Time of Fulfillment

God foresaw the sins and downfall of Israel, therefore, He determined from the beginning to institute a New Covenant energized and characterized by His Spirit. It would include the salvation of the Nations and culminate in the “New Heavens and the New Earth.” With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, that Time of Fulfillment commenced.

The Death and Resurrection of Jesus inaugurated the promised era in Salvation History defined and dominated by the Spirit of God. In the  Nazarene, the period known as the “Last Days” began and the promises of God received their fulfillment in him.

Cross Following - Photo by Luis Georg Müller on Unsplash
[Photo by Luis Georg Müller on Unsplash]

When Israel repented wholeheartedly, God would gather her “f
rom among all the peoples where Yahweh your God has scattered you.” He would “MULTIPLY you beyond your fathers” and “CIRCUMCISE your heart to love Him with all your heart and with all your soul that you may live” - (Deuteronomy 30:3-6).

Two things are noteworthy. First, God planned to “multiply Israel beyond her forebears.” The English term “multiply” translates the same Hebrew verb found in the call to Adam to be “fruitful and multiply,” and in God’s promise to multiply Abraham’s seed until his descendants became more numerous than the stars - (Genesis 1:28, 17:2).

Second, national restoration would occur when God “circumcised Israel’s heart” and inscribed His law on the hearts of His people, an internal change promised in the Hebrew Scriptures and actualized by the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant. It would be far more glorious than anything the nation ever imagined - (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Isaiah 65:17-18, Revelation 21:1-3).

The covenant promises are fulfilled in Jesus as God implements His New Covenant, including the “circumcised heart” and the Gift of the Spirit. The Jews who saw the Messiah experienced something “greater than Jonah,” “greater than Solomon,” “greater than David,” and greater than the Temple. Yet their unbelief prevented them from perceiving what God was doing in the nation’s midst - (Matthew 5:17-21, 12:6, 12:28, 12:41-42).

Having established the “New Covenant in his blood,” Jesus began to build his Kingdom and covenant community. His “Assembly” of saints was formed around and centered on him, not the Land of Canaan or the Temple in Jerusalem. “All the promises of God found their ‘Yea’ and ‘Amen’ in Jesus.” He ascended on high “that he might fulfill all things” promised to Abraham and the “fathers”- (Acts 3:24-26, Acts 10:42-43, 13:18-33).

The jurisdiction of the Torah was limited and lasted only “until Christ came.” He was the true Seed of Abraham, and therefore, all those who have faith in him and the promises of God become the “children of Abraham” and heirs of the covenant - (2 Corinthians 1:20, Galatians 3:24, Romans 10:4).


Before Calvary, the Gentiles were “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” However, “those who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” The ancient promise to regather God’s people began its fulfillment as both Jews and Gentiles responded in faith to the Gospel.

God’s purpose was “to sum up all things in Christ in the fullness of the times.” This included the redemption and gathering of the nations, including Israel, and the bodily resurrection of the righteous dead - (Romans 8:20-23, 1 Corinthians 15:20-25, Ephesians 1:10, 2:11-13).

When referring to the Promised Land, the Hebrew Bible employed the terms “inheritance,” “inherit,” “heir,” and “promise.” In the New Testament, these same terms are applied to what God is accomplishing through His Son, including the Gift of the Spirit and the promised resurrection. Jesus is truly the heir of all things - (Matthew 21:38, 28:18, John 13:3, Colossians 1:12-13, 1 Peter 1:3-5).

The Gift of the Spirit confirms the status of believers as members of the covenant community. Whether Jewish or Gentile, they become the “children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” Everyone who receives the Spirit becomes part of the “Body of Christ,” whether Jewish or Gentile, which is the “earnest of our inheritance” - (Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:13-14).

The Apostles of Jesus were “ministers of the New Covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit.” In his Death and Resurrection, he became the “surety of a better covenant,” and established the promised new one, rendering the first one “obsolete” - (Ezekiel 11:19-20, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Hebrews 7:22, 8:6-13, 9:15, 10:16).

The arrival of the Spirit and the New Covenant meant the redefinition of the boundaries of the Promised Land. As Paul wrote, Abraham would “inherit the world,” not just a tiny strip of land in the Middle East, and this same promise is now to all men who are the “children of Abraham” - (Romans 4:13).

The disciples of Jesus are his coheirs, and their final hope will be realized in the coming bodily resurrection. At present, the creation itself “sighs and travails in birth pangs” as it “ardently awaits the revelation of the sons of God.” That condition will end when the “Lord of Glory” appears again at the end of the present age.

River Twighlight - Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash
[Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash]

Both humanity and the universe are subject to decay and death due to Adam’s “
transgression.” However, God will reverse the curse when His sons receive the redemption of their bodies. In the interim, believers have the Spirit as the “first fruits” of their final redemption - (Romans 8:17-23).

The New Creation is the inheritance of believers. According to His promise, “we look for the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwells righteousness,” and in it, “God will tabernacle with men, and they will be his people” - (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-7).

Thus, the “New Covenant” and the “New Creation” were inaugurated by the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and their implementation is underway. This process will culminate in the bodily resurrection of the saints and the arrival of the “New Heavens and the New Earth” when Jesus arrives “on the clouds of Heaven” at the end of the present age.

  • Heir of Abraham - (Jesus is the true Son of Abraham, the heir of the promises, the Anointed One who fulfills and implements the inheritance for his people)
  • My Words are Life - (Jesus grants the Life-Giving Spirit to men without which there is no enduring life. His words are spirit, and they are life)
  • The Circumcised Heart - (The promise of the Spirit is integral to the redemption of humanity and the Covenant of God with His people)

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