A common belief today is that the Ten Commandments did not exist until Moses at Mt.
Sinai and that they lasted only until Jesus Christ's death.According to this teaching,
Jesus came to establish a New Covenant containing only grace and promises-but certainly
SurprisingasitmayseemtomanyprofessingChristians,God'sLawdidnotbeginwhenGodmadethecovenant at Mt.Sinai with ancient Israel.The law of God had been
in full force and effect since before Adam!
GOD'S LAW BEFORE ADAM
To fully understand the truth about the Old and New Covenants, we need to be reminded
of a very basic fact: God's law of love existed long before Adam and Eve!We learned
in a previous lesson that the way of life by which the two members of the God family
have always lived is the way of love. God has always loved the Word and the Word
has always loved God. The two have lived in perfect harmony from eternity (John
10:30). The love they have for each other – this was of life – is the attitude motivating
all that the God family does.
The love of God isout-flowingtowardothers. GodisconcernedaboutthewelfareofallHiscreatedbeings. God's love is the attitude of cooperation, serving, helping.It is the way of "give" instead of "get".
TheeternalGodhasordainedthatwealllearntoloveHiswayoflove. AndhowisGod'slovedefined? "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous" (I John 5:3). But to what commandments is
the apostle John referring?
When the Word was the human Jesus Christ nearly 2,000 years ago, someone asked Him
a similar question. Christanswered,"Youshalldonomurder,Youshall not commit
adultery, Youshallnotsteal,Youshallnot bear false witness,Honourthyfatherandthymother:and,Youshalllovethy neighbour as thyself" (Matt. 19:18-19).Jesus
obviously was talking about the Ten Commandments.The Ten Commandments constitute
a spiritual law that is inexorable and eternal-a law that is love and the fulfilment
of which is love (Rom.13:10).
(Matt. 22:36-40). The first four of the Ten Commandments teach us how to love God.
And the last six teach us how to love our fellowman.Since God's very nature is
love (I John 4:16), His law reflects His nature, describing His loving character.
And since God's character will never change (Mal. 3:6;Heb.13:8),Hisspirituallawwillneverchangeorbedone away! (Ps. 111:7-8).
RESULTS OF SIN
Whydon'twehaveuniversalpeace,harmonyandcooperationintheworldtoday? Becauseofthetransgression ofGod'slawoflove! DisobediencetotheTenCommandmentshasproducedallthediscord,unhappiness, suffering and death the world has experienced
Therewaspeace,harmony,joyandaccomplishmentonearth-untiltheanointedcherubLuciferrebelledagainst the government of God and sinned (2 Peter 2:4). A third
of the angels followed him in this rebellion. Paul said sin cannot be imputed if
there is no law to transgress! (Rom.5:13). SinceLuciferandtheangelssinned,there hadtobealawtheytransgressed!ThatlawwasGod'slawoflove.Thefaithfulangelshavecontinuedtoliveby God's commandments (Ps. 103:20-21).
Muchlater,Godcreatedthefirstmanandwoman.HeinstructedtheminHisway.Godrevealedthatlivingby His law of love would result in happiness, joy and material
abundance.Thus God taught the Ten Commandments to Adam and Eve.He also revealed
the results of disobeying that law.
After instructing the first man and woman in His way, God required them to make a
choice. Adam, in order to receive God's Holy Spirit (symbolized by the "tree of
life") and restore the government of God to earth, would have to reject Satan's way
of "get" and follow God's way of "give"-the way of His law of love. At that time
the former Lucifer, now Satan the devil, was there in the garden of Eden to tempt
the first humans.
AdamchosetorejectGod. Hemadethisfatefuldecisionforhimselfandthewholeworld,whichhasdescended from him. God therefore drove our first parents out of
the garden of Eden and shut mankind off from access to the Holy Spirit. From then
on, God would reveal the true knowledge and understanding of His spiritual law and
planonlytothoseofHischoosing(John6:44;1Peter1:10-12).ManwouldnothavefreeaccesstoGod'sHoly Spirit and spiritual understanding again until Christ's
return to put an end to Satan's reign (Rev. 20:1-3).
During the succeeding nearly six millennial "days" of Satan's rule, those relatively
few whom God has called-His "first-fruits"-haveindeedreceivedHisHolySpiritandbeenbegottenspirituallyTheyhavetheopportunitytoenter intoa special covenant
relationship with God!
GOD'S COVENANTS WITH MAN
God has made a number of covenants with humans. There were the covenants with the
patriarchs Noah and Abraham and with King David. God also made a covenant with the
ancient nation of Israel, which was later called the "Old Covenant." But the most
important covenant-the "New Covenant"-is yet to be made in the future! ExactlywhataretheOldandNewCovenants? WhatdoestheBiblesaywasthefaultoftheOldandwhyisthe Newnecessary? HowcanweenterintoaNewCovenantrelationshipwithGodandwhenwilltheNew Covenant be made?
Before you begin this study, be sure to get your Bible so you can turn to and read
all the verses given in answer to the questions in this lesson. You will also find
it very profitable to copy these verses in a notebook. This will notonlyenableyoutoeasilyreviewyourstudiesatanytimeinthefuture,itwillalsohelpyoutorememberthese important scriptures.
Covenants.Unfortunately, many carelessly confuse the word "covenant" with "testament."
A testament is nota covenant, anda covenant is nota testament. Yetcommonreligioususageseemsto confuse them.It is important, at the outset, to understand the difference.
A testament is an act or written instrument by which a person bequeaths or wills
certain of his possessions to another.It usually is nota payment or reward for
work or obligation performed.
But a covenant, comments Webster, is "a mutual agreement, a legal undertaking to
do or to refrain from some act, a document containing the terms of agreement." In
biblical usage a covenant is a contract, or agreement, by which one party promises
certain rewards or payments in return for certain stipulated performance by the other
Let's notice now the covenant God made with one of the patriarchs.
1. What was the covenant God made with Abraham?Gen. 12:1-7; 15:18.What were the
terms or conditions Abraham had to fulfilin order that he and his descendants might
receive the promises of God's covenant with him?Gen. 12:1; 17:1-9.
Comment: NoticethatAbrahamwastodepartthelandofhisbirthfortheterritoryofCanaan. Another requirement Abraham had to fulfilas his part of the covenant
was to walk before God and be "perfect" or upright. If Abraham would comply, then
God, in turn, bound Himself to fulfilthe specific promises in His covenant with
Notice that no death had to take place to make this covenant binding, as would have
been necessary if this werea testament.
2. DidGodestablishthesamecovenantwithAbraham'ssonIsaac? Gen.17:19.
TowhichofIsaac'ssons was the covenant later passed?Gen. 27:27-30.
Comment: God'scovenantwithAbrahamwasconfirmedtoIsaacandtohissonJacob,whose name was changed to Israel.Years later, because of a great famine in the land
of Canaan where Israel lived, the patriarch and his family moved to Goshen in Egypt.
There, his descendants grew into a large nation. Through circumstances beyond theircontrol,theyeventuallybecameenslavedtotheEgyptians.3.DidGodlookdownuponthecaptivechildren of Israel and remember His covenant with their forefathers?Ex. 2:23-25.
Comment: Through a series of miracles God released the children of Israel from bondage
and led them out of Egypt.
GOD'S COVENANT WITH ANCIENT ISRAEL
1 .Where did God lead the Israelites on their way from Egyptto the Promised Land?Ex. 19:1-2.
2.Did God propose to makea covenant with the children of Israel?Verses 3-6.What
the peoples' part of the agreement?Verse 5. What would be God's part of the agreement?Verses 5-6.
Comment:Through Moses,GodproposedacovenantwiththeIsraelites. InitGodpromisedto make thema great nation if they would obey Him.Notice the very large IF in this
3.Did the people agree to God's condition?Verse 8.
Comment: The people glibly agreed. "AllthattheLordhathspokenwewilldo,"theypromised. They were so certain of their own ability to obey God that they really
affirmed they would abide by the covenant.
4. SincetheIsraelitesexpressedtheirdesiretoenterintoacovenantwithGod,whatdidHeinformMosesHe would do on the third day?Verse 11. How does the Bible
describe this awesome event?Verses 16-20.
5. Exactly what did God tell the people they had to do to obey Him-to fulfiltheir part of the covenant with
God?Ex. 20:1-17; Deut. 5:6-21.
Comment: Onthethirdday,amidanawesomedisplayoflightning,thunderandthickcloudsswirling over the mountain, God's powerful voice thundered in their ears the
basic law of His government-the great spiritual law defining, in principle, God's
way of life.This covenant made at Mt. Sinai-called the "Old Covenant" today-imposed
upon the people of Israel certain termsandconditionstobeperformed. ThepeopleweretokeeptheTenCommandments. Andtherewardforobedience would be to make
Israel a nation "above all people." Notice that the promises were purely national
and material.There was no mention of spiritual blessings.
6.Did God, with His own finger, write these commandments on tables of stone?Deut.
7. AfterGodhadgiventheTenCommandmentstotheIsraelites,whatdidHeinstructMosestosetbefore the people?Deut. 6:1,4-7.
Comment:God revealed to Moses additional laws-various applications of the Ten Commandments
intheformofcivilstatutesandjudgments(detailedinExodus20:22throughchapter23). GodinstructedMoses towritethesestatutesandjudgmentsinabookcalledthe"BookoftheCovenant"(Ex.24:4,7). These additional laws thus becamea part
of the covenant God made with Israel.
8. Did the Israelites formally agree before God that they would obey all the
laws of His covenant?Ex. 24:3,7.
9.Was the covenant then ratified, or sealed-made binding with blood?Verses 6-8.
3:15). Anything appearing "beneath the signature", so to speak, is not legally any
part of the covenant. Notice the words "the covenant, which the Lord hath made with
you" (Ex. 24:8). It was then already made-completed! This is very important to note,
as we will see later.If the Israelites would keep the law in the letter, God would
keep His part of the covenant. He would fulfilall the material promises of this
material covenant (Lev. 26:3-13;Deut. 28:1-14).
A MARRIAGE COVENANT
When the Word (John 1: 1 -3), who later became the human Jesus Christ (verse 14),
made the first man and woman, He established the marriage relationship (Gen. 2:21-25).
Centuries later, this same divine Personage entered intoa "marriage" relationship
with the nation of Israel!Few understand this important fact.
16:8. Also notice in Exodus 19:8 and 24:7 the "I do" agreement made by the "wife"
– Israel-to her "Husband," Yahweh, the LORD-the One who became Christ.
Comment: The covenant made at Mt. Sinai was typical of a marriage contract between
a man and woman. It was, symbolically speaking, a "marriage" agreement between the
Word (Christ) and the nation of Israel.As the LORD who dealt with Old Testament
Israel, Christ-the Husband-promised to materially provide for and protect the nation
or congregation of Israel. The nation, as the wife, in turn agreed to remain faithful
to Him-to refrainfromanyadulterousorwhorishrelationswiththepagangodsofothernations(Ex.34:12-17).Israel,asa nation, accepted the role ofa wife, to
obey her Husband.
2. WhatweretheblessingsIsrael'sHusbandwouldprovideHiswifeifshewouldlivebythelawssheagreedto keep?Review Leviticus 26:3-13 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
Comment: Recall that in Lesson 16 we covered the great material blessings the children
of Israel would receive if they obeyed God's laws. We also saw what curses would
result if they disobeyed (Lev.26:14-39; Deut. 28:15-68).
BASED ON GOD'S ETERNAL LAW
God's eternal, spiritual law existed long before Adam and Eve were created. Recall
that immediately after the creation of the first human beings, God taught them His
commandments. But our first parents quickly disobeyed their Creator and cut themselves
and their descendants off from access to God's Holy Spirit.
kept God's Ten Commandments, statutes and other laws. It is important that we fully
understand this fact as we proceed in our study of the Old and New Covenants in the
1.AswelearnedinLesson16,thepatriarchAbrahamwascalledbyGodforaspecialpurpose. Godmadea covenantwithAbrahamandrevealedtohimaspecialunderstandingofHiseternal,spirituallaw. Areweclearly told that Abraham obeyed God's commandments
and laws?Gen. 26:5.What else did he obey?Same verse.
Comment: AbrahamknewaboutandkepttheTenCommandments. HealsokeptGod'sstatutes and laws.What were these statutes and laws?These statutes are expressions
of the Great Lawmaker, usually commanding or forbidding certain matters of lesser
significance than the ten great commandments. Thus the statutes and other laws of
God actually magnify, or reveal specific applications of, the Ten Commandments.Alongwiththestatutes,GodalsogavethepatriarchsHisjudgmentsfortheprotectionofeveryone'slegalrights. ThejudgmentsarebindingdecisionsbasedonGod'spreviouslyrevealedlaw. Thesedecisionsareusedtosettle similar future disputes and to
rendera sentence or verdict.
2.What other examples clearly illustrate that God revealed to people of Israel laws
which werealreadyinforce? Ex. 16:28; 18:16.
Comment: Israel could not refuse to obey laws that did not exist! Both these instances
occurred before the nation reached Mt.Sinai-before the covenant was made through
ThustheBibleshowsthatthecommandments,statutesandjudgments-allbasedontheprinciplesoflove toward God and love toward man-were in force prior to the establishment
of God's covenant with the nation Israel!
Then why did God have to reveal His law to the children of Israel when establishing
His covenant with them? SimplybecausethepeoplehadstrayedsofarfromthetruthbythetimeofMosesthatGodhadtorevealHis
laws and statutes anew to the Israelites. Ancient Israel had lost much, if not most,
of the knowledge of God's wayswhileinEgyptianbondage. SincetheTenCommandmentswerealreadyinforce,theonlythingnewabout them at Mt. Sinai was the written,
codified form in which God presented them to the people after stating them withHisownvoice. ThecivilstatutesandjudgmentswerealsorevealedtoIsraeltoshowhowtheTen Commandments should be applied to the physical nation. (Recall that these
civil laws were written in the "Book of the Covenant"- Ex. 24:3-4, 7).
In general, the Ten Commandments apply to individual conduct, the statutes to national
or church affairs, and the judgments to legal decisions rendered according to the
principles of the Ten Commandments and the statutes.
Let's notice an example of how the statutes amplify the Ten Commandments.
3.WhatistheFirstCommandment?Ex.20:3.Whatstatutemagnifiesthiscommand,ordescribesoneaspectof how to keep it?Ex. 23:14.
Comment: TheFirstCommandmentsays,"Thoushallhavenoothergodsbeforeme."Thestatutes regarding annual festivals magnify the First Commandment-explain how,
in a positive way, to ensure that one worshipstheonetrueGod:"Threetimes[intheyear]thoushallkeepafeastuntome..."(Ex.23:14). Thosewho obey this statute
keep in special contact with the Creator God and in the knowledge of His great plan
for mankind.Manyadditionallaws-suchasExodus22:16,19,forexample-specifyingreaterdetailhowtheSeventhCommandment,"Thoushall not commit adultery," is
to be applied.So not only are the statutes based on the Ten Commandments, they spell
out in detail how to keep God's spiritual law as codified in the Ten Commandments.
Animportantpointtorememberinwhatwehavejuststudiedisthis:sinceGod'sTenCommandments,statutes andjudgmentsexistedbeforethecovenantwasmadewithIsrael,theywerenotabolishedin A.D.31atthe crucifixionofJesusChrist.Thecessationoftheneedofacovenantnowmadeoldcouldnotrendernullandvoid what
that first covenant did not bring into force!God's Commandments are eternal! (Psalm
SACRIFICIAL LAWS ADDED LATER
When God brought Israel to Mt. Sinai, He gave the Ten Commandments to them. He
allowed Moses to declare to Israel the statutes and judgments because the people
didn't want to hear them personally delivered by God (Exodus chapters 20-24). These
statutes and judgments, as we have just seen, magnify the Ten Commandments.
But when did the physical ceremonies and sacrifices begin? When did they cease to
have force and effect? And how can we distinguish them from the statutes and laws
of the Old Covenant?
1. Notice that there is only one sacrifice mentioned in the Book of the Covenant.What is it?Ex. 23:18.
Comment: God called it "MY sacrifice."The Passover was instituted in Egypt (Ex.
12:1-14), weeks beforeSinai. ItwasrepeatedinthecovenantmadeatSinai,butitwasnotinstitutedbythatcovenant! (Remember,a covenant is an agreement between
two parties that may involve previously existing matters.)
2. When God spoke the terms of His covenant to the Israelites after they were
brought out of Egypt, did He also give instructions fora sacrificial system of laws?Jeremiah. 7:22-23.
