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Friday, August 30, 2019

The SINGULARITY of the NEW COVENANT

The SINGULARITY of the NEW COVENANT

Substantially re-posted from article, "THERE’S LITERALLY ONE NEW COVENANT" by Douglas Krieger - commonwealththeology.com. Used by permission.



One of the most glaring misunderstandings (at best) and theological subterfuges (at worst) is the hijacking of the New Covenant as seen in Jeremiah 31:31-40; and alluded to in Ezekiel 37:26, as well as Ezekiel 11:19; 36:24-28.  Hijacking in that the “Christian Community” (vast swaths thereof) have completely rejected the notion that the SINGULARITY of this New Covenant was originally promised to BOTH the House of Israel and the House of Judah (Jer. 31:31 – “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”).
Let us consider how critical this is to both the eternal covenants of the Lord and to believers in Yeshua, the Christ, the Son of the Living God—and to the ONENESS of God’s original purpose relative to our Lord’s prayer in John 17—THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE (John 17:21-23)—these two, the New Covenant and our Lord’s prayer in John 17 are intrinsically interconnected . . . again, allow me to probe the depths of that theological connectivity.
I became all the more impressed with the SINGULARITY of the New Covenant’s initial elucidations in both Jeremiah and in Ezekiel and, of course, with Jesus’ inauguration of the same and of the timing of the “covenant of peace with them” described as “an everlasting covenant with them” (Ezekiel 37:26). 
This “covenant of peace” mentioned in Ezekiel 37:26 is in point of fact, the very NEW COVENANT – SO MAKING PEACE then and there (Ephesians 2:15–” that He might reconcile them both to God in ONE BODY through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Eph. 2:15-16). . . “to create in Himself ONE NEW MAN from the two, thus making peace” . . . What appears in Ezekiel 37 is simply predicated upon the original New Covenant – the New Covenant:  SO MAKING PEACE.
First, the New Covenant promise was EXCLUSIVELY made with and to “the HOUSE OF ISRAEL and WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH” – TWO HOUSES which are then addressed in Jeremiah 31:33in this manner:
But this is the covenant that I will make with THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL after those days, says the LORD:  I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  
Here we see the TWO HOUSES as ONE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.  
There are, again, primarily two dominant views of the New Covenant in its New Testament application; starting from the “traditional” or “Covenantal” viewpoint:

COVENANTALISM:

  1. Adamic Covenant between God and Adam where Adam would have everlasting life based on obedience (Genesis 1:28-302:15).
  2. The Noahic Covenant was between God and Noah were God promised to never destroy the earth again by water (Genesis 9:11).
  3. The Abrahamic Covenant was between God and Abraham were he would make Abraham a great nation and that all the nations will be blessed through him (Genesis 12:317:5).
  4. The Mosaic Covenant was between God and the Israelites where God would be covenantally faithful to Israel as a holy nation (Exodus 19:6).
  5. The New Covenant is between Christ and the church where salvation would be obtained by faith (1 Cor. 11:25).1
In their own words and view, the Covenantalist conjectures/interprets the Scripture with a clear demarcation between the Old Covenant (Mosaic) and the New Covenant (a New Testament phenomena) wherein under the Mosaic Covenant YHWH would be “covenantally faithful to Israel” if they would abide a “holy nation” – however, when it comes to the New Covenant they wholly dismiss the idea that the New Covenant had/has anything to do with the House of Israel and the House of Judah but is wholly a continuation of the Lord’s “community of grace” – and, the exclusive inheritor of the spiritual and material benefits of the New Covenant are appropriated by the “True Israel” (citing Gal. 3:16—which, incidentally, mentions nothing in reference to “True Israel”).  The inauguration of the New Covenant is extended exclusively to the Church (i.e., the Ekklesia) and must be understood in this context:
  • Church began in Eden with Covering of Adam and Eve and is increasingly manifested in the Old Testament.
  • The Church was spoken of in the O.T. as stated in (Acts 2:16-353:22-251 Pet. 1:10-12)
  • True Israel (the church) is the heir to the promises made to Abraham (Gal. 3:16)
  • The Holy Spirit has indwelt the believers in all periods, but indwells Christians as an anointing which provides gifts to the church to carry out the commission that Israel has, so far, failed to do.
  • Christ is reigning now as King of kings and Lord of lords.
  • Believers are ‘in Christ’ in all ages.2
Covenantalism supplants the physical progeny of the 12 Tribes of Israel (both the House of Israel and the House of Judah) wherein the “True Israel of God” becomes the inheritor of the New Covenant which was either prophesied in the O.T. but never implemented with the Two Houses in that physical Israel failed to embrace the New Covenant having done so by “rejecting” the Christ, the Messiah; or the New Covenant was revealed as a continuation of the community of grace through the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ.
In sum:  The Church replaces Israel insofar as the institution of the New Covenant concerns; ergo, the Church replaces Israel in toto.  Some have entitled this “rejection theology” in that:
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed” (Matt. 21:42-44).
Likewise, Jesus prophesied that the Herodian Temple—symbolic of Judaism/Israel of the flesh would experience the following:
“Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles (i.e., the Nations) until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24) . . . O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!  How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  See!  Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Matt. 23:37-39).
Regarding the distinctions set forth by John Piper, a classical Covenantalist; to wit:
Piper: “First, a non-covenant-keeping people does not have a divine right to hold the land of promise. Both the blessed status of the people and the privileged right to the land are conditional on Israel’s keeping the covenant God made with her. Thus God said to Israel, “If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples” (Exodus 19:5). Israel has no warrant to a present experience of divine privilege when she is not keeping covenant with God.”3
There is, in the theology of Covenantalism, absolutely no indication that the singularity of the New Covenant was promised to the Houses of Israel and Judah.  Their focus is upon the conditional elements of the Mosaic Covenant–as if were never promised to the Two Houses of Israel.  The New Covenant was simply offered to “another nation” able to bear the fruits of such a New Covenant (Matt. 21:43).  Frankly, Covenantalism does NOT spend much time on the origination of the New Covenant as offered to both houses of Israel in Jeremiah 31 but concludes that the New Covenant, in sum and substance, is wholly a New Testament configuration assigned to the continuing community of grace—the Almighty having either forsaken and/or rejected unfaithful Israel; unfaithful, as they were to the statutes of the Old/Mosaic Covenant and wholly unworthy to bear any association with the accords of the New Covenant.
Confessional Baptist Covenant Theology- http://www.1689federalism.com
Baptist Covenant Theology

DISPENSATIONALISM:           

The Dispensationalists, due to their misunderstanding between the House of Judah and the House of Israel, have interpreted this New Covenant insofar as its “Christian application” as distant from today’s Ekklesia/Church wherein only the SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS of the New Covenant are currently enjoyed by believers in Yeshua (Darby) or that there are ostensibly TWO NEW COVENANTS (Dallas Seminary, et al):  One for the Christians and the other for “All Israel” (the Jews-aka, all 12 undifferentiated tribes) to be inaugurated somewhere around the commencement of the Millennial reign of the Son of David upon the earth. 
These two New Covenants are NOT considered in their theological system the same New Covenant but two distinctly different New Covenants in content and in time, though both based upon the Blood of His Redemptive work.   
In their own words:
Traditional dispensationalists typically view the New Covenant in one of three ways.4 Some dispensationalists (most notably Lewis Sperry Chafer) historically took the view that there are actually two New Covenants, one for Israel and one for the Church. Today, most dispensationalists hold a second view, which teaches that the Lord established the New Covenant with the nation of Israel and it was ratified by the blood of Christ. However, it is said that, “the church (composed of both Jewish and Gentile Christians) participates in the spiritual blessings of the Covenant now.”5 A final view is that there is one New Covenant that was ratified with Israel. This was the position held by John Nelson Darby. This particular view teaches, “Accordingly, the Church is unrelated to the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31. The Church comes between the ratification and inauguration of the New Covenant, but we are not the fulfillment of it. The Church and Israel are each independently connected to the Mediator of the New Covenant. We receive similar, but not identical blessings.”(Ministers of the New Covenant, by Mark Fontecchio, Return to the Word, Retrieved on 08.29.2019 @ https://www.returntotheword.com/Ministers-Of-The-New-Covenant-Article-RttW

