Covenant is the Scriptural name for the new arrangement between God and man
which will be instituted at the beginning of the Age to follow this, and by
which God purposes to receive the world of mankind again into favor with
Himself. The covenant relationship which Adam originally enjoyed with his
Maker, and its resultant harmony with Him, was contingent upon obedience to the
expressed will of God, and was forfeited by disobedience. This covenant relationship
with God was renewed typically at Mount Sinai, with Israel (Ex. 19:1-9; 24:3-8).
Through Moses as mediator, God promised that if Israel would keep His Law they
should have everlasting life. The inauguration of that Law Covenant was
effected by their mediator, within six months after Israel
left Egypt, through the
sacrifices of bulls and of goats, the children of Israel solemnly agreeing to their
part of the covenant. Later the Atonement Day sacrifices were repeated year by
year continually; “for the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin.”
(Heb. 10:1-9) Israel
failed to gain the blessing promised in their Law Covenant. God foreknew that Israel would fail; but through their endeavors
He was giving an object lesson which in the future would be a lasting blessing
and to the whole world.
The mediation of the old Law Covenant brought Israel into a typical covenant relation-ship to God. The mediation of the New Law Covenant will bring not only Israel, but all mankind, who will have come into line with the Kingdom arrangements, into actual covenant relationship with God. Then each individual will be finally tested by Jehovah, as Adam was in the beginning, to demonstrate whether he is worthy of everlasting life. None who fail to stand the test will be permitted to enter upon the eternal ages of blessing to follow. God will introduce this new Law Covenant through the Mediator of the New Covenant, Christ Jesus, in whom the entire arrangement centers, and through whom it will be carried out. He will be assisted in this work by the Church. For a period of a thousand years this Mediator will do a work of mediation for mankind. And He will be not only Mediator, but Priest, Prophet, King and Judge. As Priest, He will uplift and bless humanity and receive their offerings. (See Tabernacle Shadows; pp. 93-100.) As King, He will rule mankind in righteousness; as Prophet He will teach them; as Judge, He will test them, decide and pass sentence, favorable or unfavorable. It will require the full thousand years to bring the people out of their condition of death and degradation, to restore whosoever will of all mankind to the image and likeness of God, lost by Adam in Eden.
The basis of mediation on the part of the better Mediator will be the “better sacrifices” of this Gospel Age. Let us notice the Apostle’s declaration regarding this matter. In referring to the types, he says, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these.” (Heb. 9:23) The words “heavens” and “heavenly things,” as used in this text, do not refer to spiritual things; for nothing spiritual is secured by these “better sacrifices.” Only human blessings, human rights, are thus secured. The word “heavens” means heaved up, or higher; and in order to understand its specific meaning in any text, the word must be defined in harmony with its context. St. Paul is here contrasting the types of the Jewish Age with the antitypes of the Gospel and Millennial Dispensations. In the antitypical arrangement the sacrifices will never be repeated. They are offered once for all. Through the “better sacrifices” the antitypical Mediator will have the power to start the world with a clean slate, as it were. Then the work of uplift, of restitution, will begin. As the Lord declares through the Prophet, “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezek. 36:26; 11:19)
Thus Adam’s sin and condemnation, which came to mankind by heredity, will no more be remembered by anybody; that is to say, it will be no more a torturing remembrance. While the lessons learned by the world through their experiences with sin and death will never be forgotten, nor their benefits lost, nevertheless these experiences will cease to distress mankind. The joys which will then be theirs will swallow up the sorrows and tears of the past; and the minds of mankind will be filled with the wonderful truths and wonderful blessings, the glorious new projects and prospects continually opening before their widening vision. To all eternity the perfected earth will be filled with a race of happy, perfect beings in the human likeness of their Lord. The work of taking away the stony heart, and the giving of a heart of flesh will be gradual, however. Many will awake to shame, in proportion to their willfulness in sin in the past. But the disciplinary processes of the Kingdom will gradually relieve all who are amenable to influences of righteousness and to the work of reformation then instituted. By degrees their hard-heartedness will disappear, and they will become more and more tender-hearted and affectionate. No member of the human race will longer be held accountable for Adam’s sin. In Ezek. 18:2-4, we read of present conditions: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But during the next Age the effects of the sour grapes of sin will be gradually eliminated. Under the New Order, whoever dies will die for his own sin, not for the sin of his fathers (Ezek. 18:5-24). Since all mankind are in a condition of imperfection, all will in that Day still be liable to commit sin. The only arrangement by which they can attain to everlasting life will be by their adoption into the family of the Mediator, The Christ, who will quicken their weak mortal bodies. Although no Divine condemnation will hold over against them for their past, yet only such as come into proper relationship with the Mediator will receive the Divine blessing. Under the New Covenant the special favors of the Lord will be only for the obedient. Whoever rejects the opportunities then offered will, at the close of the first hundred years, be destroyed from amongst the people (Is. 65:20, Leeser).
God cannot consistently enter into a covenant with people who are under His own sentence of death. Under the typical arrangement of the Law Covenant, the death of bulls and goats was acceptable sacrificially to God; and the people of Israel, thus typically cleansed, were enabled to enter into a typical relationship with Him. This did not mean that the blood of bulls and goats was sufficient to take away sin; but that it was a typical representation of the real sacrifices, under the Grace Covenant, the Covenant of Sacrifice (Heb. 9:1-23). If the New Covenant were now sealed, then all the blood of the Covenant must have been previously prepared, must have been already fully shed. If this were true, then we could have no chance of sharing in the death of Christ. It is evident, then, that the New Covenant is not yet sealed. The anti-typical Bullock has been slain, and His blood taken into the Most Holy. The antitypical Goat is in process of being slain. When its sacrifice shall have been fully completed, its blood will be sprinkled upon the Heavenly Mercy Seat by the great High Priest, as was the blood of the Bullock. In other words, the merit of Jesus, now in the hands of Justice, will then be free from embargoes, and will be applied by our High Priest as an offset to Adam’s sin. At the end of this Gospel Age, now about closed, all the sacrificing will be over, and the great Mediator will be ready to do the work assigned to Him for the world.
The first work of the New Dispensation will be the application of the blood upon the antitypical Mercy Seat, in Heaven, to make reconciliation for the sins of “all the people,” the entire race of Adam. Until that shall have been done, the New Covenant cannot be inaugurated. This second presentation of the blood of Jesus, of the merit of His sacrifice, will effect the sealing, or making valid, of the Covenant. For many centuries the New Covenant has been promised (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:6-13), but it has not yet gone into effect. As soon as the blood of the Atonement shall have been applied for the sins of all the people, the New Covenant will become operative. At the beginning of the New Dispensation the world will begin life anew, so to speak. The condemnation resting upon them for six thousand years will have been canceled. Satisfaction to Justice will have been made for Adam, and for his posterity, who fell in him. All the resultant blessings are to come through the Redeemer’s hands, as Mediator. Throughout the Millennium, all who ever will have life must obtain it through this great Life-giver (1 John 5:12). None can receive a share of the blessings provided save by the terms of the New Covenant and by endeavor to live up to them. All who do so will be helped and granted grace sufficient through the Mediator. The sprinkling of the blood upon the Heavenly Mercy Seat on behalf of all mankind will take place before Restitution begins, before the legal right to live can be given even to the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. Nevertheless, although past sins will be fully canceled, whoever would have God’s blessing, God’s approval, must become “an Israelite indeed,” must become a believer in God, by believing in the Mediator, who will be God’s Representative, and by placing himself in the hands of The Christ for training and uplifting. This Law of the New Covenant will be applicable to every son and daughter of Adam. Whoever of the world would attain life everlasting must accept Christ and join this earthly kingdom class. The plan of God manward will not be accomplished until all sin and all wilful sinners are destroyed.
