Does the new covenant abolish the Law? No, the new covenant is the Law written on our hearts

May 4, 2016
Faith matters

Most Christians believe that the new covenant abolishes the Law of Yahweh. Nothing could be further from the truth! The new covenant is about keeping the eternal covenant, the Law of Yahuah from our new hearts through the Holy Spirit living in us. Let me explain.

Where is the definition of the new covenant?

for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

- Matthew 26:28

Yahusha mentioned the new covenant but where did he define it? I tried to find a passage that would define it in Matthew, Luke, John and Mark but could not. Does it make sense that he establishes a new covenant and doesn't tells us what it's about?

If he made a new covenant and this new covenant is really about abolishing the Law then he should have specified this when he talked about the new covenant. But He didn't. No specification at all.

This leads me to the only logical realization: the new covenant he talked about must have been defined before and his audience knew full well what this new covenant means.

As it turns out, this is exactly the case.

The new covenant was foretold by the prophets

First of all, if the new covenant was about abolishing the Law of Moses the prophets would have foretold this. As Yahuah spoke through Amos:

Surely the Lord Yahuah will do nothing,
unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets.

Amos 3:7

Knowing this let us see what the prophets had to say about the new covenant. Here's what Jeremiah says:

Behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahuah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahuah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:

- Jeremiah 31:31-33

Reading these verses we learn that Yahuah had a covenant with Israel and Judah (aka old covenant) and he will make a new covenant with them because they broke the "old one".

But what we learn about the definition of the new covenant is astounding! The new covenant is not some kind of new law, but his already existing Law written on their hearts.

Did you catch this?

Old covenant: the Law

New covenant: the Law written on their hearts

But what does Yahuah mean by saying the Law is written on their hearts?

The whole point of the new covenant is to keep his Law

Yahuah further specifies what this "Law written on their hearts" means through the prophet Ezekiel.

I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.

- Ezekiel 36:26-27

Yahuah lets us know that the new heart is the Holy Spirit in us. He also says that he gives us this new heart (the Holy Spirit in us) in order to walk in his statutes and keep his ordinances, and do them.

So the reason he puts his Holy Spirit in us is to keep his Law.

In other words, the whole point of the new covenant is to keep his Law through the Holy Spirit living in us.

As a result of the new covenant you actually want to keep the Law. Just like those thousands of believers in Jerusalem.

They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.

- Acts 21:20

How then can the new covenant be about abolishing of the Law?

But let assume for a moment that we do not need to keep the Law. Let's assume that since the Law is written on our hearts we automatically keep the Law so we don't need to be "bogged down" by the instructions in the "letter". Well, if it was so and if indeed the Law was written on our hearts we should feel in our hearts to keep the Sabbath, the feast days, to not to eat pork and to wear tzitzits as these are instructions from the Law. Do you feel in your heart by default that you should be doing these things? According to Scriptures if you have the Holy Spirit you should feel in your heart to do these things. If we indeed have the Holy Spirit, he shall compel us to intentionally read the Law and do our best to keep it.

The reason for the new covenant is breaking the Law

Let's examine this again

Behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahuah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahuah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:

Jeremiah 31:31-33

Yahuah reveals the reason for making new covenant, the reason is that Israel and Judah broke his covenant. The covenant He is referring to is the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. The is the Law of Moses.

But what does he mean by saying he was a husband to them?

Yahuah’s word came again to me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: and they played the prostitute in Egypt; they played the prostitute in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity. Their names were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah.

- Ezekiel 23:1-4

When Israel split into two countries, the Northern country was known as Israel with the capital city Samaria, and the Southern country was known as Judah, with the capital city of Jerusalem. Thus, Samaria symbolizes Israel and Jerusalem symbolizes Judah. We can see that Yahuah talks about the same covenant breaking through both Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

He mentions Samaria and Jerusalem as his own two wives. (If you wonder Yahuah never called polygyny a sin)

These two wives broke Yahuah's (the husband's) covenant (the Law). So Yahuah divorced them.

