The Covenant of Manifest Identity
Jer. 50:4-5 "In those days and at that time," declares the LORD… they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.
Ezk. 34:24-25; 37:26-27 "And I, the LORD, will be their God…I will make a covenant of peace with them…it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will…set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.
Lost in the mix of expecting the Lord’s return these last 150 years has been any solid consideration of what earth will be like after the Lord has revealed His fully established kingdom. The Old Testament prophets especially say much about life at that time. We have not picked up on these things, however, because we are engrossed (and for good reason) in what must happen here and now just to see the Lord come back.
When the prophets speak, they speak in overlapping dimensions and time frames. Many events and streams of events have double or even triple meanings and fulfillments. A single verse in Isaiah for instance might reference first age happenings, but one phrase in that verse might reference events that can’t be manifestly true until the Lord has returned. It means there’s a dimensional fulfilment yet ahead, even though the first age saw its own dimension of it occur.
A good example is Joel’s prophecy about the latter rain. Joel said that the Spirit’s outpouring would include the darkening of the sun and moon. Later, Peter said that Pentecost was a fulfilment of this outpouring. Yet the dark sun was not fulfilled. So that is yet to come. But it also means that Pentecost was not the full or only fulfillment of the Spirit’s outpouring. We’ve seen similar outpourings the last 150 years, all attributed to Joel as well. Still no dark sun! So we still expect an outpouring unlike any other, one accompanied with manifestation of a dark sun.
Well, the same is true with other Old Testament prophecies. Major events that had some first and second age fulfillment still await fulfillment associated with the Lord’s full bodily return. These include such events as the “Babylonian captivity” and the “return of Israel’s exiles.”
As a whole, we don’t pay much attention to Old Testament prophetic phrases that clearly reference a time never yet known to man. We’re unaware that prophecies can have multiple layers of outworking. And even where we are aware of it, we generally can’t see past our present New Testament age to make application of them.
But this is about to change. As dramatically differently as life will be at the Lord’s return, and as volcanic to be the events climaxing the present mortal age, a continuity will yet exist between this age and the next, just as between Old and New Testaments. The earth will not be “obliterated” as some believe. Many things now will continue into the next age. Surviving mortal remnants worldwide with broken governmental and cultural structures will need redirection, bodies will need food, clothing, shelter, healing, etc. The earth will still need environmental rehabilitation and cultivation under human dominion as it always has.
Because this is so, God wants to open revelation now in preparation for that time. Everything God does, he does through a process of preparation. Setting up His fully manifest kingdom rule requires preparation. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” we always hear. (Do we think this preparing of “the way” refers only to His immediate return and nothing else? What about the overall ways of the Lord’s visibly established rule—His kingdom’s ways? Yes, it means this too.)
Well, revelation is about preparation. What God will do, we know He reveals in advance. So we can know God has things to open to us now, not just about the events immediately involving the Lord’s return, but about what is to develop therefrom. It’s His will we be prepared through revelation for assuming our new roles when His new administration becomes effective.
The Third Covenant
The Old Testament prophets clearly indicate that after the Lord returns, He will establish yet another covenant with “Israel” and with the remaining outside peoples (or “nations”) through “Israel.”
To be clear, this third covenant does not replace the New Covenant the way the New Covenant replaced the Old Covenant. That could never happen and would be heresy to teach so. The New Covenant is the central “forever” covenant of our existence, period. But neither does it mean there are no more covenants after the New Covenant. This covenant of which we read in our opening scriptures follows at the end of times long after the New Covenant has been in force. The Third Covenant is a Covenant of ratification rather than replacement.
A Covenant of Glorified Regenerated Identity
In noting this yet-to-be covenant above, I put the name “Israel” in quotes here because we need to understand that the Israel of the Third Age (the age of Christ’s manifest physical reign) is not the same as the Israel of the Old Covenant (the fleshly people) or of the New Testament (the spiritual people comprised mostly of Gentiles).
The “Israel” of the Third Age is the “all Israel” of Romans 11, meaning, the glorified (immortalized) people from both the Old and New (spiritual) Israels that have been manifestly merged into one. This “Israel” fulfils the Lord’s master intent of a people who have manifestly lost all original racial identity to find identity in Christ alone. We could call it the “Glorified Israel.”
