The Two Covenants
Before the New Covenant
Before the death of Jesus, the vast majority of man could not escape the lake of fire. The only way to escape it was by being one of God’s elite overcomers who understand the full knowledge of God’s word. I discussed this in the Barley Overcomers. There are many people in the Old Testament who had great faith and overcame many trials to follow God. This includes Jacob, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, David, Solomon, Job, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, etc. It also seems that God is “bad” in the Old Testament. This is because of the Old Covenant. With this law in place, God needed to bring a lot of physical destruction onto Earth, just so that a few people would escape the lake of fire. If He didn’t bring this destruction, then people would not even acknowledge his existence, and no one would be saved. Why didn’t God send Jesus earlier? This is because God has a plan which takes many years to execute, so that He will be glorified as much as possible. If you read The Second Coming, you know that the Old Testament was during the Age of Passover. During this time, the truth and knowledge of God was only made known to man on a small scale. He used physical signs outside of our hearts and minds which got through to only a limited number of people.
After the New Covenant
After the death of Jesus, the New Covenant became valid. Therefore, people only need to love and obey God to be saved from the lake of fire. They no longer needed to understand everything in God’s plan, nor understand everything in the Bible. In fact, they do not even have to believe that the Bible is real. For details on what it means to be saved see: Salvation. To summarize, here are the three basic things needed for salvation:
1. Understanding that salvation is based on God’s grace, and was never a free choice
2. Having faith that Jesus Christ is God, a God that loves you unconditionally, and admitting you have sin which is a problem, and you want God to help you take it away
3. Having the desire and intention to love and obey God 100%
So because of this New Covenant, God no longer needs to cause a lot of physical destruction for people to be saved. Five days after Jesus ascended into the air as seen in Acts 2, the Age of Pentecost began, and the Age of Passover ended. We are currently at the end of the Age of Pentecost. In this age, God uses His Holy Spirit to make Himself known. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts and minds to help us understand God at a deeper level than a “God of destruction” as seen in the Age of Passover. Instead of the ground opening up and swallowing people like in Numbers 16:30, God creates trials of marriage, relationships, finances, health, addiction, etc. These trials are often (but not always) God trying to get our attention. He is drawing us closer to Him. Trials remind us that we cannot do things on our own, but we need to have faith and trust in God.
In conclusion, we can see how these two covenants give us a greater understanding of God. God made these contracts with man and has kept them for thousands of years. God’s laws are similar to man’s laws in a justice system, except God’s laws are above our laws, and His laws are perfect. The two covenants also help us to understand salvation even better. The Old Covenant gives us authority and ownership, but at the same time causes us to be in debt because of our sin. The New Covenant mediated through Jesus cancels that debt, on the one condition that we have faith and obey God. Finally, those that don’t obey God, will be thrown into the lake of fire to be purified, but this will not be for ever, because God still has ultimate liability for us since He made us.
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