Introduction to: What is the New Covenant?
The question posed in the caption would seem to be a very ridiculous one, for almost everyone would say, "Surely, I know what the New Testament is. It is the part of the Bible that begins with the four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and ends with the Book of Revelation."
Let me emphatically insist and dogmatically acclaim right now that the four Gospels, etc., are NOT the New Covenant. This is one of the many serious errors or mistakes that Christianity makes. Not identifying the New Covenant is a pitfall, snare, and trap that Satan has used to keep us in everlasting ignorance and darkness separated and estranged from God.
Now the New Covenant is a spiritual and psychological covenant where mankind glorifies the creator within their minds in spirit and truth (John 4:24). This means that there are no physical ceremonies, rituals, feast days, sabbath days, etc., to perform in order to worship God. Under the New Covenant the faithful must possess Biblical, scientific, philosophical, and psychological knowledge of God and actual spiritual experiences to receive eternal life or spiritual enlightenment. Prayer and meditation give man direct access to the Spirit.
The New Covenant also FULFILLS the Promise that the Lord made to Abraham, that in his seed (Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:16); He would bless all the families of the earth (Israelite's and Non Israelite's). The Set Apart Spirit was also poured out on the Non Israelite's at Cornelius' house in A. D. 40-41 (Acts 10:44-45). Let us begin this investigation of the New Testament by studying its development.
Galatians 3:16 And to Abraham and to his Seed the promises were spoken. It does not say, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, "And to your Seed," which is Christ.
Acts 10:44-45, 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those hearing the Word. 45 And those of the circumcision, who believed (as many as came with Peter), were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the nations also.
How did the New Testament develop?
Historically, the four gospels and the epistles (letters) of the Apostles were not grouped into one document nor were they labelled the New Testament until after the Messiah's and Apostle's death. During the time of the Apostles, these manuscripts were circulated individually to the various assemblies, but were not compiled as they are today. It also should be noted that when the Apostle John sent the Book of Revelation to the seven assemblies in A.D. 96, all the Apostles were dead.
James Hastings in the Dictionary of the Bible states that the earliest compilation of the New Testament was over a century after the Messiah's death. The first explicit reference to a collection of New Testament books involved the Heretic Marion. He issued a canon of scriptures consisting of a mutilated gospel of St. Luke and the epistles of Paul in about 140 A.D. (p. 123).
More correctly the New Testament has three parts:
1) The four gospels that refer to the Messiah fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament,
2) The writings of the Apostles to the various assemblies, and
3) The Book of Revelation by the Apostle John.
I personally like to refer to the New Testament as the Apostolic Writings.
How is the word "Covenant" defined?
Before one can consider the question posed, one MUST KNOW what a "Testament" or "Covenant" is.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines a "Covenant" or "Testament" as follows. "A binding and solemn agreement to do or keep from doing a specified thing; compact, a will, or an agreement made by or between two or more parties; orig., a covenant, esp. one between God and man; a statement, act, etc. testifying to the fact, validity, or worth of something; testimonial (©1995 Zane Publishing, Inc. ©1994, 1991, 1988 Simon & Schuster, Inc.)"
Now that the definitions are clear, we must know something about the OLD TESTAMENT/COVENANT before we can know anything about the New Testament/Covenant.
Did a covenant exist between God and Israel?
First, God made a Covenant (the old, and the first with Israel) when He spoke to them from Mount Sinai. God told Moses to come into the Mount alone to receive the tables of stone and the Ten Commandments that He had written; that he might teach the people (Exodus 24:1-12).
Moses told all the words and judgments to the people and wrote them in a book (Exodus Chapter 20). After which the people said, "ALL that the LORD hath said will we do. ... Moses took the blood of calves and of goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the BOOK and ALL THE PEOPLE saying THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH the LORD HATH ENJOINED UNTO You (Exodus 24:3-8; Hebrews 9:15-23)."
It is vitally important and absolutely necessary for one to see and understand that the Old Covenant which God made with Israel had to be dedicated with the blood of sacrificial animals BEFORE it could become effectual (Exodus 24:2-8; Hebrews 9:18-22).
The blood of the animals prefigured the New Testament or Covenant that also had to be dedicated with blood, but with the blood of a better sacrifice than the Old. The Lord Jesus Christ was the sacrifice (John 1:29), who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot or blemish to the Most High; to purge Israel's conscience from death causing works (of the Law) to serve the Living God (Hebrews 9:14-28).