The Lord’s third covenant—His glorification covenant—with the Glorified Israel and with the remaining earthly people through them—forms the backbone of the Lord’s earthly governmental rule in the Third Age at hand. It also closes the circle and finalizes fulfillment of the Lord’s original covenant with Abraham.
A Covenant of Manifestly Distinct Identity
Here is what is truly unique about the Third Covenant. The third covenant erases the elements of failure and division that marked both the Old Testament Israel and the New Testament church under mortality. Under both prior covenants, the people of God remained under the government of death. As long as this was so, there also remained an underlying division within between the “faithful” and the “unfaithful,” the true ones of the heart and the pretenders.
Said another way, the uniqueness of the Third Covenant is in its clearness of identity. It is the Manifest Identity Covenant.
Under our present ignorance, it is commonly imagined that when the Lord returns and sets up shop, everything will be sweetness and light everywhere. That is to say, we imagine everyone everywhere will be “saved” (if not immortalized), will be “on board” with the Lord’s agendas with willing hearts, and will just be offering up all their “sweet praises and worship” to the Lord from the depths from a worldwide mongrelized melting pot of adamic identities. (So says the “all-nations-worship” movement, anyway.)
Wrong! And I do mean, wrong!
Under the Third Covenant, far from the earth being one mongrelized melting pot of national sweetness and light unto the Lord, there will instead be the clearest distinction ever made between those who belong to the Lord and those who do not, while those who do will rule over those who do not.
The third covenant is as much a covenant of distinction as it is to be a covenant of manifest union. What is different under the third covenant is that the defining lines are drawn with manifest clarity. What is true of the heart is also true of the body. Those who know the Lord will be manifestly part of Him. Those who do not, will not. Everyone on the inside truly is on the inside and is manifestly so. And everyone on the outside is on the outside.
A Post-Adamic “Identity Circumcision” Covenant
More importantly, those who know the Lord and are joined to Him, will be joined to Him at the expense of their original identity in Adam. Joined to Christ, they will be part of a glorious body named “Israel” that has no definition with respect to national identity. In other words, to be part of Israel under the Third Covenant, everyone (including original fleshly Jews) must renounce their adamic heritage. To be saved and moving into glorification, every person must not only receive the atonement of the Lamb, they must receive the circumcision of heart that cuts away their adamic umbilical cord. No one unready to do this can be part of Israel in that day.
- Old Covenant Circumcision
This separation of identity to the Lord was prefigured in both the Old and New Covenants. Under the Old Covenant, Jews were to be circumcised, and any foreigner to be joined to them also had to be circumcised. This circumcision was an absolutely requisite identifying mark to distinguish God’s people from everyone else (which is why circumcision remained such an issue in the New Testament and an absolute offense to the Jews.) See as follows:
7 "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you…. 10 "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 "And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. 13 "A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 "But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant."
48 "But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 "The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you."
- New Covenant Circumcision
Under the New Testament, all believers were expected to become disciples through circumcision of heart identity, leaving their former allegiances to their families and nations of origin to follow the Lord. This is so clear from the message of John the Baptist, the teachings of Jesus and the Great Commission, which was to disciple national peoples out of their adamic identities by baptizing (saturating) them into the Name of the Father. Baptism was a circumcision of inward identity!
Mt. 3:10 "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees;
Lk. 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
Mt. 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in[to] the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Rom. 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Phil. 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 7 But whatever things [i.e., of Jewish identity] were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 … for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col. 2:11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism,
Note that circumcision was to be an everlasting covenant originally marked in the flesh. Immortality—which is everlasting—is the ultimate mark of the circumcised heart, demonstrating the completeness of identity change through salvation in glorified flesh.
Needless to say, though, under the reign of mortality, except for the preserved faithful remnants, both ages failed their commissions miserably under their revealed plan of salvation. Under the Old Covenant, the Jews sacrificed their purified identity to mingle with the peoples and their gods.
Under the New Covenant, the gentile church never escaped into purified identity above and separate from their nations of origin. Generation after generation, the church invested and still invests its faith back into mingling the identity of her Word and Spirit with the surrounding nations—their governments, their cultures and their gods.
It’s only from within the midst of both these peoples that a smaller hidden remnant people was (has been) preserved to fulfil the covenant plan for their age. It was the remnant of faith that paved the way for the Lord’s birth and the church. And it is the remnant of faith now that is paving the way for the Lord’s return, the breeching of the mortality barrier, and the fully established manifest kingdom.
