Did Jesus Make a
Covenant for a Kingdom with his Disciples?
Strong's # 1303 & # 1242 Greek words
Is the "new covenant," of which Jesus is the mediator, the same as "the covenant for a kingdom" that Jesus made with his disciples on the last night with them? Did Jesus make a "covenant for a kingdom" with his disciples? According to the New World Translation Jesus said: “However, YOU are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with YOU, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that YOU may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30) Regarding this "covenant for a kingdom," The Watchtower explains:
On Nisan 14, 33 C.E., the evening Jesus instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal and mentioned “the new covenant by virtue of [his] blood,” he spoke of another covenant, the seventh for discussion. He told his faithful apostles: “You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:20, 28-30) Just as the Father had made the covenant with Jesus to be a priest like Melchizedek, so Christ made a personal covenant with his loyal followers.
The 11 apostles had certainly stuck with Jesus in his trials, and the covenant showed that they would sit on thrones. Further, Revelation 3:21 proves that all spirit-begotten Christians who prove faithful will sit on heavenly thrones. Thus, this covenant is with all 144,000 who have been bought with Jesus’ blood to be taken to heaven as priests and “to rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 1:4-6; 5:9, 10; 20:6) The covenant that Jesus makes with them joins them to him to share his dominion. In a sense, it is as though a bride from a noble family was joined by marriage to a ruling monarch. She thus comes into position to share his kingdom rule.—John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7, 8. —w89 2/1 pp. 19-20 pars. 19-20 Will You Benefit From God’s Covenants? (Bold added)
The New World Translation introduces the word "covenant" in explaining Jesus' promise to his disciples regarding the kingdom. Only Luke mentions this conversation. It is of significance that the Greek word that is commonly translated as covenant (διαθήκη) does not appear at Luke 22:29, although Jesus used it a moment earlier when he talked of the "blood of the covenant." (Luke 22:20; Matt. 26:28) According to the original Greek, Jesus promised to give (διατίθεμαι [diatithemi]) his disciples the kingdom. In other Bible Translations the word diatithemi is variously rendered as: to give (BBE, CEV, ERV, GW, NIRV); grant (NetB, NLT, TLB); appoint (ASVB, Darby, KJV, Litv, RV, Tyndale, Young); confer (AMP, ISV, NIV, NRSV, TNIV); assign (ESV); bestow (Holman); dispose (Douay).
Knowing that he was about to be taken from them that night, and be put to death, Jesus assured his disciples in Luke 22:29 that they will indeed receive the kingdom just as he had promised them on at least two earlier occasions. (Matt. 19:28; Luke 12:32) But there is no mention of a covenant at Luke 22:29 (διαθήκη), otherwise Jesus would have said: "Kαι εγώ κάνω διαθήκη με εσάς, όπως ο Πατέρας μου έχει κάνει διαθήκη με εμένα" ["and I make a covenant with YOU, just as my Father has made a covenant with me"]. That is how it reads in the modern Greek version of the New World Translation (published by the Society and available since 1997). It is a word-for-word translation from English back into Greek (the Greek books of the Bible—from Matthew to Revelation—were in the NWT translated into English from the Greek based on The New Testament in the Original Greek, by Westcott and Hort. Westcott and Hort's text does not include the word "covenant" at Luke 22:29. Check your own Interlinear Translation). Adding the word "covenant" (even twice) in that verse is dishonest, and even worse, misleading! (The New World Translation is available in whole or in part in 80 languages, all of them having been translated from the English NWT into their various languages). This is one example of how interpolations have found their way into the holy Scriptures; translators taking it upon themselves to make unauthorized adjustments and changes in order to legitimize their own peculiar doctrines and traditions. (Matt. 15:8,9) —see Footnote.
