The Tale of Two Covenants
Christ changed the theological landscape in the first century. It was all part of the plan before time began. [2 Tim. 1:9, 10]. However, this great change is not what we've come to think it is. Current day Churchianity, lost in a maze of deceit, a cornucopia of confusion, is missing a vital key of understanding from the Biblical record in the first century, which was discarded in the intervening millennia. In the first verse of the book of Matthew we read, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." In Matthew chapter fifteen, Christ said, "I am sent only toes the lost sheep of the House of Israel." And in Matthew 5:17, Christ said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Why are these Old Testament references in the first book of our New Testament?
These verses taken together may appear to be very "Jewish." However, with the exception of the reference to David, none of it is Jewish, although it is all of Biblical Israel. Puzzled? [See the Covenant Flow Chart below]. It's only because we have an incomplete understanding of our relationship with the two covenants. David, as a descendant of Judah was king over the House of Judah first, and eventually over all the nations of Israel. [See 2 Sam. 2:10, 5:3]. Abraham was Judah's progenitor, his great-grandfather. Therefore, Abraham wasn't Jewish. The patriarch Israel, being Judah's father, also wasn't Jewish. [See Gen. 49]. The nations of the House of Israel are Israel minus the Jews. The Jews are the House of Judah. And the Law and the Prophets that Christ refers to, which are two of the three major divisions of the Old Testament, were for all Israel, both the House of Judah, the Jews and the House of Israel referenced by Christ in Matthew 15. Moses, who delivered the law covenant to all Israel, wasn't Jewish either. He was a descendant of Levi, Judah's brother. In fact, in the very first use of the term Jews in the Old Testament, they are at war with Israel and Syria. [2 King. 16:5, 6; see the Feature article, Why Was Jesus Jewish, But Not Moses?].
Most Christians have been taught that the Old Testament is for the Jews and the New Testament is for Christians, who supposedly are some unrelated, yet amalgamated group of gentiles. Believing this theory, which is opposed to the truth set forth by Christ, is the fateful first step in the wrong direction. [Read the Feature article, Moving Forward; also chapter six, The Blind Man's Elephant]. It takes us away from square one in our understanding the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. In fact, the entire Biblical record is for the same people. And the two covenants, the law covenant delivered by Moses and the Abrahamic covenant given by Christ, both originate in the Old Testament, which is for all Israel, and not the gentiles of the world. [Read the Feature article, We're Abraham's Seed And Heirs; and the book, The Hijacked Elephant, a complimentary PDF on the Home page].
It is no accident the "Christian Bible" contains both the New Testament and the "Jewish Bible" or the Old Testament. This is exactly as it should be, for Christians are the lost sheep of the House of Israel as Christ said. [For those of you wishing to invoke John 3:16 here, please see the Feature article, Mirror, Mirror On The Wall]. The Old Testament is our book too. This is why, as one theologian said, that for Christians the Bible is at once both "familiar and strange." It is familiar because of the New Testament. It is strange because we don't understand why we have an affinity towards the Old Testament. Truth be told, our affinity for the Old Testament is in our genes. Literally. "And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed [Greek, sperma, the human Y chromosome which carries our paternal DNA], and heirs according to the promise." [Gal. 3:29; see the Sneakers article, What About Everyone Else?].
Therefore, it helps all Christians to understand how the Old Testament flows into the New Testament [again, see the Feature article, Moving Forward], which is all about Christ fulfilling the Law and the Prophets as he said. In turn, this helps us understand our place in Biblical prophecy. Yet, none of this makes sense until we realize one very important point: Christians are descendants of the patriarch Abraham through Israel as the apostle Paul pointed out. [See the Feature article, The Good News Colour Revolution].
Perhaps the single biggest stumbling block to our understanding the connectivity between the old and new covenants is a page in the Bible that should not even be there. In the King James Version [KJV], it is the title page that unnaturally separates the last page of Malachi from the first page of Matthew. [Note: In the original inspired order of the Old Testament, the Book of Chronicles is the last book, not Malachi. Again see the Feature article, Moving Forward]. It is a paper thin partition that has proven itself to be mightier than the walls of Jericho. It declares "The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Translated out of the Original Greek: and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty's special command."
