The Glory of the New Covenant

2 Corinthians 3:6, 9-10 KJV

[6] Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. [9] For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. [10] For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

Nothing is yet to happen in the course of man’s history that has taken God by surprise. And nothing will. He who knows the end from the beginning will not be alarmed by anything in man’s struggle (reluctance and sluggishness) to accept His best for them. Everything we see today about the prevalent unbelief towards the true culture of the kingdom is not a new thing to God, because it is this same unbelief He has had to deal with right from the beginning of time.

The first man

Genesis 2:8, 16-17 KJV

[8] And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [16] And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” 

When God finished the work of creating man, He settled him in Eden, a place that we could call a type of the kingdom of heaven. But as an embassy of heaven on planet earth, there has to be a way to make the quality of life and leadership that exists in heaven the same rule on earth (in Eden). The culture must be literally equal. And God told Adam, there is just one tree you shouldn’t eat from, to keep the flow between heaven and earth, to retain the quality of culture and reproduce the same level of effectiveness. To not eat from that tree is the test Adam must pass to have a genuine replication of God’s life and culture in his dominion (terrain). It cannot be genuine if it was not Adam’s personal choice; and the only way it could be his choice was for him to have an opportunity to switch to an alternative: which is, to do it his own way. 

When he chose to eat the forbidden fruit after his wife had eaten, he basically chose to reject the way of faith, to live by sight, which has, henceforth, become the prevailing rule or principle in the world system. Please note what this tells us about the natural man: he can ONLY thrive when he is outside God’s kingdom; once you put him inside the kingdom, he will seize to function because he dies. You must reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). The basic unbelief we see at work in Adam and Eve as they ate the forbidden fruit is the same inherited unbelief in every man ever since, that has no interest in God’s ways (but his own way), even if he is interested in God’s acts/works/miracles.

Psalm 103:7 KJV

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

I personally believe we need both; God’s acts and God’s ways. If you look closely at that Scripture, you will see that Moses knew both the ways of God and His acts. He was also among the children of Israel, seeing and experiencing the acts of God; and most of the time being used to perform these mighty acts. Salvation is an act of God, for instance. Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). We become saved by faith (accepting what God has done in Christ); which means we are not the one working at the point of salvation, it is God. And you know, it is a miracle to be saved.

So, Moses and the children of Israel were saved from Egypt (salvation) but only Moses (and maybe a few others like Caleb and Joshua) pressed on to know God and His ways. Even though, it is incontrovertible that every act of God is permanent, even salvation, it is the choice to choose God’s ways over our own ways that is the true result of that salvation. The curse upon mankind is positionally reversed at salvation and practically reversed by choosing God’s ways. We use the word “practically” to show that God is not to blame if a person receives salvation and does not work out his own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). When we choose God’s ways that is when we have activated the full ramifications of salvation. That choice is what puts you in the kingdom of heaven where you are directly governed by God.

The nation of Israel

Hebrews 3:10-11 KJV

[10] Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. [11] So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Coming out of Egypt (a type of salvation), God’s plan was to settle them in Canaan. He wanted to showcase them to the world as a masterpiece among the nations and as an evangelistic tool to “colonize” or convert the gentiles into the kingdom of heaven. But the fruit or result of Adam’s feeding on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was still at work. Israel refused God’s offer of Himself to them and their calling into the priesthood and went their own ways. Egypt was still in them; and unbelief was their rule of life.

This shows me that faith is impossible without having a personal encounter with God.

Their rejection of God at Sinai when they told Moses that they could not enter the glory cloud to meet with God (Exodus 20:18-21) was an unfortunate seed they were sowing into their own hearts and it germinated in kind with unbelievable “strides” of unbelief later in their journey. 40 days became 40 years, the priesthood that was meant for the entire nation was divinely withdrawn to a tribe (the sons of Levi) and only Caleb and Joshua entered into God’s promise (God’s rest) out of about 600,000 men who left Egypt. (Number 26:65, 14:22-24, 29-31, Exodus 12:37)

Psalm 78:10-11, 22, 40-41, 56 KJV

They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; [11] And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. [22] Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: [40] How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! [41] Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. [56] Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

Note: just as God began the entire human race by creating one man – Adam, and just as He began the New Creation race through one man – Christ, so also God began His kingdom on earth with one nation, Israel.

Seeing that Israel did not keep the first covenant (and there was just no way they could have, since they rejected a personal relationship with the God of the covenant), that covenant became abhorrent to God, it became corrupted, …decaying and fading. (Jeremiah 31:31-34, 50:4-5, Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:16-17). Having found fault with it, because of the way it was dominated by the unbelief of Israel, to the extent that the only thing it could offer anyone today is unbelief, He made a new covenant that only those who believe in Him can enter into it (Hebrews 8:8-9).

