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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : A CHANGE OF HUSBANDS

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Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re:

None of the scripture you have posted is even remotely close to what you claim. I only see great deception nothing else.

The scripture you quoted itself clearly says that "This is the covenant I will make with THEM" (Heb 10:16). So it is a covenant made with man by God through the offering of Jesus.

The work that Jesus said it is finished is not as simple as being just a sacrifice. It has multiple objectives. If it is just a sacrifice that Paul can later explain as a Gospel to people then Jesus could have died as a baby itself. There is no need for him to live 33.5 years, suffering like a man and yet without sin. If he was an unblemished sacrifice at 33.5 years, then he was also one at 1 year.

Jesus is called First Born of the Dead (Revl 1:5). What does that mean? He is also called ' firstborn among many brothers' (Romans 8:28). Though the covenant was established through him and his sacrifice, he is also the first among many brothers to be raised from Dead to live with God. He is also one among many benefactors of the covenant.


I have a daughter, I want her to be married to a Godly man. Suppose if I find a Godly young man whom I believe will make perfect match for my daughter. Now if I go ahead and forcibly get my daughter married to him without even asking her permission then I am not a good father. Though I know this is the best for her, still I will not do it. If I being an earthly father will not force my daughter into a marriage how much more will God the heavenly father will forcibly form a covenant concerning man without even involving man in it, no matter how much eternal goodness it has?

The simple fact that you cannot post a straight forward scripture to support your idea of covenant itself tells how big a lie it is.

The claim you make is a serious claim, such a big claim needs clear scriptural proof. But you do not have one period. Even in your post instead plainly quoting a scripture, you had to give a long explanation, shows that the scripture is not connected with your interpretation. If they were connected then the scripture it self could be self explanatory.


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Sreeram

 2016/5/9 10:40Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re:

Quote:

You asked of me something in your last post, I'd ask of you now regarding this;

"Marriage is an eternal covenant between 3 people, Husband, wife and God."

"Hope you can give me a Scriptural proof for your belief.



‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what GOD has JOINED together, let no one separate.” - Matt 19;5.


Malachi 2:14-16 :-
But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was WITNESS between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.



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Sreeram

 2016/5/9 10:59Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1963


 Re: two not three

The covenant of marriage is entered into by the vows of the two,"... and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh." God is Witness to such and holds them accountable to it.

 2016/5/9 11:20Profile









 Re: Who did God make the New Covenant with?

Taking Hold of the New Covenant
David Wilkerson

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips" (Psalm 89:34). The term "covenant" plays an integral part in the Christian faith. Yet in all my years I have never heard a preacher or teacher adequately describe the significance of "covenant" in a Christian’s life. The Bible itself is divided into two Covenants (or Testaments), Old and New. Throughout the Old Testament, God makes one covenant after another with humankind. What are all these covenants about? More importantly, what do they have to do with us today?

A covenant is an agreement or pledge between two or more parties, like a contract. It contains terms or duties each party must perform to fulfill the agreement. Such covenants are legally binding, and once they’re finalized each party can be penalized for not fulfilling its respective terms.

In creating the New Covenant, God puts his amazing love for humankind on full display. Yet the church has been blind to this incredible doctrine for decades. As a young Christian I was taught that "covenant theology," focusing on the New Covenant, was a licentious doctrine. The prevailing thought was that the New Covenant is so marvelously freeing that people might misuse it, indulging in permissive lifestyles.

Yet the more I understand the New Covenant, the more I’m convinced we need its assurance in these perilous last days. Its pledge has the power to release in God’s church all the overcoming strength we need to be more than conquerors in any situation.

Who are the parties in the New Covenant?

The New Covenant is a formal contract between Father and Son. And today we, the seed of a spiritual Israel, are brought into this covenant by faith. "Now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

God formed this "better covenant" with his Son, agreeing on its terms before the world’s creation: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised [covenanted] before the world began" (Titus 1:2).

The heavenly Father wasn’t willing to lose his beloved creatures to the powers of hell. So he formed a rescue plan for us: "Thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people" (Psalm 89:19). The Father said to his Son, "Humankind is going to grow weak and miserable because of their sin, helpless to find their way back to me. I appoint you as my holy one to help them and bring them back into my favor."

Next we hear the Son’s own covenant words: "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8). Everything Jesus did on earth was in fulfillment of his terms of the covenant: "I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak" (John 12:49).

The Bible states these terms clearly. Jesus was to divest himself of all heavenly glory, taking on a human body: "(He) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7). He was to endure reproaches and suffering, "a man of sorrows" acquainted with grief. He was to grow up undesirable to the world: "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2). After all this, he was to submit himself into the hands of wicked men, and in great agony lay down his life as an offering for humankind’s sin. In making atonement he would have to endure God’s wrath for a season.

God then laid out the type of ministry his Son would undertake to redeem humankind. He told Jesus, "Your ministry is going to be that of a priest. I’ve known all my children from the foundation of the world, and now I give them as a flock for you to shepherd." Jesus testified on earth, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

Finally, the Father instructed his Son, "If you choose to go, these works will be required of you: You must preach good tidings to the meek, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, open prison doors to those in bondage, bear with the weaknesses of the frail, bear tenderly with the ignorant, supply their shortcomings with your strength, feed the flock, carry them in your bosom, gently lead the young, lend your strength to the weak, guide them all with your counsel, promise to send them the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of their freedom, and bring them home to glory with you."

In return, the Father gave his Son everlasting promises. He would give him the Holy Spirit without measure: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me" (Isaiah 61:1). He would always be present with him, watching over him to preserve him: "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles" (Isaiah 42:6). In addition, the Father would counteract every discouragement from the enemy: "He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law" (Isaiah 42:4). And he would display his glory in his Son: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Philippians 2:9-10). Once Jesus’ work was finished, the Father would bring him back to glory: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:26).

These are all the terms of the covenant, laid out in black and white for the world to know. They are not hidden from us because we are to be encouraged by them all!
Jesus met every term of the covenant.

As we reread the gospels now, we see that everything Jesus did on earth was to fulfill the terms of agreement he’d made with the Father. He went after lost sheep, opened the eyes of the blind, raised the dead, opened the prison doors of death, spoke words of eternal life, performed miraculous works, cast out devils and healed all manner of infirmities. In every verse of the gospels, Jesus was fulfilling the things the Father had sent him to do.

Through it all, Jesus appropriated his Father’s covenant promises to him: "My God shall be my strength" (Isaiah 49:5). "I will put my trust in him" (Hebrews 2:13). The Father’s faithful words kept Jesus through his agonizing death: "I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:5-6).

When Jesus uttered his final prayer, we see once more the open-covenant dealings between Father and Son: "Now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). And before he returned to glory, Jesus reminded the Father of his part in the covenant: "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee... I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (verses 1, 4).

What does all of this have to do with you and me? It’s a picture of God’s love for his beloved creation! He formed this covenant because he was unwilling to lose a single child to destruction. Jesus is saying here, "Father, I’ve fulfilled my part of the covenant. I have brought about the redemption of humankind, and I’ve made your body one. Now let’s talk about what’s going to happen to my seed, all who believe in me."

In short, God gives his Son, the Son gives his life, and we get all the benefits. "His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven... My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips" (Psalm 89:29,34). At this point, Jesus tells the Father, "We agreed I could bring into our covenant everyone who trusts in me. I ask you to bring these beloved ones under the same covenant promises you made to me." "Now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are" (John 17:11).

Was the Father true to his terms of the covenant? Did he lead and guide Jesus as promised? Did his Spirit hover over his Son giving him encouragement and consolation? Did he bring him through all of his trials and usher him home to glory victorious? Yes, absolutely! And the Father has pledged an eternal oath to do the same for us.

Jesus said, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (verse 15). "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (verse 16). Christ was saying, in essence, "Father, sanctify them through your truth. Make them holy and pure and keep them from the wicked one. Be with them through all their temptations. Let the promises you gave me be theirs as well."

By keeping the word of his covenant in love, the Father’s glory was displayed to the world: "The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:22-23).

