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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2015 :  08:11:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a question that I have never heard a satisfactory answer to. And so before I answer it, I want to see if anyone else has a good answer. And if not, why not? Is this not a central theme of Scripture?

A related question is a bit easier: What is the Old Covenant?

I have heard many answers to that one, and there is also a good deal of confusion about it. Especially when it comes to explaining whether it applies today or not, and if so, to what extent. So I am interested in any thoughts on these issues as well.


Honi soit qui mal y pense

Jay Scott
Advanced Member

uSA
181 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2015 :  09:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think this is a fundamental topic.

The first thought that comes to mind, responding to what is the new Covenant, is, the Golden Rule. Expressed in many ways and places, a few examples of which being:

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Matthew-Chapter-22/ (love your neighbor)
http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Matthew-Chapter-7/ (do unto others)
http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Matthew-Chapter-6/ (forgive my debts)

The first two mention "for this is the Law and the Prophets." Sounds like the Golden Rule summarizes the old Covenant.

I've heard the concept "the spirit of the law" versus "the letter of the law." I think the general idea of that is the old covenant was something like: here's the law, try to follow it and see that you can't (letter of the law). When you figure that out stop following ego and start following...that indescribable Source (spirit of the law).

But that's maybe too easy a response and misses the mark without much contemplation. What I'm puzzled with is what is the spirit or intent of a bunch of do's and don'ts and rituals. Rather, are there really two laws: the law of the spirit, and the law of the letter? Two means of salvation, 1) don't make mistakes, or 2) delegate ego to it's proper place in the order of seeking guidance. Or is there only one law for man, the law of the spirit and the law of the letter is merely a means of extending a man more time (grace period) to discover the one and only path of salvation?

Another thought about what is the old Covenant, or the "letter of the law", is that maybe it's simply natural law, based on principles, and is there to guide and encourage one toward the "spirit of the law". And that our culture has adulterated our definition of the law with a bunch of "facts" which end up confusing, distorting, and obfuscating the principles.

Something to think about. Nice to share ideas with like-hearted people but each has a unique path to follow and none can judge the path of another as to being the path of salvation or not.

Jay Scott.

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Manuel
Advanced Member

USA
762 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2015 :  21:10:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Gordon,
Of the top of my head, I think that the difference between the old covenant and the new, is that back when Jesus, The Christ, "stepped up to the plate," doing with the old new again, was and is, establishing The Kingdom of God as it was supposed to be. Jesus, followed by the apostles, and many others got the message, being able to see and hear, that all the "damage" happening was exactly due to The Way being forgotten and hidden. He being The King, of a totally different "Way of Living" brought forth Light where darkness had set in.

Blessings,
Manuel
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2015 :  08:14:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, there are two laws. As Hebrews tells us, there must necessarily be a change of law. So what does that look like?

Imagine a hockey game. Now imagine that the players had no sticks and no uniforms, but were doing the exact same acts to one another out in the street when a Policeman showed up. He would arrest them all for rioting. He would charge most of them with assault. He would apply the Law that he applies every day.

But put these same men back in a rink, give them back their uniforms and their sticks, and there is a change of Law! Now they can assault each other with seeming impunity. They cannot go to jail for it. At worst, they might have to sit out the rest of the season if things get completely out of hand.

Same men, but different circumstances, and therefore a different Law that applies. I consider that it is no different with the Two Covenants.

We know that under the Old Covenant, the 613 rules of Moses apply. But no one can agree if any of these still apply, and if so, which ones, or even to whom. There are people who say that these rules only applied to Israel, since the Covenant was only with Israel.

When you ask them if stealing was OK for everyone else, they say that the "moral law" applies to everyone. Usually they also say that the "moral law" still applies today. Problem is, the Bible makes no distinction between the moral and the "ceremonial" law. The ceremonies were mostly remedies given for when someone had violated the moral law. And is not eating pork ceremonial, or moral? How about avoiding sex during your wife's menstrual cycle? What about not charging usury on money lent? What about forgiving debts every 7 years?

As I read it, usury is a subtle form of theft, and therefore falls under "Thou shalt not steal". But are the other examples this clear cut? I have never heard anyone give anything more than a quick, simplistic answer to this critical issue of how the Old Covenant applies, especially to us today.

