Thursday, December 1, 2016

Understanding What The Old Covenant Was And What The New Covenant Is

One of the main things that is causing so many to misunderstand what all we have gained in Jesus Christ is people really not understanding or even knowing what the Old Covenant is and what the New Covenant is. This is causing many disputes among brethren. Many don't even realize that this is something VERY important we ALL must know in order to not become deceived by various winds of false doctrine. I have sat and studied this carefully because I have noticed from about 3 or 4 years ago that not understanding this very thing is why people are pushing Sabbath, tithing, not eating pork, and telling people they ought to be keeping the 10 Commandments, and any legalistic man-made teachings that do not apply to us as believers TODAY (Acts chapter 15 confirms that these were not even commandments given to us as Gentiles)

The reason for so much dispute among Christians on this topic is because of many not knowing at all what is the Old Covenant. Many have placed themselves under the Old Covenant and not even realized it. Many have not actually sat and studied to show themselves approved (though they say they do, their responses show otherwise) because they are simply repeating textbook answers from what they have heard their Pastors say or a televangelist say or something they Googled instead of actually studying and asking God for wisdom in these things.

Many are saying the Spirit of God told them things that the Spirit of God could NEVER have told anyone because what they claim He said contradicts the very word of God inspired by who? The Spirit of God. (If you say the Spirit of God told you or led you to what is proven to be a false doctrine, basically a lie, then you have become a liar yourself lying on the very Spirit of God). 

What is the Old Covenant? The Old Covenant are the laws given to Moses on Mount Sinai, all of them (ESPECIALLY that which was written on stone) (Exodus 34:32). There are many scriptures in the Old Testament and New Testament that confirm what the Old Covenant is. These are just a few of those scriptures. Hebrews 9:18-20, Exodus 24:5-8,"This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the COVENANT, which God has commanded you to keep.”
We know Moses received two tablets on Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments written on them, we learnt this from Sunday school time. Those who will say "But the 10 commandments weren't the Old Covenant". Through (studying the scriptures prayerfully) you will see that it shows that it very much was. In Hebrew 9:4 the very tablets Moses received are called the tablets of the Covenant. We know this is specifically the Old Covenant because it is referred to as the First covenant in Hebrews 9:1. It is written in Hebrews 8:13 that the first covenant (The Old Covenant) has been made obsolete (to be no longer used), if that isn't enough evidence that the 10 Commandments are the Old Covenant then in Exodus 34:28 we see where the 10 commandments are literally, directly, plainly called the covenant. "And He wrote on the tablets the word of the covenant, the Ten Commandments." That is as plain as it gets. Right there we see that the very words on the tablets, the ten commandments, are called the "words of the covenant".
And if that still isn't clear enough, carefully reading Hebrews 8:7-13 shows us that the Old Covenant is what was made with those (The Israelites) who came out of Egypt, it was never made with anybody else. Ask yourself what covenant was given to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt? The Commandments. There was no other covenant made with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, no other one.

Christ came and established the New Covenant which is described in scripture as a better CovenantHebrews 8:6"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First He says:“This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put My Laws in their hearts and inscribe them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16.

Christ has wiped out the hand written requirements which were against us, Colossians 2:14. What requirements were handwritten and given to the Israelites? The Commandments written by the hands of God on stone. Somebody might quote the scripture that says God doesn't change "He's the same yesterday, today, and forever more", that is the 100% truth BUT changing laws doesn't mean that God has changed from being God, (and for anyone who thinks God has never changed his mind before, go and see all the times He has relented (changed His mind) from bringing judgement on a nation when they repented. Furthermore we have laws changed in our lands and still the President remains the President. Changing laws doesn't mean God has himself changed. 
The priesthood had changed so out of necessity so did the law was changed. Hebrews 7:11-12 explains this.
It is important to know that it was even prophesied in the Old Testament that God would actually make this change (Make a New covenant). He even spoke about how He will do a New thing and will the people even know it, He said through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43:18:19- "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you know it?" Then He said about Jesus through the Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 42:6"I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.." This change that God made was a fulfillment of prophecy, isn't that what Christ said He came to do in Matthew 5:17. This New Covenant replacing the Old was also prophesied by the Prophet Jeremiah 31:31, ""Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD".
It's important to understand why it was God decided to made this change from the Old Covenant to the New covenant. Here are some of the reasons:

