Tag Archive | eternal

The pre-existence of Jesus with his Father before the foundation of the world

trinity 4The Alpha and Omega, the first and the last – a name claimed by both Jesus and GOD

Jesus claims to be the first, but surely God is the very first? This indicates that Jesus rightfully claims to be God, rather than being someone who confuses innocent Bible readers by apparently taking the role of someone he is not.

The son of God, Jesus Christ, was born in flesh by virgin Mary about 2000 years ago, but it was his own prior choice and he had previously pre existed in a former state. Jesus pre existed before he became a man and walked upon the earth.

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.— 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Sometimes the trinity is compared with an egg, consisting of the yolk, the white and the shell, where each part could be regarded as God the Father, God the son and God the holy Spirit. The weakness with this illustration is that each part is about 33% of the egg, whereas each person in the trinity (apart from being a separate part of the trinity) is each 100% God and definitely no half-gods. Maybe a better analogy might be one pile of sand split into three piles of sand. Each pile is 100% sand which is the original substance – even though there are even more original substance in existence. It is possible to start with one pile of sand, split it into more piles, and join the pile back together again. Maybe this analogy helps when reading poetic expressions about the son going forth from God which is the original starting point. This does not mean that Jesus started to exist in the moment he took the shape of a human being. Another analogy might be water being split into three puddles, or fire where you to take a lit candle and lit two more candles with it.

Maybe a business company can also help as an illustration. The ONE company might consist of three owners/employees who have mutually decided which role each one of them should have in the company. They might even decide which one of them that should take on the ”greater” role, and be the company’s official frontage. They might start out together on location but decide to let one of them make some business travelling in order to promote the company and get more customers. Another one might be responsible for the administration and the third one might be responsible for practical needs such as food supply and maintenance. We are still talking about ONE company.

Bible verses showing Jesus in the godheadonly god

The below verses are rather self-explanatory. Jesus existed before all things and by him were all things created, both visible and invisible. Is God something? Can he be filed under visible or invisible? Yes, so he could not have existed before Jesus, since Jesus was before all things and was first. If we understand Jesus to be God, however, there are no contradictions. God is eternal and has always existed before all things.

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (4416) of every creature:16 For BY HIM were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and for him:17 And he is BEFORE all things, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn (4416) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence

So Jesus is the one who created all things with his own hands, and yet Jahve is said to have done the same thing (and that no one was with him). Again either we have a contradiction or Jesus is part of the trinity:

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Is. 42:5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Is 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.-— 18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.

Jesus existence before came to earth as God in flesh:

Daniel 3:25 Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

The Jews certainly understood what Jesus meant with the claim that he had seen Abraham (despite that Abraham lived before Jesus) and when Jesus used God’s name ”I am” on himself. They immediately took up stones to kill him, just like the Jewish law prescribes concerning those who blaspheme God:

John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus prayed to his Father and asked him to glorify him (Jesus) with the glory which he had with his Father before the existence of the world. It is interesting that Jahve does not share his glory with anyone, and yet Jesus requests to share his precise glory – which he is granted. The only way to solve this is through the trinity. It is further illogical to love someone if he is only an idea or a plan.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.— 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Is. 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Hebr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;Who being the brightness of HIS GLORY, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Jesus is the word3Jesus is said to have made the decision to become a servant on earth and to be made in the likeness of men. God is also stated to having sent his son, which is not a contradiction since Jesus is part of the godhead:

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the GLORY of God the Father.

Below is more about the divine GLORY that Jesus had, despite that Jahve explicitly does not share his glory with anyone. Jesus was also the WORD, and this word was in the beginning with God. Not only that, but the word was God! This word (Jesus) became flesh. This is something that God the Father never did, but Jesus certainly did:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.— 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his GLORY, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

Jesus is called the first and the last, Alpha and Omega. Just like God calls himself. Either Jesus is blaspheming God and confuses the innocent Bible readers, or God is part of the godhead:

Rev. 1:And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY.I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Isa. 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.12 Hearken unto me, O Jacoband Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Isa 44:Thus saith the Lord the King of Israeland his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 

Jesus was described as the spiritual rock that followed the Israelites through the Exodus:

1 Cord. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

When it comes to the Angel of the Lord (not a created messenger), you can read this post. The Angel of the Lord communicated with God in heaven, despite calling himself God.

