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Marriage and Re-Marriage
New Covenant or Renewed Covenant ?
HOW CAN THE LORD MAKE A NEW COVENANT - WITH ISRAEL?
He promised that He would never break His covenant (Psalm 89:34).
He said that all His commandments were sure, and were done in truth (Psalm 11:7-8).
He said that He never changes (Malachi 3:6).
Jesus said the smallest letter would not “pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18).
So how can the writer of Hebrews say that any part of this law has been made “obsolete” or has been “changed” ?
FAULT WITH THEM
Hebrews 8:7-13 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says:
‘Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them,’ says the LORD.
Notice that both Israel (the 10 Northern tribes) AND Judah (the 2 Southern tribes) are included in the words “I disregarded them” - a term often used for divorce.
‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says the LORD: ‘I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’”
In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”
HOW COULD THE LORD LEGALLY END HIS COVENANT WITH ISRAEL ?
Answer: The LORD did not break that Covenant. Israel and Judah did.
Hebrews 8:7-13 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: ‘Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.’”
The “fault” was NOT with God. It was “with them”. Which leads us to the question: What did they do?
THE FIRST COVENANT WAS A MARRIAGE COVENANT
Israel was not married to the LAW. She was betrothed to the pre-incarnate Son of God, who made a betrothal covenant with her and led her thru the wilderness to the “promised land”. This is why idolatry was termed adultery.
Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.”
Jeremiah 3:14 “Return, O backsliding children,’ says the LORD; ‘for I am married to you.”
Jeremiah 2:1-3 “Thus says the LORD: I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness . . .”
Anciently the betrothal was the binding marriage covenant. Adultery during this period of betrothal, was punishable with death.
Jeremiah 31:32 “‘the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.’”
Ezekiel 16:32 “You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband.”
Ezekiel 16:38 [Speaking of Jerusalem] “I will judge you as women who break wedlock or shed blood are judged; I will bring blood upon you in fury and jealousy.”
THE LORD DIVORCED ISRAEL [the 10 Tribes] FOR HARLOTRY
Jeremiah 3:8 “Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.”
Isaiah 50:1 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Where is the certificate of your mother's divorce, whom I have put away? . . . And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.’”
Hosea 2:2 “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!”
BORN UNDER THE LAW
Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”
IMPORTANT: If the LORD had “divorced” the remaining 2 tribes, then Yeshua the Messiah could not have been “born under the law” - born under the Sinai Covenant (Galatians 4:4).
Instead, the LORD saved “a remnant” of Judah called the “good figs”, by allowing them to be taken captive to Babylon. Seventy years after the first deportation to Babylon, a remnant returned to the land, and from this remnant came Yeshua Messiah.
Christ was “born under” that first blood covenant - the Sinai Covenant - which He never broke. He fulfilled every condition of that covenant. He kept “the Law” perfectly - therefore the LORD can give to Him all of the promises of that first covenant - including “the land”. We who belong to Christ by faith, will partake of HIS promised “inheritance”, because we are “betrothed to Him” by a New Covenant.
He then (as the “King of Israel” and the one truly obedient Israelite) could pay “the debt” which others had incurred - the “sins committed under the first covenant” (Heb. 9:5). He can also bring “other sheep” into His “one fold” - Israel redeemed.
Continued next page
JUDAH WAS FINALLY WIDOWED
When her “husband” died, what remained of Israel was free from that first marriage covenant. She could marry “another man”.
Romans 7:1 “Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
3 So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead” (NAS).
Let me repeat. The first marriage covenant - the Sinai Covenant - really is “obsolete”. It was rendered obsolete when the “husband” of Israel died.
The “new covenant” is a new marriage covenant.
A NEW “MARRIAGE”
REQUIRES A “NEW” MARRIAGE COVENANT
Matthew 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,”
Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:9 “Then he said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”
2 Corinthians 11:2 [Paul] “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
The word translated “church” is the word for “congregation” as used through the Torah to describe the entire camp of Israel.
Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.”
Isaiah 54 describes a glorious City - the New Jerusalem.
Paul told Gentile believers at Corinth they were “betrothed to Jesus Christ” (2Cor. 11:2). Which must mean that all believers in Christ - regardless of national or ethnic origin - are “betrothed” to Jesus. Yes!
Hosea 2:19-20 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.”
These words were spoken to Israel (as the 10 Northern tribes) by the LORD through the prophet Hosea. He denounces Israel for her adultery and harlotry. He gives her a “certificate of divorce” and calls her name “Not-My-People”. But then He gives words of comfort saying that He will win her back, and will marry her again.
In Romans 9:25-26, Paul applies the words spoken to Hosea, to the Gentiles who were coming to faith. Israelites from the 10 Tribes were scattered into “the nations”. And Gentiles from “the nations” were coming to faith in Messiah.
