Author Topic: New Covenant experience  (Read 22532 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2009, 01:33:13 PM »
Amen! We agree that only Christ can save.

I am not sure, but I take it that where we disagree with that you believe the Israelite was saved under the Old Covenant?

If so, let me explain how I see it. Yes, there were indeed Israelites who were saved during the period of the Old Covenant prior to the New Covenant. Then how can that be?  None were saved under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant merely pointed out their death, spiritual death. They were saved by the blood of Christ which was the promise, covenant, first made in the Garden of Eden. It is the "Everlasting Covenant". It was renewed with Abraham and is also known as the Abrahamic Covenant.

Dear brother, I am the first to acknowledge that some of the writings of Paul are not easy to understand. But, when looked at as a whole with the aid of the rest of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, it is our blessing to realize what he taught. I would have preferred he had included a lesson on the Everlasting Covenant, but he did not. God has seen to it that we understand that the Everlasting Covenant is the same as the New Covenant. The better promises in the New Covenant, are the better promises in the Everlasting Covenant.

Thank you for your patience as we study this difficult concept. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2009, 11:58:35 AM »
Hi Richard,
Thanks for your comments. I do not believe the Old Covenant was way of salvation. It was God's way of presenting the plan of salvation. The subject we are seeking to unwrap is just so vital, but full of confused loose ends. I enjoy our exchanges, they have caused me to do a great deal of thinking. One subject I would like us to take time to focus on is the term 'everlasting covenant'.
What is the everlasting covenant? I originally accepted it as the promise of salvation.
However after going to my concordance I have been unable to find a text which uses the term 'everlasting covenant' in reference to salvation.
Can you help here please?
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2009, 12:21:37 PM »
I am interested in more study on this subject.  It seems that some who talk about the everlasting or new covenant, are still preaching the old one.  Obey and live.  Again I need to study this out more, but is the difference that one says obey and live and the other; look and live?  Probably way to simplistic.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2009, 03:43:05 PM »
I like it!  But, yes, I think we need to explain a little more so that Paul's thoughts come through to those who have been misled.  Paul was explaining to the new converts that the letter of the law kills and the Spirit of Christ brings life. The law demands perfect obedience which man does not have to give. The everlasting covenant did not ask for perfect obedience that man did not have to give, but rather promised a Saviour that would not only redeem man from his death sentence, but empower man to live the law through the Savioiur. The promise was to change man, to give him enmity towards sin, to write the law on the table of his heart.

Until stripped of pride and certainty of his ability to keep the law, God could not help the Israelite just freed from Egypt, nor can He help  us. Many today are working very hard to keep the law, but the commandment has not yet come home to them. They are working in vain, for it is impossible for them to keep the law as the law requires. It is only when the law is written in the heart through the indwelling presence of the Spirit that man can live. Not until the truth is revelaed as it was when Moses destroyed the tables of stone is it possible to understand who we really are. And even then it is just the beginning of our experience in discovering how evil we are apart from Christ. The close we get to Him, the more clearly we see who we are. As we learn of Jesus we have a better standard with which we may measure our goodness. Not much there to be proud of when compared to the real Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2009, 04:18:58 PM »
Oh, how I love to hear that Christ centered message!  I never tire of that perspective!  What hope -- What assurance.   I can trust Jesus and then as I look at the law, it says "holier still" and because of my love relationship with my Lord and because of His righteousness, I fix my eyes back on Him and am "changed from Glory to Glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord."  There may be hope for me yet!

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2009, 04:45:52 PM »
If Jesus says that He loves you and me, and if He says that He will come and take us home with Him, and if He says that if we will come to Him just as we are, He will write His law in our hearts, then who are we, such dumb dogs, to think He may be wrong! :)  We accept Him at His Word as impossible as it may seem to not only forgive me, but to change me into His image!

The Jews asked for a sign, yet the greatest miracle that God could do was not to raise the dead, but to bring back from spiritual death a sinner. The Centurian, the demoniac, the woman caught in sin, the Sons of Thunder, Poor self-assured Peter, Thomas so full of doubt, Stephen, John the Baptist, Enoch, and how about Zacchaeus! The greatest of all miracles to re-create fallen man in His image!!

And, we, living at the end of time are privileged to reveal the character of Christ more than in the past. It is not good enough for us to remain where we are, we must reach higher by falling at the foot of the cross. As we do so, God will raise a standard, that standard will be a revelation of Him in us.

