Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The New Covenant P14 (06-23-21)
So many people go through life hanging onto what they have been taught, whether right or wrong. If something is repeatedly shared since your youth, and you do not stop to ponder your life and your ways, you may die in that state. What a sad and heart-breaking way to live, either lost or without joy in your life, not experiencing the abundant life God had promised. Have you just stopped to think about your life? Why are tears streaming down my face? Certainly you can have tears when you lose a job or your own son suddenly dies under circumstances that should not have happened. But why have tears when you are seemingly at the top of your game, at the height of your career, adored by men? What is this emptiness that I feel? What is wrong with me? If I am believer, I know certainly there is nothing wrong with God or the words that Jesus spoke about concerning the abundant life He promised, that I should be experiencing?
So you read a passage of scripture that says “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” If truth is what sets me free, then error is what binds me. Now, from the word of God, if you are born again, then you have the Spirit of God living in you. What is He living inside you for? To guide you into all truth. So why do I not know the truth? Are you merely repeating what your denomination you grew up in taught, whether Baptist, Catholic or something else, and believing what they taught you? What if you were taught wrong? How would you know? So you do what Paul commended the people in Berea of doing, that they were more noble than all the rest for they tested to see if what Paul said was so.
So as you rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you, what have you discovered? Did you discover that Jesus died for all your sins, and so it does not make sense to ask for what in Him you already have? What do you have? The forgiveness of sins. How is that? Does not Hebrews say that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins? Yes, it does. So what does that mean? Will Jesus ever shed His blood again? Will He sacrifice His life over and over again like the Old Testament priests did in sacrificing bulls and goats? No.
But does forgiveness of sins give me life? No. Could that be why I am not experiencing joy? Do I even have life in the first place, the Spirit of God living in me? Have you come to God to receive the life He came to give? Eternal life, Himself. Many people stop at the cross, thinking that salvation is getting your sins forgiven. But salvation is receiving new spiritual life. Have you gone to the empty tomb?
Or, you are born again, alive spiritually, but you have been taught wrong. Why do so many pastors teach that you need to keep in fellowship with God or that you have to ask for forgiveness of sins? Is that true? No. Are you in the light as He is in the light? If so, can you ever get in darkness? No. You could choose to sin, and we will sin from time to time, as we are continually learning to grow in grace and overcome sin-indwelling flesh, but we are sinning in the light. That is why sin does not feel so good anymore, as it once did when we were lost, when we were devoid of understanding, without the Spirit of God living in us. But now, as born again children of God, the Spirit instructs us as a gentle Father, desiring for us to walk in the freedom for which He set us free, in the power of the Spirit. We are continually being cleansed of all unrighteousness because of the finished work, the eternal consequence, of the cross, where our sins and lawless acts He will remember no more and He lives in us forever, always interceding to God on our behalf, and in whom we can go boldly to the throne of grace for help in time of need.
So listen as Bob George elaborates on this concept of the totality of the cross, the complete forgiveness of sins, of being made complete in Christ, of what it means to be born again, and to walk in that new life God has given us. When you were lost, you were born without the Spirit of God living in you. You were like a car without gas. It cannot function without gas because it was designed that way. So too, man without the Spirit cannot function as God intended Him to function. Why? Man was created to function with the Spirit of God living in him. But man is born spiritually dead, without the Spirit of God living in him, due to the fall of mankind due to sin. That is why Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, in John 3, and to all of us today, that unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. God desires us to function properly, walking in step with the Spirit of God that He places in you the moment you grasp that you are a sinner, that there is a consequence to sin called death, and that you need life, and the only life available to you is the resurrected life in Christ Jesus. So you accept that life and are born again, spiritually, that moment.
We learned why Jesus, who is our new high priest, was superior in all ways to the Levitical priests. He has replaced the Levitical priesthood. I tell people that still want to follow the Old Covenant, that evidently Levi is your priest rather than Jesus. But if Jesus is your priest, then we are going to need to follow Him rather than the Old Testament rules and regulations, as the apostle Paul said, was against us.
