Author Topic: New Covenant experience  (Read 21558 times)

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ian rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #80 on: December 28, 2009, 03:08:18 PM »
Hi Richard,
Thanks for your response. I am sure nobody has all the answers, but I have learned a whole lot since we started sharing on this subject. Let us keep it up please.

I agree that John the Baptist shared the common belief that the Messiah would come as King of kings. Lord of lords and so He will, at His second coming.

The words John was inspired to proclaim, ‘Behold the
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ did not begin to make sense until the resurrection appearances of Jesus.
Remember that all the first Christians were Jews and after the resurrection, these words made sense to them as they saw them pointing to the fulfilment of the symbolism of the lamb of God the priests offered every morning and evening.

I used to see John’s statement as a reference to the
Day of Atonement offering until I noticed it was a kid, not a lamb, whose blood cleansed the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.

One of the confusions we are plagued with today is the belief that salvation for the Israelites was offered at Sinai.
From the time of Abraham the Israelites had continued to follow and worship God.
Am I correct? If so, what was offered at Sinai?

God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #81 on: December 29, 2009, 01:06:14 PM »
One of the confusions we are plagued with today is the belief that salvation for the Israelites was offered at Sinai. From the time of Abraham the Israelites had continued to follow and worship God.
Am I correct? If so, what was offered at Sinai?

Most teachers in the fallen churches know very little about the Lamb of God. They are as ignorant as was John the Baptist. The Israelites went into captivity because of their failure to follow God. When they came out there were little more than brute beasts, ignorant of God and his Sacrifice. God has to begin anew with them.

Moses on the other hand was meek and lowly and was possessed by Christ. He understood the Lamb and Christ was his constant companion. God set up His Sanctuary in the midst of the people that they might learn of Him and His Son. He would dwell in the midst of His people. How did it work? Not very well. Only two of the adults that began the journey went into the promised land. They were a rebellious people and their children did little better. Each reformation brought a deeper apostasy. Finally Jesus had to come and sweep away all the lies the had veiled the law of God and reveal to these erring children the great I Am.

While multitudes were converted after the cross, there was still a mighty work of teaching to be done. The gospel truth had been perverted and the new church was in danger of imbibing the same lie that had deceived a nation. Works will never change a heart, only the Spirit of Christ can do that. The law of God is the school-master that leads us to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin. It is then that we see our need of the Great Physician who can heal the deadly bite of sin. The Covenant at Sinai was to act that part in the nation at that time. It was to reveal that the sinner was a sinner and he could not obey the law of God on his own. They soon discovered their weakness and then could learn from the Sanctuary and its services about the Great Sacrifice that God had promised to make on their behalf. They then were instructed WHO was the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the world.

Share with us, what you see happening at Sinai, dear Brother Ian.
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 #82 on: December 30, 2009, 12:58:41 PM »
Hi Richard,
You ask, ‘what do I see happening at Sinai’.

At Sinai we have the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, worshippers of the Creator God entering into a covenant of service with their God.

God had just recued them from Egyptian slavery.
Exodus 3:6-8 ’I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham…Isaac…Jacob. I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt….I have come down to deliver them….to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’

Note the phrases, ‘God of your father’. ‘My people’.
Since the time of Abraham, the God of the Israelites was the Creator God. They identified themselves as worshippers of the Creator God.

Their rescue depended on their trust in the blood of the lamb.

Am I correctly understanding Scripture?

God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #83 on: December 31, 2009, 02:40:27 PM »
Good morning, dear brother! Here it is actually afternoon, but I began this post this morning!  :)

I believe you have spoken what the Bible relates. But, let us look more closely at the truth. Often there is more than what first appears.

At Sinai we have the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, worshipers of the Creator God entering into a covenant of service with their God.

Yes, these rebellious people professed to be worshipers of the Creator God. And, yes, God commanded the law from Sinai and told them IF they would obey, they would live. And all replied "All the words which the LORD hath said will we do."

This was the Old Covenant made at Sinai. Obey and Live.

"And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do....And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. Exodus 24:3,7,8. 

