All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
October 6, 2012
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In the Old Covenant Law made with the Children of Israel there was the following: (1) The Priest hood (Ex. 28:1). (2) Tithes (Deu. 12:6,11; 26:12), and offerings (Ex. 25:2; 35:5,21,29). (3) The Shedding of the blood of animals for sins once a year (Lev. 16:5-34). (4) The possession of the land (Lev. 20:24; Deu:18,21,39). (5) The Law of Moses (Ex. 12:49; 13:9; 24:12). (6) They walked in the flesh (Ex. 12:3-17). (7) They were taught by men (Jer. 31:33,34).
In the New Covenant, with those who are born again in Christ Jesus there is the New Birth and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, there are differences from the Old Covenant Law, such as: (1) The Priest hood (Heb. 3:1; 5:6,10; 7:17). (2) Tithes and offerings (Heb.7:5-9; Acts 4:32-37; 6:1-4; 11:29,30; 1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 9:5-8; Phil. 4:16-19). (3) The blood of Jesus, an everlasting covenant for the forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:23-29, 12:20). (4) The presenting of our bodies (Rom. 12:2). (5) The two commandments of love (Matt. 22:37-40). (5) Power over all the works of the enemy (Matt. 10:1,7,8; Luke 10:19; John 14:12). (6) We must walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). (7) We must be taught by God (John 6:45).
One day someone asked the question, "What do you think about some of the teachings from the Old Testament?" Before I could think about the question, out of my mouth came these words, "Why do you think it is called the Old Testament?"
When words come out of your mouth without you first thinking about what you are saying, pay attention to those words. All prophecy that comes from God is "speaking words by the unction of the Holy Spirit." Numbers 23:5 says, "And the LORD put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said..."
When words come out of your mouth before you have time to think about what you are saying, they didn't come from your mind, they came from your spirit. When this happens, we need to listen to our spirit as we receive more information concerning that which was spoken. At that time, I did not say very much more concerning that subject. Mainly, all I said is that which is old is replaced by that which is new.
We must understand that the word Testament and Covenant usually means the same thing. The word "Testament" is not used in the text of the Old Testament. It is only in the Greek New Testament text. Christians have a New Testament (Covenant) that replaces the Old Covenant of the Law. Jesus said to His disciples at the last supper, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20). The word "testament" in this verse should actually have been translated "covenant." Many Christians are deceived by the word "testament" when our Bibles are divided into two Testaments, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Actually, in the Old Testament there are a number of "Covenants." Even though some of these "covenants" are older than the New Testament, that does not mean they are not effective today. As an example: God made a covenant with Noah and his seed after him in Genesis 9:8-17. The token of that covenant is the rainbow, which is still in effect today. The LORD also made two covenants with Abraham, one according to the sand of the sea shore the other one according to the stars of heaven.
The covenant made with Abraham according to the stars of heaven is known as "a covenant of faith." It applies to everyone who lives by faith, that includes the New Testament and the Old Testament even way back to Abel (Gen. 4:4, Heb. 11:4). This covenant of faith applies to Gentiles and Jews alike. It is the same covenant that the New Testament is based upon.
The covenant made with Abraham according to "the sand of the sea shore" applies only to the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. This possession of the land of Canaan only applies to the descendants of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, who came out of Egypt at the time of Moses. The only descendants of Abraham that were promised land, were those who were under the covenant of the Law, given by Moses. The New Testament (Covenant) does not promise Christians any possession of land.
The covenant made with Abraham according to "the sand of the sea shore" does not apply to the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. Neither does it apply to the descendants of Abraham through any of his other six sons born of Keturah (Abraham's second wife) (Gen. 25:1-4). Neither does it apply to Melchizedek, king of Salem who was a Priest of the most High God (Gen. 14:18). Melchizedek was a priest before the Law of Moses. Melchizedek was not an Israelite, and was not under the covenant of the Law.
Ishmael, and the six sons of Abraham from Keturah were all sons of Abraham after the flesh. Only Isaac was the son of Abraham according to promise (Gal. 4:28). When the Law came through Moses, all the descendants of Jacob came under the Law. Yet, none of the other descendants of Abraham came under the Law. If we do not "rightly divide" the Old Covenants, we will easily be deceived by the teachings of men.
If we study the Bible, we will find that in Hebrews 8:6-13, it speaks of our New Covenant. What is interesting about this new covenant is that it is not actually a new covenant but a renewed covenant. It's the same covenant that the LORD God made with Abraham according to "the stars of heaven." It is a covenant of faith, "by promise," not of works.
After quoting Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8:13 says, "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." At the time Paul was writing the Epistle to the Hebrews, the New Testament was still being written. We are now living about nineteen hundred years later. If, at the time the Apostle Paul was writing to the Hebrews, it was ready to vanish, how long would it take until it to actually vanished?
The covenant that was spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the covenant of the Law, given by Moses. The covenant of faith was made with Abraham before the Law. The Law could not change the covenant of faith, given to Abraham. Galatians 3:17 says, "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."
How long are Christians going to keep teaching the Law, when it has already passed away? The Law was called "the letter of the Word," which was first written by the hand of God on tablets of stone (Ex. 24:12). In 2 Corinthians 3:6 it says, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."
In Acts 13:38,39 it says, "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins...And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Even if Christians could obey the Law, they still could not be justified by the Law. In Galatians 2:16, it says, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." We are not justified by the Law, but by the faith of, or in Jesus Christ, Who redeemed us from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1-4).
Satan uses the Law to keep Christians in bondage. God uses the Blood of Jesus to set us free of sin and death. Sin condemns, but the love of God sets us free. In John 1:17 it says, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Jesus is the Truth. Truth always sets people free. There is no condemnation when we walk in the truth. The Truth came by grace. By the grace of God, He sent the Truth into the world, that through Him we could be saved (John 3:17).