The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, concerning Christ's entire life took place under the legal authority of the existing old law covenant, not the new Abrahamic covenant of grace. This is why Christ observed the customs of the law during his lifetime. [See Luke 2:27, 41-50; 4:16]. The epoch of the law covenant made with the children of Israel begins with Moses on Mt. Sinai in the Book of Exodus and ends with Christ's death on the cross in the Book of John. [See Zec. 11:10-13]. As such, theologically and legally, the four gospels are the last of the old law covenant books, although they provide transitional context.
On the other hand, one can go from the Book of Genesis, which has the covenant promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Israel straight into the Book of Acts, in which the Abrahamic covenant comes into force, and not miss a beat theologically because the law was an interim covenant. Remember, the covenant made with Abraham came about because of Abraham's faith, his conviction of the truth of the word of God. He was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, by following God's command. [Gen. 22:16; Heb. 11:17]. From this point forward, the Book of Genesis is the family history of Abraham. The last chapter of the Book of Genesis ends with the death of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, head of the House of Israel. Christ, at his first coming, as the only begotten Son of God [1 John 4:9], was sent only to redeem the lost sheep of the House of Israel, thereby initiating the prophetic promise made to Abraham and his seed in their generations, which includes us today. [See Acts 2:36-38]. These are vital points of understanding regarding the two covenants. [See the Feature article, Three Temple Ages Make A Plan; also the Feature article, Is The US (And UK) In End-times Bible Prophecy?].
And while Christ explained the foundational tenets of the coming new Abrahamic covenant, "... the kingdom [the power and authority] of God is at hand ..." [see Mark 1:15; also the Feature article, Is The Kingdom Of Heaven Here Yet?], until his death the law covenant of the Old Testament was in full force, which is why Christ could legally pay the children of Israel's debt to the law. This is the very definition of redemption. Had the legalistic law covenant not been in force, our debt to sin could not be paid. [See the Feature article, Why Can't A Christian Sin?]. We would have been lost to death without hope. "... but it has now been revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" [2 Tim. 1:10] ... for "The people, which sat in darkness, saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." [Mat. 4:16; see the Feature article, What Exactly Is The Gospel?].
Once the nations of Israel's debt to the law covenant was paid, we were redeemed. This was the good news, or the gospel. Only then could the new covenant promise made to Abraham come into force being fulfilled by Christ with the coming of the Spirit of God on Pentecost. "... that to the nations [of Israel] the blessing of Abraham may come in Christ Jesus, that the promise of the Spirit we may receive through the faith." [Gal. 3:14, YLT, correctly translates the Greek ethnos here as nations meaning Abraham's seed, the nations of the House of Israel in this age, rather than gentiles or heathens; again, see the Feature article, Moving Forward]. Therefore, at best the KJV New Testament title page should be placed after the gospels and before the book of Acts. [Read Acts 1]. This one page effectively has divided and conquered Christianity, separating us from the truth of our ancestry. Blind to this knowledge, we ask why rather than how. "Why is Christ fulfilling all that Old Testament stuff?"
Christianity has everything to do with "all that Old Testament stuff" because as Christ said, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." [Luke 24:44]. This is another way to say, to a significant extent all three divisions of the Old Testament concern Christ, which in turn concerns Christianity. In this sense, the Old Testament is a very Christian book, as one should expect with Christ being sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
Also, Christ's reference to that which was written concerning him in the "Law of Moses," rather than using to the more inclusive phrase, the Book of the Law, places the emphasis of Christ's life on the law covenant made with all the children of Israel beginning in Exodus. [See Acts 13:39]. In effect, Christ separates the Book of Genesis, Abraham's covenant, from the Law of Moses, which together make up the Book of the Law.1
The Old Testament is our extended family's historical record. As the apostle Paul reminded the Christian church at Corinth in the first century, "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud [God's, not Apple's], all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." [1 Cor. 10:1-4; also Heb. Heb. 11:24-26]. "Behold, He struck the rock, so that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people? ... Then they remembered that God [Christ] was their Rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer." [Psa. 78:20, 35]. Christ was with our ancestors of the House of Israel when they left Egypt.2 As mentioned above, the Old Testament flows into the New Testament. We should think of the Old Testament as www.Christianancestry.bible. [See the Feature article, The Tie That Binds].
The Old Testament, therefore, is a written family account that provides the context lacking in Christianity with just the New Testament. It helps us put into perspective our current day events and our rightful place in Biblical prophecy as we can see from the flow chart below. Because of our ignorance concerning our Biblical ancestry, Christianity today has become a theological orphan. Lacking our historical continuity and current day context, more people are turning to atheism and away from what has become ritualistic, irrelevant Churchianity observing heathen practices or are seeking Eastern religions for meaningful answers about life. [See the Feature article, Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist].
