WONDERFUL DECLARATIONS OF GOD
God’s foreknowledge—”Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). Therefore God the LORD says: “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9). “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
“There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:21-22). Sitting upon his throne, “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) said unto John: “Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:5).
THE PREEMINENT NEW THING
A prepared body—When the Son of God came into the world, “he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5). The angel Gabriel said unto Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1Timothy 3:16).
The beginning—The Son of God is said to be “the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14) because “his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21) is the only thing God the Father ever created without the Son. Every other thing was created by the Son (Colossians 1:16-17): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…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” (John 1:1-14). With the exception of his own body, all things new shall be made by the Son (Revelation 21:5).
The firstborn—The Son of God is God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3:16, 18), “the firstborn of every creature: 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:13-17). God has predestinated all born-again believers in Christ “to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
The firstborn from the dead—Jesus is “the resurrection, and the life…” (John 11:25-26), “the first begotten of the dead…” (Revelation 1:5), “the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22-23). “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus said unto John: “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” (Revelation 1:18).
The foundation of God—”Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16). The apostle identified God’s sure foundation when he declared: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 3:11). Without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for sinners, it would be impossible of any man to be made a “new creature” (2Corinthians 5:17); neither could God’s “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11) have been fulfilled! “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2Corinthians 1:20).
The seed of the woman—After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6), “the LORD God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [a reference to the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5)]; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:1-15). The prophets wrote: “…for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man” (Jeremiah 31:22), and “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Given a new name by the LORD—”But when the fulness of the time was come” (Galatians 4:4), the angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary’s espoused husband, saying, ‘Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins‘” (Matthew 1:19-21). Likewise, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to Mary saying to her, “…Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS” (Luke 1:26-31).
The ONLY saving name—”Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6). On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached Joel’s prophecy: “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). The time of this great salvation has come! The apostle declares: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2Corinthians 6:2): “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
The preeminent name—The Son of God, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2), who is God “even from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:7-11).
The foreordained Redeemer (Genesis 3:15)—Before “the foundation of the world” (1Peter 1:18-20), the Son was foreordained to come into the world, “that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).
The fullness of the Godhead—In the Lord Jesus Christ, whose “name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13), “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9; John 1:15-16; Colossians 1:14-19). The Godhead consists of “three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1John 5:7). Without controversy, Jesus Christ is God “manifest in the flesh” (1Timothy 3:16).
NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). Man is composed of “spirit and soul and body” (1Thessalonians 5:23). The psalmist prophesied: “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD” (Psalm 102:18; 22:30-31; Isaiah 43:19-21).
NEW SPIRIT—The Lord GOD said unto Israel, “…and I will put a new spirit within you…” (Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26).
Born of the Spirit—The Lord Jesus Christ commanded Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again…born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8). The apostle John confirms that “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” (1John 5:1, 4, 18; 3:9; 4:7; 5:4).
Begotten by the word—The Lord Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6; John 1:4; 11:25; 1John 1:2), declared, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). “Of his [the Father of lights (James 1:17)] own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18).
REDEEMED SOUL—The psalmist wrote: “My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed” (Psalm 71:23; 34:22; 49:8, 15). All born again believers “have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), for “by his own blood he [Jesus Christ] entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
VILE BODY OF DEATH—The redeemed apostle Paul exclaimed, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). All “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26), “which are alive and remain [living on earth]” (1Thessalonians 4:15-17), are looking “for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). We, “which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).
God has freely given many eternal blessings to all who have been justified by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The gift of eternal life—By the sin of “The first man Adam” (1Cor. 15:45), the entire human race came under the curse of death (Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12). The Lord Jesus Christ, “the last Adam” (1Corinthians 15:45), because of his great love and mercy, “came into the world to save sinners” (1Timothy 1:15) by becoming “a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). None of these new things would be possible had the Lord Jesus Christ not come to earth as a man to give “himself a ransom for all” (1Timothy 2:6). The Word has always been God the Son, but in these last days, “the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Now we see Jesus, who “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).
All born-again believers are “heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). And “if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:7). Being in Christ, “we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). The Lord promises every sinner, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
When any sinner believes the gospel with “all” his heart (Acts 8:37), “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4), the Lord Jesus baptizes him into his body (1Corinthians 12:13) “with the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 3:11). At that very moment, the new believer is “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1Peter 1:23).
Eternal redemption and inheritance—By his own blood, the Lord Jesus Christ “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us…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” (Hebrews 9:12-15). God has begotten us, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Peter 1:3-5).
Eternal joy and pleasure—”Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
The Lord Jesus Christ himself “is our hope” (1Timothy 1:1; Psalm 71:5; Jeremiah 17:7; Joel 3:16). The Spirit of Christ in every born-again believer is our “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27; 2Corinthians 4:7). Therefore we are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
A NEW KINGDOM:
God the Father “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (2Corinthians 4:7).
A NEW COMMANDMENT
Jesus said unto his disciples: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).
