Three Signs of the New Covenant
Many discuss the New Covenant today and are certain they know we are currently in the fullness of that covenant. The question is, are we really? Let’s look at some of the signs of the new covenant as found in Ezekiel 36:26 and Jeremiah chapter 31. First Ezekiel 36.
Ezekiel 36:26 (NASB)
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.
We find two signs here, one is that Israel will receive a new heart. Two, Israel will receive a new spirit
A New Heart
What does it mean to receive a heart of flesh instead of having a heart of stone? A heart of stone would be one that is hard, unyielding, unable to be molded, something permanent. Pharoah’s heart was hard by the time he let the Israelites go out of Egypt. He was unrepentant; he went so far as to chase the Israelites down to bring them back. He was unwilling to yield to the Creator.
A soft heart of flesh would be the opposite then. We find King David as an example, he would sin but then would repent. He sought after the Father’s will, he wanted to bring glory to the Creator and sung praises to Him. David would change for Elohim. He had a heart of a flesh; he was pliable. In the New Covenant Israel receives a heart of flesh, one that does not rebel against Him as they have throughout their history. Do we have this today? To some degree, yes. When we accept Messiah for who He is and the Father for who He is and turn our hearts to follow Him, we are given a new heart. Our natural, sinful nature rejects the truth of His Word, but the heart of flesh is one that has a desire for the things of Yahweh.
A New Spirit
The second thing mentioned in Ezekiel is a new spirit. First we would need to define what spirit is. For more on this, please see our teaching titled: The Hebrew Root of Spirit. To oversimplify, a spirit is an unseen power that we can see the effect of. What is the new spirit we receive then? A desire for something is a spirit. This makes sense then when in Ezekiel we are told we will receive the spirit of Elohim that will cause us to follow His laws, His rules in obedience to Him. His spirit gives us the desire to be obedient to Him.
Ezekiel 36:27 (NASB)
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
So in Ezekiel we have found that we will be given a soft heart that is moldable and yielding to the Father, and we will receive a desire to follow and obey Him. These are both things we can see in the world today in those who strive to follow their Creator; those who earnestly seek Him. So, it appears that these two signs of the New Covenant are in effect, at least in part. This leads us to the third sign as found in Jeremiah 31:33-34.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NASB)
“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. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will 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.”
We find two things in these passages as well, some will say there are up to four or five different signs here. For the purposes of this blog I am separating these into two different signs. First, we see that the Creator will put His Torah (laws, judgments, and rulings) within Israel and write them on their hearts. Secondly, we find that Israel will no longer have to teach their neighbors or brothers for all will know the Creator.
Written on their Hearts
Verse 33 has the Creator telling us the Torah will be written on the hearts of Israel. This verse seems to allude to what was already covered in Ezekiel in that He will give Israel a new heart and a new spirit. On the new heart He will write His Torah; He will give Israel the desire to follow His Torah in complete obedience making Him Elohim and Israel His people. Jeremiah simply seems to be echoing what was told us by Ezekiel. Two witnesses have established this matter and we have evidence that this seems to be in place today, or at least the process has begun as we see His people being called out from among the nations to follow Him in His ways.
In verse 34 of Jeremiah 31 we are told that we will no longer have to teach our neighbor and brothers! This makes perfect sense as the 1000 year reign, we will be learning from Messiah; it will be a Sabbath rest for us where we have to do no work. All will already know Him because of His great forgiveness where our sins are remembered no more. Testing this out further do we see evidence of this today? Are we still having to teach our brothers and our neighbors? Yes. Do all know the Creator? No. This 3rd sign of the New Covenant does not appear to be true today, in any way.
We started out this blog post looking at the question of whether or not we are in the fullness of the New Covenant.
We found three signs of being in the New Covenant:
1) We will receive a heart of flesh.
2) We will receive a new spirit.
3) We will no longer have to teach our neighbor and brothers as all will know Yahweh.
We tested sign 1, and it seems that we are in the process of receiving a heart of flesh as our hearts are being turned to the Creator, but we still have our flesh nature that is against the Word. We tested the fact of us receiving a new spirit, and again this seems to be something that is in progress. More and more people are seeking their Creator and have a desire to follow His ways. When we tested the third sign, however, we found it is not something that has occurred yet. Therefore, it makes sense to say that we are not yet fully in the New Covenant, and will not be until after the millennial reign of the Messiah.
We hope that this blog post has blessed you and helped to further your own studies. Remember, continue to test everything, even us.