Here is what He intends to do:And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 

There is a great difference between him that is in Christ and him who is not. The world can see it and so may we.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2009, 08:05:52 PM »
Hi Richard,
Thanks for your comments. I do not believe the Old Covenant was way of salvation. It was God's way of presenting the plan of salvation. The subject we are seeking to unwrap is just so vital, but full of confused loose ends. I enjoy our exchanges, they have caused me to do a great deal of thinking. One subject I would like us to take time to focus on is the term 'everlasting covenant'.
What is the everlasting covenant? I originally accepted it as the promise of salvation.
However after going to my concordance I have been unable to find a text which uses the term 'everlasting covenant' in reference to salvation.
Can you help here please?
God bless,
Ian

Brother Ian, I too am blessed as we study this more carefully. Let  me say that this is a most difficult subject for me. If I were to only have the Bible, I would not have come to the place I am in my thinking. Others have been here before us. Here is a statement, one of many that makes sense to me.

"As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall, there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. To all men this covenant offered pardon, and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God's law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation.  

This same covenant was renewed to Abraham in the promise, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Gen. 22:18. This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it, and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God's law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, 'Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.' Gen. 17:1; 26:5. . . .

The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the 'second,' or 'new,' covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant.  

The covenant of grace is not a new truth, for it existed in the mind of God from all eternity. This is why it is called the everlasting covenant.  

There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus. The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today. . . . Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the author and the finisher of our faith."

The  light gathered from this reasoning and the understanding of how Paul was teaching, in the context of Judaizers that were forever perverting the gospel of grace, combine to open our minds to the situation when Paul used the terms the Old and the New Covenants.
 
I am not an expert on this my dear brother, but this is where I am today. Remember the discussion between Smith and Waggoner and Jones on the law in Galatians? This is the same problem existing today as to what is Paul speaking of in Galatians, the moral or the ceremonial? It is both. The law, both ceremonial and moral is spoken of by Paul as the "ministration of death".  Thus we have the language of the Old and the New Covenant. One by the "letter of the law" which was glorious and the ministration of death and the other by the Spirit which brought life and wrote the law upon the heart and was more glorious.

The law was to condemn and the Spirit was to bring life. When we see what Paul is teaching, then we are better prepared to answer the questions posed by those of other faiths who have believed a lie that the moral law is no longer binding. Paul was not doing away with the law, but revealing the lie of the Judaizers that perverted the gospel of grace by giving power to the law to save.

Thank you, dear brother for your Christian attitude in dealing with this most difficult topic. I am learning as we go along. I am happy to see any error in my thinking on this. It is better to be correct in our understanding than remain in error. I thank Jesus for the light He has entrusted to us weak and erring mortals! One day we will get it right and He will come and take us home!!

Blessings to you as we continue in His Spirit!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2009, 05:17:54 AM »
Amen!  This is the balance, then -- To continually show the Christ of the law and the Righteousness in him. We have the same problem today that Paul had with the Judaizing teachers in his day and it's not necessary -- we have such better, "exceeding great and precious promises"-- a new but everlasting covenant -- better understood than ever before -- As we lift up Jesus so that He may "draw all men to Him", we show the enabling grace provided to keep His law of liberty.  All that has been written for us in that covenant is for our benefit and happiness -- our abundant life.  It is only in Jesus, though, that, as fallen sinful beings, we can see the law as "good", not just a list of restrictions and thus live in harmony with it. The "ministration" (law) itself has no glory apart from Christ --

The greatest difficulty Paul had to meet arose from the influence of Judaizing teachers. These made him much trouble by causing dissension in the church at Corinth. They were continually presenting the virtues of the ceremonies of the law, exalting these ceremonies above the gospel of Christ, and condemning Paul because he did not urge them upon the new converts.  {1SM 236.1}

Paul met them on their own ground. "If the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious," he said, "so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory" (2 Cor. 3:7-9). {1SM 236.2}

The glory that shone on the face of Moses was a reflection of the righteousness of Christ in the law. The law itself would have no glory, only that in it Christ is embodied. It has no power to save. It is lusterless only as in it Christ is represented as full of righteousness and truth.  {1SM 237.2}
 
It was seeing the object of that which was to be done away, seeing Christ as revealed in the law, that illumined the face of Moses. The ministration of the law, written and engraved in stone, was a ministration of death. Without Christ, the transgressor was left under its curse, with no hope of pardon. The ministration had of itself no glory, but the promised Saviour, revealed in the types and shadows of the ceremonial law, made the moral law glorious. {1SM 237.4}[/color]

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2009, 08:22:08 PM »
Yes, dear brother, we do indeed have Pharisees in the church today and we have liberals who dismiss need to keep the law. Jesus speaks to our church today in the third chapter of the Book of Revelation. It is both a rebuke and a promise. The law must do its work or else the sinner does not see himself a sinner. The law is the school-master that leads the sinner to Christ after he sees himself in bondage to the law.

The Laodicean condition is such that until the deception is pointed out, there is great danger the sinner will remain a sinner. The old covenant experience was given for a reason. Why did God enter into an agreement with the Israelites when He knew they would fail?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2009, 02:43:38 PM »
Do you see the Laodicean condition as a liberal problem or a Pharisee (legalism) issue.  My thinking was that the "rich and increased" phrase, kind of narrowed the disciption a bit.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2009, 10:07:50 PM »
Both Pharisees and liberals fit the bill. All who have come into God's church generally recognize the fact they are truly blessed! Chosen they are! So many "teachers"!  There are lowly ones who do not see themselves as such. But, then some of them rejoice in their lowliness! :(

The condition is not fatal if the message from Jesus is heeded. He says "Repent". Of course we have not this repentance, we do not even understand what we need to repent of! It seems hopeless, but Jesus whiile giving a strong rebuke, gives the solution after the rebuke.

Getting back to the Old covenant, why do think God entered into an agreement with the Israelites when He knew they would fail?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2009, 05:54:10 AM »
Getting back to the Old covenant, why do think God entered into an agreement with the Israelites when He knew they would fail?

They had mostly forgotten about God in Egypt -- He needed by experience to get them to trust Him and by those failures, see their need of a Saviour.  The condition for salvation is today what it has always been  -- obey My commandments -- our trust in ourselves and our utter failure to keep them on our own, brings us to Jesus for enabling grace and the writing of His law on our hearts.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2009, 10:46:19 AM »
Such a blessing to be in unity on such an important principle! Have a blessed day, dear friend!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2009, 12:55:31 PM »
Hi Richard,
I protest.
To say that God sets people up for failure is blasphemy.
James 1:12-14 says that God does not tempt anyone.
The Israelites were not set up to experience failure. Heb 3:15-19, ‘they were not able to enter because of unbelief’. See also Heb 4:2
Jesus wept over Jerusalem, Matt 23:37-39, because they had consistently rejected their opportunities for blessing.
The Bible says that God has the attribute of being all knowing, but it also says things that indicate that God suspends this attribute. Jesus emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives.
My salvation is dependant on my choice, it is not predetermined.
Genesis 22:11-17. the angel of the Lord, (in this instance Jesus?) says, now I know that you fear God. Did not God know that?
God declared to Moses that He was going to destroy the Israelites, but in answer to Moses; prayer He withdrew that intention. Now, was God .lying to Moses? God cannot lie. Mrs White says that God does things in answer to the prayer of faith that He would not otherwise do.
God never sets people up for failure. To say that He does is blasphemy.
Regards,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2009, 03:29:36 PM »
Dear Brother, I accept your protest and will try to respond in a manner that will agree with your concern.

God knows that most will reject His grace. Yet, He put into action the plan of salvation at great expense and risk. Does that mean He set up most of humanity for failure? Absolutely not. God does the very best that He can to save man.

God had not withheld from Israel the promise of life. It was given to Adam and to their fathers to pass down to their offspring. He did not withdraw that when they came out of Egypt. Unfortunately, the Israelites were not looking for a Saviour. They did not know their need, not yet.  Did not God part the Red Sea for them? Did He not feed them and provide water for them? Did He not lead them with the physical manifestation of His presence? Why was this not enough for them to believe unto salvation?

I ask the same question about today's church. Why the unbelief? Do we not have the cross in its blazing glory before us? So, what is needed to awaken a sleeping church? And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Jude 1:22,23  

The commandment that reveals the sinfulness of sin has not come home to the heart with many. They do not see their sinfulness, but rather believe they are doing just fine. But, the school master, the law has a part to play in conversion. Some think that by keeping the law they will be saved, not realizing they cannot keep the law without a power from outside of themselves. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. Few enjoy the thought of dying. Generally there is a fear of death. So, how can God use fear to save someone? Fear will save none, only grace can save. Then why does Jude say  "save with fear"?

It is the beginning of the process of conversion. It is a fact that when the bombs start falling and the soldier is in the foxhole unprotected from them, he will instinctively begin praying. Fear is a very strong motivator.  So, God takes a people who have little knoledge or interest in a Saviour and gets their attention. He knows without a knowledge of the plan of salvation, they will begin to work their way to heaven. It is human nature. He allows them to try. He says to them "obey and live". He gave them the ceremonial law at the same time, but they did not understand. It is a hard thing to give up ones pride and self sufficiency. It is impossible without a knowledge of God.

They saw that they could not obey. It did not take very long. Did God set them up to fall? No. He gave them an opportunity to know themselves, to see their sinfulness and their inability to obey. This was instrumental in their attaining salvation. They had only just begun their journey. He was leading them step by step. The commandment came home to their hearts. He works the very same way today. He reveals to us our inability to save ourselves by the keeping of the law without a Saviour. First we need to see our need, then we will begin to search for help.  

The Old Covenant was glorious but it was not for salvation in and of itself. It was the revelation of law to reveal the need for a better covenant. A covenant that would write the law on the heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2009, 06:03:13 AM »
I remember when I was a small boy, my parents encouraging me that it was time to learn to ride a bicycle.  Were they setting me up for failure because they knew I would fall a few times before I succeeded?

