The New Covenant
Paul, who produced the first Christian texts, wrote in his letters to the Hebrews and Corinthians that Jesus had fulfilled the prophecy of a new covenant as prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah, and that the ceremony of communion that Jesus taught his disciples to perform in remembrance of him established that new covenant.
However, it didn't, and Jesus knew it didn't, and he knew and said that Jeremiah's prophecy, as well as Isaiah's and others, would not be fulfilled until the end of the age Jesus ushered in. And, if you read Jeremiah's prophecy, which is quoted below, that becomes obvious.
First, however, you should know that Judaism recognizes several covenants made by important religious figures such as Abraham and Moses, and Jews acknowledge Jeremiah’s prophecy that there will be a "new covenant" when all the prophecies are fulfilled.
Christians, on the other hand, believe that the new covenant was already established by Jesus of Nazareth when he told disciples that they should remember him when they drink wine and eat bread, which is what the Christian Communion ceremony is about.
In about 50 AD the apostle Paul was the first to claim in his written epistles that Jesus established the covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, but Jews and others who know the prophecies realize that the new covenant has not yet been established.
That is why the truth must be told to settle the conflict and reconcile Jews and Christians by explaining how the New Covenant will be brought into fruition. But in order to understand that, one must understand the prophecies, and the history of the covenants.
Many Jews and Christians regard Exodus 19 as establishing the Mosaic or Sinai Covenant, made between God and Moses after he had led the nation of Israel out of captivity in Egypt.
Fundamentalist Christians and some Jews assume this covenant set the nation of Israel apart from all other nations as God’s "chosen people," because it is written in Exodus that God would, or could, make Israel "a holy nation," if they would abide by the commandments and laws Moses issued.
You see, the Sinai or Mosaic Covenant was conditional upon Israel’s obedience and behavior, and Israel has failed miserably in that regard. Furthermore, even though the nation of Israel can become blessed if she makes amends, obeys the law of the prophets and the will of God, and abides by U.N. resolutions and International Laws, any nation may become blessed by the Lord Our God, which is the God of the whole world as Moses wrote.
After all, the notion that the Lord Our God would favor any particular race or nation over others is antiquated, outmoded, and even absurdly ethnocentric in the Light of spiritual reality and modern academic knowledge about humanity’s common ancestry and origins.
In fact, the whole world and all the people and all the nations of the earth will rejoice when prophecy is ultimately fulfilled, when all nations abide by the will of God and are blessed, when the humble and meek inherit the earth, ensure that all nations make amends and make peace, and transform "swords into plowshares."
All nations can and will be blessed by God when they acknowledge the fact that the Lord Our God is known as the God of Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad, and also known as Brahman, The Absolute Tao, The Supreme Consciousness, Ahura Mazda, The Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka, the Creator, among many other names for the Holy One. For just as there is but one universe and one body of humanity, there is but one God, the ultimate, eternal, omnipresent Divine Light-Energy Source of our existence, the Great Spirit-Parent of all.
Therefore, since God’s covenant with Israel was conditional, and since the government of Israel displeases God just as the ancient Israelites sometimes displeased God, Israel’s iniquity is not yet pardoned according to Isaiah 13:11 and Isaiah 40:2.
"And I will visit upon the world their evil, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants." –Isaiah 13:11
That refers to all the proud, militant tyrants of all the nations that rule by intimidation, oppression and brute force, including the modern state of Israel.
"Bid Jerusalem to take heart, and proclaim unto her, that her time of service is accomplished, that her guilt is paid off; that she has received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins." – Isaiah 40:2
That has not happened yet, of course, because Israel's guilt is not yet paid off and she has yet to repent and make amends, as all nations must. And until we do, the terrible tribulation from which we suffer will continue.
The government of the modern nation of Israel has ignored the Lord God and the law of the prophets, and one of the consequences of her iniquity since 1948 is that she has earned the scorn of most of the people in the world and is hated by her neighbors — most of whom are not evil but have legitimate grievances and have become outraged by the indignities, injuries, deaths and destruction they have had to suffer because of Israel’s iniquity and offenses.
