Author Topic: New Covenant experience  (Read 20625 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #100 on: February 17, 2010, 06:25:06 PM »
Hi Richard,
As usual I rejoice in the questions you raise, but do not agree with all your answers.

Does this statement makes sense to you? The covenant was promised to Adam, established with Abraham, ratified in the blood of Christ and will be fulfilled at the second coming.

I think I understand. I would only say that the covenant was initially made with Adam when Jesus promised that He would provide a means  of salvation. It was a promise, was it not? It was a conditional promise or what we can call an agreement or covenant as the Bible calls it. It  was conditioned upon man's acceptance of the Sacrifice. When Christ was crucified, His blood ratified the covenant. The promise is fulfilled each time a sinner is converted.

Quote
You say that salvation is not secured till we are sealed. I may not be quoting you exactly there, but I think that is the intent of your statement. What then do you make of Paul's statement in Ephesians 1:13-14 that when we believe we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, 'the pleadge of our inheritance'
And in Ephesians 4:30 we exhorted not to grieve the holy Spirit by whom we are sealed for the day of redemption. The word 'sealed' used here is the same word with the same meaning as in Rev 7:2-3.
True, the sealing of Ephesians is conditional, Heb 6:4-6. 10:26 and especially Matt 31-32, the unpardonable sin. But that is not an in and out experience, it is an in unless you opt out and that opting is irreversible.God takes responsibility for your salvation, but though He never takes away your free will I believe it is harder to be lost than to be saved.

Forgive me, Brother Ian, I was not very clear. What I was trying to express is that until the final sealing that cannot  be  lost, when a man is settled into the truth where he will not be moved, it is premature to say that one is "saved". It is the common language of the evangelical world that gives salvation to one when he says the sinner's prayer. They commonly teach that the sinner is "saved" and can never be lost. I like to say when we are abiding in Christ, we are in a saved condition, but we are not eternally saved.

Does that help? Thank you for your kind and gentle Spirit.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #101 on: February 17, 2010, 07:12:26 PM »
Quote
I like to say when we are abiding in Christ, we are in a saved condition, but we are not eternally saved.

Richard - would you fine tune that statement, please? I may be misunderstanding something. If we are in a saved condition while abiding in Christ, what keeps us from being eternally saved? Is it the sealing you are referring to at the close of our probation that is the final act of "saving"? If that is your reference, then I do understand.  


Ian said:
Quote
I believe it is harder to be lost than to be saved.

Our brother, Morris Venden, teaches this. I'm not so sure I ever believed it. In my experience, it would be quite easy to be lost if one chose to do it, which I cannot imagine anyone doing.  
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #102 on: February 18, 2010, 12:42:25 PM »
Sybil,
Thank you for your comment and question.
My somewhat 'tongue in cheek' commenmt that 'it is harder to be lost than to be saved', grows out of Ephesians 1:13-14. When you believed, 'you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise'. Add to that Ephesians 4:30 'Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption'. And then the definition of the unpardonable sin, Matthew 12:32-32, Hebrews 6:4-6. Hebrews 10:10:26.
For me all this adds up to my understanding that salvation is no on and off experience. It is a once only experience, which happens when I accept Jesus and then God takes responsibility for my salvation. This sealing in the Holy Spirit is not the unconditional sealing referred to in Revelation 7 etc, but is nevertheless just as real.
The condition is that I am saved unless I so contuinually reject the Holy Spirit that I become dead to His influence. God can then no longer reach me because I will have lost my sense of sin.
What you think? Is my thinkin valid?
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #103 on: February 19, 2010, 10:01:50 AM »
Quote
I like to say when we are abiding in Christ, we are in a saved condition, but we are not eternally saved.

Richard - would you fine tune that statement, please? I may be misunderstanding something. If we are in a saved condition while abiding in Christ, what keeps us from being eternally saved? Is it the sealing you are referring to at the close of our probation that is the final act of "saving"? If that is your reference, then I do understand.  

I think it is a matter of understanding how we view the words. Communications is hard at the best of times. It sure makes life more pleasant when we are patient with each other and esteem each other greater than ourselves. Thank you for asking for clarification, dear sister. I am using the term "eternal" in the same manner as "saved".  It is not good to say we are saved, even when in a converted state. It gives influence to the lie that once one is converted, he cannot be lost. It is most a dangerous doctrine. Many believe they are rich and increased with goods, when in fact they are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked. Many of these have never experienced the new birth, but some have and then lose their connection. They manifest the works of the flesh and because of this false doctrine, they then begin to twist other Scripture so that they may have eternal life while sinning.