AT THE CORE OF DISPENSATIONALISM

Dispensationalism appears to be evolving under the mantel of “Progressive Dispensationalism” wherein there is but one New Covenant in which the New Covenant is ostensibly “bifurcated” with the Church’s inauguration of the New Covenant in the Upper Room (viz., “For this is my blood, that of the New Covenant, that shed for many for remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28 – Darby Version) . . .
OR
      Dispensationalism provides the New Covenant to a yet future Israel during the Millennial Rule and Reign.  Notwithstanding, Lewis S. Chafer of Dallas Seminary fame contends that the New Covenant is ostensibly TWO New Covenants – the one inaugurated for the Church in the Upper Room by Jesus and the other New Covenant offered to a yet future Israel at the commencement of the Millennium, yet future. 
      In other words, the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31, and allusion to the same in Ezekiel, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Church, but everything to do with a yet future Israel.  The Church is NOT the True Israel nor the continuing community of grace and is NOT found in the Old Testament but is a complete mystery revealed through the apostle Paul (cutting to the chase here).
      The New Covenant extended to the Ekklesia was initiated in the Upper Room and sealed at the cross and validated by the resurrection and ascension of Christ, and later clarified by the apostle Paul as the New Covenant offered exclusively to New Testament believers and within the context of the Dispensation of Grace—the Age of Grace—producing the Bride of Messiah; whereas, the Wife of Jehovah is the production of Old Testament saints.
Rossjpurdy [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)] -  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/History_of_Dispensationalism.png
Development of Dispensationalism
There are TWO Wives; two testaments; two gospels (i.e., the Gospel of the Grace of God for the Church and the Gospel of the Kingdom for the Jews); two resurrections of the just (one for N.T. saints and one for O.T. saints); two Holy Cities (viz., the Holy District of Ezekiel 40-48 for the Jews and the New Jerusalem for the Church—although the “ultimate manifestation” MAY comprise both within the context of the Eschaton (after the millennium in that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, bears the names of the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles of the Lamb standing for the saints of the “church age”).
      Further extensions of Dispensationalism include the following (and, certainly, this article is NOT exhaustive of Dispensational understanding of the New Covenant):     
  • The New Creation of Galatians 6 are IN THE MAIN those Gentile believers (viz., the “uncircumcision”); and the “circumcised” (Jews) who see this New Creation, are the “Israel of God” – i.e., the Gentile believers are EXCLUDED from the Israel of God because they are NOT Jewish believers in Yeshua.
  • Those Jews (aka, ALL the 12 Tribes of Israel “scattered abroad”) are ALL JEWS and these Jews are either in the Israel of God or not in the Israel of God for “all Israel is not Israel” (Rom 9:6-8:  “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 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.“).
  • Whereas, the so-called “Covenantalists” (Replacement/Rejection) theologies inherited from the Roman Catholic/Orthodox persuasions and affirmed by the initial outburst of Reformation theologians (Calvin, Luther, etc.) claimed the full mantel of the “Israel of God” (aka, the Church is “spiritual Israel”) and so, there is absolutely no eschatological/prophetic distinction between the Jew and Gentile – it is/was as if the New Covenant inaugurated in the Upper Room was, yes, originally promised to the House of Israel and the House of Judah (the physical descendants of the 12 tribes) but because they rejected the Savior, they too now have been rejected from the New Covenant and this same New Covenant was “given to another”(viz., “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.” (Matt. 21:43). 
  • These last statements would be those of the Replacement theologians; whereas, the Dispensationalists would surmise that the Kingdom promised to Israel (in their mind all 12 tribes) was POSTPONED and given to another (the Ekklesia/Church) as a New Covenant (because Israel rejected the Savior) but the promise of the New Covenant found in Jeremiah would ultimately be given just prior to the commencement of the Millennial Rule & Reign of the Son of David upon the earth.  Duly noted:  Replacement theologies say that NOTHING of the New Covenant was postponed – they say that the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 was simply taken from the Jews and given to the Church as the continuing community of grace (i.e., the Ekklesia in the Wilderness continues since the New Covenant commenced by the blood of Jesus foresaw the New Testament “in His blood”).    

WHY ARE THESE TWO SYSTEMS DEFICIENT?

