OLD AND NEW COVENANT
A covenant is a contract, an agreement between two parties. When God is one among them, it is a very serious contract, a sacred agreement. God’s existence was revealed to the world through this agreement. Many believe that the old covenant refers to a harsh Ten Commandments law, while the new covenant pertains only to grace and promises not based on law or obedience.
Yet, the Bible reveals the true meaning and significance of these divisions, known as the Old Testament and the New Testament. When God created man, He made him appear as a spiritual image of Himself. Man was physicallyand spirituallycomplete. But for his regular sustenance as the physical man needs to eat; the spiritual man was to depend on God for the spiritual food for his soul.
When the first man was to make a choice between God and devil as the source for his spiritual food, he willfully chooses the devil, as the present day world. It was not just a simple disobedience, but it was a deliberate choice of evil over good, and the evil spirit got embedded onto the human soul afflicting the entire human race.
In this condition, the spirit, which is the life force for the soul (Genesis 2:7 The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Job 32:8, But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand), lost its sustenance from God and got suppressed, and the devil took almost full control and authority over the human soul, thus making them carnal or devilish.
THE OLD COVENANT:
It is the Law of the flesh Rom 7:5; Law of works Rom 3:27; No mercy Heb 10:28; Many sacrifices Heb 9:12-13; Aaronic priesthood Heb 7:11; Temporary priest Heb 7:23; Yearly atonement Heb 10:3; Priests have sin Heb 5:1-4; Remembers sins Heb 10:3; Carnal ministry Heb 9:9-10.
The Ten Commandments were the constitution of the theocracy and the other laws were the bylaws. All of these ordinances and regulations together constituted the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic economy and the ordinances targeted chiefly the carnal beings. Their meats and drinks concerned the body; their ablutions and washings sanctified to the purifying of the flesh; their circumcision was outward in the flesh; all the rituals of the law consisted in outward things, hence those that trusted in them trusted in the well-being and purity of the flesh.
And their spiritual activities were centered around the temple because God was present in the temple.They were supposed to visit the temple for celebrating feasts and festivals and offer first fruits, tithes and sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins. Only the High Priest could come before the very presence of God in the Holy of Holies once a year. A veil separated the people from their God. Similar veil can be seen in many of the Indian temples even today.
In addition, the Old Covenant containing a single unified law code was a legal, conditional covenant requiring perfect and complete obedience of all those who are under it. Deut 28:1-2,15, If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments, then the Lord thy God will set thee on high and all the blessings (Deut 28:3-14) shall come upon thee. But if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, the Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies and the entire curse (Deut 28:16-45) shall come upon thee.
All such instructions and the failure of Israel to live up to what they had promised to do, are documented as a lesson for the benefit of the later generations. Such a lesson could not have been condensed into one proverb or even one episode. These lessons had to be written in blood, so to speak, requiring many books of the Bible, with the experiences of many generations interwoven with God’s commands and counsel.
Carnal or Unregenerate Man: In spite being instructed by God’s servants and witnessing numerous divine miracles from God, the Israelites could not keep the Law, much less overcome weaknesses of the flesh. Joh 7:19, Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Their experience demonstrates that man cannot obey or please God in his carnal or unregenerate state. So all of them slowly drifted towards the rituals, formalities and traditions set by their priests and elders.
Unfortunately this is what most of the people around the world, irrespective of any religion are practicing scrupulously even today, thinking that they are fulfilling the will of God. They are not only disobeying God, but also making others to do the same, proving themselves to be enemies of God.
Rom 8:6-7, For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Nothing short of God’s miraculous divine intervention is required to open the mind and grant the willpower to begin keeping God’s laws; to deeply desire to be in harmony with every aspect of His will.
THE NEW COVENANT:
These carnal men who could not keep the Old Covenant were condemned to Hell. But God in His mercy did not want all of them to be lost forever. So He decides to revive the spiritual being in man through Jesus Christ, and makes the New Covenant with this spiritual man. This was predicted by prophet Jeremiah 31:31, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Eze 36:27).
The New Covenant is the Law of the Spirit Rom 8:2; Law of grace and faith John 1:17; Complete mercy Heb 8:12; One sacrifice for sin Heb 10:12; Melchisedec priesthood Heb 5:5-10, 7:17; Eternal priest Heb 7:21; Eternal atonement Heb 10:14; Sinless priest Heb 7:26; Forgets sins Heb 8:12, 10:17; Spiritual ministry 2Co 3:6.
The New Covenant is modeled after the old, with its basic laws like the Ten Commandments which are not only retained in all its force and wisdom, but Jesus makes it plain that He added intent to the scope of the laws so that it is now stricter under the New Covenant.
Mat 5:38-40, 43-44, Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Mat 5:17-19, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
This New Testament period is called grace period because we are not penalized then and there for all our misdeeds. This grace gives us the freedom and power to obey Jesus Christ so that we do not continue to live in sin. And because of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law, as well as His bearing of its curse on the cross, the New Covenant promises only blessings to all those who belong to it.
Mat 5:3-11, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
FULFILLING THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS:
For this purpose the New Covenant also fulfills the promise that God made to Abraham in Gen 22:18, “in thy seed (which is Christ Gal 3:16) shall all the nations (Jews and Gentiles) of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice”. Through whom alone all God’s blessings of providence, mercy, grace, and glory have been conveyed to the nations of the earth. 2Pe 1:4, 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.
God can be pleased only with that which resembles Himself; and those who are made partakers of His own divine nature. To attain this divine nature, first and foremost the spiritual being has to be revived through faith in Jesus Christ, who shed His own blood to atone for the sins of the world and then get strengthened by the Word with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ promises in John 14:16-17,26, I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
With the help of this Comforter we can meditate upon the word of God as Joshua and David did. Joshua 1:8, This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night. Ps 119:97,99, O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. Through this meditation we learn to feed the spiritual being with the spiritual food, so that the spiritual being becomes stronger than the physical being.
Daniel (Dan 1:8-20) preferred to eat this spiritual food rather than feeding the physical being with the best possible physical food (the portion of king’s meat), which in turn helped him get spiritually strengthened to glorify God. Phi 4:13, I, can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thus the New Testament believers are taught by the Holy Spirit according to the word of truth and by the ministry of it, they can fulfill all the Covenants of God. Rom 8:4, That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
LEARNING THE WORD:
Amos 8:11, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. As it was predicted we have the written word, the Bible to read, but no ministers with revelations, but they have all become full of greed, self-indulgent, deceit and sinful (Mat 23:25, 28). Unfortunately most of the believers are heavily dependent on these pastors or preachers for their spiritual food, not knowing that they are all adulterated and eating such food results in decay and death of their spiritual beings. As much as a math’s lesson has to be taught by a mathematician, the spiritual lesson has to be taught by the spiritual Master (Jesus) only.
1John 2:27, But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things. Rev 7:17, For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. Jesus also declares that no one can claim to be a rabbi, spiritual father or a master because all are equal. We have only one Rabbi, one Father and one Master who is our Messiah Jesus himself (Mat 23:8-10).
Gal 1:11-12, I certify you, brethren that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Likewise the believers are to depend only on Jesus Christ for the revelation or the heavenly manna which is the one and only spiritual food for the spiritual being because the commandments of the Lord are pure, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb (Psa 19:8,10).
Literal Word:Ever since the creation of Adam and Eve, the devil has demonstrated himself to be a literalist preacher. In Genesis 3:4, the devil through the serpent says to Eve, Ye shall not surely die! This appears to be correct if we interpret the word literally because they did not physically die immediately after their rebellion. But this is contrary to what God had said to Adam and Eve in Gen. 2:17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die. If we understand these words that God spoke to be spiritual in their reference, then both of them did die spiritually, immediately as per God’s warning.
If we study Jesus’ temptation in Mat 4:1-11 for example, the devil’s message was about literal bread, while Jesus’ concern was spiritual bread. The devil again tempts Jesus Christ with the mutilated quotation of (Ps 91:11-12) that he would be safe in casting himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple; which actually referred to spiritual protection. Even the last temptation was an attempt to interest Jesus in the literal kingdom, rather than the spiritual kingdom Jesus was setting up (Joh 18:36). Hence, it is clear that the devil is a literalist preacher.
Paul taught in 2Co 3:6 that the letter (in Greek letter means literal) killeth, but the spirit (spiritual) giveth life. In John 3 : 4, Nicodemus thinks that being born again is a literal, fleshly rebirth, and in John 4:15, when Jesus offers the Samaritan woman the water of life, she means literal water.
Heavenly (Hidden) Manna: Bible is a unique book, because it is given by inspiration of God (2Ti 3:16). Apart from the prophesies, it contains portions of scripture that indicate only a literal meaning, which is meant for the non-believers to understand, but the remaining are all having both literal and spiritual or pure spiritual meanings, which are meant for the spiritually growing and spiritually matured believers respectively. The spiritual meanings contained in this book, if they should be written everyone, even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written (John 21:25). In other words, our Spiritual Bible is Jesus Christ Himself. He is an unfathomable and inexhaustible treasure house, from where, He will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev 21:6, Isa 55:1-2, Jer 2:13).
Deut 8:3, And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. The manna typified Christ, the bread of life. He is the Word of God; by Him we live.
Joh 6:53-55, Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. His flesh is the literal word and we are required to eat His flesh with His blood. This blood is the life in the Word. Therefore, it is a must to eat the Word with life which is the real spiritual food (hidden truth or manna) for our spiritual being.
Only for His Children: Luk 8:10, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. The word mystery, in the Bible, properly means a thing that is concealed, or hidden. Rev 2:17, To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna. “Hidden manna”, as the food of the righteous, the very phrase used here is being the food of the children of God. This manna was hidden, but Christ promises to give it to him that is conqueror.
Ps 25:14, The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant. Col 1:26, Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: Col 2:2-3, That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The Gospel is the wisdom of God, mysterious, hidden, ancient wisdom, and hence the more we eat the Word of God, the more spiritual wisdom we get. It is also the direct measure of our spiritual growth. This spiritual growth is a must for us to get transformed to His image. 1Co 2:6-7, Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
We know that the world’s wisdom is literal, physical understanding of things which will come to nothing. However, there is a mystery or spiritual wisdom that is of God. Jam 3:17, The Spiritual wisdom is pure in itself, it is free from everything that is earthly, carnal or sensual or devilish; it produces purity of heart, of life, and conversation; and is the means of keeping persons pure and chaste, and free from impure lusts, lusts of uncleanness, pride, envy, wrath, etc. which prevail in carnal and unregenerate men.
Dan 12:3, And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. 1Co 2:12-14, Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
Spiritual Eyes: 2Co 4:3-4, But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. The natural (carnal) person does not see or understand them because their spiritual eyes are blinded, but can be understood only by spiritual people with the spiritual wisdom.
1Co 2:8-11, None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him, these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
God is not merely eternal. He is supreme in every quality of goodness, and in Him absolutely no evil dwells. In the Bible, this goodness is called holiness, which is transcendent purity. It permeates every aspect, every attribute, of God-life. God’s character is holy, and it flows out from Him in acts of love, making it impossible for Him to do anything evil. This is the state towards which He is drawing us.
Unfortunately very many believers are being led to go astray by taking spiritual shortcuts, without going through the process of growing spiritually and instead of giving spiritual fruits, they only long to have spiritual gifts. Mat 7:13-14, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Mat 7:21-23, Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Iniquity means crookedness, or perverseness. Primarily, it denotes “not an action, but the character of an action”. “I never knew you”; for as the omniscient God, He knew their persons and their works, and that they were workers of iniquity; He knew what they had been doing all their days; He knew the principles of all their actions, nothing is hid from Him. But He never had any love, or affection for them; and He never made any account of them because they never exalted Him, nor His righteousness or His sacrifice.
Ps 1:6, For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel (Rom 2:16). 1Co 3:13, Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
These people, who have been casting out the demons, prophesying and doing many other wonderful works, were definitely by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hence, they were all gifted people, but still God could not approve of their actions. There is nothing wrong with these gifts, but the way in which they were used, or the purpose for which they have been used is what matters to God.
It can be seen that these gifts are being given to the people even before they have learnt anything from the Word of God. Acts 10:45, And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. Being spiritually immature, these people are likely to misuse their gifts. When they start exercising their spiritual gifts, they will have no strength to resist the devil and his temptations, and become an easy prey to his wiles. Hence, they start glorifying themselves rather than glorifying God who had bestowed them with all these gifts.
This is what we see in the life of many of the Old Testament believers like Samson, Saul, Solomon and many others. King Solomon had the gift of the worldly wisdom, but was unable to keep the commandments of God, as required by Deut 17:17, Neither shall the king multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold; but he did and fell into sin. Jonah 1:1-3, Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, saying arise, go to Nineveh that great city, and cry against it for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. They were all anointed and gifted with special gifts, but not spiritually matured.
It is evident from the scriptures that there are different types of spiritual gifts which God wants to bestow upon His people. We also should know that these gifts are given to His servants or those who are engaged in His work without their asking. It is like a company employing lots of people for different types of work, and for each and every one of them the employer provides the required machinery, material and tools in addition to their salaries and allowances, to help them produce the best product.
Similarly when we join God’s army as faithful soldiers we are provided with all the required tools (spiritual gifts) to fight His war efficiently and effectively. God knows exactly what types of gifts are required for the type of job which we are going to do. Since it is a gift and it is to be used only as a tool for furthering His Kingdom and to bring glory and honor to His mighty name, there is no reason why anyone who has these gifts should think themselves superior to others and why struggle throughout life for getting it, without ever using it or misusing it? Those who are influenced by the devil are likely to utilize their gifts to gratify their own lusts.
Eze 47:3, And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. It is perfectly natural that as soon as one reaches this stage and starts working for God, we can see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the form of miracles. This is because, God says, He will discriminate between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not (Mal 3:18).
At this stage if the miracle worker starts broadcasting (self-glorification), he is not only destroying himself, but also misleading large number of gullible people. It is only at this depth one can jump, dance and advertise, but will not and can not do the same after getting deeper.
SPIRITUAL MATURITY AND FRUITS:
Eze 47:4-5, Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.
If only we follow the conducting Holy Spirit, the minister of the Gospel, not only we come to know the Lord intimately, but also we find a continual increase of light and life, till at last we are carried by the streams of grace to the ocean of eternal mercy; then plunged and lost in His immensity. This is the essence of spiritual growth and it is a long-long way to go.
Eze 47:9, And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
Joh 14:23, Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Joh 7:38, He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Joh 14:12, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. If we grow spiritually, we will be able to give spiritual fruits for God as soon as we reach spiritual maturity; similar to a tree as it grows normally, it gets matured, and starts giving fruits which cannot be stopped, but it continues to grow giving more and more fruits.
SYMPTOMS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY:
First and foremost the worldly desires and longings will disappear one by one along with our carnal nature. Secondly, we will be able to differentiate the right interpretation of the Word of God from the wrong. Thirdly, we will be getting the revelation from the Word of God on a regular basis which is the spiritual food for our spiritual being. Now our spiritual being will be able to resist the devil in every walk of our life and overcome him and we will become a blessing to many by being His living witnesses. Fourthly we will be progressing in the transformation process of becoming like Christ, which will continue till our life in this earth as well as into the next life which will be with Christ in Heaven.
OLD COVENANT TEMPLES:
In the Old Testament there were two temples. One was built by king Solomon and the other was built by king Herod. Solomon got the instruction from his father David, who in turn was directed by God to build the temple, to worship and to glorify Him. God Himself was present in the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was also present, and from there God blessed Solomon and his people (Israel). But later on they became a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward (Isa 1:4).
Now God had to leave the temple, and the Ark of the Covenant was also taken away before the temple itself was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. This destruction signifies that the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands anymore (Acts 7:48), and humans themselves are the temples of God and the Spirit of God dwelleth in them (1Co 3:16), once they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Svetasvatara Upanishad 3:18 also says, it is He who resides in the body, the city of 9 gates. Contrarily, not only this man made temple worship system continues, but also the reverence for these temples is growing everyday, in every religion.
In addition, the Old Testament people were relatively illiterate, ignorant and above all the comforter (Holy Spirit) was not given to them. Hence, priests were appointed and made responsible for preserving and conducting all the affairs of the Temple, like offering sacrifices etc. They were even acting as agents between God and men in fulfilling their spiritual requirements.
It is the most abominable thing that the pastors, priests and mullahs are continuing to act as God’s intermediaries even today. 1Tim 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. In the present day church, the pastor conducts the worship service, collects offerings and gives benediction to the congregation. Similarly in a Hindu temple priests chant some Vedic mantras and blesses the gathering after collecting thakchana, and a mullah in a mosque preaches from Koran and after collecting gifts blesses the people and sends them away.
The second temple, built by Herod (a non-believer) was neither under the instruction from God, nor was there the presence of God either, and only a stone was kept in the Holy of Holies in place of the Ark of the Covenant. It was built only to glorify Herod himself and to establish his own name. This temple actually represents the present day religious system.
Where, most of the religious people around the world are still practicing their own traditional worship. Jesus Christ Himself preached in this temple on many occasions to try and correct the people, and went on to the extent of whipping them, but was crucified by the very same temple priests and worshipers because they were unwilling to get rid of their traditions.