Complicating the problem is the fact that no one can agree whether the New Covenant has fully replaced the Old already or not. Some say we have been under the New Covenant for the past 2000 years. OK, so we worship in churches rather than synagogues, but what else has changed?

Most keep a foot in both camps. Yes we are under the New Covenant, but the really good aspects of it don't take effect until we are in Heaven. So some of the Old Testament still applies in the mean time ... sort of. Those who hedge their bets clearly don't know the correct answer.

We are told that the spirit (of the law) gives life but the letter (of the law) kills. We are told that the Old Covenant was written on tablets of stone, while the New Covenant is written on the heart. But no one can clearly explain how these principles apply.

I'll close this post with a recap of how I see Old Testament history.

In the Garden of Eden something bad happened, but we don't know exactly what. We call that something, "Original Sin". Many say it was the sin of Pride, but pride does not stand on its own. We do stupid things when we act on our pride. So yes, pride was involved, but pride alone cannot explain the Original Sin.

What followed once Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden was an era of lawlessness. There were no rules. Every man did what was right in his own eyes. And wickedness increased greatly on the earth, until it reached a point where God sent the Flood.

Following the Flood we do not see a lot of rules, but we do immediately see God institute consequences for murder. "If a man sheds blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Such principles were developed until finally they were formalized into the Law of Moses, which Israel agreed by Covenant to obey. Israel's affirmation of, "All that the Lord God has said, we will do", IS the Old Covenant. There are the two parties present, and there is the agreement.

The balance of the Old Testament is mostly a bunch of stories showing what a bad job Israel did in keeping that Covenant. Not exactly material for a Holy Book, if it were up to me. And then Jeremiah gives a glimpse of the future. This is not the end. There is a better Covenant coming.

Thoughts?


Honi soit qui mal y pense
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 05 Jul 2015 :  19:33:55  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Since this is months after the original post, I will make a few brief statements, follow up with some scripture, leave a location for further communication.

1. A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties. (The study with regard to the book of Hebrews use of the term being translated "will and testament" will not be discussed, but is strongly opposed by this writer.)

2. The New Covenant IS the covenant of Abraham, and is 430 years older than the Old Covenant. See Galatians 3. This Blood Covenant is between God and Abraham. Genesis 15. Verse 9 states, "take Me an heifer..." i.e. "take for me, or take on my behalf these animals. This was the temporary substitute blood of the Covenant on God's behalf, and circumcision was the shedding of blood of the Covenant on Abraham's behalf. This blood covenant substitute process continued until the "blood of God" was shed in Jesus Christ on the cross. Isaiah 49:8. Circumcision was the seal of the covenant by Abraham, which was fulfilled by circumcision of the heart after the blood of Christ was shed, fulfilling the New Covenant in his blood. Circumcision is now fulfilled in water baptism, Colossians 2:9-14. This is the meaning of For we are THE CIRCUMCISION, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Phi 3:3 KJV)

The shedding of blood is no longer necessary. The blood covenant has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

3. The Blood Covenant between Yahweh and Abraham was designed to reside in the heart, and though Abraham instructed his descendants to observe the Covenant, they did not and ended up in captivity in Egypt because of their sin.

4. God "remembered His Covenant" with Abraham and delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. Exodus 2:24

5. This Covenant was addressed prior to arrival at Sinai with the "re-iteration" of the the Sabbath command. Note the statement of "How long refuse you to keep my commandments..." Exodus 16:28

6. After arrival at Sinai, prior to the Law of Moses being delivered, God said, "...if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." (Exo 19:5-6 KJV) This was never fulfilled by the nation of Israel.

7. God spoke this Covenant, note again, prior to the Law being delivered through Moses, and ALL the people heard the words of the Covenant. There was no mediator of this Covenant. A promise of the Covenant was that if they obeyed, they would be a kingdom of priests, that is, they would have direct access to God and can draw near to God for others. (Deut 5:22)

8. They refused to take this personal relationship with God. They said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Exo 20:19 KJV)

9. The terms of this Ten Commandment Covenant was separate from the law delivered through Moses, and of which he was the mediator. Gal 3:19. See Exodus 34:28, Deut 4:13, 10:4, Psa 105:9-10.

