The Old Covenant Mosaic Law in the Old Testament Part 3
"You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,
for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. NASB
The Promise of a New Covenant
It is also worth noting that in the course of redemptive history and throughout the storyline of Scripture, that God had promised a future Messianic Age of salvation that would come upon the whole world, through His anointed One, the Messiah. These promises came through the Messianic prophecies contained in the Torah and also later, in the Poetry literature and in the Prophets.
Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." NASB
Genesis 12:3 – 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." NASB
Psalm 22:16-18 – 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots. NASB
Isaiah 11:9 – 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. NASB
Isaiah 53:5-6 – 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. NASB
Even though there are many Messianic prophecies will make direct reference to the coming Messiah, like the ones above, there are also many types and shadows which reflect His coming and His work. The Old Testament is filled with these typical prophecies. A few for example are;
· Abraham and God’s command to sacrifice his son on Mount Meriah (also called Mount Zion or Mt Calvary) is a type of God sacrificing His Son at that same place some 2000 yrs later and that place was called “on the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided”
· the life of Joseph is a type of Israel (Christ’s brothers) rejecting His God appointed authority over them only to find in the end that God has highly exalted Him above them and uses Him to save them in a time of desperate need
· Moses the deliverer of the people of God from slavery to the ruler of the world Pharaoh, is a type of Christ delivering God’s people from slavery to sin under Satan the god of this world
· The blood of the Passover Lamb on the doorpost of the household saving its inhabitants from the death angel is a type of Jesus our Passover Lamb saving us from spiritual and eternal death
The Old Testament is filled with this kind of imagery and shadows of all kinds of New Covenant realities. But what it all points to in “shadow,” Christ and the New Covenant age are in “substance.” He has brought the promised age of Messianic Salvation. It is in the context of this coming Messianic salvation that God also promised a New Covenant with His people. Therefore, the reality of a New Covenant to come was only a matter of time, which has in fact come to fruition under Jesus the promised Messiah.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 – 31 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, "declares the Lord. 33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." NASB
Ezekiel 11:19-20 -19 "And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God. NASB
Ezekiel 36:23-28 – 23 "And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord," declares the Lord God, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 "And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. NASB
It is worth noting that the character of this New Covenant is that its elements are fulfilled by God alone. It is “not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, "declares the Lord. 33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it” (Jer 31:32-33). God does a powerful regenerating work in the New Covenant that affects what it commands. God does this by “writing the law on the heart,” a reference to the new birth or regeneration of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. This is the power of the New Covenant, that is, that the Holy Spirit now raises us from our spiritually dead state (Eph 2:1-6), opening our spiritual eyes to our great need for a Savior showing us Christ as the provision that God has made to save us, and powerfully re-creates our nature (2 Cor 5:17) so that He even comes to live and dwell in us to work His ministry of sanctification (Rom 8:1-14) in order to glorify Christ in and through us. God says, “I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,” speaking of the work of regeneration. And the result is a new obedience that this brings about in our lives, “that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them” (Eze 11:19-20). This is even clearer in Eze 36:27; “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Here God says “I will cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” See here the powerful effect of the New Covenant power of the Holy Spirit in regeneration.
One might object at this point because in the context of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 11 & 36 the people who are promised this New Covenant are the people of Israel. This is clearly seen in…
Ezekiel 36:38 – “28 And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.” NASB
This is of course a valid objection, but is clearly answered by the fact of the “mystery” of Gentile salvation under the New Covenant which was “kept secret for long ages past but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith” (Rom 15:26).
Romans 16:25-27 – 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. NASB
As we have pointed out on page 14, this New Covenant unfolds in the course of history and in the New Testament as the “mystery of Christ which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” This mystery of Christ is inclusive of all the Gentile nations.
Ephesians 3:4-6 – 4 And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, NASB
And even though the New Covenant is inclusive of the Gentile nations, it does in fact still include those in Israel who will believe in Christ, their promised Messiah, and receive the blessing of the New Covenant age, eternal salvation and union with Christ and God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is the subject of Romans chapters 9-11 where Paul explains that God has current and future plans for the ethnic nation of Israel which He will fulfill in the course of history.
Romans 11:1-5 – 1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life." 4 But what is the divine response to him? "I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. NASB
Paul goes on to explain that even though the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah and brought swift destruction upon themselves, and that this brought the New Covenant blessings to the Gentiles, that God has a yet future day when He will again gather Israel together and supernaturally regenerate them and make them partakers of the New Covenant blessing and power, and “graft them back in” to the true covenant people. This he also calls a “mystery.”
Romans 11:23-26 – 23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." NASB
Of this future Israelite salvation, the prophets also testify in many places. It is said that Israel will be gathered back into the land from all the nations where they scattered and there God will supernaturally deliver them from hostile nations and settle together in the land, and there rule over them in peace and safety, according to the promises that he made to the forefathers. These promises are in the context of the New Covenant verses of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 &37.
Ezekiel 36:24-26 – 24 "For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. NASB
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