Please consider another point: When the mother of the two sons of Zebedee, the apostles James and John, requested of Jesus that her two sons "may sit down, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom," Jesus said in answer: "This sitting down at my right hand and at my left is not mine to give, but it belongs to those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." (Matt. 4:21; 20:20-24) How is it that Jesus could make a "covenant" for a kingdom with his disciples, as the Society teaches, and yet lack the authority to assign them their places in his kingdom? The fact is, the disciples do not receive the kingdom from Jesus, but from his Father, as he had told them on an earlier occasion when he said: "Have no fear little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32) The holy ones receive the kingdom, not from Jesus but from God, just as Jesus himself receives it from his Father. (Dan. 7:13,14, 18; Matt. 26:29; Luke 22:18; Rev. 5:10)
The Greek word diatithemi, that Jesus uses at Luke 22:29, means to give, bestow, or bequeath, as in a will. That is why the word is related to "will" or "testament", which in Greek is the same as "covenant", as in both cases a death has to occur in order to make the possession of what is bequeathed official and legal, as Paul eloquently explains in his letter to the Hebrews. (Heb. 9:15-17) It is Jehovah who gives the "kingdom of God" to his only-begotten Son Christ Jesus, and to the 144,000 whom he has chosen from among mankind to rule with Christ. (Rev. 14:1-5; 20:6; Dan. 7:27; Matt. 19:27,28) Since it is made possible by the death of Christ Jesus―"the blood of the Lamb"―Jesus could bequeath to his disciples the kingdom on that final night with them, because his death provided the legal basis for them to inherit God's kingdom, according to God's promise. (Rev. 5:9,10; 7:14; John 1:29)
Jesus did not have the authority to assign places in his kingdom, as he told the mother of the sons of Zebedee; but he could bequeath to his disciples the kingdom of God, according to God's promise, and which he himself received from his Father. Knowing that his Father would resurrect him on the third day, and that he would return to his Father in heaven, he could also promise them that he would return on a future day, at God's appointed time, in kingdom glory, to bring them home with him to sit with him on thrones just as he had been granted by his Father. (Matt. 16:27; John 14:2,3; 1 Thess. 4:16,17; Rev. 2:26,27; 3:21; 11:15; 20:6)
For the serious Bible student, below is presented an examination of the two Greek words διατίθεμαι (make, appoint, give, etc.) and διαθήκη (covenant, will, testament) in all the places they appear in the Greek Scriptures (Matthew to Revelation). You will readily see that these two words do not mean the same, although the New World Translation renders them both as "covenant," either as a verb or a noun. For example, consider Hebrews 8:10 according to the New World Translation: “'For this is the covenant (η διαθήκη) that I shall covenant (διαθήσομαι) with the house of Israel after those days,' says Jehovah” ["ὅτι αὕτη ἡ διαθήκη ἣν διαθήσομαι τῷ οἴκῳ Ἰσραὴλ μετὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ἐκείνας"]. But at Jeremiah 31:31-33, where Paul quotes from, the NWT says that God will "conclude" a covenant. (see also Heb. 10:16)
Does it really matter whether or not Jesus made a "covenant for a kingdom" with his disciples; or that he was simply assuring them that they would receive the kingdom as he had promised them on earlier occasions? It matters a great deal, because as is evident in the above Watchtower quote, the Society points to the "covenant for a kingdom" to explain the "new covenant." According to their interpretation the new covenant is not about forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God; but rather about ruling with Christ in his kingdom, and thus includes only the 144,000. (compare Matthew 26:27,28; Rom. 5:8-10; Eph. 1:7) This teaching directly affects other doctrines, such as: who are permitted to partake at the Memorial of Christ's death; who are God's sons; the claim that Jesus is the mediator only of the 144,000; only the 144,000 are declared righteous by God; etc. (Gal. 3:26; 1 Tim. 2:5,6; Heb. 8:10-12; 1 John 2:1,2) These principal teachings are founded on the interpolation of "covenant" at Luke 22:29.
Let us consider Luke 22:29 and the two words, διατίθεμαι and διαθήκη, and what they mean according to Strong's Concordance (or any other Greek-English Dictionary), and how they appear in other parts of the Bible. It will help us understand what Jesus said to his disciples on that last night with them.
Strong's # 1303
διατίθεμαι (diatíthemai), and διαθέτω (diatheto): I dispose, I arrange; διαθέμενος (diathemenos): the one who disposes, arranges, makes it;
(see Divry's New English-Greek and Greek-English Dictionary, Revised Edition)
According to STRONG'S CONCORDANCE:
- Etymology: middle voice from 1223 and 5087;
- Definition: to put apart, i.e. (figuratively) dispose (by assignment, compact, or bequest)
- KJV usage::--appoint, make, testator.