10. The Ten Commandment Covenant, the New Covenant, was placed inside the ark of the Covenant, under the mercy seat. Deut 10:2, but the law of Moses was place on the outside of the ark, not under the mercy seat. Deut 31:26
10. Jesus Christ's blood was given to ratify the Covenant, He is not a direct party to the Covenant, but is the Mediator of the New Covenant, which is between God and men. In Acts 3:25 note that God made (cut) Covenant with Abraham. See Gal 3:17, Heb 13:20, Heb 10:29. Jesus blood IS the blood of the Covenant.
11. This is the meaning of "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (to Abraham) (Gal 3:28-29 KJV). Abraham's promise of the land was expanded incrementally and will include the whole world, and the Christian inherits that promise with Abraham. "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Rom 4:13 KJV)

The Christian has no promise but that which was promised to Abraham. That is why the statement is made "That at that time ye 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: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Eph 2:12-13 KJV)

Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, (Moses teachings, law) which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (Gal 4:24 KJV) So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. (Gal 4:31 KJV)

Feel free to email or post.

James Snyder
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  08:49:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi J Snyder,

Thank you for contributing to this discussion. You have said a lot, and I think it illustrates the thinking of many. You have many good thoughts, but no clear conclusion. Perhaps I have asked the wrong question.

So before I respond to any specific point, let me see if this helps clarify things in your mind:

Can you explain succinctly, what are the differences between the Old and the New Covenants? More specifically, what makes the New Covenant better than the Old?

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  12:12:41  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your response. My original post was an off the cuff flow. So let me see if I can clarify somewhat. I am again under some time constraints as I will be traveling in a few minutes, but wanted to respond.

The New Covenant is the blood Covenant made between God and Abraham. This has been sealed in the blood of Christ, who "fulfilled" the Covenant in His blood. The terms of the Covenant are based in the two Great Commandments, Love the LORD with all your heart...and your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat 22:40 KJV)

How to love God and your neighbor is revealed in the Ten Commandments, (and all ramifications of them) written on your heart, these are the terms of the Covenant. Jesus clarified this when he said "...but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Those that deal with men's relations but not those regarding God, the downfall of the one who loves riches) (Mat 19:17-19 KJV)

Since all have sinned (broken the commandments of God) and the wages of sin is death, the forgiveness of God comes only by the grace through faith, not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9) For by the works of the law (any law) no man is justified. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; (Rom 15:8-9 KJV)

When one is "converted" or "born again" by the Spirit of God, we are to enter into Covenant relationship with God, through Christ. The Covenant is based in the Ten Commandments written on our hearts by the Spirit of the Lord. The seal of the New Covenant (after we are made righteous by the blood of Jesus) is still circumcision, (Rom 4:11-12) as it was with Abraham, but since the blood covenant has been fulfilled by the shed blood of Jesus, circumcision is now accomplished via water baptism by the Spirit of the Lord and called the circumcision of Christ and is circumcision of the heart. (Romans 6, Colossians 2, Rom 2:28-29) This transition of circumcision is why Jesus was baptized stating "...thus is becomes us to fulfill all righteousness..." (Mat 3:15)
By this we are to be filled with the Spirit of God, which was promised to Abraham. (Gal 3:14) So the Gospel was originally preached to Abraham (Gal 3:6)

The Old Covenant was added 430 years after the Covenant of Abraham, because of transgressions (of the original Covenant), and was added until the Seed should come. (Gal 3:) When Jesus arrived and fulfilled all righteousness, the Mosaic Covenant was waxing old and ready to vanish away. (Heb 8:13) (These transgressions of the Abrahamic Covenant also caused Abraham's natural seed to go into captivity in Egypt). This Old Covenant is the Law (Torah - teaching, instruction and law) of Moses. Jesus is that Seed to whom the promise was made. (Gal 3)

A difficulty is that what has been termed the "Old Testament" and "New Testament" are actually a misnomers. The "Old Testament" contains the Old Covenant, but so much more. The "Old Testament" also includes the New Covenant. So when the "Old Covenant" waxed old, that does not refer to the Hebrew writings! It refers to the portion that was in fact the Old Covenant, given through Moses and was a school master to bring us to Christ. However, not all given through Moses was part of the Old Covenant. There are many teachings and commands valid in the "Old Testament", even though the Old Covenant has fulfilled its purpose to bring us to Christ. (Love the Lord with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself is one.)

We come to God through Christ BECAUSE he is the mediator of and we are ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit, for the letter (of the NEW COVENANT) killeth, but the spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6

This in hopes that I have clarified, not confused the issue. I will have difficulty responding for about a week or so, but do look forward to your comments and views.






James Snyder

Edited by - jsnyder3395 on 06 Sep 2015 14:48:47
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  12:59:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi James,

You have stated that the Old Testament contains both the Old and the New Covenants. I agree with you.

But can you give a clear way for determining what is Old Covenant and what is New Covenant, within the Old Testament?

Most Christians think we should simply ignore most of the Old Testament, and then they keep the few bits that they like. If they are a preacher, for example, they teach about Tithing out of the Old Testament because the New Testament is simply silent on that subject.

But when you tell people to go searching for the New Covenant within the Old Testament, then you really open a can of worms, unless you can also give clear guidelines on how to determine which is which.

I say all this because I believe that there is a very clear answer.

You are citing many relevant Scriptures, but there is a need for an overarching principle that ties them all together. When I found this, my entire world changed. The Bible became a completely different book.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  16:59:06  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I am not sure what you are looking for, but the overarching principle that I use for my study is "God is Love." All actions, thoughts, and teaching must fit into this principle. It seems to me that every act of God in the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) scriptures fit into this completely. Love - Love God, Love your neighbor, on these two all the law an prophets "hang." The New Covenant terms (The Ten Words) help to define this. If you love your neighbor, you will not steal (etc) from him. If you Love God, you will have no other gods before Him. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the law of the New Covenant.

The writing of God's eternal character (love) in the heart is the essence of the New Covenant. This is done by the grace of God, and not by doing the works. Following love, however is required. The Old Covenant was a tutor and yoke of bondage to bring mankind to the revelation of the Son of God dwelling in our hearts by faith, manifesting the Love of God. By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.

I would be most interested in your revelation.

James Snyder
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lostandfound
Occasional Poster

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  20:16:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed."


A matter is established on the testimony of two witnesses.

The new testament and the old testament are two such authorities that witness the truth.


Edited by - lostandfound on 06 Jul 2015 20:26:46
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2015 :  20:34:48  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I will need to think and pray on that some. I guess the question that I would need answered for me, is in the definition of terms.

What do you understand to be the meaning of the term "testament" in this context? Do you view this as the collected Hebrew and Greek scriptures as Old Testament and New Testament? Other definition?

James Snyder
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 07 Jul 2015 :  00:20:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi James,

If understanding the New Covenant were easy or obvious, we would already be living in Heaven on Earth. I will get to the heart of this matter, but we must drill down layer upon layer, for there are multiple roadblocks on the way to understanding this.

One of those roadblocks is the word "Love". What does it mean? The Greeks has at least 4 words that all get translated into the English as "love". We know that the Love you are referring to as the overarching principle is the Greek "Agape", but do we know precisely what this means?

The definition I was always taught in church was that Agape is "unconditional love". Do you see the problem? "Love" remains a part of the definition of itself! We need more clarity.

As for the word "testament", that is a term taken directly from Estate Law. The New Testament is indeed the "Last Will and Testament" of Jesus Christ. But we need to progress the previous issues before we can see why this is and what the full implications are.

It will suffice for now to say that the Last Will always replaces any earlier Wills. It overrides them all. Also, is it not our charge in this life to do the Will of God? How are we going to obey God's Will if we do not clearly understand it (the New Covenant), and if we do not understand how and why it indeed replaces the Old one?

Now back to what I am looking for by my question. I had the same confusion that I perceive you have. I would read the Old Testament and realize that it said many good and true things, and yet I had no "grid" or "filter" with which to discern what parts of it still applied, and what parts did not.

For example, I ate pork and wondered whether God really cared about this still or not. I had Christians giving detailed reasons why the dietary laws no longer mattered, and other Christians telling me that "not one jot or tittle" had been abolished by Christ. And both took the authority for their stance from the New Testament!

I also had a very personal experience where I spent years (literally) contemplating the causes of major problems in our world, and had come to the conclusion that the single largest cause of the world's problems was the charging of interest on borrowed money. It then occurred to me that God had outlawed Usury in the Old Testament, so why did we allow the practice in a "Christian" culture?

I questioned many pastors about this, and always received the same two answers. About half of them said, "Oh, that's Old Testament. It no longer applies." And they were correct at least to the point that the New Testament is completely silent on the subject. The other half said, "You are absolutely right (that usury is a bad thing and God commanded against it), but there is nothing that we can do about it." How's that for clarity on the binding nature of Old Testament laws?!

Now it is true that Usury is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but I believe it is properly understood as an extension of "Thou shalt not steal." Thus it becomes very puzzling indeed why this form of stealing is now acceptable under the New Covenant. Hopefully it makes sense that we have not found an acceptable answer until we can explain exactly whether Usury is still unlawful or not, and how that applies to us now. And so it goes with all 613 commands in the Mosaic Law.

That Law was indeed added due to transgression. What transgression? And it is indeed a tutor to lead us to Christ. How does it serve to lead us to Christ? I'll close for now with my take on what lostandfound posted:

The New Covenant is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Covenant is in the New Testament repealed (not revealed).

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2015 :  23:35:02  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hello again!
I would like to clarify what I see in the scriptures in these regards. I find hints of a couple of things which I find difficult to understand. I will comment on each section.

If understanding the New Covenant were easy or obvious, we would already be living in Heaven on Earth.

I have difficulty accepting this.

First, it seems to be to be in opposition to what the scripture teaches. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (1Co 1:26-28 KJV)

And secondly, because if one understands the gospel, this by no means would indicate that they will be obedient. As he spake these words, many believed on him…Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him…Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. (Joh 8:31-44 KJV)

My view is that the gospel is simple and straight forward. There is a New Covenant, the Ten Commandments, which are the terms of the Covenant of Abraham. All men have sinned by breaking this law. The blood of Christ, as the fulfillment of the blood Covenant between God and Abraham, has paid for those sins and confirmed the Covenant. As mediator of this Covenant, Jesus reconciles men to God by grace as they are willing, and willing to be obedient. However, even this obedience is by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit given to them. The New Covenant “token,” circumcision, (Gen 17:11, Col 2) is then administered in water baptism, where the covenantor dies, and is raised to walk in newness of life. (Romans 6) This death of the covenantor is often overlooked.

One of those roadblocks is the word "Love". What does it mean?

My background brought me a slightly different road with regard to this definition. I was taught that “agape” is God’s love and “phileo” is man’s love. In research I found this to be inaccurate. I find the Bible definition is straight forward and simple to understand. “Agape”, I have concluded, is obedience to God! By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1Jo 5:2-3 KJV) Again, this is straight forward and simple. We need not be super intelligent or possess great wisdom. Anyone, even a child, can understand this. The discipline to be obedient is next, i.e. being a disciple!

As for the word "testament", that is a term taken directly from Estate Law.

This is true. You will find, however, that the term “diatheke” can include a will, but also covenant. "Will" was the primary use in the secular world. The Hebrew term “beriyth” is covenant, not will. (For a comprehensive examination, see H. Clay Trumbull’s The Blood Covenant.) You will find that the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) always uses “diatheke” for covenant. The idea of “Testament - Will” is not found in the Hebrew scripture with relation to God. I submit that the idea of “last will and testament” is interjected into the scriptures, not taken from it. Find any place that uses the term “last will and testament.” The idea of a “will” can be drawn from the secular use of the word, but “last will and testament” cannot. I submit that if covenant is used in all places that “diatheke” is in the scripture you will find a simple and accurate picture of what God is telling us.

I had the same confusion that I perceive you have.

Perhaps I have given a wrong impression. Perhaps also the confusion is in my presentation. Hopefully this will clarify my thoughts.

Contained in the Hebrew scripture are many things. One small section is the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is then discussed or referenced many times. These are the terms of the Covenant God made through Moses at Sinai. I shy away from using the term “Old Testament” because it is confusing. Even the term “Old Covenant” is not accurate when referring to the Hebrew scripture. The Psalms are not a Covenant. The book of Jeremiah is not a Covenant, but it does reference (contain) the “New Covenant” in Jeremiah 31:31. To define “New Covenant” different in the Greek scripture than it is defined in the Hebrew scripture is just wrong in my view. Hebrews 8:8 defines New Covenant based on Jeremiah 31:31.

The two covenants are referenced below. One Covenant, with Abraham was spoken by God and one by Moses. (Note Gal 3 that the Covenant of Abraham is 430 years older than the "Old Covenant - Law.")

