Author Topic: New Covenant experience  (Read 23849 times)

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ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2009, 11:56:48 AM »
Hi Richard,

You write, “My understanding is that the "Everlasting Covenant" was made before the foundation of the world was laid. It is the most important covenant. It is the basis  on which the whole universe will be restored to safety.  Am I wrong in my thoughts on this?”

I agree that what we understand as the everlasting covenant is God’s means of restoration of the universe.
In reply I would like to step back a little and ask, ‘What is sin?”
It is beyond our power to understand or explain it. Mrs White writes words to the effect that an explanation for sin would provide an excuse for it.
Satan’s life was a covenant relationship with God. For the unfallen angels that covenant is an everlasting covenant. He broke that covenant.
Mankind’s life in Eden was a covenant relation with God. Had Adam and Eve not sinned the Edenic covenant would have been our everlasting covenant

Adam and Eve need not have sinned. They chose to doubt God’s goodness, disbelieve His word and disobey His command.
‘By one man’s disobedience sin entered the world.’
‘For as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.’

What we now call the everlasting covenant, is as you might say, God’s plan B.
I do not for one moment denigrate the eternal importance of Jesus death, but I do not see the term, ‘everlasting covenant’ used in the Bible only to refer to Jesus’ death, or in opposition to the terms Old and New covenants.
Those terms are phases in the process of restoring the Edenic covenant.

God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2009, 12:22:47 PM »
I agree dear brother, that the term everlasting covenant is used in different ways. But, the everlasting covenant that I speak of is the covenant that the whole universe is watching. It is the covenant that you and I find our hope in. It is the New Covenant promise and it was entered into before sin. Our heavenly Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, agreed to the plan from the foundations of the earth. What a plan!!! What a Sacrifice!! What love!!! That God would allow His innocent Son to come to this dark world, a helpless baby, subject to our infirmities, to fight the battle as we must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss!!! Such a thought!!  Herein is love!  The angels find their joy in contemplating this love. The unfallen worlds watch, hoping the end is near. Yes, this covenant to redeem man at such great expense and great risk is the most amazing covenant ever entered into. And how was that covenant to be ratified? With the blood of God's dear Son!

If you can see wisdom and truth in this, then let us continue on and examine the relationship between this covenant and what Paul calls the Old Covenant.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2009, 05:04:42 PM »
Have you thought about this?  It seems like most, after taking their stand for Christ, try the old covenant first.

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2009, 08:18:04 AM »
"taking their stand for Christ"? Like the Israelites at Sinai?  What does it mean to take a stand for Christ? Is that what most mean when they "profess" to have become Christians? I perceive that we are making progress!  :)  Dear brother, you have hit the nail on the head. Let us do a little sifting and I think that some reading will get the picture of what happened at Sinai.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2009, 12:47:58 PM »
Hi Tim,
You express a great burden of mine when you ask the question ‘Have you thought about this?  It seems like most, after taking their stand for Christ, try the old covenant first.’.
I think it is true that our natural response to an awareness of our sinfulness is to ask, ‘What must I do to be saved’.
What this leads to for most people is a muddled view of what it means to be a new covenant Christian. They try to integrate old covenant and new covenant practices.
The Catholic church is a very muddled mixture of old covenant and new covenant experience with their teaching of a human, male, ‘priesthood’ acting as intercessors, forgiving sins, etc etc.
A new covenant pastor is very different from an old covenant priest.
The Catholic teaching that I need perfect righteousness to be saved is another example of the muddled thinking that pervades this issue.
God bless,
Ian


Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2009, 01:30:59 PM »
Brother Ian, I think we are making progress. Under the Old Covenant, what must one do to be saved? Under the New Covenant what must do in order to be saved?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2009, 03:43:00 PM »
A new covenant pastor is very different from an old covenant priest.
The Catholic teaching that I need perfect righteousness to be saved is another example of the muddled thinking that pervades this issue.

Brother Ian;  I'm interested in your thought process here, when you refer to the need for perfect righteousness to be saved.  Could you elaborate? 

