Hebrews Lesson 113 January 3, 2008
NKJ Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
We are in Hebrews. Just briefly, by way of introduction, Hebrews 8:6-8 introduces the concept of a new covenant. Christ is the mediator of a better covenant in verse 6. The writer argues that the first covenant, that if the Mosaic Covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
NKJ Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah –
The Mosaic Covenant was never designed to be permanent. Sin had not been dealt with yet. The sacrifices, the worship in the tabernacle and temple were designed to point to the person and the work of the Messiah. It was through the ritual of Old Testament worship that God was teaching the Jews and those who were proselytes the worship of God in the Old Testament. God was teaching them about His grace and about salvation. But, the Mosaic Covenant was limited. It was between God and Israel only. It was a governmental constitution, a document designed to organize the society, the legal structures and the religious systems (the ritual systems) of Israel in the Old Testament. So it was never designed to be a permanent covenant and it was going to be replaced according to Jeremiah 31 with a new covenant which is what is quoted from Hebrews 8:8ff is simply a lengthy quotation of Jeremiah 31:31ff. We have studied the covenants of Israel – that there were 8. The Gentile covenants—the Creation Covenant or Edenic Covenant, the Adamic Covenant and the Noahic Covenant—are all basically modifications of one another and they govern all creation. They cover all mankind. They're still in effect.
Then after the failure at the Tower of Babel, God calls out Abraham and promises him land, seed and blessing. These covenants are further developed in the Land Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant. All of these are permanent covenants. Usually we use the term unconditional, but there were conditions there not for the permanency of the covenant but for the full enactment of these covenants. God was not going to bring Israel into the land and give them all of the blessings until they were fully obedient.
Then there is one temporary covenant which was the Mosaic Covenant. We looked at the various aspects of the New Covenant. We looked at the primary scripture that uses the term New Covenant that is the only scripture that uses the term New Covenant is Jeremiah 31:31-4. We will look at a number of these other passages this evening. The New Covenant is between God who is party of the first part and the house of Judah and house of Israel. That's what's clearly stated in Jeremiah 31 and also in Hebrews 8.
It raises the question - what about the church, because the church is not mentioned in the Old Testament. The importance of the covenant is that it provides for the future regeneration of the nation of Israel and the fulfillment of all the other covenants and promises to them. Remember, I pointed this out last time, when we look at these parallel passages that predict the giving of another covenant, an eternal covenant, an everlasting covenant that these other passages always seem to be connected to Israel being in the land. When this New Covenant comes into effect, it's connected to Israel being brought back, the restoration of the nation in obedience to God in regeneration in the land. So you can't separate the two. There's always that connection between the inauguration and fulfillment of the New Covenant and the fulfillment of the Land Covenant.
Now there are four passages where the New Covenant is mentioned in the New Testament other than in Hebrews 8. These are in Luke 22:20 and I Corinthians 11:25. I Corinthians 11:25 is actually a quote of the Luke 22:20 passage which is the statement that Jesus makes at the communion.
At the Passover meal He says, "This cup is poured out for you. It is the New Covenant of my blood."
I have highlighted the word "the" in both Luke 22 and I Corinthians 11 because the article is present in the Greek text. Now because of that there were some that came along and said in II Corinthians 3:6 and Hebrews 9:15 that the lack of the article indicated that this is a different New Covenant. So in the 20th century there were some dispensationalists who proposed the idea of two new covenants – a New Covenant for the church and a New Covenant for Israel. This was primarily held by faculty members at Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a number of students who came out of Dallas Seminary in the 20's, 30's and 40's.
Dallas Seminary was founded in 1923. It is very interesting to study the early history. It really wasn't very large until the '40's. Then there were a number of men who came back from World War II and wanted to go to seminary. That's when Dallas really began its growth.
But, Dallas Seminary was founded by a man who was ordained as southern Presbyterian evangelist. He was a musical evangelist trained at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music up in Ohio which is where he was from… by the name of Louis Sperry Chafer. Chafer was mentored by a reformed alcoholic and lawyer. (I am not identifying the two. Don't make that mistake.) But you had a reformed alcoholic and he was a lawyer and he was a decorated Confederate war hero who came to understand the gospel after the Civil War in St. Louis by the name of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield. Scofield was mentored by James Hall Brooks who was a Presbyterian pastor in St. Louis and who was a dispensationalist. Scofield and later Chaffer and men like Dwight Moody who was a well-known evangelist Bible teacher, founder of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and other men that were well-known in the late 1800's frequently spoke at Bible conferences in places like North Hampton, Massachusetts where Moody had a school. In fact Moody is buried there. They met. They had a prophecy conference that met annually – I think it was in the 1880's the Niagara Bible Conferences. There was an Episcopal church in Manhattan that also hosted some of these prophecy conferences. It was a period of time when dispensationalism was growing and more and more people were teaching that. There were many people who came out of Episcopal, Presbyterian and other backgrounds who were pre-millennial because they held to a literal teaching of the Word.
Well, Scofield mentored this young musical evangelist by the name of Louis Sperry Chafer. In fact he even said about Chafer, "You know Louis, someday you might make a passably good teacher if you had something to say."
So he taught him. But Chaffer never had the privilege of a seminary education and being trained in the original languages which is why when he structured the curriculum at Dallas Seminary at the beginning he emphasized a full four year curriculum for both Greek for the study of the New Testament and Hebrew for the study of the Old Testament. Chafer understood the limitations he had in his ministry because he couldn't get into the original languages on his own. So that is why that was built into the curriculum. Unfortunately like everything else we tend to see this dilution occur over time. Even though you can still go to Dallas and take four years of Greek and four years of Hebrew, that's not required. You are only required to have (I think) three semesters of Hebrew and two years of Greek. That's just your basic requirement.
Chafer taught this view that there were two new covenants, one with the church and one with Israel. That's where we are really are going here is understanding the basic issues with the New Covenant and understanding these particular passages.
The first view is that…let me back up just a second. There is a non-dispensational view that the church replaces national Israel and so the church fulfills the New Covenant in the present age. That is the view of replacement theology. That's what you'll find in covenant theology and other non-dispensational theological systems. In dispensationalism, you have basically four views that have developed. The first three are pretty close. The fourth I think is the position (I know it is.) of progressive dispensationalism. But I think that it's neither progressive nor dispensational. That is a view that has taken over in recent years motivated by the fact that too many faculty members operating on academic arrogance want to follow the principle outlined in I Samuel 7. Like the Jews of the Old Testament they want to have a king like everybody else. They want to have the academic respectability of everybody else and so they're trying to find a middle road of compromise with covenant theology so people won't run them down and denigrate their intellectual capabilities because they are dispensationalists. Now you may not realize that but dispensationalists are everybody's whipping boy out there now and have been for the last 30 or 40 years. It's like if you're a dispensationalist then you don't have brain cells that recognize each other.
"You're not very bright. Oh well, you're one of those."
The first view, the view that Chafer held that's written about in his Systematic Theology is that there are two new covenants, one with the church and one with Israel. This view was also held by Charles Ryrie in his early book that came out in 1953 called The Basis of the Pre-Millennial Faith. Walvoord also held this view in The Millennial Kingdom when that first came out. However Ryrie and Walvoord (as well as Dwight Pentecost who wrote doctoral dissertation Things to Come which is a classic on prophecy and dispensationalism) all changed in the 50's and realized that the two new covenant view wasn't exegetically really defensible. You just couldn't go to any passages in Scripture that supported this. Because of that you have people like Chafer who actually held to 9 covenants because they had this extra new covenant with the church. So they tried to make this hard and fast distinction between the church and Israel to the degree that they're basically coming up with a new covenant that's not mentioned in the Scripture. The only argument that they could come up with is the fact that these two passages II Corinthians 3:6 and Hebrews 9:15 did not have an article.
Unfortunately a common sort of first year of Greek error is to think that the lack of an article means that it's indefinite like it would be in English. In English you have either the chair or a chair. But in Greek you can have the article or not have the article but the noun chair or God or covenant can still be inherently definite because of the nature of the noun or language itself. There are different uses of the article and different nuances for the lack of an article. In Greek it is only proper to speak of an article. You never call it a definite article because in Greek there's no indefinite article. So it's really a mistranslation to put the word "a" in English indefinite article in here because new covenant was inherently a definite concept. Just like I pointed out before in English, they will talk about going to hospital instead of the hospital. Hospital is inherently definite. We'll talk about going to university rather than the university because university is inherently definite. The same thing you have with the article in John 1.
