Eternal Gospel & Eternal Covenant, The

“I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations.”[1] Isaiah 42:6

In the midst of this Messianic prophecy in Isaiah,[2] we see disclosed the fact that the Father has given Jesus Christ as a covenant – specifically, Jesus Christ personified (incarnated) the New Covenant.

As with the Old Covenant, the New Covenant is between God and His people – that is, between God and human beings. But there is a defining difference in the New Covenant: It is a covenant between God and human beings, only because Christ, the Word, became a human being[3]. When fallen human beings are regenerated and baptized into Christ, they are then (and only then) members of God’s people – “the Church, which is His Body”[4], those who “belong to Christ” and are “in Christ”, and therefore, are included in the covenant. But, in fact, God did not make the covenant with us – He made the covenant with Himself, in a manner of speaking. In another manner of speaking (in a trinitarian manner) God made the covenant with Christ. This covenant was made before the foundation of the world – before the creation of Humanity; before Humanity’s fell into sin; before the Incarnation of Christ, the Redeemer; before the Cross, before the Resurrection and Ascension. The covenant was made before the foundation of the world because, this Lamb of God, unblemished and spotless, was “known before the foundation of the world”[5]. Yes, the scriptures say that at the foundation of the world, this Lamb of God had already been slain.[6] This is obviously in a spiritual sense – meaning that God and Christ had made this covenant in eternity past.

“And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach….”[7] If you were aware of that verse in Revelation 14:6, have you ever wondered what the “eternal gospel” was? It is eternal good news. Good news that is not limited to time. Good news which didn’t start in time and won’t end with time. It’s good news about something which will last for eternity future. But it is also good news about what happened in eternity past. It is the good news about the covenant which was cut in eternity past – inaugurated upon Jesus’ death on the Cross – but cut in eternity past. What is called “the New Covenant” is also an Eternal Covenant.[8]

Let’s take a look at John 17:1-5. As our High Priest, Jesus prayed these words to the Father – all of which are in reference to the New Covenant – the Eternal Covenant – which He had come to inaugurate:

1“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You.” 

Jesus said, “The hour has come.” Jesus was about to go to the Cross – the altar upon which the Lamb of God would cut the covenant with the Father. Jesus referred to this self-denying sacrifice of love as glory. The apostle Paul repeatedly said that the “glory” of the New Covenant SURPASSED the “glory” of the Old Covenant.[9] That “glory” of the New Covenant is the Crucified Christthe wisdom and the power of God.[10] It is absolutely essential to understand that God’s Christ is a CRUCIFIED Christ, for this is an essential aspect of the of the New Covenant.[11]

2 “Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.” 

 To give eternal life – this is why Jesus came – this is the purpose of the New Covenant – to give God’s people the life of the Eternal One (Greek: zoe, the God kind of life).

3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

“Eternal life” is a wonderous subject; but here Jesus summarizes the meaning as KNOWING GOD. This is the purpose of the New Covenant – TO KNOW GOD.[12]

4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”

Jesus had not yet ascended; but in John 17:11 He said, “I am no longer in the world.” In the same way, He spoke of His work having been accomplished even though He had not yet been physically crucified, buried, resurrected, and ascended. The work the Father had given Him to do established the New Covenant, which He inaugurated with His blood and His death upon the Cross[13].

5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

Again, the New Covenant – between the Father and Christ – was cut before the foundation of the world, in eternity past – therefore, we have an “eternal gospel”.[14]

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“The Eternal Gospel & Eternal Covenant” is an excerpt from the eBook “A New & Living Way”, pages 229-232. See the corresponding eBook on our website.

At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications © 2018

“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

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[1] Revised Standard Version

[2] Isaiah 42:1-7

[3] John 1:14

[4] Colossians 1:18, 24; Ephesians 5:23, 29; Cf. Ephesians 1:22; 4:12, 15.

[5] 1 Peter 1:19-20

[6] Revelation 13:8

[7] Revelation 14:6

[8] The Lord promised that this New Covenant would be “eternal” (Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 37:2627), unlike the Old Covenant which He made obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).

[9] 2 Corinthians 3:7-11

[10] 1 Corinthians 1:18, 24, Cf. 30; Cf. Ephesians 3:9-11.

[11] The scope of this article cannot contain a treatment of the Message and the Way of the Cross. But I have written of these things in detail in other articles: “The Way of the Cross”, “Seeing the Kingdom Through the Cross”, “Who Is This King of Glory?”, “Death Activates Life”, “God-Centeredness”, and “The Cross & the Powers of Darkness”. Complimentary copies of these articles can be obtained by Emailing:

[12] Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:8-12; Cf. Jeremiah 9:23-24.

[13] Hebrews 9:15-22

[14] F.B. Meyer on Revelation 14:6: “Notice the phrase, the everlasting gospel, Revelation 14:6. In other words, the gospel of the grace of God is no expedient brought in to patch up a program which has been seriously spoiled; it is as old as eternity and brings to men eternal joy, and peace, and hope.”

“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:28)
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Quo Vadis

God is always moving forward in His kingdom plans and purposes. He never moves backward. And for those who love Him, He never stops moving in our lives for His glory. But to continue moving on with God “from glory to glory” requires our living “from faith to faith”. It takes an act of faith