The one spoken by God is mentioned, And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deu 4:13) These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. (Deu 5:22 KJV)

The one spoken by Moses, And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. (Deu 4:14 KJV)

…that the single largest cause of the world's problems was the charging of interest on borrowed money.

I would like to see your reasoning on this - this is really intriguing.

That Law was indeed added due to transgression. What transgression?

Galatians 3 makes it abundantly clear, that the Law (of Moses) was added to the Covenant of Abraham, because of continuing transgressions of the Covenant of Abraham. Galatians says it was added “until the seed” should come, who is Christ. There are many examples of sin (transgression of the law per 1 John 3:4) in the time before the Law of Moses. Yet, where no law is there is no transgression! (Rom 4:15) The Law was from the beginning, revealed and finalized in covenant form with Abraham. (Psa 105:8-10)

And it is indeed a tutor to lead us to Christ.

I again respectfully decline to agree with this statement. The scripture clearly states that the Law (of Moses) WAS the schoolmaster, but after faith is come we are no longer under the schoolmaster. The law “forced Israel” into conformance until Christ came. (schoolmaster: 1. literally boy leader, a trusted attendant who supervised the conduct and morals of a boy before he came of age guardian, trainer, instructor)


Wherefore the law WAS our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, (Gal 3:24 KJV)

I would think that the largest cause of the world’s problems is the rejection of, or the man made changes to, the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Covenant written on the heart, and the teachings of scripture that support it. (Matthew 5:27-28)


James Snyder
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2015 :  03:03:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While your position is indeed becoming more clear, I do not think you have yet answered the two key questions:

1) If I open the Old Testament (Genesis to Malachi), how do I know if I am reading Old Covenant or New Covenant principles? Is Jeremiah entirely a New Covenant book, for example?

2) What has changed, in practical terms, now that the Ten Commandments are written on our hearts? Do we not still struggle to obey the Law?

On this second question, let's take your very last statement, in which you reference Matthew 5:27-28. While I am aware of the creative ways in which this has been interpreted over the centuries, it should be obvious that they are all dishonest. A male preacher will stand there in the pulpit and tell us with a straight face that we should be keeping this command to the standard set by Jesus, and all the while he is having an affair with his secretary.

And while an enormous number of these affairs are real in the physical, Mosaic sense of the commandment, we get right to the 100% mark for listening to hypocritical adulterers preach at us once we apply the standard of Jesus that THEY have recommended! ALL men should read these words of Jesus and laugh. Instead, we get told by others to take seriously a standard that they themselves CANNOT live up to.

And here that all hope for understanding the Sermon on the Mount comes crashing down, for we have started out by being dishonest with ourselves and dishonest with others, and somehow we expect to come to the knowledge of the truth out of this dishonesty!

Matthew 5:27-28 does NOT give us some imaginary, unobtainable, ridiculous New Covenant standard that runs contrary to the creation and all that we experience in life. If you tell me that the Holy Spirit has taken away your God-given attraction to the opposite sex, and that all your sexual desires are now focused solely on your wife, I will call you a liar to you face. Jesus has set an impossibly high standard for a reason. He is trying to hit us between the eyes with this simple truth: It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep the Law!

Now you know and will freely admit that Jesus and Paul say elsewhere that it is impossible to keep the Law. And yet it is standard heresy to say that once Jesus took a standard that was ALREADY impossible to keep, and dialed it up to the stratosphere, that somehow now, amazingly, miraculously, it is a piece of cake to obey. How is it that we accept such an incredibly obvious lie, just because some guy on a platform says it to us on Sunday morning?

It should be obvious by now that my reading of Scripture places the Ten Commandments squarely in the center of the Mosaic Law. There simply is no record of these commandments being given to Abraham. You cite Galatians 3. By chapter 4, Paul is linking the Old Covenant to Mount Sinai, which is precisely where the Ten Commandments were given. I have never heard anyone give a practical means of separating the Ten Commandments out from the rest of the Mosaic Law. I do not believe it can be done.

Finally, in Galatians Paul mostly refers to the "promise" to Abraham, rather than the "covenant". If you read Galatians 3:18, he clearly refers to an "inheritance" that either comes by the law or by the promise. This is the crux of the matter. We are dealing with an Inheritance, which is Estate Law. Thus, if it comes by the law, then that is under the Old Will and Testament, and if it comes by the promise, then it is under the New (Last) Will and Testament.

I have not commented on the rest of your post because we are either going to have a huge disagreement here, or you are going to have a lot of rethinking to do in light of the above. I will say that I agree with you that the New Covenant is "simple". It is as simple as returning to the Garden of Eden. But it is not easy or obvious for the same reason that Adam and Eve stepped away from that simplicity, and we have been unable to find our way back ever since.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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jsnyder3395
Regular Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2015 :  11:20:32  Show Profile  Send jsnyder3395 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Caleb,

First, I am amazed at your thoughtfulness of response and speed in reply. I do appreciate the time you are taking in this discussion. I will say that your questions are well though out and pertinent. I can offer quick, glib and pat answers to your questions. This is unacceptable, so I will pray, examine and respond when I have taken the time to do so. I will say, however, that living by faith, not by sight is the power of God manifest in our lives. Understanding the relationship of the two Covenants is very important, and I cannot take it lightly. Thank you for your insights.

If you have the time, I still would like to get a quick overview of your view on usury. Especially so since you have such a strong position on its effects on our society. Since usury is only prohibited to "thy brother" and not the the "stranger," how would you view the difference between the "stranger" and "brother" today? Deut 23:19-20 (I assume you view interest and usury as the same thing.) Would you view this as Old Covenant?

James Snyder
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2015 :  11:59:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi James,

Usury is indeed Old Covenant. It is only mentioned once in the entire New Testament, and then only as part of a parable. The total absence of New Testament teaching on Usury and Tithing is in fact a big clue.

There is a grand total of ONE verse in the entire Old Testament that says that Usury may be charged to strangers. Frankly, I believe the Jews added this at some point. Every other mention of Usury is completely opposed to it. Amazing how people want to rush to the "exception" and make that the Law itself. The sin nature is so predictable.

For a comparison, just look at what Israel did with the 7 year Sabbath when debts were supposed to be forgiven and the land was supposed to lie fallow. They came up with any excuse to get around this command, and their being taken away to Babylon is directly linked to their disobedience to this command. We have a 6000 year history full of all the creative ways that man has found to DISOBEY God. What is needed is for more people to step forward who want to discuss what it will take to OBEY him!

I came to my strong opinion about Usury from a personal thought process where I studied the various problems I heard about in the world. Whether children were starving or companies were polluting the environment or whatever people were wringing their hands about, I sought to better understand the root causes of those problems.

Over time I saw common threads, so I started categorizing the various problems and condensing these lists. It should be obvious enough that money is at the core of most of the problems in the world. If you are unsure about this, just pick up today's newspaper and go through the headlines categorizing the problems. 80 to 90% will be money problems.

But I did not see money itself as the problem. Rather, I noted that the constraints of borrowing money seemed to create a vicious cycle. People and companies had to make decisions to maximize income because they always had to pay back more money than they had borrowed. I concluded that they would make better decisions if they only had to pay back the same amount of money that they needed in the first place. I figured this out without reference to the Scriptures. But as soon as I concluded that Interest charged on loans was the root cause of most problems, I remembered that God had outlawed Usury some 4000 years earlier!

This then led me to explore why some Old Testament laws were still treated as important, and yet one that I had figured out was so key to fixing the world's problems, was in fact completely ignored in our day.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Bondservant
Forum Administrator

381 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2015 :  08:07:43  Show Profile  Visit Bondservant's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just a thought since usury came up... 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors' seems to tie in as well.
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lostandfound
Occasional Poster

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2015 :  09:52:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a great subject and covers a lot of ground,which leads me into many thoughts that i struggle to pound out unto the keyboard in a cohesive reply.

Thank you for starting this subject. Thank you jsnyder3395
for your prayer full replies.

Caleb, I believe you have possibly, unwittingly answered your own quest many years ago with a posting of your doing quoted here>

http://www.suijurisforum.com/hello-t1479.html#p8845

Specifically

Picking the correct Rule Book

The very first thing you must figure out when going to court is which jurisdiction the case will be heard in. There are three (3):

1) Common Law
2) Admiralty
3) Equity

In the old days, you knew the jurisdiction based on what court you were being dragged into. Modern courts sit in what is called "concurrent jurisdiction". The judge has authority to apply any of the three sets of rules that apply, including a combination of them.


This truth, that you have posted, coincides with what is called the
stewardship or dispensation. These dispensations concerns rightly dividing the word of God. and is discussed in this Bible tract called How to study the word of truth>

http://www.grace-harbor-church.org/

If the above link does not click out into the pdf,scroll down and open
the " http://www.grace-harbor-church.org/pdfs/How_To_Study-English.pdf "

This teaching may resonate with what you already know. I would like comments anyone would share on these ideas.

*****

Usury Is the bane of this world and concerns honest weights and measures.

Ezekiel 18:14–17:

But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:
He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife.
He does not oppress anyone or require a pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked.
He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest.
He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.
He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live.


http://www.reasons.org/articles/is-there-a-biological-basis-for-belief

http://www.suijurisforum.com/scientist-evolution-debate-will-soon-be-history-t2275.html#p37213


We should learn from the "sins of the fathers"

Instead of by experience, which is the hardest,most expensive school.

*****

God's Covenant with Abam; The ceremony was an old time sealing of a contract or agreement,that was engaged in by two people who wanted to form a binding contract. The takeaway from this teaching is that God performed for both sides of the contract ,while Abram slept.

This is a sign or typology of a future when Christ would perform both sides of the "contract" (agreement) on a cross two thousand years later. While we "slept",or were dead in our sins.


John 15:13King James Version (KJV)

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


The other Witness or authority,that i would suggest is Abraham offering his son on the same spot that Christ was offered;cavalry.
This is a sign or a typology that God utilises.

The Bible,the Word of God has many surface truths. Shallow enough for the layman to wade in,but deep enough for the theologian to swim in.
Studied for thousands of years and still the depths have not been plumbed!

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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2015 :  09:55:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are getting way ahead of us Bondservant.

It is very true that if everyone forgave all debts, as this seems to imply, that there would be no payment of Usury due either. In fact, without debt there can be no Usury, and so any rules governing Usury would be superfluous in a scenario where debt was impossible. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Caleb
Advanced Member

Philippines
209 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2015 :  10:38:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings Lostandfound,

Here are a few thoughts based on what you have posted.

Regarding dispensations (from the pdf), I see 3 key divisions within the Scriptures. But I now think of them as levels or states of spiritual consciousness, as we see people at each of the three levels today.

The lowest state of consciousness is lawlessness. We see this between the Fall and Mount Sinai. In general, you will find people in "under-developed" countries still operating largely at this level. They cannot develop commercially without a respect for the law.

The middle level is the Law. Most people today are at this level. Commerce thrives where the Ten Commandments are respected. It depends on trust, honesty and integrity, all of which are promoted by the Law of Moses.

The highest level is the New Covenant. There is no country operating at this level. Few people even understand it. This includes most Christians, and thus the reason for this thread.

So when people speak of the "dispensation of grace", they are indeed speaking of the New Covenant, but they don't understand it! They properly contrast it with the Law, but don't know what truly makes it distinct from the Law.

The supposed dispensations prior to the Mosaic Law were little blips of light in a sea of darkness, or lawlessness. Noah was given a small piece of the law. Abraham was given a preview of the New Covenant. The people of Israel under Moses were even given a shot at the New Covenant. They blew it, and the Law was added due to their transgression.

Adam and Even started under the New Covenant, and this is the paradise that they were cast out of. Properly understood, the New Covenant returns us to Eden, also known as paradise, also known as Heaven on Earth. I think we can all agree that today we are not experiencing Heaven on Earth, and thus we are not yet living under the New Covenant.

You have provided another helpful link between the Covenant with Abraham and the New Covenant. In both cases, one party is AWOL. This is a peculiar yet crucial fact. A contract or covenant must have two parties. At Sinai we have God giving the Law and the people of Israel affirming, "All that the Lord God has said, we will do." There are the terms of the covenant. There is the meeting of the minds. There are the two parties. Thus we have a formal, binding agreement.

Where do we see this in the New Testament? We don't! I express it this way: The "new" thing about the New Covenant is that there is NO covenant! It is a one way deal. God just does it. I probably need to be more precise about this, but that is how I think about it right now. The analogy to Abraham is probably a better way to think about it. One party is sleeping. Anyway, you've given me something to ponder.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
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lostandfound
Occasional Poster

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2015 :  15:08:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bondservant

Just a thought since usury came up... 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors' seems to tie in as well.

Summed up by the Christ as "turn the other Cheek" ?
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