Did Moses breaking the first tables of stone signify the end of the Old Covenant?
After forty days in the mount, God told Moses to get down from the Mount for the people had corrupted themselves by making a golden calf to worship. Moses being angry with Israel for worshiping a graven idol broke the tables of stones. Moses physically broke the tables of stone to symbolize Israel's disobedience (Exodus 32:1-19). His actions prefigured that a New Covenant would be established and the first or Old Covenant would end (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:6-13; 10:8-10).
One must see that when Israel broke this Old Covenant, it necessitated God making a New Covenant with them.
It would have been utterly stupid to make a New Covenant with them, just like the Old one (consisting of feast days, sabbath days, sacrifices, rituals, and ceremonies etc).
The New Covenant had to be different.
Did Jeremiah prophesy of the New Covenant?
The Prophet Jeremiah was shown in a vision that God would make a New Covenant with the House of Judah and the House of Israel, which had been divided since Solomon's death (1 Kings 12:16-19).
The split occurred when Israel asked King Rehoboam, Solomon's son to lighten the heavy burden his father had placed on them to build Solomon's temple. The king refused and told Israel that he would work them much harder than Solomon. The people protested and ten tribes chose Jeroboam king; they formed the Northern Kingdom, called Israel. Judah and Benjamin formed the Southern Kingdom called Judah who continued to follow Rehoboam (See Halley's Bible Handbook, 24th Edition, 1965, p. 193).
At the time of Jeremiah's prophecy Assyria had taken the house of Israel into captivity and Jeremiah prophesied that the house of Judah would spend 70 years in captivity to Babylon (Jeremiah 25:12-13). This New Covenant would make Israel one people again in their own land by the outpouring of the Set Apart Spirit.
Jeremiah prophesied of the New Covenant in 31:31-34 that the Apostle Paul restates in Hebrews 10:16-17. It reads like this: "Behold, the days come, says he LORD-God, that I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah: NOT according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers (the Old/First Covenant) in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My Covenant they broke, although I was an husband to them, says the LORD, But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel: AFTER THOSE DAYS (after the Birth, Life, Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ), says the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be my people."
Isaiah also prophesied of a Redeemer and a New Covenant. He states: "And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD; My spirit that is upon You, and my words which I have put in Your mouth, shall not depart out of Your mouth, nor out of the mouth of Your seed, nor out of the mouth of Your seed's seed, says the LORD, from henceforth and for ever (Isaiah 59:20-21)."
Now no one knew what this New Covenant was until the Christ mentioned it when He blessed the cup that He and His disciples partook of at the Passover. This meal was not the Master's Supper as many believe (Matthew 26:26). It was only after the outpouring of the Set Apart Spirit that Israel began to understand the New Covenant.
What points did Jeremiah prophecy about the New Covenant?
These are the following points in the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34, when the LORD God gave Him this vision.
1. the LORD is making the New Covenant with the House of Judah and Israel AFTER the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, because the Old Covenant had to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ and the New Covenant dedicated with the Blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:16-17).
2. the LORD-God Yahuah, Himself (not Matthew or Mark, Luke or John) is going to write the New Covenant in the inward parts; in fleshly tables of the heart, NOT IN TABLES OF STONE (2 Corinthians 3:1-3).
3. the LORD is NOT going to make the New Covenant with the House of Judah and Israel as He did the Old. There is to be a distinction because they (from the High Priest on down) broke the Old Covenant.
Did the second tables of stone prophecy of the second covenant?
The Prophet Jeremiah said the LORD would make a new and different covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. This can be seen when the LORD gave Israel a second tables of stone (Exodus 24:1-4).
The Lord told Moses to hew himself another set of stones like unto the first, which he took into the Mount whereupon the Yahuah the Lord God wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger.
Moses brought down the second set of stones and placed them inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:20), signifying the Second or New Testament or Covenant that the Lord-God Yahuah promised He would write in their Heart and Mind (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
We as New Covenant believers are the ark of the covenant with His Covenant placed on the inside of us i.e. our minds and our hearts.
Did the New Covenant occur after Jesus Christ's death?
Anyone who is heir to a fortune by virtue of a will (a Testament) cannot receive his fortune until the person making the will, dies. Paul states in Hebrews 9:16-17: "For where a Testament (Covenant) is there must of necessity be the death of the Testator (Jesus). For a Testament is of force AFTER men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives."
Therefore, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are biographies of Jesus Christ, walking around FULFILLING the Old Covenant or the Law and the Prophets (Isaiah 8:10). Jesus Christ Himself was born, lived, died, buried and resurrected, and ascended into heaven under the Old Covenant or Law.
Paul writes that Christ was born under the law. "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son made of a woman, made UNDER THE LAW, to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:4-5)."
Consequently, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, etc., cannot be the New Testament/Covenant. Because these books are not talking about the Set Apart Spirit being poured out into the hearts and minds on the Day of Pentecost, as prophesied by Jeremiah and Joel (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Joel 2: 21-29), and confirmed by Peter (Acts 1:16-18). Therefore, it does not take a college graduate to see and understand that if the Old Covenant or Law was in effect all during the days of Jesus Christ, then the New Covenant could not have been in effect then.
A more accurate and correct way of calling them would be "The Apostolic Writings".
Did the Messiah fulfill the Old Testament?
The mission of Jesus Christ) was to fulfill the Law and Prophets or Old Testament/Covenant. He told Israel: "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law and the Prophets (the Old Covenant): I am not come to DESTROY, but to FULFILL (NOT TO INSTITUTE). For verily I say unto you, Till earth and heaven pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be FULFILLED (Matthew 5:17-18; see also Luke 24:37-44-46)."
This simply means that Jesus Christ had to FULFILL the Old Covenant before the New Covenant could come of effect. For example, when Jesus Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, this fulfilled the prophecy of Micah (Micah 5:2). Being born of a virgin fulfilled Isaiah's prophesy (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Judas' betrayal of Christ for 30 pieces of silver fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah (Zachariah 11:12-13). These are just a few of the 40% of Old Testament/Covenant prophecies concerning Jesus Christ.
In other words, Jesus Christ God incarnated in a physical body of the Christ (1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14) had to fulfill every jot and tittle of the Old Covenant, remove it (Hebrews 10:9), die on the cross (Colossians 2:14), sacrifice His blood, resurrect from the dead, and ascend to the Father, BEFORE the New Covenant could become effective.
Did Jesus eat the Lord's or the Passover supper?
Jesus ate the Passover supper with His disciples in a place that they had prepared (Matthew 26:19-20). He was fulfilling the children of Israel eating the Passover supper down in Egypt in their houses (not in the temple or in the congregation - 1 Corinthians 11:20-21).
He had eaten this supper every year of His ministry with His Disciples, for it was a yearly obligation. Jesus celebrated and kept all of the Feasts Days according to the Law of Moses. These were all types and shadows of the real or Spiritual. The Passover was the LAST physical or natural SUPPER to be eaten before His death.
In this Present Age or Dispensation, we are no longer required to eat the Passover in a natural way. If one does try to eat it a physically, he does not discern Jesus's body that is NOW SPIRITUAL (1 Corinthians 11:29-31). The Messiah's words or the Spirit must be eaten, for they are life (John 6:63). [For more details see the book God The Archetypal (Original) Pattern of the Universe by Dr. Henry C. Kinley (©1961 Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research Inc.) Vol. II; p. 28-34]
Did the Messiah mention the New Testament/Covenant?
The Passover meal that Jesus Christ ate with His disciples also FULFILLED the dedication of the First Covenant that the LORD gave to Moses and the Israelite's at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:3-8 Hebrews 9:15-23). The First Covenant was dedicated with the blood of calves and goats.
Likewise, Jesus Christ took the cup (Matthew 26:26-29), gave thanks, and passed it to them. "Saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins, [but with the blood of a better sacrifice, the blood of Jesus Christ]. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine [physically] until that Day [the Day of the Kingdom is established on earth in a yet future event at Jesus' second coming] when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom."
The disciples understood that Jesus Christ was speaking symbolically (the Bread as His body and the Cup as His blood). He was not referring to His actual body or blood as some followers of Jesus Christ thought then and as some who practice the doctrine of transubstantiation think today. In the 6th chapter of John, Jesus Christ said: "It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63)."
Who ended the first covenant?
The Apostle Paul explains that it was the Jesus Christ who did away with the first covenant. "... Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You did not desire, neither had pleasure in them; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do Your will, O God. He takes away the first (COVENANT which stood ONLY in meats and drinks and divers washings and Carnal Ordinances), that he may establish the second (Hebrews 8:13, 10:8-9)." This means that everything He did can be explained on the basis of something under the Law and contained in the books of the Prophets.