Again, very few have obtained and preserved into identity salvation these last two ages. But under the Third Covenant, this will be totally turned around. In the Third Age, identity salvation will be pure and clear. Those who know the Lord will do so manifestly, ranging anywhere from making initial renunciation of adamic identity for joining Glorified Israel all the way to transitioning into immortality, the final mark of identity in Christ.
A Bridal Covenant
The Third Covenant is also the Covenant of the Bride. It is the formal covenant of marriage between Christ and His purified glorified people. We always hear about the marriage supper of the Lamb. We read about the Bride of Christ in Revelation. But we do not stop to understand what that marriage is. It is a covenant that has not happened yet. It is the Third Covenant.
The first two covenants have been covenants of betrothal only. They are engagement covenants. We read in both covenantal writings:
Hos. 2:19 "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD.
II Cor. 11: 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
But in the Third Covenant, we find the consummating covenant of marriage.
At this point, it is required that we stop and grasp what happens to identity in marriage. At marriage, the original identity of the bride is given up in order to take on the new name of the husband. Jesus refers to this new name given to His overcomers:
Rev. 3:12 'He who overcomes, … I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
This new name is our receiving of His name to become our new name in Bridal covenant. This language is, in fact, entirely covenantal. It is His promise to us.
But implicit in this receiving of His new name is our leaving off of our old names in Adam.
Israel vs. the Nations
It is important to note that throughout all Old Testament prophetic discussions of the Third Age, the identity of “Israel” is kept separate and distinctly maintained from that of “the Nations.” The “nations” refers to anybody not inside of Israel. This is really, really important.
The Lord’s covenant of salvation is only through Israel. Salvation is not with the nations. To be saved, the nations must be joined to Israel, and in so doing, must give up their adamic national identity. This is a citizenship issue. In the Third Covenant, there is no dual citizenship.
Under the Third Covenant and the reign of the Lord through His Body, the Glorified Israel, salvation will not mean just accepting Jesus as Savior. It will mean renunciation of one’s nationality outside of Israel. This is the context we must understand when it speaks of the nations streaming to Jerusalem, coming to the light of Zion, joining themselves to Israel, etc., etc.
In that day, worship will be compulsory. Compulsion will be upon every soul that has never been converted through repentance and taken on national realignment out of whatever they started as in Adam. At the point one is converted, worship will no longer be compulsory, because it will have become natural to the new heart in Christ. But at that point, they will be leaving their nationality behind to become identified only in Christ through joining Israel. This is what it means when the Lord says He makes a new covenant with the nations and gives Israel as a covenant to the peoples.
Heart conversion and translation of identity out of Adam will be one, will be permanent, and will be distinct. If you are saved, it’s because you have repented, you have become circumcised from your original heritage in Adam, you have become part of Israel and you are making your way toward physical translation.
This work of conversion will go on to multiply throughout the earth. The work of spreading salvation throughout the world, which old Israel and the predominantly gentile church both failed at, will now finally be accomplished. Under this scheme, men will convert to saving citizenship in glorified Israel right within the midst of families and nations. This is what it means when it says that the sons of Israel will possess the earth, will posses the heathen as their inheritance, etc. It means the heathen, et al. will be converted to them, joined to them in the farthest reaches of the earth.
What will be different is that the power of conversion will rule over the unbelief of the unconverted. The pressure of tension between the converted and non-converted will favor the converted, exactly the opposite of the last two ages. And wherever the non-converted are yet hostile enough to resist the pressure, the rod of iron will be used to temper them as necessary.
Ruling the Nations with a Rod of Iron
The Third Covenant not only establishes clear identity between Glorified Israel and the Nations, it puts the Nations under complete authority of Glorified Israel. At long last, the tables are turned in the world. At last, the saints (sanctified, holy, separated identity ones) rule over the “uncircumcised”—over those whose identity remains outside the Lord and Israel. (Within Israel, those whose souls are circumcised rule in authority over those whose spirits are converted but whose souls are still undergoing complete circumcision. And those whose bodies are circumcised through translation rule in authority over all within Israel.)
For more on all these implications of complete identity conversion and life to come under the Third Covenant, please see these articles:
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Page updated December 23, 2016