NKJ John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
No article in the Greek, so Jehovah's Witnesses come along and say, "See that should be translated a god not God (definite). He is just a god; He is not full deity. So failure to understand these little nuances in Greek grammar can lead to some problems.
The second position was a position held by John Nelson Darby. Darby like many other theologians, great theologians down through history was a trained lawyer. He went to Trinity College in Dublin where he studied law. Then afterwards he decided that God was calling him into the ministry, and he entered into the ministry as he grew. He was ordained in the Anglican Church, but he reacted to the theology of Anglicanism. So, he broke off and was one of the founders of what later became known as the Plymouth Brethren Movement. It was John Nelson Darby who was the founder and the father of modern dispensationalism. He didn't come up with this. He wasn't the first person in history to do this, but he was the first theologian to systemize dispensational theology and consistently interpret the Scriptures in light of this distinction between Israel and the church from a pre-tribulational viewpoint. He's the first to systematically articulate a doctrine of the Rapture although in recent years there have been numerous studies of others down through church history that have held to a pre-tribulation rapture of the church - that the church would not go through the tribulation. Darby's view was that the church participates in the New Covenant only by way of application. The New Covenant with Israel as far as he was concerned had not yet begun because the New Covenant is with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. There is no mention of a new covenant with the church anywhere in Scripture. Therefore that covenant while it is the sacrifice of Christ that cut on the cross the covenant with Israel doesn't come into effect. It is not established until Jesus Christ returns as the Davidic king to bring Israel back to the land and establish them as a regenerate nation in the land at the Second Coming.
The third view that has been held on this is that the church has some part in the New Covenant. There is some application primarily in regeneration. As we'll see we get into Jeremiah 31 that's one of the main thrusts of the New Covenant.
God says, "I will give you a new heart."
This is terminology related to regeneration. This is why when Jesus comes to Nicodemus he says, "Don't you understand that you can't see the kingdom of God unless you are born again."
By that Jesus indicates that Nicodemus who was this great Bible teacher… Arnold will point out that there is a tradition among Jews that Nicodemus wasn't his proper name. Actually "nico" the first part of that – you've got Nicodemus – "nico" like democracy (What's going on up in Iowa tonight.) That's the people –"nico" – like Nike, your shoes - the Greek goddess of victory or the one who is the overcomer, the one who is the ruler. So Nicodemus was the ruler of the people. That was his title, but that wasn't his name. There is a tradition (I don't know how true it is, but Arnold will talk about it when he goes through this.) that Nicodemus was the premier rabbi in Jerusalem at the time when Jesus was in Jerusalem.
So he was supposed to know more about the Old Testament than anybody so Jesus said, "Well don't you know that you can't see the kingdom of heaven unless you are born again?"
How would you know that from the Old Testament? Jeremiah 31 and these other passages that we are going to go to in the New Covenant. And so there are other dispensationalists that hold this view that the church has a specific role in the New Covenant only in terms of regeneration. You may not be able to distinguish in your thinking the difference between 2 and 3. They are very close. Most of the writers suggest that. These first 3 views are all held by traditional dispensationalists.
The new view that's been invented in the last 20 years by progressive dispensationalists is that the New Covenant was inaugurated at the cross. So, we are already under the New Covenant; but it hasn't fully come into force yet. One of the implications of this is that as we saw last time the prophecy of Joel 2 that your young men will see dreams and your daughters will prophecy and your old men will see visions (all of that) and speaking in tongues and all this would be legitimate. Actually that's where the vineyard movement and some of the other modern charismatic movements go with that, based on this view that the kingdom is already established, but it is not yet fully here. That's a little catch phrase - already but not yet. This is why I pointed out last week when I went through Joel 2 and Acts 2…we'll come back to that. Back in September in this Hebrews study I went through those 4 different ways in which the Old Testament was used in the New Testament that based on Arnold Fruchtenbaum's study that this third view in Acts 2 Peter was saying "this is like". There is a similarity. It is not a direct fulfillment.
So when Peter says "This is what the prophet Joel said", what you tend to hear from your Gentile background is that this is a direct fulfillment on the same order as Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. But there were other ways in which Old Testament passages are sighted in this sort of fulfillment terminology. There's the literal fulfillment was the first view. That's Micah 5:2. The second view was that it is just an historical event that's applied typologically. That's the passage in Hosea talking about that the daughter of Ramah were weeping for children. Then there is this third view… I can't remember the exact passages. But the third view was that this was like that. There is a parallel.