Even in the world's system, truth always gives us peace. When we walk in truth, everyone loves us. The world knows those who walk in truth. Those who are honest and do not lie, are accepted by others. Truth brings freedom, peace, and joy even in the world's system.
How much more will the Spirit of Truth help those, who know the Truth (which is Jesus Christ, Himself)? Jesus said in John 8:31,32, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;...And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Freedom comes to those who "continue in the Word of God." Freedom comes by knowing the Truth. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." When we come to the Father, through the Truth, we receive eternal life.
Eternal life is the very life of God within us. God Himself, lives within our new created spirit. God is in us and we are in Him, making us one with God "in the spirit." How can anyone establish a better relationship? When we are related to God by the new birth (born of God), we are a new creation. The old is passed away, and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). What a joy; what a peace; knowing from within our spirit that we are truly, children of God. Knowing we can spend eternity with God.
This knowing, is not head knowledge. This is a knowing that produces peace and joy within. It is experiencing the very life of God within us. It is a life changing experience. It is not head knowledge. It is revelation knowledge from within our spirit, not within our mind.
To know the Truth, is to experience the Truth in our daily lives. It is when we experience the Truth in our daily lives that we have peace and joy from within.
The Law could not do this. We cannot obtain inward peace and joy by the Law. The Law is good in that it brings us to the knowledge and understanding that of our own ability, we cannot please God. The Law reveals to us that we need the LORD Jesus Christ in our lives daily. For, only through the Truth, can we please God.
The more we try to please God by our good works, the more we realize that we cannot please God. Therefore, because of this knowledge, which is taught by man (each one teaching his brother and his neighbor to know the LORD), we put ourselves in bondage again to rules and regulations. Under rules and regulations, we will never be free.
Jesus spoke of the letter of the Law, when He said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess" (Matt. 23:25). The Law only works from the outside (through our minds). It tries to change the way people live as they are seen by others. The Law does not change the inside. It is the inside of a person that must first be changed, before the outside. If that which is inside is still corrupt that which is on the outside will not become a lasting change.
This is seen clearly all throughout the Scriptures. The principle of the seed and plant is used many times in the Scriptures. Whatsoever is the source of the seed will be revealed by the fruit that is produced by the plant. The plant is dependent upon the seed by which it had it's beginning. The life of the plant is in the seed. The life of the plant flows through the stem, into the branches, and produces fruit, which is identical to the seed that was planted.
It is a complete reproduction of that which is on the inside, not that which is on the outside. God works from the inside (from our spirit), whereas religion, rules, and regulations work from the outside (from our mind).
If the inside is not changed, what is on the outside will only be temporal. For a seed to produce another seed like unto itself, that seed must die, and a new plant must come from the dead seed. This is an operation from inside (our spirit), not from our mind.
Religion, rules, and regulations, work from the outside. But God works from the inside. God begins with a new birth. This new birth must be in Christ Jesus. This new birth is born of the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is the seed. In 1 Peter 1:23 it says, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." In John 1:13, it says, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).
This new birth is a "spiritual birth," not "a natural birth." All things that exist began in the spiritual realm, not the natural realm. Before the creation of heaven and earth, there was God. John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...He was in the beginning with God...All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (NKJV).
The LORD is the beginning of all things. Without the LORD in our lives, we cannot inherit eternal life. Without the LORD we cannot be saved.
The beginning of eternal life takes place in our spirit, not in our flesh, not in our mind. In the new birth, life begins by receiving a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26). This new spirit is the dwelling place of God the Father and the Son. This is an inward birth, not an outward birth. It begins in our spirit, and from our spirit, God changes our outward man.
The New Testament is focused upon the inward man of the heart, not the outward man of the flesh. What the law could not do, God did for us in Christ Jesus.
If Christians would focus upon what God is doing from the inside, the outside will change to become like that which is on the inside. We should be teaching Christians who they are in Christ Jesus, and how that God wants to change everything in their lives for their good. God's total plan for man is revealed in 1 Corinthians, Chapter Fifteen. The turning point from the beginning of that Chapter is in verse forty-nine, which says, "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
This is the answer to all the needs of everyone born into this world. What man could not do, God is doing for us in Christ Jesus. Trying to change a person from the outside, by religion, or rules and regulations, will not work. It never did work and never will work. But to submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and let God make the changes from the inside, from within our spirit will result in peace, joy, and eternal life.
When we focus on the New Testament, God will change our lives from the inside out. If we focus upon the Old Testament law and try to help others by teaching from the Old Testament law, we will see some temporal changes. But these changes will not last. Many times, we may think we are helping them. As long as they obey the rules and regulation, it will look good in the outward appearance, but the inside is not changed. Man cannot change the inside. Only God can change the inside of man.
As years go by, many of those whom we may think were changed by teaching from the Old Testament law will slowly drift away. One by one they leave and we may not see them anymore. The changes that we make by teaching them, will only be temporal.
But, when God gets inside, and changes a person from the inside by the preaching of "the Gospel of Jesus Christ," and "Christ Himself Crucified," we will see lasting changes. It is that which continues until the end that will be saved (Matt. 24:12). Those who turn away, once they have come to the knowledge of the Truth, could be in great danger to say the least (2 Peter 2:20,21).
It is important to understand spiritual things. God works from the spiritual realm, drawing people to Jesus Christ, His Son. Satan also works from the spiritual realm, drawing people away from the Truth which is in Christ Jesus.