Comment: God did not originally command sacrifices to be offered. This
explains why the temporary sacrifices-instituted after the first covenant was
made and ratified at Sinai-were NOT perpetuated by differentsymbolsintheNewTestamentChurch. OnlythePassoveriscontinued-withthedifferentNew TestamentSYMBOLSofunleavenedbreadandwine. WhyisthePassovercontinuedtoday? Becauseitbegan
before the covenant was made at Sinai!The very fact that Jesus substituted unleavened
bread and wine for the Passover lamb only, and not for the Levitical offerings, is
a PROOF that the ceremonial offerings were temporary and not binding today. But
the Passover, in its New Testament form, is binding! Now notice further proof of
Comment: Paulexplainsthatthetemporaryritualsandsacrificeswereafterward"addedbecauseof transgressions"-because God's spiritual law was being broken by
the Israelites.When God made His covenant with ancient Israel, He wrote the Ten
Commandments on two tables of stone. At that time He also had Moses write His civil
statutes and judgments in a book. But this book did not, at first, containthelawsofburntofferings,sacrificesandwashings. Godhadtheseaddedlater-withinayear-asa separate partof the civil statutes because the Israelites had transgressed
His laws.The keeping of these ritualistic laws required much laborious work, as
can be seen by the first seven chapters ofLeviticus.That is why it came to be known
as the "works of the law" in New Testament times (Gal. 2:16).
4.How long was this additional law to last? Gal. 3:19. Notice the words "till
the seed [Christ] should come." What was the purpose of this law of “works”? Verse
Comment: These physical laws foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ and werea"reminder
of sin" to teach the people the need of the Messiah-the true Passover Lamb (ICorinthians.5:7)whowouldpaythepenaltyofhuman transgression for all mankind (Heb. 10),
at which time these sacrificial laws would cease.Noticethatthesetemporaryritualisticlawsdidnotdefinesin. Theywere"reminders"ofsin. God'sspirituallaws define
sin. The laws which explain what sin is are the ones we are to keep in the spirit
as well as in the letter today.The principle of voluntary offering of sacrifices
existed, of course, before Moses. From the beginning Christ volunteeredtoofferHimselftopayforthesinsofmankind(Rev.13:8). CainandAbelmadevoluntaryofferings to God (Gen. 4:3-4). But in the period from Moses to Christ, the practice
of giving offerings was commanded, made ritualistic and regulated in great detail.Why?
Simply because, as we learned in Lesson 16, the children of Israel were a physical,
carnal people without the Holy Spirit. They could not offer themselves in spiritual
obedience to God (Deut.29:4),soGodgavethem ritualistic washings to perform and
had them offer animals and other physical types as substitutes. They needed to be
reminded of Jesus' then-future sacrificeand of the Holy Spirit, pictured by the
various washings, which cleanses us from sin.
These laws had no further use when the Lamb of God died for the sins of the world,
and when the Holy Spirit became available for those God would call. But note that
the ritualistic laws did not cease because they were partoftheOldCovenant.TheywereaddedafterthecovenantormarriageagreementbetweenChristandIsrael was
ratified (Exodus 24). These laws ceased to be necessary only because the true sacrifice
for sin-Christ-had been offered'
ISRAEL BREAKS THE AGREEMENT
1 .RecallthatthecovenantmadeatSinaiwasamarriageagreementbetweenancientIsraelandthememberof the God family who became Jesus Christ.Did Israel break
that marriage contract?Jeremiah. 3:6-7; 11: 10.
Comment: AncientIsraelbecametwonations-theHouseofIsraelinthenorthandtheHouseofJudahinthe south. TheHouseofIsraelwasnotfaithfultoherpartofthemarriageagreement. Thepeopleturnedfrom worshippingGodandfollowedthecustomsoftheheathen,servingtheirfalsegods. Theybroketheirpartofthe marriage
covenant by committing spiritual "adultery."!
2.Since God is holy, He does not "co-exist" with sin.Was He therefore forced to
separate from His "wife"?Isaiah. 59:1-2.Did Christ "divorce" the House of Israel?Jeremiah. 3:8; Isaiah. 50:1.
Comment:TherelationshipbecamesobadthattheEternalwasfinallyforcedintodivorcingHisownpeople- the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel. It was
the House ofIsrael’sgrievoussinsthatseparatedherfrom God.God punished the
nation by sending the people out of Palestine intoAssyrian captivity (2 Kings 17:6-19).God did not, however, send the House of Judah permanently away-He sent them into
temporary captivity to Babylonfortheirsins(2Chronicles36:14-21). ManyinJudahrepented,afterseparationfromGod,and returned to the land under the terms
of the covenant made at Mt. Sinai. But Judah became a self-righteous nation, as
illustrated by the Pharisees of Jesus' day.