Then the 4th view was the fact that there is no actual literal statement just sort of a summary. I went through those in detail. This issue of interpreting Acts 2 and Joel 2 is fundamental and foundational to what's going on in this development of progressive dispensationalism. Their view is that the New Covenant is already here. We are living in the New Covenant. So aspects of this are already true but not everything. So it progressively comes into effect which is why they got the name progressive dispensationalists. So that's the difference is that traditional dispensationalist (and I believe they have the best position) that Jesus offered the kingdom. It was rejected and therefore it's postponed. So the New Covenant isn't established until Jesus returns at the Second Coming.
But progressive dispensationalism says there is some form in which we are already in the kingdom. It's a spiritual form of the kingdom. Jesus is spiritually reigning from David's throne in heaven. They interpret passages in Acts 2 and in Acts 3 the same way amillennial covenant theologians do. See what happens is, the distinctions in these theological systems starts breaking down, not because they are trying to preserve theological systems but because the underlying issues of interpretation and understanding what the Bible is actually teaching is at stake. It's what the Bible teaches that matters, not some theological system. So I believe that probably the best understanding of this is that which was articulated by Darby that in the Old Testament you have promises and prophecies that are made in relation to Israel and that they all come together in fulfillment at the Second Coming. None of them are even partially fulfilled before the Second Coming. So in the Old Testament you have your foundational covenant which is the Abrahamic Covenant - land, seed and blessing. The land is developed in Deuteronomy 30:1-10; the real estate covenant. That's not fulfilled until they are brought into the land as a regenerate people at the Second Coming.
Then you have the Davidic Covenant. Even though Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem as a descendent of David, He doesn't take the Davidic throne in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant until the Second Coming. So the New Covenant which is linked to the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant and Land Covenant and Old Testament passages is not fulfilled for Israel until the Second Coming. But, we in the Church Age benefit from its establishment at the cross with Israel. It's established but doesn't come into effect until the Second Coming. So we get blessing from that by association wit the Lord Jesus Christ who is party of the first part in the New Covenant. That helps you to see what the distinction is. So there is no dual covenant. There is no New Covenant with the church.
So let's start looking at some of the Old Testament passages that talk about the New Covenant. The first one we'll go to is in Hosea 2:17. I'm not going to go through this in terms of their order in the Old Testament. I am going to go through them in terms of their chronological order. So we're going to look at each of these in the order they were given to Israel in terms of progressive revelation. Hosea was a prophet in the 8th century BC. He was a prophet to the northern kingdom. The northern kingdom is going to separate from the southern kingdom in a tax revolt that occurs in approximately 930 BC. It's going to be that tax revolt that brings about this split that occurs. God is going to discipline the nation that way.
Speaking of tax revolt, I had a great little email that came the other day. Taxes have always been a problem. I want you to understand before we talk about taxes the nature of the term a billion. See we have politicians that always talk about "Well, I need a billion dollars for this, a billion dollars for that." A billion is a big term. So, how big is a billion? A billion seconds ago it was 1959. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. A billion hours ago, we didn't even have creation. A billion dollars ago, it was noon in terms of federal spending. It goes fast, doesn't it?
Now thinking in terms of how much is a billion, Louisiana senator Mary Landrew has asked Congress for $250 billion to rebuild New Orleans. Just how much is $250 billion? Can we really get our mental fingers around that? Well, if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (that's every man, woman and child) you get $516,520 apiece. Or if you own one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans your home gets $1,329,787 for repairs. That's just your house. Everybody's house gets that amount. Or if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012. That's how much $250 billion is.
So we have a little poem that somebody put together.
Tax his land; tax his wage.
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor; tax his mule.
Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow; tax his goat.
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties; tax his shirts.
Tax his work; tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco; tax his drink.
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze; tax his beer.
If he cries, tax his tears.
Tax his bills; tax his gas.
Tax his notes; tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes he has no dough.
If he hollers tax him more,
Tax him until he is good and sore.
Tax his coffin; tax his grave.
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb
Tax has drove me to my doom.
Then when he's gone we won't relax
We'll still be after the inheritance tax.
Then there is a list of taxes that we all pay.