It says in Philippians 2:13, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God works from within our spirit. Satan works from our minds, trying to control what we think and what we do according to the flesh. God works from the top down. Satan works from the bottom up. The top points to heaven, the bottom points to hell. The spirit of man is from God. The flesh of man is from the earth.
We must learn to separate that which is of the flesh from that which is of the spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, "...the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
Christians need to learn the difference between the flesh and the spirit, the difference between that which is from God and that which is from the devil. We cannot walk with God and walk after the flesh at the same time. We must learn to walk after the Spirit, and not after the flesh, not according to our mind, but according the Word of God in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit always leads us according to the Word of God, which is revealed in the New Testament.
The Old Testament is the foundation of the New Testament. It is like a house that is built upon a foundation. The foundation is under the building, holding the building up. The foundation extends into the ground. A good foundation goes way down in the earth until it rests upon solid rock. If the foundation is not resting upon sold rock it can be moved and may not stand when the wind and rain come.
Yet, the house we live in is above the foundation. We do not live in the foundation. We live in the house which is built upon the foundation.
Our life is not of this world (John 17:16). Our life is from above, not from below. We must look up toward heaven, not down at the foundation upon which we came from. We began in the foundation, but we must arise above the foundation. Only those who have eyes to see and ears to hear will understand the difference between the Old Testament law and the New Testament. We cannot change peoples lives, we can only lead them to the giver of life, and let God change them from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Many Christians look at the Old Covenant as being the same as the Old Testament. Then they look at the New Covenant as being the New Testament. That is not necessarily true. But, the Old Covenant is defined and explained in the Old Testament. The New Covenant is defined and explained in the New Testament. Therefore, to understand the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, we need to go all the way back to the beginning, even before Adam was created in Genesis 2:7.
When we study covenants according to the written Word of God, they are different than covenants in the world's system. In the world's system, covenants are made between people, without regard as to who is the greatest and who is the least. They are usually based upon what someone has and what someone else needs. Whereas covenants in God's system is not between anyone other than God and God's creation.
Therefore, any covenant that is made between people, where God is not involved is not the same as what the Bible calls the New Covenant or the Old covenant. God only honors covenants that are made between God and His creation. Some of these covenants are not written, yet they are true covenants.
Actually, God has an unwritten covenant between God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father is greater than the Son or the Holy Spirit. In John 14:28, Jesus said, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." In John 15:26 Jesus said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." Then in John 16:13-15, Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come...He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you...All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
From these statements, we can see that the Father is greater than the Son. The Holy Spirit is sent from the Father by the Son. The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. That indicates that the Son is greater than the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the unwritten covenant between God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is based upon the Greater power making covenant with the lesser power.
The covenant that God the Father has with the Son and the Holy Spirit is that, "the will of God the Father must be done." The Son of God and the Holy Spirit must obey God the Father. If either one of the two would disobey God the Father, it would be sin against God the Father, and there can be no sin within the Godhead. As far as we know, that covenant is not a written covenant, but a covenant that is understood between the three parties in covenant with each other.
Therefore, the beginning of covenants was already established before the heavens and the earth were created. This same applies to angels, who were created before Adam was created. They also have an unwritten covenant with God. God is the creator of all things, and angels are created beings. The angels know the will of God, and as long as they do the will of God they will continue doing what they have always been doing for all eternity.
Lucifer, who is now called Satan the Devil rebelled against God. His rebellion, "without repentance" cost him his position in heaven before the throne of God. Satan will never again be permitted before the throne of God. He was cast out of the third heavens where the throne of God is, and his end will be in hell for all eternity (Ezek. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-20).
Lucifer broke his covenant with God and did not repent. Therefore, it is impossible for Satan to regain his position in the heavens that he once had.
God the Father is the greatest power and authority in all of creation. Every creature, no matter if they are angels, demons, or people are subject to God the Father. God the Father's will is His covenant making power over all of creation.
All of the angels are in covenant with God the Father according to God the Father's will. If any of the angels rebel against God the Father's will for their existence and position in the heavens, they will also receive a similar judgment or punishment as Lucifer already received before Adam was created.
When mankind was created in Genesis 2:7, man was given a choice between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9,16,17). This choice is also choosing between God or the Devil. God is represented by the tree of life. The Devil is represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Had Adam (being the head of the human race), taken and eaten of the tree of life, he would have obtained eternal life (Gen. 3:22). By Adam eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death came upon all mankind born of the flesh of Adam (Rom. 5:12).
By Adam's disobedience to the commandment of the LORD God, which is written in Genesis 2:17, everyone born of the flesh of Adam into this world is without a covenant of eternal life with God. Adam did not have eternal life when he was first created.
No one (other than Jesus) was born into this world "with eternal life." Because that we are living in the time after that Jesus came and did the will of God the Father, and paid the price for our redemption, those who become born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit do enter into a Covenant with God in Christ Jesus. Anyone who is not born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are in this world, but without a covenant of eternal life with God.
All throughout the Old Testament we see a number of covenants that God made with man. In Genesis 9:9, it says, "And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you." This covenant that is spoken of in Genesis 9:9, was made with Noah, and his seed after him. This included Noah, Noah's three sons and their children, and everyone born of the flesh into this world after the flood. This covenant also included "...every living creature that is with you (Noah), of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you (Noah); from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth" (Gen. 9:10).
The token (or evidence) of the covenant that the LORD God made with Noah and his seed after him is mentioned in Genesis 9:13, which says, "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token (sign or evidence) of a covenant between me and the earth." We can read this complete covenant in Genesis 9:8-17.
This covenant is still in effect today. God will not change that covenant that the LORD God made with Noah and his seed after him. The New Covenant we have with the LORD God today does not change the covenant the LORD God made with Noah and his seed after him.
