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The New Covenant Not for the Church

August 26, 2017

This is not the majority view, even within traditional dispensationalism. It is, however, an interesting view.

Although the New Covenant is quoted in Hebrews 8, it cannot be taken to mean the New Covenant is fulfilled in the church for in Jeremiah 31:31, as well as in Hebrews 8:8, it is stated that the covenant is made with “the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” The covenant will be fulfilled with the nation with which the covenant is made. The time of the fulfillment of the New Covenant is eschatological as seen from the context of Jeremiah 31. In the section of Jeremiah 30–33 the setting is established in Jeremiah 30:3 where it states, “Behold, days are coming,” suggesting an eschatological setting (cf. Jer. 31:27). Jeremiah 30:7 describes the future tribulation period, whereas the remainder of Jeremiah 30 is millennial. Other prophets also regard the New Covenant as eschatological and therefore future (Isa. 55:3; Ezek. 16:60, 62; 20:37; 34:25–26; Hos. 2:18–20). Isaiah related the fulfillment of the New Covenant to the return of Messiah and the forgiveness of Israel (Isa. 59:20–21). Jeremiah related it to Israel’s restoration to the land (Jer. 32:37, 40–41). “The sequence of events set up by the prophets is that Israel will first be regathered and restored to the land and then will experience the blessings of the new covenant in the land.… Fulfillment of the prophecies requires the regathering of all Israel, their spiritual rebirth, and the return of Christ.” The New Covenant is not fulfilled in the church but in the future kingdom.

Enns, Paul P. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989. p. 68.

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