Jeremiah and the New Covenant
Predictive prophecies are in red. Other prophecies (teachings) are in black.
When you attend a "Mormon" testimony meeting, you are seeing the literal fulfillment of Jeremiah 31.
Every member has their own testimony, written by God on their own heart. People stand up and do not just praise God or quote scripture. They talk of their feelings. The church is sometimes criticized for basing faith on feelings in the heart. But the church of Jesus Christ cannot exist in any other way.
This makes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique. It is the only church to fulfil the prophecy as set out in scripture, as I will now demonstrate.
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: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers . . . 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 I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.
Most Bible readers are familiar with this prophecy. Most Christians also know that this New Covenant was offered in the New Testament. Hence the name. "Testament" in this case is equivalent to "covenant". But what people tend to forget is that, although offered in New Testament times, the new covenant was also rejected soon after.
It takes two to keep a covenant. God kept his part of the bargain, but the people did not. So the fulfillment of this prophecy had to wait for a future time - the Latter Days. This prophecy, and hence the label "New Testament", can only be applied to the Mormon Church.
The New Covenant in detail
How do we know the new covenant was rejected in New Testament times? Simple. Let us look at what is required to keep mankind's part of the new covenant, according to Jeremiah 31:
- Verse 33: the law will be written on people's hearts
- Verse 34: they shall no more teach their neighbor "Know the Lord" because everyone will know the Lord.
What does this mean?
The Bible explains this so there can be no misunderstanding. The apostle Paul spent some time on the topic, beginning in Hebrews chapters 8 to 10. He spends many verses emphasizing that the old law is fulfilled, and then begins to tell us what our part of the covenant is:
- Hebrews 10:23: Stick to the faith (see also 10:36, 38).
- Hebrews 10:24: provoke one another to love and good works (so much for the theory that works mean nothing - they are central to the New Covenant!).
- Hebrews 10:25: exhort (encourage) one another.
What does it mean to have faith?
Just in case we misunderstand what he means by faith, the next chapter (Hebrews 11) contains numerous examples to drive home the point. It is generally agreed to be the most important sermon on faith in the whole Bible. Let us look again at Paul's examples of faith:
equals following the living prophet.
Is it possible that the new covenant was rejected?
The people of Moses' day broke the old covenant (Jeremiah 31:32). They lost their promised blessings. Paul made clear that the same could easily happen with the new covenant - see Romans 11:22 (11:7, 17-22). Yet God is able to bring new branches to Israel whenever he chooses (verse 23). Notice how the Jews lost their covenant status - they did not even notice. "As it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear" (verse 8). That is exactly what happened. According to the testimony of scripture and of history, the Christians after New Testament times rejected the new covenant. And even today, most Christians do not realise it.
Proof that the new covenant was rejected:
|Three or four centuries after the deaths of the apostles, all that is left is relics. The bones of the apostles (the church no longer had apostles). The scriptures (the church no longer produced scripture). A memory of a time when creeds were unnecessary. A memory of a living church.|
Proof that the new covenant was restored in the Mormon church:
Jeremiah 31:31-34, the promise of a new covenant, speaks of a permanent state, not a temporary one. "After those days" it will be in force - not "during those few days". They will have to teach people to know the Lord "no more" - not "again after a little while". The Lord will remember the past sins "no more" - not "not until they backslide again". Therefore the New Testament covenant, because it was temporary, did not fulfil the prophecy of Jeremiah.
Therefore the prophecy of Jeremiah regarding the New Covenant, the name later applied to the uniquely Christian part of the Bible, applies uniquely to the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church is the only New Testament Church. According to Jeremiah, the Mormon Church IS the New Testament.
101 Bible prophecies: 1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101