This is exactly the same situation even today in all the present day religions, where Jesus Christ is being crucified everyday, every hour and every minute because of the unwillingness of the priests, pastors, preachers and mullahs to give up building their own kingdoms. And those who have built one already, are trying desperately to preserve the same, as it could be seen in 1Kings 12:26-31, fearing that people might turn again to their Lord, king Jeroboam made two calves of gold and made Israel to worship, instead of allowing them to go to Jerusalem to worship their true God.
These teachers are the locusts spoken of by Joel 2:3-5 and Rev 9:3-11, who keep their own traditions and reject the commandments of God. And as when there is a locust plague, huge numbers of locusts are involved, and vast quantities of crops (souls) are destroyed. Their appearances are like the army of horse and horsemen with the breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings are as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle; and their teeth were as the teeth of lions, and their tails are like unto scorpions, and their power was to drive men and women to hell.
Mar 7:9, 13, And Jesus said unto them, full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition, making the word of God of none effect through your tradition. Jer 12:10-11; 23:1, Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. This present day church is exactly the Laodicean church in Rev 3:14-22, which is the only church of the seven in which the entire church will be spit out (rejected), because it is described as lukewarm, indifferent, not concerned with right and wrong, or with good and evil.
As it is written in Joel 2:31, the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. The sunlight (Gospel truth) is being blacked out during a total solar eclipse, when the moon (present day religious system) passes over the disk of the sun, and when the earth’s shadow passes over the moon a lunar eclipse occurs, the moon’s appearance becomes “as blood” because of the refraction of sunlight in the earth’s atmosphere (the filth of the present day religious people). 2Ti 4:3-4 says, for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Hence this present day religious system, which is the antichrist or the abomination of desolation, will be thrown down like the second temple which was thrown down by Romans in 70 AD, as it was foretold by our Lord in Mat 24:2 (there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down), by the remnants which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:17). Rev 12:11, And they overcame him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. These remnants are the women in travail of Rev 12:2, who ultimately will bring forth (establish) the Kingdom of God and His Rule on this earth.
NEW COVENANT CHURCH:
When a child is born in-to a family, the parents become the custodians, and are also responsible for the protection, comfort and wellbeing of the growing child. While the child is growing, it is also the responsibility of the parents to send them to school and then to college, where it gets qualified and then made to settle. Similarly when we accept Jesus Christ as our Personal Savior, we become His spiritual children, and Christ hands us over to the church, and the church takes on the role of the foster parents, for our spiritual upbringing.
Hence this church will have, only these spiritually growing believers, and its responsibility is to protect, help and guide them to get the appropriate spiritual food from God, so that they grow spiritually and get spiritually matured to be handed over to the bridegroom who is none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These spiritually matured believers, not only become the brides of Christ, but also become His co-workers in gathering the souls for His Kingdom. Hence, the church becomes a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon (Song 4:15).
Ministers: All those who got spiritually matured can take on the role of ministers and shepherds in the church since they are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1Pe 2:9). Rev 1:6, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father. Mat 5:13-15, Ye are the salt of the earth to preserve it from putrefaction and destruction; and ye are the light of the world to illuminate the souls of men.
1Pe 2:5, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Eph 2:21, In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. Since the great sacrifice has been offered, and there is no expiation now to be made; it has become the primary responsibility of the New Testament believers to bring the souls and offer them as living sacrifices to the Most High God.
Mission: Isa 6:9-10, God said, Go, and tell this people, hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. And make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. God repeats these words, in Jer 5:21, in Eze 12:2, in Mat 13:14, in Mar 4:12, in Luke 8:10, in John 12:40, in Acts 28:26-27 and in Romans 11:8, which shows His deepest concern for the souls of the people, and He expects the same to be ours as well.
Dan 12:3, Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and he who wins souls is wise (Pro 11:30). As everyone has got a longing to multiply and spread his or her own literal family, each and every believer should have the longing to multiply and spread his or her spiritual family. But Zec 4:6, says, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. The work of grace on the soul is expressed by a regeneration, which is not of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of the Spirit of God (1Co 3:7). His power can manifest through His children only when they keep His commandments and serve Him. Joh 12:26, If people serve me, the Father will honor them.
NEW COVENANT WORSHIP:
Worship consists of two parts. One part of it is praising God and the other part is doing what God’s Word says and not to get deceived by being listeners only (Jam 1:22). Rom 2:13, For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Joh 4:23, But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. To worship the Holy God in spirit and in truth with contrite heart, we should be worthy and wholly acceptable to Him. These worthy people can gather any time, anywhere and any longer in any number to worship Him.
