By Pastor Carl Kline

What is the New Covenant? Who is under the New Covenant? What are the characteristics of the New Covenant? Is the New Covenant in effect today?

 What is a covenant? The dictionary definition is: “A binding and solemn agreement made by two or more individuals or parties. In theology, the promises made by God to man in the Bible.”

  A covenant is a testament; they are the same thing. In the 43 times these words appear in the New Testament, they are BOTH the same Greek words  – no exceptions! Testament = Covenant.

 The New Testament is NOT a collection of books as the term is often used to denote Matthew through Revelation. The New Covenant-Testament is a promise made by God to a certain group of people. The doing of a New Covenant is first prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and again in Hebrews 8:8-12 which we quote:

 8) “Behold, the days come saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;

9) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11) and they shall not reach ever man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord, for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.

12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

 The above description of the New Covenant has five specific points which we will examine in this study.


Who will be under the New Covenant?

 The New Covenant will be made with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah (vs. 8). (When the New Covenant was first prophesied, Israel and Judah were separate kingdoms: 1 Kings 11.) The New Covenant was NOT made with Gentiles or the Body of Christ.

 ALL of God’s covenants were made with Israel: “To whom pertain the covenants” (Rom. 9:4). At Pentecost, Peter addressed his hearers as: “Ye men of Israel,” and later as: “The children of the prophets and the covenants” (Acts 2:22; 3:25).

 At some future time, God will again gather and join together all the scattered of Israel and Judah and make of them one nation (Ezek. 37:15-28). AFTER those days, the New Covenant will be made with the house of Israel (Heb. 8:8-10).


At that time, God will put His laws in their minds and in their hearts (vs. 10).

 Let me ask you a question. Can you recite the Ten Commandments? If they are in your mind and heart you should be able to. If you can recite them, how did they get into your mind? Did God put them there supernaturally, OR did you have to expend the effort to put them there? God has made His laws known in His Word, but He is not, at the present time, putting them into our minds and hearts; it is up to us to put them there (Ps. 119:11).

 At the same time that God causes His Law to be in their mind and heart, also …


“He will be to them a God, and they shall be to Him a people.”

 Is God, at the present time, Israel’s God? The answer is NO. At the present time, Israel is in unbelief. When Jesus was on the earth, they rejected His deity (Jn. 10:30-33), and they continue to reject Him as their God to this day. So, He is not their God; neither are they His people. By A.D. 57, God temporarily rejected Israel. They are “fallen,” “cast away,” and “concluded in unbelief (Rom. 11:11, 15, 32). They are “Lo-ammi” – “not My people” (Hos. 1:9). The present state of Israel exists as the result of a U.N. mandate, NOT because of God’s miraculous intervention (Isa. 11:10-12:6).


Under the New Covenant, “They shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother saying, know the Lord: for all shall know Me.”

 At the present time, does everyone know the Lord? Shall we tell all pastors, teachers, and missionaries to get another job because their services are no longer needed? Of course not! Most people still do NOT know the Lord, as will be the case when Israel will again be regathered and the New Covenant will become a reality (Zech. 12:8-13:2).

 The New Covenant is made with Israel as a nation. The forgiveness in view here is, therefore, a national forgiveness.  Because of the magnitude of Israel’s unbelief, God counted them ALL in unbelief, and those in unbelief were “broken off” (Rom. 11:32, 20).

 God, at this present time, is NOT being merciful to them; they are still “cast away,” as they have been for almost 2,000 years. They wll continue to be “cast away” 

 “Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My Covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Rom. 11:25-27)

 Clearly, the New Covenant will be established when the Lord Jesus Christ sets up His earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem. At that time He will take away their (national) sins.

 In spite of the teaching and the traditions of men, we, the members of the Body of Christ, are NOT God’s Covenant people; Israel is! Neither are we living in New Testament times. Though the New Testament has been paid for, it is not presently in effect.

 At the present time, we are NOT Covenant people; we are GRACE people! At the present time, we ae living in the Dispensation of the Grace of God given to the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3:2).

 We NOW have forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7), NOT according to Israel’s Covenants. Furthermore, forgiveness of sins is a personal matter, not a national one.