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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cherry Picking From The Old Covenant?

There is only ONE Covenant

1John 2:26 These things have I written to you concerning them that would lead you astray.

One of the issues we were presented with was tithing, and a local church spokes-person gave a good cover story from the life of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. 
On the surface it really sounded reasonable.  It might inspire some to do likewise, especially anyone who accepts whatever they are taught by their Christian leaders. 

This unusual approach was presented based on a vow from Genesis 28:
 20 Then Jacob made this vow: "If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my fathers home, then the Lord will certainly be my God.
22 And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me."

Doesn't that sound reasonable?
Make a deal with God in exchange for protection and provision, just make a pledge or vow to give 10% of everything God gives. It's even in the Bible, and a godly man did so.

Jacob's Vow in LIGHT of the New Covenant
Let's look at the small issue of Jacob's vow to give 10% Let's ask ourselves the following:
1. Jacob's vowDid anyone in the New Testament scriptures make this vow?
    Answer:  Easy to answer, no one did. zip, nada, zilch.
2. Does the New Covenant lack in promises that we need to go back and follow Jacob's vow in order to be blessed and provided for?   Answer: What are New Testament promises? Salvation, deliverance, provision, wholeness? (see the Greek word "sozo")
3. Do we need  to follow Moses' Law in the OLD Covenant?
4. Should we observe Abraham's Covenant? 

Are there some good things here and there we could pick and choose from?

There is a tragic error committed by many Christians who love God. They do not know or understand the Covenant God made with us in Jesus Christ.  I would dare say the majority  let  leadership define what Christianity is.

So in ignorance and confusion, scripture is misapplied, cherry-picked, misunderstood and worse yet, mis-taught to the trusting folks in the pew.
Hebrews 8:6 But now has he (Jesus) ... is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.

Hebrews 7:22 By so much also has Jesus become the (surety) of a better covenant
"surety": a surety, a sponsor,  a guarantee
"better"stronger-, that is, (figuratively) better, that is, nobler: - best, better
"covenant":  (specifically) a contract (especially a divisory will): - covenant, testament.

Jesus is the guarantor of a better contract-testament-will-covenant than ANY of the previous ones. It is a better one than the one that included tithing, the Law of Moses, Jacob's vow, Noah's Covenant, Abraham's promised blessings, and the one God gave Adam.

The NEW COVENANT is a legal Will that supersedes, dis annuls, makes void, and replaces the ones that went before, and gives us the promise:
Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law to righteousness to every one that believes."
Hebrews 9:10 being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation

Our SALVATION in Christ is in the Greek word "SOZO" which means: Saved, Healed, Made Whole, Delivered and Preserved.
We don't need to go back under an old vow and try to make a deal with God.
ALL the promises are in Christ  -better promises and "better covenant." 
 We don't need to make a deal with God by making an oath or promise based on an OLD covenant; in fact, there is a sin committed by making an oath.
 James 5:12 "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgment"

Let's compare some of these "better promises"  with Jacob's.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue:

Is something lacking  "all things that pertain to life and godliness"so we need to make a deal like Jacob?

  • Philipians 4:20 "And my God shall supply every need  of yours accordingto his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

    You don't have to "tithe" to have your needs met in our "better covenant", that's ridiculous. We only need to put faith in what God said He would do and act accordingly.
  • Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?

    We need not buy God's favor with a tithe or gift out of a covenant He never made with the church. They are freely given through faith NOT works...

  • Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
  • Galatians 3:14 that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus
    There is no Abraham's tithe,  Jacob's tithe, or Levitical tithe required in our Covenant.
  • Romans 15:29 And I know that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ. -Which blessing do you want? Jacob's blessing which did not include a lot of the promises found in the New? Or the "fulness of the blessing of Christ"?

    Matthew 6:31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
    33) But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these shall be added to you.

    -You can't buy it with a tithe, earn it by your own works, or manipulate God into blessing you. It is by GRACE, not by works, and ALL the Promises of God are in CHRIST
 All we are required to do is to BELIEVE in what He said, put our FAITH in Him, TRUST him,  and walk in them accordingly. Jesus gave instructions to His apostles, who gave us what He said; the terms of the New Covenant to the churches. (John 17:20)

So the CHURCH was never told to tithe, keep weekly sabbath, observe Jewish feasts and new moons, keep all the dietary laws, go to Jerusalem 3 times a year, pay a temple tax, or keep the commands, ordinances, and statutes that are written in the law of the old Covenant.

The church is told to repent, live holy, and abide in the Words Jesus gave us through His disciples.
And the church is told *not* to make vows as Jesus said and James wrote.

1Cor 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

Where did the apostles, the foundational writers of the New Testament scriptures
command us to observe or keep any part of the sabbath day laws, an Old Testament feast, keep dietary laws, circumcision, or a tithing covenant?
No dear reader, these commands are not found in a single verse in our New Testament covenant, after the cross.
Where was the dividing line?
It was at the death of the testator, Jesus Christ. His death gave us His Will and the apostles and early church did what he told them to do.  It began in the Book of Acts. 
Here is where they said you would come under a curse if you go back to law:

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who continues not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and stumbles in one point, he is become guilty of all.

( the curse includes things like sickness, disease, unbelieveing people coming against us, "accidents", debt, broken relationships with family. I wonder if any Christians ever have these happen in their lives or their churches?) 

The apostles said this of people who would put you under a law or vow God never made with the church: Galatians 1:7 which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Even in the early church, a problem arose regarding the Old Testament laws and Christians:

Acts 15: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard that certain who went out from ushave troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment;
19 Wherefore my judgment is, that we trouble not them that from among the Gentiles turn to God...

NO TITHING!! No circumcision!! No mandatory sabbaths!!
No more blood sacrifices, no stoning of rebellious children!
No eye for eye, tooth for tooth, no death penalty for breaking the sabbath laws, no stoning someone with a familiar spirit, no responsibility to kill witches.
No more " smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, ...with the edge of the sword" commands.
No careful observance of feast days, unleavened bread, new moons, and 600 other mandatory requirements under as demanded under the Old Covenant.

What DOES this New Covenant offer?
The Promise of the Holy Ghost, Christ IN you.
The forgiveness of sins.
Righteousness, peace and joy.
Salvation for the soul.
Healing and health for our bodies.
Provision for food and clothing.
Deliverance from evil.
Release from bondages and addictions.
The faith to conquer and pull down our enemies strongholds.
Our needs being met.
Promises for our family and children to be saved.
Promises for  contentment with what we have.
Freedom from fearfulness and worry.
Walking in a love relationship with God.
Freedom from the Law of sin and death.
God's free gift of grace, His favor towards us..
The promise of "all things that pertain to life and godliness"
The opportunity for a fresh and new beginning in life.
The promise of power and authority through Christ.
Spiritual gifts including miracles, signs, and wonders.
The power and authority to cast out demons.
The power to overcome our trials through faith.
The authority to be kings and priests in His kingdom..............

The truth is the deal Jacob made with God for provision and safety pales in comparison to the promises of God in the New Testament which were purchased for us through the blood of Jesus.

Jesus made a sacrifice of His Life, body, and blood to bring us the same things Jacob desired to get from God in his bargaining. Except the Jesus Covenant isinfinitely and eternally greater than the one way back there that no one ever instructed the church to imitate.

The heart of the matter is many churches pervert these scriptures so they can pass along leavened teachings and benefit from the people they mislead and from whom they receive their livelihood.
Oh yes, they will say nice things like "God wants to bless you 100 fold, so if you do such and such He will", or other vain reasoning’s that sound good but lead astray those who were once delivered.

We repeat, the difference between Jacob's bargaining and Jesus' FREE gift is one of which covenant will you abide in? Why do you think Paul warned the Galatians about "another Gospel"? -that is a false gospel that sounds good like it will bring a benefit but is not part of the TRUE gospel given in the New Testament. 

There is only ONE Covenant in force that saves, don't believe anyone who explains away what Jesus gave us through the apostles, or let them put you in bondage to laws like tithing, dietary law, sabbath keeping, or a multitude of ordinances.

We encourage you to look at what God says about OUR Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31
Malachi 3:1
Luke 22:20
2 Corinthians 3:6
Hebrews 8:8, 8:13, 9:15, 12:24
Hebrews 9:16-17
Psalms 50:5
Ezekiel 37:26
Matthew 26:28
Mark 14:24
Romans 11:27
2 Corinthians 3:14
Hebrews 7:22
Hebrews 8:6-13
Hebrews 9:1
Hebrews 10:16
Hebrews 12:24
Hebrews 13:20
now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep with the BLOOD of AN ETERNAL COVENANT, even our LORD JESUS CHRIST.