Shalom, brethren. Today, we expounded more on the topic, “The New Covenant with Israel” where we looked into the similarities and differences between the old and new covenant. May the Lord open your spiritual eyes as you read through.
Text: Hebrews 7 : 13-16, Hebrews 9 : 1 – 10, Romans 7 : 14, Numbers 17 : 8, Jeremiah 31 : 31-33
Believers must understand that every service done unto the Lord is spiritual. And this spiritual service is divided into two aspects namely: “Natural and Spiritual”. Many of us are good at the natural aspect of God’s service but the spiritual aspect that has to do with having the word of God dwelling in us is zero. Most times, we prefer to be seen in the natural aspect of service instead of the spiritual aspect of feeding our souls with the Word of God. Please, understand that as much as the natural aspect is spiritual and it will be rewarded by God, it does not save. What will give salvation is the spiritual aspect of God’s service which is to have the Word of God dwell in us richly. This understanding also applies to the two covenant God has established.
The old covenant is accompanied by Law. And the Law is spiritual, according to the explanation of Apostle Paul in Romans 7 : 14. But the law given in the old covenant required more of physical activities. For example, the Priests had to sacrifice animals for sin offerings, etc. Despite being physical or natural, they were spiritual services. Nevertheless, despite the fact that they rendered spiritual services before God, those services could not take away their sins. And that is why the new covenant was promised.
Also, the new covenant has both natural and spiritual aspects. An example of the natural aspect is “Water baptism”. Although baptism is a spiritual service, you still need to visit a river or where there is pool of water in order to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.
IS THE NEW COVENANT ACCOMPANIED BY LAW?
The New Covenant was not accompanied by Law. The new covenant brought two changes:
- Priesthood change (From the tribe of Levi to the tribe of Judah): The Priest in the old testament was chosen according to the order of Aaron, who was from the tribe of Levi. While the priest in the New Covenant was given according to the Melchizedek order of priesthood, and was from the tribe of Judah. The high priest given for the New Covenant is Jesus Christ.
- Law to Grace: The Old Covenant was established on Law, while the New Covenant was established on Grace.
These two changes occurred because the old covenant could not make man perfect (Hebrews 7 : 11). What can make perfect is the blood of Jesus Christ, our new high priest that surpasses the former.
The differences and similarities between the old covenant and the new covenant
To understand the difference between the two covenants and also how they are similar spiritually, Hebrews 9 gives a clearer picture. The first covenant which we refer to as the old covenant had most of its ordinances of divine services to be more of physical things. These things could be seen in the old testament temple, examples are: candlesticks, table, show-bread, veils to partition the temple, golden censer, the ark, golden pot that had manna, Aaron’s rod, the tables of covenant, etc. The listed ordinances and materials for services were not enough to bring perfection. They were symbols of the new covenant that was to come. And that is why it should baffle you if some sect still gather to practise the old testament way of service when we have the reality of God’s perfection in Christ Jesus.
Note that those physical things in the old covenant are spiritual symbols to us in the New Covenant. An example is the physical manna kept in the ark of covenant. To us in this dispensation of grace, it is the unadulterated Word of God which we feed on per time in God’s presence. To the Jews, the manna was a means of survival in their journey through to the promised land. Likewise, the New Testament believers can only survive this spiritual journey with the word of God in our hearts.
Another example is the rod of Aaron that budded. This happened when the children of Israel wanted to elect a high priest. Among other rods that was left till the next morning, only Aaron’s rod budded leaves and fruits (Numbers 17:8). That was how the high priest was selected in the old testament. Also, every priest in the New Covenant must be called by God. And we can only know those that are called through the Word of God that they preach. Every man’s word will be vindicated by God’s Word.
May God help you to appreciate this wonderful privilege he has given to you to feast on his Word. God has broken every barrier in order to call you into his light by blindfolding the Jews at this period. However, brethren, you need to respond to this love because the time of the Gentile is wrapping up and the gospel should go back to the Jews anytime soon. May God help you to be saved in this time of grace and not in the time of great tribulation.
Join us again on our new episode on this teaching.