This new covenant cannot be corrupted because it can’t admit any un-believer. The old covenant admitted people through physical circumcision, the shedding of your own private blood, but the New Covenant admits through the shed blood of Christ, which as many as believes on Him, are washed and redeemed by it. 

The Church 

Amplified Bible 2 Corinthians 3:7-8

“Now if the ministry of death, engraved in letters on stones [the covenant of the Law which led to death because of sin], came with such glory and splendor that the Israelites were not able to look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, [a brilliance] that was fading, how will the ministry of the Spirit [the new covenant which allows us to be Spirit-filled] fail to be even more glorious and splendid?”

Adam failed and God promised a new founder of a new race when He said the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). By believing in Him, we become partakers of His life (of faith) and are permanently escused from the judgement of God on Adam and all who are still connected to him. Israel also failed to be the nation of priests He wanted and God allowed them to be broken off for a season so as to graft us gentiles in (Romans 11:15, 20), and now all those who come to Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, have been made into a new nation of priests and kings (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10)

The New Covenant has been ushered in by the blood of Jesus (Luke 22:20) and it is to make us all that Adam and the nation of Israel walked away from. The law is written directly in our hearts and minds, so that we can experience the ways of God that Moses knew, which made him different from all the people of his time (Numbers 12:3). He was a New Covenant man in Old Covenant times. Mind you, you don’t hear of Moses coming to the Temple to atone for his own sins; because the kind of life he had access to, which the children of Israel rejected, excused him from the rigours of such endless sacrifices that does not remove the guilt or conscience of sin (Hebrews 10:1-3). 

Knowing what is right and wrong has only achieved one thing: it established the sin condition of all men (Galatians 3:22, Romans 3:9, 11:32). So it is not just knowing God’s law that sets us free from sin and takes us out of the world system into the kingdom of heaven, it is knowing God Himself. The New Covenant allows us to be Spirit-filled, having the very Spirit of God within us, which will make us love righteousness and hate wickedness like Jesus did (Hebrews 1:9), and it will also make us to live a quality of life that is above the standard of the law (Matthew 5:20-22, 27-28).

That is worth repeating again and again. The life we will live in the New Covenant is higher in quality and glory than the life that was possible in the Old Covenant. 

Therefore, it should be unheard of among those of us who are born again, by the grace of God, that we are living by the low standards of the Old Covenant, even though our new birth actually ushers us into the New Covenant. God has permitted all who will be saved by grace to CHOOSE whether they will live by the full terms of the New Covenant or live by the Old Covenant or a human adaptation of both. Yet, only one of these will glorify Jesus: the New Covenant. The Old Covenant or a mixture of Old and New will only glorify the flesh. And “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8 KJV

Hence, every single effect of sin that plagues mankind today has no right to molest you who have been washed by the blood of the New Covenant, the blood of Jesus. Even if it is a generationally recurrent trend in your clan, “…if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You can choose to believe this, all that Christ has done for you, and enter into your rest or you can choose to doubt it and spend your time (which is your life) looking for those who will ask you to PAY A PRICE (as in fast and pray etc) for something that is already yours. The choice is yours!

Here is the question you must now answer: which one glorifies God…for His word to come to pass in your life by simply believing (on) Him or for you to add your own works because you don’t believe, which will steal the glory from God? Please note that prayer and fasting is not been ridiculed; what is been dealt with is the motivation for praying and fasting. Is it in fear and doubt, thinking you need to achieve a sort of spiritual stamina before God can give you what He has already done or is it in faith and determination, saying you will not allow any benefit of your redemption to elude you? As you can see, these are two different motivations.

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

Only what is of faith brings glory to God because it simply means the work was not done by you or me, the work was done by God. And even when you have to DO things; it is as the LORD works it in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). And as such, it is being done by faith. Those who refuse to hear Him who is speaking now from heaven (Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant) cannot walk by faith because faith comes by hearing Him (Romans 10:17). And when you hear Him, you will dare all the odds on your way, looking on to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith; and you will refuse to be reduced again to the level of life of the Old Covenant that God abhors. It is time to enter into your rest!

Amplified Bible Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse [to listen to] Him who is speaking [to you now]. For if those [sons of Israel] did not escape when they refused [to listen to] him who warned them on earth [revealing God’s will], how much less will we escape if we turn our backs on Him who warns from heaven?

Picture credits: J. B. Nicholson Jr., Pastor Walker, Pinterest, faithdebates dot org dot UK, beautifulng dot com

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