Victory over the world—”For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1John 5:4; 4:4; John 16:33; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:37): “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 15:57).
NEW COMMUNION WITH GOD
Today we believers “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Corinthians 5:7). We may walk and talk with the Lord Jesus, “as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27), knowing that Christ is in us, our “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). But in the new heavens and earth, the tabernacle of God will be with men, “and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:3; Ezekiel 37:27). Then the Lord will be visible to our eyes!
NEW THINGS FOR ISRAEL
A new covenant—Finding fault with Israel “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: 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” (Hebrews 8:7-9, 13; 12:24; Jeremiah 31:34).
Under the new covenant, God puts his law in the hearts of believers and remembers “their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jesus Christ “is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). The Lord declared, “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: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:10-12).
God’s schoolmaster—The old covenant (Hebrews 8:13; 2Corinthians 3:14) which God made with Israel was “the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15). The law could not justify any man: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 2:11, 16). According to the scriptures, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “…sin is the transgression of the law” (1John 3:4).
“But the scripture [the law] hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:22-24).
A new name for Israel—”And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou [Israel] shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name…” (Isaiah 62:1-3).
A new heart and spirit for Israel—”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” (Ezekiel 36:26; 11:19).
NEW TESTAMENT FOR THE GENTILES
Definitions—A covenant is ‘A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed.’ A testament is ‘A solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to the disposal of his estate and effects after his death…equivalent to covenant’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
The new covenant and the new testament contain subtle differences (see Pilgrimministry.org), but they both require the execution of “the glorious gospel of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:3-4) to be established and confirmed.
Simply put, God saves all men “by grace…through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Lord Jesus Christ “is our peace, who hath made both [Jew and Gentile] one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [the law] between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances [the old covenant]; for to make in himself of twain one new man [Colossians 1:18], so making peace; And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile—all men] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Ephesians 2:14-16).
One mediator—After the resurrection of Christ, who is “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18), the apostle declared: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). The New Testament was not in force until the death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:16; 1Corinthians 15:3-4). But now “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” (Hebrews 9:15).
The Lord Jesus is also “the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). He is “the mediator of the new covenant…” (Hebrews 12:24). God’s justification of any man “is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all [Jews and Gentiles] the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:13-16).
NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH
The LORD prophesied: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). Jesus declared, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). See also Revelation 20:11; Hebrews 1:10-12 and 2Peter 3:10.
During the thousand-year reign of Christ on this present earth, unredeemed people will continue to suffer sorrow, pain, and death. As “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) compassionately because of the unbelief and sorrow of others, I believe the redeemed sons of God—although they themselves will not suffer pain or death, will also sorrow and shed tears when they witness the many troubles of unbelievers.
But in the new heaven and earth, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).
When the Lord destroys the present heavens and earth, nothing will remain to bring to remembrance of “the former things” (Revelation 21:4), the things that were done in “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) that “lieth in wickedness” (1John 5:19). This world will pass away at God’s appointed time! God has promised: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain” (Isaiah 66:22).
Notice that the Lord said the “new heavens and the new earth” would remain before him! They will remain because only righteousness will be allowed there: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2Peter 3:13). Therefore, the righteous will never be plagued again with memories of their former evil deeds, but the “everlasting confusion [of the wicked] shall never be forgotten [by the wicked]” (Jeremiah 20:11).
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). This is God’s holy city that is being “prepared for them that love him” (1Corinthians 2:9) by the Lord Jesus (John 14:2-3). It is the city that saints throughout the ages have looked for: Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” Hebrews 11:10, 16). “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:14; 12:22; John 14:2).
NEW GIFT OFFERED TO ALL
The free gift of God (John 4:10)—”…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). By the righteousness of Jesus Christ, “the free gift came upon all men unto justification” (Romans 5:18). Sitting upon his throne, the Lord Jesus said unto John, “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6; John 4:10; 7:37-39; 19:30; Titus 3:4-7). Eternal life is God’s “gift by grace” (Romans 5:15), “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace” (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9). If it were possible for any man to perfectly practice “Pure religion and undefiled…” (James 1:27) without faith in Christ, he would still die and go to hell!
NEW AND EVERLASTING PRISON
God has an old prison called hell, which is in the heart of the earth down below your feet. At the end of the world, the Lord will burn up the earth and hell along with it. And the prisoners of hell will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the “great white throne” (Revelation 20:11-15) to be judged. They will all be cast into God’s new prison, the lake of fire, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8)! There they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thessalonians 1:9).
Repent and believe—Because the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9), God “Now commandeth all men every where to repent…” (Acts 17:30-31), and “That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1John3:23). Jesus commanded the Jews saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15), and he warned the unbelieving Jews, saying, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5). Paul the apostle testified “both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).
It is an unspeakable tragedy for anyone to reject God’s good will for them (eternal blessings of joy and pleasure with him in his eternal kingdom) because they love “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), which will one day pass away! Jesus asked: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).