1) The Israelites broke them. (Their story of how they broke them and the consequences they faced are written at length throughout several of the first 39 chapters in the Old Testament even with reminders in the New Testemant)

2)The Former Commandment (The Law) was weak, unprofitable and made nothing perfect. Hebrews 7:18-19
3)It was not without it faults. Hebrews 8:7
4)The priesthood had changed so out of necessity so did the law have to be changed. Hebrews 7:11-12
5)The laws were only a shadow of what was to come. Hebrews 10:1-16
6)The law was added for our transgressions, till Christ came. Galatians 3:19
7)The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:24 (so if Christ has come why are you continuing under the tutor, the law?) This is evidence of not understanding what Christ came to accomplish. The Galatians were not called obedient because they chose to keep the laws of Moses, they were called foolish because of this, Galatians 3.

8)The Law brings a curse. Galatians 3:10-14
9)The strength/power of sin is the law. "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law." 1 Corinthians 15:56.

10) If you chose to remain under the law you are debtor to keep the entire law (which you cannot do) so you have become estranged from Christ, you have fallen from Grace. Galatians 5:1-6 describes this using circumcision as one example of how one can get entangled in the law again. It only takes trying to keep one law and that person has made themselves indebted to keep ALL the laws of Moses, all 600+ not merely 10.

11. Those who are under the law are not heirs of the promise. Galatians 4:21-31
12. If you remain under the law (Old Covenant) you are like an adulteress wife, because we are dead to the law, the law now being made obsolete, we being dead to it have now been free to marry a new Husband, Christ who was raised from the dead who has freed us from that law that yoke of bondage. Romans 7:1-6

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are told to be like-minded, saying the same things. Paul teaches this in 1 Corinthians 1:10 also in Philippians 2:2. Some people treat topics like this like it's merely a matter of personal choice whether to keep or not, but this is not a scenario of I have my truth and you have your truth and we're  both fine, I love you k bye. This is not a non-essential issue we can simply agree to disagree on. This is a white or black situation, no in between, no gray area, no "but it's my personal conviction".  Though we do have certain liberties in Christ, one of them is not remaining under the Old Covenant laws which Christ Himself nailed to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14). Nobody today can ever in truth say the Spirit of God personally convicted them to keep the laws of Moses (the old covenant which is 10 commandments). I will say now it is not the Spirit of God that led them to that, it is that person being wise in their own opinion or following what false teachers taught them. When the commandments were given to the Children of Israel it was not delivered individually to some people through personal conviction, we cannot abuse this personal conviction thing by claiming it's our personal conviction whenever we feel like doing something. Check and see if this conviction you are feeling lines up correctly with scripture divided rightly. Do we have convictions? Yes, but they would never contradict the instructions God has for His people TODAY.

Now it is MOST important to understand none of what was shared here is telling anybody to break God's commandments, and this isn't of any personal interpretation. God's commandments to love God with all our heart mind soul and strength (Mathew 23:36-40), and to love one another as He loves us, (John 13:34), still stands and all the laws and prophets hang on those things. If you do those things you will not be breaking His commands. Love is the fulfillment of the law, this is what Paul teaches in Romans 13:8-10

I have provided scriptures for those to go out and see if what I am saying is the truth. 

What was shared here is to show what we have gained in Christ Jesus the Lord, we have been liberated from The Laws of Moses. Paul says it perfectly here, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1 . Jesus already showed how through loving God with all our heart mind soul and strength and through loving others as ourselves (also loving one another the way God loves us) is how we keep God's commands. Not through carefully obeying specific laws of Moses like Sabbath, Tithes, not eating certain foods etc. Also, because we are no longer under the law, the old covenant of Moses, this doesn't mean we now are free to sin, the wages of sin is still death. This is not an invitation or allowance for licentiousness, lawlessness, or disobedience. This is to help us understand what all we have gained in Christ, our freedoms are not to be used as a cloak for vice but for us to humbly love one another as written in 1 Peter 2:16-17 and Galatians 5:13

I will conclude with the words of Jesus Christ, John, and Paul. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:1-4. 
"“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. 
"A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. " John 8:36