The Hebrew Love Story

Part Five

 

THE NEW COVENANT

What Is It?

 

The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant.  The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series.  In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand!  The Hebrew Love Story consists of…

 

 

The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction

 

Part One - Abram the Hebrew

 

Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai

 

Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut

 

Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!

 

Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?

 

Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!

 

Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation

 

Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!

 

 

You’ve just got to love moments like this!

 

It’s that awkward moment when you realize your theology has fallen on its face and it can’t get up, you’re at a crossroad; the world has stopped in its tracks, staring at you, waiting for you to make a decision it knows you are forced to make!  That is, if you’re honest…

 

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

     Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory?  For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!  Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

     Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside.  But their minds were hardened.  Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside.  Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:4-18 NRSV Emphasis mine)

 

About a year and a half ago I wrote an article which is posted on this website in the ‘Understanding Paul’ section titled ‘Under the Law?’  I followed that article with another article titled ‘The Law of Liberty ~ The Perfect Law’.  In those articles I focus on one of Paul’s favorite subjects, he’s talking about it all the time, justification by works vs. justification by faith.  In studying for those articles I felt I had made some serious inroads to understanding the Apostle Paul as well as strengthening my own personal systematic theology.  Although I was saying all the right things, looking back I can clearly see I didn’t go far enough in what I was saying.  I concluded that The 10 Words Covenant was represented by the two husbands of Romans 7, the first husband being The 10 Words Covenant kept as a means of justification (works) and the second husband being The 10 Words Covenant kept as a fruit of love (faith).  I took that understanding and used it as a framework for understanding other teachings of the Apostle Paul and when done with the articles I was very pleased with them.

 

For the last two years or more I have also believed that the Book of Deuteronomy was The New Covenant.  That is until I stumbled into 2 Corinthians 3:4-18 which minces no words in connecting The Ten Commandments chiseled in letters on stone tablets with the ministry of death.  The Apostle Paul then goes on without apology to say the minds of Israel have been hardened and there is a veil which obscures their understanding when they read the ‘old covenant’ even to that day.  The Apostle Paul has connected The 10 Commandments with a ministry of death, which he says is the old covenant, which can’t be understood because there is a veil over their minds!  I immediately realized I was in a corner and there was only one-way out!  I had to give up my belief that the Book of Deuteronomy was, in and of itself, The New Covenant.

 

When I read the portion quoted above, especially this part about there being a veil over their minds, “when they hear the reading of the old covenant” I was reminded of Deuteronomy 29:4 which says,

 

But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear. (Deuteronomy 29:4 NRSV)

 

It is clear that this statement Moses had made in the Plains of Moab to the Israelite children just before they crossed the Jordan into The Promised Land remained true to the day of the Apostle Paul and I have no doubt remains largely true even to this very day!  Do you understand what Moses is saying?  YHWH had not yet given the Israelites a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear… in other words He had not given them the Ruach HaKodesh!  For me the lights were coming on!  I began to think of the conclusions I had reached in the two articles I spoke of above, about Paul’s theme song of justification by works vs. justification by faith.  I was reminded of The 10 Commandments either being a taskmaster when kept as a means of justification that puts you ‘under the law’ or being The Law of Liberty when The 10 Commandments are kept according to our love for Messiah Yeshua faithfully knowing His life, death and resurrection is our justification and therefore, The Perfect Law.

 

What I had completely failed to see is that this Law of Liberty, The Perfect Law was The Law of Messiah and by extension the terms of The New Covenant!

 

So let’s narrow this down just a bit since there is more to The 10 Words Covenant than just the 10 Commandments, there were also laws that were specifically written with the intent that they be applied once the Israelites lived ‘in the land’.  The 10 Commandments along with the laws ‘of the land’ are contained in ‘The Book of the Covenant’ first mentioned in Exodus 24:7 and then again in Deuteronomy a number of times.  It is apparent to me that both the covenant of Mount Sinai and the words of the amendment to the Mount Sinai covenant spoken in Deuteronomy are recorded in ‘The Book of the Covenant’

 

It is apparent to me that The Book of the Covenant is not the entire Torah of Moses, Genesis to Deuteronomy.  The Book of the Covenant according to my thinking would contain at least Exodus 19:1 to Exodus 24:18 and possibly all of Deuteronomy, 1:1 to 34:12.   Some will read that and ask, “What about Leviticus and Numbers?”  The honest answer is I don’t have an answer that I can stand on resolutely.  My guess is The Book of the Covenant is written somewhat as a ‘brief’.  For the specifics of a law we need to turn to the larger body of the Torah of Moses.  But that is speculation on my part and I could certainly be wrong so keep that in mind.  I have no problem with Leviticus and Numbers being included in The Book of the Covenant but there is no Scriptural support for it as near as I can tell.  One other thing I might add here is that it would not surprise me at all if The Book of the Covenant goes all the way back to The Abrahamic Covenant, but again, I have no Scriptural support for that statement but it would make sense considering everything Scripturally known to be in The Book of the Covenant is a fulfillment of The Abrahamic Covenant.

 

So when the Apostle Paul calls ‘The 10 Commandments’ chiseled in letters on stone tablets ‘the ministry of death’ and ‘the old covenant’ he is talking specifically about ‘The Book of the Covenant’.  Plainly speaking the Apostle Paul is saying ‘The Book of the Covenant’ is the terms of ‘the old covenant’!  I know how hard that is for some people to hear and if that is the case for you then please hold on for just a second.

 

So then if The 10 Words Covenant recorded in The Book of the Covenant are the terms of ‘the old covenant’ what are the terms of The New Covenant?

 

The New Covenant is a second covenant, different, set apart from, other than and separate, it is kept via better promises, which provide the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh.  However, The New Covenant maintains the terms of The Old Covenant!

 

The terms of both The Old Covenant and The New Covenant are word for word exactly the same and are recorded for us in The Book of the Covenantwhich was placed on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant as a witness against the people of Israel.

 

When Moses had finished writing down in a book the words of this law to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, “Take this book of the law and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God; let it remain there as witness against you. For I know well how rebellious and stubborn you are.  If you already have been so rebellious toward the LORD while I am still alive among you, how much more after my death! (Deuteronomy 31:24-27 NRSV Emphasis mine)

 

Contrast that with what we’re promised in Jeremiah 31.

 

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD.  But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34 NRSV Emphasis mine)

 

Ezekiel also foretells of such a time…

 

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.  Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:26-28 NRSV Emphasis mine)

 

What a stark contrast that is to Deuteronomy 29:4 and Deuteronomy 31:24-27, the law remains the same but the heart is finally circumcised via the Spirit so that the individual and the nation as a whole can keep the law, His commandments!  That is The New Covenant!

 

Of course we all know that Hebrews 8 also speaks of this New Covenant when the author quotes Jeremiah 31:31-34.

 

But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.  God finds fault with them when he says:

 

“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.  This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

 

In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete.  And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:6-13 NRSV Emphasis mine)

 

 

Let’s take a moment and dissect this passage in Hebrews 8 and see if we can make some sense out of it since there is quite a bit of debate as to the validity of the translation itself and the message one can glean from it.

 

In verse six we’re told Yeshua has obtained ‘a more excellent ministry’, what would that be?  It looks to me to be a comparison of the ministry of Moses that was labeled ‘the ministry of death’ in 2 Corinthians 3 so the obvious answer to what this ‘more excellent ministry’ would be is that it is ‘a ministry of life’.  Verse six goes on to say that Yeshua is the mediator of a better covenant; here again we see a comparison to Moses who was the mediator of the old covenant.

 

Verse seven throws us a curve ball in that most translations read something like the NRSV, which says,

 

“For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.”

 

The problem being that the word ‘covenant’ is not in the original manuscripts, it is being supplied by the translators to help make sense out of the verse.  There are those who realize this and then go on to conclude the verse is not talking about the ‘covenant’ but rather the priesthood.  They say that the context of the book of Hebrews is about the priesthood and therefore the fault lies with the priesthood.  While it is true that the overriding context is the priesthood the immediate context is the covenant.  The transition takes place in the previous verse when it says,

 

“But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises.”

 

Therefore, although it really wasn’t necessary for the translators to provide the word ‘covenant’ in verse seven I have no problem with them having done so, it fits the immediate context as well as the quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34 which is all about The New Covenant and follows right on verse seven’s heels.  The problem I have had in the past is reconciling the thought of the first covenant being faulty, that seems blasphemous to think!  Nevertheless let’s consider it for just a bit.  If the first covenant was faulty what would the fault have been?  The only thing I can believe to be true in this regard is that the 1st covenant was ‘intentionally faulty’ in that it did not provide the Spirit needed to keep it!

 

Also in verse seven, if The New Covenant should be understood as The Old Covenant Re-Newed why has the author of Hebrews referred to The Old Covenant as ‘the first covenant’ and The New Covenant as ‘the second one’? Had The Old Covenant been re-newed there would have been no need to utilize 1st and 2nd to differentiate between The Old Covenant and The New Covenant. If The Old Covenant had simply been re-newed wouldn’t the author have written verse seven this way? “For if the covenant had been faultless there would have been no need to look for a re-newed covenant.” Of course he would have but the author of Hebrews is making a definite statement by referring to The Old Covenant as ‘the first covenant’ and The New Covenant as ‘the second one’, let there be no doubt about that! This amounts to hard evidence that the author of Hebrews understood there to be two different covenants in play.

 

Verse eight adds to the confusion by saying,

 

God finds fault with them when he says: “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;”

 

Who is ‘them’?  Those who disagree with the word ‘covenant’ being added to verse seven, thinking the context is still the priesthood, would argue that ‘them’ in verse eight is also a reference to the priesthood.  I would disagree with that and stick with the immediate context, which has turned to The New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  It is Israel and Judah, the Northern and Southern Kingdoms that YHWH has found fault with.  The quote from Jeremiah continues.

 

Not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.

 

Naturally this references the Mount Sinai covenant that ended in divorcement for all those 20 years and older with the exception of Moses, Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 14.  The covenant continued and the children under 20 years of age were brought into the covenant nearly 40 years later before they entered into the Promised Land.  But this set of verses begs the question,

 

“Since the New Covenant is not like the covenant of Mount Sinai what is different?”

 

This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

The words the prophet Jeremiah used in Jeremiah 31:31, 32 should make it clear that the prophet was using the exact Hebrew words to specifically mean 'New Covenant'.  Author Sam Nadler in his book 'MESSIANIC FOUNDATIONS' on pages 150-151 writes this in regard to the definitions of the Hebrew words usually translated as 'New Covenant' in Jeremiah 31:31, 32.

 

“Jeremiah has a startling announcement, "Behold!  I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31).  "New covenant" in Hebrew is brit chadasha.  Some have raised the question, "Is it a new or renewed covenant?" and others have argued for translating it as "renewed covenant."  It should be noted that there really is not a word for the adjective "renewed" in Greek or Hebrew.  While the Hebrew verb chadesh can mean either "to make new" or "to renew," the adjective means "new," with only one possible exception (Job 29:20).  Thus, we would need very good overriding evidence to consider it as something besides "new."  In the absence of that, we should go with the clear sense of Hebrew and in the Greek Septuagint (chadash, kainos), where "new" simply means new.”

 

The New Covenant is a totally ‘new’ covenant, a better covenant made on better promises; it is not ‘renewed’.  But what is different?  Even though the covenant is ‘new’ the terms of the covenant are very old.  There is nothing in Scripture that even hints at the idea of there being ‘new laws’ in The New Covenant.  The terms of The New Covenant are word for word the very same as the terms of the old covenant, ‘The Book of the Covenant’ has not been amended again!  So once again, what’s different?  The laws contained in The Book of the Covenant are written upon the heart via the Spirit provided through The New Covenant, the better covenant made on better promises!  That’s what’s different!

 

And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

 

We’re not home yet people!  We’re still teaching one another and until the judgment I’m thinking he still remembers our sin, after all, the judgment of Ezekiel 20:33-38 and Matthew 7:21-23 has not happened yet!  Allow me to quote both.

 

As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you.  I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.  As I entered into judgment with your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord God.  I will make you pass under the staff, and will bring you within the bond of the covenant.  I will purge out the rebels among you, and those who transgress against me; I will bring them out of the land where they reside as aliens, but they shall not enter the land of Israel.  Then you shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 20:33-38 NRSV)

 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’  Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NRSV)

 

That should be a reminder that our sins are still before him.  They have been paid for but he hasn’t forgotten yet.  Just as an ‘Oh, by the way!’ the word ‘evildoers’ is better translated as ‘workers of lawlessness’ in my opinion.

 

In verse thirteen the author of Hebrews says,

 

In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete.  And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

 

Has the old covenant disappeared?  I used to say, “I don’t know, on one hand I can see it being long gone, on the other hand I can see it still hanging on or at least still remaining in the minds of many men, both in the days the book of Hebrews was written and today as well.  Going by the verse above it doesn’t appear as though the ratification of The New Covenant has annulled The Old Covenant.  If it hasn’t disappeared yet it will one day in the future as The New Covenant has surely supplanted it.”

 

But now with a little more time to think about it logic demands The Old Covenant’s demise.  The New Covenant ‘has indeed’ supplanted The Old Covenant; in fact it is The New Covenant that renders The Old Covenant obsolete. The Old Covenant would have no longer been proffered once The New Covenant proposal was presented to the first disciples of Messiah Yeshua at The Master’s Table (The Lord’s Supper). That however didn’t bring The Old Covenant to an abrupt end; there would have still been those who were card-carrying members of The Old Covenant who would continue to live for decades to come. As long as those members of The Old Covenant remained alive The Old Covenant remained intact and efficacious to save (If empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh which precious few people were.) however once The Old Covenant was no longer proffered it then becomes obvious and necessary that with every Old Covenant member’s death The Old Covenant grew older and faded further over the horizon of time until it disappeared altogether. Once every last living member of The Old Covenant had died, The Old Covenant itself ceased to exist; it cannot be Re-Newed.

 

That is a great segue into the parable of The 10 Virgins.

 

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’  Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.  Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’  Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 25:1-13 NKJV)

 

First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that this parable has absolutely nothing to do with lawless Sunday Christianity!  The fact that these ten women are referred to as ‘virgins’ tells us in no uncertain terms that they are all keeping the law of Moses contained in ‘The Book of the Covenant’.  The term ‘virgin or maiden’ is used repeatedly in chapter 31 of the Book of Jeremiah referring to those who have been scattered into the distant lands of exile, repent of their lawless deeds and turn back to YHWH and strive to keep His laws.  This is also, of course, the chapter where we are given the prophecy of The New Covenant when His laws will be written upon the heart of the people and the context in chapter 31 is that of those who are returning to the land via the Greater Exodus.  So both the wise and the foolish virgins in the parable are keeping the law contained in ‘The Book of the Covenant’.  This should cause great consternation to those who claim to be in covenant with Messiah Yeshua via a Re-Newed Covenant as well as those who claim to be ‘Torah Observant’, call the Apostle Paul the anti-messiah and deny Yeshua as the Messiah Torah observance is not going to get it done!

 

The five wise virgins take oil with their lamps and the five foolish virgins take no oil for their lamps.  The fact that the five foolish virgins turn to the five wise virgins for oil because their lamps were going out tells me that they intuitively knew they were in trouble before it came, when it came to crunch time they became nervous about their status.  This oil represents the Ruach HaKodesh just as we were told since we were babes.  That alone should tell us that the five wise virgins are members of The New Covenant, which is empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh.  Of course that should also tell us that the five foolish virgins who don’t have enough oil are members of the old covenant, which isn’t empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh.  A teachable moment is realized when we consider the visual picture of the lamps of the wise virgins burning brightly and the lamps of the foolish virgins being nearly extinguished.  Can you draw a parallel?

 

     Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory?  For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!  Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!

     Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside.  But their minds were hardened.  Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside.  Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:7-18 NRSV)

 

Compare the lamps of both the wise and foolish virgins with the glory with which both the old covenant and The New Covenant come into existence.  While both came in great glory the glory of the old covenant began to fade so much so that Moses veiled his face to keep the Israelites from seeing the fading glory.  The New Covenant comes in greater glory via the Spirit and does not fade; it’s permanent.  What a picture, the lamps and the glory!

 

Notice also that when Yeshua has taken His Bride to His bridal chamber and the foolish virgins come knocking on His door He answers by saying,

 

‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ (NKJV)

 

Take note that He doesn’t repeat the phrase used in Matthew 7:23,

 

“I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (NKJV)

 

The problem with the five foolish virgins is not a matter of their being lawless, no, they were never in covenant with Messiah which is what ‘being known’ is all about.

 

There is so much more that I could say in this article defining what The New Covenant is but much of that would only be repeating what I’ve already written in the two articles already posted on the website titled, ‘Under the Law?’ and ‘The Law of Liberty ~ The Perfect Law’, I know that both articles will help paint a consistent picture of what The New Covenant is.

 

There is no way that I can leave this topic without commenting on The Master’s Table (The Lord’s Supper).  I have already spoken of the Apostle Paul’s theme song of justification by works (old covenant) vs. justification by faith via the Spirit (New Covenant), now I’d like to show you this same theme in The Master’s Table.

 

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”  Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28 NKJV)

 

For you and I to eat the bread and drink the cup of The Master’s Table we proclaim our justification comes through Messiah Yeshua’s life, death and resurrection.  In doing that we are automatically dismissing any notion of our justification coming through the keeping of commandments, we will do that out of our love for Messiah Yeshua who said,

 

“If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 NRSV)

 

That of course is a quote from His commandments (The 10 Commandments) that were first recorded at Mount Sinai.

 

but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6 NRSV)

 

So what’s the difference?  John 14:15 is followed immediately by what Yeshua says in verse 16-17…

 

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.  This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

 

That is the difference between the old covenant and The New Covenant.  An entirely New Covenant empowered via the Spirit of truth to keep the very old laws of ‘The Book of the Covenant’.

 

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:1-4 NRSV)

 

 

 

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