101 prophecies (Interpretation)

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Jeremiah and the New Covenant

Note: another prophecy from Jeremiah (chapter 30) is included on the next page


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.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

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:

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:

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:

  1. The creation (verse 3)
  2. Abel offered sacrifice and obtained a witness from God that he was righteous (verse 4)
  3. Enoch was translated (verses 5-6)
  4. Noah was warned of God and obeyed (verse 7)
  5. Abraham was warned by God and obeyed (verse 8), and endured (verses 9-10)
  6. Sarah had a promise from God and trusted him (verses 11-12)
  7. Abraham obeyed God's command (verses 17-19)
  8. Isaac blessed and prophesied (verse 20)
  9. Jacob blessed and prophesied (verse 21)
  10. Joseph prophesied (verse 22)
  11. Moses parents trusted God to save Moses (verse 23)
  12. Moses judged that God's promises were better than Pharaoh's (verses 24-27)
  13. Moses kept the Passover as instructed (verse 28)
  14. They passed through the Red Sea (verse 29)
  15. The walls of Jericho fell down (verse 30 - see Joshua 6, where God gave the instructions)
  16. Rahab was spared (verse 31 - see Joshua 2:9-10, where Rahab recognised that these men were following God).
  17. Paul then states that he has run out of time but there are plenty of other examples (verses 32 to the end).


Faith equals following the living prophet.

It is worth spending extra time on Hebrews 11 because the message is so clear. In almost every example given by Paul, faith consisted of listening to direct revelation from God. The two exceptions - Moses as a baby and when leaving Egypt - were of Moses showing himself worthy to receive more revelations and miracles than any other prophet in the Bible. The message is clear. Faith consists of following new revelation. The only examples of faith in previous scriptures refer to times when a great new revelation was about to be given. (As to the related question of how this faith is developed, that is discussed elsewhere.

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:

  1. Is the law written in the peoples' hearts so that nobody needs to be taught to know God?
    No. FIRST, the ordinary members need to be taught. Most modern churches are just the same as in Moses day. The minister stands at the front and the congregation sit down and listen. The ultimate source of truth is the written word.
    SECOND, the doctrines had to be written in stone again. The great church councils that of the fourth century and later did exactly that. While people could remember the apostles, they did not need to debate the meaning of their faith. But once the living faith had been forgotten, legalistic creeds and debate replaced the spirit. See
    "seven proofs of the apostasy" for details.
  2. Do the people have faith in God?
    In many ways perhaps, but not in the way that Paul described it, not in the way that the new covenant demands. The apostles and prophets died after New Testament times, and were not replaced. Most Christians apparently do not see the need for obedience to new revelation from God. Like the ancient Pharisees, they are more than happy with the old stuff.
bones of a martyr 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:

  1. Is the law written in the peoples' hearts so that nobody needs to be taught to know God?
    Yes. As every Latter-day Saint knows, a testimony is their most important possession. That means that God has answered your own personal prayers and you know independent of anyone else that God lives and Jesus is the Christ. That is why Mormon missionaries get investigators to Moroni 10:4 as quickly as possible. Being a Mormon is founded on getting a testimony direct from God. And that is why the Mormons have no full time ministry. The ordinary members do all the teaching, just as Paul exhorted.
  2. Do the people have faith in God?
    In the way that Paul described it, in the way that the new covenant demands? Yes. When God speaks today, the Mormons listen. Individuals may be strong or weak in this regard, but as a church, the message is "obey the prophet" and "listen to the still small voice".

Conclusion

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

 

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