Worship in spirit is reverentialor respectful to God. Ps 89:7, God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Also, worship in spirit is sincereand springs from a holy life. 1Pe 1:16, Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. As the God who is the object of the Christian’s worship is perfectly holy, the character of His worshipers should also be holy. Heb 12:14, Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
For if men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2Ti 3:2,4); then they are not spiritual, but carnal and cannot worship God. 1John 3:4, 9, Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.
In order for our worship to be in truth, it must be in harmony with His Holy Word. Joh 17:17, Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. This sanctification consists in their becoming more like God and less attached to the world; to see that life is short, that death is near; that the pride, pomp, pleasures, wealth, and honors of this world are of little value.
Ex 34:20, …And none shall appear before me empty (1Ch 16:29). Deut 16:16, In the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: they shall not appear before the Lord empty. They will come with the offering of the souls that they have gathered unto His Kingdom. They will also share their revelations, their experiences, their burdens and will pray for each other and for the establishment of His Kingdom.
INDIVIDUAL COMMUNION WITH GOD:
Commune means to converse; to talk together familiarly; to impart sentiments mutually in private. And there will I meet and commune with thee (Ex 25:22). While Jesus Christ was on this earth, either day or night He was in communion with God in person. Without this communion one can-not live a Christian life; which is in and through Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Prayer: Prayer is to ask for the Giver of blessing Himself. For those who hunger and thirst after His righteousness, He reveals Himself to them. This revelation includes the abundance of His Love, His Power, His Mercy, His Grace, His Will, His Guidance and the Mysteries of the Bible. These revelations help us to live in Him and for His Glory.
Listening to God: In order to listen to God and to receive His instructions, we must have the longing to do His will. David was able to do it because he says in Psalm 40:8, “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart”.
Meditating His Word: Mat 6:11, Give us this day our daily bread. In this verse Jesus taught us to pray for our daily spiritual food and not for the literal food. Mat 7:9-11, Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Though this spiritual food is assured, we will have to earnestly beseech God, for it is hidden in the Bible and God’s children will be able to get it by waiting on Jesus Christ for a long time or even fast before we get it. Ps 25:5, Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Joh 6:27, Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.
This spiritual food is called, the ‘nectar’ or ‘amruth (prasadam)’ in Hindu mythology and it is believed that, if any one drinks or eats will get eternity. The Hindu sages are meditating for years, for the purpose of realizing self, which is actually trying to get the spiritual being revived, which we know is possible only by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Interceding for the souls: Ps 106:23, Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them. This is that intercessory prayer which Moses, Jesus Christ and many other servants of God prayed for the sake of the multitudes of souls going astray from God.
NEW COVENANT OFFERINGS:
In the Old Testament, people were required to give very many offerings likesin offering, meat offering, first fruit offering,peace offering,thanksgiving offering, Sabbath offering, beginning of month offering, Passover offering, feast offering and for the morning and evening sacrifices in addition to tithes. And all their festivals were not a time of celebration, but were a time of remembrance, thanksgiving and a time of special offering.
But in the present day Church, only tithes is being insisted upon; because the sacrifices have been stopped. Hence, most of the affluent christians spend the rest of their earnings towards entertainment, extravagant food and clothing, etc., not knowing that the Lord is the fountain of goodness, and Father of mercies and all was owing to the goodness of God to them, and the efficacy of His grace upon them. 1Ch 29:14, For all things come of thee.
Furthermore Exodus 13:2 tells us, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine”. Num 8:17 “For all the firstborn among the people of Israel are mine, both of man and of beast. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself”.
This right to the first-born was that, God sanctified to Himself all the first-born of the Israelites from the stroke of the destroyer through the atoning blood of the paschal lamb because of their faith and obedience to His command. If it were to be the firstborn of clean creatures they were to be sacrificed, if unclean to be redeemed with a price, and the firstborn of men, because it was not lawful to sacrifice them; the money for the redemption of them was given to the priests and they became a living sacrifice to the Lord.
This sanctification of them to the Lord signifies the separation or devoting of the first born of their entire generations for the service of God. If it is so, then how much more it is necessary for all those who have been redeemed by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, are to offer to God, who had sacrificed His own precious Son for the deliverance of their souls.
Hence we are liable to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to His glorious service with all our time, all our energy, all our talents, all our earnings, all our gifts and all our belongings including our own life. This is the perfect offering, which is expected from each and every one of His children.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.