Brethren, those few who have found this short series of blog entries, I pray you have been edified and heard the voice of the Lord. For I am not here to take credit for God’s work in my life. For it is His Truth and Righteousness in Christ that we are seeking. It is recorded that Christ spoke these words:
36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better. (Luke 5:36-39)
Brethren the parable that Christ has given us here is that those who are still walking in the flesh still desire the world. They are slow in accepting the new wine, the New Covenant in Christ Jesus. For they prefer the old covenant, which has been done away with for those who follow Christ. I pray that those who read this will abandon the old for the new. For even the churches follow the pattern of the Old Testament in the way they follow the pastor instead of Christ Jesus. Let me ask you, is your place to sit in the pew and listen to the pastor, to sit in Bible study to be taught and never become teachers yourselves? Are you to remain a babe in Christ forever? I have found that Christ has given us a better pattern to follow. So then, let us examine Scripture to see how He has set up His Kingdom. To see what our place is in it.
Let us start by abolishing the first covenant with Scripture for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Heb. 8:1-13)
11. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Heb. 9:11-15)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. (Gal. 5:1-6)
So then it is well established or should be that the law is done away with for those in Christ, yet there are those things that are expedient in our walk with Him. For His pattern of observance begins in the New Testament. I will begin with Scripture and a lesson from Paul who is an apostle to Christ.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. (ICor. 12:27-31)
Brethren, Paul says we, each individually are part of the Body of Christ. Each one of us with our various gifts. I wholly encourage you to read, study and meditate upon I Corinthians chapter 12. For it gives a deeper detail of who we are within the Body. Now let me next point out the next major detail. Prove this out by using a good Strong’s dictionary that translates the original greek to english. I have found that for every greek word ekklessia the word church is used instead. But does ekklesia really represent what most people think of as church?
To most people church is a building people go to to socialize, get preached to and perhaps get a Bible study lesson in a class. But the focus is on a building where the people must meet. The building is generally regarded as holy. Don’t you think that rather that instead of the building being holy and as many people think God resides in that building called church He really resides in His people who are each individually the Body, Ekklesia. I say yes, and Scripture bears this out.
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18)
Do these words of Christ not describe the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for those who are His?
Getting back to the word ekklesia, what does it really mean? Translated it refers generally to an assembly of believers. The reference is not to a building but the people who are saved through Christ. It is not the building that is the focus but God working through His people. For Christ Himself has declared how we are to worship and it will begin on this basis:
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:19-24)
11. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation (Heb. 9:1)
Brethren I find I must continue this series in a separate post. I pray you bear with me for there is much to pray and study.