The entire race of mankind will receive some benefit from the New Covenant, irrespective of their acceptance of Christ, in that they will be awakened from the tomb and brought to a knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim. 2:3-6). The Scriptures tell us that as by the offense of one man condemnation passed upon all, so by the obedience of one man the free gift comes to all, unto justification of life (Rom. 5:12,18). Because of the application of Christ’s sacrificial merit for all men, it will be just for God to awaken the world from death and give all an opportunity to attain justification to perfect life. This free gift of God through Christ does not guarantee eternal life to any except upon specific conditions. We would say, therefore, that the benefits of the New Covenant will be applicable to everybody in a limited sense. If God had foreseen that nobody would adopt this arrangement, that fact no doubt would have altered His Plan. At the introduction of the New Age, all the accounts against humanity will have been canceled by Divine Justice, and mankind will be turned over to the Mediator; for if they were kept under Divine Justice, they would immediately be condemned again, because of their inability to do perfectly. Therefore the Father will not take cognizance of sinners. For a thousand years they will be left under the merciful provisions of the New Covenant. Those who will obediently do their best will receive all the blessings of the Kingdom; and those who will not become obedient under those conditions will go into the Second Death at the age of 100, the accursed sinners of Is. 65:20. During the Gospel Dispensation, the only ones who can commit the sin unto death (1 John 5:16), blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31,32), are those who have been enlightened by this Holy Spirit. St. Paul says, “As touching those who were once enlightened, and tasted of the Heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the Age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them unto repentance.” (Hebrews 6:4-6, R.V.) Their sin would be willful: for it would be “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”
Therefore only the Church are on trial now. We who have been begotten of the Holy Spirit are on trial for life or death eternal. Those who now die the Second Death have no opportunity for the future (Prov. 21:16). If those now begotten of the Holy Spirit are faithful, they will be granted to be members of the glorified Bride of Christ. Those of the Spirit-begotten who fail to attain a place in the Bride class will, if overcomers eventually, receive life on a lower plane. They will be of the Great Company, the virgins who serve the Bride (Ps. 45:14,15). But if they fail to attain either of these positions, the only thing remaining for them is the Second Death. As for the world, their Day of Judgment, as individuals, has not yet fully come. They are still in condemnation through Father Adam ─ not recognized as having rights at all. Some of the world are excellent people; but even these have neither part nor lot in the salvation of the present time. The blessed arrangement for them is in the Millennial Age, when, if they yield full obedience to Jehovah’s Anointed, their sins will be forgotten.
As the sins of the Church are now canceled, so likewise, will the whole world go absolutely free from the condemnation of Adamic sin as soon as the merit of Christ is applied for them. They then will have all the Kingdom opportunities and privileges, if they accept of Christ, the great Mediator of the Covenant. Nevertheless they will suffer stripes as a result of the deeds done in the present life ─ not as a punishment for their sins, which before that time will all have been remitted, but because of the habits previously formed, the character developed; for the weaknesses of the fallen nature will have left wounds, which will require more or less rigorous treatment in order to their healing. With the world it will then be true, as now with the Church, that if they shall sin against the Spirit of holiness, the Holy Spirit, knowingly and willfully, the penalty will be a second condemnation ─ to Second Death, destruction. While our Lord Jesus said that all manner of sin would be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, yet the Pharisees, to whom these words were addressed, could not fully commit this sin, because they had not the fullness of knowledge (Matt. 12:31,32; Acts 3:17). Yet they might so harden their hearts that even the favorable influences of the Kingdom will not reform them (Matt. 23: 33).
When God recognizes the satisfaction of Justice and cleans the slate for the sinner race, this does not mean that He has merely transferred the account to Jesus, who will hold it against them. Our Lord will not hold against mankind the things the Father has forgotten. On the contrary, as the Representative of the Father, the Lord Jesus will be glad to give to men the benefit of that forgiveness, merely holding them at a distance from the Father during the period of their imperfection, standing between as Mediator, to give whoso-ever will of mankind time for restoration, development of character, etc., and taking away the stoniness of their hearts and giving them hearts of flesh. The Lord through the Prophet says, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” The Apostle Paul calls attention to this statement. He points out that under the Law Covenant this was not done, but that the sins remained; for although atonement was made afresh for Israel year by year, nevertheless the inferior sacrifices could not take away sin (Heb. 10:1-4; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-29). When mankind becomes a part of Israel, the promises made to the Jews will apply also to the Gentiles.
The Scriptures tell us that “out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Is. 2:3; Mic. 4:2) When the Kingdom is set up the Ancient Worthies will be made “princes in all the earth.” (Ps. 45:16) They will have as their associates the Youthful Worthies. This arrangement will appeal first and primarily to the Jew, who would naturally be the first to come under the new regulations. We may not say that all the Jews will do so, but that will be true of at least a considerable number of them. In time others of the world will join. There are many well-meaning people who have not taken the vow of consecration to the Lord but who would like to help rather than to hinder others. Such will in due time attach themselves to the Kingdom, which will be “the desire of all nations.” (Haggai 2:7)
In the case of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, the earthly “Princes,” their freedom from imperfection will make them conspicuous amongst mankind. As the world come to know about these, they will say, “Are not these God’s people?” Mankind will perceive that God has rewarded the Worthies by giving them an instantaneous resurrection to perfect life, and will learn that their “better resurrection” was given because of faithfulness in the past.
Our Lord Jesus, having laid down the Ransom-price for the sins of the whole world, has placed it in the hands of Justice as a deposit, to be held during this Gospel Age for the benefit of the Church class. At the end of this Age He will apply it to the cancellation of the claims of Justice against Adam, which will include all sins due to the fall. Jehovah God will accept the price and will remit the Adamic sins. There will be some sins, however, which will not be covered by this great Sin-offering. These are wilful sins committed by members of the race. As wilful sins are not covered by the Sin-offering, but only Adam’s sin and those sins resulting from Adamic weakness, God has mercifully arranged that the sufferings of the Great Company class, the “Azazel-goat” class, necessary to the destruction of their flesh, which they had covenanted to sacrifice, will be utilized as an expiation, not as a sin-offering, for these wilful sins of the world (Lev. 16:8,10,20-22). When the Great Company will have finished their course, the atonement for sin will have been fully accomplished, and the account against the world upon the books of Justice will have been fully squared. Divine condemnation will be entirely lifted from the race, the New Covenant of blessing will then be inaugurated. Then it will be the part of the people to come up to the requirement of the New Covenant by earnestly striving to do their best. If, however, because of imperfection, they unwittingly violate God's Law during the Mediatorial Reign, they will not be amenable to that Law; for the Mediator will stand between them and the Law.
The Mediator will not, as we have said, hold against any one the transgressions of this present life. But it will require long, patient effort to regain the perfection from which the first parents of the race fell. Some of mankind have fallen much farther down than others, because of having inherited greater depravity or because of more perverse dispositions, and of less effort to control their fallen nature. But under the gracious arrangements of the New Covenant, the great Mediator purposes to grant the necessary assistance by helping the people individually to understand the requirements of the new arrangement, by promptly punishing any attempt to do wrong, by rewarding every effort to do right, and by supplying strength, physical and mental, to meet the requirements of His righteous and benevolent rule.
By the close of the Mediatorial Reign those who have responded and made earnest effort to advance will be brought to a condition of human perfection and of covenant relationship with Jehovah, as was Adam at the beginning. Then they must be subjected to the same test of loyalty as was Adam, with no Mediator between them and God’s Justice. How many will maintain that relationship, and how many will lose it and suffer destruction, we cannot know. That some will prove unworthy of life and meet this extreme penalty of wilful sin, the Second Death, is clearly shown (Rev. 20:7-9; 22:14,15). These are also referred to in Is. 65:20 as the old men who will not fill their years with good, but will selfishly use the Millennial opportunities and pretend all the time to be obeying them. These will fall under Satan's temptation and be annihilated. The Ancient Worthies are to be at the head of the earthly phase of the Kingdom, with the Youthful Worthies as associates. They will form its nucleus, ruling under the glorified Church, which will be invisible. These Worthies cannot come forth from the tomb until Divine Justice has been satisfied for the world; for they also are members of the fallen race. After the Mediator has made this satisfaction, the Ancient Worthies will be the first to be blessed by the New Covenant, and will be raised from the dead perfect men, in the image of God, as Adam was originally created. In their resurrection they will receive complete restitution to human perfection; for during their previous lifetime they, like Enoch, “had this testimony, that they pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5). Soon after the awakening of their faithful prophets of old, and the faithful Youthful Worthies, the Jews then living, who still retain their faith in the New Covenant promises made to them (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8: 7-12), and who have waited for their Messiah, will begin to see clearly, and will join themselves to these Worthies. Then the world will gradually come to see, and will also come under the terms of Israel’s New Law Covenant by becoming a part of Israel, a part of Abraham’s earthly seed (Rom. 4:17,18; Is. 49:6-12).