Two covenants were made with Abraham and his seed after him. These two are mentioned a number of times in Genesis, Chapters twelve through twenty-two. One example is in Genesis 22:15-18, where it says, "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time...And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son...That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies...And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
This covenant is with the seed of Abraham according to "the sand upon the sea shore." These are the children of Israel, which are Abraham's seed through Isaac and Jacob. This covenant only applies to the promise of the land mentioned in Genesis 15:18-21. This covenant is an everlasting covenant, and God will keep his covenant with Israel for the land the LORD God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is not the Covenant of the Law of Moses which came about four-hundred years later.
We need to understand covenants according to what it tells us in Galatians 3:17, saying, "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect." The law of Moses could not change the covenants that God made before the Law of Moses. The covenant the LORD God made with Noah, concerning the destroying of all flesh by water, could not be changed by the Law of Moses.
There are also other covenants that the LORD God made with man, that could not be changed by the Law of Moses. These include "the covenant of faith." Although the covenant of faith is not explained until after the LORD God made a covenant of faith with Abraham and his seed after him, it was already in effect at the time of Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve, and Enoch, the sixth generation from Adam (Heb. 11:4,5).
This covenant of faith, is actually a part of the covenant that Christians have today, called a the New Covenant. The Covenant of faith is not a new covenant, but a renewed covenant that the LORD God made with Abraham in Genesis 17:7, where it says, "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." This is the covenant spoken of in Galatians 3:11-18, which says, "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith...And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them...Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree...That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith...Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto...Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ...And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect...For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."
The covenant that Christians have is "a covenant of faith," not of the law of Moses. Jesus fulfilled the covenant of the Law of Moses for the children of Israel, so that they could also "be justified by faith." All of the other covenants that God made with man are still in effect today. The only covenant that the LORD God made with mankind that is no longer in effect is the covenant of the Law of Moses.
The Gentiles were never under the Law of Moses which was written on stone. But, Christians are under the principles of the law of Moses according to what is written in their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Heb. 8:10,11). Therefore, Christians bringing others under the Law of Moses according to the flesh are still walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit.
It is also important to understand that Jesus took upon Himself the curse of the Law of Moses for everyone. Jesus did not take away the blessings mentioned in the Law of Moses. The blessings still remain (but not according to the letter of the Law, but according to the principles of the law of God which is written in our hearts by God) (Jer. 31:33,34; Heb. 8:10,11).
What is called the New Covenant, includes a new birth in the spirit of Christ. It includes the "covenant of faith." Abraham is called the father of the covenant of faith because Abraham obeyed the voice of the LORD God without any evidence in the natural realm concerning the promises made to Abraham.
Abraham, is called the father of faith, as spoken of many times in the book of Genesis as well as in the books of Acts, Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. Abraham obeyed the LORD God, even to the offering up of his son Isaac on a mount in Moriah (Gen. 22:1-18).
There are two major conditions to the New Covenant. One is that "we walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). Faith is a requirement of the new covenant. The other is obedience. Obedience is a requirement of the New Covenant. In Hebrews 5:8,9 it says, "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered...And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Them in Hebrews 12:2, it says, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Many Christians today are trying to walk by faith without obedience. It is not working for them, and they wonder why? If Christians would study the New Testament from Matthew through Revelation they would know that obedience is a requirement for faith to work.
Jesus had faith, because He obeyed God the Father in everything He did. Jesus never did His own will of the flesh. Jesus only did the will of God the Father, according to the Word of God which had already gone into this world throughout the Old Testament. Everything Jesus did was already spoken of in the Old Testament. Jesus did not change anything that was written in the Old Testament concerning God's plan for mankind from the foundation of the world. Jesus only fulfilled the Law of Moses for the Children of Israel, so that they could also come into the New Covenant "by faith," along with the Gentiles. The covenant of faith was established with Abraham who was a Gentile (Rom. 4:9-13).
In establishing "the covenant of faith" with Abram, his name was changed to Abraham and Sari's name was changed to Sarah. The token (sign or evidence) of the covenant that was made with Abraham was "circumcision of the flesh of all males" (Gen. 17:11-14).
The true circumcision that God is looking for is not circumcision of the flesh, but instead, it is circumcision of the heart (Rom. 2:9, 4:9-13). This therefore includes circumcision of the hearts of both males and females.
God does not look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Faith operates from the heart, whereas hope and believing operate from the mind, or intellect.
Believing and faith are very similar, with the difference being that believing operates from the mind, or intellect, whereas faith operates from the spirit of man. Faith comes from God, and is received as a fruit of the Spirit, when a person is born again by believing the Word of God (John 1:11-13; Rom. 5:5, 10:17, 12:3; Jude 1:3).
NEW or OLD
We need to understand that the Old Testament Covenant of the Law "was not made" with the whole world. The Egyptians, and those of the land of Canaan did not have a covenant with the LORD God. The Covenant of the Law was only made with the Children of Israel, after they came out of Egypt, into the wilderness. These were the seed of Abraham according to "the dust of the earth and the sand of the sea shore" (Gen. 13:15-17, 22:17). They were the seed of Abraham through Isaac, which was the son of Abraham "by promise," not by the works of the flesh.
Ishmael, and the sons of Keturah, were not by promise, but were born of Abraham after the flesh. Even those who were the seed of Abraham in multitudes according to "the sand of the sea shore," were all "born of the flesh of Adam."
Remember what Jesus said in John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." All of the Children of Israel were born of the flesh of Adam, including Jacob and Esau, who were the only two sons of Isaac. They were all natural people, who walked after the flesh, and not after the Spirit.