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2009, 09:33:12 AM »
Yes! That's it!  We give the bike to our precious child knowing he will fall. We wait until the right time to do so. We are there at his side. We know the pain that it will cause, but we look beyond that to the growth that will occur.

How more important eternal life and a changed character!  Let us continue with this great analogy. Who are we thinking of when we hand the bike over? It is the child. We have his interest at heart. And what if we did not present this opportunity and kept all such things away from the child? Will this help him? No. It is part of the process of growing up. And thus it is in the Christian experience. There are steps. God is good to give us little steps that do not destroy us. As we look back on our lives, we see just how patient and long-suffering God has been with us.

It is true that He allows bad things to happen in our lives. It is true that He left Satan in this world when He could have destroyed him 6,000 years ago. Why does He allow us to be hurt? Why did He present the ten commandments when He knew the Israelites just out of bondage were going to fall? Because He knows better than us. He was working with them and loved them. He was helping them in the very best way to get to know themselves and Him.

His physical presence and all of the miracles did not prepare this people for salvation, not yet. It appears that with all that God did in the forty years of wandering, most did not fully understand who they were and their great need of a Saviour.

Why is this so important? Because the experience of the Jews has been duplicated to a large degree today. God's people have been wandering just outside of the promised land for more than 40 years. We are just as blind as the Jews were who put Jesus on the cross. Until we awake to see our need of Jesus, we will not understand that we have no hope, no joy, no peace until we give Him the whole heart.

Thanks, Brother Tim for the excellent analogy. God's love is much greater than our love for our children and He is much wiser. His timing is perfect in regards to when the law needs to come to each one of us. He waits patiently, often for many years before He sees the time is the best it will ever be. Then the Holy Spirit begins to work with greater power to convince of sin and righteousness. A demonstration of our weakness seems to be a very good lesson for many who cannot learn any other way. This is to say, it is a lesson that in some cases needs to be repeated many times.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2009, 02:57:47 PM »
Hi Richard,
“I am the Lord, I change not” Malachi 3:6
I believe that the understanding that the ‘Everlasting Covenant’ is the most important covenant is misleading
The first covenant is the covenant God made with man at creation.
What is termed, the ‘Everlasting Covenant’ is God’s response to the breaking of and the means of restoring the creation covenant.
All subsequent covenants are stages in the restoration of the creation covenant. They are all part of one, developing continuity of covenants.
How does this concept appeal as Biblical truth?
God bless,
Ian

Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2009, 09:12:14 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts, dear Brother Ian. I understand  where  you are starting. It is helpful.

The first covenant is the covenant God made with man at creation.

Yes, there was an agreement made in the garden before sin, but I do not think the Bible says much about it. Although there is at least one statement in regards to it. That agreement was similar to the Old Covenant which was made many years after that Covenant. :)  This is "meat" not "milk" and must be understood in the context of Paul's writings on the Old and New Covenants.

The agreement made between God and Adam was that if man ate from the tree in the midst of the garden,  he would die. Therefore, if Adam did not eat from that tree, he would live. Not much having to do with the following covenants which had to do with how God would  restore a sinner. What is at issue in our discussion is how man, having disobeyed God, could be reconciled to  Him. The promise was made immediately that Christ  would  provide that opportunity. That a way would be made that  man could once again hate sin and love God supremely.  That was the "Everlasting Covenant". It would be ratified with the blood of Christ. But, man lost sight of this promise  when Israel  was in captivity. Thus is was necessary for God to teach man that he needed a Saviour. He was little more than a brute beast when he left Egypt. He had no idea that he was "lost". When Adam sinned, he knew he  was lost. Not  so with the Israelites at Mount Sinai. They did not see themselves as helpless and dead as did Adam. It was necessary for them to be shown that they had no power to keep the law of God in and of themselves. So, God gave them  His law and told them if they would obey, they would live. They said they would. Did they? No! Why not? Because they did not see their need of a Saviour until they broke the covenant.

Then they could begin to learn about the plan of salvation from the ceremonial law. Then they saw their  need, some did  anyway. But, the priests perverted the services and mis-taught the plan of salvation to the degree that when Paul was teaching, few understood that a man was saved by grace, not by the law.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2009, 09:20:53 PM »
I believe that the understanding that the ‘Everlasting Covenant’ is the most important covenant is misleading
....What is termed, the ‘Everlasting Covenant’ is God’s response to the breaking of and the means of restoring the creation covenant.

Brother Ian, I am teachable and  I am listening to what you present. My understanding is that the "Everlasting Covenant" was made before the foundation of the world was laid. It is the most important covenant. It is the basis  on which the whole universe will be restored to safety.  Am I wrong in my thoughts on this?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.