Covenant relationship with God means perfection, either reckoned or actual. During the thousand years of Messiah’s Kingdom, mankind will be approaching actual perfection. But they will not enter into it as a race until the close of the thousand years. Then the Mediator will turn them over to God; and they will be privileged to enter into covenant relationship with Him, and must stand or fall individually. As we read, at that time Satan shall be “loosed for a little season”; and all who love unrighteousness in their hearts, whatever has been their outward course during their trial time, will be manifested. They will be deceived by the Adversary. “These shall go away into everlasting punishment [Greek, kolasis, cutting off, or cutting short], and the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:46)
The one class passes into life; while the other class is cut off, restrained, from life. The reward of the righteous will be everlasting life; the reward of the wicked, “the Devil and his angels,” his messengers and all who are of his spirit will be everlasting death, destruction. Those who are of the Millennial “sheep” class, who go to the King’s right hand of favor, will, after the final testing at the hands of God, enter upon the ages of glory beyond, the blessings of which are not revealed in the Divine Scriptures.
The Church of Christ is not under the New Covenant. Therefore it is not proper to speak of the Church as being blessed by this Covenant, although the Church receives a great blessing and privilege in respect to it. If there were to be no New Covenant, there would then be no need of a Mediator, and no need of the “better sacrifices” whereby it is to be instituted. St. Paul’s statement that God has made the Church “able ministers of the New Covenant” indicates that the Lord’s people have something to do with its preparation (2 Cor. 3:6). Unless there were the “better sacrifices,” there would be no basis for that New Covenant. The sufferings which the Church undergo at this present time are a blessed privilege to us; for we are ministers of that New Covenant in the sense that we are serving it by our sacrifices and training for future service in connection with it after it shall have been inaugurated. While a great building is in process of erection, the men working upon its construction might be said to be greatly benefited by that building. That would not mean that they would be benefited by the use of it in the future, but that they were being benefited during its construction. So now the Church receives certain rich blessings and privileges in connection with the New Covenant. Later the entire world will be blessed by it, but in a very different way. During this Gospel Age, God is dealing merely with the Church, not with the world. There is, however, some resemblance between the Divine blessings now coming upon the Church and, those coming upon the world by and by. Then the Lord will rewrite His Law in the hearts of mankind, as it was originally written in Adam’s heart; and men will have new hearts. At the end of a thousand years all mankind will be fleshly images of God, and ready for their final testing; for those who have refused to make progress to perfection during the Messianic Reign will have been destroyed. But the Church have new hearts now, right views of things, right sentiments. In the case of the Church, however, there is not a taking away of the stoniness of the human heart and making of it a heart of flesh; but there is an entirely new nature. This new nature, of course, has something to do with the flesh; for the flesh is now the servant of the New Creature. The Law of God is recognized in the flesh, under the compulsion of the New Creature.