Psalms and proverbs mirror the reality, so we must be careful to not automatically understand all poetical expressions and songs as being literal in all details. We can often read about the son being the first-born, only begotten, was brought forth, etc, and they are description of the word that became flesh.

Jesus prayed to his Father and communicated with himJesus birth

Jesus is not the same person as his Father, and Jesus frequently prayed and communicated with his Father – showing they are different persons in the same godhead. God is naturally ONE (a very clear teaching in the Bible and very central  teaching for both Jews and Christians), but this one God consists of three persons and dimensions.

Jesus will sit at the right hand side of God (God the Father), and even if taken symbolically this clearly shows the two are not the same person but different ones in the godhead. The lamb of God, which is Jesus, walked up to him who sat on the throne to take the book with the seven seals:

Rev. 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

When Jesus was as a child he grew and became strong in spirit, indicating he is a different person from his Father who always had full spiritual capabilities and knowledge:

Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.— 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Jesus, as man on earth, did not know the time of the last days, but he claims that his Father knows:

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Jesus made a difference between his Father’s will and his own will. Naturally Jesus came to earth to fulfill a task and he was always willing to do that – until death. If Jesus communicated with himself and asking himself about what was possible, it would be highly confusing.

Matt. 26:39 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

John 4:34 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Jesus counts himself as one witness and his Father as another witness – thus two witnesses. Jesus even says that his own witness is not true if he only bears witness of himself. Fortunately his Father makes up another witness, confirming what Jesus was saying. On top of that, Jesus says he did not come to do his own will but the will (another will) of the Father that sent him:

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Jesus communicated with his Father on the cross. It was not the entire trinity who died on the cross, but Jesus Christ, the son of God:

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

The voice of the Father came from heaven, at the same time as Jesus was on earth and prayed to his Father. They are clearly distinct persons, but in the same godhead:

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

More examples where Jesus makes a distinction between himself and his Father:

Matt 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.—42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and my Father are one.31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, BEING A MAN, makest thyself GOD.— 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

1 Cor. 8: 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Hebr. 1:1 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;— 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. — 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. — 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. — 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.— 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.— 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.—16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. –— 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

jesus 2John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:— .8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.— 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.1 — 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  — 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world

Being cut off from the VINE due to lack of FRUIT, despite starting out in Jesus – John 15

tree 2A branch can start out in the vine (Jesus) and still be cut off at a later stage due to lack of fruit

”Fruit” is often used as another term for ”works” – as in showing our faith by doing good deeds towards others. We are not saved by either faith alone or works alone, but the two must go together. The following are some things we learn from John 15:

  • Branches that bear at least some fruit (which is a sign of life) will be pruned, but if branches bear no fruit at all they will be removed and thrown into the fire
  • The branches that were cut off were so because they did not abide by bearing fruit, and they will WITHER which shows they used to be alive and fresh.
  • Jesus declared his disciples ”clean” and yet they (along with all of us) were warned to not be cut off the vine due to lack of fruit.
  • Being thrown in the fire is a common term for being thrown into hell, and this happens when people transgress God’s commandments and refuse to repent.
  • We are fervently urged to ABIDE. We are not simply told that we absolutely WILL abide because it’s not possible to lose our salvation. It’s the other way around since we are told to stick with Jesus, or else terrible things will follow.
  • There are many IF:s in the chapter. ”IF a man abide not in me…”, ”IF ye abide in me….”, ”IF ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love….” ”IF ye do whatsoever I command you, you are my friends”, etc. Why all these IF:s if we are eternally secure once we are in Jesus?
  • God is GLORIFIED when we bear fruit, so his desire is that we bear fruit so that he can be more glorified. That means that it’s something negative if a branch that used to be in him must be cut off due to being useless.
  • Bearing fruit is a condition for being a disciple of Jesus.
  • We are told to CONTINUE in his love. We are not told that it’s a certainty that we will.
  • We are told that we are friends of Jesus IF we obey his commandments.
  • Jesus gives us a commandment to love one another, just like Jesus has loved us. This shows us that we can heed to this commandment.
  • Jesus also tells us that he has kept his Father’s commandment and therefore he abides in his love, and we are asked to do the very same (obey the commandments so that we can abide in Jesus love).
  • Jesus had even ordained his disciples to bear much fruit, but this naturally doesn’t mean that they had no ability to disobey. Judas (a chosen disciple) had departed earlier, but from history we learn that the other eleven remained with Jesus and showed much good fruit throughout their lives.
  • Certain people ”had not had sin” if it weren’t for the fact that they rejected Jesus despite that he had come and spoken to them and shown them amazing works of God that no other man has done. Their refusal to accept Jesus made them guilty as sinners, despite that they were very religious Jews eager to obey the law of Moses.

John 15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. —.22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.—24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

While the above chapter shows that we can be cut off from the vine due to lack of fruit, the following chapter shows that we as branches can be cut off from the olive tree due to lack of faith (unbelief).

  • The good olive tree with its roots is a picture of the Jews to whom the gospel was first provided. We are also told about another olive tree (wild by nature) which is a picture of the gentiles. Some of the branches in the good olive tree were broken off when Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and the gentiles could be grafted in – provided they had faith.
  • Paul tells us not to boast about our place in the olive tree, but he also says ”IF you boast...” showing that we might choose to be disobedient to God against his will.
  • We are told that we stand in the olive tree by FAITH, so this is a condition for salvation (both for the Jew and the gentile).
  • We are told to not be high-minded , but Paul wants us to live in ”fear” (in another letter he says: ”work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”) since God has shown that he doesn’t necessarily spare the branches if they don’t cooperate by having faith.
  • We are told to TAKE HEED, which would be a useless warning unless there were a real risk that we could lose our place in the olive tree. We are specifically told that we might not be spared due to unbelief.
  • We are told to keep those who tragically fell in mind, because we too might be cut off if we don’t continue in his kindness.
  • Jews (or anyone) can be grafted in AGAIN (meaning we can go from being in the tree, to not being in the tree, to being in the tree again). The condition is FAITH and that we continue to abide.

Rom. 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, BUT FEAR:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, TAKE HEED LEST HE ALSO SPARE NOT THEE.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, IF THOU CONTINUE IN HIS GOODNESS: OTHERWISE THOU ALSO SHALT BE CUT OFF.23 And they also, IF THEY ABIDE NOT STILL IN UNBELIEF, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

In the below parable we can read about a vineyard who belongs to the ”well-beloved”, and we are told he is the same as ”The Lord of hosts”. He worked hard to produce good grapes, but contrary to his expectations WILD grapes were brought forth. What else could he have done to his vineyard apart from what he has already done? Nothing, and yet things didn’t turn out the way he wanted. The Lord of hosts then proceeded to lay his vineyard to waste.

Isaiah 5:1 Now let me sing to my Well-beloved A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill. 2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it; So He EXPECTED IT TO BRING FORTH GOOD GRAPES, BUT IT BROUGHT FORTH WILD GRAPES .3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.4 What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? WHY THEN, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?5 And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned; And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.6 I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug, But there shall come up briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds That they rain no rain on it.”7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help. (NKJV)

I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?” (NKJV) is the question asked in Jeremiah 2:21. God planted one thing and expected a certain result (a noble vine), and yet he received a totally different result (an alien vine). Things don’t always end up as God desires, and that is due to our free will that he created us with.

Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.20 For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.

Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.13 I will surely consume them, saith the Lord: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

The Lord of hosts planted a tree and called it ”a green olive tree, fair and of goodly fruit”. Yet, he ended up destroying it and branches were broken off. It’s a picture of God’s holy people ending up rebelling against him and provoking him to anger due to their evil deeds.

Jeremiah 11:15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.16 The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken.17 For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

Every man is judged based on his fruit. It’s wise to win souls:

Jeremiah 17:10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

More from the New Testament (apart from John 15 and Romans 11 above)

tree 1

We have not truly repented if we bring forth bad fruit. John the Baptist refused to baptize Jews who were still stuck in their corruption and sins. Every tree which doesn’t bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Even evil people can give good gifts to their children, but this doesn’t mean they are saved. It does mean that we can all do good. (Seeking God and repenting are two examples of good things that an unsaved person might choose to do.) We are told to enter the narrow gate, meaning the choice is ours. We are told to beware of false prophets, which shows that there is a risk that believers might be deceived. It also shows that people are NOT forced into being ”non-elect” or ”elect”, because for the non-elect a warning to beware of false prophets would fall into deaf ears, and the elect don’t even need to be warned because they can’t even lose their salvation. False prophets might be dressed in sheep’s clothing but we are still able to know them by their fruit. Are they for instance willing to be corrected by the Bible? Do they often lose their self-control and resort to name callings? Do they subtly encourage people to sin by declaring that we can safely serve two masters and still be saved? Do they show good deeds in their lives? We decide what kinds of trees we want to become, but we are also likened with branches (see above) that can be cut off.

”Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Doing wonderful works in God’s name (prophesying, casting out demons, etc) is of course not a sin, but if you add iniquity into the picture you’re a sinner and therefore lost. Naturally everyone can get his/her soul restored by repenting! In the story below, Jesus had never known the people spoken about – probably because they had always been workers of iniquity and lawless.

”Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH them…” shows that not everyone is doing the will of God – but if he is doing the will of God, then that person is wise and is likened to having built his house on a rock. Notice that it’s not God who builds the house on the rock for him, but he does so himself and that is the reason he is considered to be wise – by obeying his Lord, which sadly not all choose to do.

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work INIQUITY.24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

We certainly can’t blame God for placing evil thoughts into our hearts, because then he would be blamed for our iniquities. On judgment day we are to give account for every unnecessary word that we have said, showing that it’s our own responsibility to master our own tongues. We choose if we want to be a good person or an evil person.

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

”Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”Luke 6:46. Why indeed? We certainly don’t have to disobey God, but if we do it’s our own choice and nothing that we can blame on God.

Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Some people bless God with the same mouth as they curse others – for instance their brothers and sisters. James says to this brothers (indicating it also concerns believers) that it should not have to be in that way.

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, THESE THINGS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE.11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Jesus always hopes for that we will bear fruit, and he doesn’t give up until one final day when it’s too late. Then the fig tree will finally be cut down for good:

Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and IF NOT, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

God’s EVERLASTING (or eternal) COVENANT with Israel was broken

eternity 2Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, BROKEN THE EVERLASTING COVENANT

The KJV doesn’t describe God’s covenants as ”eternal” covenants, but rather as ”everlasting” covenants (16 times in KJV), and this is a translation from the Hebrew word ”olam”, which apart from ”eternal” can mean ”forever”, and many compound this with the phrase ”throughout their generations”.