Accounts receivable tax
Building permit tax
Corporate income tax
Dog license tax
Federal income tax
Federal employment tax
Fishing license tax
Food license tax
??? permit tax
Hunting license tax
IRS interest charges - tax on top of tax
IRS penalties – tax on top of tax
Marriage license tax
Real estate tax
Service charge taxes
Social security tax
Road usage tax
Recreational vehicle tax
State income tax
State unemployment tax
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal fee tax
Telephone state and local surcharge tax
Telephone minimum usage charge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usages charge tax
Vehicle license registration administration tax
Vehicle sales tax
Water craft registration tax
Worker's compensation tax
The ten northern tribes of Israel revolted on a whole lot less than this. The American War of Independence took place on a whole lot less than this. None of these taxes existed 100 years ago. Our nation at the time was the most prosperous in the world. We had no national debt. We had the largest middle class in the world. Mom didn't have to work outside the home. She stayed home with the kids. We just have our politicians to thank.
Israel the Northern Kingdom revolted in a tax revolt approximately 930 BC. So that's the 10th century BC. This is 770, about 150 years after that during the time of not Jeroboam I but Jeroboam II that you have God call out three key prophets in the Old Testament. They are contemporaries of each other – Hosea, Isaiah, and Amos. These are the three key prophets and Amos and Hosea are in the north. Hosea is the first to speak of the New Covenant that someday would replace the other covenants. He seems in despair as he addresses the Northern Kingdom because at this time they're surrounded by the Baal worship. If you look at the overall context of how revelation has been given in the Old Testament and how Hosea is structured, there is a condemnation-judgment-deliverance cycle in Hosea. This is in the second cycle within the structure of the book from 2:2 down through 23. Each of these cycles goes from condemnation and judgment to deliverance and restoration. They all speak of restoration in the end, that God is going to judge them and that goes all the way back to the Mosaic Covenant that God promised in Leviticus 26 and in Deuteronomy 30. If they disobeyed God, God would take them out of the land. But eventually he would restore them from the four corners of the earth. Now that has never happened before. They are taken out - the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC and the Southern Kingdom in 586. They are taken out. There is only a small group that returns primarily from Babylon, not from the four corners of the earth between 538 and 444 when Nehemiah is taken. You have three basic returns – one under Zerubbabel, one under Ezra and one under Nehemiah. Well, Hosea is much before all of that. He is predicting this. That little return that occurs after the exile is simply a foreshadowing of the future full bore restoration and regeneration. So in Hosea 2:17 God says to Hosea:
NKJ Hosea 2:17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
In other words, under divine discipline God is going to discipline Israel so harshly that they will never again be involved in idol worship. That is exactly what happens when the Israelites return after the Babylonian captivity. That's what led in reaction to the development of Phariseeism. They were so concerned and distraught because God had taken them out of the land that they wanted to eradicate any possible form of idolatry from the land when they returned in 538 BC. Eventually that leads to the idea of all the legalism. What they did is, they had the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law has 512 commandments. So they wanted to make sure that you didn't break any of those commandments so what we have to do is we have to build a fence of commandments around the law to establish these secondary prohibitions. If you break one of those you still haven't broken the law, but it's going to keep you from getting too close and actually breaking the law. That was what they would view the Mishnah, the rabbinical teaching at the time of Christ. Along comes the Talmud. The Talmud builds a second fence around the other two. The idea being that as you build these traditions of the Pharisees and the rabbis that it would keep the Jews from getting close to breaking the laws in the Mosaic Law. So it was such a harsh discipline, the destruction, the violence, the famines that occurred – the fact that under siege the mothers were cannibalizing their own children. The violence that occurred in both the Northern Kingdom with the Assyrian invasion and later the Southern Kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar undergoing three foreign invasions in 605, 593 and finally 586 was so horrendous the Jews wanted to make sure that nothing like that would ever happen again. Rather than becoming grace-oriented and God-oriented, they just became legalistic. This is part of the fulfillment of Hosea 2:17.
NKJ Hosea 2:17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
God said He would wipe out idolatry. Then he says:
NKJ Hosea 2:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.
"In that day" often refers to that future day of redemption, the covenant the Day of the Lord.
What does that sound like? Where do you read similar terminology in the Bible? When God first creates man He says:
NKJ Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
So we have this. This is a rolling back of the curse during the Millennial Kingdom – not completely because man is still sinful and those who marry have children with sin natures. But it is a partial roll back of the curse that occurs in the Millennial Kingdom.