Samaria / Israel / Oholah broke the covenant:

Oholah played the prostitute when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors,

- Ezekiel 23:5

Jerusalem / Judah / Oholibah broke the covenant:

Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her prostitution which were more than the prostitution of her sister.

- Ezekiel 23:11

So Yahuah, the husband divorced them:

So she uncovered her prostitution, and uncovered her nakedness: then my soul was alienated from her, like as my soul was alienated from her sister.

- Ezekiel 23:18

The reason Yahuah had to make a new covenant is because Israel and Judah broke his covenant with them (the Law).

The husband had to die to marry Israel again

Let's examine this once again

Behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahuah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahuah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:

Jeremiah 31:31-33

The Law commands that a husband shall not marry again a woman he earlier divorced.

When a man takes a wife and marries her, then it shall be, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorce, and put it in her hand, and send her out of his house. When she has departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. If the latter husband hates her, and write her a bill of divorce, and puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, who took her to be his wife; her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before Yahuah. You shall not cause the land to sin, which Yahuah your God gives you for an inheritance.

- Deuteronomy 24:1-4

Thus, the husband had to die in order to marry Israel again and make a new covenant with her. So Yahusha died on the cross in order to marry Israel again in accordance with the Law. Just a note, the new covenant was established but the marriage hasn't taken place yet. The marriage is going to happen at the marriage of the Lamb when her bride made herself ready.

Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.”

- Revelation 19:7

The husband makes a new covenant based on the same Law

Say, you broke the constitution of your country and your country exiles you. But then the country tells you that they forgave you and you can come back. Would this country not want you to keep the same constitution you previously broke when you return? Or do you think they would abolish their constitution just so that you could come back as a constitution breaker? Obviously, they would want you to keep the same constitution. Forgiveness does not mean abolishing the constitution you broke.

Another example: Say, you broke the policies of your company and your company fires you. But then the company sends you a letter and lets you know that they forgave you and that you can come back to work for them. Would this company not want you to keep the same policies you previously broke when you return? Or do you think they would abolish their policies just so that you could come back as a policy breaker? Obviously, they would want you to keep the same company policies. Forgiveness does not mean abolishing the policies you broke.

Third example: Say, you instructed your son not to touch the electric outlet. He touches it and you discipline him. You then tell him that you forgave him. Would you then not expect your son to keep the same instructions (ie not to touch the electric outlet)? Would you change your mind about the outlet after you disciplined him and forgave him? Obviously, you wouldn't. Forgiveness does not mean abolishing the instructions your son broke.

In the same way, Yahuah expects Israel to keep the same Law she previously broke. He as a husband made no new laws, the new covenant he made with her includes the same laws. Forgiveness does not mean abolishing the Law she broke.

This is understandable as Yahuah does not change.

For I, Yahuah, don’t change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

- Malachi 3:6

The new covenant is with Israel only and we are Israel if we believe

Based on the verse below it seems that the new covenant is for Israel only.

Behold, the days come, says Yahuah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahuah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahuah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:

Jeremiah 31:31-33

And we know that the house of Israel and Judah will be no longer separate but one nation as it was before, Israel.

In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.

In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.

- Jeremiah 3:18

So is the new covenant made with Israel only? Yes. But in the Anointed King the Gentiles became Israel. The Gentiles before having faith in the Anointed King were not part of Israel but through the blood of the Anointed King Yahusha are now part of Israel. Thus the Gentiles who believe in the Anointed King Yahusha become Abraham's offspring. If Abraham's offspring then also Israel. And if Israel, with them also Yahuah made the new covenant.

 
Barnabas Nagy
Barnabas Nagy

I’m Barnabas, a servant of Yahuah, who loves writing songs and blogging about the truth. Together with my lovely wife I run a small homestead where we raise free range organic chicken, ducks and turkey. We also have a garden where we grow seasonal vegetable. As you can tell, I'm keen on healthy living, self-expression and creativity. Continue reading