That is why Israel suffers not only from the wages of legitimate Jihad (defensive Islamic war against occupation, persecution and oppression by foreign forces), but also from the false offensive "Jihad" of Muslim hypocrites who betray God/Allah by committing indiscriminate mass murder.
But, just because offensive Muslim hypocrites are wrong and wicked, it does not mean that Israel is innocent. On the contrary. Israel is fortunate that she has reaped only a little of the death and destruction that she has sown.
Jewish Israeli Zionists and American Christian Zionists, therefore, must understand that the original covenant was conditional, and the blessings of God are conditional and require Israel’s obedience to the commandments. The "House of Jacob" must abide by God's will, and the Golden Rule of the House of Hillel the Elder. For the arrogant and atrocious behavior of Israeli Jews has been the cause of its iniquity and suffering, and she must repent and make amends.
Now it is crucial that Jews understand that the book of Isaiah is about the Mashiach, the suffering servant who has delivered this message. And it is even more crucial that Christians understand that the book of Isaiah was not about Jesus of Nazareth.
Even Jesus himself understood that, which is why he said the son of man to come would "first suffer many things, and be rejected by his generation" (and he was not talking about himself in that instance, because he was accepted by multitudes in his generation and suffered only on the last day of his life).
The Christian Covenant
Many American Christian Fundamentalists are Zionists because know that the Mosaic or Sinai Covenant was with the nation of Israel, and they therefore insist that Jews are "God’s chosen people." Being biblical literalists who insist that every word written in their Bible is the absolute "Word of God," and believing that is what Exodus 19 means, they believe they must therefore support the modern nation state of Israel. (And Israel appreciates it, which is why they gave the late right-wing Christian Zionist Jerry Falwell a private jet as soon as President Ronald Reagan opened the White House doors wide for Falwell.)
However, Fundamentalist Christians are not only wrong about that. They are wrong in that they believe that the Mosaic Covenant was replaced by a new covenant established by Jesus. They believe that because according to Paul, the first Christian to distribute his writings, submits in 1 Corinthians 11:25 that Jesus said: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." And Paul repeated it in 2 Corinthians 3:6, Hebrews 8:8, 8:13, 9:15, and 12:24.
Paul assumed that the new covenant was established by Jesus (and his writings apparently convinced Mark, Luke, Matthew and John too, whose later writings made the same claim). But Paul even assumed that it rendered the first covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13), and Paul was wrong on both counts.
Why? Because he got that idea by poring through the Torah and Tanakh trying to find evidence to support the idea that Jesus fulfilled the prophets and prophecies. And finally, three decades after Jesus died, Paul wrote the first part of the Christian New Testament claiming that Jeremiah 31:31-33, which prophesied the new covenant, was fulfilled by Jesus.
The prophet Jeremiah had written: "The day will come, the Lord said, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah – not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." -- Jeremiah 31:31-33
With the benefit of history and reality, we can see that the new covenant Jeremiah wrote about has not yet been fulfilled. And it will not be fulfilled as long as "religious" people keep claiming that their idea of religion and their concept of God is the only "right" one, saying "Know the Lord." For they play God, but know not God.
It will not be fulfilled until the nation of Israel repents, makes amends, and makes peace with her neighbors. It will not be fulfilled until all Muslims likewise do the same. It will not be fulfilled until American and British Christians and others make peace with Islam as well. And it will not be fulfilled until all humanity has gotten and understood the message of judgment, and faces the ugly truth about the sin and inequity of many political and religious leaders of the past and present.
Yet, in spite of the reality, Paul claimed Jesus fulfilled the new covenant, and some decades after Paul's epistles were distributed, when the book of Luke was completed and distributed, Luke 22:20 concurred, reporting that Jesus said: "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." And Matthew 5:17 says that Jesus came to fulfill the “Law of the Prophets.”
But, actually, what Jesus did establish was a ceremony, and a kind of covenant, involving what most Christians call Communion, and it’s a good one if you know that it was meant to bring Christians into remembrance of his teachings and his sacrifice — to remind you to obey the Golden Rule and be loving, kind, gentle, humble, peaceful, forgiving, and passive when confronted by offensive people — and have faith that the meek shall indeed inherit the earth.