Isaiah is going to talk about this - that spears will be beaten into pruning hooks and swords into plow shares and man will learn war no more. That is ripped out of context and emblazoned over the entry to the U.N. Building in New York. So if you think the U.N. is secular, it's not. By using that as their motto they are assuming for themselves a messianic role. Any politician who supports international courts, who supports internationalism and the rule of the U.N. is promoting the old temple of Babel, the Tower of Babel mentality of internationalism. There's not going to be an end to war until the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who is the true Prince of Peace establishes His kingdom on earth. So this is the first indication that there's going to be a new covenant. The term "new" is not used, but there is this prophecy that in that day in the coming of the kingdom God says, "I will make a covenant for them." This is your first indication that there is going to be a New Covenant.
Now in later passages in Hosea, for example in Hosea 2:19 there is the emphasis on the length of time that this new covenant is going to be established forever.
NKJ Hosea 2:19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;
So this is the fulfillment that it will be an eternal covenant. Also if you look at Hosea 2:20 there is the indication that the covenant recipients will know God. Then the text says:
NKJ Hosea 2:20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.
Furthermore in Hosea 2:21-22 the covenant insures the future prosperity and material blessing of the nation in association with a return to the land. There is that land connection. If you recall from our studies in Deuteronomy and the Mosaic Law, God promised them that if they were obedient to Him; God would bless them with material prosperity. This is going to be fulfilled with the establishment of the New Covenant according to Hosea 2:21-22. Another point, the covenant establishes its distinct personal relationship between God and His people who are referred to as My people in Hosea 2:23.
Then the last point I want to make is also in 2:20. We realize that this comes from the initiation of God. God initiates this covenant. So in Hosea 2 from verse 17 down through verse 20, we have all the basic elements of the New Covenant already stated. The term "new" in New Covenant is not there.
The next reference that we have to the New Covenant is found in Isaiah. I'm not going to go through all the Isaiah passages, but I do want to look at Isaiah 61:8-9 and that whole context. So turn with me there to Isaiah 61. Now this isn't the first time in Isaiah that Isaiah alludes to a future covenant that will replace the old covenant. He also alludes to this in Isaiah 42:6, 49:8, 54:10, 55:3, 59:21, and our passage here is Isaiah 61:8-9.
First of all, in all 6 of these references there is a covenant promised to the nation that follows a period of national condemnation and judgment. That's exactly the kind of thing you have going back to Deuteronomy. The reason I keep going back to Deuteronomy is I want you to understand that everything in the Bible fits together. You have to understand these things in light of other parts of the revelatory process. In the Mosaic Law God promised Israel that if they obeyed Him, He would bless them with physical literal prosperity, agricultural fertility; and they would be known among all the nations. But if they were disobedient, God said He would take them through five different stages of discipline the most extreme of which was to remove them from the land (the land being the land that God had promised them) - promised Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant reiterated in the Palestinian or Land Covenant.
So God says He is going to take them out of the land. But He says in all those passages that eventually He will bring them back from everywhere to the land. The indication there is they will come back in two stages – one stage is a return that is still in apostasy. That I believe is being fulfilled today – that God is bringing them back to the land because there has to be a national Israel in the land (a government in the land at the beginning of the Tribulation because what begins the tribulation is the Antichrist signs a peace treaty with Israel. That's what kicks off the chronology of the last 7 years, Daniel's 70th week. Now that Israel that returns to the land is an apostate Israel. They have not accepted Christ as Messiah. One of the first things they do either just prior to or just after the signing of the peace treaty is to rebuild the temple. It is an apostate temple. It is still where they are going to reenact the Mosaic Law not believing that the Messiah has come. But there is a second return that occurs and it's a return in regeneration. For many years there were dispensationalists who confused those two and didn't recognize that there were two returns to the land. So there is an initial return that's in belief and a second return that is in belief. That return comes from the four corners of the earth. It has never happened before. It did not happen in the 6th century in 538, 516, 5th century in 460 with Ezra or 444 with Nehemiah.
So what you have in these Isaiah references is that there will be a future covenant that comes after this period of national condemnation and it precedes a period of unparalleled prosperity and happiness and spiritual blessing. All of these passages are covered (Isaiah 42:6, the ones I mentioned earlier) are all Isaiah called the Book of Comfort from Isaiah 66.