But, listen to what Moses has to say just before he dies:

Deut 30
  30:1   And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call [them] to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 
  30:2   And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 
  30:6   And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 
  30:7   And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. 
  30:8   And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. 
  30:9   And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 
  30:10   If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, [and] if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 
  30:11   For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off. 
  30:12   It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
  30:13   Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
  30:14   But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 
  30:15   See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 
  30:16   In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 
  30:20   That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. 

 
This is the "Everlasting Covenant". It was not withdrawn when the Old Covenant was entered into. The Old Covenant was to lead the people to see their need of God's love in order to obey His commands.

Quote
God had just rescued them from Egyptian slavery.
Exodus 3:6-8 ’I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham…Isaac…Jacob. I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt….I have come down to deliver them….to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’

Note the phrases, ‘God of your father’. ‘My people’.
Since the time of Abraham, the God of the Israelites was the Creator God. They identified themselves as worshippers of the Creator God.

Their rescue depended on their trust in the blood of the lamb. Am I correctly understanding Scripture?

Their rescue from eternal death depended upon their trust in the blood of Jesus. Amen!! But, they thought their rescue depended upon their offering up their lambs and spilling their blood. And therein is the lesson. Paul was writing to Jews who did not understand Christ to be the Lamb. He had been  one of them who thought the offering of the lamb was meritorious. The whole nation had bought into the lie that God would see them as worthy of life because of their sacrifice. And, if the Jewish mind was not enough, Paul was having to contend with the Judaizing of those whom he had brought to Christ through the real Lamb. The Jews labored under a false conception of salvation through their sacrifice, not the Sacrifice of God. This is why Paul contrasts the Old and the New Covenants. He is teaching that there is no life under the system of shadows. It was only to teach them that life is in the Son of God.

Brother Ian, this is a difficult subject and I want to thank you for being so kind to allow me the opportunity to express my thoughts. You have been most patient. I continue to say, this is something that I am just learning and am certainly desirous to hear your response. The more I study into this, the more clear it becomes. Paul was pointing them and us to Jesus and our need of His Spirit. The ministration of death, the law is glorious, but the ministration of the Spirit is even more glorious!
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 #84 on: January 01, 2010, 08:45:38 PM »
Hi Richard,
This is indeed a difficult subject, but that makes it an exciting challenge and I thank you too for sharing and listening.

I am very sceptical of generalisations.

After the golden calf incident, when Moses called for those who remained loyal to the Lord, the tribe of Levi responded and were rewarded.

Some of the clearest and most beautiful statements of a proper understanding of salvation by faith and the beauty of the Law are found in the Psalms – the worship songs of Israel.

Yes, Israel’s record is pretty miserable, but there were faithful followers who recognised Jesus as the Messiah. Israelites who did not believe they had to work their way to heaven.

Paul had been one of those who ‘had a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge’. Rom 10:2
Paul, never for one moment, regretted being born a Jew. He spent his life showing that Jesus was the fulfilment of the Jewish hope, not a replacement for it.

The Israelite’s whole lives, the way they lived and worshipped were to be an object lesson of and an invitation to salvation. They did create an interest, but it was way way short of what God intended.

We, New Covenant believers are called to proclaim the gospel and how do we compare?
What does our worship service tell people about God?

For the Jews, God was their family god. He was someone they asked for help in time of need.
What about us today, are we more interested in asking God for help to meet our needs, or for help in understanding how we can best serve Him.

God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #85 on: January 04, 2010, 07:37:08 PM »
Yes, Israel’s record is pretty miserable, but there were faithful followers who recognised Jesus as the Messiah. Israelites who did not believe they had to work their way to heaven.

Amen!! There were a faithful few. Daniel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, all the prophets. Sadly, most of the kings and many of the leaders had a hand in putting to death many of the prophets. Poor Elijah thought he was the only one left, but God had more that he knew nothing of. A relatively few among many.

Quote
Paul had been one of those who ‘had a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge’. Rom 10:2 Paul, never for one moment, regretted being born a Jew. He spent his life showing that Jesus was the fulfilment of the Jewish hope, not a replacement for it.

He spent his whole life after conversion. Before conversion, he was not only a Pharisee of Pharisees, but the hardest worker of them all, the "chief of sinners", the great persecutor.

Quote
The Israelite’s whole lives, the way they lived and worshipped were to be an object lesson of and an invitation to salvation. They did create an interest, but it was way way short of what God intended.

Yes, they were to be an object lesson, an example to the nations of the world.  God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.
 
Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.
 
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 #86 on: January 04, 2010, 07:48:47 PM »
In the most definite manner Christ through Moses had set before them God's purpose, and had made plain the terms of their prosperity. "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God," He said; "the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. . . . Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations. . . . Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which He sware unto thy fathers; and He will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which He sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people. . . . And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee." Deuteronomy 7:6, 9, 11-15.
 
If they would keep His commandments, God promised to give them the finest of the wheat, and bring them honey out of the rock. With long life would He satisfy them, and show them His salvation. 

Through disobedience to God, Adam and Eve had lost Eden, and because of sin the whole earth was cursed. But if God's people followed His instruction, their land would be restored to fertility and beauty. God Himself gave them directions in regard to the culture of the soil, and they were to co-operate with Him in its restoration. Thus the whole land, under God's control, would become an object lesson of spiritual truth. As in obedience to His natural laws the earth should produce its treasures, so in obedience to His moral law the hearts of the people were to reflect the attributes of His character. Even the heathen would recognize the superiority of those who served and worshiped the living God. 

"Behold," said Moses, "I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?" Deuteronomy 4:5-8. 

The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them. Those nations that rejected the worship and service of the true God were to be dispossessed. But it was God's purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. All who, like Rahab the Canaanite, and Ruth the Moabitess, turned from idolatry to the worship of the true God, were to unite themselves with His chosen people. As the numbers of Israel increased they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world. 

God desired to bring all peoples under His merciful rule. He desired that the earth should be filled with joy and peace. He created man for happiness, and He longs to fill human hearts with the peace of heaven. He desires that the families below shall be a symbol of the great family above.

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 #87 on: January 04, 2010, 07:57:47 PM »
But Israel did not fulfill God's purpose. The Lord declared, "I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?" Jeremiah 2:21. "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself." Hosea 10:1. "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard. What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For . . . He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." Isaiah 5:3-7. 
 
They forgot God, and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. The blessings they had received brought no blessing to the world. All their advantages were appropriated for their own glorification. They robbed God of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. Like the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, they followed out every imagination of their evil hearts. Thus they made sacred things appear a farce, saying, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these" (Jeremiah 7:4), while at the same time they were misrepresenting God's character, dishonoring His name, and polluting His sanctuary.

The husbandmen who had been placed in charge of the Lord's vineyard were untrue to their trust. The priests and teachers were not faithful instructors of the people. They did not keep before them the goodness and mercy of God and His claim to their love and service. These husbandmen sought their own glory. They desired to appropriate the fruits of the vineyard. It was their study to attract attention and homage to themselves. 

As a last resource, God sent His Son, saying, "They will reverence My Son." But their resistance had made them vindictive, and they said among themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on His inheritance." We shall then be left to enjoy the vineyard, and to do as we please with the fruit.

As a people the Jews had failed of fulfilling God's purpose, and the vineyard was taken from them. The privileges they had abused, the work they had slighted, was entrusted to others.

We, New Covenant believers are called to proclaim the gospel and how do we compare?
What does our worship service tell people about God?

For the Jews, God was their family god. He was someone they asked for help in time of need.
What about us today, are we more interested in asking God for help to meet our needs, or for help in understanding how we can best serve Him.

How do we compare? That is indeed the point, dear Brother Ian. The church in this generation has been endowed by God with great privileges and blessings, and He expects corresponding returns. Have we done better than the Jews?


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 #88 on: January 04, 2010, 09:00:21 PM »
After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts. . . . I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:33, 34

The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone, is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth "the fruits of the Spirit." Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked.   

There are two errors against which the children of God --particularly those who have just come to trust in His grace --especially need to guard. The first is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility.
 
The opposite and no less dangerous error is, that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption. . . . If the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life?  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.

Where there is not only a belief in God's Word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith--faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119:97). And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). 
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 #89 on: January 05, 2010, 11:18:22 AM »
Hi Richard,
You have been busy responding. I like your contribution, it would appear we have reached somewhat of a consensus on the Old Covenant. Praise the Lord.
What then of the New Covenant?
I understand it as accepted, that it was inaugurated at Pentecost.
It was the fulfilment of the promise, among others, of Jeremiah 31:31-34. Applied in Hebrews chapters 8-9.
It radically changed the experience of the believer of God.
Ultimately, I believe a study of the New Covenant leads to an answer to the question of why hasn't Jesus returned.
I look forward to some interesting exchanges.
God bless'
Ian
Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #90 on: January 07, 2010, 11:13:17 AM »
"Why hasn't Jesus returned?"  That is a very good question, dear brother!  I think you may be right in regards to it maybe having something to do with the New Covenant.

Paul was contrasting the New Covenant with the Old Covenant. In 2 Cor. 3:6 he says Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.    He tells us that we are "ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit."  The Old Testament was the written law, both moral and ceremonial. It was a shadow of the reality. Both the Ten Commandments written with the finger of God and the ceremonial law pointed to Christ the reality. The New Covenant is not the "letter" of the law, but it is the author of the law. When He is allowed into the heart, then the law is written on the heart. It is a living reality, not just the written law.

Today, when many profess to serve God, but know not what that means, they have need to learn of Jesus. As they learn of God, they will come to understand He is at their right hand, knocking on the door wanting in. He is calling all to Himself. But, we cannot trust anyone with all we have unless we trust them. In the New Covenant (agreement) which was established upon better promises, we are promised a change of heart, a change in nature. How can that be? Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  2 Peter 1:4.

Dear brother, I do not think many understand this precious promise. God is telling us that He will come to dwell in us and then we will partake of His nature, His character. Such a mighty promise! We can then find power to obey, not in our strength, but in His! When this becomes better known and how it is that we can have this experience, there will be revival and reformation in the church, then Jesus can come!!

Is this along the line you were thinking? If not, share your thoughts and maybe I can advance in my understanding of this important matter. We want to do all that we can to hasten the soon coming of our Lord!   
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 #91 on: January 17, 2010, 07:01:51 PM »
Hi Richard,
Sorry I have been so ling replying, but I have been at our bi-annual conference camp.
I like your reply. What you write is very much ‘along the line I was thinking’. Perhaps it would be more correct to say it is at the start of ‘the line I was thinking’.
The direction of my thinking is summed up in the passage you quote:-
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  2 Peter 1:4.
‘Partakers of the divine nature” That, I believe is at the heart of what it means to be a New Covenant follower of Jesus Christ.
The experience of a New Covenant believer is different to that of an Old Covenant believer. It changed at Pentecost with the pouring out of the promised blessing of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 ‘Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’
Ephesians 1:13 ‘….having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise’.
Ephesians 4:30 ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed to the day of redemption’.
Matthew 12:31-32 ‘any sin and blaspheme shall be forgiven people, but blaspheme against the Spirit shall not be forgiven’.
What I take out of these passages is that when I accept Jesus then God seals me, takes responsibility for my salvation, unless I commit the unpardonable sin?
What do you think?
God bless,
Ian

Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #92 on: January 18, 2010, 07:27:52 AM »
We are surely quite dense in our humanity.  As I read your post, I completely ignored the verses you quoted from Ephesians and got stuck on our understanding of "sealed" as spoken of in the Book of Revelation. After realizing that you are using the term in the context of Ephesians, I can understand what you are saying, I think.

Please explain further what you are saying about being sealed. I think I agree with your thoughts that God will indeed finish the work He has begun in us IF we will not resist the leading of the Holy Spirit. I would only add that while it begins with Him, ends with Him, and it is His power that saves, it will not happen if we do not make an effort to follow Him. Jesus said "you must drink my blood and eat my flesh." We must come to Him just as we are, daily. We must guard the avenues of our mind. There is a work for man to do or he will not be saved. This work is to come to Jesus, to learn of Him. To cease resisting His drawing. If we will do this, then He will accomplish the task. His work is immeasurably large, ours is immeasurably small.

Are we in agreement here, dear brother?
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 #93 on: January 25, 2010, 12:11:35 PM »
Hi Richard,
I agree with what you write. Perhaps, to put it more accurately, I do not disagree. I shall try to explain what I mean.
In Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30 and Revelation 7:4 etc the word translated 'seal' is the same Greek word and has the same intended meaning.
Ephesians 1:13 having believed you were sealed in Him.
John 5:24 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has etyernal life and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life'. cf Jn 3:17-18

Once saved always saved is heresy, but it is very close to truth. It is a heresy to belief that a person can be saved, lost and saved.
Matthew 12:31-32. Hebrews 6:4-6 'it is impossible to renew them again to repentance'.

Salvation is not something we can just take and put away to be dusted off and taken out on judgement day.
If not nurtured it will died, but that dying is an irreversible the result of wilful, continued rejection of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corintians 3:10-15 there is only one foundation, Jesus Christ, but a man has a choice as to what materials he uses for the building. Every man's work will be tested by fire, his work may be burned up but he himself will be saved though as by fire.
See COL pp362-363.A truly sobering statement.
God bless,
Ian

Ian Rankin

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #94 on: January 25, 2010, 01:36:16 PM »
Thank you for your explanation, dear Brother Ian. It is a blessing to study together with you.

Once saved always saved is heresy, but it is very close to truth. It is a heresy to belief that a person can be saved, lost and saved.
Matthew 12:31-32. Hebrews 6:4-6 'it is impossible to renew them again to repentance'.

I understand your concern and it is important to know that playing games with God will indeed cause one to wake up on the wrong side. There is a statement in the Spirit of Prophecy that addresses this to the effect that salvation or something to the effect, is not an off again on again experience.

Having agreed that it is a concern, we need to take care that we do not give eternal life to those who have not His Spirit. It is an opening for many to be deceived as to their real condition before God.

This is on topic in that  the Old Covenant was a matter of profession of faith, but the New Covenant is not merely a profession of faith, but the reality of being a partaker of Christ. If we have not His Spirit, we are none of His. It is the heart that God wants, not a profession of faith. Profession means nothing to God. The "evangelical gospel" so popular today allows one to believe they have salvation because they have professed to serve God. When we come into this world, we come in separated from God. Our nature is at enmity towards Him. Some come filled with the Holy Spirit, but by nature we are evil. Our only hope is to be reconciled to Him. This reconciliation takes place when self is dead and Christ is within. It is called the new birth and is maintained the same way it was gotten, by a full surrender to the Spirit of truth, to Christ.

We can look at the disciples prior to the cross and get a good picture of the reality of what happens when most are converted. We see self reappearing when the connection with Christ is broken. When Peter denied Jesus, he did not have eternal life. When all 12 disciples were vying for the highest position the night before the crucifixion, self was alive in each one. God's Spirit was not within. Our only safety is understanding that God will complete the work He began, if we will work with Him, but when we take our eyes off of Jesus and separate from Him, we must understand that we do not possess eternal life. Separated from God, man does not possess salvation. Adam was removed from the garden so that sin and eternal life would never be possible. He could not eat from the fruit of the tree while sinning. Sin will not be immortalized. We cannot teach this either. Sin reveals a separation between man and God. Christ does not forsake the sinner because he sins, but neither does He indwell the heart of the one sinning. It is impossible. Jesus stands outside, but He does not stand idle. He is knocking wanting back in.

Generally when one sins and repents, sins and repents, he is not experiencing true repentance. But, this is not always the case in the short term. One can wander in and out of conversion in the beginning when learning of his dependence upon Christ.
 
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 #95 on: February 02, 2010, 01:42:38 PM »
Hi Richard,
As usual, we have much on which we agree and that is a blessing, but I learn from the challenge of the things on which we disagree.
A statement you made challenges my understanding of what I believe to be an essential truth and I would like to explore this with you.
You write: ‘when we take our eyes off of Jesus and separate from Him, we must understand that we do not possess eternal life’

I disagree strongly.
To me, the wording of your statement undermines salvation by grace. Makes it dependant on my strength of will, my determination.
My deeper objection is the implication in your statement that we can be saved, then lost and then saved again.
Heb 6:4-6
‘For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame’

As I said in my last posting, I do not believe in once saved always saved, but to believe in an ‘on again off again on again’ salvation, is equally wrong.

Am I on the wrong track, have I misinterpreted Heb 6;4-6?
God bless,
Ian
Ian Rankin

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #96 on: February 04, 2010, 07:22:27 PM »
Do you mind if I jump in here, brother Ian?  I have been thinking a lot about the example of Jesus with His disciples.  It does seem that it's possible to have a relationship with Jesus without it being a saving relationship.  Jesus says to each one of us, "taste and see" and "come learn of me."  As with any relationship, it takes time to trust.  Judas had a relationship with Christ.  Jesus said to Peter, "get thee behind me satan."  When I think about the shortcomings of the twelve, it gives me hope.  We are constantly falling short, but grace allows us to learn and the opportunity to overcome within a relationship with Jesus.  The Lord said to Peter (after Peter had followed Jesus for three and a half years or so), "when you are converted..."  What do you think about that?  Both Peter and Judas betrayed Jesus.  Which one had eternal life at the time they fell?  Or didn't?  This is a sobering thought -- one that we all need to come to a proper understanding on.      

Richard Myers

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Re: New Covenant experience
« Reply #97 on: February 04, 2010, 09:53:57 PM »
Of course we want your thoughts, dear Brother Tim.  We are on the foundation of our faith. The covenants are meat, but conversion is milk that we all must understand.

As usual, we have much on which we agree and that is a blessing, but I learn from the challenge of the things on which we disagree.

Amen!  God blesses us when we listen to others when they come with a "thus saith the Lord." You are a blessing to me also. Our subject has a direct bearing on a correct understanding of the covenants, so let us seek to come into unity on what conversion is and what it is not. May God grant us more of His Spirit.

Quote
A statement you made challenges my understanding of what I believe to be an essential truth and I would like to explore this with you. You write: ‘when we take our eyes off of Jesus and separate from Him, we must understand that we do not possess eternal life’

I disagree strongly. To me, the wording of your statement undermines salvation by grace. Makes it dependent on my strength of will, my determination.

Let us try and see what your concern is. We both agree that man is saved by grace. None teach this more than I.  We are not saved by faith, not by works, but by grace. It is the love of God that breaks the hard selfish heart of man. Satan lived in the full light of the knowledge of God's love. When he sinned there was nothing more that God could show him. But, with man who was deceived about God's character there is hope that through a knowledge of His love he can be reconciled to Him. So, like you, I am fiercely protective of the doctrine of salvation by grace. Let none insert themselves or their teaching in between God's love and the sinner. His love, grace, is the only hope the sinner has.

Brother Ian, I want to use Paul's writings to address your concern. His burden was to present Christ and Him crucified as the answer to our lost condition. He refused to allow man to believe he could be saved by a profession of faith or by "keeping the law" of God. Thus his use of the terms Old and New Covenants. He saw whole generations of Jews lost because they thought they were saved by keeping the law. In fact they did not keep the law as required by God, as Christ pointed out in His sermon on the mount. The law requires correct motives as well as outward obedience. The wages of sin is death. And sin reaches to the intent of the heart.

We must now look at the one who takes his eyes off of Jesus and separates from Him. If Christ is not within, if His Spirit is not indwelling man, then man has no ability to keep the law from the heart. Paul states that "if we have not His spirit, we are none of His."

How can we give life to man apart from God? Apart from God we are carnal, aligned with Satan. We have no power to do good. We will sin. We must be born again daily and we must maintain that conversion the same way we attained to it, by abiding in Christ. He does not take away our free will. It is left with us to hold on to Christ. Our part is guard the avenues of our mind, to behold Jesus, to pray without ceasing.

