The New Covenant
An Example of Counter-Missionary Tactics
The following is an example of Counter-Missionary Tactics. My comments in red.
"He sent redemption to his people; He has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is His Name." (Psalms 111:19, NRS)
Jeremiah 31:31 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 a 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 G-d, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, 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. (KJV)
It is the Christian contention that with the death of Jesus the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah came into effect. But let's look at the fairly obvious faults to this claim:
1) The first verse of the prophecy: "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:" Was the House of Israel present at the time of Jesus' death? No, they most certainly were not. They'd been exiled hundreds of years previously, and had not returned. The exact location of those tribes is still lost to us. Yet this verse signifies that the two kingdoms will be reunited. Are gentiles even mentioned or hinted at as being involved in this scenario?
Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
Jhn 11:49 And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
Jhn 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
Jhn 11:51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
Jhn 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
2) The keyword involved here is not a new LAW, but a new COVENANT. A covenant is an agreement. The Lord never said that any of the Law would change, or that the requirements that came with that Law would change. G-d was simply stating that there will be a renewal of His covenant with the people Israel, and that when that day comes, the Jewish people will no longer falter while walking in G-d's path.
Right, but if a covenant has been broken, then according to the Torah, the party who has been infringed has the right to end it.
3) Take note of the last verse, "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, 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." Has this come to pass? Does everyone "Know the Lord?" Most certainly not. Those who do not belong to Judaism, Christianity, or Islam comprise one third of this planet. They don't "Know the Lord!" Clearly, the New Covenant has not yet taken place.
This is referring to the Millennium. Messiah's death was just the downpayment for this covenant (provided you believe in a first and second coming -- read Zechariah 12:10). One day, in the Olam Haba, it will be written on every heart and everyone will keep His Torah, as prophesied in the Torah:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Deu 30:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
Deu 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
4) This passage is referenced in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The New Covenant is not something that you need to be told about when it's transpired. That's the key element of Messianic prophecy. The events described are so earth-shaking that no one would fail to see them. It becomes obvious to everyone. You shouldn't need to be told that it happened. The event speaks for itself.
5) The New Covenant is also misquoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews. While this is an argument that's slightly different from that of the above four notes, it most certainly is worth examining.
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews did some creative quoting. Let's examine it closely:
Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith 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, saith the Lord.  For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a G-d, 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 saith,! A new [covenant], He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away. (KJV)
In Hebrews 8:9, while quoting Jeremiah 31:32, the author changed important words in the verse. The clause of Jeremiah 31:32 (KJV) reads,
"although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD:"
Hebrews misquoted Jeremiah's words and instead wrote,
"and I regarded them not, saith the Lord."
Am I the only one who is taken aback by this? The first thought is that this is a simple case of mistranslation. However, when you look at the changes themselves, that possibility rules itself out. If "although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD" had changed to something completely off the wall like "although I wore brickbat overalls with them" or something equally absurd, I'd be able to buy into the mistranslation theory. This is clearly not the case. The words were changed to alter the meaning of the chapter. This was clearly done with premeditated intent. This is a serious charge, but this is a serious crime! Whenever I find a mistranslation in the King James Bible, or any other Christian Bible for that matter, it is oftentimes a mistranslation that leans toward Christian dogma?
It was actually the Jews that did this. The quote is from the Septuagint.
31 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.
32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; for they abode not in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.
The "deliberate mistranslation" was done by a Jewish scribe. I don't know how the Hebrew and Aramaic New Testament quotes this passage.
This crime is further advanced by Hebrews 8:13. This verse makes clear what the motivation was behind the mistranslation. "In that He saith, A new [covenant], He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away." After reading the changing of words, what are we to think of this verse? It has already been shown how the Christian interpretation of the New Covenant in Jeremiah is faulty. This verse was meant to further the falsehood.
Well, even Jeremiah in the LXX and the MSS both say it is not according to the covenant He made with them of old. The difference lies in Torah written on the heart and not on stone (2 Corinthians 3).
So, we should say to those who believe that the New Covenant has come to pass: if we're under the New Covenant, you can stop preaching the word, because obviously the task has been completed. You are performing an unneeded task. The entire world knows the Lord, doesn't it?
Those who believe in Messiah are firstfruits:
Rev 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Firstfruits insinuate a bigger harvest forthcoming. While the New Covenant hasn't been fully first, there is a downpayment of the Ruach (Spirit) for those who believe in Messiah now:
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The Greek word for "earnest" (Strong's 728) means:
The Covenant of Sinai is Eternal
Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my G-d, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful G-d, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; (KJV)
Nehemiah 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD G-d of heaven, the great and terrible G-d, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: (KJV)
1 Chronicles 16:13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.  He is the LORD our G-d; his judgments are in all the earth.  Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;  Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;  And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant. (KJV)
Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (KJV)
Hebrew for "everlasting" is "olam". While I do agree that certain aspects of the Covenant (such as the Feasts, Sabbaths, kosher laws, etc.) are eternal, the Mosaic Covenant in and of itself is an "olam" covenant. The only covenant with promise was that given to Abraham. This is irrevocable. And yet even Abraham kept the Torah:
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
So we keep the Torah in the New Covenant, as the Firstfruits. Eventually the whole world will keep it, as the Tanach ("Old Testament") prohecies. A few examples that "olam" does not mean eternal:
Deu 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever (olam).
Jer 18:15 Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [from] the ancient (olam) paths, to walk in paths, [in] a way not cast up;
I would love to clarify any misunderstandings if you would love to enter into a respective dialogue. Not all Christians disregard the Tanach.
This page was created on 4 October 2009
Last updated on 4 October 2009
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