We have eternal life when we have Christ. But, we are not eternally saved until we are "sealed". That sealing I speak of is the seal that the 144,000 will receive. The other way one may be eternally saved is to die in Christ. This is the situation with most Christians. They will not be translated, but will come up in the first resurrection. We have an example in the Bible of two who were "sealed" in the past, Enoch and Elijah. The were eternally saved while on this earth. They were settled into the truth so that they could not be moved. God took them directly to heaven without tasting death.

These pieces all fit together nicely if we will not ignore portions of Scripture. Ezekiel tells is that if a righteous man turn from his righteousness and sins, God will not remember his righteousness. Romans 8 tells us that "if we have not His Spirit, we are none of His." The disciples give us an interesting example of the reality of how ignorant we are when we come to Christ. They thought they could walk on water without Christ. They did not know their need of Jesus moment by moment, but they learned. They were all converted prior to the cross, but they surely did not maintain their converted state. They wandered in and out of conversion. We must be converted daily. They were converted as they submitted to the Holy Spirit. The night of the Lord's last supper, they came in unconverted. They, all but Judas, walked out converted. Not long after, they lost their connection and abandoned Jesus. Peter was again converted that same night.

It is a very dangerous thing to see ourselves as "saved", eternally saved.  The prize is ever before us and the battle is not over until we are sealed, settled into the truth so that we can never be moved, never sin.

This enters into the new covenant/old covenant teaching. The Jews thought themselves saved. They thought that by their obedience and their sacrifices they were saved. They defined this so that they could be saved in their sins. The new  covenant was not based on obedience. It was an agreement between God and man, that if man would come to Christ, He would give them obedience which would fit man for heaven. Our characters must be changed on this side of heaven. If we wish to be saints in heaven, we must first become saints on earth. This can only happen as we learn of God, as we feed upon Christ. He is the Manna that came down from heaven. As we learn of Him, we are drawn to Him. Love begets love. By beholding we become changed into His character. It is all dependent upon us submitting to Christ, allowing Him to take possession of our minds. It is Christ, not I.

The New Covenant promises to write God's character on our hearts. And what is His character? It is revealed in His law. Therefore, when we have Christ enthroned in the heart, we then manifest His character. That is why we can say "here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #104 on: February 19, 2010, 01:01:08 PM »
Amen - I appreciate the clarification for it is my understanding as well. Thank you. And yes, Ian, your thinking is valid! Bless you brothers.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #105 on: February 24, 2010, 09:50:15 PM »
For me all this adds up to my understanding that salvation is no on and off experience. It is a once only experience, which happens when I accept Jesus and then God takes responsibility for my salvation. This sealing in the Holy Spirit is not the unconditional sealing referred to in Revelation 7 etc, but is nevertheless just as real.

This would allow for one to have eternal life when sinning. This cannot be, dear brother. When Moses struck the Rock, when he manifested pride and anger, he did not have God's Spirit. If he did not have God's Spirit, he was not abiding in Christ. No Christ, no salvation. It does not mean that he could not be converted again. He was. His repentance was quick and deep.

There are some who after conversion, spend a lot of time outside of Christ. They have not His Spirit. Some come back and are re-baptized. While they were in the world, they did not have salvation.

Let us look at the disciples prior to the cross. Did they ever possess eternal life? Was the New Covenant promise of writing the law on their hearts ever fulfilled before the cross?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #106 on: March 06, 2010, 09:10:01 PM »

Hi Richard,
I find fault with your logic.
You write: - ‘When Moses struck the Rock, when he manifested pride and anger, he did not have God's Spirit. If he did not have God's Spirit, he was not abiding in Christ. No Christ, no salvation. It does not mean that he could not be converted again’.

Moses did not lose the Holy Spirit.
Repentance is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot repent and find the Holy Spirit again if you do not have the Holy Spirit.

A person only loses the Holy Spirit when he commits the unpardonable sin.
I base this on Matthew 12:31-32 ‘it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come’
To me, that rules out him being converted again.

Hebrews 6:4-6. ‘In the case of those who have once been enlightened….and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance.’
It is impossible because they lost the Holy Spirit and so God cannot reach them.

2 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ‘God will send on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they may be judged, who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.’
When a person loses the Holy Spirit they lose their sense of sin.

I quote a further statement you make:-
‘Let us look at the disciples prior to the cross. Did they ever possess eternal life?
‘Did they possess eternal life?’
I am, not sure what you have in mind here? The disciples were of the faithful remnant of Israel, who accepted Jesus as Messiah.
As faithful Israelites they had God’s promise of eternal life
John 20:22. ‘He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit’. This was before Pentecost.

You ask, ‘Was the New Covenant promise of writing the law on their hearts ever fulfilled before the cross?’