When the Jews would ask Jesus Christ, why do you do this or why do you do that, He answered them with this verse. "Search the Scriptures (the Law and the Prophets, which were written before He was born, not the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John); for in them (the Scriptures) you think ye have Eternal life and they are they that testify of me (John 5:39)." The first Covenant or Law stood ONLY in meats and drinks and divers washings and carnal ordinances, imposed on them (the Israelite's) until the time of REFORMATION (Hebrews 9:10).
Jesus came to fulfill these natural, carnal, physical ordinances and move them out of the way NAILING THEM TO HIS CROSS (Colossians 2:14). The True worshipers can now honour the LORD in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24; Acts 17:24-25).
Is there a penalty for continuing to perform works under the Old Covenant?
Those that continue to practice these Ordinances physically further deny that the LORD, who gave the Law from Mount Sinai, had the power to FULFILL them and move them out of the way, bringing in the New Covenant which is now SPIRITUAL.
Under the Law of Moses, those that disobeyed it died or were expelled from the body of Israel. Likewise, under the new spiritual Covenant, those that despise it suffer spiritually and psychologically. Paul said the following:
"He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:28-29)?"
Man cannot expand his consciousness on a spiritual level if he does not understand grace and exercise the principle of faith. He will remain in a death state of spiritual darkness. This was the state of the religious teachers of Israel who did not accept Jesus Christ's messages. As a result, none of these teachers received the Set Apart Spirit or spiritual enlightenment on the Day of Pentecost.
In fact, anyone that is not worshipping the LORD God in Spirit and truth (John 4:24-25) cannot grow in the Spirit. The Apostle John said in Revelation that only souls that had the light of Christ within them would be allowed within the walls of Heavenly Jerusalem, symbolizing a resurrected state of consciousness (Revelation 21:22-27).
What were the Apostles' views of the Old Covenant?
The Apostle Paul admonished the Galatians not to keep the Law of Moses. They were ignorant of the fact that the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ had abolished the Old Covenant and the New Covenant had been dedicated and established by His own blood (Colossians 2:14). They wished to continue performing the Law of Moses or Old Covenant of works, such as Meats, Drinks, Washings, Feast Days, Sabbath Days, etc. (Galatians 4:1-4).
John on the Isle of Patmos saw in a vision a book (the Old Covenant or Law and Prophets) sealed with seven seals. NOBODY was found in heaven or on earth worthy to open the book (FULFILL IT) and loose the seals. John said that he wept much until the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah stepped forward and prevailed to open the book and loose the seals (Revelation 5:1-10).
It was Jesus Christ that loosened the seals on the book of the Old Testament/Covenant by fulfilling the prophecies written in them. The Old Covenant had to stand therefore until Jesus Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle of it. Then the Old Covenant could pass away or end, and the New Covenant could begin.
The disciples' understanding of this sealed book was not revealed until after Christ's resurrection. Now Luke wrote the following concerning this. "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures (Luke 24:44-45)."
What was God's view of the first covenant?
Yahuah the Lord-God Himself, who gave the Old Law or Covenant, was never pleased with Ordinances (Isaiah 1:10-14). He suffered the Mosaic Law for the TIME THEN PRESENT to be a schoolmaster to lead us unto the New Covenant (Galatians 3:24-25).
King David wrote in the 40th division of Psalms and the Apostles Paul quotes him in the 10th chapter Hebrews.
"Wherefore when He comes into the world, He says, sacrifice and burnt offerings You did not desire, but a body have You prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is already written of Me) to do Your will O Lord (Psalms 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-7)."
Please note carefully that the scriptures state He came IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK (that is the Law and the Prophets or Old Testament/Covenant) that was written before Jesus' birth which He came to fulfill. The scriptures are written of Him.
What is the symbolism of Abraham's two sons Ishmael and Isaac?
Paul stated in Galatians 4:21-31 (see also Genesis 12th to 21st chapters; Exodus 24:3-8; Exodus 34th chapter), that Abraham's two sons were allegories of the two Covenants. "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the Law [Old Covenant], do ye not hear the Law. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons..." The one son Ishmael was by a bondsman, Hagar. Ishmael was born after the flesh (Genesis 16:1-4), which was an allegory of the first or Old Covenant. It was written on tables of stone and given to Moses and the Israelite's from Mount Sinai in Arabia. The first covenant answers to the earthly Jerusalem that now is, and is in bondage (to the natural Carnal Ordinances that were given to physical Israel under the Law) with her children.
The LORD gave the Law of Carnal Ordinances and Commandments to Israel 430 years AFTER the Promise.
