An Old Earth
‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).’
‘Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. (Genesis 1:31; 2:1).’
‘So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (1:27).’ He said to them, ‘“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth (v. 28).”’
Then came the fall of Adam and Eve (3:1-34), and as a consequence every human in Adam’s image has inherited his flawed nature; therefore all who are born into this world of corruption (v. 17) are spiritually dead in their trespasses and *sins (Ephesians 2:1); hence they sin against God (Romans 3:23).
Prior to the creation of the earth God had it in His mind to bring about many new things (cf. Titus 1:2). Although He created it He also made provision for its end, when ‘the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10),’ and they ‘will be dissolved (v.11).’
Of all the nations on the earth He chose one special people for Himself (Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:2), i.e., the nation of Israel, and through Moses He made a covenant (29:1) with them: If they obeyed His laws He would give them a geographical, real homeland in which they would live in abundance (Leviticus 20:24), but they sinned and disobeyed Him. After many traumas and disasters, God in His great mercy and compassion (cf. Exodus 34:6), brought their children into the land of Canaan (Joshua 23:9; 24:18).
However, He was not pleased with them (1 Corinthians 10:5), and He appointed for them prophets as messengers of His word (Hebrews 1:1). They told the Israelites to repent and to change their ways.
Jeremiah was one such prophet, but In addition to preaching repentance (Jeremiah 25:5) he gave them hope by saying: ‘“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 My hand to bring them out of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD (Jeremiah 31:31, 32; Hebrews 8:8, 9).”’
A New Covenant and a New High Priest
God in his mercy was telling them that in the future, by means of the New Covenant, a remnant (Romans 9:27; 11:5) of His special people would be saved from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
The old priesthood that the LORD had instituted with Moses’ brother, Aaron (Leviticus 8), would be abolished, and it would be replaced with an entirely new priesthood (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:5, 9). At its head, there would be a new and unique High Priest (Hebrews 7:11-28), and that High Priest was Jesus Christ (8:1-6), the mediator of the New Covenant in His blood (9:15; 12:24). Unlike God’s previous priests who came from the tribe of Levi, Jesus came from the tribe of Judah (7:14).
The Old Covenant was sealed with the blood of animals (Exodus 24:8), but the New Covenant was sealed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He said, ‘“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom (Matthew 26:28, 29).”
A New People
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).’
The prophet Ezekiel speaking the words of the LORD said, “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19, 20)”’.
Although Ezekiel was addressing God’s Old Testament Israel, his words prophetically looked forward to the time of God’s new High Priest, Jesus Christ. Both Jews and Gentiles would be united in Him and they would be the new Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), as Paul’s words to the Ephesians explain: ‘having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace (Ephesians 2:15).’
By inaugurating the New Covenant in His blood, Jesus did away with the Old [ineffectual] Covenant and the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17). The Old was made obsolete, and it was replaced with the New [effectual] Covenant. The writer of Hebrews made this clear by quoting Jeremiah: ‘In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete (Hebrews 8:13a).’
The new ‘Israel of God’ (Galatians 6:16) exists today. They are a people who worship God the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, 24). Every tribe member is a new creation: ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).’
A New Law
This new people, i.e., the true Church, obey the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). They are not required to follow the Mosaic law (cf. Exodus 34:27; Leviticus 26:46) which included the keeping of feasts, eating only clean foods, remembering the **Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8), and the obligation of circumcision (Romans 2:25-29): ‘For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation (Galatians 6:15).’ They ‘put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).’
Jesus ‘having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances (Ephesians 2:15a),’ gave His disciples a new commandment: ‘“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34 [cf. 15:12]).”’
His new law is the law of love; for God is love (1 John 4:8). Jesus said to His disciples, ‘“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10).”’
A New Earth [Homeland] for the Redeemed People of God
‘Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful (Revelation 21:5).”
‘And they sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on the earth (Revelation 5:9, 10).”’
‘And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1, 2).’
‘And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son (vv. 6, 7).”
‘“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (22:16, 17).’
This is the water that Jesus freely gives to all who thirst. He said, ‘“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14).”
Are you thirsty?
Then come and drink freely of His ever-flowing water of life (Revelation 22:17).
*Sin and its Consequences