I am not sure what you have in mind by this question, but the answer is, no it wasn’t. The New Covenant came into existence at Pentecost and therefore its promises could not be fulfilled before Pentecost

God bless,
Ian


Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #107 on: March 07, 2010, 08:59:45 AM »
Good morning, Brother Ian. Thank you for your kind response. It is a blessing to be able to study with you even in our disagreement.
I find fault with your logic.
You write: - ‘When Moses struck the Rock, when he manifested pride and anger, he did not have God's Spirit. If he did not have God's Spirit, he was not abiding in Christ. No Christ, no salvation. It does not mean that he could not be converted again’.

Moses did not lose the Holy Spirit.
Repentance is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit.
You cannot repent and find the Holy Spirit again if you do not have the Holy Spirit.

You are correct in that God expects us to use logic. He says "Come let us reason together." Our understanding of His Word is to be based upon an intelligent understanding. Our faith is not a blind faith, but one based upon fact revealed in both nature and Scripture. So, let us reason together, dear brother. The Holy Spirit is with us. His office is to lead us into truth. Let me better explain my thinking so that you can see that my understanding is indeed logical and based upon God's Word.

The Holy Spirit is moving upon the hearts of men today. There is no need for one to be converted to have access to the Holy Spirit. When Jesus said, "I will draw all men unto me," He was saying that the Holy Spirit would be the means of speaking to men who are not converted as well as those who are. Can we agree on this point? I hope so, for if the Holy Spirit does not speak to the unconverted, then there is  no hope for man. He is the one who leads the sinner to Christ. He is the One who points out sin and righteousness.

Having established that the Holy Spirit speaks to man, there is a difference between knocking on the door of the heart versus entering the heart of man. God wants to come into the heart, not just knock on the door. It is when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God's love and man's great need of Christ, that men are brought to point of a full surrender to the Truth, to Jesus. Then the Spirit enters the heart and empowers a human being to obey the truth. It is this point in the life when the New Covenant promise is fulfilled on the law is written on the heart. Can we agree?

I ask about the disciples because we have an example of what I am saying. All of the disciples were converted prior to cross, all except Judas. The law was written on their hearts. All had been not only baptized, but ordained. Yet, because they were once converted did not mean that they could not lose their connection. The Holy Spirit will not stay in the heart of man, if man ceases his hold on Christ. It is not just a matter of "falling away", but a matter of not clinging to Christ.

The truth we are dealing with here is seen clearly in Romans chapter eight where we are told that the difference between him who has life and he who has not life, is the Spirit of God. He has not the Spirit is none of His. When we say this, we mean in the heart. When man sins, he does not have the Spirit within. This does not mean that the Spirit is gone. Where is Jesus when a man sins? Until he can no longer hear the Spirit, Jesus is at the door of the heart wanting back in. The Spirit will not leave a sinner unassisted until there is no hope left for that sinner. That happens when because of continual rejection of truth, the heart is seared to the point of not being able to respond. Then the angels and the Spirit leave that sinner joined to his sins.

Brother Ian, I hope I have given enough information. I am prepared to provide Scripture to support each point I have made hoping that that logic with the aid of the Holy Spirit will prevail.

Again, it is a blessing to study this subject with you.




Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #108 on: March 08, 2010, 12:16:40 PM »
Hi Richard,
Sorry I got myself a bit mixed up with posts here, posting my message twice it seems.
Thanks for your reply. I like your logic this time. I thoroughly agree with almost all of your points.
Just one where I would question you conclusions.
You write:-
    'I ask about the disciples because we have an example of what I am       saying. All of the disciples were converted prior to cross, all except Judas. The law was written on their hearts. All had been not only baptized, but ordained.'

My understanding is that the law written on the heart is unique to a New Covenant experience and this did not happen till Pentecost. John 7:38-39.

I see the Holy Spirit as the active member of the Godhead who works directly with humans. He had a special relationship with the Hebrews and that relationship is even more special with Christians
It does not mean He is absent from the heathen, as Mrs White brings out in DA where she refers to a heathen with no knowledge of Jesus as being able to be brought to a saving relationship through response to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

I would be interested in your Biblical references to the disciples having a New Covenant experience of the law written in their hearts before Pentecost.
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #109 on: March 09, 2010, 12:12:59 PM »
Hi Richard,
I have been thinking about our exhanges on this topic. I have found them interesting and helpful, but to what purpose?
For me the challenge of the New Covenant is what is God's purpose, and how does He provide for its fulfillment?
I would see a starting point in Ephesians 4:11-16 and 'Great Controversy'
pp389-390, the references to the image of Christ.
What do you think?
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #110 on: March 10, 2010, 02:51:10 PM »
My understanding is that the law written on the heart is unique to a New Covenant experience and this did not happen till Pentecost. John 7:38-39.

I see the Holy Spirit as the active member of the Godhead who works directly with humans. He had a special relationship with the Hebrews and that relationship is even more special with Christians
It does not mean He is absent from the heathen, as Mrs White brings out in DA where she refers to a heathen with no knowledge of Jesus as being able to be brought to a saving relationship through response to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

I would be interested in your Biblical references to the disciples having a New Covenant experience of the law written in their hearts before Pentecost.

When Paul talks about the "New Covenant" he does so in relationship to a whole nation that was steeped in legalism based upon a false teaching that keeping the law as given at Sinai would earn them salvation. God had entered into an agreement with them that if they would keep His law, they would have life. Of course not knowing they needed help to keep the law, they failed. The Old Covenant had no power in the law, but it did include the ceremonial law that would reveal how to obtain life. They perverted the plan of salvation that provided a Sacrifice for them that that might have life. The sanctuary and its services were to teach that God's Son would die in their place. If they would accept Christ as their Sacrifice, He would come into their hearts and give them power to obey the law of God.

One of the texts that comes to mind, dear brother, is Ezekiel 36:25-27. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  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.  

This is one of many promises where God reveals that through His Spirit He will come into the heart, making it new, and giving power to keep His law (statutes and judgments). To write the law on the heart is precisely what Paul meant when he compared the Old Covenant, keeping the "letter of the law" versus the Spirit of the Law.  The legalists kept the letter of the law and thought it would gain them life, but the terms of the New Covenant, a better covenant based on better promises, provided a Savior whose blood would ratify it. Paul tells us when Jesus comes into the heart, then we keep the law from the heart, not just outward forms. This is the only means of salvation. The Jew was saved the same way we are today, by the blood of Christ. Adam knew this, Abraham knew this, David knew this, and they all were saved by the blood of Christ, not by the blood of bulls or goats. The Old Covenant provided a system of sacrifices that taught the plan of salvation which was and always has been, justification by faith in the atoning blood of Christ. There is no other name under heaven whereby any man can be saved. Not then, not now. Never could man save himself by his good works. By faith in the righteousness of Christ, Enoch walked with God. So it may be today. The righteousness of Christ is the only power to save. He offers this to us just as He offered it to Abraham. When Enoch walked with God it was Christ, not Enoch. The law of God was written on Enoch's heart. That is to say, he obeyed from the heart because Christ was enthroned upon His heart.  "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8

When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, "I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Hebrews 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience--the service and allegiance of love--is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." 1 John 5:3; 2:4. Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.  We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith. "Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him." 1 John 3:5, 6.

Again, Brother Ian, it is a blessing to study these most beautiful thoughts with you. Christ is our study and always will be! He is everything to us! When we obey from the heart, it is Christ, not I.  :)


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #111 on: March 12, 2010, 09:55:00 PM »
Hi Richard,

You write:-
   ‘Then the Spirit enters the heart and empowers a human being to obey the truth. It is this point in the life when the New Covenant promise is fulfilled on the law is written on the heart. Can we agree?’

Richard I agree wholeheartedly with that statement, the issue I have with you over this matter is as to when this happens

You write:-
   ‘All of the disciples were converted prior to cross, all except Judas. The law was written on their hearts’

The Biblical reference you site in support of your position is Ezekiel 36:25-27. This does not specify the time when, ‘a new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you’.

Its companion Old Testament reference is Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8-12 quotes this passage as the New Covenant instituted after the death of Christ.
See also Hebrews 9:11-14 ‘the blood of Christ’ will ‘cleanse you conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

This is corroborated in John 7:37-39 where John writes that the promise to the believer that ‘from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’, was the promise of the Spirit, ‘who was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified’.

It is recorded in Acts 2:33 that as a result of Jesus’ resurrection and exaltation, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost. 

How do you read the passages I have quoted?
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #112 on: March 16, 2010, 04:26:37 PM »
My intent was to reveal that the law was written on hearts prior to New Testament times. Conversion is the same before and after the cross. There is no life without Christ in the heart. When Adam killed and offered the very first lamb, it was to reveal the love of God to Him. It was to reveal that God would allow Christ to die in Adam's place. This was to bring Adam to repentance and reconcile him to God. When this happened Adam was a new creation in Christ Jesus. He was changed from the inside out. He was given a new heart and the Spirit of God. This is the new birth. Then the law is written on the heart. No difference between Old Testament salvation and New Testament salvation. Both were dependent upon death to self and a full surrender to God. The Spirit was active before Pentecost. It was by the Spirit that truth was given to all men. The Third Person of the godhead was alive and well before Pentecost. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10. God was with all through His Spirit.

Psalm
51:10   Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
51:11   Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
51:12   Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 


In the days of Isaiah the Holy Spirit was working to write God's law upon the hearts of men:

Isaiah
63:10   But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them. 
63:11   Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him?


Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit well in advance of Pentecost as something that the disciple could have then,  not after Pentecost:

Luke
11:13   If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 


The Holy Spirit is God. He is the only thing that gives power to do good. Unless He comes into the heart of man, there is nothing good in man. All is selfishness. This is from Adam to our day. Nothing has changed in regards to the nature of fallen man, nor the need of His Spirit. The Spirit of God pointed all to the cross before the death of Jesus and after His death and resurrection the Spirit points us back to the cross. It is our only hope, just as it was the only hope of all before the cross. Adam needed the Spirit in His heart just as we need Him in our hearts today. When He comes, He empowers us to keep the law of God, both before and after Pentecost.

Thank you for asking, Dear Brother Ian. I hope I have answered your questions. If not, I will try again. :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #113 on: March 18, 2010, 10:01:16 PM »
Hi Richard,
I agree that the Holy Spirit has always been present and there would be no possibility of salvation without Him.
What do you understand to be the significance of the Day of Pentecost?
Beginning with Passover, each feast symbolised a successive act of God
when He would step into human history.
What part of the plan of salvation, following on from Calvary, is symbolised in the Day of Pentecost?
What did Peter understand it as bringing about?
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #114 on: March 22, 2010, 11:28:30 AM »
Dear Brother Ian, let me see if I can give a brief summation.





I see in the Passover a representation of Jesus the Lamb that was to be slain and the power of His blood to cleanse from all sin. I see in the Day of Atonement the opening of the judgment of man, the final cleansing of sinners and the blotting out of their sins in the heavenly sanctuary, and the banishment of Satan to wander on a forsaken earth until his time of destruction. I see in the Feast of Tabernacles which immediately followed the Day of Atonement, a celebration of the harvest of souls. Pentecost, which was 50 days after the Passover was celebrated as a symbol of the provision God had made to establish the church through the power of the Holy Spirit. In answer to prayer, God would respond with power, supernatural power working through His church. He would bring great light and power to reveal Jesus in humanity as a witness of His character. Pentecost was the "former rain" and only a portion of what would happen with the "Latter Rain" which would finish the harvest just prior to close of the Day of Atonement. Pentecost would establish the church and the Day of Atonement would complete the church, presenting to the world and the universe, the glory of God in His people.

Pentecost is very revealing of the New Covenant experience because it is the power of the Living God working through sinful human flesh. It is Christ, not I. It is the law written on the heart by the Holy Ghost that is seen at Pentecost. While the Spirit was always in the world, it was seldom acknowledged. Even today we find the same situation in His church. But, the law without the Spirit does not bring salvation. Paul was trying very hard to make this point when teaching on the covenants. The law brings condemnation, Christ through the Holy Spirit bring life. By supernatural power, an abundance of it, God was revealed in fallen flesh on the Day of Pentecost. The church was established.

Peter saw the works of the Spirit as the fulfillment of prophecy: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #115 on: March 22, 2010, 11:29:39 AM »
Here is a good overview of Pentecost:

After filling the vacancy in the apostolic number, the disciples gave their time to meditation and prayer, being often in the temple, testifying of Christ, and praising God. The Pentecost was a feast celebrated seven weeks after the passover. Upon these occasions the Jews were required to repair to the temple and to present the first-fruits of all the harvest, thus acknowledging their dependence on the great Giver of all good, and their obligation to render back to God, in gifts and offerings to sustain his cause, that which he had entrusted to them. On this day of divine appointment, the Lord graciously poured out his Spirit on the little company of believers, who were the first-fruits of the Christian church. 

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." The Holy Ghost assuming the form of tongues of fire divided at the tips, and resting upon those assembled, was an emblem of the gift which was bestowed upon them of speaking with fluency several different languages, with which they had formerly been unacquainted; and the appearance of fire signified the fervent zeal with which they would labor, and the power which would attend their words.
 
Under this heavenly illumination, the scriptures which Christ had explained to them, stood forth in their minds with the vivid luster and loveliness of clear and powerful truth. The vail which had prevented them from seeing the end of that which was abolished was now removed, and the object of Christ's mission and the nature of his kingdom were comprehended with perfect clearness. 

The Jews had been scattered to almost every nation, and spoke various languages. They had come long distances to Jerusalem, and had temporarily taken up their abode there, to remain through the religious festivals then in progress, and to observe their requirements. When assembled, they were of every known tongue. This diversity of languages was a great obstacle to the labors of God's servants in publishing the doctrine of Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth. That God should supply the deficiency of the apostles in a miraculous manner was to the people the most perfect confirmation of the testimony of these witnesses for Christ. The Holy Spirit had done for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime; they could now spread the truth of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the language of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was the highest evidence they could present to the world that their commission bore the signet of Heaven. 

The priests and rulers were greatly enraged at this wonderful manifestation, which was reported throughout all Jerusalem and its vicinity; but they dared not give way to their malice, for fear of exposing themselves to the hatred of the people. They had put the Master to death, but here were his servants, unlearned men of Galilee, tracing out the wonderful fulfillment of prophecy, and teaching the doctrine of Jesus in all the languages then spoken. They spoke with power of the wonderful works of the Saviour, and unfolded to their hearers the plan of salvation in the mercy and sacrifice of the Son of God. Their words convicted and converted thousands who listened. The traditions and superstitions inculcated by the priests were swept away from their minds, and they accepted the pure teachings of the Word of God.

The priests and rulers, determined to account for the miraculous power of the disciples in some natural way, declared that they were simply drunken from partaking largely of the new wine prepared for the feast. Some of the most ignorant seized this suggestion as the truth; but the more intelligent knew that it was false; and those speaking the different languages testified to the accuracy with which they were used by the disciples. And Peter, in answer to the vile accusation of the priests, addressed the assembly in these words:--

"Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words; for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." 

The effect of Peter's words was very marked; and many who had ridiculed the religion of Jesus were now convinced of its truth. It was certainly unreasonable to suppose that more than one hundred persons should become intoxicated at that unseasonable hour of the day, and on the occasion of a solemn religious festival. This wonderful demonstration was before the customary meal at which wine was taken. Peter showed them that this manifestation was the direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men of God to fit them for a special work. 
 
Peter traced back the lineage of Christ in a direct line to the honorable house of David. He did not use any of the teachings of Jesus to prove his true position, because he knew their prejudices were so great that it would be of no effect. But he referred them to David, whom the Jews regarded as a venerable patriarch of their nation. 
 
On that memorable occasion, large numbers who had heretofore ridiculed the idea of so unpretending a person as Jesus being the Son of God, became thoroughly convinced of the truth, and acknowledged him as their Saviour. Three thousand souls were added to the church. The apostles spoke by the power of the  Holy Ghost; and their words could not be controverted, for they were confirmed by mighty miracles, wrought by them through the outpouring of the Spirit of God. The disciples were themselves astonished at the results of this visitation, and the quick and abundant harvest of souls. All the people were filled with amazement. Those who did not yield their prejudice and bigotry were so over-awed that they dared not by voice or violence attempt to stay the mighty work, and, for the time being, their opposition ceased. 

This testimony in regard to the establishment of the Christian church is given us, not only as an important portion of sacred history, but also as a lesson. All who profess the name of Christ should be waiting, watching, and praying with one heart. All differences should be put away, and unity and tender love one for another pervade the whole. Then our prayers may go up together to our Heavenly Father with strong, earnest faith. Then we may wait with patience and hope the fulfillment of the promise.

The answer may come with sudden velocity and overpowering might; or it may be delayed for days and weeks, and our faith receive a trial. But God knows how and when to answer our prayer. It is our part of the work to put ourselves in connection with the divine channel. God is responsible for his part of the work. He is faithful who hath promised. The great and important matter with us is to be of one heart and mind, putting aside all envy and malice, and, as humble supplicants, to watch and wait. Jesus, our Representative and Head, is ready to do for us what he did for the praying, watching ones on the day of Pentecost. 

Jesus is as willing to impart courage and grace to his followers today as he was to the disciples of the early church. None should rashly invite an opportunity to battle with the principalities and powers of darkness. When God bids them engage in the conflict it will be time enough; he will then give the weak and hesitating boldness and utterance beyond their hope or expectation. 

The same scorn and hatred that was manifested against Christ may be seen now to exist against those whom he has evidently chosen to be his co-workers. Those whose spirits rise up against the doctrines of truth make hard work for the servants of Christ. But God will make their wrath to praise him; they accomplish his purpose by stirring up minds to investigate the truth. God may allow men to follow their own wicked inclinations for a time, in opposing him; but when he sees it is for his glory, and the good of his people, he will arrest the scorners, expose their presumptive course, and give triumph to his truth.

The arguments of the apostles alone, although clear and convincing, would not have removed the prejudice of the Jews which had withstood so much evidence. But the Holy Ghost sent those arguments home with divine power to their hearts. They were as sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting them of their terrible guilt in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory. "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." 

The disciples and apostles of Christ had a deep sense of their own inefficiency, and with humiliation and prayer they joined their weakness to his strength, their ignorance to his wisdom, their unworthiness to his righteousness, their poverty to his inexhaustible wealth. Thus strengthened and equipped they hesitated not in the service of their Master.

Peter urged home upon the convicted people the fact that they had rejected Christ because they had been deceived by the priests and rulers; and if they continued to look to them for counsel, and waited for those leaders to acknowledge Christ before they dared to do so, they would never accept him. Those powerful men, although they made a profession of sanctity, were ambitious, and zealous for riches and earthly glory. They would never come to Christ to receive light. Jesus had foretold a terrible retribution to come upon that people for their obstinate unbelief, notwithstanding the most powerful evidences given them that Jesus was the Son of God. 

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles." 

From this time forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate in word and accent, whether they spoke their native tongue or a foreign language. These humble men, who had never learned in the school of the prophets, presented truths so elevated and pure as to astonish those who heard them. They could not go personally to the uttermost parts of the earth; but there were men at the feast from every quarter of the world, and the truths received by them were carried to their various homes, and published among their people, winning souls to Christ.  7Red 11
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #116 on: March 22, 2010, 11:30:20 AM »
Brother Ian, I see Pentecost as the answer to the Jews refusal to look past their exaltation of the "law". They thought they exalted the law of God, both moral and ceremonial, but they did not understand that the spirituality of the law. The law extends to the intent of the heart, not just outward actions. It was God's desire to write the law on the heart, thus revealing a new creature from the inside out. The Jews, as with all humans, do not see their need to be re-created, not until the law comes home to the heart. The law is intended to condemn the sinner, to reveal our need of a Saviour. This was the purpose of what Paul called the "Old Covenant" or the "First Covenant". Its purpose was to reveal the need of a Saviour. The Jews agreed to keep the law, but did not understand their inability to do so until they died to self. Instead of seeing their need, they made a mockery of the system of ceremonies that God had provided to teach them of His love and His great sacrifice to be made that they might be reconciled to Him.  They set about to keep the law in their own strength which is impossible. They saw they could not keep the law in their own power, when shortly after saying they would, they held an orgy and made a golden calf. Not all the Jews were misled. Some understood that the ceremonial law pointed to Christ and His sacrifice. David understood. He knew His need of divine help. He saw that he was undone in and of himself.

On the Day of Pentecost, all were united in prayer that God would send the Holy Spirit to empower them to reveal Christ. They saw their sins and understood their need. That today we too would plead for help!

We too, need to study the character of the motives that prompt us to action in the light of the law of God, in order that we may be made aware of our deficiencies; but while the human agent may see his sins, he is not to become discouraged, although he finds himself condemned by the precepts of righteousness. He is to see and to realize the sinfulness of sin, to repent, and to have faith in Christ as his personal Saviour. It is never safe for us to feel that we are possessed of virtues, and that we may congratulate ourselves on our excellences of character, and our present state of purity and piety. David often triumphed in God, and yet he dwelt much upon his own unworthiness and sinfulness. His conscience was not asleep or dead. "My sin," he cries, "is ever before me." He did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he was deeply disgusted with himself, and prayed that God would keep him back by his power from the presumptuous sins, and cleanse him from secret faults.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Donna H

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #117 on: July 01, 2010, 12:52:36 PM »
Looking at the different covenants, I'm seeing the same shared elements in all of them: grace, faith, commandments, sacrifice for sin, promises, the love of God, His help. So I've been wondering, what is really different about the new covenant. We don't have the temple system in shadow, but we have it in antitype.

When Eve listened to the enemy, and believed what he said about God, and ate of the fruit, she sinned twice, right? She first believed the lies being told, which took her out of belief in God, then directly disobeyed His command, because believing lies about God set her on a selfish path.

Well, Adam, while he had reluctance, and did what he did out of love for Eve, was really no different. At first, I thought that his love was self-sacrificing, that he gave up his life for Eve. But that was wrong. He gave up his live to be with Eve, which is very different. He was selfishly motivated, and was willing to comprimise God's commandment even though he may not have believed the lies from the serpants devious mouth.

“I saw a sadness come over Adam's countenance. He appeared afraid and astonished. A struggle seemed to be going on in his mind. He felt sure that this was the foe against whom they had been warned, and that his wife must die. They must be separated. His love for Eve was strong, and in utter discouragement he resolved to share her fate. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it.” EW 148.2

He wanted to be with Eve. So Eve's sin, immediatly brought selfishness to Adam's heart. Adam may not have believed what the enemy lied about God, but he was still self-focused when presented with this challege and distress. He loved Eve more than he loved God.

**
On an off-shoot: I was just reading the thread on divorce. What would have been the right thing for Adam to do? Well, obey God, even though Eve had now entered death. I wonder how things would have been different.

“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three” (Luke 12: 51,52).

