read that the sacrifices were given year after
year but could never save the people from their sins. Verse 4
says it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take
away sins. One reason for this is that an inferior animal cannot
take away the sins of a superior being, and man is superior to
any animal. Man has the potential to become as God; animals do
not have this potential. The inadequacy of the sacrifices is
another reason the Old Covenant is inferior to the New Covenant.
It could only cover the sins of men, but not remove them. God was
not satisfied with these sacrifices because they could not TAKE
AWAY sins. So the first thing that is needed is the perfect
sacrifice.
(Ah yes, glad to see the writers did see that physical sacrifices
did NOT take away sins, only reminded the people, in no uncertain
way I may say, that they were sinners, and needed a perfect
sacrifice to forgive and remove sins - Keith Hunt).

THE OLD COVENANT IS CANCELLED 
"Wherefore, when he comes into the world, he says, Sacrifice and
offering you would (want) not, but a body have you prepared me:
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no
pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it
is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said,
Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin
you would (want) not, neither had pleasure therein; which are
offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do your will, O
God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the
body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:5-10 quoted by
Paul from Psalm 40:6-8).

Verse 5 shows that Christ is the supreme sacrifice; verse 9 shows
that Christ will cancel the first system in favor of a far better
one. Verse 10 shows that under the new plan or agreement, we can
now be forgiven of our sins and made clean by Christ's sacrifice
for us, a perfect sacrifice which can and does remove our sins.
Verse 14 says: "For by one offering he has perfected forever them
that are sanctified." So by His perfect sacrifice we can now
stand before God as righteous sinless individuals.

THE HOLY SPIRIT
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those
days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their hearts, and
in their minds will I write them" (Hebrews 10:16). Notice again
that He is going to write His laws into our minds. The reason He
does this is so we will always know His will.
After we receive the Holy Spirit, we have a desire to obey Him.
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he has
consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh"
(Hebrews 10:19-20).

A NEW HIGH PRIEST
Hebrews 10:19 says that now, because of the new agreement or
covenant and because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we may go
right into the very Holy of Holies where God is. Verse 20 tells
us that now there is a fresh, new, life-giving way which Christ
has opened up for us by tearing the curtain (His human body) to
let us into the very presence of God. This new life-giving way is
the New Covenant and Testament. Verse 23 tells us that now there
is no longer any room for doubt because of what Christ has done.
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
for he is faithful that promised" (Hebrews 10:23).

WHY THE NEW COVENANT IS A BETTER COVENANT

HEBREWS 10 GIVES THE ANSWER

No.1 God suspended the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant and
sacrificed Himself for us.
No.2 He also suspended the Levitical priesthood and established
Himself as High Priest.
No.3 He also put His Spirit into our hearts. So He is changing
man to want to obey His Commandments because of the change of
heart (mind).

These are the three basic tools that God has given to man that
were not available under the Old Covenant. Now they are available
to all those God is calling under the New Covenant.

BLESSINGS OR CURSINGS - WHICH? 
Under the Old Covenant God said the people would have tremendous
physical blessings if they would keep their part of the bargain:
"And it shall come to pass, if you shall harken diligently unto
the voice of the Lord your God, to observe and to do all his
commandments which I command you this day, that the Lord your God
will set you on high above all nations of the earth" (Deuteronomy
28:1. Note verses 2-14 ). He also said: "But it shall come to
pass, it you will not harken unto the voice of the Lord your
God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which
I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon
you, and overtake you" (Deuteronomy 28:15. Note verses 16-68).

If they would not obey, they would not only miss out on these
wonderful blessings, but they would receive terrible curses in
their place. Their Creator and benefactor summed up the choices
He had given them by saving: "See, I have set before you this day
life and good, and death, and in that I command you this day to
love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his
commandments, and his statutes and his judgments, that you may
live and multiply: and the Lord your God shall bless you in the
land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so
that you not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other
gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that you
shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days
upon the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I
call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have
set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore
choose life, that both you and your seed may live:" (Deuteronomy
30:15-19).
It was God's earnest desire that they would choose life above
death.

NEW COVENANT BLESSINGS 
Under the new Covenant He tells us we can receive all the
blessings He offered to ancient Israel: "And if you be Christ's,
then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise"
(Galatians 3:29). We likewise can become a son in the family of
God just as many who lived under the Old Covenant - Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, to name a few. "For as many as are led by the
Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself bears
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
together" (Romans 8:14,16-17). And also inherit eternal life:
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have
right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates
into the city" (Revelation 22:14. Also see 1 Thessalonians
4:1317; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; and Revelation 20:4-6).
The blessings and benefits of the New Covenant over the Old are
so great and wonderful that it is really impossible to compare
the two. The first had a physical value, and the second has a
physical, spiritual, and eternal value.