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2009, 07:07:30 PM »
Bro Tim,
The Catholic Church teaching (as I understand it) is that only the saints have achieved the perfect righteousness. They teach that to get to heaven we have to have perfect righteousness. Try as we might we fall short so the Church will (for suitable consideration) transfer to your account, some of the surplus righteousness of the saints.
I am saved by grace, the free gift of grace. When I accept Jesus, it is not His righteousness which makes up the shortfall of my righteousness. Jesus' death established God's righteousness.
God bless,
Ian







Ian Rankin

Ed Sutton

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2009, 07:14:44 PM »
Quote
The best efforts that man in his own strength can make, are valueless to meet the holy and just law that he has transgressed; but through faith in Christ he may claim the righteousness of the Son of God as all-sufficient. Christ satisfied the demands of the law in His human nature. He bore the curse of the law for the sinner, made an atonement for him, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish. . . . Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined.  {AG 177.3}
     He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. . . . All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation.  {AG 177.4}
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Tim2

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2009, 07:21:14 PM »
My heart thrill's to the good news.  I know myself too well -- it must be Christ's righteousness, praise God!!!

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2009, 03:27:16 PM »
Hi,
As a young person I saw life as pretty simple and straightforward, but now that I am much older I have a much clearer understanding of the issues, but I have become aware that the means of dealing with those issues are complex.
Salvation is the big issue, but it is about much more than me. Jesus didn’t die just to save me, but His death made my salvation possible.
Jesus’ death is the foundation of the plan of salvation, but my personal salvation could almost be called a by-product.
Jesus’ death was the answer to Satan, it established God’s righteousness.
He established it by being perfect man, made in the image of God.
Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit God awaits His church becoming a reflection of the image of Christ.
God bless
Ian

Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #71 on: December 19, 2009, 08:25:44 AM »
I am reading the original "Present Truth" articles by E.J. Waggoner on "The Everlasting Covenant" May 1896 to May 1897. Has anyone read these?

It was my purpose to read through them in the space of an hour or so but that has turned into a serious study lasting more than a week, and even then, a week will be quite insufficient time to gather all I want to understand (in great detail) as to what constitutes The Everlasting Covenant.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #72 on: December 19, 2009, 12:58:26 PM »
Hi Richard,

Brother Ian, I think we are making progress. Under the Old Covenant, what must one do to be saved? Under the New Covenant what must do in order to be saved?

Well Richard, it is easy to come up with stock answers, but one of the things I have come to see is that, as Adventists, we spend our time defending the answers of our pioneers, but we forget the questions, so I will try and avoid ‘stock’ answers.

‘Under the Old Covenant what must one do to be saved?”

An interesting point to be remembered here is that the people Jesus spoke to were Old Covenant believers.
The rich young ruler was told that if he wanted to be perfect, then ’come follow Me’.
The prodigal son’s repentance and return was all that was needed to have his filthy garments replaced and be welcomed home.
Romans 4 ‘Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness’.(but note Genesis 22:12 ‘now I know that you fear God’.)
Note too, James 2:17 etc. ‘Faith if it has no works is dead, being by itself’.
Jesus Himself clearly stated this point, Matthew 7:21-24 :I never knew you, depart from Me’.

There were no sanctuary sacrifices for wilful, deliberate breaking of the commandments. See Leviticus 4 and Numbers 15:22-28 unintentional. V30-31 defiant sin.
But note Ps 51. There was no sanctuary sacrifice David could offer as atonement, but God accepted his ‘broken spirit and contrite heart’ as He always does.

Keeping the commandments never saved anybody, but and it is a huge ’but’, commandment keeping provides a wall of protection for the saved person.

Under the New Covenant what must one do to be saved?
While I see a great difference between the experience of the Old Covenant believer and the New Covenant believer,(see Galatians 4:1-7)yet I see no difference in what I, a New Covenant believer, must do in order to be saved. ‘By grace are you saved’.

Libraries are filled with books on this subject, I just hope our churches are filled with people who live the experience.
God bless,
Ian
 
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2009, 06:04:37 PM »
Thank you for your thoughtful reply, dear Brother Ian. I look forward to them.

Libraries are filled with books on this subject, I just hope our churches are filled with people who live the experience.

Amen!! This is the reason why we study this subject. Many have mis-taught it and are responsible in part for many who will be lost thinking that the law is no longer binding.  If we can give a good explanation of the Old and New Covenants that is in harmony with Scripture, some will see and turn from their error.  :)

Quote
Under the Old Covenant what must one do to be saved?”

An interesting point to be remembered here is that the people Jesus spoke to were Old Covenant believers. The rich young ruler was told that if he wanted to be perfect, then ’come follow Me’.

Yes, but being an Old Covenant believer he thought that since he had kept the law he was saved. God had said in the agreement "obey and live". He thought he had obeyed. He was living under the Old Covenant, not the Abrahamic Covenant. Jesus met him where he was. He did not argue with him about his having kept the commandments, He merely told him to sell all that he had and come and follow him. This revealed to the young man that he had violated the law. And, he knew that he did not have life at that point. The Old Covenant had done its work, but it could not save him, only Jesus can save.

Paul met with the same attitude and this is why we have the term "Old Covenant" and New Covenant. Paul made the distinction so that those who thought they were saved by keeping the law could learn that they were not. The "letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Obey and live is true, but none can obey without a Saviour. The Old Covenant did not tell them of forgiveness, it just said "obey and live".
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #74 on: December 22, 2009, 11:42:06 AM »
Hi,
Please help me clarify something here, something which I believe is hugely important.
I as a Seventh-day Adventist, understand the fulness of salvation through what the sanctuary services taught, in particular the seven annual feasts.
It is true that the Pharisees came to believe salvation was in being born an Israelite and keeping the law, but they were wrong.
Some of the posts on this topic teach that the Pharisees were right.
Jesus was crucified because He exposed the error of the Pharisees.
Jesus was in every respect of His life and teaching a true Old Testamenmt Israelite.
Am I wrong?
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #75 on: December 23, 2009, 11:03:42 AM »
I believe you are right, dear brother. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament teachings and He is the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world. John the Baptist had been mis-taught by the teachers of his day. He did not know that the Lamb had to die. Such a deception! The Pharisees and the teachers of that day had perverted the sanctuary and its services to lead the people to believe that salvation was meritorious. They were busy working their way to heaven despite what the Old Testament said. The prophet attempted to correct the false teaching, but finally Jesus Himself had to correct the misunderstanding.

There is a difference between the Old Testament and the Old Covenant. This may be where there is some confusion. The Old Covenant was made at Sinai and was made in order that the people might see their need of a Saviour.

My dear brother, the more we openly discuss this subject, the more we shall learn. It is an important and deep subject. Thank you for your patience and your contribution.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #76 on: December 23, 2009, 11:56:20 AM »
Hi Richard,
Thanks for your reply, but I question your logic where you separate the Old Testamnet and Old Covenant.

You write, 'There is a difference between the Old Testament and the Old Covenant. This may be where there is some confusion. The Old Covenant was made at Sinai and was made in order that the people might see their need of a Saviour.'

I gree with what you say, but not with what I think you mean. ( I had an Irish grandfather)
In my understanding, as I read the Old Testament, it was at Sinai that the sanctuary and its services were established. The very essence of the sanctuary teaching was that salvation was provided by God. The daily, morning and evening sacrifice of the lamb of God was a sacrifice offered by God, not the people. This daily sacrifice kept open the access to God.
The people's individual sacrifices were for ceremonial uncleaness so as to keep clear their covenant, saving relationship.
The covenant was not a way of salvation, it was a way of service which provided protection.
God bless,
Ian

Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #77 on: December 23, 2009, 12:53:25 PM »
My dear Brother Ian, I think we are in more agreement than appears. This is a complex subject because like the Jews of old, we are not well grounded. Teachers have not been very good at presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. I think that we agree on the gospel truth, but where the difficulty comes in is with the language of Paul. I am not an expert on this, but I have been praying and studying and have found that others are seeing the same as what I believe I am seeing. It is the language that Paul used that is difficult for us. He was speaking to "Old Covenant" Jews or those that had come under their teachings.  We are not in that same position so we place a different meaning on his words, I think.