διά (dia) - through, on account of, because of
NASB word usage: account (4), after (2), afterward (1), always* (2), because (111), between* (1), briefly* (1), charge* (1), constantly (1), continually* (6), during (1), forever* (1), gives (1), means (3), over (1), presence (1), reason (40), sake (41), sakes (5), since (1), so then* (1), so* (1), therefore* (16), this reason* (1), this* (1), though (1), through (225), through the agency (1), through* (1), view (2), way (3), what (1), why (3), why* (27).
place, lay, set
NASB word usage: appointed (6), assign (2), committed (1), conceived (1), destined (1), down* (4), falling (1), fixed (1), kept (1), kneeling* (2), knelt* (3), laid (22), laid aside (1), laid down (1), lay (4), lay...down (2), lay down (8), laying (2), lays down (1), made (4), make (4), offer (1), placed (4), present (1), purposed (1), put (15), puts (2), puts...away (1), putting (1), reached (1), serves (1), set...down (1), set down (1), sink (1).
I put, I place, I lay, I set
Number of occurrences: 7
Here are the 7 occurrences of the word διατίθεμαι (diatíthemai) and διαθέτω (diatheto) in the Greek Scriptures, as translated by the New World Translation (NWT); the English Standard Version (ESV); and the Amplified Bible (AMP). Please note that in Luke 22:29 the word covenant (διαθήκη) does not appear, because Jesus is giving [διατίθεμαι] the kingdom, not the covenant, as is the case in the other scriptures below.
LUKE 22:29 - κἀγὼ διατίθεμαι ὑμῖν καθὼς διέθετό μοι ὁ πατήρ μου βασιλείαν,
NWT - and
I make a
with YOU, just as my Father has
with me, for
ESV - and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,
AMP - And as My Father has appointed a kingdom and conferred it on Me, so do I confer on you [the privilege and decree],
ACTS 3:25 - ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ υἱοὶ τῶν προφητῶν καὶ τῆς διαθήκης ἧς διέθετο ὁ θεὸς πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν, λέγων πρὸς Ἀβραάμ, καὶ ἐν τῷ σπέρματί σου ἐνευλογηθήσονται πᾶσαι αἱ πατριαὶ τῆς γῆς.
NWT - YOU are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God covenanted with YOUR forefathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed.’
ESV - You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
AMP - You are the descendants (sons) of the
prophets and the heirs of
the covenant which God
made and gave to your forefathers, saying to Abraham, And in
your Seed (Heir) shall all the families of the earth be blessed and benefited.
HEBREWS 8:10 - ὅτι αὕτη ἡ διαθήκη ἣν διαθήσομαι τῷ οἴκῳ Ἰσραὴλ μετὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ἐκείνας, λέγει κύριος, διδοὺς νόμους μου εἰς τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν αὐτῶν ἐπιγράψω αὐτούς, καὶ ἔσομαι αὐτοῖς εἰς θεὸν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔσονταί μοι εἰς λαόν.
NWT - “‘For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their mind, and in their hearts I shall write them. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.
ESV - For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
AMP - For this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel after
those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon
their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
HEBREWS 9:16 - ὅπου γὰρ διαθήκη, θάνατον ἀνάγκη φέρεσθαι τοῦ διαθεμένου.
NWT - For where there is a covenant, the death of the [human] covenanter needs to be furnished.
ESV - For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
AMP - For where there is a [last]
will and testament involved, the death of the one who made it
must be established,
HEBREWS 9:17 - διαθήκη γὰρ ἐπὶ νεκροῖς βεβαία, ἐπεὶ μήποτε ἰσχύει ὅτε ζῇ ὁ διαθέμενος.
NWT - For a covenant is valid over dead [victims], since it is not in force at any time while the [human] covenanter is living.
ESV - For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
For a will
and testament is valid and takes effect only at death, since it has no
force or legal power as long as the one who made it is alive.
ἡ διαθήκη ἣν
διαθήσομαι πρὸς αὐτοὺς μετὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ἐκείνας,
λέγει κύριος, διδοὺς νόμους μου ἐπὶ καρδίας αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν διάνοιαν αὐτῶν
NWT - “‘This is the covenant that I shall covenant toward them after those days,’ says Jehovah. ‘I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds I shall write them,’
ESV - "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"
AMP - This is the agreement
(testament, covenant) that
I will set up and
conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My
laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost
thoughts and understanding).