The Word, the One who became Jesus Christ, had drawn up terms for a new marriage
agreement. Later, the humanJesusChrist,Judah'sHusband,died,andthelastremnantofthemarriageestablishedatMt. Sinaiended. HisdeathfreedHimfromHismarriagecontract. Christ,theLORDorYahwehoftheOldTestamentera-God in the flesh-had
died!Now He is free to enter intoanewmarriageagreementwitharepentant,forgiven,sin-free "spiritual Israel"-the New Testament Church, which will be born of God when
We'll learn more about this shortly But first, let's understand exactly whya New
Covenant is necessary.
A NEW MARRIAGE COVENANT PROPOSED
1 . Did the Word promise that He would makea NEW covenants new marriage agreement
withIsrael and Judah even before Old Covenant Judah had gone into captivity for
disobeying His law?Jeremiah. 31:31.
3. Does the reason thata New Covenant must be made lie in the fact that there wasa fault withtheOld
Covenant?Verse 7. Was the fault with the law?Ps. 19:7; Rom. 7:12.
4. Since the fault was not with the law, which is perfect, nor with God who was
able to keep Hispartofthe covenant, who was at fault?Heb. 8:8.Notice especially
the first five and last ten words.What, specifically, was that fault?Deut. 5:29.
Comment: The weakness of the Old Covenant was not in the laws, but in the people
with whom it was made. Why? ItwasnotpossibleforthemtobefaithfultotherighteousconditionsGodprescribedinHis covenant because there was no promise
of receiving the Holy Spirit, which would have enabled them to obey! Since Israel
did not have a God-fearing nature within them, they did not keep their part of the
marriage agreement.This condition will be changed when the New Covenant is made.God,ofcourse,knewIsraelwouldbreakthecovenantHemadewiththem. Hewantedtoteachmankind valuable lessons through Israel's examples of flagrant disobedience!
5. Under the terms of the New Covenant, what does God propose to do? Heb.8:9-10;Jeremiah.31:33. Bywhat power are those laws written?2Corinthians. 3:3.
Comment: Under the first marriage covenant made at Sinai, God wrote the Ten Commandments
on two tables of stone. The people could see the law with their eyes, but the law
was not within their hearts and minds. The law was not a part of them. But under
the terms of the New Covenant, Christ has promised that He will make a marriage agreement
ONLY with those who have had the principles of His law indelibly written in their
hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit!The New Covenant will not be made with fleshly,
carnal Israelites who can still sin-it will correct that fault. This time it will
be made with Spirit-born Israelites who have been forgiven their sins and who have
God's laws written in their minds and hearts so they can't sin and break the covenant.
The apostle John reveals that it is only at the resurrection when we are "born again"
composed of spirit-that we won't be able to sin because we will have God's holy,
righteous nature-His divine character-permanently implanted in us (I John 3:9;2
Peter 1:4).The New Covenant will not be made with Gentiles, as many people falsely
assume. The covenants and the promises pertain to Israel (Rom. 9:4).So what about
the Gentiles?Will they be totally left out?
6. DoGentileshaveanyhopeofeverbeingpartakersofthepromisesGodmadetoAbraham,aswell as the promises of the New Covenant?Eph. 2:11-13, 19; Gal. 3:29;Rom. 11: 11 -25.
Comment: In Lesson 16 we learned the details ofhowmenandwomenofallraces,nationalitiesand languagesonearth,throughChrist,canenterintotheNewCovenantrelationshipwithHim-bybecoming"spiritual Israelites"! Through Christ, who died
to set in motion His irrevocable will or testament, it is possible for people of
all nations to become heirs "according to the promise" God made to Abraham and eventually
to enter into the New Covenantmarriage.
TERMS OF THE NEW COVENANT
AprevalentteachingwithinprofessingChristianitytodayclaimsthatthefaultwiththeOldCovenantwasGod's law-that as the Old had law, the New abolishes the Ten
Commandments and is based wholly on PROMISES. Let's understand just how false this
teaching really is!
1. Isthe"LORD"(Christ)theMessengeroftheNewCovenant? Mal.3:1,lastpart. Whatmessagedid Christ preach during His ministry?Mark 1:14.