Christianity is based on the Old Testament regarding the Law and the Prophets for a reason. In fact, the two great commandments of Christianity, to love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves, have their basis in the Old Testament. As Christ said, "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." [Mat. 22:40].
Why, then, is the entire foundation of Christianity a carry over from the Old Testament? Because the New Testament Book of Acts is the beginning of the fulfilling of the promises made to Abraham as recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis. The promises made to Abraham comprise the Abrahamic covenant, which is the new testament or covenant, and was made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ. [Gal. 3:16]. And the Abrahamic covenant, the basis for Christianity, is found in the Book of the Law, the same book in which the Mosaic covenant or the law covenant made with Moses and all the children of Israel is found.
However, the Abrahamic covenant is found before we find the law covenant in the Book of the Law, the Torah or the first five books of the Old Testament. Why? It is because the law covenant was added as a temporary bridge to get the children of Israel from the time after Abraham to Christ and the implementing of new covenant. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." [Gal. 3:24]. A key point should not be overlooked in what the apostle Paul, the alleged "apostle to the gentiles," is saying here to Christians, "The law was our[s] ...." He is telling us that our ancestors were under the law covenant and it brought us, Christians, nee children of the House of Israel, to Christ and the new covenant. As Paul, an apostle to the nations of the House of Israel like all the other apostles clearly noted, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law ...." [Gal. 3:13; Rom. 7:6]. It just so happens that "Our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, is the Holy One of Israel." [Isa. 47:4]. And the definition of redeem is to regain possession of something lost by buying it back.
The only people under the law covenant in the Book of the Law were the children, the lost sheep of the House of Israel, who today are Christ's, and those of the House of Judah, who still look to the old, and now defunct, covenant. [See Rom. 11:9, 10; Psa. 69:23]. However, about 700 years prior to Christ's coming, the nations which comprised the House of Israel were divorced by God, cast out of the covenant relationship, because of our ancestors blatant disregard of their law covenant obligations. "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding [House of] Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill [legal document] of divorce ...." [Jer. 3:8].
The House of Israel was like any other people once outside their covenant relationship. In this very limited sense, they were "in a gentile pawn shop" theologically, but concerning the promise made to Abraham, they still counted for seed. Hence Paul's reference to the curse of the law. This is why Christ said, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Christ came to redeem us and in so doing is fulfilling the promises given to Abraham. "This is what I mean: the law covenant, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God [with Abraham], so as to make the promise invalid." [Gal. 3:17]. Christ came to Jerusalem to buy back the House of Israel, from the "gentile pawn shop," into its covenant relationship with God according to the promise. We were redeemed. [See the updated Feature article, Damascus A Heap Of Ruins].
Even at the time of the birth of Christ, it was understood Christ would redeem Israel, and not the gentiles of the world. When Herod the Great, the Edomite ruler of Judea, asked the chief priests and scribes about Christ, they quoted from the Old Testament prophet Micah, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah [Heb. place of fruitfulness], though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will rule over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." [Mic. 5:2; Mat. 2:6; see Mat. 13:35].
Let's take a look at the process from the Book of the Law that led to Christ's ending of one covenant and the beginning of the fulfillment of the second in the first century. It will help us understand what it truly means being a Christian.
A key point of understanding for Christians is that the law covenant was not made with the patriarch Israel, but with Moses and all the children of Israel. As we mentioned above, Moses was not Jewish. He was of the tribe or nation of Levi, which became the priesthood for all Israel including Judah, the Jews. [See Heb. 7:14]. The law covenant was added 430 years after the promise of the Abrahamic covenant. Therefore, the covenant passed on to Isaac and his son Israel [see Gen. 17:21] was that of Abraham, and not Moses. The two covenants are mutually exclusive of each other as the apostle Paul makes abundantly clear. Despite sequential differences, however, when in force, they cover the same people, all Israel. Today, the descendants of Abraham through Isaac are beholden to only one of them. Christ, in his prerogative, took the entirety of the old one upon himself, and has given us a completely new one in its place as promised. Thus, Christ's redeeming us by "fulfilling the Law and the Prophets."
The Seed of Abraham, Christ, therefore, purposefully subtracted us, and our ancestors in the first century from the curse of the law by breaking the law covenant. While the observing of the holy days ordinances delivered by Moses was an integral part of the law covenant, which is null and void, today there are no required observances on our part. However, Christ fulfilling these days is the blueprint for all the major events of Christianity including Christ's second coming. [See the Feature article, The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days, also the book, The Hijacked Elephant, a complimentary copy on the Home page]. Devoid of this understanding, Christianity wanders aimlessly not knowing who we are and where we are in the great scheme of things. As a result, we have followed after falsehoods and lies, pagan traditions, oblivious to the consequences of our ignorance. In large part, Christianity has lost its relevancy to our daily lives due to our ignorance. [See the Feature articles, Our Corrupted Compass, and Easter, Babylon And The Antichrist; and Revelation 17: Big Brother, The Beast Of Babylon].
But the Abrahamic covenant coming to fruition for Christians was only possible once the law covenant made with Moses and the children of Israel was terminated. Christ did this as the prophecy concerning Christ's death and the breaking of the law covenant in the Old Testament book of the prophet Zechariah, chapter eleven is clear, "And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver." When silver is about $20 US an ounce, this amounts to $600. We find confirmation of this paltry sum in the gospel of Matthew, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy3 the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value ...." [Mat. 27:3-10].
No wonder we find so little or no value in Christianity today. I would venture to guess that most young people, given the choice between being a Christian or getting a new iPhone, would opt for the latter. We do prefer the work of our hands. [See the Sneakers article, A Life And Death Pickle Of A Predicament]. After all, the latest and greatest iPhone will set you back a 1000 bucks or more. Nonetheless, Christ fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Zechariah for the House of Israel exactly as he said.
How is it that the Old Testament prophecy in the book of Zechariah foretold this specific event about Christ if Christians are many seeds, as in the gentiles of the world? [See Gal. 3:16]. Why would a "Jewish" prophet in the "Jewish" Bible include a prophecy about an alleged savior breaking the Mosaic law covenant for the benefit of the gentiles [?], which never applied to them in the first place, especially when that savior is not recognized by Judaism as foretold by another "Jewish" prophet, Isaiah? [Rom. 11:8; Isa. 29:10]. It makes no theological sense, unless ... Christians are not gentiles. The fact is, we are descendants of the House of Israel, and as such we are children of Israel. This is why the Old Testament is part of our Bible. As Christ said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill," which includes Christ's prophetic role as the redeemer of the children of Israel.
The Law and the Prophets, the first two divisions of the Old Testament, are significant for Christians today. The Book of the Law contains both the promises of the Abrahamic covenant, which is applicable for Christians today and the Mosaic law covenant, which was applicable to our ancestors of the House of Israel as well as to those of the House of Judah. But as Christ said, "I am only sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel" in this age between his first and second coming.
When Christ said he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, this includes both his breaking the law covenant on our behalf, as we just read, and giving Christians a better covenant built upon better promises according to the covenant made with Abraham. The two are tied together. Thus both covenants have relevance for Christians. The time for those of Judah to understand all this is only to occur at the return of Christ when the bonds of brotherhood between Israel and Judah, which were cut asunder at his first coming [Zec. 11:14], are restored at his second coming. [See Jer. 31:31; Eze. 11:19; Heb. 8:8]. "For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret -- that you may not be wise in your own conceits -- that hardness [blindness] in part to Israel [the House of Judah part] has happened till the fullness of the nations [the House of Israel] may come in; and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it has been written, There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob [all Israel]."4 [Rom. 11:25, 26, YLT]. This is a reference to the fifth annual holy Sabbath day fulfilled by Christ, the day of atonement for all Israel. [Again, see the Feature article, The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days].
Christ broke the law covenant, the legal contractual obligation that required our ancestors, the children of Israel, to keep ordinances of the law. As prophesied, Christ broke that contract and took over our responsibility to the law covenant. Christ paid off our bad debt [sin] with his death. Christians repent of their sins when they accept Christ's sacrifice on their behalf. It is no coincidence, then, that in the New Testament we read, "... for sin is the transgression of the law." [1 John 3:4]. Again, that which we read in the New Testament is tied to that of the Old Testament. The law covenant was binding only on the children of Israel, all 12 nations. In place of our old debt, Christ has given us our new covenant based on faith and grace rather than on the works of the law, thereby making us debt free or free from the penalty of breaking the law, which is sin, which results in death. [See 1 Cor. 15:56].
By fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, Christ fulfilled the old covenant Passover, and the Days of Unleavened Bread. The Passover was fulfilled under the terms of the existing old law covenant. The Days of Unleavened Bread, of which the first and seventh days are annual holy days, portray the removing of sin in our lives. This was fulfilled by Christ's death paying our debt to the law, or sin and breaking the law covenant. Christ was dead in the tomb on the first day of Unleavened Bread. By the second annual holy day of Unleavened Bread, Christ had been resurrected, our penalty of sin, death, had been removed.
Pentecost, the feast of weeks, was the second of times in the Old Testament and law covenant fulfilled by Christ. It was marked by the receiving of the Holy Spirit as promised. [See Exd. 34:22]. It is no coincidence either that on that Pentecost, the first day of Christianity, the apostle Peter stood up, the same Peter to whom Christ said "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church [Greek, ekklesia], and the gates of Hades [death] shall not prevail against it" [Mat. 16:18], and Peter said to the gentiles of the world, uh, nothing actually. He addressed his remarks to ... "all the House of Israel." [Acts 2:36-42; also see Mat. 10:5, 6]. It should be noted that Peter presided over this day in Jerusalem. Thus, the church began in Jerusalem with the House of Israel and not in Rome with the gentiles of the world. [See the Sneakers article, Nope To Pope].
Christ will fulfill the remaining annual holy Sabbath days given to all the children of Israel in the Book of the Law. Originally, these days were days given only to the children of Israel to observe under the contractual terms of the law covenant. Now as Christ said, he is fulfilling the Law including these days on our behalf. It is these days that have great relevance for Christians rather than the counterfeits celebrated today that betray us before Christ. [See the Feature article, Our Corrupted Compass].
The annual holy day in the law covenant next observed after the day of Pentecost was the day of Trumpets. It marks the beginning of the third of the three times to be fulfilled by Christ. [See the Feature article, Three Times In God's Plan]. Most Christians probably have never even heard of this day. Yet it is the day that Christians look forward to and is written about in great detail in the Book of Revelation. And who is it that will fulfill the Day of Trumpets? The answer is Christ. "And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets ... And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound." [Rev. 8:2, 6; see Lev. 23:24, Num. 29:1]. This day marks the return of Christ to Earth preceded by the blowing of trumpets. It is this day that the kingdom, the power and authority of God on a governmental basis, will come to rule in the kingdoms of men on Earth. [See Rev. 19:15-21; for details, again see The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days].
Prior to this, from that first day of Pentecost in the first century, which signifies the beginning of the smaller summer harvest of the first fruits, the kingdom of God, the power and authority of God through the Holy Spirit is available to those of the House of Israel on an individual basis. [See the Sneakers article, Those Ordained To Eternal Life Believe, Not Vice Versa]. It is these chosen individuals who will have part in the first resurrection and will be kings and priests in Christ's government on Earth at his second coming. "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." [Rev. 20:6, 1:6; see 1 Pet. 2:9 and chapter five, The Hijacked Elephant for a thorough explanation].
All of those 144,000, which Christians talk about all the time, are only from the nations that are comprised of the children of Israel. They are not two different groups of 144K, one Israel and the other gentile. We read in the book of Revelation, "And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah [Jews] twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben [France] twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh [US] twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi [Moses] twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph [UK] twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin [Germany-Austria] twelve thousand were sealed." [Rev. 7:4-8; see Gen. 49 for a listing of the children of Israel as nations in the last days]. Please bear in mind that the nations in  are indicative of those descended from these patriarchs. They are not meant to include every citizen of these nation states today.
The law covenant was made only with the children of Israel. Christ broke that covenant and is fulfilling its obligations on our behalf. Thus, it is important to distinguish between the Abrahamic covenant and the Moses or law covenant contained in the Book of the Law. The Abrahamic covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed, Christ, our redeemer. The law covenant that was later added was made with Moses and the children of Israel. "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, [not forever as it had a timing factor] until the Seed [Christ] should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator." [Gal. 3:19]. Christ broke one covenant, paid our debt and gave us a better one. He is fulfilling that which is written in the Book of the Law concerning both covenants. The ordinances of the old law covenant are no longer binding on us in any way, shape or form.
So, which one is in force today? The covenant of Abraham and his Seed, Christ that was set forth in the Old Testament and was brought to fruition for the House of Israel, Christians, in the New Testament. But, both testaments have relevance for Christians today. To fully understand the new covenant, we need to understand the old covenant realizing that, at one time, our ancestors lived under its veil. [See the Sneakers article, The Veil Was Rent]. Thus, we have a liberty in Christ they never had under the law covenant. [See Gal. 5:1]. The age of the law covenant ended with the Book of John. And beginning in the Book of Acts, Christ instituted a new age, a liberty in the Spirit of God, available for the first time in Israel's history through repentance and faith via baptism in our Christian age, which represents the first fruits of God's harvest. [See Rev. 14:4, Rom. 8:23].
As Paul explained it to the Christians in Corinth, "Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away [the law covenant by Christ's sacrifice]. But their minds were blinded [See Rom. 11:25]. For until this day [circa 55 CE] the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the old covenant [Jews of the House of Judah], because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. [See Isa. 29:10]. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." [2 Cor. 3:12-17; see the Feature article, And It's Still A Mystery].
Thus, in Christ the veil of the old covenant of Moses was taken away nearly 2000 years ago now, and the new covenant of Abraham took its place as promised in the Law and the Prophets for the House of Israel, redeeming us in the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham as promised before time began.
1 Another way to look at the covenants, for study purposes, would be to organize them somewhat differently than what we have in our Bibles today. The "Old Book," or the Added Moses Covenant would begin with Exodus and end with the gospel of John, and should be in their original inspired order. [See the Feature article, Moving Forward]. Exodus is the beginning of the law covenant and John is the last book regarding the legal authority of the law covenant. The "New Book," or the Abraham Covenant would begin with Genesis and go from Acts to Revelation. The book of Genesis begins with Adam and ends with Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, progenitor of the kingly line of the House of Israel. The book of Acts begins with the promise of the covenant made with Abraham being fulfilled by the second Adam, Christ, first for the House of Israel, and then Judah too. These, too, should be studied in their original inspired order rather than the scrambled order found in the King James and most other versions. Again see, Moving Forward especially footnote 2.
In addition, Genesis begins with the creation of heaven and Earth and "the Spirit of God moving upon the waters." Revelation ends with the creation of the new heaven and Earth, with living waters flowing out of the new Jerusalem. While this arrangement completely flies in the face of tradition, when looked at this way, it would help us understand the distinctions of the two covenants more clearly.
2 When Joseph died in Egypt he "... took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.'" [Gen. 50:25; Heb. 11:22]. When the children of Israel left Egypt, they took the bones of Joseph with them. "The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem, in the plot of ground which Jacob [Israel] had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Joseph." [Jos. 24:32]. Joshua, who succeeded Moses, became the leader of the nations of Israel when they crossed over the river Jordan into the land promised to Abraham. Joshua was a descendant of Joseph through Joseph's son Ephraim. [See the Feature article, Ten Horns, Ten Nations].
3 "Perhaps the true explanation is the following, from LIGHTFOOT: "Jeremiah of old had the first place among the prophets, and hereby he comes to be mentioned above all the rest ... because he stood first in the volume of the prophets ... therefore he is first named. When, therefore, Matthew produces a text of Zechariah under the name of JEREMY, he only cites the words of the volume of the prophets under his name who stood first in the volume of the prophets." Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, David Brown, Chapter 27 Matthew.
4 The reason why these correctly apply to the House of Israel rather than the gentiles as translated in the KJV is the context provided by the follow on verse here in Romans. We see in Rom. 11:27, "For this is My covenant with them [all Israel], when I take away their sins." Again, sin being transgression of the law covenant [1 John 3:4], which applied only to the children of Israel, and never to the gentiles of the world. This prophecy quoted by Paul here in Romans is from the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah. "The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back Israel who have turned from their sins," says the LORD. "And this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!" [Isa. 59:20, 21, NLT]. Obviously, these verses apply to Israel, aka Jacob, and not the gentiles of the world. Thus, Christ is fulfilling the Old Testament Law and the Prophets exactly as he said.
The flow chart shown here is sequential. It is not meant to denote time frames.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Italics added throughout.
Italics, Bold and [ ] are the author's.
If you'd like to have a more complete explanation of these subjects and others from the first century, then see The Blind Man's Elephant and The Hijacked Elephant.
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"Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."