The Old Covenant served as a marriage agreement between God and the 12 tribes of Israel–the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. God would serve as a husband to them and therefore provide for the nation. He promised to make sure their every material need was met. They would multiply greatly; their cattle and livestock would be very productive; their land would give abundant produce; they would become the greatest nation on earth. These promises belonged to Abraham’s descendants because of his obedience. However, the nation would maintain its material success and lofty international position only IF THEY OBEYED HIM. God (the Word Who became Jesus of Nazareth) promised to walk among them and be their God IF THEY OBEYED HIM.
If the much-blessed children of Abraham disobeyed the Provider of their blessings and did not remain faithful to Him they would be cursed by that same Provider. Hunger, sickness, famine, war and sorrow would come upon them just as would happen to an unfaithful wife who would suffer for having relations with someone other than her husband (Lev. 26/ Deut. 28). As both Biblical and secular history record, first Israel, then Judah broke their marriage vows and went awhoring after other gods. As noted in the previous posting, God views sin as idolatry–serving any God other than the Biblical god. The two segments of Abraham’s descendants (Israel–the 10 northern tribes, and Judah–the 2 southern tribes) broke their marriage vows: “And I saw that backsliding Israel committed (spiritual) adultery, so I put her away and gave her a bill of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear me, but played the harlot also” (Jer. 3:8). Sin made Israel a “harlot” because she bowed to and served another god–Satan. This caused God to send both segments into captivity. Over time Israel was defeated and enslaved by Assyria. Later, Judah suffered the same fate at the hands of Babylon. Why? Sin. In the eyes of God, all sin is harlotry/idolatry–bowing to and serving Satan. Satan is the ringmaster overseeing all other heathen gods. Israel and Judah played the harlot with the various gods of the various heathen (Gentile) people who occupied the lands surrounding the area God promised to Abraham–the Promised (Holy) Land.
We have identified the FAULT of the Old Covenant (Heb. 8:7,8). This fault prevented God from providing the continued blessings He had promised. The fault was with the people who, as had their ancestors, been given free moral agency. They could choose which god they would bow to, honor, serve and obey. With few exceptions, Israel chose Satan, as has the vast majority of their physical and religious descendants. That Satan has gained total control of them through religious deception is proved by the fact that they call themselves “Christians,” their religious organizations “churches” and their various theologies “Christianity.” Under a variety of names and theologies, Satan has enabled “the church” to take his Catholic/Protestant poison to every part of the earth.
Less than 1% of professing Christendom has recognized their FAULT (rejection of God’s Law), turned from Satan and to the Lord and obeyed His Law. Heeding the voice of Satan’s false prophets, the other 99% has relegated God’s Law to the dustbin of history and blindly embraced the devil’s have-it-your-way brand of theology known as Catholicism/Protestantism. As noted in the previous posting, Jesus Christ and His apostles proclaimed that only through obedience to the Law can a person be converted and saved. The 99%ers all claim that the Law was “nailed to the cross” of Christ. God defines sin as “the transgression of the Law” in 1 John 3:4. He views sin (Law-breaking) as an abomination in Exodus 34:12-17. So how was the FAULT of the Old Covenant corrected?
The Old Covenant featured God’s spiritual Law written on stone tablets. Obedience to that Law had to come from man’s efforts alone with no help from God. The solution to that problem involved the Holy Spirit which was prophesied to be made available to true believers in Jeremiah 31:33: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah after those days, says the Lord: I WILL PUT MY LAWS (COMMANDMENTS) IN THEIR MINDS AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.” Notice that under the New Covenant God’s eternal Law would still be in effect, only its location would change. This is the same Law that “will stand fast FOR EVER AND EVER” (Ps. 111:7,8). However, this time the Law would be written in men’s hearts (minds) and “… not with ink, BUT WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD; NOT ON TABLES OF STONE, BUT ON THE FLESHLY TABLES OF THE HEART” (2 Cor. 3:3). The New Covenant would be made only with those who would allow God to write His Ten Commandment Law on their hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit which would then remain within them as long as they obeyed the Spirit’s “voice.” Only those who are led by the (voice of the) Spirit of God are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). The gift of the Holy Spirit is one of the “better promises” provided by the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6).
The Almighty made the New Covenant with the 12 tribes of Israel only. The New Covenant is not available to Gentiles who choose to REMAIN Gentiles by refusing to become spiritual Israelites by obeying His Law with faith in Him. THE COVENANTS AND PROMISES OF GOD PERTAIN ONLY TO ISRAEL (Rom. 9:4). This being Scriptural fact, how can Gentiles be included in the promises God made to Israel in His New Covenant? Who could answer that question better than the Apostle Paul?
The church at Ephesus was a Gentile church, as were all of the churches Paul founded. In the second chapter he writes that his letter is to those who WERE “Gentiles in the past who were, at that time, living in the flesh and were WITHOUT CHRIST.” Paul explains why they were without Christ? “Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” He now tells them how they came to have access to the same promises that were granted Israel. “But now that you are IN CHRIST JESUS you who were in the past far off from Him are now close to Him due to the shedding of His blood” (vss 11-13).
Only through oneness with Jesus Christ can Gentiles become “no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints (vs 19). In Galatians 3:29 Paul tells the CHURCHES in Galatia: “IF you (biological Gentiles) belong to Christ, THEN you are Abraham’s seed (no longer considered Gentiles, but are rather spiritual Israelites) and heirs of the promise.” Gentiles must belong to Christ–make Him their LORD AND MASTER–in order to become part of the commonwealth of Israel–THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD. L.J.