The New Covenant "is not made with the whole world." It is only made with those who are "in Christ." The world does not have a covenant with God (Eph. 2:12). Those who are not truly born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit do not have a covenant with God.
In Ephesians 2:1-3 it says, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience...Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
Then in Ephesians 2:11,12 it says, "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands...That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world."
Those of the world, are those who are not "born again Christians." They are still in this world, without a covenant with God. When they die, they will spend eternity with the devil in hell. Not because they sinned, or did things not pleasing to God, but because they did not believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and receive Him as their LORD and Savior (John 3:16-18).
There is a major difference between the Children of Israel and those who are in Christ. The Children of Israel were still natural people, "born of the flesh of Adam."
Those who are "in Christ" are "born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit." Born again Christians are not in the flesh of Adam, but in the Spirit of Christ. In Romans 8:9, it says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9 tells us two things. First, those who are in Christ are not in the flesh of Adam. Secondly, those who are not born again do not belong to God.
Born again Christians are the seed of Abraham according to "the stars of heaven." Born again Christians are not of this world. They are born from above in the Spirit of Christ.
Being that born again Christians are not in the flesh of Adam, but in the Spirit of Christ, there was a need for a New Covenant, which is "...a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (Heb. 8:6). In the Old Covenant of the Law (the Ten Commandments), were written by God on two tables of stone (Ex. 24:12, 31:18; Deu. 5:22). These two tables of stone were "the letter of the Law" (2 Cor. 3:6). The Children of Israel did not keep the covenant of the Law, therefore, in Jeremiah 31:31-34 the LORD God said, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah...Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD...But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith 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...And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
What was prophesied in Jeremiah was before the Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah was speaking to the tribes of Judah before they went into captivity. Jeremiah as telling them to not listing to "the false prophets," but obey the LORD God.
While in captivity, Ezekiel came speaking to the tribes of Israel. In Ezekiel 36:26, it says, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
The Law of the commandments that God had written on stone did not work. The Children of Israel did not obey the commandments given to them. Therefore, in the New Covenant, God now writes His commandments (His principles), in our hearts and in our minds, that we might obey them (Heb. 8:10,11). It is no longer "the letter of the Law, but now it is the Spirit of the Law" (2 Cor. 3:6). The word "Law" means, "principles," by which God commands that people live by.
In 1 John 3:4, it says, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." If people break God's laws or commandments it is sin. Sin, if it is not repented of, brings death.
However, there are two major types of death. There is a second death, called eternal death in hell with the Devil and his demons (Rev. 20:5,6,14). There is also physical death of the natural body called the first death. There is also a first death, which is sometimes called "asleep or sleep" (John 11:12; 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 Thess. 4:14,15).
Therefore, in 1 John 5:16-17, it says, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it...All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." This means that, if a Christian sins a sin that is not unto death, he can repent, and confess his sin, and the LORD will forgive him and heal him. But, if he sins a sin unto death, the LORD will not heal him and he will die. This includes those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven. Jesus said in Matthew 12:31, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."
There is a lot more to the New Covenant than what is being taught in the Churches today. Too many Christians are still walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit. Many Christians are not being taught by the Holy Spirit, but rather they are being taught by men, who do not submit to the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
Many are being taught things from the Old Testament that are not after the Spirit, but after the flesh. These teachings are bringing Christians closer and closer to the times of Noah, that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:37,38, and Luke 17:27.
God is love (1 John 4:8). But, that does not mean that God accepts sin. Christians today, should be studying the New Testament, to know what God accepts and what God does not accept.
Take for instance Romans 1:18-32. The wrath of God does come upon "Christians" who continue to do those things that God does not accept. This includes those who believe in same-sex marriage. Men with men and women with women is an abomination unto God (Rom. 1:26-28).
When nations of this world, who say they are Christian nations accept same-sex marriage, they are heading for the time of Sodom and Gomorrah. Have Christians today forsaken the LORD God, and gone to following the spirits of this world? What will happen to Christians today who walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit?
Look once more at Galatians 6:7,8, which says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
NEW or OLD
The Old Testament was the foundation for the New Testament. In the Old Testament the children of Israel were chosen by the LORD to be His people. In Genesis 12:7 it says, "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land..." The LORD chose the children of Israel because of Abraham. In Genesis 13:15, the LORD said to Abraham, "For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." Then the LORD added to that by saying, "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered."
As we study the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the LORD was keeping His covenant that He made with Abraham. The children of Israel were not children of God, they were the seed of Abraham. They were as "the dust of the earth." They were living souls, earthly, of the earth (1 Cor. 15:45-48).
They were still "in Adam," none of them were "in Christ." They were born of the flesh, but not of the Spirit (John 3:6). They were chosen by the LORD in Abraham, because of a covenant the LORD made with Abraham. They lived in the flesh and walked after the flesh.
In comparison, let us look at some important facts concerning the New Testament. It was prophesied in Daniel 2:44, saying, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Here we can see that "the kingdom of God" did not come until the fourth kingdom (which was the Roman captivity beginning with the Babylonian captivity).
One important fact concerning the New Testament is "the kingdom of God is here on earth" as well as in heaven. Yet the kingdom of God did not come to earth until after Jesus died and arose again from the dead. Jesus said in Luke 22:18, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." At that time (when Jesus spoke these words), the kingdom of God had not yet come. Yet, Jesus did drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples during the forty-days following His resurrection. In Acts 10:41 it talks about Jesus and his disciples, saying that they, "...did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead." The kingdom of God came after Jesus' resurrection from the dead.
The complete New Testament is based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, whereby, the kingdom of God came down to earth and now dwells in all those who are born again. There is a major difference between a person who is born again and one who is not born again. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
What man could not do in the flesh, God does for those who are "in Christ." Man could not save himself. The Law could not justify man. In the kingdom of God, all who believe are justified by Jesus Christ (Acts 13:38-39).