Comment: Jesus Christ was prophesied to come as the Messenger of the New Covenant.And the terms of the New Covenant are part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God He
preached!Just as Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant made at Mt. Sinai,
so Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant. AndjustasHismarriagewithIsraelatMt. SinaisetupthephysicalkingdomofIsrael,sothe marriage of the Church
to Christ will set up the spiritual Kingdom of God. Thus the good news of that coming
marriage actually is the Gospel Jesus preached-the coming Kingdom of God!
2. ArerepentanceandbeliefintheGospelpartofthetermsoftheNewCovenant?Mark1:15.DidChrist later instruct His disciples to teach the terms of the New
Covenant to all the world?Matt. 28:19-20.
Comment: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God contains the terms and conditions for
entering into the New Covenant agreement with Jesus Christ. And Jesus' teachings
to His disciples explain the terms of the New Covenant. But exactly what are the
rest of the terms we must strive to abide by to enter into the marriage covenant
3. Is obedience to the Ten Commandmentsa requirement of the New Covenant?Matt.
Comment: Keeping God's spiritual law as defined in the Ten Commandments
is one of the conditions of the New Covenant.
4. TherearethosewhoclaimJesuscametodoawaywithalllawsofGod,includingthestatutesand judgments which were part of the terms of the first covenant.What
does Christ say about this?Matt. 5:17-20.
Hedidnotcometodestroy,ordoawaywiththelawsofGodcontainedinthoseScriptures,butto"fulfil"- OBEY-them!God's Church, says Paul, is built on the very FOUNDATION
of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Eph.2:20). MuchofthedoctrineandteachingofGod'sNewTestamentChurch comes from
the prophets whose writings are recorded in what we call Old Testament Scriptures!
5. Was Jesus prophesied to magnify the law?Isaiah. 42:21.
Comment: Just as the Old Covenant statutes and judgments magnified the Ten Commandments,
so Christ amplified the Ten Commandments in the New Covenant to include obedience
to them in their spiritual intent. Notice now the full intent of the law which Spirit-begotten,
"spiritual Israelites" should be striving to obey today.
6. Did Christ show it was not enough to keep God's law in the letter, but that
it must now be kept in its full spiritual intent as well?Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28.
Comment: UnderthetermsandconditionsoftheNewCovenant,wearetokeepGod'sTen Commandmentsintheirfullspiritualintent. Notonlyarewetorefrainfromcommittingthephysicalactsof adultery and murder (the letter of the law), we are
also to avoid committing them in our thoughts!
7.Did Christ also magnify, or spell out the spiritual intent of, certain statutes
and judgments?Verses 38 42.WhatistheintendedpurposeofkeepingthelawsofGodaccordingtotheirspiritualintent?Verse 48. ("Beye" is more correctly translated
Israel's but fora spiritual CHURCH.In verses 38-42, Christ quoted from the Old
Covenant-from Exodus 21:24. He revealed that a true Christian shouldbewilling,ifnecessary,tosufferwrongdonetohim(seealsoIPeter2:19-20;Rom.13:1-7).
Jesuswas magnifying, for the New Testament Church, the APPLICATION of the civil
laws given to ancient Israel-not abolishing them, but magnifying them and making
them more honourable(Isaiah. 42:21).
He raised them from narrow, national laws-given to a carnal nation to be administered
according to the strict letter-toaspiritualplaneregulating,ultimately,thewholeofhumansociety. SixtimesJesussaid:"Yehaveheard that it was said by them
of old time ... But I say unto you...." And then He proceeded to expound the spiritual
principles underlying the civil laws given to ancient Israel.
8. As we learned earlier in this lesson, the sacrificial laws of ancient Israel
pointed to the supreme sacrifice of Christ.Since His sacrifice has occurred, are
there any "sacrifices" to be offered today?I Peter 2:5;Rom. 12:1.
Comment: To offer animal sacrifices as reminders of sins already paid for by Jesus,
who gave His life in full paymentorallsinsthatmankindwouldevercommit,becameneedlessafterHediedin A.D.31. However, today Christians are to offer spiritual
sacrifices. It is a spiritual principle to offer one's self in living obedience-to
"sacrifice" the self-to God.
