I. Article Title. Thy Kingdom Come – The New Covenant (Part 1)
II. Article References.
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Th. D. (1871-1952). J. Vernon McGee, Th. D. (1904-1988). Merrill F. Unger, Ph. D. (1909-1980). Charles L. Feinberg, Ph. D. (1909-1995). John F. Walvoord, Th. D. (1910-2002). J. Dwight Pentecost, Th. D. (1915-2014). Charles C. Ryrie, Ph. D. (1925-2016). Robert L. Thomas, Th. D. (1928-2017). Stanley D. Toussaint, Th. D. (1928-2017). Robert P. Lightner, Th. D. (1931-2018). Harold W. Hoehner, Ph. D. (1935-2009). Edward E. Hindson, Ph. D. (1944-2022).
III. Article Narrative.
A. The Importance Of The New Covenant.
1. The last of the four great determinative covenants into which God entered with Israel is the new covenant.
2. The new covenant guarantees Israel a converted heart as the foundation of all her blessings. According to the Old Testament principle that such a conversion can not be effected permanently without the shedding of blood, this covenant necessitates a sacrifice, acceptable to God, as the foundation on which it is instituted. Inasmuch as the offering up of the Son of God is the center of the age-long plan of redemption, and since this covenant entails that offering, great importance is to be attached to it. The whole covenant takes on importance, in addition, there are those who attempt to show that the church is fulfilling Israel’s covenants because the church today is redeemed by blood. If the church fulfills this covenant, she may also fulfill the other covenants made with Israel and there is no need for an earthly millennium. Because of these considerations the covenant must be examined.
B. The Provisions Of The New Covenant.
1. The new covenant promised to Israel was stated in Jeremiah 31:31-34, where we read: “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 by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an 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. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
2. Ryrie well summarizes the provisions of this covenant when he says: “The following provisions for Israel, the people of the new covenant, to be fulfilled in the millennium, the period of the new covenant, are found in the Old Testament.”
(a) The new covenant is an unconditional, grace covenant resting on the “I
will” of God. The frequency of the use of the phrase in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is
striking. Cf. Ezekiel 16:60-62. (b) The new covenant is an everlasting covenant. This is closely related to the fact that it is unconditional and made in grace…(Isa. 61:2, cf. Ezek. 37:26; Jer. 31:35-37). (c) The new covenant also promises the impartation of a renewed mind and heart which we may call regeneration (Jer. 31:33, cf. Isa. 59:21). (d) The new covenant provides for restoration to the favor and blessing of God (Hos. 2:19-20, cf. Isa. 61:9). (e) Forgiveness of sin is also included in the covenant, “for I will remove their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34b). (f) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is also included. This is seen by comparing Jeremiah 31:33 with Ezekiel 36:27. (g) The teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit will be manifested, and the will of God will be known by obedient hearts (Jer. 31:34). (k) As is always the case when Israel is in the land, she will be blessed materially in accordance with the provisions of the new covenant, Jeremiah 32:41; Isaiah 61:8; Ezekiel 34:25-27. (i) The sanctuary will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, for it is written “I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them” (Ezek. 37:26-27a). (j) War shall cease and peace shall reign according to Hosea 2:18. The fact that this is also a definite characteristic of the millennium (Isa. 2:4) further supports the fact that the new covenant is millennial in its fulfillment. (k) The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of all the blessings of the new covenant, for “by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water” (Zech. 9:11).
3. By way of summary, it may be said that as far as the Old Testament teaching
on the new covenant is concerned, the covenant was made with the Jewish
people. Its period of fulfillment is yet future beginning when the Deliverer shall
come and continuing throughout all eternity. Its provisions for the nation Israel are glorious, and they all rest and depend on the very Word of God.
4. Confirmation of this covenant is given in the statement in Isaiah 61:8-9, where it is called everlasting, and again in Ezekiel 37:21-28. There the following points are to be observed:
(a) Israel to be regathered; (b) Israel to be one nation, ruled by one king; (c)
Israel no longer to be idolatrous, to be cleansed, forgiven; (d) Israel to dwell
“forever” in the land after regathering; (e) the covenant of peace with them to be everlasting; (f) God’s tabernacle to be with them, i.e., He will be present with them in a visible way; (g) Israel to be known among Gentiles as a nation blessed of God. All of these promises are implicit in the basic passage of Jeremiah, but they confirm, enrich, and enlarge the covenant.
5. This covenant, then, has to do with the regeneration, forgiveness, and justification of Israel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with His subsequent ministries, Israel’s regathering and restoration to the place of blessing, all founded on the blood of Jesus Christ.
C. The Character Of The New Covenant.
Once again the principle is observed that, like all Israel’s covenants, this covenant is a literal and unconditional covenant. (1) It is called eternal in Isaiah 24:5; 61:8; Jeremiah 31:36, 40; 32:40; 50:5. (2) This covenant is a gracious covenant that depends entirely upon the “I will” of God for its fulfillment, Jeremiah 31:33. It does not depend upon man. (3) This covenant amplifies the third great area of the original Abrahamic covenant, the area of “blessing.” Inasmuch as this is only an amplification of the original Abrahamic covenant, which has been shown to be unconditional and literal, this covenant must be also. (4) This covenant is largely occupied with the question of salvation from sin and the impartation of a new heart. Salvation is solely the work of God. Thus the covenant that guarantees salvation to the nation Israel must be apart from all human agency and therefore unconditional.
IV. Article Considerations.
A. One of the most difficult and most important factors of writing an article is related to sources of information. A writer must ensure that such sources have a high degree of knowledge on the subjects that are being written, and also must have a high degree of respect from other writers. A second factor that must be considered relates to how to lawfully use material of other writers. In this web site, copyright statutes are not violated. Also, “public domain,” is to be considered. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
B. In this article, I have chosen theologians whom have proven themselves to be highly respected by others in the Biblical doctrine of eschatology (the study of what Scripture teaches about the end times), and other doctrines of scripture. All of the references in this article have a connection with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) as graduate or instructor.
C. For education and other supporting data for each source of information in this article, please refer to my Page, “About My References.” The following links show information about Dallas Theological Seminary. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the Seminary. It is important to understand that DTS is not a denominational seminary, and is totally independent of such.
D. About Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS).
1. General Info. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Theological_Seminary
2. Doctrinal Statement. https://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/