In the new birth, people become true children of God by a second birth. In the New Testament, those who are chosen by God are true children of God. They are not of this world (John 17:16). They are born of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23, John 1:13, 3:6).
In the Old Testament there was a covenant made with Abraham, which included all those who walked by faith. These were according to "the stars of heaven" (Gen. 15:5). Yet, none of the children of Israel were born again or baptized in the Holy Spirit. This could not happen until after Jesus was glorified through His death and resurrection (John 7:39).
Now, speaking of the complete Bible, the major difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is the new birth and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Without the new birth and the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we are no different than the children of Israel in the Old Testament.
Why do Christians still want to go back to live like the children of Israel lived in the Old Testament? Why go back to walking after the flesh when God's desire is that we walk after the Spirit?
In the Old Testament times many did walk by faith, and thereby they were justified. Romans 4:2 says, "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." Abraham was justified by faith, not by works. Romans 4:3 says, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Because of Abraham's faith, it was counted unto him for righteousness. It was not Abraham's righteousness, it was the LORD'S righteousness which was imputed upon Abraham (Rom. 4:22).
In the New Testament we have justification by faith. Now we can also "walk after the Spirit" and not after the flesh. This was not a part of the Old Testament. Walking after the Spirit is a much better plan than walking after the flesh. God is not pleased with those who walk after the flesh. Romans 8:5 says, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." Walking after the flesh is the same as being "carnally minded." In Romans 8:6,7 it says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace...Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
The New Covenant gives us the opportunity to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. We serve God from our spirit, not from our mind. In Romans 1:9, Paul makes mention of this by saying, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son..."
The first four books of the New Testament are called "the Gospels" (good news). The good news of the New Testament is much better than the Old Testament. Therefore, Christians need to understand the difference between the New Testament and the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, people were killed (put to death), when they did not obey the LORD. Nations were destroyed, even the little children (1 Sam. 15:3). But in the New Testament it is not that way. In Luke 9:54, James and John came to Jesus saying, "Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" Jesus answered them, saying, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of....For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them..." (Luke 9:55,56). God is not for killing anyone in the New Covenant. That was Old Testament, the Old is now passed away and the New Testament is now in full operation.
In another case in John 8:3-11 the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus, which they caught in the act of adultery, tempting Him. They said to Jesus, "Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act....Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?" (John 8:4,5). When Jesus answered them, He said to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7). After the Pharisees left, Jesus said to the woman, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more" (John 8:11).
In the New Testament, we are not to condemn anyone. We are to preach the gospel, and get them set free of whatsoever is binding them. Everyone must be set free of anything and everything that the spirits of this world hold them in bondage to.
God is not condemning anyone in the New Testament. God is setting people free of all bondage to any of the works of the enemy. People condemn themselves by not believing on the name of (Jesus) the Son of God (John 3:16-18).
Religion, rules, and regulations, operate by the spirits of this world, and they put people in bondage. They work through the minds of people, including Spirit-filled Christians. This operation works from the outside of man. The Holy Spirit works from the spirits of people (working from the inside). If there is no change on the inside of a person, the changes made from the outside will not succeed in setting a person free of the spirits of this world.
Even among many Christian churches today, there are spirits working to bring Christians into bondage. They make rules and regulations that keep Christians in bondage. They compel and require certain rules and regulations that even those making these rules and regulations cannot keep. In Acts 15:28,29 the apostles made this statement concerning the Gentiles who come to Christ. It says, "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things...That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."
The apostles at that time, who knew how to hear from the Holy Spirit said, "...it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things." Therefore, the Holy Spirit was in on that decision, not to lay any greater burden upon the Gentiles then those four things.
When Christians lay greater burdens upon other Christians, the Holy Spirit is not in on it. Burdens laid upon a person only keeps them from being free. Burdens open the door for the spirits of this world to control what people do.
The Holy Spirit is not a controlling Spirit. God is love, and all things are done in love, not placing burdens upon Christians. God never forces anyone to do anything. God leads, guides, comforts, teaches, and helps Christians to do the will of God.
Philippians 2:13 says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." God works with Christians from within them, from their spirit. Satan works from outside, from the mind. Satan puts people in bondage, and the Holy Spirit sets them free of bondage.
There are many teachings of men today among Christian churches, putting others into bondage, and compelling them to obey their rules and regulations. This is not of God. God does not compel anyone to do anything. God puts His laws in Christians minds and writes them in their hearts that they know and do His will (Heb. 8:10,11).
From within our spirit, we know the laws of God and the will of God. We are never forced to obey, for God only receives that which we do of our own free will. Love is the motive for the whole New Testament.
The New Testament operation is different than the Old Testament operation. In the Old Testament, people taught people to know the LORD. As one example, The LORD chose the tribe of Levi in place of the firstborn of every family to serve Him. The Levites were chosen by the LORD to do all the service of the LORD and to teach the people (Num. 3:12). That was a part of the Law given by Moses. But, in Jeremiah 31:31-34 it says, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah...Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD...But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith 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...And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
In the New Testament, people are not sent to teach people to know the LORD. This will seem somewhat different from what most Christians have been taught. But, this is God's Word to Christians. The LORD, by way of the Holy Spirit is going to teach Christians to know the LORD. He is going to put His laws in their inward parts (or hearts and minds as it says in Hebrews 8:10,11). God is going to be the God of Christians, and none other will be their God. God, meaning "supreme in power, authority, and ability."
