76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 51 - Jeremiah and the New Covenant.
August 7th, 1960
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
Thus Jeremiah felt that a new covenant between these captives in Babylonia was in the making, wherein this new insight in God would achieve for them a “new heart.” This new heart was for each individual as a human being, not as a mere member of a collectivity, responsible for his own actions and entering into a personal relationship with God. For, said Jeremiah:
“In those days, they shall say no more; The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity; Every man that eateth the sour grapes, His teeth shall be set on edge.”
(Jeremiah 31: 29 - 30)
This new heart in man with individual responsibility as the keynote was to come as understanding of his failure to heed God’s Laws, and his desire to approach God once more. This repentance of evil would be accomplished by a return from Babylon to the homeland of Judah:
“To the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it,”
the Lord told Jeremiah through his insight. The Lord would heal the wounds of Israel, and take the people once more under His Protection. Jeremiah, in short, became imbued with knowledge that the Babylonian captives would retain their faith in God and purify their ways and their hearts in returning to Him, so that God could once more declare His Love for His people:
“Thus saith the Lord: The people that were left of the sword Have found grace in the wilderness; Yea, Israel, when I go to cause him to rest. From afar the Lord appeared unto me, saying Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; Therefore with affection have I drawn thee. Again will I build thee, and thou shalt be built For there shall be a day, That the nobleman shall call upon the Mount Ephraim; Arise ye, and let us go to Zion, unto the Lord our God.”
(Jeremiah 31: 2 - 6)
The New Covenant of the heart which God was to make with Israel was one which would not need instruction, but would be in the soul of each man, so that knowing the Lord would be in the nature of man. This would be the consequences of man’s return to God and God’s Love for His children:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, And the House of Judah I will put My Law in their inward parts, And in their hearts will I write it. And I will be their God and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more, every man his neighbor, And every man, his brother, saying: Know the Lord. For they shall all know Me, From the least of them unto the greatest of them, Saith the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, And their sin will I remember no more.”
(Jeremiah: 31: 31, 33 - 34)
Now if you read these words carefully you will see the meaning is that, with the New Covenant of the heart, there would be no more sinning, for to know God means to do His Will and obey His Commandments. Here in Jeremiah’s words is the Christian doctrine of Grace, for I taught, and Paul taught after me, that he whose soul is filled with God’s Love is not tempted to sin. Jeremiah thus, through God, predicted a time when the Hebrew people would not sin because the Nature of God would be in their souls. He did not say that the Nature of God was Divine Love, for he had no knowledge of the Divine Love, but he had a tremendous intuition, one might say, a perceiving as through a veil, that this was so, for Jeremiah’s chapters 30 and 31 are filled with an inward emotion as he pours forth in lyrical terms the Love and Mercy that God has for His people whose wounds He will bind up and whom He will cause to be brought back into their homeland, with gladness and rejoicing. For saith the Lord:
“…. I am become a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.”
(Jeremiah, Chapt. 31, verse 9)
The New Covenant between Judah and God was no longer to be the outside sign of the old covenant, circumcision, but was now the personal relationship between God and man. My followers used this to emphasise “circumcision of the heart,” eliminating the impurities of the heart, as the old covenant provided for removing the impurities of the foreskin. Jeremiah expected this New Covenant to take place with the return of the captives to Jerusalem, which he thought would be in about seventy years, or about 525 B.C., broadly speaking, but then he was unable to see the period of about five hundred and fifty years covering the time of the Second Temple until my appearance in Palestine.
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens