With Whom Did God Make the New Covenant?

With Whom Did God Make the New Covenant?

 

I often hear Christians, even ministers, say that Christians have a Covenant with God. That God made that Covenant with the Church/Christians on the Cross at Calvary. But is that statement totally accurate? The answer is, “No.” I understand what they mean, that we have God’s assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ, and that is true. However, the statement, “God made that covenant with the Church/Christians on the Cross at Calvary” is not technically correct. And that’s a good thing.

 

Remember the Old Covenant; the one God made with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai? Did the Israelites keep their end of the deal? No! In fact, they broke that Covenant, also called the Law of Moses, almost immediately (Exodus 32). Why did this happen? Because sinful humanity is unable to keep the Law, unable to remain totally and completely faithful and obedient to God. Fallen humanity is imperfect and will fail sooner or later along the way. This is why the New Covenant was not made between God and the Church/Christians. We fail, fall short, sin, and that would be the end of the Covenant, if it were dependent upon us keeping our end of the bargain. Unlike the Covenant God made with Abraham (Genesis 15), both the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) and the New Covenant have conditions (John 14:23-24; 15:10). Therefore, the New Covenant had to be made between two parties who could neither one fail—two perfect parties (Galatians 3:15-18; Hebrews 7:1-28). Those two parties were God the Father and God the Son—Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7, 8, 9, 10).

 

In fact, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was made, first and foremost, as the representative of Israel (Hebrews 8:1).

 

Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — 9 “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. NKJV

 

Salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and Jesus came first to the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Matthew 10:5-15; 15:21-28). The Greek text of John 1:11 says, “He came to His own things, and His own people did not receive Him.” In fact, even Paul makes it clear in Romans 9-11, especially Romans 9:1-5, that the Covenants (plural, meaning all the covenant promises of God) belong to national Israel—Israel according to the flesh.

 

Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. NKJV

 

Romans 11 states that through unbelief the natural branches were broken off—not all the natural branches, but the unbelieving natural branches. However, wild olive branches, that is believing Gentiles, have been grafted into the olive tree (Romans 11:11-24), but if the natural branches return to Him in faith, they will be grafted back in (Romans 11:23). Furthermore, the blindness of national Israel is only in part, or temporary, until the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25). Then God will restore national Israel to finish His dealings with them as a nation. That is what is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 6-19), or the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7, read all of chapter 30).

 

In conclusion, we as Christians get to be part of an Everlasting Covenant made between God the Father and God the Son—Christ, neither of Whom can fail. We are now part of the Commonwealth of God through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:13-18). However, that Covenant is not between us and God, but rather between God the Father and Jesus Christ. This should be counted as Good News because God cannot fail like sinful humanity. Even when we fail, He remains steadfast and true, and we have a refuge to return to for salvation and safety in the midst of the storm. I wrote this today because with all the terrible things taking place in the world, we need to hear some Good News!

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Why I Will Not Attend A Racial Reconciliation Religious/Church Service

Why I Will Not Attend A Racial Reconciliation Religious/Church Service

Ephesians 2:11-22

“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you 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. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” NKJV.

 

There are several reasons I will not attend a racial reconciliation religious or church service, and the very first one is that most of the people promoting this whole idea are either willfully ignorant of the Scriptures, or they are trying to manipulate some group within the crowd to see how they have done more wrong than anyone else, and no matter what, they must still, at least figuratively, pay up. Yet I don’t know any Whites who ever owned a Black slave, and I don’t know any Blacks who were slaves, unless they came to the USA from a Muslim nation. With that said, let me elaborate.

 

I see an unbiblical trend in the Body of Christ today that is, more often than not, promoted by denominational leaders and consultants with their advisory committees, whether religious or secular in orientation. That trend is that a church body must be homogeneous, that is of one race, ethnicity, or social economic status. This material is easy to find in the writings of the so-called “church growth experts” like C. Peter Wagner, Bob Buford, and anyone affiliated with Leadership Network. This is an unbiblical, even anti-biblical, teaching.

 

The homogeneous principle of the church is that we are one in Jesus Christ. There is no other biblical principle of homogeneity. This is why biblical churches have a mixture of races and classes in the congregation. I’ve been in churches where you have bikers in leather sitting next to businessmen in Armani suits, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Whites mingled in the same row of seats, and those who have PhD’s sitting next to those who didn’t finish high school, and so forth. This is the way a biblical church functions because it is made up of those who come from the community and the surrounding area, regardless of who they are.

 

Yet today, and I have personally attended some of these meetings, church leaders are told to target one group to build their church, whether its young families, business people, academicians, the wealthy, the poor, or some particular racial or ethnic group. Let me say that such advice is not only unbiblical, but Satanic. It does not unite people in the Truth, rather it divides people, who then usually only get pieces of the Truth. After all, we wouldn’t want to offend anyone. This is why I detest the church growth movement. It has served to divide people, rather than unite them in Christ.

 

Secondly, these services usually serve to beat up on one group or another, rather than telling the congregation we have a responsibility to walk in the love and truth of Jesus Christ toward each other, so that we can be an example of the love of Christ and a positive influence for Christ on a sinful and divided world of unbelieving pagans. They almost never deal with the fact that the problems in society are not racism, poverty, crime, drugs, drunkenness, or any of the other things about which we might pontificate or wax eloquent. The problem is sin. Why don’t the races and classes get along with each other? Because they are lost sinners. Pagans who need Jesus Christ. How can we expect the races to get along with each other, when the races can’t even get along with themselves? Having been born in 1955, I’m old enough to remember hearing and reading things about the Jim Crow laws in the South, and knowing some who lived under those laws. I can also remember hearing racial epithets used regularly by some, and Whites weren’t the only ones doing it, no matter what the liars in control of our colleges, government, and religious institutions are trying to tell young people today. I will also add that while I sometimes heard those in the older generations of my family occasionally use some slurs, and while it was still wrong, that was a different time with different expectations. Nevertheless, I was always taught to treat all people the same as I wanted them to treat me, regardless of skin color, and my friends of different races were always welcomed in my home, and treated courteously and respectfully.

 

Third, the issue of the sin and lostness of pagans and self-righteous religious people as the primary problem is almost never driven home, and sometimes isn’t even mentioned. Yes, self-righteous church people are just as lost as the pagan getting drunk at the corner bar. Instead, they talk about social justice, which knowing the history of the modern social justice movement, I can assure is not justice, but socialism or worse. I’m all for equal treatment under the law, and I know the USA has failed to live up to that Ideal in many ways through the years, but we have done more to right the wrongs than any nation on earth. In fact, the mandatory sentencing guidelines that are giving such unduly harsh sentences to Blacks and other minorities for relatively minor offenses were ordered in the 1990’s, and it’s time to review, and perhaps change, those guidelines. But this is rarely ever mentioned because it might be perceived as political, and Blacks and minorities might have to face the fact that Democrats, particularly Bill Clinton, have not been the friends of minorities they’ve been led to believe they are. Jesus Christ dealt with the political and the spiritual, and we should too.

 

Fourth, these meetings usually consist of a lot of high minded platitudes, and blame, but they are usually short on everyone’s need to daily walk in repentance and the spirit of reconciliation spoken of in Ephesians 2:11-22. Not just for this sin, but for all sin. As someone who is of both White and American Indian heritage, I can tell you that I have experienced prejudice, bigotry, and even outright racism as well. Although it has happened only rarely, it still makes you angry. I understand that. Some of those experiences were with Whites, others were with Blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. So let’s cut the nonsense that only White people can be bigots because it’s utter garbage. Racism is ugly and sinful, regardless whom it is coming from, or to whom it is directed. On the other side of this equation, I’ve been fortunate to have many friends of many different races and ethnicities, and I think I’m a richer person because of it. In fact, my immediate family (my children, in-laws, and grandchildren) has White, Black, and Hispanic bloodlines in it, some of those came into our family through adoption, others are biologically related, and some married into the family. I love, and would die for, any or all of them. So if I seem testy on this issue of racial reconciliation, it’s because I’ve lived it, and I don’t care to hear ignorant people trying to teach me something about which they know nothing either biblically, or in any experiential way.

 

Fifth, as for being reconciled to people in daily life, that is a two-way street. You can be respectful toward others, but if they want no part of having peace and reconciliation with you, then you are powerless to force it upon them. Does anyone seriously think that a Black, White cop hating, Muslim desires to be part of that reconciliation in Christ? Or does anyone think that the racist, and Neo Marxist, Black Lives Matter group wants to be part of any reconciliation in Jesus Christ? No. it won’t work. They have to want it, and their sin is their fault, not mine!

 

I propose that, biblically, any professing Christian who says they are not already reconciled with all races is either not really saved, or does not understand biblical racial reconciliation. It takes two to tango, and no racists or true Muslims will be likely to participate. Again, their sin and hatred is not my fault, but their own. We each bear the responsibility for our own sin. I can tell you that this country is more racially divided now than at any time since the 1960’s through the early 1970’s. Thank you Barack Obama and the political and religious left.

 

On a final note, I have every right, according to the Bible and the USA Constitution, to defend my family, should someone try to harm them. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” NKJV. I believe that includes providing for their safety, as well as for their general welfare.