Jesus said in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God..." In John 14:26 Jesus said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things..." In John 16:13, Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." In 1 John 2:27 it says, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
How does the Holy Spirit teach the children of God? From within our spirit the Holy Spirit leads, guides, comforts, helps, and teaches us. Yet, the Holy Spirit can do very little without the written Word of God. Therefore, as it says in Philippians 2:13, "...it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." From within us, the Holy Spirit draws us to the Word of God, whereby He can give us revelation of the Word of God, that we might do that which is pleasing to God.
When we read or study the Word of God, it is not our own idea, it is the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we study or even hear the Word of God, the Holy Spirit brings to our attention those things which He knows we need to understand. When the Holy Spirit leads us to read or hear the written Word of God, He then gives us revelation of what it truly means, not according to man's wisdom but according to the wisdom of God.
Christians do not need someone to teach them the Law, for the Holy Spirit will guide them to read, study, and hear the written Word, especially the New Testament. As we read, study or hear the written Word, the Holy Spirit gives us understanding, by the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of men.
The Holy Spirit works with Christians differently then people work with people. The Holy Spirit brings revelation knowledge to Christians, not intellectual knowledge. The Holy Spirit draws our attention to those things He knows we need to understand. Not what we want to know, but what He wants us to know.
There are many ways the Holy Spirit works using the Word of God to teach the children of God. Sometimes, He puts the desire in us to read in the Scriptures. Then when we open our Bibles, He draws our attention to certain passages, that we need to see certain parts of. Many times, the Holy Spirit will bring us back to the same passage, and reveal to us something that we never understood before.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will bring certain passages to our mind even when we are not reading, studying, or hearing the Word of God. This He does so that we get back into the Scriptures and see something, and learn something we did not know before. And sometimes only to remind us of what we learned a long time ago and have overlooked what we already knew from the Word of God.
There are numerous ways the Holy Spirit uses to teach us the Word of God. If we love the LORD, then we also have a love for the written Word of God. We cannot love the LORD without having a love for the written Word of God. The LORD and the Word of God are one in the same. You cannot separate them, one from the other.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." When the Holy Spirit is leading and teaching us from the written Word of God, He makes changes in our inner being that we understand the love of God and that understanding changes the thoughts and intents of our heart.
It is the love of God that changes us from the inside, not the teaching of men that try to change us from the outside. The Spirit of God works from our spirit, whereas men work from our minds. That which God does from our spirit causes changes in the way we think, and in what we do according to the will of God, not according to the will of man.
Many people in the position of ministry today want to do God's work for Him. So they try to change people by the teachings of men. It looks like it works sometimes, but in the end, it usually fails. God is love. And only God can change peoples lives to flow with God. Religion tries, but will always fail. When God does it His way, it always works.
When the Holy Spirit draws Christians to read or hear the Word of God, especially baby Christians, He usually starts with the four gospels, where Jesus did the teaching. The more they love the LORD, the more they see changes in their lives to resist the devil and sin, and follow Jesus.
As Christians mature in the LORD while being taught by the Holy Spirit, they enjoy reading and hearing the Word of God from Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. In these books the Holy Spirit adds to their understanding the teachings from the Word of God. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." It is the Holy Spirit that does the teaching in these areas of a Christian's life.
When people try to teach the Scriptures for the purpose of doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction, there is an element of rebellion. The spirits of this world inject thoughts in the minds of Christians and they cause rebellion. These things cannot be taught by the natural mind. They must be witnessed by the Spirit. When there is no witness in the spirit, rebellion takes root in the individual, and they turn away from God, not to God.
How does the Holy Spirit use those who are called to the ministry to help teach others? It is done by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, working in and through the individual that God has anointed to do the speaking. It is interesting to understand what the Holy Spirit is saying in 1 Corinthians 14:1, which says, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." Those who have been taught by men, do not understand what the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write in this verse. When it says, "...but rather that ye may prophesy," it means "that you would speak as the Holy Spirit gives you the utterance."
All ministry work is to be done by the Holy Spirit working through the individual. No ministry work is to be done by the natural man from his natural mind. It should be by the unction of the Holy Spirit.
The teachings of men have caused many to try to do the work of the ministry by their own ability, working from their mind. That is Old Testament, not New Testament.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is the teacher, and He teaches us from our spirit, not our mind. He teaches by His ability, not man's ability. When He anoints someone with a ministry gift, He controls that gift Himself (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
The true anointing does not operate without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must be involved for the true anointing to operate. The true anointing does not work outside of the written Word of God.
Notice something of importance between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In the gospel of John, it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...He was in the beginning with God...All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3, NKJV).
These verses are explaining that in the beginning was the Word of God, Who is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word of God. The Word of God is Jesus.
Jesus created all things, and in the beginning, nothing was created that was not created by Jesus. Jesus comes before all things. The Word of God comes before all things. Without the Word of God this creation would not exist. Without the Word of God, man would not exist, for man was created by the Word of God. "In the beginning was the Word," and the Holy Spirit always follows the Word of God.
First, Jesus came into this world, manifest in the flesh, born of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:23). The Word of God had already gone forth into this world, concerning the birth of Jesus, born of a virgin, etc. Once the Word had gone forth, the Holy Spirit could come and manifest that which was written. Jesus could not have been born of a virgin, had not the Word of God been first written in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit can only manifest that which is written.
When Christians understand this, then they will be in a position to receive "revelation from the written Word of God." The Holy Spirit cannot come before the Word of God, and in the New Testament especially, He cannot manifest anything which is not already written.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit cannot indwell in anyone who is not first born again of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Those who "are not" truly born again, cannot receive the Holy Spirit into their spirit. It is written in Ezekiel 36:26,27, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh...And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
First, a person must receive "a new heart and a new spirit" before God can put His Holy Spirit within them. This was written in the Old Testament, therefore, the Holy Spirit could come and indwell in the spirits of Christians, but not in those who are not born again.
