Chapter 11 The Old Covenant Has Been Changed Into the New Covenant
【Heb 7:12】 「For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.」
Even though there are so many churches and denominations, many people will be surprised to hear that the law established on Mount Sinai has been changed. The old covenant, that is, the old commandment, was established on Mount Sinai through Moses.(ref. Exo. 19:20-25, 20:1-17)
The prophets, however, prophesied that the new covenant, that is, the new commandment, would be established in Zion of the appointed feasts;
【Isa 2:2-3】 「In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.」
It is clear that the old commandment went out from Mount Sinai. Then, what is the law that is to come from Zion? And where is Mount Zion? If we don’t have a definite answer to these questions, we will be put to the destruction. From now on, let’s go through the Scripture and study these questions one by one.
【Isa 33:20-22】 「Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals(the city of our appointed feasts); your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them. For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.」
The above verses have a prophecy about Zion, the city of our appointed feasts. In the city of Zion Jesus kept the feasts, and established the new covenant, celebrating the Passover in Mark’s upper room. As it is written:
【Luke 22:7, 14-15, 19-20】 「Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed …… When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer …… And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.」Concerning the new covenant, the prophet Jeremiah wrote as follows;
【Jer 31:31-33】 「”Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.」
The correct interpretation of the above words is as follows; God loved the Israelites as like His loving wife and led them, but none of them kept the law which had been established on Mount Sinai. Because all of them violated the law and came to die, so God would give them the new covenant giving life unconditionally. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that Jesus would celebrate the Passover with His disciples in Mark’s upper room and make a new covenant, that is, the law of Zion. And the apostle Paul confidently testified to the new covenant to the Hebrews;
【Heb 8:7-8, 13】 「For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.」
In other words, the old covenant is to disappear gradually when the new covenant is established. Concerning this new covenant, the prophet Micah also prophesied;
【Mic 4:1-2】 「In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways(the new covenant), so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.」
This prophecy of Micah is same with the prophecy of Isaiah(Isa. 2:2-3), according to God’s intention to make the prophecy more firm through two witnesses.
The words, “In the last days”, means the last days of the age of old commandment, that is, the time of the Jesus’ coming. Isa. 2:2-3 and Mic. 4:1-2 were a prophecy that Jesus would establish the new covenant in Mark’s upper room.
And Mount Zion indicates the place where the feasts of the new covenant are celebrated. Zion is not limited to a particular physical space, but spiritually means every places where we celebrate the feasts of the new covenant. There are many prophecies about this glorious Zion;
【Psa 132:13-14】 「For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.」
【Psa 50:2】 「From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.」
【Isa 24:23】 「The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously.」
【Isa 25:6-9】 「On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine– the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”」
【Zep 3:14-17】 「Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”」
【Rev 14:1】 「Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.」
【Mic 4:6-8】 「”In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.”」
What a wonderful blessing the new covenant is! Its value cannot be compared with anything. But Christian’s minds are still yearning for the old covenant established on Mount Sinai. It is because, as comparing with the new covenant established silently in Mark’s upper room, the old covenant was declared with a majestic voice and the sound of trumpet on the mountain that is with burning fire, darkness, gloom and storm.
From the point of view of those who think something only physically, the glory of God has been revealed visibly on Mount Sinai, but the new covenant established in Mark’s upper room seems to be weak and powerless.
But the apostle Paul told that the old commandment on Mount Sinai was spoken on earth, on the other hand, the new covenant declared in Mark’s upper room was spoken from heaven. As it is written;
【Heb 12:25】 「See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?」
Concerning the prophecy, “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem”( Isa. 2:2-3, Mic. 4:1-2), Jesus said as follows;
【Luke 24:47-48】 「and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.」
Jesus’ teaching, “the good news for the salvation will be preached beginning from Jerusalem”, is the interpretation of the prophecies in Isa. 2:2-3 and Mic. 4:1-2. There are many prophecies about the new covenant in the Old Testament as follows;
【Jer 31:31】 「”The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.」
【Mic 4:2, Isa. 2:3】 「The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.」
These verses are the prophecy that Jesus would come to establish the new covenant in the future, celebrating the last Supper of the Passover with His disciples in Mark’s upper room, saying “This cup(wine) is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you”(Luke 22:7-20)