Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The New Covenant: From Two Into One
I find it hard to believe that in this day and age, many of us Christians still don't have a full understanding of the difference between serving God from our soul as opposed to our spirit. I am learning this myself as layers are being peeled off me as I meditate the Word and pray in the Spirit. The truth is this: our Heavenly Father sees us so much differently from how we see ourselves. I know--some of you may say that's a no-brainer, but it is only now beginning to "settle" in my spirit. Thank God for the Teacher!
For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. [Heb. 3:4-6]
The above passage of scripture is an example of the difference between service under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It shows Moses, who was a type of Jesus. Moses brought the Law (from God), but Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, the Word Incarnate. Moses operated solely in the role of a servant. As a man that was led by his soul, he could not enter into Spirit fellowship with God and he, like all of mankind before the Cross, could only serve God as best as he could by obeying the Law and offer animal blood sacrifices continually through a high priest. This high priest was the intermediary through which man interacted with God. Sadly, many would rather interact with God nowadays in the exact same manner--religion reinforces this (without the "blood sacrifice" part, of course). In many cases, the intermediary is still there, in the form of a Pastor, or Priest or some other "mentor" type figure. Jesus, our example, is the serving Son. The"service" is different. The son chooses to lay down his life in order to fulfill his Father's Will (that is what is expected of us). It is not based on "works" for works sake, but the righteousness and the authority that we have as sons in our Father's House. The redeeming work has already been done at the Cross.
Our Faith is based on what Jesus has already done--not on what we, of ourselves, could ever do. All we are required to do is to learn of Him (Mat. 11:29); this in the "entry way" into His rest. That can only be accomplished through fellowship with the Teacher - the Holy Spirit who has been sent to reveal Jesus to us. knowing Jesus will reveal the Father's Will to us. In knowing Jesus, we know the Father.
Many of us fail to obey the Word of God as it pertains to this current dispensation of Grace. We stubbornly continue in a "works" mentality apart from true Faith in God. This is unbelief. What do I mean by "works"? Simply doing anything except what the Word of God says "do". For example, thinking that we can "give" our way out of debt, or "sowing a seed" to get our healing. That is false teaching. Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried our pains, and became poverty so that we may be supplied with every need, large or small. Failing to put our trust in Jesus is classified as unbelief. As the just, we are required to live by Faith. This is the only way to please God. The Law is not of Faith (Gal. 3:12a). It just exposed sin for what it was.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God is the dividing line. It was the Word that translated us from death to Life, and from darkness to Light. From "soul" service to Spirit and Truth worship and daily fellowship--rest in Him. There is no longer "soul" service when it comes to our relationship with God. We don't serve with our "head". "Head" knowledge did not get us saved. The Word of God entered into our heart, our innermost man, which is the spirit, and quickened it from death to Life. This is the New Nature from which we worship God through our service to Him daily.
The Law, on the other hand, was given to man for the sole purpose of establishing the fact that He had a death nature - it was never intended to save him. It really saddens me to see so many in the Body of Christ operating and serving God from an Old Covenant mindset. God is a loving Father - not someone who is angry with us and can't wait for us to mess up so that the curse from not obeying His Word can be activated (certain teachings on the tithe come to mind here). I know that's a rather extreme example, but that's how it's coming from my spirit. We've been redeemed from every curse through Jesus!
The New Covenant consists of one new species. We are one Body, and we are required to speak the same thing. We are one family. No more "favored" status after the flesh. No more "client nation". No more Jew and Gentile. Out of two, ONE NEW MAN. The new man is Spirit-born, Spirit-trained. The fathers of our flesh taught us to be led by our mind. Jehovah, under the Old Covenant, could only "lead" man by his mind through the Law; he could not "father" him. The old, spiritually dead man had no way of understanding the way of the Spirit. Now through the establishment of the New Covenant, comes the New Nature. Now, true Spirit to spirit communication can take place. Before it was Spirit (God) to mind (man). Man served the law through his natural mind. Only through the Spirit can permanent change take place.
The Law had to be fulfilled through Jesus, thereby establishing the New Testament--the last Will and Testament.
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. [Heb.9:15-17]
The Testator (Jesus) died and rose again in order to enforce that Will. That Will has your inheritance built in with all of its promises. Now that we have been quickened from death to Life, we no longer give credence to the flesh and the mind but to the Spirit. We have been resurrected, born from spiritual death to Life. If we are born of the Spirit, why is there such a backlash to praying in the Spirit? Here's the answer: Praying in the Spirit brings revelation, and sets us free from false doctrine and every form of bondage that the enemy will bring. The ministry of the Holy Spirit--our Teacher--comes with the New Nature so that we may worship in Spirit and in Truth. That did not exist under the Old Covenant. Before Jesus came, there were TWO: God on one side, man on the other--total separation. Now, through Jesus we are ONE with our Heavenly Father, free to spend time in fellowship and communion with Him every day.
In closing, I'd like to share a few links dealing with teachings along the same vein. The first three are from Gary Carpenter. Gary teaches at The Family Prayer Center in Tulsa, OK. I've received a lot of confirmation through listening to these messages. A lot of it is exactly what the Holy Spirit has been sharing with me, but it's so great to hear it from another perspective...very encouraging to me, and I hope, to you as well:
Here's a link to a written teaching titled "The Works of The Father":
This is a confession (or declaration) based on the teaching above, called "Agreeing With the Mind of Christ". My wife and I speak this over our lives on a daily basis. This is vital in the process of transformation of the soul according to Romans 12:2:
These last two links are from Alan Taylor, who also teaches at the Prayer Center. He really breaks down the subtlety of serving with your soul. We are family and our sonship is not based on performance...great Truth!
Here's a link to his website.
Scroll down to the message entitled "Your Soul Keeps You From Being Fathered" Dated: 06/10/10
This one is from the IktusNet media site. It might be a little long, but well worth the listen. I would suggest listening to it at least twice. It is titled "God Is The Father Of Your Spirit" dated November 21, 2010. Scroll down the page until you get to it.