PREPARATION OF THE PROSPECTIVE BRIDE
TheOldCovenantwasmadewithapeopleupontheirpromisetoobey.Theydisobeyed.TheNewCovenant shallbemadeonlywithaSpirit-bornChurch-apeoplewho,duringtheirmortallives,willhavebeenbegottenby God'sSpiritandalreadyPROVEDtheirwillingnesstoobeyGod! TheOldwasmadewithsinningmortals. The New will be
made with righteous immortals.
It is very important that we understand!
1.Are we plainly told in the Scriptures that Spirit-begotten Christians are to
"marry" Jesus Christ?Rom. 7:4.Is the Church now engaged, or betrothed, to Christ?2Corinthians. 11:2.But before Christ marries His Church, what does He intend to
do with her?Read Ephesians 5:22-32, noticing especially verses 26-27.
Comment: The one and only Church of God is now the affianced Bride of Christ destined
to marry Christ after being made spirit at the resurrection, which will occur at
His coming.Jesus Christ and the Church will bebound together in marriage for ETERNITYby the terms and conditions of the New Covenant!
26). Finally, at the resurrection, when born of the Spirit of God, she will be truly
"spotless"-free from a sinning nature, now possessing the holy, sinless nature of
the God family (11 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9), capable of perfect obedience to Christ
for eternity.It is then that Christ will MARRY His perfectly obedient Church.
2. Why is the New Covenant called a "better covenant"? Heb.8:6. Noticeespeciallythelastfourwords. Is the Holy Spirit one of the better promises?Verse 10; 2Corinthians. 3:3.
Comment: Recall that the Old Covenant was based on the birthright promise God had
made to Abraham. It was made with only one nation-Israel.It promised only temporary
material, earthly blessings.The Old Covenant Israelites had no promise of receiving
the Holy Spirit then, which could have begun to write God's laws in their hearts
and minds.But we can, as God calls and begets us with His Holy spirit!
Even though the New Covenant has not yet been made-that is, in contract language,
"signed, sealed and delivered"-those whom God calls are privileged to begin having
God's law written in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Theycannowhavethelife-begetting,sin-overcomingSpiritof Godto opentheirmindstospiritual understanding and guide
them in living God's way. God's Spirit can be within to empower them to overcome
Satan and do the work of God's Church!
Church, of Christ?ICorinthians. 12:12-13.What are Spirit-begotten Christians to
they becomea part of God's Church-the future wife of Christ? 2 Peter 3:18; Rev.
21:7; Matt. 24:13.
Comment:HavingGod'sSpiritdwellingwithinusisnotenough. Wemustuseittobegingrowinginthe knowledgeandspiritualunderstandingofGod'sWord,increasingintheattributesofGod'sspiritualcharacter (Gal.5:22-23).Wemustalsoovercomethedevil'sattitudes,whichhebroadcaststoourminds(Eph.2:2). And we must
endure until death or the return of Christ.
These are the prior requirements for entering into the New Covenant marriage relationship
with Christ at the soon-comingresurrection. ItisthenAbraham'sspiritualseed-heirsthroughChrist-willinheritalltheother marvellous things promised in the New Covenant-eternal
life, son-shipintheKingdomofGod,rulingoverthe nations with Christ, and the
earth as an everlasting possession.
Those God has called to enter into the New Covenant marriage with Christ at His soon
return are now preparingtobecomethewifeofChrist.Othersinpastageswhowerecalled,chosenandfaithfultoGod'sway until death have already been prepared by
God. They are awaiting the resurrection from the dead when they, too, will enter
into the New Covenant marriage with Christ along with those who will still be alive
at Christ's coming.
After His return, Christ will continue to propose the New Covenant with humans who
are born during the Millennium,aswellaswiththosewhoareresurrectedduringtheGreatWhiteThronejudgmentperiodafterthe Millennium.It is during the latter
period when all of ancient Israel will be given their opportunity to enter into the
New Covenant with Christ.
4. How is the glorious marriage of Christ, the "Lamb", described in Revelation
19:6-9?Will Christ's Church be ready to marry Him at His return? Verse 7. Will
she indeed be purified and sinless then? Verse 8. Is it clearly the resurrected
saints who will marry Christ?Same verse.
Comment: At the time of the first resurrection, when Christ comes in supreme powerandglory,He willmarryarepentant,forgiven,sin-free"spiritualIsrael"-theNewTestamentChurchbornintotheKingdomof God!The New Covenant will have been made
with them.The time of this wedding is very soon indeed! As John wrote, "Blessed
are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). Will
YOU be among them?