Strong's # 1242
According to STRONG'S CONCORDANCE:
a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will
a compact, a covenant, a testament
God's covenant with Noah, etc.
KING JAMES VERSION: Total 33 (covenant, 20; testament, 13);
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE: Total 33 (covenant, 30; covenants, 3);
Διαθήκη appears 33 times in the Bible. Jesus used it at Luke 22:20 in connection with the "new covenant," but not at Luke 22:29.
Here are the Scriptures where the word "covenant" (διαθήκη) appears in the Greek Scriptures (as translated in the English Standard Version-ESV).
Compare with your own New World Translation Reference Bible (see Footnote):
Matthew 26:28: "for this is my blood of the covenant (διαθήκη), which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."
Mark 14:24: And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, (διαθήκη), which is poured out for many."
Luke 1:72: "to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, (διαθήκη)"
Luke 22:20: And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant (διαθήκη) in my blood."
Acts 3:25: "You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant (διαθήκη) that God made (διαθέτω) with your fathers"
Acts 7:8: "And he gave him the covenant (διαθήκη) of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day"
Romans 9:4: "They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants (διαθήκη), the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises."
Romans 11:27: "and this will be my covenant (διαθήκη) with them when I take away their sins."
1 Corinthians 11:25: "This cup is the new covenant (διαθήκη) in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
2 Corinthians 3:6: "who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant (διαθήκη), not of the letter but of the Spirit."
2 Corinthians 3:14: "For to this day, when they read the old covenant (διαθήκη), that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away."
Galatians 3:15: "To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant (διαθήκη), no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified."
Galatians 3:17: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant (διαθήκη) previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.
Galatians 4:24: "Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants (διαθήκη). One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar."
Ephesians 2:12: "separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants (διαθήκη) of promise,"
Hebrews 7:22: "This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant (διαθήκη)."
Hebrews 8:6: "Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant (διαθήκη) he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises."
Hebrews 8:8: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant (διαθήκη) with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,"
Hebrews 8:9: "not like the covenant (διαθήκη) that I made (εποίησα) with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt."
Hebrews 8:9: "For they did not continue in my covenant (διαθήκη), and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord."
Hebrews 8:10: "For this is the covenant (διαθήκη) that I will make (διατίθεμαι) with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:"
Hebrews 9:4: "having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant (διαθήκη) covered on all sides with gold,"
Hebrews 9:4: "and the tablets of the covenant (διαθήκη)."
Hebrews 9:15: "Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant (διαθήκη), so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,"
Hebrews 9:15: "since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant (διαθήκη)."
Hebrews 9:16: "For where a will (διαθήκη) is involved, the death of the one who made it (διαθέτω) must be established."
Hebrews 9:17: "For a will (διαθήκη) takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it (διαθέτω, διαθέμενος) is alive."
Hebrews 9:20: "This is the blood of the covenant (διαθήκη) that God commanded for you."
Hebrews 10:16: "This is the covenant (διαθήκη) that I will make (διαθέτω) with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"
Hebrews 10:29: "and has profaned the blood of the covenant (διαθήκη), by which he was sanctified,"
Hebrews 12:24: "and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant (διαθήκη), and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel."
Hebrews 13:20: "our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, (διαθήκη),"
Revelation 11:19: "Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant (διαθήκη) was seen within his temple."
The New World Translation Reference Bible (Rbi8) likewise omits Luke 22:29 from the list of 33 places where the word covenant (διαθήκη) appears, thereby acknowledging that Jesus did not use the word when promising his disciples the kingdom. (See pages 1584-1585 7D “Covenant” Used in the Ancient Hebrew Sense) It says:
The word di·a·the′ke occurs 33 times in the Greek text, namely, in Mt 26:28; Mr 14:24; Lu 1:72; 22:20; Ac 3:25; 7:8; Ro 9:4; 11:27; 1Co 11:25; 2Co 3:6, 14; Ga 3:15, 17; 4:24; Eph 2:12; Heb 7:22; 8:6, 8, 9, 9, 10; 9:4, 4, 15, 15, 16, 17, 20; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20; Re 11:19. The New World Translation renders the Greek word di·a·the′ke as “covenant” in these 33 places. (Bold added)
The word di·a·the′ke occurs in quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures seven times, namely, in Ro 11:27 (from Isa 59:21); Heb 8:8 (from Jer 31:31), 9 (twice, from Jer 31:32), 10 (from Jer 31:33); 9:20 (from Ex 24:8); 10:16 (from Jer 31:33). In these seven quoted texts the Hebrew word in M is ברית (berith′, “covenant”), and the Greek word in LXX is διαθήκη (di·a·the′ke). —See also The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1985 Edition, Appendix 5C, page 1157.