Would they have been divided, now unevenly yoked as believer and unbeliever?
**

The reason Jesus had to be the sacrifice, and no angel, or any other, would have been able to accomplish what Jesus did on the cross, though willing and obedient unto the death, is because God's name is what needed to be vindicated in the heart of these newfound sinners, and those who followed, who believed the lies about God. But their hearts are hardened in unbelief now. If an angle had taken His place, God would have been seen as self-preserving. He would have been seen as willing that another should die. He would have been seen exactly how the enemy portrayed Him. Any sacrifice other than God would not be seen as genuine. God's character had to be demonstrated before eyes that were now dulled and corrupt, so that they would believe that God is not selfish, that He is not self-preserving, and that He is not willing that any should die. So He gave Himself.

Jesus came that we might believe. The disciples fell in love with Jesus, and then believed that the Father sent Him. They came to know and trust the character of the Father through Jesus, and it took them a long time. But it took the cross to really understand:

“He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him” (John 1:7),

"Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me” (John 17:7,8).  
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Donna H

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #118 on: July 01, 2010, 12:55:09 PM »
Adam's and Eve's “unbelief” regarding who God truly is, caused them to act selfishly and choose to sin. They now reflected their corrupted belief of who they now thought God was: self-focused, a lier and looking out for Himself: “The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The same with the Israelites: “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18,19).  Unbelief leads to disobedience. It is a reflection of the lies believed about God, and the veil in our own minds that keeps us distant from Him, out of the holy place.

So, Jesus in is His condescention, and His sacrifice and what it accomplished, and, it seems, the call to us for self-sacrifice, is the difference. He corrects our unbelief.

“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Jesus came that we might believe, and reconciled us to God through a renewed belief in the character of God. He reconciled us through His death, the ultimate self-sacrifice of Life itself, showing us what He is willing to do, what His will is, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”.

“And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--” (Colossians 1:21,22).

Just the fact that we believe cleanses us. Our belief unites us together with Him:

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-7).

We are joined to Him through Christ, and are able to enter with Christ into the holy place and be in the presence of the Father. We have been allowed intimacy with God. We took the first step through faith. Believing who He is through Christ's example and demonstration of self-sacrifice, we now, “with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” ( 1Corinthians 3:18).

And we fall deeply in love with the beauthy that unfolds before us. Every law that seemed a threatening rule becomes our eager pleasure. Through our restored belief and reconciliation, we know Him. And in knowing Him, we know His great love. It just gets better and better. Knowing and growing in His great love, we know true freedom, and are blessed with and by real life. But David knew this before the new covenant. Is that because he was a prophet?
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3

Donna H

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #119 on: July 01, 2010, 12:58:19 PM »
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

We have this.

We realize that His law is life, but only by loving Him, which means receiving Him, which =  faith. It's a beautiful circle of ever expanding and deepening love as we are unfolded in His beauty and wonder, and brought ever nearer to Him as our minds are unveiled to the reality of who God truly is. Serving Him is an absolute pleasure, because we know now what it means. It means the best love possible or imaginable.

This is what it means: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Hebrew 8:10).

This is what it means: “And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:18-20).

This is what it means: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1John 3:16).   (This passage can be read as first perceiving the love of God because He laid His life down. Or it can be read that because He laid His life down, we were reconciled, and then able to perceive the love of God).

And: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1John 4:12).

His love is perfected in us; His law is absolute freedom and delight. In reconciling us to God, He has reconciled us to the law, and not by duty or mere decision, but by and in love.

It's such a beautiful relaxation, and our ultimate rest, to love Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit with a once stony heart made soft and warm (and vulnerable, but so safe with God) as flesh.

As we are attached to ourselves and the world, the idea of self-sacrifice is daunting and frightening. But as we are immersed deeper into the heart of God, which is our true baptism - “He that believeth and is baptized (in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is being “immersed” in the character of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is breathing, seeing, and living the  love of God, which is being “in” Jesus as He is “in” the Father. Our baptism isn't an event, but truly a new life "in" Christ) shall be saved”  - self-sacrifice becomes a closer walk with God, and we are willing to “love not ourselves unto death”, because more and more we love God.

The Israelites were called to love God and love their neighbor, but were they called to self-sacrifice? Were they called to follow that model? Is this new for children of the new covenant? I know Abraham and Isaac were called to sacrifice. Jacob sacrificed himself in His struggle with God. But what about the Israelites? I guess they were called to sacrifice their lusts in obeying the 10 commandments, and especially the priests, in the time they spent ministering for the people and the fact that they had no earthly inheritance.

?

Any help or thoughts?

Maybe there's nothing entirely new or different, except better help to draw near to God.

God bless,
Donna
Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp. 4T 163.3