The New Covenant, with all that goes with it, is the blessing which The Christ gives to mankind. It is God’s Covenant, and He has arranged that it shall go to the world through this Christ class, Head and Body. If, then, the Church are to give these blessings, they must first have had them. No man can give away what he does not first possess. This thought that the New Covenant is a testament, or gift, of Christ to the world is made very prominent in the Scriptures. It is a gift in which the Church shares; for every member has relinquished his restitution rights with Christ. “If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him; If we be dead with Him, we shall live with Him,” and all things are ours because we are His (2 Tim. 2:11,12). These glorious things are clearly set forth in various types in the Old Testament, as well as plainly stated in the New Testament. For instance, St. Paul explains that Isaac, the heir of Abraham, was a type of The Christ, Head and Body. Isaac did not receive his inheritance by a new covenant, but by the original Covenant with Abraham, as does the Church (Gal. 3:8,16,29; 4:22-31).
In Micah. 4:1-4, we read: “In the last days the Mountain [Kingdom] of the House of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms of earth]… and many people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come and say, Come ye, let us go up to the Mountain of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” The succeeding verses of the chapter depict the influence that will be exerted. The blessings and prosperity will then be with those who will be in harmony with God. Now it is different. “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. 3:12) They “shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.” (Matt. 5:11) These things indicate that all who are faithful to God during the present Age will have more hardship than do those who are unfaithful. Many of the worldly, even the wicked of the world, have great prosperity in the present time. The world thinks that Christians, true followers of Jesus, are making their lives miserable by the course which they pursue. But the world is greatly mistaken in this matter. On the contrary, we are enjoying ourselves greatly, we are having a good time. We have much advantage every way, in spite of our afflictions; for we know that in a very little while our trials and afflictions will all be over. We know that the glorious Kingdom of Messiah, in which, if faithful, we are to share, is about to be set up in the earth. In the future Dispensation, God tells us, the tables will be turned. None of the wicked shall prosper. THEN whoever is unrighteous shall suffer, and whoever does righteously shall receive a blessing (Ps. 37:1,2,7-17,22). NOW the wicked very often prosper, and the poor and needy and the good of earth are oppressed. When the Times of Restitution come to the world, all will be changed. The blessing will be of God; and the only way to gain that blessing will be by coming into harmony with the New Order of things in the Kingdom of Messiah. Glory be to God for this eventuality! for it will result in a clean universe in which everyone in heaven and on earth, and such as have been in the sea, the rebellious race, will glorify and praise the God of perfect wisdom, justice, love and power, and the Lamb that is seated with Him on His throne forever and ever, saying, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” To which with joy we say, Amen and Amen!
(Brother Paul S. L. Johnson, Epiphany Volume 15, pages 723-736)
QUESTIONS OF GENERAL INTEREST
QUESTION: Would it not appear that the Jews only would be blessed by the New Covenant, since they were alone under the Law Covenant?
ANSWER: I answer: The Apostle says that it is “to the Jew first,” and also to the Greek. In other words, he gives us that as a picture that God’s blessings of every kind begin with the Jew. He gave the Jew the first opportunity under the Abrahamic Covenant, when Christ came to His own and His own received Him not. And when it comes to the blessings of the New Covenant, the opportunity will come to the Jew first, and he must take his stand, but ultimately to reach all the families of the earth. The Jews may come in and share with the Church, and with the Ancient Worthies in the matter of carrying this glorious message to the other nations, and peoples, and kindreds, and tongues, and to whatever extent they have the right attitude of heart, they will embrace that opportunity; it will be to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. And the Apostle says, you remember, “If the casting away of Israel meant the bringing in of a blessing, what will the gathering of Israel again mean but life from the dead?” ─ in general to the whole world of mankind. (Question Book, p. 165, 1908)
QUESTION: When the door was opened to the Gentiles there was no difference in the standing of the Gentiles and the Jews according to Romans 10:12 and Gal. 3:28. There is much said about “to the Jew first,” but wouldn’t the same condition apply to the Gentiles as with the Jews in the Kingdom ─ the “restitution of all things”?
ANSWER: The Gospel was first offered to the Jews when our Lord brought “life and immortality to light.” (2 Tim. 1:10) When the natural Jews accepted Christ as their Savior, and walked in the footsteps of Jesus, they became “Spiritual Israelites.” When the Gentiles, after the door was opened to them, accepted Christ as their Savior and walked in the footsteps of Jesus, they became “Spiritual Israelites.” They then had the same standing of the Jews. The same condition will apply to the Gentiles under the New Covenant, when they become Jews. As That Servant has so often stated, the New Covenant will be Israe1itish. However, the faithful “repentant and believing” Gentiles will quickly join the Jews in doing the great missionary work. None of this nullifies God’s promise to the natural Jew ─ “to the Jew first.”
When the Jews in Jerusalem are attacked by the marauders, the anarchists, in “Jacob’s 1ast troub1e.” they will “cry unto the Lord and He will hear their cry and deliver them.” (Psa. 107:19,20) It is elementary that the Jews in Jerusalem will be the first to receive the blessings of the New Covenant. “From Jacob… the natural seed of Abraham, first." (See Berean Comment on Rom. 11:26.)
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first, and also of the Gentiles.” (Rom. 2:9 ─ See Berean Comments on Rom. 2:9,10.) The special ‘tribulation’ that came upon the Jews was when Titus demolished their Temple and they were driven out of Jerusalem. The “Time of Trouble” coming upon the whole world ─ especially the social order, the ecclesiastical and governmental systems, will not be more severe than what the Jews suffered at the time Titus seized Jerusalem, as well as what the Jews have suffered in Germany and in Russia in our day.
“This Mediator ─ the Head and Body ─ is such, as His death (the merit being that of Jesus alone) cancels the sins committed under the first Covenant, i.e., those of the Jews, that these Jews, having had the unchangeable call to the earthly favor (Rom. 11:29), might receive the promise given them ─ the land of Canaan as an eternal inheritance.
“The sprinkling of the people (v. 19) is a copy of the sealing, making, of the New Covenant manward in the earthly phase of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it will take 1,000 years to complete it, i.e., it will take the 1,000 years of the Millennium to give the people ─ Israel primarily and the Gentiles who join Israe1 under the New Covenant, a privilege that will then be open to all the non-elect, dead and living ─ the right to life and its 1ife-rights, Jesus and the Church’s legacy to Israel and the Gentiles under the New Covenant. Note, please, how the Apostle, after speaking of the cleansing of the copies, the types, i.e., the people, the tabernacle and vessels, tells that their antitypes, Mi11ennia1 Israel and the Gentiles joining themselves to Israe1, ─ the Ancient and Youthful Worthies and their teachings, will be c1eansed by the better sacrifices (plural) than bulls and goats. Jesus’ personal sacrifice was but one, and the Church’s sacrifice is but one; but together they are two, and their separate sacrifices are here (v.23) designated by the plural term, sacrifices.”
(E-6, p. 686, bottom, p. 687, middle, and top of p. 688)
The Apostle Paul, That Servant and the Epiphany Messenger all tell us that the blessings will be to the natural Jew first. The New Covenant will be inaugurated in Jerusalem, which will be the Capital of the New Covenant government.
The Jews were first in the “great salvation” (Heb. 2:3) and they will be first in the “common salvation” (Jude 3) in the Kingdom under the New Covenant. “He is faithful that promised.” (Heb. 10:23) (Written by Brother John J. Hoefle, December 14, 1977) ___________________________________________________________________
LETTER OF GENERAL INTEREST
Dear Sister Marjorie: Greetings in the Lord’s name.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Sister Hoefle. She will be missed. In 1968 Sister and Brother Hoefle came to Trinidad to the funeral of my father, George Martin. Brother Hoefle spoke at the funeral with calm and uplifting words; “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Christian Love, ___ (NEW YORK)
IN THE PRESENCE OF THE KING
If we could always feel each little thing
We do, each hour we spend
Within the presence of the King,
What dignity ‘twould lend!
If we could realize our every thought
Is known to Him, our King,
With how great carefulness would it be fraught, King,
And what a blessing bring!
If, when some sharp word leaves a cruel sting,
Our faith could know and feel
‘Twas heard within the presence of the King,
How soon the wound would heal!
Oh, when the song of life seems hard to sing,
And darker grows the way,
Draw nearer to the presence of the
And night shall turn to day!