Revelation 21:9-10 “‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God . . .”
Only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of Life shall enter there, the “nations of those who are saved” (Revelation 21: 24, 27). In marrying the New Jerusalem, He is marrying all of her citizens.
Revelation 19:7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
Isaiah 54:1 “‘Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,’ says the LORD.” (NAS)
The former Jerusalem is portrayed as a barren and desolate woman. She was left with “no child” (no promised one), yet one day soon the New Jerusalem will have more sons than the City who was betrothed to Yahweh of old.
I’m going to print some of Isaiah 54 for you, because it is a beautiful history and prophecy of Jerusalem.
Isaiah 54:7 “‘For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you.
8 With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ Says the LORD, your Redeemer. 10 ‘For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ Says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
11 ‘O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, And lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal, And all your walls of precious stones.
Do you not see the New Jerusalem?
13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established; . . . 17 This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,’ Says the LORD”.
Isaiah 62:4 “It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ Nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’; But you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ And your land, ‘Married’; For the LORD delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. (NAS)
NOTE: The New Jerusalem will cover the entire area of land promised to Abraham.
WHEN WILL THE WEDDING TAKE PLACE?
When our LORD returns, he will come “from the wedding” - not for the wedding.
Luke 12:36 “. . . and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.”
ANCIENT HEBREW MARRIAGE CUSTOM GIVES US A CLUE.
Marriage was contracted between the father of the bride to be, and the father of the groom - each accompanied by a “witness.” This betrothal was the binding marriage covenant! Adultery during this period of betrothal was punishable by death. The period of betrothal lasted about one year, during which time the groom would “prepare a place” for his bride (usually an apartment within the extended family compound). When this “home” was completed - the date was set for “the wedding”.
The ceremony was simple. The groom’s attendant lifted the veil from the bride’s face. Draping it over the shoulder of the groom he pronounced, “The government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isa. 9:6). The bride then accompanied her husband back to his family home, where the wedding feast, and consummation of the marriage, took place. (Gower, Ralph, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times, Moody Press, Chicago, pg65.; Alexander, P.T., The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible, Reader’s Digest, pg.166.)
We are now betrothed to Yeshua Messiah. The “marriage feast” is yet to come.
Revelation 19:9 “Then he said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”
HOW COULD OUR HIGH PRIEST
MARRY A HARLOT OR A WIDOW OR A DIVORCED WOMAN ?
Leviticus 21:14 [Concerning priests] “A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman (by any sex outside of marriage) or a harlot-- these he shall not marry; but he shall take a virgin of his own people as wife.”
The LORD called Israel a “harlot” and said that Judah was worse, because she did not amend her ways even after the Northern tribes were taken into captivity by Assyria. The LORD had given Israel a “certificate of divorce”. Judah was widowed when her “husband” died. Both were defiled by idolatry.
In order to marry Jerusalem (with her citizens)
Yeshua Messiah must wash away the record of her past.
She will thus be returned to a virginal state.
This is why the “first” covenant must be wiped out completely! This is what we see in Revelation 14, where the 144,000 from every tribe of Israel are described as “virgins”.
HOW COULD THE LORD RE-MARRY
THE ONE HE DIVORCED ?
Deuteronomy 24:1-4 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house . . . then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD . . .”
Jesus death has wiped clean the records concerning “his bride”. In the eyes of Heaven, she is a pure “virgin”.
NEW COVENANT OR RENEWED COVENANT ?
The LORD will marry Israel. In this sense it is a “renewed” covenant. It is also a “new” marriage covenant. The bride is “new” because her past sins have been erased. She is NOT the same woman. And because it is a “new” covenant, this allows for some change.
A “NEW COVENANT” ALLOWS FOR CHANGES
The priesthood is changed under the “new covenant” from the Aaronic priesthood to the Melchizedek order (Heb. 7:12). The Melchizedek order ministers at the “true Tabernacle” which is Heaven itself (Heb. 8:2). This change necessitates the cessation of the animal sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple, because the Law required every sacrifice be presented to “the priest” at “the place” where the LORD had chosen to put His name (Lev. 1:3, Deut. 12:5-7, 11-13, 26-27).
Yeshua the Messiah was/is our “one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12).
He has also become our High Priest ministering before the throne of God in Heaven.
Hebrews 9:11 “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.”
We have a priest. We have a Tabernacle. We have a sacrifice to present.
He is the “better” priest, and He has offered the “better blood”.
Hebrews 9:13-14 “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
BELIEVING GENTILES ARE “GRAFTED IN”
TO ISRAEL REDEEMED - THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Romans 11:13-24 “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I [Paul] am an apostle to the Gentiles . . .” “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree . . .”
NOTE: The “root” of the tree “is holy” and “nourishes you.” That “root” is Christ.
“We are rooted and grounded in Him” (Colossians 2:6-7; Isaiah 11:10).
Paul states clearly that Gentiles who have come to faith in Jesus as Messiah, are grafted into the Olive Tree. They have been adopted by the Father, thru Christ. They are made Israelites - not because of race or because of physical circumcision, but through faith.
Jeremiah 11:16-17 “The LORD called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit, with the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken.” (See also, Jeremiah 5:10-11.)
In referring to Israel as the Olive Tree, Paul is pointing his readers to this passage written by Jeremiah the prophet, just before the Babylonian destruction of Judah.
Ephesians 2:11-22 [Paul - writing to Gentile believers] “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh [meaning uncircumcised] . . . that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity . . . For through Him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.”
He does not say that believing Gentiles are “made near” because they are circumcised and have agreed to abide by all the Law - including the sacrifice of animals. No - they “have been made near by the blood of Christ”.
The law (contained in ordinances) which excluded Gentiles from association with Israelites is “the enmity.” It literally became a dividing “wall” - forbidding Gentiles entrance into the Temple courtyard (something never commanded by the LORD). In the passage Paul is speaking specifically of those commandments which forbade the association of Israelites with uncircumcised non-Israelites (Exo. 23:32, 34:12; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 13:25; John 4:9, 18:28).
In the time of Christ, there were only two kinds of people, so far as the Jews were concerned - circumcised law keepers, and uncircumcised Gentiles (also called aliens, strangers, or the nations). Jews regarded themselves as Israelites and everyone else as “aliens” from God. (See Lev. 17:8,10,13; Deut. 24:14; 2Chron. 2:17; Joel 3:17; Jer. 9:16, 10:2, 10:25.) In Christ, the “strangers and foreigners” are made “fellow citizens” of “the commonwealth of Israel.”
John 10:16 [Yeshua speaking] “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold [Israel]; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”
The “one flock” will be Israel, and the “One Shepherd” - Yeshua Messiah.
Ephesians 3:6 “. . . that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . .”
Christ has abolished “the law contained in ordinances” which commanded the separation of Israelites (the circumcised) from Gentiles (the uncircumcised). This was the message to Peter in the vision of Acts Chapter 10. “What God has cleansed you must not call common (unclean).” Just then the servants of Cornelius (a Gentile) knocked at the door. Later when he was criticized for eating with “uncircumcised men” (Gentiles), Peter told them of the vision and of how the Holy Spirit had been poured upon these uncircumcised Gentiles also. Believers of any blood, or nationality may now become “partakers of the covenants of promise.”
THE “NEW” MARRIAGE COVENANT
Jeremiah 31:31-33 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, 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 in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
See also Hebrews 8:10 and Ezekiel 36:23-28.
THE FIRST MARRIAGE COVENANT
Exodus 34:28 “So he [Moses] was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.”
Deuteronomy 4:13 “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.”
ARE THE TEN COMMANDS OF THE “FIRST” COVENANT
RETAINED IN THE “NEW” MARRIAGE COVENANT ?
Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”
Romans 4:15 “Where there is no law - there is no transgression.”
If the Law of God has been abolished completely then no one today would be guilty of sin, no matter what behavior they engage. No one today would need forgiveness. We need to remember that we are “betrothed to one husband” - even Yeshua Messiah. He will write His covenant on our hearts. He will win us completely to Himself. Why would He desire something different from His beloved - the second time around?
I Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from every form of evil.”
How would we know “evil” except that we have the Torah.
I Corinthians 7:19 “. . . keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”
Romans 6:15 “. . . to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin to death or of obedience to righteousness.”
The Law defines sin. “Sin is the transgression of the Law” (1 John 3:4).
Romans 6:1 “shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!”
Paul lists such things as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, selfish ambitions, envy, murders, and drunkenness, and says that such will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19). In order to define “fornication” you have to go back to the Torah, because “fornication” means “unlawful sex”. Idolatry is mentioned quite often in Paul’s letters, along with strong words against blasphemy, adultery, homosexual acts, stealing, bearing false testimony, extortion, murder, disobedience of parents and coveting.
Romans 13:9-10 “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
I wanted to make sure that my readers understand that I am NOT setting aside the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, I believe they will be written on our hearts.
Our “betrothed” is the LORD - Yeshua Messiah. He is the LORD who led Israel out of Egypt and established His covenant with her at Mt. Sinai. He is the One who will write His law on “her” heart. This was His plan from the beginning. He has not changed. “His law” is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Why would we think that His “new” everlasting covenant would result in different moral behavior from His “bride”?
