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They shall all know Me


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THEY SHALL ALL KNOW ME

The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied of a coming Covenant that would be very different from the Covenant given through Moses, under which Israel and Judah suffered the wrath of God, they having broken that Covenant. Paul would describe this new Covenant as both the hope of Israel, and the hope of the Gentiles. For it would be a far better Covenant, established on better promises, having a better Surety, even Jesus the better sacrifice, giving a better hope, promising a better resurrection, with a better possession in Heaven, the better country.

Jeremiah described this coming better Covenant with these words:

Jeremiah 31:31-34. "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more, shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

And writing to Hebrew believers in Christ, Paul reiterated this new Covenant promise to them;

Hebrews 8:7-12
“For if that first (Mosaic) covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them (Israel & Judah) , He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah 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 disregarded them says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind, and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more.”

Jeremiah revealed a very great difference in the coming new Covenant from the covenant made under Moses, which was written upon tablets of stone: ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts.’ The first Covenant was of commandments carved in stone; Commandments which gave no assistance in performing that which was being demanded. The New Covenant would consist of a life principle, implanted into the human heart by the Spirit of God. The Covenant made with the children of Israel, was written on stone. The Covenant of the indwelling Spirit, is made with the regenerate children of God, signed and sealed with the blood of Christ, Who is its Surety.

Ezekiel also prophesied that this New Covenant would be one of the indwelling Spirit, and which would thus result in an obedience which the covenant written on stone could never produce;

Ezekiel 36:24-27
“I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

And Paul alluded to this particularity of the New Covenant, when he said to the Corinthians; “You are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Cor. 3:3.)
In case we should till confuse to which ‘Israel’ these prophets of the new covenant were speaking, Paul’s reiteration of the prophetic promise to Spirit indwelt believers, makes it plain;

Heb. 10:14-17
.“For by one offering, He (Christ) has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us (i.e., Christians); for after He had said before (through Jeremiah); "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

The Spirit-born believer is the recipient of the New Covenant promised by the prophets. This is the Apostle’s doctrine.

That this is the inheritance of the saints is made certain also by the repeated prophetic promise; “For they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more.”

In the Covenant God made with Israel ‘after the flesh’, not every Israelite personally knew God, and probably, according to the biblical remnant pattern, those that knew Him in spirit were in the minority. Elijah was given the number of 7,000 at one point in the northern kingdom’s history. And this being recognised as the norm, the prophetic guarantee that every single person living under the coming new Covenant, would personally know the Lord, i.e., be in a right relationship with Him, would have sounded very startling to the hearers, and according to the abiding triumphalist Jewish hopes, would have sounded very like a miraculous total national religious renewal.

Which of course we know it was not. It was a prophecy of an entirely new body. A body gathered by the Spirit, comprising all those born from above, those whom Jesus was referring to in His conversation with Nicodemus. Jesus told the as yet untaught Jewish teacher; “That which is born of the flesh, is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.” (John 3:6 ) To be a beneficiary under the New Covenant, you must be born ‘from above’, as the Greek better has it.

Paul was identifying these two radically different groups, namely of the flesh and of the Spirit, when he said; “For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel”, continuing; “That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God.” His meaning was very clear. Only those who are the children after the Spirit, are the children of God. And he said this very plainly to the Gentile saints of Galatia; Gal. 3:26. “For you are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.” Only those born of the Spirit, by faith in Christ Jesus, are beneficiaries of the new covenant of the prophets. And because of this, it is as the prophet promised, “They all shall know Me, from the least of them, to the greatest of them, says the LORD. Every saint, from the least to the greatest, knows the Lord. Every saint, from the least to the greatest, owns the succeeding promise; “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more.”

Regards Allan Jenks

 
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