The next time you struggle with a besetting sin, you may hear an accusing voice: "You’ve gone too far and sinned too often. God has turned you over to a reprobate mind. You’re unclean, unholy, no good, a disgrace to the gospel. You’ve driven the Holy Spirit from your life completely." When this happens, remind God, the devil and yourself: "I am one in covenant with the Father and Son. Jesus co-signed the covenant with his own blood, and the Father promised to keep me through all my trials. He’ll hold my hand no matter what comes and will never remove his love from me. He’ll lead me to victory!"

By revealing his covenant to us, God wants to remove any doubts we have about his ability to keep us. It’s as if he’s saying, "I’m going to treat you as if you have no faith at all. I’ll make such a strong oath to you, you’ll have no choice but to believe in me." We are to stay in Christ—abide in him, trust him, depend on him. If we do, we will surely see his glory!

 2016/5/9 12:36
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re:

Quote:

The covenant of marriage is entered into by the vows of the two,"... and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh." God is Witness to such and holds them accountable to it.



Based on Matt 19, God is the one who joined a man and women in marriage. No other man has authority to separate them. Which means no pastor or judge has authority to give them divorce.

When it says God is the one who united them then it means he is the glue that bound them in one flesh. How is he not involved in the covenant?


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Sreeram

 2016/5/9 14:53Profile









 Re:

Quote:
A covenant is an agreement or pledge between two or more parties, like a contract. It contains terms or duties each party must perform to fulfill the agreement. Such covenants are legally binding, and once they’re finalized each party can be penalized for not fulfilling its respective terms.



You are right that the New Testament does contain terms/duties of both sides.

On God's side, it is impossible for Him to lie and we do have full assurance of what He has promised, IF we keep our end of the terms.

We fulfill our end of the terms/agreement when we "endure unto the end and not draw back in unbelief".

Mar 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Quote:
In creating the New Covenant, God puts his amazing love for humankind on full display. Yet the church has been blind to this incredible doctrine for decades. As a young Christian I was taught that "covenant theology," focusing on the New Covenant, was a licentious doctrine. The prevailing thought was that the New Covenant is so marvelously freeing that people might misuse it, indulging in permissive lifestyles.



The one who understands the scriptures understand that they cannot take advantage of God and His grace as exemplified in Christ Jesus. There is no provision in the New Testament written in Christ's blood for taking advantage of the Lord's grace.

Quote:
Yet the more I understand the New Covenant, the more I’m convinced we need its assurance in these perilous last days. Its pledge has the power to release in God’s church all the overcoming strength we need to be more than conquerors in any situation.



It is not God's assurance or commitment that is in question. We always have His assurance. He is not the one that will commit spiritual adultery and go after other suitors (gods).

"We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." (2 Cor 6:1)

Many people do not realize that salvation is conditional. Everyone says it is unconditional, but what is unconditional is God's love for the sinner in that the sinner does not have to fix himself, or clean himself up before coming to God. Jesus says, that "whoever comes to Him he will in no wise cast out". Once you become a son, there are responsibilities.

"And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." (2 Pet 2:20)

 2016/5/9 15:08
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re:

I am still not able to comprehend the view of David Wilkerson. I have great respect for him though he has made some mistakes in the past. I feel his views are more influenced by his seminary teachings than the scripture. Reading the article appears like he is desperately trying to prove his seminary teachings by trying to find some scriptures.

The scripture is very clear when it says God makes his New Covenant with his people.

Hebrews 8:8:-
“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.

Jesus is the lamb whose blood was shed for the covenant to be made. He was the sacrifice. He was also the first to inherit eternal life through the promise of New covenant. That is why he is called first born of the dead. That is why Apostle Paul says that if Jesus was not raised then there is no hope for us. Because if he himself did not get eternal life then how can we get?

So the New Covenant is also applicable to Jesus and was made with him as well. But to say that it was made only with him and not with us, is clearly against scripture.

Let God alone be true and every man a liar no matter how much great work he has done for God.


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Sreeram

 2016/5/9 16:40Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1700


 Re:

I cannot find the source of David Wilkerson article. I only see a sermon by him on this topic. This article may not be his original work.


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Sreeram

 2016/5/9 20:19Profile









 Re: Taking Hold of The New Covenant

http://sermons.worldchallenge.org/content/taking-hold-new-covenant

 2016/5/10 6:59









 Understanding the New Covenant - David Wilkerson

"My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips" (Psalm 89:34).

What is God talking about, exactly, when He speaks of covenant? Covenant is "an agreement or pledge between two or more parties." Today we would use the word contract to describe a covenant. And like any contract, a covenant contains terms or duties that each party has to perform in order to fulfill the agreement. Such covenants are legally binding and once they have been finalized, the parties can be penalized for not fulfilling their respective terms.

The term covenant plays an integral part in the Christian faith. The Holy Scriptures themselves are divided into an Old Covenant (or Testament) and a New Covenant. I believe it is vitally important for the Church of Jesus Christ to comprehend the New Covenant as we face the coming perilous times. The Bible tells us that in the last days Satan is going to pour out his wrath on the earth because he knows his time is short. As that happens, God's people are going to need the full assurance of this covenant. This ironclad pledge has the power to release in all of us the overcoming strength we need to be more than conquerors in any situation.

When I was a young Christian, I was led to believe that covenant theology was a licentious doctrine taught by a few dying religious groups. The thinking then seemed to be that the New Covenant is so marvelously freeing, people could take advantage of it and misuse it. It was seen as a teaching that could lead to a permissive, compromising lifestyle.

Others have wrongly taught that the New Covenant is God's pledge to baptize His people with financial bonanzas - expensive cars, grand houses, material wealth, immunity to sorrow and sickness. These teachers have completely perverted God's glorious covenant and reduced it to that which ministers only to man's greed.

In spite of all this, the more I understand about the New Covenant, the more I am convinced that it is meant for us today. More importantly, I believe it is the one truth that can release in us God's supernatural power to overcome in these last days.

Unclaimed Promises

The book of Hebrews, which refers to the New Covenant at length, provides this description:

"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 - 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.

"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. 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. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

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.

Hebrews 8:8-13

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

Hebrews 10:16-17

This summary details the eternal promises of God's incredible New Covenant. So, why is this wonderful truth unsought or ignored by Christians today?

I believe the passage itself provides a key to this oversight. It describes "a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" (Hebrews 8:8). Many Christian groups have mistaken this verse to mean that the New Covenant applies only to natural Jews, rather than to the spiritual Jews who make up Christ's Body. Modern dispensationalists, for example, interpret this verse as a promise meant only for literal Israel. So they assign its meaning to a coming millennial age.

It is no wonder the New Covenant has remained unclaimed for so long. Yet the truth is, all these promises of the New Covenant are yours and mine, right now. They are for all believing Jews and Gentiles. How do I know this? It is clear from the context of the above passage that the house of Israel refers to spiritual Israel, meaning all who are in Jesus Christ.

"Natural" Israel and "Spiritual" Israel

The word Israel itself, as first used in Genesis 32:28, is filled with spiritual meaning: "And He said, 'Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.'" Israel was Jacob's regenerate name. It was given to him by God after his carnal spirit was broken and his nature was changed.

In many Bible passages, of course, the word Israel refers to Jacob's natural descendants. In others it points to God's spiritual seed. One example of the latter is Psalm 73:1: "Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart." Here the psalmist is speaking prophetically, distinguishing Israel as people whose hearts have been cleansed - which is possible only through the blood of Christ. The Old Covenant sacrificial system could not cleanse the conscience:

It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience - concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances.

Hebrews 9:9-10

The apostle Paul also speaks of Israel as God's spiritual seed. Throughout the New Testament, he distinguishes between two kinds of Israel, one natural and one spiritual. Paul emphasizes that it is not the natural Jew but the person who puts his faith in Jesus Christ who becomes Abraham's spiritual seed:

"They are not all Israel who are of Israel" (Romans 9:6).

"Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7).

"Those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed" (Romans 9:8).

"He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (Romans 2:28-29).

"This Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children - but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:25-26).

It is clear from these passages that there is a spiritual Israel as well as a natural Israel. Moreover, Scripture reveals that God, through Christ, made His New Covenant with spiritual Israel. The writer of Hebrews says, "Now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises" (Hebrews 8:6).

Am I saying the Lord is finished with natural Israel? God forbid. Many Christians today do not wish to see God's hand moving on natural Israel to fulfill her prophetic role. Yet it was the Jewish people who received the promises and covenants of the Old Testament. In the past sixty generations, we have seen storms arise against this people. Time after time, conquerors have sought to annihilate them. Mobs have set in for the kill. Dictators incarnated by Satan have attempted to wipe out the very history of the Jews. But all these enemies have risen up against them to no avail.

I believe that the national revival of the state of Israel, and the many supernatural deliverances of that nation, point to an infinitely deep mystery revealing the very hand of God. God still loves the Jews. One day the veil will be removed from Israel, and a remnant, a part of her people, will acknowledge Christ as Lord.

I stand with Paul, who wrote, "They are beloved for the sake of the fathers" (Romans 11:28). "Has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite.... Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:1, 5). The Church has not replaced Israel. It includes both Gentiles and believing Jews.

This New Covenant, however, was not meant for natural Israel - not then, not now, nor in some millennial period. It is meant for spiritual Israel, meaning every Jew and Gentile who is born again in Jesus. It is for repentant believers in Christ alone.

The Terms of the New Covenant

With whom did God make this covenant? And what are its terms?

God cut it with His Son, Jesus - and they agreed to its terms before the very foundation of the world. Paul spoke of "eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised [covenanted] before time [the world, KJV] began" (Titus 1:2). Paul also said that God "saved us and called us... according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (2Timothy 1:9).

This covenant was a formal agreement between Father and Son. And today we, the seed of spiritual Israel, are brought into this covenant by faith. In other words, since we are one with Christ through faith, the covenant was cut with us also.

Amazingly, this heavenly contract work was not done in secret. The Bible openly records the terms. As we examine these covenant arrangements, it becomes clear that God wants us to be encouraged by such a detailed revelation.

The Father's Purpose in the Covenant

Psalm 89:19 gives us a snapshot of the discourse between Father and Son: "You spoke in a vision to Your holy one, and said: 'I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.'"

The Father was saying to His Son, "This is a mysterious word I am about to give You. Humankind is going to grow weak and miserable because of their sin. They will become overwhelmed, helpless to find their way back to Me. So I am appointing You as My Holy One to help them. I am sending You to them as one mightier than they, to bring them back into My favor."

Here, in simple terms, is God's primary purpose in formulating the New Covenant. It was to recover a lost humanity from the devil's power. The heavenly Father was not willing to lose His beloved creation to the powers of hell, so He formed a redemption plan - one that came completely from His heart of love, before the world was created.

Jesus Accepts the Terms

Next, we hear the Son's covenant agreements: "Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:7-8).

Jesus answered the Father this way: "You have shown Me that Your help to humanity is going to be laid upon My shoulders. You are sending Me to rescue the imprisoned, heal the hurting, break satanic strongholds and reconcile creation back to You. Father, I accept this charge to take on the redemption of the lost, and I accept the might and power You will give Me to accomplish the task."

God then laid out before His Son the type of ministry He would have to undertake in order to redeem humankind. He told Jesus, "Your ministry is going to be that of a priest and shepherd to My children. They will be Your flock, and You will be a shepherd to them. You will lead them beside still waters and into green pastures. You will walk with them through every shadow of death. And if any one of them ever goes astray, You will take him in Your arms and bring him back to My love. You will restore his soul and bring him great comfort."

We know from the Bible that Jesus kept all of these terms of the covenant. And He continues to give special attention to every single sheep in His care: "He calls his own sheep by name" (John 10:3). Further, He says, "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:37-38).

Finally, the Father gave His Son these instructions: "As You go to earth for Me - since You have agreed to seek out My lost ones - these works will be required of You:

"You must preach good tidings to the meek... bind up the brokenhearted... proclaim liberty to the captives... open prison doors to all who are bound...bear with the weaknesses of the frail...break not a bruised reed...quench not a smoking flame...bear tenderly with the ignorant...feed the flock... supply their shortcomings with Your strength...gather all the lambs into Your arms and carry them in Your bosom... gently lead the young... lend Your strength to the weak... guide them with Your counsel... promise to send them the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of freedom... cherish them, perfect them and bring them home to glory with You."

Later, when Jesus lived on earth, He testified, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34). Everything Christ did on earth was in fulfillment of the covenant terms He had made with His Father. His every word and deed reflected what they had agreed upon before the world came into being. And their agreement included this incredible term: "This command I have received from my Father... [to] lay down My life" (John 10:18, 17).

What the Father Gave in Return

God gave His Son these everlasting covenant promises:

"You will have the Holy Spirit upon You without measure." Jesus testified, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me" (Isaiah 61:1). Christ did not have just a small portion of the Spirit, coming to Him in little drops. He had the Father's Spirit in fullness, without measure: "For God does not give the Spirit by measure" (John 3:34).

"You will never be out of My sight. My presence will always be with You." According to the author of Hebrews, God gave this promise to Jesus: "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son" (Hebrews 1:5). This meant Christ would constantly be under His Father's watchful eye. He would always have the Father's help available to Him.

"I will lift You up in all times of opposition and discouragement." Isaiah wrote: "He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law" (Isaiah 42:4). God is saying, "Every time the enemy brings discouragement upon You, I will be there to counteract it. I'm going to encourage You by My Spirit every time You need it."

"I will highly exalt You and give You a name above all other names." Paul wrote, "God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Philippians 2:9-10).

"After Your work is finished, I will bring You back to glory." Jesus said, "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" (Luke 24:26). He knew the Father had promised, "Son, after You have fulfilled all the terms of the covenant, I will bring You back to glory - in victory, power and anointing."

The Father made this covenant pledge to His Son: "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" (Isaiah 42:6). God was saying, "My hand will always be holding on to Yours. You will never be away from My keeping power. I pledge to keep You safe from all the schemes of the devil."

And Christ appropriated this promise of help from His Father: "My God shall be My strength" (Isaiah 49:5), and "I will put My trust in Him" (Hebrews 2:13). He was saying in these verses, "My Father made a covenant with Me, and it's settled. It is good for eternity, because He cannot lie. He said He would be My strength - and now I appropriate all of that promised power."

Here are all the terms of the covenant, laid out in black and white for every believer to see. The Father and Son have hidden none of them from us. They want us to be encouraged by them all. The Father is showing us His faithfulness to His Son, to prove to us He will be just as faithful to us, Christ's seed.

Jesus Completes His Mission

As we reread the gospels now, we see that everything Jesus did while on earth was in fulfillment of the terms of the New Covenant agreement He had made with the Father. We see Him going after lost sheep, opening the eyes of the blind, raising the dead, flinging back the prison doors of death, speaking words of eternal life, doing good works, casting out devils and healing all manner of infirmities. In every verse of the gospels, Jesus fulfills the covenant. And He did none of these things on His own. Each one was what the Father had sent Him to do. Jesus was "keeping covenant" with the Father.

At the end of His life on earth, when Jesus prayed for His disciples at the Passover supper, we see once more the open-covenant dealings between Father and Son: "Now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:5). "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.... I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:1,4).

With the cross before Him Jesus was about to fulfill all the covenant terms required of Him. And now, before He returned to glory, He brought before the Father the final terms of the covenant: "Father, You pledged in Our covenant to bring Me back to glory when I accomplished all You sent Me to do. Now I have fulfilled My part of the covenant - I have brought about the redemption of humankind, and I have made Your Body one. Let's talk now about what's going to happen to My seed - all those who believe in Me."

Jesus was speaking as co-signer of the covenant. He said, "Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are" (John 17:11). He was saying to the Father, "We agreed that I could bring into our covenant everyone who trusts in Me. Now, Father, I ask You to bring these beloved ones under the same covenant promises You made to Me."

Jesus then said, "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world" (John 17:15-16). Christ was saying, in essence, "You promised Me that You would be faithful to My seed. Now, Lord, sanctify them through Your truth. Make them holy and pure and keep them from the wicked one. Be with them in all their temptations. Let all the promises You gave Me be 'yea and amen' to them as well. Cause them to endure as You caused Me to endure."

The psalmist described this portion of the contract agreement like this:

"He shall cry to Me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.' Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. My mercy I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him. His seed also I will make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

"If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, if they break My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me."

Psalm 89:26-36

The Son's sacrifice on the cross brought us into covenant agreement. Thus, this pledge of safety by the Father is made available to us as part of the covenant. The Father promised Jesus: "If You will go, I will keep and preserve every one of Your seed, just as I have kept and preserved You. I will never remove My faithfulness from You, nor from Your children. Your seed will endure to the end."

The covenant, cut before the world was formed, has in it the sworn oath of almighty God to save and deliver His people from the power and dominion of Satan. Faith in Christ brings us into God's covenant oath to keep us as faithfully as He kept His own Son.

We Are Kept Safe

So what does this covenant between Father and Son have to do with you and me? It is a picture of God's love for His beloved creation. He cut this covenant because He was unwilling to lose a single child to Satan. It is all about His undying love for His people.

The Father gave His Son, the Son gave His life, and we receive all the benefits. By mutual consent, the Father and Son made this covenant to keep and preserve the seed of Christ. It ensures that we will endure to the end.

The Evidence Speaks

The promise to save and deliver us, then, and our confidence that God will keep it, has a precedent in the relationship between Father and Son.

I could be free! I didn't have to resign myself to fighting the same battles day after day.

I was raised in a godly home and had a true and even passionate love for Jesus at a young age. As I got older I struggled through the rebellious attitude common among adolescents but never got mixed up in any kind of "bad sin." Despite not being in deep bondage, I still knew how it felt to be stuck. With all my heart I wanted to live for God and do what was right in His eyes, but almost daily I was frustrated by not being able to stop sinning.

As a result of my personal struggles, I eventually came to believe that fighting sin was what Christians do. We fight sin, hope we win, fail, repent, repeat. It was a sort of Darwinian Christianity where only the strong survive. Everything was about "resisting the devil" and "striving against sin." But none of it helped me overcome the exhaustion of continually fighting a battle I could never seem to win.

I first heard New Covenant teaching at Summit International School of Ministry (then Mount Zion). During those precious days as a student I heard a truth that filled me with hope and joy: I could be free! I did not have to resign myself to fighting the same battles day after day. The Christian can come to a place where his besetting sins are overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit, never to trouble him again. I was finally beginning to see that "He took captive those who had captured [me]" (Ephesians 4:8, GW), and that "having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Colossians 2:15, NIV).

I had it all backward! I had thought victory over sin was only for the strong, but I came to understand that my being a victorious Christian has nothing to do with the greatness of my efforts. It all rests on the greatness of the One who lives in me.

Nik

Did the Father lead and guide Jesus, as He pledged He would? Did His Spirit empower the Son, giving Him encouragement and consolation? Did He bring Him through all of His temptations and trials? Did He keep Him from powers of darkness? Did He usher Him home to glory victorious? Was God true to His part of the covenant terms?

Yes, absolutely! And the Father who kept His covenant promises to His Son has pledged an eternal oath to do the same for us. Jesus affirmed this part of the covenant when He said,

"The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."

John 17:22-23

Christ secured us in the covenant made between the Father and Himself. In this prayer He was saying, "Father, look at Me and My seed as one person - I in them and they in Me. We are one person in covenant with You." Scripture promises that He "is able to keep [us] from stumbling, and to present [us] faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24).

God is not looking for people who have everything theologically straight. He wants those whose hearts are full of confidence in Him. By revealing to us His covenant with His Son, He wants to remove any doubts we may have about His ability to keep us. It is as if He is saying, "I'm going to make such a strong oath to you, you will have no other choice but to believe in Me."

We are to stay in Christ - abide in Him and trust Him. If we do this, we will surely see His glory. The words of promise are everlasting: "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 'Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations'" (Psalm 89:3-4).

What is God talking about when He speaks of covenant? (Page13)

What are common words still in use today that describe the meaning of covenant as it is used in Scripture? (Page13)

What two key Scriptures in the book of Hebrews describe the eternal promises of the New Covenant? (Page15)

Who is the "spiritual Israel" referred to in the apostle Paul's teaching? (Page16)

For which Israel did God prepare the New Covenant? (Page17)

In every covenant the agreement is between two primary parties. Who are the primary parties of the New Covenant? (Page19)

What was God's principal purpose in making the New Covenant? (Page19)

Read Isaiah 42:6. God made a covenant pledge to His Son. How is this pledge now made available to us? (Page 25)

 2016/5/10 9:03





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