“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant and I did not care for 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 into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, and they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizens, and everyone his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them, for I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.’’ When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”
The interruption of the Age of Israel deactivated the Levitical priesthood which dealt with the copy and not the reality, and dealt with function on earth but not function in Heaven. Christ has always possessed a more excellent priestly ministry than any priesthood on earth. Any ministry performed in Heaven, eternally, is better than a temporal earthly ministry. The New Covenant to the Church was instituted by Christ on the Cross and Jews in the dispensation of the Church partake in this covenant, not the New Covenant to Israel. Only Jews during the Millennium partake in the New Covenant to Israel which is also based on the work of Christ on the Cross. Therefore, the better covenant in verse six is a reference to the New Covenant to the Church and verses 7 and following refer to the New Covenant to Israel during the Millennium.
A better covenant was promised to Israel and is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and will be put into effect by Christ in the Millennium. The old covenant to Israel was the Mosaic Law which authorized the Levitical priesthood. The old covenant was temporal and conditional. The new covenant or better covenant is permanent and eternal. Every priesthood is authorized by a covenant. The Levitical priesthood was authorized by the Mosaic Law, which was a covenant to Moses from God.
The royal priesthood of the Church is authorized by a new covenant to the Church. We are under a better covenant and therefore we have better promises. Our better promises are all designed to take us from the point of salvation, all of the way to spiritual maturity by means of the consistent intake of doctrine. Through the ministry of the Spirit and the teaching of the Word of God we can reach spiritual maturity which is characterized by occupation with the Person of Christ, capacity for blessing, and many other things. We have a better covenant and better promises because we have a better High Priest (Mediator). The life of each believer has meaning and purpose and definition because we are priests of the royal family of God.
Verse 8 is the quotation of the New Covenant to Israel from Jeremiah 31:31-34. For when finding fault with them, refers to finding fault with Israel in their time of apostasy. The Jews had the Mosaic Law for many years, and after having it all of that time they were still in a state of apostasy. So this is what it means when it says “finding fault with.” There was nothing wrong with the Mosaic Law because it was the Word of God. The lack of positive response and proper understanding of the Law by the Jews was the problem.
The New Covenant to Israel is an encouragement to all believers that no matter how bad things get historically, no matter how many areas of pressure and suffering believers may face personally, there is always a source of comfort, a source of blessing, and a source of encouragement to be found in the Word of God. God is not finished with Israel. And this illustrates the principle that all of our true blessings are directly related to our inner resources of doctrine in the soul, and that there is nothing more important than finding, developing and using these inner resources through Bible doctrine. This was what the writer of Hebrews was attempting to communicate to these Jewish believers in 67 A.D. just before the fifth cycle of discipline was about to be administered to their nation.
With the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Israel is no longer a client nation until the Millennium. In the meantime, we live in the times of the Gentiles which means that only a Gentile client nation can function as a client nation today. At the present time, the United States is a Gentile client nation to God. There are five cycles of discipline administered to a client nation, Jewish or Gentile, when necessary. The five cycles of discipline are:
The cycles of discipline are based on the principle that Jesus Christ controls history directly, indirectly, and permissively. He controls history directly through the function of His own divine essence. He controls history indirectly through the function of the Laws of Divine Establishment. He controls history permissively through permitting nations to use their own volition to destroy themselves. No nation is ever destroyed by an outside power before it is first destroyed from within by its own individual and collective bad decisions and choices. Therefore, no nation is ever destroyed by another nation until it first destroys itself through negative volition. Jesus Christ permits the function of free will to continue throughout human history. Therefore, Satan’s policy of human good and evil must exist in every generation; there must be a challenge to your attitude toward doctrine in order to resolve the Angelic Conflict. Because Jesus Christ is righteous and holy, He must judge the nations with cycles of discipline. These cycles of discipline are punishment for apostasy, reversionism and evil.
The days are coming when Israel will see the fulfillment of every promise that God ever made to them: all of the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant, the Davidic Covenant and the New Covenant. The days, then, refer to a succession of days which add up to 1000 years, the period of time in which the Lord Jesus Christ will reign upon the earth. In the perfect environment of the Millennium under the personal reign of Christ there will still be class distinctions and inequalities among people. .
A perfect government does not mean equality among people; it means that all people are free. Freedom is what a government must guarantee, not equality. Since the Mosaic Law was replaced by two new covenants it is no longer valid either in the Church Age or in the Millennium.The Millennium was promised to Israel in the Davidic Covenant - II Samuel 7:8-17, Psalms 89:20-37. The Millennium was prophesied in Isaiah 2, 11, 12, 35, 62, 65; Joel 2:1-32, 3:1-21. The Millennium was presented during the first advent of Christ when He presented the conditions of the perfect environment that would exist during the Millennium in the Sermon on the Mount. The Millennium was postponed by the rejection of Christ as the Son of David and the legitimate Messiah.
The Millennium starts out with believers only. Salvation continues to be presented to the new population of the Millennium, yet many will still reject Jesus Christ as Savior. There will be a gigantic population explosion - Ezekiel 20:34-38; Mt 25:31-46. Israel will be regathered and restored as a client nation, Isaiah 5:26-30, 10:19-23, 11:11-16, 14:1-3; 60:4-6, 65:19; Joel 2:16ff; Zechariah 8:20-23, 10:6-12. All the unconditional covenants to Israel will be fulfilled - Daniel 9:24; Zechariah 8:22-23, 14:9.
All unbelievers (Jews and Gentiles) are destroyed before the beginning of the Millennium - Ezekiel 20:34-38; Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus Christ will rule the earth. There will be universal peace - Psalms 46:9; Isaiah 2:4; Hosea 2:18; Micah 4:3. There will be universal prosperity - Psalms 72:7, 16. Free enterprise will operate worldwide. There will be universal knowledge of God since Jesus Christ will be on earth, and He will be the One teaching the nations - Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:31- 34; Hebrews 8:14, 10:15-17. There will be longevity in the human race - Isaiah 65:20. There will be a perfect world government under the leadership of Christ and believers from the Church Age will rule nations - Isaiah 11:1-2; Zechariah 14:9; II Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:25-28, 3:21, 5:10, 20:4,6.
There will be perfect environment in nature because creation will be released from the curse placed on it by the fall of man in the Garden of Eden - Romans 8:19-22. Plant and animal life will abound - Isaiah 35:1-7. Animals will lose their ferocity - Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25.
There will be a tremendous population explosion, so that by the end of the Millennium there will be many unbelievers on the earth. These unbelievers will join with Satan against the rule of Jesus Christ. Satan will be released from prison after one thousand years and he will immediately start a revolution in an attempt to overthrow Christ’s reign. The battle that ensues as a result is called in theology, the Battle of Gog and Magog (The Battle of Armageddon, as it is called in theology, takes place at the end of the Tribulation). And of course Satan fails in his attempt and is ultimately cast into the Lake of Fire along with his demon followers and all unbelievers - Revelation 20:7-10. The universe will then be destroyed and replaced with a new heavens and a new earth - II Peter 3:7-10. Then eternity with the Lord Jesus Christ will begin for all believers from all dispensations.