Russell Earl Kelly, PHD

July 15, 2008


The Old Covenant given only to national Israel after it had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. It is essentially the same thing as the Law of Moses or the Law of God. However the phrase “Law of God” often refers to all of God’s special revelation to national Israel.

Ex 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

Ex 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Ex 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

Ex 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.   [LAW FOLLOWS]

Lev 27:34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

Deut 5:1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.

The Old Covenant formally included the Law from Exodus 20 through the end of Deuteronomy.  However, like the word “Law” it came to often include all of God’s special revelation given to national Israel which included all of the Old Testament. Deuteronomy, the Psalms and Isaiah are held in greatest importance by Jews.

Although the Ten Commandments constitute a reminder of the entire covenant, there was no designation of the Ten Commandments as only constituting the moral law of God. Violation of any part of the Law was sin and brought discipline.


  1. The Old and New Covenants are NOT the same covenant. It is disheartening to hear conservative Christians say “I believe in the whole Bible” in order to justify using very small portions of the Old Covenant as Christian doctrine. The Bible must be “rightly divided” in order to be “rightly understood.” God did not give every command in the Bible to every nation or to every person.

2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Gal 4:211 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.

Gal 4:25 For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

  1. The Old Covenant failed. The nationIsraelfailed to obey the terms and commands of the Old Covenant. There are no grounds for using the Old Covenant to reinforce the New Covenant.

Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Heb 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.

Heb 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

  1. The New Covenant is really “new.” The Old has been “taken away.” The Old has not been restated as the New.

Heb 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:

Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

2 Cor 3:11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious.

  1. Both the Old and the New Covenant were given to the two houses of national Israel.

Heb 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:

Heb 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers…

This is an exact quote of Jeremiah 31:31. This denies the doctrine that the Church has somehow replaced national Israel in the plan of God. Even the half-Hebrew Samaritans are higher on the evangelism-preaching order than are the Gentiles!

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

  1. The New Covenant is very different from the Old Covenant.

Heb 8:9 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.

  1. In the Old Covenant God’s revelation was written on tablets of stone and on scrolls which were kept in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle or Temple.

2 Cor 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones …

  1. In the New Covenant God’s revelation is written in the minds and hearts of believers.  It is a part of the new character received as new creations in Christ. Compared to the “Thou shalt nots” it is spontaneous.

Heb 8:10 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:

2 Cor 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

  1. The New Covenant replaced the Aaronic priesthood with the priesthood of every believer. All believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit and gifts.

Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

1 Cor 12:11 But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1       Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are

the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

  1. The New Covenant does not have a ruling priesthood which must offer sacrifices daily. Christ died once for all sins for all time. For believers the Day of Atonement judgment become the day one is converted. Jn 3:16-18; 1 Cor9:27-28.

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

  1. The Old Covenant was already “old,” or “obsolete,” in the first century. The truth of the Gospel and the Person of Jesus Christ make it unnecessary as a mature knowledge of God’s will.

Heb 8:13 In that he says, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which is decaying and waxes old is ready to vanish away.

2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

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.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

  1. The Gentiles were not commanded to observe the Old Covenant unless they chose to become circumcised and become attached Hebrews. In fact God commanded Israel NOT to share its covenant with other nations. Not one tithe or offering was ever used to evangelize other nations in the Old Covenant.

Ex 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. (also Deu 7:2)

  1. In the New Covenant the Gentiles receive the blessings due to the Jews in order to make them jealous and come back to God (Rom 11:1-25).
  1. In the New Covenant Gentiles are brought info fellowship with Israelite believers by abolishing the Old Covenant laws.

Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.