Who is Israel today and the New Covenant
You often hear it said that the New Covenant ends the Ten Commandments or it is said that the New Covenant ends just one Commandment somehow. What was said in regards to the New Covenant and did the law change? It is worth noting that the Old Testament always informs us through the prophets what changes are coming in the future. Note the following scripture. Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” So what did the Old Testament say about the New Covenant? Jeremiah 31:33 “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 God, and they shall be my people.”
And here we find the fulfilment of Jeremiah 31:33 in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 8:6-10 “But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 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: 9 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. 10 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 God, and they shall be to me a people:”
The Bible tells us that Christ came as the Mediator of a new covenant (verse 6). The belief that the New Covenant abolishes the Ten Commandments reflects a misunderstanding of both covenants. God tells us that He altered the original covenant and made “a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (verse 6). But it was not established on different laws. The law stayed the same. There was however a weakness or fault in the original covenant. That fault was with the people, NOT with the law. “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:” (verse 8). It was “because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” (verse 9).
In the Old Covenant God wrote His Ten Commandments on tablets of stone. It was external and not part of the thinking and motives of the people. It was in their literature but NOT in their hearts. In the New Covenant God writes His law “into their minds, and writes them in their hearts.” (verse 10).
To enable people to internalise His law, to love it and obey it eagerly and willingly, God makes this promise, Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
So the New Covenant does not change the Ten Commandment law. We also find that Exodus 31:13-17 says the Sabbath is a special sign and a perpetual never ending covenant between God and the children of Israel forever. But some will say, that does not apply to us because we are not Israel. But the question is; who is Israel today?
Exodus 31:13-17 “Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does sanctify you. … 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”
What I am about to share is one of the most misunderstood facts in the Bible, and causes confusion in many areas including Bible prophecy. Very rarely is this taught and very rarely is this understood. An obvious question I know, but who was the Old Covenant made with? If you said Israel you would be correct. If I asked were you under the Old or New Covenant what would you say? I am sure you said the New Covenant. But the final question I want to ask you is, who was the New Covenant made with? How many have actually stopped and thought about his question or even bothered to look. Go and have another read of Jeremiah 31:33 and Hebrews 8:6-10. So who was the New Covenant made with? Are you surprised to see that it was only made with Israel? So now things get interesting. If we are not Israel then we cannot be under the New Covenant and if we are Israel, then this perpetual never ending Sabbath Covenant does apply to us. Note in the following passage Paul speaks of two Israels and states that the literal seed of Abraham is no longer the Israel of God today. Read Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy to find out why.
Romans 9:6-8 “Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
Paul further explains that the children of the flesh (Jews by birth) are NOT the children of God but the children of the promise are. So who are the children of the promise now? Galatians 3:28-29 explains this in a manner that cannot possibly be misunderstood. See also Romans 2:28-29.
Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
So today there is the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16) and the Israel after the flesh. (1 Corinthians 10:18) The Israel of the flesh are those that are Jews by birth while the Israel of God is anyone who belongs to Christ and is under the New Covenant. This occurred after the Jews rejected God’s message from Stephen and stoned him. Acts 6:8-7:60.