Jesus said in John 16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." The Holy Spirt could not come and indwell in the spirits of Jesus' disciples until after Jesus arose again from the dead. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Jesus is Christ, the anointed risen Word of God. Jesus died and arose again from the dead according to the written Word of God.
Understand this spiritual truth: Jesus was with God from the beginning. Jesus was the Word of God from the beginning. Jesus was the LORD God all throughout the Old Testament. Jesus created all things, including everything listed in Genesis, Chapter One and Two. "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:3).
At the same time, Jesus was not "Jesus," until He was born into this world as a man, born of a virgin. Jesus became "Jesus" according to the written Word of God, when the Holy Spirit caused His conception in Mary.
Following that, Jesus did not become "Christ" until after He received the Holy Spirit following His water baptism by John the Baptist. Jesus was about thirty years old when He became "Christ," the Anointed One. He was always with God. He was always the Word of God. He was always the LORD God. But, He did not become "Jesus" until He was born into this world as a man in the flesh. He did not become "Christ" until He was anointed with the Holy Spirit at about the age of thirty.
In the beginning Jesus was called the Word of God. After His death and resurrection He is still the Word of God, the Son of God, the LORD, Jesus, Christ, etc. Jesus never lost anything that was once His according to the Word of God.
Once Jesus died and arose again from the dead, He became Christ, "the head of the body of Christ." Christ is the beginning of a new creation of mankind. Adam was the first man (old creature). Christ became the Second Adam (man), the One in which all those who are in Christ become a part of His body.
Christ is the Anointed One, and all those in Christ can also be anointed with the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was anointed with. This is the same Holy Spirit that Christians can also receive.
No one could become born again until after Jesus became "the firstborn from the dead." No one can receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit before they are born again. Therefore, Jesus said in John 16:7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." This indwelling of the Holy Spirit (the anointing of the Holy Spirit), was not available to those of the Old Testament. These things are only available to those of the New Testament.
In the New Testament, we can become "a new creature in Christ." We can become anointed with the Holy Spirit. We can receive the power of God in our lives to live like Jesus lived. We can walk like Jesus walked. We can talk like Jesus talked.
Yet, there is one requirement concerning all these things, that we do it just as Jesus did it. It must be the Holy Spirit working through us just as He worked through Jesus.
It must be the will of God, not the will of man. It must be the Holy Spirit, not some other spirit. It must be from our spirit, not from our mind.
We must follow Jesus' instructions, written in the Gospels and explained further in the Epistles. Unless we deny ourselves, we cannot walk like Jesus walked. Unless we do "only the will of God the Father," we cannot walk like Jesus walked. Unless we pick up our cross and follow Jesus' example, we cannot be one of His disciples.
It must be the Holy Spirit working in us and through us, otherwise it is counterfeit (another spirit). There are many spirits manifesting in great signs and wonders within the Churches today. Many of these spirits are not the Holy Spirit, they are sent by the devil to lead Christians away from the true anointing.
We cannot serve other spirits and God at the same time. God cannot have fellowship with other spirits. God can only have fellowship with those who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
This is what the New Testament is all about. It is our preparation for eternity. In Heaven, the people that will be there are those who will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must know the difference between the Holy Spirit and other spirits.
NEW or OLD
Look at some of the differences between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Children of Israel were natural people, born of the flesh of Adam. They were all in Adam. In 1 Corinthians 15:22 it says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Speaking of Christians, Romans 8:9 says, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
This is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:42-49. It also tells us in 2 Corinthians, 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." All the way through the New Testament we are reminded that we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit of Christ.
Being that we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, we have been given a new covenant, which is based upon better promises, and operates from the spirit of man, not from the mind.
We are not in this world to do our own will of the flesh, but to do the will of God the Father from our spirit, abiding by all the principles of God revealed in the New Covenant.
In John 20:19-21 it says, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you...And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord...Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
When Jesus said, "...as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you," He was speaking of what He said to them in John 14:12, where it says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
The New Covenant is much greater than the Old Covenant. The New Covenant includes a new way of living, walking by faith and not by sight, being led by the Holy Spirit, not by the will of the flesh.
It also includes obeying the principles of the law that are set in the New Testament, rather than law that was set forth in the Old Testament.
Among those principles is the Kingdom of God. In the Kingdom of God we are told that we must be doing the Father's will according to the instructions in the New Testament.
Included in these instructions is John 15:1-7, which says, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman...Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit...Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you...Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me...I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing...If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned...If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
How many Christians today understand John 15:1-7? How many are doing what it says in John 15:1-7? How many Christians are doing what it says in Matthew 10:7-10? How many Christians today are studying the New Testament, that they know and do the will of God the Father?
There is a major difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The New Covenant is a whole new life in Christ Jesus, which includes a whole new way of living.
The New Covenant does not give Christians the authority to do their own will of the flesh. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Every Born again Christians should examine their lives, based upon what Jesus taught, and the New Testament teaches. This does not seem to be what is being taught in many of the Churches today. "Once saved always saved" is a very questionable doctrine according to the complete New Testament.
There is a lot more to doing the will of God the Father than just saying a sinners prayer and then going to heaven when we leave this earth. We need to truly study the Scriptures in the New Testament, and live our lives according to what is written in the New Testament.
We could start judging ourselves with Hebrews 10:38, where it says, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Are we living by faith, or are we still doing our own will of the flesh?
This is "Part One" of the Mini-Books on the New Covenant or the Old Covenant. It is very important that those reading this "Part One," will get the other parts also. The following parts of this Mini-Book series can be downloaded from our Web sites at: