And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
(Revelation 21:5 ESV)
I was on the phone with a brother in eastern Montana, USA, a while back and the Lord had me key-in on one statement he had made, “Most Christians don’t know what the New Covenant REALLY IS!” I immediately asked myself, “Just WHAT IS the New Covenant anyway?” I know that I had gone to many churches and sat through years in time of accumulated sermons and Sunday school classes, but had I ever heard about the nature of the New Covenant and just what makes it NEW??? So, I admitted to my friend and brother in Montana that I did not know what the New Covenant was! I new that what we see, calling itself “the church” was NOT it for sure, for it in its present day form is not found in the Bible! I wanted to KNOW!
Bud started me on my search by referring me to a little known (at least in Christendom) passage in one of the prophet’s books in the Old Testament which was quoted again in the Book of Hebrews (a book that is ALL about the difference between the New and Old Covenants, by the way)…
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he says, ‘Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not,’ says the Lord. ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says the Lord; ‘I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord’: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ In that he says, A NEW COVENANT, he has made the first OLD. NOW THAT WHICH DECAYS AND GROWS OLD IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.” (Hebrews 8:7-13 KJ2000- emphasis added)
Ezekiel saw the nature of this NEW thing that God put in place 2000 years ago and said, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJ2000)
The Old Covenant was all hinged on man doing what pleased God, but NOT the New! In this NEW Covenant it is all about what GOD is doing IN US for it is “NOT by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”
HE takes out of us our stone cold hearts!
HE gives us a NEW heart!
HE writes His law (His will) upon our hearts
HE puts His Spirit in us!
HE removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west!
HE will be the only Teacher we will need (see also 1 John 2:26-27)!
You see, it is NOT about US any longer (not a single “Thou shalt…” or “Thou shalt not…” to be found here), but it is ALL about HIM and what He is doing in our lives. Jesus said, “Apart from ME you can do NOTHING!” What part of “NOTHING” don’t we understand???
So, what is our part in this NEW and lasting Covenant that Jesus inaugurated with His own death and resurrection and the infilling of His Spirit that took place on the Day of Pentecost 2000 years ago? Our part is to only rest by faith IN HIM! In Hebrews we ALSO read,
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11 ESV)
Did you get it? There is a rest in the here and now for those who walk by faith where we cease from all our striving, fretting and doubts, but rather we rest confidently in the finished work of Jesus Christ and enjoy HIS presence as we abide TOTALLY IN HIM and no longer in or of ourselves. This IS what grace really is, my friends. You see, once we are resting IN Christ; grace, peace, rest, obedience to God, abiding IN the Vine, following the voice of THE Shepherd… ALL these things become one and the same and part of what it means to be true members of this NEW and LASTING covenant. If you are NOT there, then pray that God kills that old sinful, striving religious nature in you that finds HIS GRACE to be such an insult to that Old Adam that still has possession of your heart.
Pray, “Father, whatever it takes! Do what you must to get your new heart within me which really believes that you love me and have made all provision for me IN your Son. Father, kill this old striving person that I have been and put the faith of your Son in me. Amen”
Then hang on, for NOTHING is going to be the same once He sets out to make you HIS NEW CREATION!
Note: this post was inspired by another blog that I read by a sister in Germany. Check it out:
Yes indeed the use of Jeremiah and Ezekiel to explain the new covenant is something I have used many times but what has puzzled me is how they never go to the texts to see what it’s all about..anyway I love it that you posted this and I subscribed to that blog from that German girl..thanks a million and keep Rollin bro..I love your stuff.
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Thanks, Kenneth! I find it well to quote the Jeremiah passage out of Hebrews so that someone can’t come along and say that it is for Israel and Judah only…. In Christ there IS NO longer Jew nor Gentile, male nor Female, slave or free, but a NEW Creation in and under HIS Spirit. We are those who have been grafted into Christ the Vine as HIS branches by the sovereignty of the Father. Praise His name! I hope you enjoy Susanne’s thoughts… She is coming from a very non-ecclesiastical view point after having her own personal encounter with Jesus that changed her life.
Thank you so much for subscribing, Kenneth. Much appreciated (by that German girl)!
– BIG GRIN –
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Yea I’m sorry for just calling you the German girl…I could not remember your actual name but I got it now and am looking forward to your writings
Hi there Michael
Here’s some more understanding for you. When YHVH says I will write my Law/Torah in your heart and in your mind, one thing that folks really need to understand is this, The Law/Torah begins with Gen 1:1 and not the Exodus. I suggest reading the first page of Genesis because that where the Law begins. So when He says ‘behold I make al things new’ and that you are a new creation, now you can see that before you enter this covenant you too are without form and void and darkness is upon the face of ‘your deep.’
Also always remember what Yahshua prayed in Jn 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
Always remembering that HE is the Word and when you enter into the Oneness you too will be One with Word. Gen 1:2 can be extremely terrifying for the person undergoing the experiential manifestation of the passage, however when YHVH says ‘Light Be’ at that time the person will come into a very quick understanding of the Fear of YHVH which generates ‘The fountain of Life.’
There is a lot more to this, but this is sufficient to tickle your understanding.
Right now HE is “tickling my understanding” by HIS Spirit over those verses in John 17 you mentioned along with 1 John ch. one… And His Light is available to all whom He is drawing nigh to Him with His great love.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7 KJ2000)
I find this good advice no matter how much “understanding” I think I have.
How do you pronounce YHVH ? I want to make sure I say that right as I do not want to offend him for saying that wrong.
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You don’t. A Rose by any other name is still a Rose.
Fred, I was just reminded that Jesus gave us a new name, not common in the Old Covenant. We may call God ‘Abba’ (Daddy), our Father. And I can tell you that our Daddy in Heaven is not easily offended since He is LOVE.
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Thank you for that reminder.
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Hi Fred: John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
It is the Son that declares the Father’s Name, so IMO you have to seek Him for this.
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Thank you Mish. That is a great verse.
Fred, the word translated “name” in the Greek text is “onoma.” W. E. Vines Dictionary of N. T. Words says:
Jesus declared the Father’s name (John 17:26) to the disciples and to those who believe IN His name with His whole Life and because of this he could say, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” As you can see, His name is his very life, authority, power and character. It is His very essence! Fred, this is what I meant when I said, “A Rose by any other name is still a Rose.”
To “believe” means to cling to, rely on and trust in the Person believed in (see John 3:16 in the Amplified Version) and you put no trust in any other, not even yourself. This is also what it means to believe in His name (see John 1:12). We cling to, rely on and trust in His very character and essence. Praying in Jesus’ name is not parroting “in Jesus name we pray, Amen,” as a tag line at the end of our prayers. We must be born of His Spirit and walk in His Light as He is in the Light to pray in His name. It is then that we do and pray only those things that are in His will, authority and character, not that of our own. God has no obligation to answer prayers from our flesh. This is why we are commanded to pray always IN the (Christ’s) Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). This way we will always pray according to His will.
So you see, dear brother, there is nothing magic about pronouncing “J-E-S-U-S” or “Yeshua” or “Y-H-V-H” or “Jah” or “Elohim” or any other derivative of the “names” that Jesus and the Father have been called by. When Moses asked God, “Who shall I say has sent me?” God answered “I Am that I Am.” It is WHO He is that counts, not what He is called. The closer I have drawn to the Father as His child, the more comfortable I have become calling our Heavenly Father, “Daddy.” God and Jesus are always about our relationship with them, not about mechanics.
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Bro. Michael, I appreciate getting to read what you and Susanne have written. I am still striving to enter into the promised rest of God. I laughed at your question, ” what part of nothing do you not understand?”. I believe that I need to understand – the part of nothing. I am enriched by you and other saints. I remain in pursuit of the faith that pleases God and overcomes the world.
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Pat, you are not far from His kingdom rest, dear sister. Keep seeking His face and rest at His feet just like Mary did that day in Bethany. Love you in the Son!
I enjoyed this post, and have to agree that most do not know what the New Covenant is.. if you look around you, though they will claim Christ, they still live in the old covenant. The old was all only a shadow of what was to come, and the New is the very image of things. The new covenant can only be revealed and given.. it is not written in stone, or letter, but in living epistles. We live, move, and have our being in Christ and He leads us into pastures where we have never been before.
