Eve, the mother of all humanity, had a unique distinction: She was the last earthly creation of God. Immediately after she was formed from one of Adam’s ribs her Maker declared for himself a great sabbath rest – a seventh day epoch, during which time Jehovah would enjoy a cessation from his earthly creative labors.
During his work “week” God had progressively reviewed his creations at the end of each “day” and expressed deep satisfaction with his own activity – declaring each new phase of his work “good.” More notably, at the end of the sixth epoch of creation, which evidently concluded with the divinely conducted marriage of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Jehovah declared his work to be “very good.”
However, conspicuous in its absence, no such declaration was or has since been made concerning the ongoing, restive Seventh Day. What is more, the remarkable thing about Jehovah’s sabbatical is that he seemingly left his earthly creation undone, but only seemingly. With supreme confidence in his own wisdom and power and the quality of his workmanship – having designed into his intelligent earthly creation, not only a love of God but the ability to perpetually create itself by means of pro-creation – Jehovah willed his earthly children to finish his creation, whilst he “rested.”
Since God originally created man in his image with the capacity to subjugate the earth in wisdom, not only would mankind continue to procreate itself during God’s rest, but the entire undeveloped earth would also be transformed into Paradise under the power of man’s loving dominion. Since God declared that his direct creative labors toward the earth had come to an end and that his purpose was for Adam and Eve to finish his work, it would appear that the Creator entrusted the accomplishment of his purpose to the creation itself.
Quite likely that seeming vulnerability of God’s intended purpose played a part in inducing the covering cherub of Eden to become a satan in opposition to God – “satan” meaning opposer.
Since the Devil implied that Jehovah was a liar more than likely he assumed that if he could induce Adam and Eve to disobey God and eat fruit from the forbidden tree, Jehovah’s declared purpose would be thwarted and that in order to accomplish his word God would be forced to break his word. How so?
Consider: Up to that point Jehovah had issued three basic declarations regarding his will and intended purpose. First, God stated that his intention was for Adam and Eve to produce offspring and for them and their offspring to have in subjection all lower life forms on earth. Secondly, God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and bad upon pain of death. And finally, Jehovah announced the beginning of his period of rest.
True to God’s word, as soon as Adam and Eve sinned they came under the sentence of death. The question then arose, though, as to how God’s declared purpose for a global paradise could be accomplished since the first humans were no longer morally, spiritually or physically qualified to produce a race of perfect earthly children capable of subjecting the earth to themselves in the manner God intended.
It may have appeared as if Jehovah was faced with a potentially embarrassing predicament. On the one hand, God could not simply pardon the willful sinners. Doing so would have proven God a liar since he had already stated they would “positively die” if they disobeyed. But if Adam and Eve died how could they fulfill the divine mandate to “fill the earth and subdue it”?
Complicating matters further, since Jehovah had already entered into his rest after having declared the creation ending with Adam and Eve to be “very good,” God could not then turn around and create two fresh humans to replace the sinful Adam and Eve without violating his own sacred Sabbath. It appeared as though Jehovah God had failed. The presumptuous Devil may have even thought he had outsmarted God. If so, he could not have been more wrong.
Evidently on the very day that Satan orchestrated the rebellion in Eden Jehovah revealed the means by which his purpose would be accomplished. In passing sentence upon the serpent-like Devil, Jehovah announced his determination to produce a “seed” that would ultimately crush the serpent and set all things straight. As time went on, further developments involved a series of covenants Jehovah made with individuals and organizations in order to accomplish his purpose to produce a victorious “seed.” That primary “seed,” of course, proved to be Jesus Christ.
As the Scriptures explain, Christ’s sacrificial death as a perfect human was the price needed to redeem mankind from death. As a result of his obedience unto death Jesus proved he was worthy of carrying out the original mandate God had given to Adam to subdue the earth. The Son of man will accomplish what the sinful son of God, Adam, failed to do. Christ will do so by means of the “re-creation.”
No, not a Sabbath-violating literal re-creation of the earth and mankind, but by a renewal of the original earthly creation that has until now been wrecked by the power of sin. The Son of man will accomplish the recreation by means of resurrecting and rehabilitating Adam’s sin-ravaged offspring and teaching them how to subdue the earth in the way that Jehovah originally intended. By his victory over the world and death Jesus obtained the legal right to become mankind’s father in place of Adam. Paul explained the outworking of this aspect of God’s purpose to the Hebrews, where he wrote: “For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. But a certain witness has given proof somewhere, saying: ‘What is man that you keep him in mind, or the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than angels; with glory and honor you crowned him, and appointed him over the works of your hands. All things you subjected under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him God left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; but we behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God’s undeserved kindness might taste death for every man.” – Hebrews 2:5-9
No wonder that after recounting Jehovah’s dealings the apostle Paul was moved to exclaim: “O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are! For ‘who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?’”
