A Study on Right Division Chapter 6

Posted in: Current Issue
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jan 15, 2019 - 12:18:42 AM


Issue # 426

April 14, 2018





This chapter continues our consideration of Rule 2, according to “How To Enjoy The Bible.” The “New Covenant” being our next example.

        (j). The New Covenant ─Its very name suggests that it is the replacement of one that could be referred to as an Old Covenant. The name, “new,” suggests that it is in contrast with “old.” As we consider the New Covenant, we need to keep before us the premise that truth written in the Past, and relating to a fulfillment in the Future, must not be read, or interpreted of the Present Dispensation.

Covenants pertained to Israel. Gentiles, as such, never entered into any covenant relationship with the LORD. Israel was Jehovah's covenant people. The covenants were made with the “fathers” of Israel. Romans 9:4 said; to Israel “pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and THE COVENANTS.” The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 2:12 wrote of the Gentiles’ dispensational disadvantage when he said, “at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from THE COVENANTS of promise.” Covenants relate to the nation of Israel, and are associated with Truth associated to the FUTURE Kingdom of God; not Present Truth of the Mystery. Notice references to covenants and their associations. 


“But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles . . . and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting COVENANT with them” (Isa. 61:6, 8).

The context in Isaiah 61 which deals with Israel during the “day of vengeance” (V. 2) and  the Pre-Millennium Kingdom of God when Gentiles, as strangers and aliens, shall feed Israel’s flocks and be their plowmen. It is then that the EVERLASTING COVENANT will be enforced. This covenant is called a “new Covenant” in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Notice to whom this NEW COVENANT is to be made with. 


Behold, the days come, smith the Lord, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL, and with the HOUSE OF JUDAH: Not according to the covenant (i.e. old) that I made with their fathers in the day that 1 took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; . . . But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL (not the Church of the Mystery). ..I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they (i.e. Israel) shall be My people” (Jer.31:31-33).

In Jeremiah 32:37-40, mention is made to the fact that God will gather Israel out of all the nations and will bring them into the land, again, where they will dwell safely and, in reality, be God’s people. He will give them one heart, and one way, and He will establish with Israel “an everlasting COVENANT.” This deals with Israel's restoration during the pre-millennium Kingdom of God when the NEW COVENANT will be in full force.

Jeremiah, again, referred to “In those days” and “in that time” shall the children of Israel and Judah “seek the Lord their God” they will join themselves to God with “a perpetual COVENANT” (Jer.50:4-5).

Not a single reference to a New Covenant in the OT is related to the Church, which is His Body. In the NT, occurrences of the word, COVENANT, are referred to as TESTAMENT.


“And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: For this is My blood of the NEW TESTAMENT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” 

(Matt. 26:27-28). 


And He said unto them, This is My blood of the NEW TESTAMENT, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until THAT DAY  that I drink it new in the Kingdom of God”  (Mark. 14:24-25).

Notice that in Matthew 26:29, as well as in Mark 14:25, the NEW TESTAMENT is connected with the KINGDOM which is a reference to Israel's restoration and the times of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19-21). This is, vividly, brought out in the account of the same event in Luke’s gospel (Read Luke 22:7-20).

It is noted that the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup is, vitally, connected with the Jewish feast of the Passover; for the Lord Jesus said in Luke 22:15: “With desire I have desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I suffer.” Then in Verses 19-20, He took bread and He gave thanks, saying; “This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise, also, the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the NEW TESTAMENT in My blood, which is shed for you.” What the Passover was to the Old Covenant, the Lord’s Supper is to the New Covenant.

Continuing reading in Luke 22:29-30, it is observed that the Lord’s Supper is associated with the Kingdom and the Twelve Apostles sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve, tribes of Israel. The next reference to the NEW TESTAMENT, or COVENANT is in 1 Corinthians 11:25 where Paul told the Corinthian church what he had received from the Lord concerning the night He was betrayed. 


After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the NEW TESTAMENT in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me”                  (1 Corinthians 11:25).

We read in 1 Corinthians 11:26; “often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup ye do shew forth the Lord's death TILL HE COME.” This shows that the NEW TESTAMENT is connected with the COMING of Christ, which will be the consummation of the Kingdom. The Apostle made mention, again, of the NEW TESTAMENT in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6:


But our sufficiency is of God; Who hath made us able ministers of the NEW TESTAMENT.”

In this Chapter, Paul compared the glory of the “old testament” (v. 14) which “is done away in Christ” with the glory of the NEW TESTAMENT. Thus, we see that Paul, during the Book of Acts, considered himself an “able minister of the NEW TESTAMENT.” Of course, this presupposes that there was an OLD which we learn “in Christ” was “done away” with.


Many students of the Word recognize that it is hard to connect Paul with the New Testament since it was made with Israel and in light of what he, subsequently, reveals in the Prison Epistles. A point in fact is noticed in the Scofield Reference Bible where, in the marginal references, the occurrences of the “new covenant” and “new testament” are given. The two references in 2 Corinthians are omitted. Scofield, evidently, could not distinguish the difference between Paul’s Acts epistles and His post Acts epistles. The former related to a Past Dispensation while the latter related to the Present Dispensation. Since he couldn’t handle it, he ignored the instances in question.

Hebrews 7:22 speaks of a “better testament” and, of course, the new was better than the old. In the Eighth Chapter of Hebrews we note that Paul mentions a “better covenant which was established upon better promises” than the first covenant. He restated that the new covenant was to be made with the House of Israel and Judah (V. 8).

During the Acts Period, believing Israelites were operating under the NEW COVENANT. Believers of the Gospel of the Kingdom were having a foretaste of the Kingdom. It is said that they had tasted of the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come (Heb. 6:5). 


In the course of the Acts Period, it was said, “New Covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13).

In Hebrews 9:15, Christ is said to be the Mediator of the “New Testament;” that the transgressions under the first (i.e. the old) testament might be redeemed. The reader is reminded in verses 16-17 that where a testament is there must be the death of the testator; for as long as the testator lives, the testament is not in force.

In summary, what we have is this: those Israelites who believed the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Lord Jesus Christ; the New Testament was in force. The Old Covenant was still in force for those Jews who did not believe the Gospel that “the Kingdom of God was at hand.” Israelites who were not repentant during the Acts period the old covenant was not abolished for the  nation; for the NEW COVENANT had simply been superimposed over the OLD; only for individuals who believed.


The NEW is to be established, officially, when the Lord Jesus Christ begins to judge the quick and the dead “at His Appearing and His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1). For this will be the time when Old Testament and New Testament Hebrews, who qualify based upon their faith, will be raised from the dead and have the New Covenant written on the table of their hearts.

The foregoing should indicate to the reader that the NEW COVENANT is connected with:

(1) The Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God 

(2) The House of Israel and the House of Judah 
(3) The Passover 
(4) The Lord’s Supper

(5) The Blood of Christ 
(6) Better Promises 
(7) Better Testament

All of which is truth written in a Past Dispensation (Pentecostal) relating to a brief period of the Past and will find its ultimate fulfillment in a Future Dispensation (Kingdom of God). COVENANT TRUTH is not PRESENT TRUTH for the Church, which is His Body. Right In our consideration of this Third Rule for “rightly dividing” we come upon a new, unquie, and majestic Truth which is the embodiment of Present Truth—and was an exclusive truth made know to the Apostle Paul, and to him alone, as a prisoner of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:8). The Bible refers to this Truth as “The Mystery.”





Copyright © Thomas L. Ballinger 2018

First Printing 1975

Major Revision 2011