The second thing we ought to note about these Isaiah passages is that the servant of the Lord, which is a messianic title, does not refer to Israel. See modern Judaism couldn't handle Isaiah 53. In fact sometime try to ask one of your Jewish friends to explain how they understand Isaiah 53. If they know anything about it, they will probably tell you that the suffering servant in Isaiah is the nation Israel. But that's not the historic position. It took about 800 years into the Christian era before the rabbis finally came up with that position. They did it because any time Christians used Isaiah 53 to witness to Jews, the Jews recognized that it had to refer to Jesus Christ. So they had to come up with some sort of imaginative, inventive interpretation of Isaiah 53 to quit getting slaughtered by Christians (slaughtered metaphorically) in evangelism. So the Servant of the Lord is the Messiah in these passages and the Servant of the Lord is clearly commissioned to be the mediator of this covenant. You can look at Isaiah 42:6 and Isaiah 49:8.
The third thing we should note is that in connection with the Servant of the Lord in these passages, the Servant of the Lord is understood as a descendent of David, a descendent of Jesse, the root of Jesse, the branch of David. You can look at passages such as Isaiah 55:3 where you have a clear association between David and this New Covenant.
NKJ Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you -- The sure mercies of David.
So here you see the New Covenant that is connected like we saw in Hosea with the land. Now in Isaiah it's connected with the Davidic Covenant. So you can't distinguish the New Covenant from these other covenants. They all come together and are fulfilled at the same time.
A fourth observation is the servant in conjunction with the fulfillment of the covenant the establishment of the New Covenant fulfills a saving role toward the gentiles. So through the function of the servant of Israel, the suffering servant Gentiles are going to be saved. In Isaiah 42:6 he is described as a light to the nations, to the Gentiles, the goyim.
That takes us up and covers these passages. Now let's look at Isaiah 61: 8.
NKJ Isaiah 61:8 "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
In contrast to the Mosaic Covenant which was a temporary covenant. So this is a prophecy related to a future everlasting covenant.
NKJ Isaiah 61:9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, And their offspring among the people.
That is the Jewish descendents at that time would become known among the Gentiles. They would become famous. Isaiah 2 talks about the fact that all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship.
All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed."
This has not yet been fulfilled and won't be fulfilled until Jesus Christ returns. That takes us through the Isaiah passages.
Now the next key passage is the one that is quoted in Hebrews 8. That is Jeremiah 31:31-4. Isaiah operates in the 8th BC and Jeremiah operates in the late 7th and early 6th century BC. He is right before the exile and during the exile. He's the one who is warning them about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.
NKJ Jeremiah 31:31 " Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah --
The present covenant, the Mosaic Covenant will be ended and there will be a New Covenant.
NKJ Jeremiah 31:32 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt,
So it is clearly distinguished in context from the Mosaic Covenant. How can you miss that? It is obviously talking about 1446 BC.
My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
NKJ Jeremiah 31:33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:
Not the church, but with the house of Israel.
Notice how now it's the house of Israel. The indication here is a unity of the nation once again.
I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
That should be taken together. That is talking about the same thing. There is going to be this internal knowledge, an intuitive direct knowledge of doctrine (the gospel) among Jews. There are many who believe on the basis of this that this means that all Jews in the Millennial Kingdom will be saved. There will be no Jew that rejects the gospel in the Millennial Kingdom.
NKJ Jeremiah 31:34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
The implication is that if nobody is going to teach anybody the gospel or explain the gospel to one another in the kingdom, then how are they going to get saved? Well, they are going to get saved because God automatically puts it in their hearts. Now that's different from what we have seen in other dispensations. But it's a dispensational shift. There is something that is radically different that occurs with Israel and with Jewish believers and with the Jews in the Millennial Kingdom.
Pastor-teachers are out of a job. So it's not like today. Now this isn't talking about Gentiles. This is talking about in Israel. Every one of them! So it's not like today. This is talking about in Israel.
for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD.
So this expands on it. It's not just say all of them meaning may be most of them. All sometimes means most. But here all means everyone. It's expanded in the next phrase.
For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
So I have 9 points on the New Covenant which we will begin with when I return from Kiev. Since we have Arnold here I guess we won't get back to this for a month. So we will hold that thought. It's a good place to stop because I will have to review the New Covenant when I come back and we'll go over Jeremiah 31 again and then go through those 9 points.
With our heads bowed and our eyes closed.