REWARDS FAR SUPERIOR
Since the rewards of the New Covenant are far superior to the Old
one, so then are the penalties for non-compliance: "For it is
impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted
of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world
to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto
repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God
afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks
in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs meet
for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: But
that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto
cursing; whose end is to be burned" (Hebrews 6:4-8).

Once this contract is entered into by God and an individual,
there is no turning back: "For if we sin wilfully after that we
have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more
sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment
and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He
that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three
witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be
thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and
has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was
sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit
of grace? For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongs unto
me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall
judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of
the living God" (Hebrews 10:26-31).

If an individual wilfully refuses to honor his contract with God,
God cannot bless him, but must instead curse him under the terms
and conditions of the contract. The choice each one of us makes
under the New Covenant is exactly the same choice God gave to the
ancient Israelites, and our Creator desires above all else that
we make the right choice, and CHOOSE LIFE (Deuteronomy 30:1519).

WHAT ARE THE BETTER PROMISES OF HEBREWS 8:6?
"But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry by how much
also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was
established upon better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

What are the promises under the New Covenant, or agreement, that
are better than those of the Old Covenant? (1) The perfect
sacrifice of Christ. (2) The perfect High Priest who is a true
bridge builder between God and man. And, (3) the Holy Spirit to
help us, strengthen us and give us a new heart so that we will
WANT to obey God.

WHY THE OLD COVENANT FAILED 
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no
place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with
THEM, he said, 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" (Hebrews 8:7-8).
Verse 7 says that the old agreement did not work. Why? Because it
lacked the three things mentioned above. If it had worked, then
there would have been no need for another covenant to replace it.

So the Old Covenant has been replaced by the New Covenant.
Verse 8 says God found fault with the people of the Old Covenant
because they didn't have a heart in them to be able, or even have
a desire, to worship Him. So He cancelled the Old Covenant. He
changed what was wrong with the Old Covenant - the people - and
now places a new heart or mind in them.

The fault was NOT with the COVENANT; it was with THE PEOPLE
themselves. The covenant could be performed; God could perform
His part, and many individuals performed their part. But for
Israel to perform her part on a national scale was extremely
difficult, as their history indicates. Even to perform it on an
individual basis was extremely hard, and few could accomplish
this task and reap the blessings that were promised.
(On an individual basis the person did have God's Spirit (see
again Number 11), hence it was no harder to serve God and obey
Him than it is for Christians today to serve God and obey Him -
Keith hunt).

One reason it was so difficult was because of the sacrificial
system. Each time they knew they had sinned, they had to offer a
sacrifice. They also had to offer a sacrifice to cover the sins
they did in ignorance. This was extremely difficult compared to
those of us who live under the New Covenant, who only have to ASK
God to use the sacrifice to Christ to take away our sins.
(Well not really that difficult, for sacrifices could only be
done where God placed His name, first in Shilo, then later in
Jerusalem. The people only went up to "the place where God placed
His name" only at Festival times, and then many or most did not
go up for all three seasonal pilgrim festivals. Even if they did,
they sacrificed then only three times a year. It was not as if
they were doing DAILY sacrifices - Keith Hunt).

What we have in Hebrews 8 are the same conditions that are
contained in the Old Covenant because God found no fault with His
part of the agreement - His commandments, statutes and judgments.
God gave them the laws that were good for them. It could have
made them a prosperous, happy, and contented people. The terms
and conditions that God gave were good and were never done away
with. They are the same terms and conditions that we have under
the New Covenant.

Now we not only have a New Covenant, but we also have the tools
that enable us to keep the terms and conditions of that covenant,
the Ten Commandments and the spiritual laws of God.
(We have the Holy Spirit as a divine "begettal" united with our
spirit, which then is a greater power of the Spirit in us, than
was for those called under the Old Covenant. But then on the
other hand the New Covenant covers the DEEPER spiritual aspect of
the laws of God, see Jesus' amplification of the laws in Matthew
5;6;7. So a deeper spiritual New Covenant, but also a deeper
giving of God's Spirit to those called under the New Covenant -
Keith Hunt).

                               .............

TO BE CONTINUED


  Home Previous Page Top of Page Next Page

 
Navigation List:
 

 
Word Search:

PicoSearch
  Help