Contrary to what his followers thought, Jesus knew that the new covenant Jeremiah wrote about would not be fulfilled until the end of the age he ushered in. That is why he said he had to go away but another would come to tell you the truth that humanity was not yet ready for in his day.
In spite of that, misguided Christians rationalize that since the new covenant is to be “written on our hearts,” it means that God does write it on the hearts of "deserving" Christians who profess to have faith that “Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, who shed His own blood to atone for the sins of the world.”
However, if you understand the Torah and Tanakh in context, and understand the true testimony of Jesus, you understand why the prophet Isaiah wrote that “all nations” and all the people of the world will honor the judgment delivered by the modern son of man, the Messiah who is the principal messenger for the Spirit of truth.
You will understand that if you read and understand the other articles like About Christianity, and The Martyrdom of Jesus and The Resurrection Story. And you will see that even though Paul caused many Christians to believe that they are under the new covenant and no longer under the conditional covenant made by Moses, Paul was wrong about that and many other things.
For example, Galatians 3:24-25 states that: "The law was our guardian or schoolmaster until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under the guardian or schoolmaster [of Mosaic law]."
Because Paul believed that Jesus superseded the Torah, Tanakh and Talmud, many Christians believe their "salvation" comes merely by having faith and professing that "Jesus is Lord and Savior." And they get that idea from Paul, who wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9 that: "By grace you have been saved through faith ... not a result of works."
That is simply not true. As Jesus and James said, you know true Christians by their good works, and faith without good works is dead.
The problem is that some Christians do not understand that "grace" comes not by merely saying words or reading words or believing words that were spoken or written by men. True Grace comes only by surprise from God, when you least expect it.
Ironically, Paul did understand that, because he wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9: "And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God ... so that no one may boast."
You see, Paul probably did see some of the Divine Light, and it is clear that he was divinely inspired in certain respects. But he had his own ideas, which, in the final analysis, rendered his work problematic. Consequently, some Christians do boast, believing that their "salvation" is guaranteed, and boasting that they are "born again Christians" simply by accepting and professing that "Jesus is Lord and Savior."
As is explained in the articles such as A Messiah is Not the Savior, that is not the case.
Salvation, as King David said, comes not from the son of man, but only from God, and spiritual rebirth comes not by words or deeds or effort, but by seemingly fortuitous revelation and realization of divine reality, when you very least expect it.
Yet, misguided Christians believe that they can share in the inheritance of Christ and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God, because Paul wrote in Hebrews 9:15: "Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."
That is erroneous belief. No one is automatically "set free" from the most essential conditions of the Mosaic Covenant, at least with regard to the universal, eternal divine imperatives as reflected in the ten commandments and the Golden Rule of Hillel the Elder and Jesus of Nazareth.
Salvation does not come easily, nor for good, but comes only by the grace of God in the eternal moment. You can, at any moment, be in the universal Spirit, or slip and fall into egotism and separate-self-consciousness, which can lead to selfishness, greed, self-importance, and self-righteousness.
But, Paul mistakenly concluded that only by the "blood of Christ" were sins taken away, and he wrote a lot about the historical importance of Jewish blood sacrifices to pound home what he had heard, that Jesus had told his disciples that drinking a sacramental dose of wine would be like drinking "the blood" of his sacrifice.
Paul wrote in Hebrews 9:14: "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" That made sense to Paul. But is it true?
Paul was right in saying that God does not required sacrifices, even though Jesus may have told his disciples that the ceremony of communion was symbolic of the sacrifice he decided to make. However, God did not require the sacrifice of Jesus (see Isaiah Chapter 53, and The Martyrdom of Jesus). And the sacramental communion Jesus taught was not about his shed blood. It was about toasting him after he willingly became a sacrificial "lamb," knowing it was a perfect way to culminate his teachings around universal love, tolerance, forgiveness, and pacifism.
Therefore, when a Christian takes sacramental communion, it actually symbolizes a toast to the sacrificial lamb, the pacifist martyr, while the communion wafer does indeed symbolize taking on the body of Christ, if it is with the prayer that one may realize the Holy Spirit of God within them.