Firstly, BOTH systems have tortured the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) – “All Israel” (Rom. 11:26) and the singularity of the New Covenant promised to both Houses of Israel:  Judah and Joseph/Ephraim (Israel).  
      Secondly, and in reinforcement of the initial promise made by the Almighty to both Houses of Israel – HE HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE to “ALL ISRAEL” – to “THE ISRAEL OF GOD.”  Yet, today’s Christians when they read John 11:52 – “Not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” – either consider those “scattered abroad” as ALL JEWS of the 12 Tribes (Dispensationalists; Ref. James 1:1) or generic believers (Gentiles or Jews yet to be “born from above”) in Messiah from all the nations (including the Jews) who have received the New Covenant given to the Church as a result of the Kingdom’s rejection by the leadership of the Jews at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. 
Thus, the KINGDOM has been postponed to “that nation” (all 12 tribes in the minds of the Dispensationalists) until the beginning of the Millennium . . . and “given to another” which in the mind of BOTH the Dispensationalists and the Replacement theologians is the exclusive jurisdiction of the Church/Ekklesia which Jesus is building today.
Neither the Covenantalists nor the Dispensationalists see any distinction whatsoever between the Two Houses:  The House of Judah and the House of Israel—to both systems of theology the Jews of yesteryear comprise only Jews, old Israel or the original Israel—most of whom (the 10 tribes) have disappeared (Covenantalists) or were assimilated back into Judah (Dispensationalists). 
Frankly, the Covenantalists tend to believe in their writings that many of the Jews today are actually not real Jews but a mixture of nationalities who simply adopted Jewish customs; whereas, Dispensationalists contend, most vociferously, today’s Jews are in actuality all of the 12 Tribes of Israel who were incorporated into Judah from the times of the Babylonian Captivity until today . . . Ephraim (aka, Jezreel, Samaria, Israel) is NOT distinguished . . . the 10 tribes were incorporated into Jewry as per the Babylonian/Persian Empire time frames.

KEEPING THE NEW COVENANT IN CONTEXT

Again, both Covenantalism and Dispensationalism see no differentiation between Judah’s southern tribes and Ephraim’s northern tribes—in both their eyes there is no distinction, no difference.  When one considers ancient Israel—they are all Jews—in reality, there are no “ten lost tribes” . . . there is no “swallowing up by the nations” . . .
“They (Israel’s 10 Northern tribes) sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.  The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal.  If it should produce, ALIENS would swallow it up.  Israel is swallowed up; now they are among the Gentiles (Nations) like a vessel in which is no pleasure.  For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.  Yes, though they have hired among the nations, now I will gather them; and they shall sorrow a little, because of the burden of the king of princes” (Hosea 8:7-10).
There is virtually no reasonable commentary on Hosea for either camp (Covenantalism/ Dispensationalism), nor of other major and minor prophets in recognition of Israel’s (ten tribes) divorce (Jeremiah 3:6-11) from Him Who had once betrothed her “forever.”
      Thus, shrouded in metaphorical symbolism abides any differential between Judah and Ephraim—it’s as if the “breach of Jeroboam” expounded as a fulfillment of the prophets in Acts 15:6-21 never existed . . . the “Tabernacle of David” or “United Kingdom of David” never happened.  That is, the Ekklesia’s nature—bringing Judah together with Ephraim (along with the “rest of mankind . . . even ALL THE GENTILES” [nations]) never happened.  At best, Jews and Gentiles are now together but NOT Judah and Ephraim.  Alas, NO recognition that Judah and Ephraim ever separated, ever had a breach; therefore, there is no need to describe what was happening in the “Early Church” as the reconciliation of these belligerents (Judah and Ephraim); yes, between Jews and Gentiles, but NOT between Judah and Ephraim because Ephraim was simply considered Jewry anyway!
“The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah (Judah) the king:  ‘Have you seen what backsliding Israel (10 tribes) has done?  She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot.  And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  Then I saw that all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and GIVEN HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.  So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says the LORD.  Then the LORD said to me, ‘Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:  ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.  For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever.  Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God, and have scattered your charms to alien deities under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.  ‘Return, O backsliding children,’ says the LORD; ‘for I am married to you.  I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.  And I will give you shepherd according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:6-15).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d7/Schnorr_von_Carolsfeld_Bibel_in_Bildern_1860_113.png
The Breach of Jeroboam as depicted by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld [Public domain]
 Divorcing the New Covenant from its original context found in Jeremiah and Ezekiel does NOT exclude the 12 Tribes (Judah and Ephraim) in accordance with our “Rejection Brethren” nor is it dispensationally sliced in two making two distinctly different New Covenants – nor was the New Covenant postponed (Darby) for it is only for the Jews in the mind of Darby and has nothing to do with Christians!
The Dispensational insistence that Ephraim was NOT “swallowed up of the Nations/Gentiles” (i.e., “wholly assimilated”) and, if they were, they were so, only temporarily, as in “Now they are among the nations” (Hosea 8:7-10; Romans 9:24-29) – but, by clever interpretation, they will once again miraculously reappear with Judah prior to the commencement of the Millennium.  Ezekiel 37:15-28–is used to prove this–but Ephraim’s reappearance is NOT at the commencement of their “church age” . . . only at the commencement of the Millennial Age.  Although Acts 15 and Romans 9 clearly affirms the immediate inclusion of the House of Ephraim, once again, into the United Kingdom of David (i.e., the “Tabernacle of David”–the very Ekklesia launched by Jesus)–such passages are dismissed as either allegorical or simply overlooked by both systems of theology.
      The Dispensationalists will eschew Acts 15:16 (i.e., the United Kingdom of David and the reuniting of both Houses at the commencement of the Ekklesia), while highlighting Acts 15:17(only) wherein the “rest of mankind” (Edom/Esau) “may seek the LORD, even all the Nations/Gentiles who are called by My name“; thus, providing the dispensationalists theological latitude to keep the Jews separated from the Nations; notwithstanding:
 “Even us whom He called, not of the Jews only (i.e., the House of Judah); but also of the Gentiles (those or Ephraim “swallowed up” of the Nations) – Romans 9:24.  (Note: “Gentiles” in the context of Ephraim who were “no longer My people” but “now are the children of the Living God.”)

