The New Covenant is Not Yet Complete

During the Last Supper Jesus indicated that the New Covenant was to be instituted by the spilling of His blood for the forgiveness of sins (e.g. Matt. 26:28).  In speaking on the purpose of observing the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, Paul reminds the Gentile Church in Corinth that Jesus had spoken of the New Covenant (1 Cor. 11:25).  Furthermore, believers are made sufficient to be ministers of this covenant (2 Cor. 3:6).  Finally, the Epistle to the Hebrews provides extensive discussion regarding the New Covenant (Heb. 7:22; 8:6-13; 9:15; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20).  The New Covenant has been inaugurated and the Body of Christ currently enjoys some of its blessings.

However, to then conclude that the New Covenant has been fulfilled would be a hasty generalization.[1]  Covenants are devices that work themselves out over time as they mature.[2]  The New Covenant is still engaged in this process.  The New Covenant was promised specifically to Israel as found in Jeremiah 31:31-34:

Behold, the days are coming declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The New Covenant will only be completed when the entire nation of Israel is an involved party (v. 31).  This covenant is specifically identified as being distinct from the Mosaic Covenant (v. 32).  The New Covenant is different in that it is unconditional and is defined as God writing His law on the hearts of those in Israel (v. 33).  The people of Israel will finally have a complete fellowship with God.  There will be no need for the Jews to evangelize to one another as they will all know the LORD and God will no longer remember their sin (v. 34).


The Redeemer (Jesus) will return to Zion and bring salvation to the Jews through the New Covenant (Is. 59:20-21).  The completed work of the New Covenant leads directly into the Millennial Kingdom as deduced from the description of the glory of God coming upon Israel (Is. 60).  For this to happen, the Hebrews will need to be ingathered back into the Promised Land.

The New Covenant is closely associated with the Jews prospering in their land as seen in Jeremiah 32.  God promises to gather the Jews back into the Promised Land (v. 37).  The LORD proclaims that the Jews will be His people and that He will be their God (v. 38).  God will give His people one heart and one way (v. 39).  God then reaffirms that He will make an everlasting covenant with the Jews.  God will not turn away from the Jews and the Jews will not turn away from God (v. 40).  The ingathering of the Jews is a natural part of the Biblical narrative regarding the fulfillment of the New Covenant.  It follows that it would be unnatural to try and separate the two.

After once again affirming that He would make an everlasting covenant with the Jews, God says the following in Ezekiel 37:26-28:

I will make a covenant of peace with them.  It shall be an everlasting covenant with them.  And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

The New Covenant is described as one of peace made with the Jews.  The fulfillment of which is accompanied by the promise of a new temple (or sanctuary) (v. 26).  This temple will then be built after the Jewish people come to know Jesus their Messiah.  The temple is the dwelling place of God (v. 27).  The rest of the world will finally come to recognize the God of Israel when His temple is in their midst (v. 28).  This will happen during the Millennium.

The nations will recognize Jesus as further evidenced by them being required to travel to Jerusalem and pay Him tribute (e.g. Is. 18:7; Zech. 14:16-19).  Obviously, these prophecies have yet to occur.  Furthermore, they cannot occur during the Eternal State as no one would be forced to worship Jesus in a world filled with only believers.  In addition, there is no temple in the Eternal State (Rev. 21:22), save the Lamb.  Therefore, there must be a period of time where God reigns on the Earth from His temple before the Eternal State.  This is briefly mentioned because we see in Ezekiel 37:26-27 that the New Covenant leads to the Millennial Temple and thus the Millennium.      


The continued survival of the Jewish people throughout history is due to the providence and fidelity of God in keeping His promises.  If the Jews were to ever be extinguished then God’s unconditional covenants could never come to fruition.  Consider that today there are no Amorites, Moabites, Hittites or any of a number of other ancient races.  These peoples either became extinct or were assimilated into other races and cultures.  In contrast, the Hebrews retained a genetic and cultural identity.  They exist as a nation in both ethnicity and ownership of their own land.  The LORD is so concerned with keeping His promises that He equates the permanence of the cycles of nature to the permanence of the Hebrews as a race (Jer. 31:35-36).  Jeremiah 31:37:

Thus says the LORD: “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the LORD.”

The LORD made a reductio ad absurdum[3] statement that illustrates just how untenable it would be for Him to abandon Israel.  Notice that the LORD even says that He will not cast off Israel as a result of the things they have done.  This is powerful evidence that there is nothing the Hebrews could do that would result in God reneging on what He has promised.  Jeremiah 31:35-37 provides assurance by God that the New Covenant will be fulfilled by the inclusion of Israel.  The New Covenant will be completed at the Second Coming of Jesus (Rom. 11:26-27).  Finally, the Jews will enjoy all that has been promised to them during the Millennium.  And Gentile believers in the Messiah will also enjoy the millennial blessings (Is. 56:1-8), as they are wild olives who have been grafted into the tree (Rom. 11:17).

[1] An informal logic fallacy that follows from insufficient evidence.

[2] A reasonable conclusion given that the Abrahamic Covenant is still working toward the objective of placing the Jews in control of all of the Promised Land (Gen. 15:18-21).  The Mosaic Covenant had to work itself out for ca. 1440 years before being fulfilled by Jesus (Matt. 5:17).

[3] Disproof of a proposition by showing that it leads to an absurd or untenable conclusion.

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