The Law could not annul or make void the Promise, for it was given to be a schoolmaster to lead us unto Jesus Christ.
The other son Isaac, was by Abraham's wife Sarah who was barren. When Isaac was born, Abraham was one hundred (100) years old, well past the age of bringing forth physical children (Genesis 21:1-5, 17:17). Contrary to a natural birth in the flesh and according to the LORD's Promise and Purpose to establish an allegory, Sarah bore Isaac. He was synonymous to the second tables of stone, a figure of the New Covenant, that Moses himself hewed out and took into Mount Sinai the second time.
What does the second tables of stone symbolize?
After Moses' second forty (40) day trip in the Mount, he returned to the camp with the Law written on tables of stone, by the finger of the LORD. His face shone so much that Moses had to put a veil upon his face to talk with the children of Israel (Exodus 34:33-35; 2 Corinthians 3:13-16).
The second tables of the Law and Moses' shining face symbolized the illumination of the Set Apart Spirit within a man's soul. They both are allegorical to the New Covenant written in the Heart and Mind on the Day of Pentecost and onwards. The New Covenant also fulfilled God's Promise to Abraham that in his seed all the families of the earth will be blessed because ALL men had been concluded under sin due to Adam's transgression (Romans 5:14).
Are each of us letters in a book?
The Apostle Paul saw that this New Covenant was written in the hearts and in the minds. He wrote to the Corinthians. "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as YOU are manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Jesus Christ ministered be, us, written NOT with INK, but with the SPIRIT of the Living God: not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)."
Now YOU are the Epistle, and it takes many Epistles to make up a book (as we being many members make up the Body of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:17; 1 Corinthians 12:14). John confirms this by his vision on the Isle of Patmos.
"I saw the dead, small and great stand before the LORD, and the books (or epistle which is each of us) were opened; and another book (the body of Jesus or the totality of the redeemed ones) was opened which is the Book of Life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written (by the Spirit to he Living God in the books, according to their WORKS (Revelation 20:12)."
What is the New Covenant/Testament?
Many people will ask just what is the New Testament/Covenant and what does it do? First of all the New Testament is a spiritual, not a physical, covenant. It is performed within the mind, not by hands nor with outward shows of worship.
What was hidden from mankind under the Old Covenant is that the true temple or tabernacle to worship the LORD is his man's physical body. Paul wrote: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is set apart, which temple you are (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)."
Within the New Covenant, one can worship the LORD in Spirit and Truth (John 4:24), according to faith and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). The New Testament established the spiritual kingdom of Christ (Romans 14:17) on the Day of Pentecost, when the Set Apart Spirit was poured out on the Apostles. This simply means that under the New Covenant the Spirit guides one as it did Abraham, before the LORD gave Israel the Law 430 years later.
Under this New Covenant, the LORD fulfilled the prophesies that He made to the prophets of Israel. He promised to give visions and dreams to everyone young and old, male and female (Joel 2:28; Numbers 12:6). It is these visions, dreams, and revelations that reveal the LORD within man's consciousness; without them there is no hope of understanding the Creator within.
Visions, dreams, and revelations strengthen one spiritually and psychologically. The Apostle John, who wrote Revelations (which is the Spiritual Revelation of Christ), said:
"Behold, I stand at the door and Knock: (the door of our Heart and Mind, the New Covenant) if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I WILL COME IN TO HIM AND WILL SUP 'WITH HIM AND HE WITH ME" (Revelation 3:20)."
Is faith essential for the New Covenant?
The basic principle of the New Covenant/Testament is faith in the Set Apart Spirit. The Master demonstrated the power of faith repeatedly to Israel by the miracles HE performed. Once when He sent His disciples out with power, yet they could not heal someone, He told them that they had no faith.
"Because of your unbelief [you cannot perform this miracle]: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Matthew 17:20)."
As we journey through life, meeting all types of challenges and adversities, it is faith in the Set Apart Spirit, (not performing some physical rituals) that will enable us to overcome our trials. Jesus Christ told the father of the boy he was about to heal: "If You can believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23)."
Jesus Christ constantly told the Jews about the changes in the Old Covenant. He said that the new one required faith and not works of the law.
"Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Non Israelite's? Yes, of the Non Israelite's also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (Romans 3:19-31)."
Summarizing these verses, Abraham obtained his righteousness by having faith in God (Genesis 15:1-6). Not by keeping the law that came 430 years after he existed.