With Abraham, the sign of the covenant between him and God was circumcision. Salvation would not continue if at some point men decided they did not need to circumcise their male children.  Under Moses, the sign of the covenant was the Sabbath day, with the 10 commands being the covenant written out and placed in the Ark – representing the presence of God with them. Salvation would not continue if the Israelites broke those important commandments – without repenting or making an animal sacrifice. Water baptism is the sign of the new covenant, and the signs in the old covenants were completed in Christ. We are to be circumcised in heart and our Sabbath rest is in him, but we must hold to the commitment we made in the new covenant. The significance of the water baptism is our agreeing with God to keep the old man buried and to walk in the newness of life. If we still have sin that we are aware of and refuse to deal with, then sins are not taken away at all and we are in trouble. Modern false teachings have removed all fear of God and eternal judgment of those with sin, by teaching a false hope, a false gospel, and a false sense of security for those with unrepentant sins.

Ex. 31:12 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

An everlasting covenant?

Genesis 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.—13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Leviticus 24:8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant

Numbers 25:13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel

1 Chronicles 16:17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isaiah 61:8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Ezekiel 16:60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

Ezekiel 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting (aiónios Strong’s 166) covenant (diathéké Strong’s 1242)

Greek Aiónios. Definition: age-long, and therefore practically eternal, unending; partaking of the character of that which lasts for an age, as contrasted with that which is brief and fleeting.

An everlasting covenant can be broken

God’s covenant has shown to be broken through rebellion – contrary to God’s will.

Genesis 17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

Leviticus 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:—44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God.

Psalm 55:20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.—20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

Isaiah 33:8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.

Jeremiah 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Jeremiah 33:20 Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season;21 Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers

Ezekiel 16:59 For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

Ezekiel 17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?—18Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head.

Ezekiel 44:7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.

Judges 2:1 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Zechariah 11:10 And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

The Hebrew Festivals were often referred to as being eternal: The Sabbath is called an ”eternal covenant” in Exodus 31:16-17.  Passover is called eternal in Exodus 12:13,17, and 13:10.  Shavuot or ”Pentecost” is identified as such in Leviticus 23:21, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in Leviticus 16:29, 31, 34 and 23:31.  And Succot or ”booths” is likewise identified as such in Leviticus 23:41. The Levitical Priesthood and sacrificial system is identified as eternal in the Hebrew Scriptures.  The Priesthood itself is described as an eternal covenant in Numbers 25:12,13, see also Exodus 29:9 and 40:15.  Likewise of the Priestly vestments in Exodus 28:29,43.  Regarding Temple vessels we see the basin being commanded forever in Exodus 30:21 the Menorah in Leviticus 24:3 and the trumpets in Numbers 10:8.  The Shewbread is described as eternal in Leviticus 24:8 and scattered indications of eternal sacrifices such as in Leviticus 7:36 (and those sacrifices implicitly included in the festivals).

Lexical/Biblical data concerning OLAM

rainbow

Olam doesn’t mean ”continually in force throughout infinite time, no matter what happens to the world” and nor is it irreversible or something God cannot put to an end,  should conditions change as to warrant such a change. Meaning:

”Long duration, antiquity, futurity: a. indefinite futurity , c. prep. for ever , always (= during the lifetime );  slave for ever ;  serve for ever ; redemption at any time; ever pregnant (womb); of persecutors of Jeremiah; always at ease;  may the king live always ; so of the pious;  I will sing for ever (as long as I live); other emotions and activities continuous through life. b. = continuous existence , (1) of things: the earth; other phr., heavens and contents, ruined cities, ruined lands or a witness for ever , in a book; (2) of nations: Babylon, of Judah; (3) families; the dynasty of Saul; house of Eli; (4) national relations: continual enmity ; of exclusion from; various relations;  perpetual reproach , of dynasty of David, families ;  of God’s covenant:  everlasting covenant ; covenant with Noah ; God remembers it; will not break it, e. of God’s laws;temple to bear God’s name; consecrated; its ceremonies; Levit. priesthood; Aaronic priesthood. f. of God’s promises: his word; promised dynasty of David; of holy land; given, inherited; dwelt in; other blessings; Jerus. to abide”  [BDB] 

2 King. 17:37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.

”For evermore” could be viewed as ”every day” or an idiom for eternal/always.

Ps. 112:Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

That neither the Hebrew nor the Greek word in itself contains the idea of endlessness is shown both by the fact that they sometimes refer to events or conditions that occurred at a definite point in the past, and also by the fact that sometimes it is thought desirable to repeat the word, not merely saying “forever” but “forever and ever”. In Gen 6:4 it points to the time shortly before the flood. None of these past references has in it the idea of endlessness or limitlessness, but each points to a time long before the immediate knowledge of those living. (THAT II, p. 230) J. Barr (Biblical Words for Time (’1969), p. 73) says, “We might therefore best state the “basic meaning” as a kind of range between ‘remotest time’ and ‘perpetuity’”.

The NEW covenant that is prophesied about in Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah

The New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 was seen as a covenant superseding the Mosaic covenant. The Hebrew Bible sees these two covenants as being in contrast (this New covenant related to the ”Old” Covenant of Sinai), and one major difference is that ONLY the Newer Covenant is ”olam”. The Mosaic covenant is never called an ”olam berith” in the Hebrew Bible (unlike other covenants).

Ezekiel and second Isaiah look forward to an everlasting covenant between God and the nation ( Ezek 16:60 ; Isa 55:3 ; 61:8) which they describe elsewhere as a covenant in which God’s Spirit will indwell the people ( Ezek 36:27–28 ; Isa 59:21 ).  Malachi’s “messenger of the covenant” is cast as a priestly figure ( Mal 3:1 ; cf. 2:1–9 ). Ezekiel 37 again speaks of the great blessings to be enjoyed by the people of God, including cleansing, walking in God’s statutes, recognition as God’s people, and he says of this era of blessings: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them” ( v 26). Other important foreshadowings of the new covenant are found in Isa. 54:10 ; 55:3 ; 59:21 ; 61:8 ; Hos. 2:18–23 ; Mal. 3:1–4. Jeremiah’s words imply the receiving of a new heart by the people, as is expressly promised in the parallel prophecy of  Ezek. 11: 19 and 36:26.

The text doesn’t suggest that God will close his eyes and randomly give people a new heart regardless of their own actions, and even if they haven’t even sought him or repented for their sins. Neither does it say that those who are given new hearts will be programmed to do God’s will without any effort of their own and with no failure to do so. It’s rather clear that there are no people living today who are programmed to always do God’s will and who therefore are not affected by any temptations since they are predestined to never sin again. However, if we consider that the holy Spirit is viewed as our guide and Helper, and someone who can lead us on the right path provided that we allow ourselves to be led by Him, then the prophesies in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah, about the future everlasting covenant might rather be a reference to the new covenant with Jesus Christ – whose death enabled us to get the holy Spirit as a sign/mark/seal and to be placed within us (which is what Hebr. 8-10 suggests). We will be sealed ”unto (FOR) the day of redemption”, so the seal is the initial phase on our journey to finally enter the eternal kingdom of God. A guarantee note or a seal can of course be broken if  the conditions are not met, but if we allow ourselves to walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of our flesh. Especially the book of Hebrews talk a lot about the new covenant in Jesus Christ, which concerns the idea that we can have the law in our hearts.
eternity

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:9 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 regarded them not, saith the Lord.10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;—11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;—15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 

Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.—15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;—19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;21 And having an high priest over the house of God;22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.-–28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Read more about the prophesies which are fulfilled by means of Jesus Christ and the holy Ghost.

Isa. 55:Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. 

Ezek.36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Jeremiah31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah 50:In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God.They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Ezek 16.57 Before thy wickedness was discovered, as at the time of thy reproach of the daughters of Syria, and all that are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, which despise thee round about.58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the Lord.59 For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.

Isa. 42: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Jesus applied this to Himself, early in His ministry to Israel.

You can read further in this article from christian thinktank 

The difference between the Sheep and the Goats in the parable, is what they DID and DIDN’T DO

Jesus says in John 5:29 that at the resurrection those who have done good will get LIFE and those who have done evil will get damnation. James, Paul, John and Peter say the same thing.