If we deny our part in working out our own salvation, then we leave man with no part to play in our salvation. Our part is immeasurably small and His part is immeasurably large, but without our part of clinging to Jesus we shall be lost. We must come to Him just as we are. We must choose to come to Him and then we must choose to serve Him. He does not take away our choice. The sealing of man is based upon man's choice, not God's will. When we learn of God we will choose to serve Him and we will pray without ceasing. We will guard the avenues of our mind. Then with Christ formed within, we are partakers of His divine nature and have power to resist all sin. His promise to those who abide in Christ is that He will not allow them to be tempted beyond what they can bear. It is Christ, not I.

We are saved by grace, but ONLY if we choose to be saved by grace. Billions of precious souls for whom Christ died will waste the expensive gift of salvation, waste the grace so freely offered by not choosing to cease resisting His drawing. He is drawing all to Himself. All who refuse to choose to come to Christ will be lost. Only those who obey Jesus and choose to come to Him will be saved. Are they saved by their choice? No, they are saved by accepting the grace offered. Those who choose wrong will be lost.

Quote
My deeper objection is the implication in your statement that we can be saved, then lost and then saved again.  Heb 6:4-6. ‘For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame’.

I think the problem resolves itself when we do not use the term "saved". Man is not "saved" until he is sealed or goes into the grave surrendered to Jesus.  But, man may know he has eternal life when he knows he is abiding in Christ. Why? Because Christ is life. Apart from Christ, man has no life. That is what Paul was teaching when he said "the letter killeth" but "the Spirit giveth life".  We need the reality in our hearts in order to have life. No Spirit, no Christ, no life.

Addressing Heb. 6:4,5.  When Satan fell away it was impossible to renew him to repentance. With the disciples before Pentecost they did not have a full knowledge of God's love. They were ignorant. Therefore, even though they all had been converted, except for Judas, they would wander in and out of their converted state. When Peter denied Jesus, he did not have His Spirit, and if he had not His Spirit, he was none of His. He learned a lot that night. He better understood himself and He better understood His Lord. His character was strengthened by both. Did he never fall again? He did fall again, but he never "fell away". We will continue along this theme for there is much more to consider that will help us to see that without Christ, we do not have any good thing in us, much less eternal life. But, we ought not despair, Jesus stands at the door knocking when we are separated from Him.  :)

Quote
As I said in my last posting, I do not believe in once saved always saved, but to believe in an ‘on again off again on again’ salvation, is equally wrong.
If we reject once save always saved, then we need to come up with something else. Please share with me where you draw lines. If we do not draw a line, then there is no assurance of salvation unless it be by profession of faith.

Again, dear Brother Ian, you are most gracious and a joy to study with. I wish to know your thoughts, as always. This subject we are now on, when better understood will help to resolve the Laodicean condition in our church. There are a number of young people who have been studying their Bibles and the Spirit of Prophecy and they will not follow tradition, but are seeking Christ. Jesus is coming very soon and He wants you and I to participate in preparation for that glorious day!
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 #98 on: February 07, 2010, 12:04:09 PM »
In my studies I came across a statement that sums up my thoughts contrasting the original covenant made with Adam and what Paul calls the "Old Covenant".

As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God's law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation. 

This same covenant was renewed to Abraham in the promise, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Genesis 22:18. This promise pointed to Christ. So Abraham understood it (see Galatians 3:8, 16), and he trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It was this faith that was accounted unto him for righteousness. The covenant with Abraham also maintained the authority of God's law. The Lord appeared unto Abraham, and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect." Genesis 17:1. The testimony of God concerning His faithful servant was, "Abraham obeyed My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." Genesis 26:5. And the Lord declared to him, "I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." Genesis 17:7.

Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God's law. 

Another compact--called in Scripture the "old" covenant--was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the "second," or "new," covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God--the "two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie." Hebrews 6:18.  Patriarchs and Prophets 370, 371.
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 #99 on: February 16, 2010, 01:37:49 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.

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.
God bless
Ian
Ian Rankin