[[File:V&A - Raphael, St Paul Preaching in Athens (1515).jpg|V&A - Raphael, St Paul Preaching in Athens (1515)]]
Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus Sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515

From thence Paul immediately goes into describing “Gentiles/Nations” from Romans 9:24 he quotes directly from Hosea: 
I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there they shall be called sons of the living God.” (Romans 9:25-26; Hosea 2:23; 1:10). 
      In other words, Paul directly describes Ephraim’s demise and rejection and immediately identifies Ephraim’s “reallocation” or identification within the context of the Gentiles/Nations.  
      To suggest that this is only another “doctrinal” division having little import when it comes to our emphasis upon the New Creation, the Commonwealth of Israel, the One New Man (today’s Ekklesia – so making peace) is nothing more than, as far as this brother is concerned, embracing a retrograde gospel of the Kingdom under His headship. 
      By disassociating Ephraim from the Nations/Gentiles is “theologically disingenuous”  – yes, they were assimilated – lost among the nations and were considered ALIENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL but now through the blood of His Cross those who were afar off have been brought nigh and are no longer strangers but are considered “members of the household of faith!”  CITIZENS of the COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL – no longer ALIENS!
      THEREFORE, the original promise of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-36; Ezk. 36:26-27) and its “spiritual blessings” were and STILL ARE committed to both houses of Israel – and all the more in that Ephraim’s dispersion among the nations was in point of glaring theological fact, God’s way of expressing the entry of the Nations into the COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL.  The NEW COVENANT cannot be postponed (Dispensationalism) nor terminated to both houses (Rejection/Replacement).  God Almighty did NOT change His mind, His purpose/promise has been kept – we abide RESOLUTE in this interpretation in affirmation of the eternal Word of God! 
Lampstand and Olive Trees  http://endtimepilgrim.org/coi2.png
Zechariah - The Vision of the Lampstands and the Olive Tree