John. 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

James. 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

1 Pet 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the SOUL;

What we DO makes the difference whether we will be able to enter God’s kingdom or not (even if we of course must believe that Jesus is God who has come in the flesh and that he has died as a sin offering and cleansed us from our sins with his blood). The Bible is filled with commands that we must DO things to be saved (not lose salt, go through the narrow gate, endure to the end, carry our cross daily, etc) and this might be surprising for us in Scandinavia, because we have been influenced by Martin Luther to a great deal. He was a person who didn’t take much delight in the book of James (according to his own words) where he could read things such as:

James. 2:20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our fathered by faith alone” even though the Bible says we’re not saved by faith alone. 

We tend to believe that if we must DO anything at all to be saved, then it is ”works salvation” and the biggest theological error under the sun (and a sin). Naturally we can’t save ourselves, because we are all in need of cleansing in the blood of Jesus, and we can’t earn our salvation by anything we do or believe, but there are still conditions for our salvation and that is to believe, repent and obey God. This is something that we must DO. Matthew 25 contains three parables that all have the point that what we DO affect our final destination – heaven or hell. This might be referred to as heresy in the Church today, but the Bible disagrees. Read the parable between the sheep and the goats. Both the sheep and the goats believed in the one they communicated with – Jesus – and also demons accept that Jesus is the son of God and even confess this out loud! This won’t save them, which is James’ point. (Not that demons are angels and can’t be saved, because the subject in James 2 is ”Deeds”.) Faith without deeds is dead. 

The final judgment 

Matthew 25:31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungred, andye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, andye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 

The difference between the sheep and the goats is therefore what they DO. The sheep end up on the right side, and they are the ones that have done something good (righteousness), and the goats end up on the left side, and they are the ones that have neglected to do something good. They have NOT shown compassion and mercy. Lack of fruit can hinder us from entering the kingdom of God. We can read this in John 15 where the branches are cut off and thrown in the fire due to lack of fruit. We are not  saved by merely believing in a ”package”. We could compare with the angels in the beginning of the creation. I don’t believe they had a problem to ”believe in God”, or to accept him as their Creator. Still, we can read that 1/3 of them fell when they followed Lucifer on his wicked ways. It was once again what they DID which affected the continuation of the story – in the future they will be thrown in the lake of fire which was prepared for them from the beginning of the world, due to their deeds.

The other parables in Matthew 25 are the well known parables of the ten virgins and the one about the talents. All the ten virgins ”believed” in the bride groom and waited for his arrival. What they DID and DIDN’T DO made all the difference for what happened next. They all had lamps, but half of the girls had chosen to not bring any extra oil even though this might be needed. We can see that it probably concerned spare oil since the foolish girls said the lamps are ”gone out”. This means the lamps had previously given light, but they did not endure to the end due to lack of oil. We are told by Jesus that we must endure to the end to be saved! The wise girls had chosen to bring some spare oil with them which was a good choice. Our choices make the difference! Also the parable with the Talents shows that our choices and our actions affect the outcome of things, and also here we can see that it concerns eternal life (with various rewards) or eternal damnation.

I know that I write a lot about repentance and righteousness in my blog, and that is because these topics are neither that common, nor popular, despite that they are very important subjects because they concern our SOULS. The devil’s only goal is to make us SIN so that we won’t be able to enter God’s kingdom. He tempts us and tries to provide us with excuses to sin. I believe the devil wants to reassure us that we can be saved by faith alone with no deeds, and that sin will not separate us from God. Wouldn’t it be horrible if he managed to deceive us into thinking ”What a relief that God loves me just the way I am, and that he views me as righteous despite that I live unrighteously at times, and that it’s enough to BELIEVE in him to be saved” IF this is not true? Just imagine if we on Judgment Day would have to say…”Oops!”

1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?