The Old Testament precedes the Old Covenant which was made at Sinai. The Old Testament is the Bible from the beginning of Genesis when there were no Jews. One third of Earth's history was before Sinai and the Old Covenant. Only one third of history was bound by the Old Covenant if we agree that it ought to have ceased with the teachings of Paul on the subject. Of course it has not ceased, for there are many today that believe they can work their way to heaven by keeping the commandments of God. And, even after Sinai, God was still presenting the Everlasting Covenant to the Jews. He spoke His promises through the prophets which in turn were persecuted by the Jews. He also used the Sanctuary service to teach the Everlasting Covenant. But, the ceremonial law even though it foreshadowed Christ, did not save anyone anymore than the moral law could, it only was the school-master to point to Jesus.

I understand to a degree where we are having a problem. I, too, saw the Sanctuary and its services as providing salvation through Christ, but I don't believe that is what Paul was teaching. When we talk about providing salvation in Paul's language, he is speaking another language to meet the Jews on their ground, not ours. They did not perceive the Lamb as Christ. They perceived the Lamb as a lamb representing their great sacrifice, not God's.  So, Paul used their idea of salvation to address their error. They wanted law, so he told them what was expected under law, perfect obedience. He told them that the letter of the law "killeth" whereas the Spirit brings life. This in no way brought reproach upon the law for he said it was glorious, but it could not save as the Jews taught that it could.

Paul is making a point that we have a hard time understanding. He is trying to point out that the law cannot save, only Christ can save. This is why he chose to use the phrases "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant". He was contrasting the Jews plan of salvation with God's plan. The Jews had taken  the agreement made at Sinai as being the full plan, but it was not. It was only the law, both moral and ceremonial. God commanded them to do it. The law cannot save, but it is "part" of the plan of salvation. They took the ball and ran with it not knowing there was more to it. If they had prayerfully studied the ceremonial law, they would have learned of the full plan and their need of the Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world. Paul is going to teach them the whole plan, but first he needed to show them the error of their teaching. The blood of bulls and goats could save no man, only the blood of Christ can bring life.

I hope this helps to explain my understanding a little better. I am sure that we both will continue to better understand this as we seek wisdom from on high. Again, thank you for your patience and giving me opportunity to express what I believe to be true. As an erring human, I really appreciate your patience and your posts. The truth will not suffer from a close examination and in this subject there is so much more to learn. Thank you, dear brother.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #78 on: December 26, 2009, 01:05:30 PM »
Hi Richard,
This is indeed a complex subject.I love the challenge.
One thing I have come to believe is that there is no one single thing to salvation. It is a whole complex of things that work together. These can be examined singly, (eg justification v santification)but they work only in unison. They are complimentary, not competitive.

One thing I would appreciate your thoughts about is John's statement, John 1:29, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world'.
Where was John drawing this symbolism from?
What did the Jews listening to him understand to be the meaning of his statement?

God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #79 on: December 27, 2009, 08:23:13 AM »
One thing I have come to believe is that there is no one single thing to salvation. It is a whole complex of things that work together. These can be examined singly, (eg justification v santification)but they work only in unison. They are complimentary, not competitive.

I agree, dear brother.

Quote
One thing I would appreciate your thoughts about is John's statement, John 1:29, 'Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world'. Where was John drawing this symbolism from?
What did the Jews listening to him understand to be the meaning of his statement?

That is a very good question that I cannot answer with assurance. I can only look at the Old Testament and take a guess. One thing that we do know is that at the time when John uttered this statement, he expected the Messiah to reign a temporal king over Israel and free the Jews from Roman rule. Thus, it can be said that he did not expect Jesus to die.

I would assume that when he made that statement, it was inspired by the Holy Spirit that was leading John. Many times a prophet speaks things that he does not understand, but that God wanted said. It appears to be the case here. What did the Jews who were listening think?  Well, they were in no better shape to understand than John. They, too were looking for a Messiah to free them from Roman rule. When Jesus hung on the cross, none except the thief and the centurian thought Jesus to be the Son of God. Even the disciples and Jesus' mother lost faith in His being the Messiah. Very sad, but that was where the false teachers had led their people. And this was after Jesus had told them He was going to die.

This subject ought to give us reason to pause and examine what we have been taught. The condition of the church is not much different today. Jesus says to us  thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...   Our fathers are not much different than their fathers.

What are your thoughts on this, dear Brother Ian?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.