Everyone agrees that idolatry, the worship of “other gods”, blasphemy, disrespect of parents, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness and coveting are condemned by the first century writers. The one real “bone of contention” is the Sabbath of the 7th day.
WILL THE “BRIDE” KEEP THE SABBATH’S
IN THE KINGDOM OF HER BELOVED ?
Exodus 31:16 “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.”
This was “His law” and it will be written on our hearts.
Isaiah 66:22-23 “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Jehovah.” (ASV)
God established the 7th day rest at creation - long before the Sinai Covenant. He has not changed. He has never replaced that day with another. He established the weekly cycle for 40 years, with Israel in the wilderness. Jesus kept the 7th day rest. You cannot tell me that Jews have lost track of which day is the Sabbath commanded by Yahweh.
Even if you completely abolish the Covenant of Sinai, that still leaves:
the weekly cycle (Genesis (Exodus 16:26)
the 7th Day Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 16:26-28)
man/woman marriage (Genesis 2:24)
clean vs unclean animals (Genesis 7:2-3)
tithing (Genesis 14:18-20)
the laws of God (Genesis 26:5)
the Melchizedek priesthood (It preceded the Levite, and it WAS on this earth.) (Genesis 14)
the true Tabernacle -Heaven itself (The earthly one was only a copy.) (Hebrews 8:5, Exo. 25)
the command to serve only Yahweh who created the heavens and the earth
Every one of these existed BEFORE the Sinai Covenant!
IT’S NOT ABOUT DNA
Lastly I want to state clearly that citizenship within Israel - the “new” bride of Christ, is NOT about DNA. Descendants of Jacob have intermarried with non-Hebrew peoples to such an extent that it would be almost impossible today to find a pure descendant. Starting with the peoples of the “mixed multitude” who came out of Egypt, and were eventually circumcised and “grafted in” to Israel of old, history tells us that all of the tribes were intermarried with those of other bloodlines.
Titus 3:9 “Avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law, for they are unprofitable and useless.”
It’s NOT about DNA. It’s about faith in Yeshua Messiah - Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT - UNDER THE “NEW” COVENANT?
1. The priesthood has been changed - from Aaronic to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:11-12).
2. The ministry of our High Priest is presently at the True Tabernacle - heaven itself, which means the end of animal sacrifices - which the LORD did not desire anyway (Heb. 8:2, Heb. 10:5,8; Psa. 40:6).
3. Real forgiveness of sin is provided (not just the promise of future forgiveness) - through the blood of THE Lamb (Heb. 7:22, 27).
4. Messiah has been “glorified” and has poured out His spirit, giving power for witness to those who believe in His resurrection.
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
5. Gentiles who come to faith in Christ are “grafted in” to the “commonwealth of Israel” and can be “filled with the holy spirit” WITHOUT prior physical circumcision (Rom. 11, Eph. 2).
6. Ultimate victory over the presence and power of the Evil One is now assured. The risen Christ will return one day soon. “Some will be raised to everlasting life” and “some to shame and everlasting condemnation.” Finally the New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven, and God will dwell with men.
CONCERNING THE CHANGE OF HEART
THROUGH THE POWER OF GOD’S SPIRIT:
I believe that a relationship with the LORD was always possible - thru His indwelling spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 KJV).
This was WELL BEFORE the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. How can a man be “born again” except by the Spirit? Moses said to the Children of Israel, “The LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live (Deut. 30:6). This is the “new” covenant promise, and we find it voiced by Moses himself. Very “old” Testament.
[Jesus speaking] “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). How did he “see it” ? By faith! Abraham is the father of all those of FAITH. Where did he get his faith except by the Spirit of God?
Human beings do not naturally have FAITH in the God of the Bible. Faith is one of those “gifts of the Spirit” (I Cor 12:9) - so it must have been around BEFORE the resurrection.
There’s the woman whose faith made her well (Matt. 9:22-23), and the all those folks mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11 - the “faith chapter”. And how about the woman of Canaan, who begged healing for her daughter. Jesus said to her “great is your faith” (Matt. 15:8). How could a Canaanite have faith, except by the Spirit of God? All these people lived before the resurrection and the Acts 2 outpouring.
The outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost and the miracles which followed just strengthened the faith of the believers, and enabled them to witness to others, thus bringing them also to faith.
THERE REALLY IS A “NEW” COVENANT.
We are betrothed to our risen Messiah. We must accept that under this “new” covenant, we have a “new” priesthood and a perfect sacrifice presented at the “true Tabernacle”. The remedy for sin has been perfected. The “bride” also, will be perfected when His law is written on her heart.
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
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