But Jesus’ sacrifice did more than provide a ransom for Adam’s dead and dying children. The sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ also serves to validate a new covenant for an entirely new creation.
WHAT IS THE NEW CREATION?
A question that arises concerning Christ’s resurrection is whether it may have nullified the ransom sacrifice? After all, since Christ received his life back, how can it be that he gave his life to buy back what Adam lost? It would appear as if Jesus’ sacrifice was only temporary.
It is true, from the time of his birth in Bethlehem Jesus was a mere human; albeit, a perfect one (“the second man”). It was, of course, necessary for the Firstborn of the universe to completely empty himself of his divine nature in order for him to become a “corresponding ransom.” That means the value of Jesus’ life as a man had to correspond to the value of the life Adam possessed in his Edenic perfection – no more and no less.
God’s just law required ‘an eye for an eye, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, blow for blow and soul for soul.’ Since Adam forfeited his soul and the souls of his then-unborn children because of his disobeying God, the Son of man was required to demonstrate his obedience to God by giving his perfect soul in exchange for the souls of all of Adam’s imperfect offspring. Again, in order to do so it had been necessary for Jesus to totally divest himself of his heavenly nature. It was not even possible for Jesus to return to heaven without some special provision being made. This is where the new creation comes in.
But in regards to the question already posed, simply put, Jesus’ resurrection did not invalidate his ransom for the reason that Christ was not resurrected as a man. He was resurrected as a spirit. The apostle Peter expressed the truth this way: “Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” – 1 Peter 3:18
Just as Christ had originally forsaken his heavenly nature in order to become a man, conversely, upon his death he relinquished any claim to life as a perfect man – forever. Hence, he sacrificed his right to everlasting life upon the earth. But how could Jehovah justify resurrecting Jesus as a spirit? It was made possible by the creation of something new – hence, a new creation. Jesus became a new creation on the day of his anointing. Prior to his anointing Jesus had been the earthly son of God, but by means of the holy spirit God caused the creation of something entirely new that had never before existed. On the day of his baptism Jesus was born again as a spiritual son of God.
Jesus once explained to a curious Pharisee named Nicodemus what it meant to be born again, when he told him: “Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What has been born from the flesh is flesh, and what has been born from the spirit is spirit.”
Being born in the flesh as the earthly Son of Jehovah did not entitle Jesus to enter into the kingdom of heaven as a spirit. Contrary to the popular Babylonish myth, humans do not possess a soul or spirit that survives death. Even though perfect, like the original son of God, Adam, Jesus was still just a human – or as Jesus himself worded it: “what has been born from flesh is flesh.” That is why it was necessary for Christ to be born again, in the spirit, so that after his death in the flesh he might be made alive as a spirit.
Jesus was a new creation because never before had Jehovah given birth to such a creature and conferred upon them the gift of immortality and incorruptibleness, as Paul later wrote concerning Christ at 1 Timothy 6:16 – “He the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords, the one alone having immortality…”
And, again, because the new creation was of a heavenly nature Jehovah did not violate his sacred day of rest, since his sabbatical was merely in regards to his work in the physical realm.
But the new creation is to include more than just Jesus. The new creation is, in fact, an entire organization of immortal Christ-like beings. Together they make up the covenanted “seed” of God. Paul said that Jesus was merely the first of many born again sons of God, writing at Romans 8:29:“those whom he gave his first recognition he also foreordained to be patterned after the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Paul was not here referring to Christ as the “firstborn of all creation,” as he did at Colossians 1:15, but rather his being “firstborn among many brothers” is in reference to his being the first born again son of the new creation – verifying, indeed, that Jesus was himself born again, the first of many such.
In his concluding remarks in the letter to the Galatians, Paul referred to the new creation as a nation –“the Israel of God” – saying: “For neither is circumcision anything nor is uncircumcision, but a new creation is something. And all those who will walk orderly by this rule of conduct, upon them be peace and mercy, even upon the Israel of God.”
It is with “the Israel of God” that Jehovah established his covenant.
How many spiritual brothers will Christ ultimately have? Jehovah has announced in the Holy Scriptures he is to be the proud Father of a family of born again sons totaling 144,000 in number (Not including Christ). The 14th chapter of Revelation reveals the exclusivity of the 144,000; indicating they stand before God’s throne singing “as if a new song,” and that “no one was able to master that song but the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from the earth.”
In the case of Jesus there was nothing that prevented God from begetting him as a spiritual son. He was already a perfect reflection of his Father even as a human. True, the scripture says Christ was made perfect by his sufferings, but that does not mean that Christ was imperfect. It simply means that Jesus’ integrity was completely tested by his sufferings.
But that is not true of the other born again sons of God. They are far from perfection. Hence, in order to accomplish this phase of Jehovah’s purpose it was necessary for God to make a special provision for them by means of a new covenant and for Christ to serve as their High priest and mediator, in order that Jehovah may be justified in crediting to them Christ’s perfection, due to their faith in him.
Paul explained it in great detail in his letter to the Hebrews, saying in part: “For it is by one sacrificial offering that he has made those who are being sanctified perfect perpetually. Moreover, the holy spirit also bears witness to us, for after it has said: ‘This is the covenant that I shall covenant toward them after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds I shall write them.’” – Hebrews 10:14-16
The context of Paul’s remarks concerning the purpose of the new covenant has to do with Christians gaining access to Jehovah’s residence in heaven through their faith in Christ. Whereas, Jesus’ ransom made it possible for God to extend forgiveness to the world, thereby legally justifying the earthly resurrection of both righteous and unrighteous persons during the thousand year judgment day, a heavenly resurrection of imperfect humans would require something more than just forgiveness. As Paul noted above, the purpose of the new covenant is to allow God to confer a state of perpetual perfection upon those so sanctified. As regards the earthly resurrection, though, it is obvious that the dead to not have to be sanctified in any way in order to be released from death. Nor do the masses of people who now sleep in gravedom need to be in a new covenant with God or have Christ serve as their mediator in order to receive a resurrection. No, Jesus’ mediation of the new covenant is exclusively with the individuals who make up the new creation – “the Israel of God.”
Paul further explained the purpose of the new covenant in the 12th chapter of his letter to the Hebrews. In the context of contrasting and comparing certain features of the old and new covenants, Paul likened those in the new covenant to the Israelites when they were made to approach the base of Mount Sinai, as Moses served as the mediator of the Law covenant on the top of the mountain in a face-to-face meeting with Jehovah. Paul wrote: “But you have approached a Mount Zion and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and myriads of angels, in general assembly, and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens, and God the Judge of all, and the spiritual lives of righteous ones who have been made perfect, and Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling, which speaks in a better way than Abel’s blood.” – Hebrews 12:22-24
Anointed Christians are called and made to approach “the city of the living God,” heavenly Mount Zion, as those “who have been enrolled in the heavens” as born again sons, in order that they might stand before “God, the Judge of all.” It is in reference to them that Paul wrote concerning “the spiritual lives of righteous ones who have been made perfect.” As the context indicates, their having a righteous standing in such an exulted place as Jehovah’s very residence is due to “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,” and “the blood of sprinkling” in behalf of “thecongregation of the firstborn.”
In the 9th chapter of Hebrews Paul also referred to Jesus being the mediator of the new covenant in behalf of “ones who have been called.” At Hebrews 9:15 we read: “So that is why he is a mediator of a new covenant, in order that, because a death has occurred for their release by ransom from the transgressions under the former covenant, the ones who have been called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance.”
Being “called” by God is a frequently used expression in the Greek Scriptures that has to do with being anointed. For example, at Philippians 3:14 Paul said: “I am pursuing down toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.”
Also, Paul wrote to the Ephesians, admonishing them to “walk worthily of the calling with which you were called.”
More to the point, at Romans 11:27-29 Paul also makes reference to God’s covenant with those whom he calls. ‘“And this is the covenant on my part with them, when I take their sins away’…. For the gifts and the calling of God are not things he will regret.”
The anointed sons of God who are called into the new covenant are also spoken of as being in union with Christ; and because of their union with him, they too are a new creation.
Commenting on the new creation and Christ’s transition from flesh to spirit, Paul wrote:“Consequently from now on we know no man according to the flesh. Even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, certainly we now know him so no more. Consequently if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, look! new things have come into existence.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
The question is, though, how does one come to be “in union with Christ”? Does merely having faith in Jesus mean that a person is in union with Jesus? No, being in union with Christ requires that a person be born again – anointed by holy spirit – like Jesus was. In that way a spiritual union is formed.
Also, being in union with Christ requires believers to be baptized, not merely in a pool of water, but into Christ’s death. Paul explained it in his letter to the Romans, writing the following: “Do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through our baptism into his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, we also should likewise walk in a newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall certainly also be united with him in the likeness of his resurrection; because we know that our old personality was impaled with him, that our sinful body might be made inactive, that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin. For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin. Moreover, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death is master over him no more.” – Romans 6:3-9
What does it mean to be “baptized into his death”? It means that anointed Christians must relinquish any claim to their earthly life – as did Jesus. Afterwards, those so baptized are said to “walk in a newness of life” in expectation of receiving a heavenly resurrection.
The primary purpose of the new creation is to demonstrate Jehovah’s magnanimity in order to dispel the devilish lie that God does not trust his creation. By granting the new creation indestructibility, something that no angel ever possessed, Jehovah essentially created an organization that is no longer even answerable to himself, thereby demonstrating his complete confidence in their undying loyalty. The new covenant makes that possible by producing a nation of persons whose hearts are implanted with the love of Jehovah to the extent that they become as he is.
Secondarily, the new creation will crush Satan and bring about the re-creation of the world, so that in his ultimate review at the end of his great Day of rest Jehovah might pronounce all his works, including the glorious new creation, to be very, very good.