(What is the new covenant?)
What does God say His covenant is today? Firstly he tells us through His holy word that the old or first covenant had a worldly Sanctuary [Hebrews 10:1]. But now He has a non-worldly Sanctuary in heaven He Himself made where Jesus is our great high Priest [Hebr.8:2,5; 9:11,24; Acts 7:24].
Q.: What does the sanctuary of GOD's covenant look like? A.: It consists of the holy and the most holy places. The latter contains GOD's throne consisting of His mercy seat above the ark with His 10 Commandments.
The old covenant here on earth demonstrated the gospel message by sacrificing the innocent lamb representing Christ dying for us, the guilty race. This forgave sin, but the record remained till judgment day when it was removed by the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Now today under the new covenant, we must enter above into God's holiest by faith alone and the blood of Jesus.
Just like the New Testament, the New Covenant is a direct continuation of the old. The superiority of the New over the Old is the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son over the blood of animal sacrifices. The earthly Sanctuary/Temple is inferior to the far superior Temple in heaven under the New Covenant/Testament.
How many people do you find that have an understanding of this and even among those who call themselves covenant churches?
Jesus sets us free from sin by the miracle of conversion. He does this when we come to Him for forgiveness and he then puts His holy moral law inside us and writes them into our hearts and minds (Hebr.8:10-12 ; 10:16-26). With our hearts we love and with our minds agree that the holy law is just and good soon as God Himself performs the miracle. Unfortunately many Protestants have started to deny this.
Ask yourselves, if the old and new covenants have an ark of the covenant, see Hebrews 9:4 and seen opened in the apocalypse on judgment day containing all of the Ten Commandments (Revelation 11:18,19; 1.King8:9) and we are all to be judged by these Ten (James 2:8-12), shouldn't we all keep them holy to avoid condemnation?
The New Israel
Just as the Bible presents an old covenant and a new covenant, so it presents an old Israel and a new Israel, The old Israel was constituted under the twelve tribes named after the twelve sons of Jacob. When Jesus chose twelve apostles, He was taking steps to constitute the Christian church and the new covenant.
The word covenant in the margin is the same as testament and is therefore interchangeable.
The New Testament comprises of Jews and Gentiles that it is now addressed also as the twelve tribes scattered abroad in Christianity, the new nation and the new Israel (James 1:1).
When Jesus died on the cross national distinction was ended and the middle wall of partition broken down (Eph.2:12-14). All the Old Testament promises to Israel are now inherited to us on the condition, that we are also fulfil the responsibility and conditions.
With the stoning of Stephen and persecution [Acts 7], the final week of the 490 year prophecy [Dan.9:24] ended in 34 A.D. and the new covenant promises [Jer.31:31-34] went to the church [Hebr.8:6-13; 10:15-20], which---composed of Jews [the natural branches] and now the Gentiles,[ the wild olive branch]---became an extension of Israel [Rom. 11:17-21] and continued with the work of teaching the world about the true GOD, the Creator and Redeemer.
The ark of the testament/covenant was seen by John in heaven [Revel.11:19; 15:5] containing the 10 Commandments, and if they are in heaven, they cannot be abolished or changed here on earth.
Since physical Israel rejected Christ as a Nation, God has a new Nation called spiritual Israel or Christianity. The word Israel means overcommer as a prince with God. Jacob wrestled with an angel in prayer and succeeded. God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and every Jew was allowed to call himself by that titled if he thought himself spiritual enough.
Some Protestants still attach significance to the old prophecies and are looking to the earthly Temple to be rebuilt instead of looking to rebuilt faith in the heavenly that was destroyed by the abomination of desolation (Anti-Christ). Three times now have the prediction of modern day Prophet Hal Lindsey (Protestant) failed. Yet I have not heard anybody call him the false prophet.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW
The old covenant written on cold stone, but the new is written into our hearts and minds! The former was a hard copy of the heavenly and termed the shadowy. The new is a spiritual (Romans 7:7,12,14). The word covenant is synonymous with testament which cannot be changed after the Testator (Jesus Christ) has died ( Hebr.9:16-18) and it is directly coupled with the forgiveness of sins (Hebrew 8::10-12) And all sins against the 10 Commandments are of equal gravity and consequence with God ( James 2:8-12).
Christ’s Sabbath is part of it, because Christ’s seventh day Sabbath is the most hated of the Ten, it is most spoken against, and especially by the Protestant Christians. Several Clergymen have told me that Christ’s Sabbath is trivial and Jewish. God sees it differently and put the death penalty on it in the old Testament. The new also says that the penalty for sin is death and the wages of sin is death. It is not Jewish either because it was given to Adam and Eve 2500 years before the first Jew was born. Roman Emperor Constantine the great also thought his pagan Sunday law so important as to put the death penalty on it for its transgression in 325 A.D.
If we Christians are to keep Christ' Sabbath in heaven (Isa.66:22,23) than we ought to start keeping it here on earth (see Mark 2:27,28). And it cannot mean every day because God says that we should labour six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, in it shall thou do no work (Ex.20:8) not only because I brought you out of Egypt which stands for the slavery of sin (see Rev.11:8) but because I sanctified it in Genesis 2:1-3, the beginning and made it a sign or seal of sanctification (Eze.20:20;Ex.31:17).
The old covenant had seven Jewish Sabbath days that were fulfilled in Jesus. 1.The Passover Sabbath is escape from the slavery of sin and GOD's miraculous provisions for the escape route. They had to leave Egypt in a great hurry, and so do we the slavery of sin through JESUS.
2. GOD gave them 7 Sabbaths for the sheaf and wave offerings and even the land has a Sabbath [Lev.26:34].
3. Besides the Sabbath of the Lord, there shall be extra Sabbaths [rest days] Lev.23:39,39] The first of each month shall you have a Sabbath [Ex.16:24,39] etc., they were pointing to CHRIST the Messiah, in fact they were actually called such: "the 7 festivals of the Messiah". So here we have the Jewish Sabbath days that were nailed to the cross [Col.2:14,16] and are therefore no longer applicable to us today and they are not part of the new covenant because they were never placed into the ark of the covenant in the first place.
JESUS is the very embodiment of the 10 Commandment law and was the only one who ever kept them perfectly, therefore we also must follow this sinless CHRIST.