Everlasting means perpetual, continual, eternal, unbroken, unalterable, and lifelong. Whatever undergoes interruption is not everlasting, since it has been altered.
1. Jehovah chose Aaron and his sons to minister as priests forever. “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. And you shall put the holy garments on Aaron and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me. And you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them; and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me; AND THEIR ANOINTING SHALL QUALIFY THEM FOR A PERPETUAL PRIESTHOOD THROUGHOUT THEIR GENERATIONS” (Ex. 40 12-15). It came to pass that the temple was destroyed by fire in the year 70 AC. All the priests, inside the temple, died. The people were banished from Jerusalem for two thousand years. The sacrifices ceased; the Aaron priesthood ceased, for the lineage was extinguished. The promise was not fulfilled. The Levites had been eternally chosen for the service of the temple of Jehovah (1 Chr. 15:2), and everything came to an end.
2. In the sanctuary of Jehovah, the seven lamps on the lamp stand would continually burn (Lev. 24:1-4). When Titus and Vespasianus destroyed the temple, the ordinance of Jehovah was interrupted.
3. The bread of the Presence should be on the table of the sanctuary. It was an everlasting covenant, and an everlasting ordinance. But it all came to an end (Lev. 24:5-9).
4. The offering for a sacrifice of peace offerings or the peace offering, from the flock or a lamb, without defect, was perpetual (Lev. 3:6,7,17). It all came to an end.
5. Whoever touched the corpse of a person was unclean for seven days. He would wash himself on the third day and on the seventh he would be purified. Whoever did not purify himself would die (Num. 19:11,12,20-22). Also, foreigners and gentiles were all unclean (Ps. 14:3). This was a perpetual statute. Jesus told Peter to eat unclean animals. Peter refused to; Jesus showed him, then, that those unclean reptiles represented the gentiles, unclean to Jehovah, but who had ceased being unclean through the sacrifice on the cross (Acts 10:9-15; 10:28,29). To Jesus and the Father there are not unclean persons, but lost persons in need of salvation. If Jehovah were Jesus, or if he were the God and Father referred to in the New Testament, he would not say that the unclean would be perpetually so, for God does not change (James 1:17).
6. Two lambs were sacrificed daily, one in the morning, and another at twilight. This was the continual burnt offering or sacrifice (Num. 28:1-6; Ex. 29:42). The prophet Daniel prophesied the end of the regular sacrifice (Dan. 8:11,12). Therefore, it would not be continual, or perpetual.
7. The fire of the altar where the burnt the offerings were offered would continually burn on it, and not allowed to go out; but it was extinguished (Lev. 6:8-13).
8. The covenant of the law of Jehovah would be eternal. “But the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant, and who remember His precepts to do them” (Ps. 103:17,18). “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant” (Is. 24:5). What amazes us is that Jesus has changed the commandments in the Sermon of the Mount and given the new commandment, which abolished the law “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 13:34). In the Old Testament men used to love in men’s fashion, but in the New Testament we shall love in God’s fashion. The difference between Jehovah’s love and the Father’s love is that Jehovah loved with disgraces and the Father loves with the grace. Jehovah loved with plagues, pestilences and captivities; the Father loves with forgiveness, healing and deliverance “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also” (Heb. 7:12).
9. The justice of the law would be eternal. “Pay attention to Me, O My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for a law will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples. My righteousness is near…” (Is. 51:4,5). Based on the words of Jehovah, the Hebrews tried the justice of the law and failed “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law” (Rom. 9: 30,31). “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). Paul is teaching that the one who believes in Jesus Christ is disengaged from the law, therefore, the law is not eternal, nor the justice of the law is eternal. What Jehovah said was not true.
10. Jehovah established that his elect should never drink wine, to set a difference between the holy and the profane, the unclean and the clean (Lev. 10:9,10). Jesus, in order to face Jehovah, served wine to his disciples during their last supper together, and established it as a memorial forever.
11. Jehovah made an eternal covenant with David (2 Sam. 23:5). What is this covenant? “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever” (Ps. 89:34-37). The same Jehovah announced the breaking of this oath, by Jeremiah’s mouth: “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings, that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! And will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,’ declares Jehovah, ‘I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them’” (Jer. 13:13-14). The Davidic lineage ended in Jehoiachin’s Kingdom, also called Jeconiah, which was taken captive to Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar set his uncle as king over Judah (2 Kings 24:8-17). Jeremiah spoke of the death of the sons of Jehoiachin, and in this way the royal lineage of David was broken (Jer. 22:30). The oath of Jehovah about David’s offspring was not fulfilled.
12. Israel was restored in 1948, having its 5oth Anniversary in 1999. It is not a Kingdom anymore, though, but a Republic.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira