Sunday, September 4

This is the blood of the covenant that Jehovah has made with you.Ex. 24:8.

By means of the Law covenant, the ancient nation of Israel was set apart as God’s chosen nation. Jehovah now became ‘their Judge, their Lawgiver, and their King.’ The history of Israel provides a record of what happens when God’s righteous standards are either observed or ignored. Since the Law forbade intermarrying with pagans and participation in false worship, it was designed to prevent Abraham’s line of descent from being contaminated. Through that covenant, Israel had a unique opportunity and privilege to become “a kingdom of priests,” provided they met the stipulation to obey Jehovah’s laws.  Israel, however, failed to meet this requirement. Instead of esteeming the arrival of the Messiah, the primary part of Abraham’s offspring, the nation rejected him. Consequently, God rejected that nation.

COMMENTARY

Long ago Solomon wrote: “Better is the end of a matter than its beginning.” That axiom surely applies to the new covenant, which had its beginning in 33 C.E., but is yet to culminate. 

The Law covenant was intended to lead the Jews to Christ. And even though the majority of the Jews failed to accept the Messiah the covenant accomplished its intended purpose and was concluded. The new covenant is likewise intended to lead Christians to the complete fulfillment of God’s purpose during the final part of the days.

In fact, although Jesus established the new covenant during the inauguration of the Lord’s evening meal, through Jeremiah Jehovah foretold that he would establish a new covenant with his people in the aftermath of a time of great distress upon “Jacob.”

The context of Jeremiah places the establishment of the new covenant as coming about after the great tribulation. To make the point, the concluding verses of the 30th chapter state: “‘His majestic one will be one of his own, and from his midst his ruler will emerge. I will cause him to come near, and he will approach me. For otherwise, who would dare to approach me?’ declares Jehovah. ‘And you will become my people, and I will be your God.’ Look! A windstorm of Jehovah will burst out in fury, a sweeping tempest that whirls down on the head of the wicked.  The burning anger of Jehovah will not turn back until he has carried out and accomplished the intentions of his heart. In the final part of the days you will understand this.”

Although there is no mention of the new covenant the 31st chapter is a continuation, and just as in the span of verse above, God declares that when he establishes the new covenant that he will become their God and they his peoples. “‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them,” declares Jehovah. ‘For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin.”’

But if Jesus established the new covenant almost 2,000 years ago, why does the prophecy in Jeremiah locate its establishment in the final part of the days? Because that is when it is concluded, when it will have accomplished its intended purpose of creating a kingdom of priests.

Since the apostles and original anointed Christians have long since died and are sleeping in death, it is only upon their resurrection to immortal life in heaven that the new covenant can be said to have accomplished its intended purpose. That is when “his majestic one” will begin to rule in the Kingdom and lead his flock to God.

But, it is important to note that this is to occur in the final part of the days. Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the final part of the days began in 1914. But that simply cannot be true. The reason ought to be obvious. Since the new covenant is accomplished when God implants his law within the hearts of those who are called into the covenant, making it no longer necessary for anyone to be taught to “know Jehovah,” obviously the final part of the days —or the conclusion of the system of things —begins after the preaching and teaching work is concluded.

Indeed, better is the end of a matter than its beginning.

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