THE END OF THE AGE – THE REVELATION

It is no stretch to view the passages in Revelation 7 regarding the 12 Tribes of Israel sealed upon the earth (Rev. 7:1-8) and the “rest of mankind” (Rev. 7:9-17—the “great multitude”) as the ULTIMATE FULFILLMENT of the same fulfilled prophecy as declared by Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and James in Acts 15:13-17 as the Tabernacle of David/United Kingdom of David (Acts 15:16).  That is, Judah and Ephraim’s reconciliation—Revelation 7:1-8—and “the rest of mankind” (i.e., Edom/Esau/Adam) as “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9-17).
      It cannot be emphasized enough that the “revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but is manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations” (Rom. 16:25-26) is NOT the Dispensational MYSTERY of the Ekklesia/Church somehow hidden before the world began, wholly and separate from the Israel of God, the Commonwealth of Israel, but is and has been so eloquently expounded upon by Dr. Doug Hamp as the marriage, divorce, and remarriage of Israel (Ephraim, even Judah) as confirmed by Paul in Romans 7:1-6
      The MYSTERY was how would the Almighty, Who had betrothed “All Israel” to Himself, then divorced Ephraim (Jeremiah 3:8), permit her to remarry under His divine commandment/law to “another” unless the first husband die (YHWH) which He did, so that she could be married to another–“to Him who was raised from the dead” (Rom. 7:4).  THAT was the mystery angels could not fathom nor could anyone!  But Paul found it in the “prophetic Scriptures” (Romans 16:26) and today, so can we!
      In sum, there is ONE NEW COVENANT – it was and is committed to ALL ISRAEL (Judah and Ephraim—yes, Ephraim assimilated/scattered among the Nations/Gentiles).  Israel is defined as Judah and Ephraim.  Ephraim split from Judah at the “Breach of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 11:26-43; 1 Kings 12-13).  The Early Ekklesia recognized the unification of the United Kingdom of David (the “Tabernacle of David”) as the reconciliation of Judah and Ephraim, along with the “rest of mankind . . . even all the Gentiles.”  The two are clearly differentiated.  “Mankind” in the Septuagint (Greek OT) from Amos 9:11-12 refers to “Edom/Adam” and alludes to Esau who was “hated, while Jacob was loved” (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3).  These two were reconciled by the “blood of the cross” wherein He made of the two (Jews and Gentiles/Ephraim) ONE NEW MAN, so making peace (Eph. 2:15).
Conventalism’s rejection, for whatever theological justification or eisegesis, of the Jew, of Israel, wherein they claim the mantel of “True Israel” and Dispensationalism’s multiplicity of New Covenants and/or “postponements” – BOTH are spurious commentary on the literal Word of God and of His Eternal Commitments to those under His Blood Covenant, the New Covenant, the very “Israel of God” – “All Israel” (Gal. 6:16; Rom. 11:26).
FOOTNOTES:
  1. What are the differences between dispensationalism and covenantalism by Matt Slick, CARM, 10.28.18 Retrieved on 08.29/19 @ https://carm.org/differences-dispensationalism-covenantalism-comparison
  2. Ibid.
  3. What is really at stake? A response to John Piper’s question: “Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?” Randall Smith, The Wandering Shepherd, personal notes, Sept. 3, 2011, Retrieved on 08.29.2019 @ https://randalldsmith.com/what-is-really-at-stake-a-response-to-john-pipers-question-do-jews-have-a-divine-right-in-the-promised-land/
  4. It should be noted that Progressive Dispensationalists teach that there is a fulfillment for the Church and a future fulfillment for the nation of Israel. Thus, there is said to be one New Covenant, but with a two-fold fulfillment. For a critique of this troubling position [NOTE:  Considered “troubling” by traditional dispensationalists], see What Lies Ahead: A Biblical Overview of the End Times.
  5. Gary Gilley, “Laying the Groundwork for Understanding the New Covenant,” in An Introduction to the New Covenant, ed. Christopher Cone (Hurst, TX: Tyndale Seminary Press, 2013), 18.
  6. J. B. Hixson and Mark Fontecchio, What Lies Ahead: A Biblical Overview of the End Times (Brenham, TX: Lucid Books, 2013), 143.
NOTE:  The New Covenant is mentioned/alluded (clearly) in the following passages in the New Testament: Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 9:15; Romans 11:26-27; Hebrews 13:20-21


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