However, no son of man can "free the world of sin." As Isaiah wrote, a son of man can only "offer his soul" for restitution of the iniquities of his people, or on their behalf, but that’s it. And while Jesus surely did that, so has the modern son of man. But as David wrote, there is no salvation in a son of man. He is merely a servant of God who become selfless, understanding that the mortal body is but a temporary vehicle, as grass, doing the best he can to explain the endless cycles of life.
Paul thought he knew better. In Hebrews 9:24-28 he wrote: "Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one. He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
As is explained in the several other articles about Jesus and Christianity, what we see in the epistles attributed to Paul reveals ignorance of many facts — the most obvious of which are that there will be no "second coming," and there is no end to the ages now or at any time, just as there wasn’t when it was expected by Paul. And, if Paul actually wrote those or similar words, he has misled millions upon millions of Christians with his doctrines.
The New Covenant
With proper understanding of the nature, role and mission of Jesus of Nazareth, we can see that Jesus laid the groundwork for the modern son of man. There is much evidence of that even in the Christian Bible as we know it, and the following are perhaps the most obvious examples.
"The kingdom of God comes not with observation in the world, for the kingdom of God is within you. The days will come when people will want to see one of the days of the son of man, and they shall not see it. So they will look here and there, but do not follow them. For as the lightning lightens all parts under heaven, so shall also the son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of his generation." (Luke 17:20-25)
"God will give you another Counselor [or Comforter] to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you will know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. ... On that day you will realize that I am in God, and you are in me, and I am in you." (John 14:16-20)
"I tell you the truth: I must go away, but I will send the Counselor to you. When he comes, he will righteously judge the world of sin; because I am going to heaven where you can see me no longer. For even though I came not to judge the world, the rulers of this world must be judged. For I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of himself, because like me, of himself he will do nothing but the will of the one who sent him. Thus he will speak only what he hears from God, and he will tell you what is to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. For the Spirit of truth will make known what it receives from God." (Paraphrasing and clarifying John 8:28, John 12:47, and John 16:7-15)
If we understand the meaning of those words, it become clear that we can realize our oneness with the Spirit of truth who is within us, our oneness with the Christ, who is in heaven with God, and our oneness with God.
However, to understand that, it helps to know that Jesus spoke of the Spirit of truth in two ways.
One way is as in John 14:16-20, as the Counselor or Comforter who is the ethereal "Holy Ghost" or Holy Spirit, which can come to us individually by divine revelation.
The other way is through a son of man, the primary messenger for the Spirit of truth, who delivers a message of judgment to all humanity.
That prophecy is fulfilled. The modern son of man has delivered the promised judgment.
During the lifetime of the modern son of man the Jewish people from all over the world who wished to live in the ancient homeland of Israel have been able to immigrate there, as was prophesied. However, even though the new covenant does not require Jews to convert to Christianity (because Christianity is in need of a new reformation just as Judaism and Islam are in need of reformation), the new covenant is conditional, and it will not be established until Israeli and Christian Zionists repent, make amends, and make peace. (See the articles About Christianity and The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.)
Now, regarding religion, whereas Jesus of Nazareth was not exclusive and said he had other folds; whereas his teachings were similar and in many ways parallel with the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha; and whereas he spoke as an Avatar in the Hindu tradition and spoke in parables similar to those in the Hindu Vedas; the new covenant is meant to include and embrace all religions.
Regarding government, the new covenant will establish that the governments of kingdoms and nations shall be of the people, by the people, and for the people.
As is stated in the article about The 21st Century Declaration of Independence, we should hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life; liberty; equal rights; equal opportunity; justice; safety; universal health care; complete public education from universal preschool-child care to post-graduate school; fair and adequate compensation for our time and labor; adequate social security income for those in need of it, so that no one suffers from hunger, poverty, or homelessness; freedom of religion with freedom from theocratic imposition of religion into government by any particular religion or religious group or coalition; and real freedom in the pursuit of happiness.
It’s all about freedom and liberation, and about empowering the people so that they may never again ruled by those who pretend to represent the people, when they actually serve themselves and Mammon at the expense of the people.