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Charlene, great comments! You are so right, many are in love with the types and shadow so much that they can’t see WHO is casting that shadow! This is why the Jews who knew the scriptures killed their Messiah! This, also, is the inherent danger of this doctrine of “sola scriptura.” They put the written law and scriptures (by way of their understanding of them) in the place of Christ and the leading of HIS Spirit in the elect. It is funny how the church grew and flourished under heavy persecution for the first 250+ years with no personal Bibles and a few tattered pieces of letters at best, but did quite well by listening to THE Teacher… the Holy Spirit within them… How the mighty have fallen!!!
You wrote, “The new covenant can only be revealed and given.. it is not written in stone, or letter, but in living epistles. We live, move, and have our being in Christ and He leads us into pastures where we have never been before.” WELL SAID!!!! BRAVO!!! When I was coming to the end of my 14 years of God’s wilderness appointed unto me in 1994. I asked Father what I could expect? What was next? One day while listening to a sermon I heard Him say, “You have not been this way before!” Evey day since then has been an adventure as I follow my ONLY Shepherd and have learned to know HIS voice instead of the voices of the thieves, robbers, and hirelings among His sheep. Yes, you quoted my favorite verse in the N.T. “In Him we live and move and have or being.” It is a singular BEING we all have, though we who are His are many and that Being IS Jesus Christ! This is the source of our unity and the love which binds us together. Praise His name forever!
Thanks, dear sister, for sharing your revelation of the sufficiency of Christ with us.
@ Kenneth Dawson
There is no reason to be sorry about anything. Quite the contrary – truly – you made me grin with your statement. It is so rare in Christian circles that we dare to laugh because we do not (yet) realize that our faith in Christ is something really freeing. Therefore, I felt relieved by you saying particularly THIS.
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thanks Susanne–I figured you could handle it
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There is a time for rest. and there will be times for each of us that rest will be given when needed. But we also have been given armor and a sword. We are living in a time when a vast number of believers are wayward. It was the same for Timothy and Paul. Look what Paul said Timothy should do during this kind of time we are living in. Against the opposition of those who reject sound doctrine, instead “to suit their own desires… and gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear, who “turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths,” what does Paul urge Timothy to do? Well….he instructed Timothy to “preach the Word” and “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 3:16-4:5). So that is our instructions…..after we have rested in Him.
I want to follow these instructions but feel so foolish. Pray The Lord will hem me in. I don’t want to have itching ears
You have had many desperate prayer requests on our blog as well as others that I have seen. And this one, praying or Jesus to hem you in to Himself, I will pray for. But how he does that may not be the way you expect…
Sister, I once heard a wonderful story about how God works in our lives….
It seems some boys from a Bible school in China were swimming and playing in the ocean at a beach and only one of them could swim well and was also a trained lifeguard. Well, one of the other boys stepped off a ledge into water over his head and was thrashing about and in the process of drowning. All the other boys went running to the trained swimmer among them and pleaded with him to do something!!! But this older boy just stood there and watched the desperate thrashing boy become weaker and weaker until he was going down for the last time! THEN this one with the experience with a few deft strokes swam out to the victim and grabbed him and pulled him to shore and saved him…
This older swimmer later explained to his frantic friends that if he had tried to save that boy while HE was still trying to save himself, the victim would have clung so hard to him that they would have both drowned.
You see, Kathryn, none of us who are in the same waters you are can save you… All we can do is watch you thrash about and pray. ONLY Jesus, our Big Brother can save you! You are dealing with Him, not us, and we hear your desperate cries and ARE praying.
Your brother IN Christ,
Yes, Duane, we do all things IN Christ from a position of rest. We don’t even go charging out on our white horses to do God service without Him leading and guiding us, unless we want to get our south ends kicked really good by the enemy! The natural man has to cease from all his own labors before he can do all to stand against the enemy or walk out out his calling from the Lord. Take Moses and that Egyptian he strangled or Abraham and Hagar (we are STILL suffering from that presumptuous act!). It is always about Jesus IN us and we IN Him. Apart from HIM we can do nothing and there are many millions of dollars and millions of man-hours of resources and efforts that will be classified in that final judgement as just that, NOTHING because men did not “live and move and have their being IN Him” while they did “many wonderful works” in His name.
Recommended reading along this line…”Sit, Walk, Stand” by Watchman Nee
Click to access 978-0-8423-5893-4.pdf
I feel impressed of the Lord to share with y’all a vision(a very rare thing with me) I had several days ago, since it ties in with the offerings here.
Here goes: I am seated and standing behind me to my left is our Heavenly Father with His right hand on my shoulder.
Now it was impressed to me that this is the heritage of those who are overcomers, those who have appropriated Christ’s victory through faith, who have NO confidence in the flesh but trust fully in Christ. They have ceased from their works and are, so to speak, just along for the ride, Christ bringing them into glory(Heb2:10).
One of the reasons I aim to live a lifestyle of perpetual spiritual spontaneity is this: my plans too often hinder and disrupt the good God has long before ordained that I should walk in. A preoccupation with a “ministry” or something I have started and therefore have to defend, clouds my vision and steers me away from simple abiding fellowship and obedience. “It” will literally compete with Jesus for my attention and allegiance and in some cases may border upon or even become idolatry.
Is it wrong to plan ahead to fellowship with brothers and sisters or have regular fellowship or outreach? I don’t think so. But I have found that in many if not most truly effectual and spiritual encounters my part is a simple obedience to walking in the direction I am led at any given moment. That’s just plain hard to do when my life is littered with one meeting after another that only touch the surface of who I am or who you are or our corporate efforts and attempts to reach heaven. It takes the mutual participation of sharing one’s souls and spirits to bring to fruition all our Father has in store for us. I concur: “Let’s get real, friends!”
Most of us if not all have had many various spiritual experiences with the saints and with God Himself. But unless each has been planned by God, directed by God, sustained by God, empowered by God and brought to fruition by God Himself, there will always be a longing for more verses a content and overflowing heart that exudes joy unspeakable at the end of any given day or pursuit.
The end of history will be a summing up of all things in Christ. As those who possess the seed of newness through the deposit of the Holy Spirit, may we continually be renewed daily of the true knowledge according to what? The image of the One who created….Colossians 3:10.
Thanks for the reminder as always Michael, and the link to Susan’s site.
You are welcome, my brother. For me the last false god to go was called, “My Ministry.” And YES, in most cases this is an idol in the lives of those who use this phrase. God never called us to “have a ministry.” He called us to be servants to one another in the power of His grace. I am glad you like Susanne’s blog. She is a pretty precious sister from all I have observed and one who has given herself over to Christ in a deep personal way.
May we all follow the wind of the Spirit, Michael C.
This is the first site I have come across that explains the new covenant and looking into what God actually said to Jeremiah. I personally do not like the way the writer of Hebrews altered the text to push his or her own agenda though I can understand why you used it due to an explanation in a comment you made.
The covenant is as God said the covenant would be. God confirmed this through another witness in Ezekiel. Christians keep on telling me the covenant is their New Testament or as I prefer to call them, the Christian scriptures. The Christian scriptures may well be a commentary of the new covenant but they cannot be the new covenant because God said “this is the covenant I will make…” What the new covenant would be was already established before the writing of the Christian scriptures. The Christian scriptures are not a way of interpreting the new covenant. The new covenant as God said “this is the covenant I will make…” is the way to interpret the Christian scriptures.
This shows the great difference between what Jesus and what others taught in the Christian scriptures. Jesus taught using the new covenant by way of parables, stories and explanations, allowing the people with ears to listen to begin questioning themselves and look within themselves to find what is written on their hearts. Others taught about the new covenant.
Thanks for your insight, Mark. It seems that Christendom has got the cart before the horse on every level. What a struggle it is to see things as God sees them after 1900 years of men forming their own interpretations and traditions about the New Covenant. I am sure Glad that Jesus did not leave us alone, but sent HIS Spirit to lead us into all truth.