What is the significance that the word "covenant" does not appear at Luke 22:29? Since Jesus did not use the word then neither did he make a "covenant for a kingdom" with his eleven apostles. Does any of this really matter? Well, the spurious insertion of "covenant" in Luke 22:29 affects to a great degree much of what we believe, including how we celebrate the Memorial of Christ's death each year. Consider the following Watchtower statement:
The heavenly Father’s giving them the heavenly kingdom would involve a ‘covenant for the Kingdom,’ and to this the Lord Jesus referred when he said to the 11 faithful apostles in connection with the supper commemorating his death: “However, you are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”—Luke 22:28-30.
From this it is unmistakably clear that those partaking of that first celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal were in line for the heavenly kingdom with the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, all later participants in the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal should be those who have the heavenly calling and whom Jesus Christ brings into the ‘covenant for the Kingdom.’ —w81 4/1 p. 10 Celebrating the Death of the Greatest Man Ever on Earth. (Bold is mine)
Jesus spoke of the "new covenant," when he passed the cup to his disciples, saying: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood." (Luke 22:20) But as shown above, he did not mention any "covenant for a kingdom." It is an interpolation and dishonest! And what is worse, they do so knowingly, as indicated in the Reference Bible. The average publisher would not be aware that the inclusion of "covenant for a kingdom" is a matter of going "beyond the things that are written," by which we make God's word invalid. That is a serious offense for, as Jesus warned, it would render our worship in vain. We cannot teach just whatever suits us, for whatever reason: "The true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him." (John 4:23; 1 Cor. 4:6; Matt. 15:6, 9; Prov. 30:5,6)
* Regarding Hebrews 9:16,17, the New World Translation Reference Bible explains that Moses, as the mediator of the Law covenant, had to die before the covenant could become valid; but that God substituted animals instead of him.
Therefore, in Heb 9:16, 17, the Greek word di·a·the′ke has the same meaning as in the surrounding verses, namely, “covenant,” corresponding to the Hebrew word berith′. These verses are imbedded in the apostle’s discussion of the Mosaic Law covenant as compared with its antitype, the new covenant. Paul speaks of the mediator (covenanter) dying in order for the covenant to become legal and binding. In the case of the Law covenant, the animal victims took the place of Moses, the mediator (covenanter) of the Law covenant, their blood substituting for his in legalizing and making the covenant operative. Correspondingly, in the case of the new covenant, Jesus Christ, the mediator (covenanter) of the new covenant, actually gave his perfect human life in sacrifice. When he shed his blood in death, the new covenant was validated.—New World Translation, Reference Bible, pp. 1584-1585 7D “Covenant” Used in the Ancient Hebrew Sense. (Bold added)
Of course, the Scriptures identify God as the one making the covenant. Therefore, he must be the "covenanter." (Heb. 8:10-13; Jer. 31:31-33) Since according to Paul, it is the death of the one making the covenant (the covenanter) that validates it, it should be God who needs to die. But we all know that God does not die. For that reason the word "human" is added in the New World Translation. Now it is no longer the "covenanter" who needs to die but rather the mediator of the covenant. Although Paul is not saying that, we can point to Jesus and might agree with that conclusion. But in the case of Moses, did he need to die in order for the covenant to become legal? According to the Society, Yes; but mercifully God substituted animals in place of Moses. Does any of this make any sense? There are no Scriptures to support that idea! Why not accept that Paul was simply explaining the new covenant in light of the word's full meaning, that of a Will, and how a death needs to occur before it becomes legal and we receive the benefits!
For further information on the new covenant click here, and for the word diatithemi here.