6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
One of the most important jobs of those priests was to lead the temple sacrifices. On the day of atonement, that was the most important and significant of the sacrificial celebrations. As we will learn, these sacrifices that the high priest made, year after year, even though it was given to them by God, they did not remove the stain of sin from people. They covered it, but they did not take it away. That is so important for us to see the difference between a covering and a total taking away. Satan has been unbelievably clever in deceiving the Christian world into perceiving that forgiveness is just a covering, as no different than Old Testament atonement.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
Because that atonement did not take away, it only covered, we needed a new high priest who was perfect, who did not need to sacrifice first for his own sins and then for the sins of others. One who lives forever.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
We talk about that passage, how death will prevent you from continuing in office. It will do that every time. But Jesus lives forever. He is high priest forever, continually, eternally interceding on our behalf. It made sense that he was going to have to provide a different and a better sacrifice than the Old Testament Levitical priesthood could.
22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.
So understanding this sacrifice is absolutely critical to not only understanding the New Covenant we will live in today, but understanding the totality of the Christian life, what it is there to do and how we are supposed to respond to this. In the Old Testament, in order to get your sins forgiven, you had to shed blood, and it does tell us that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. So, blood had to be shed. A life had to be forfeited. Somebody had to pay the price for me. That is what that was, a substitutionary death of something. But it was an animal sacrifice. The quality of that blood, of an animal, was of such quality that it could not take away the sins of the world. It took God Himself, the one who gave us the law that man violated, had to come to fulfill the law in order to usher in a New Covenant of grace and grace alone. No attachments to it.
It is so important for us. I have hammered for years and years, that this message is one if the Christian world does not have a clear understanding of this, they will be confused, double-minded, trying to walk on both sides of the street, under law and grace at the same time, and wondering why there is no reality to this so-called Christian life. It is because you are not living a Christian life. You are living an Old Testament legalistic life with Jesus hanging along as extra baggage. That is about all it is.
When John the Baptist saw the Lord Jesus Christ, it is interesting how he identified Him.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
Here is the Lamb of God, your Messiah, who came not to cover sin, such as the lamb of the world but to take away the sin of the world, which only the Lamb of God could do, a sacrificial lamb. Why was he identified as a lamb? To be sacrificed. We have to understand the truth of this. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was not an accident. It was prophesied. It was an absolute necessity for God to do if He was ever going to save us.
1 The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When anyone among you brings an offering to the Lord, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.
3 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the Lord. 4 You are to lay your hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on your behalf to make atonement for you. 5 You are to slaughter the young bull before the Lord, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and splash it against the sides of the altar at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 6 You are to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 9 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
10 “‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, you are to offer a male without defect. 11 You are to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall splash its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 You are to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the wood that is burning on the altar. 13 You are to wash the internal organs and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of them and burn them on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
It was never forgotten the first time Asaph killed a lamb at a temple. He could not understand why a helpless animal had to suffer and die and had done nothing wrong. That is still a question. Why would you sacrifice an animal for your sins? Why don’t you get on there. Do not kill that lamb of mine. I love that thing. Do not kill my dog. I love that dog more than you. You get on that altar. That is the way we are. It is hard to understand. He had not done anything wrong. If it was meant to take his place, like the priest said, why did he have to do it so often? Why was one sacrifice not enough? Why do you have to keep coming back, as scripture says?
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
It never stops. The sacrifices keep going. We know, therefore, that the law was only a shadow.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
The law is only a shadow. The reality is found in Christ.
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered?
That was the same question Asaph asked. Why does that animal have to suffer and die? It had done nothing wrong. If it was meant to take my place like the priest said, why do you have to do it so often? Why was once not enough? This passage talks about that.
For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
Here is the answer.
3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
The New Testament is making a clear and distinct distinction between taking away and covering. We need to make that distinction today. The death of Christ Jesus did not come to cover sin. That was called atonement. We still call it atonement. We talk about the atoning death of Jesus. He did not come to atone for sins. The blood of bulls and goats atone for sin. You are putting the blood of Jesus on the same par with a bull and a goat, His action is no different than a bull and a goat, because He has to keep doing it over and over again. You could have done that with the blood of a bull and a goat. All you have to do is keep initiating the sacrificial system and hoping your sins do not outnumber bulls and goats some day.
The whole issue is that it is never finished. Jesus did not come to be on the same par, his blood and life to be on the same par as a bull and a goat. Yet the teaching we hear is what is being said. People have put the shed blood of Jesus on the same par as an animal. It is ridiculous. Jesus did not come to atone for sin. He came to take it away. That is why atone is translated sometimes into our English but it is not in the Greek. In the Greek, the word is propitiation, meaning taken away from the eyes of God.
Amy and I were talking about this, about how man has such a tendency of not being able to understand how God could do that. I said, “Honey look. It is the most logical thing in the world that God did. Why would God sit up thousands of years and have to deal with all the rotten stuff that you and I and what everybody in the world is doing for thousands of years? Why would He want to continually deal with that? It seems He would have something better to do with His time than deal with sin. So He dealt with it once. I am not going to deal with it again. We are told that.
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
There sure has been a lot of sinning going on these last 2000 years. It is not that He would not have anything to do, but He did it. Why does the Christian world live in total denial of that truth? Why do you want to keep going back to get forgiveness when He said it is paid in full? I am just asking you a question? I do not care what your denomination teaches. I care less what your denomination teaches.
I do not care if you are a Catholic or a Protestant, both have taught wrong in regard to forgiveness. This is not my thought. This is the bible’s thought. Wrong. If He took something away, there is nothing else to do. That is why He says. “Your sins and lawless acts I will remember no more but where these have been forgiven, there is no more sacrifice for sin.” For the Jew, it was simple. Put aside your sacrificial system. We think we are smarter than the Jews so we develop our own sacrificial system or our own means of keeping ourselves forgiven. If that is in our mindset, and my logical mind cannot think any other way. If I have to keep myself forgiven and I am thinking that I am doing something that enables me to be forgiven, then that is a total denial that I am forgiven. If I have to seek forgiveness, it means I am not forgiven. Otherwise, why would you be seeking what you are not? If I am not dirty, what do I need to take a shower for? The whole issue is, that we are living not by faith, but we are living by denial of the truth of the word of God because our denomination told us to.
That gets back to the word of God. That is what we are studying here. You are not listening to Bob George’s ideas. I am teaching what the scripture teaches. I am not teaching it with bias. I do not have any bias. I am not associated with any denomination so there is no denominational bias. I was able to overcome my frustration with the fact that something is not working, that there is either something wrong with what is not working or something wrong with my understanding. I chose to believe the latter, that there was something wrong with my understanding. There is nothing wrong with the word of God, for it is holy and good. I was not taught what I am teaching today. I was not taught that by man. I was taught this by God. I had to go back and question that this is not working. If something is not working, you are either going to stay or you are just going to live with it. I know it is not working, but it is not that bad. So I really do not care if it is working or not, so just pass it off. So you are living in denial, in essence.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Or, you can say, “God did not intend for me to live this way. That passage that Jesus says He came to give me life and life abundantly. Brother, I do not know where that abundance is. Someone took that away.” I know I have life, but there is nothing abundant in how I am living today in the reality of my life. In that case, we ought to seek the truth. So something is wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with Him. We should not be so fearful of that. We should not be so fearful and egotistical. To say, “Listen, if it is against what my denomination teaches, I am having nothing to do with it.” That is intellectual suicide folks. Denominations can lie to you. Why do you have all these multitude of denominations? Because of the interpretation of scripture. Why do we have all these interpretations of scripture? Because the bible says because you are not relying on Me to reveal the meaning of it to you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] – the things God has prepared for those who love him –
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Your eye is thinking you are seeing. Your ear is thinking you are hearing. You are not counting on Me. You are counting on your own bias, your own effort, or you are trying to squeeze people in a corner that you want them to go into. So you are listening to that interpretation. Do not be foolish to accept what I tell you, what the priest tells you, or what the pastor tells you. We could all be lying to you. Go to the Word of God. The Word of God is not going to lie to you. If you indeed are born again, and that is by faith, you are not born again by being Catholic or Protestant or by going to some crusade. You are born again when, at a point in time in history, when you have recognized your condition, as Paul said, “wretched man that I am. Who will free me from this bondage I am in, of sin and death.”
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
I am under the death penalty. I was born under the death penalty. I was not born alive spiritually. I was born dead spiritually. I did not come alive because I was born in a Protestant church. I did not come alive because I was born in a Catholic or a Buddhist or a Muslim church. I was born alive when the living God came to indwell me. He did not do that at physical birth. I was born devoid of that.
I had to accept the truth of that. I had to accept my condition in order to receive his provision. Very simple. I had to see myself as a sinner.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Do you agree with that?
I sure do. No problem at all with that. You are a sinner. Did you realize there is a consequence to sin called spiritual death? No, I did not realize that. That is not taught. All that is talked about is sin. “Come and get your sins forgiven.” Hold on a minute. There is a consequence to this. It is called death. You have a problem. It is not your sin. It is death. Sin caused your death but death is your problem. The only solution to death is life. Forgiveness does not bring life to the dead. You do not have to be a genius to figure that out. Forgiveness reconciles you to God. Forgiveness is where the debt is taken away so that the resurrected life of Christ Jesus can now come and invade your soul and enable you to be born again. I did not come to Christ just to get forgiveness. I came to get life. I was sick of myself, as Bob George. I was sick of me, of the Romans 7 experience of Paul.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
The things I want to do I do not do and the things I do not want to do I do anyway.
I had to look at a mirror and say, “Bob, here is something wrong with you.” If I had gone to a psychiatrist, he would say I was bipolar or whatever name he came up with. No, you are lost. You do not have to take what it takes to become a real man. You do not have the Spirit of God living in you. It is like a car without spark plugs. Then you send it to a car shop for analysis. You do not need analysis. You need spark plugs. There is an emptiness in mankind. There is a heart-shaped vacuum in every man that can only be filled by Jesus Christ. It is in all of us. We are born missing something. That is why we go through life asking if there is something missing. We get married thinking that will fulfill that need. It does not do it. So we think we married the wrong person. So you look for another. You are still empty. You keep looking for another. You can have more husbands than Liz Taylor and still be empty. The only thing that can fill that void is not physical relationship. It is a spiritual need. You are a spiritual being. We have a spiritual aspect to us that the animal kingdom does not have, that spiritual longing for fulfilment.
Christ in the man is indispensable to the true humanity of the man. You cannot separate that any more than you can separate gasoline from a car and expect it to function. It was made that way. You take gas out of the car, you have a $60,000 car on your hands and it will not run without a couple of dollars of gasoline in it. You take oil out of an oil lamp, what do you have? A lamp that does not function. Take a lamp bulb not plugged in, and it will not function. It is finely made. I marvel at the internal looks of a light bulb. How does anyone make that? How can anyone make it as cheap as it is sold for? Again, it is finely made. But when it is in the box, it does not function. It is dumb as we are, dumb as a mule, and just sits there. It has to be plugged in. Why does man need God living in him? To function. Made that way. Take God out of the man, what do you have? You have a man on your hands that cannot behave like one. He is not an animal so he cannot behave like an animal. He is not a true man as God made him to be so he cannot behave like a man, so he behaves like an idiot. That is where man is behaving today. Behaving and thinking like an idiot. Because we have no truth in us at all, no plumbline in order to bounce what is true and what is error off of. That is a condition of man.
All of this that we are talking about is so important to the way we function. Depression is cured by understanding these truths, because depression is an emotion. It is an emotion that is triggered by thoughts. Our emotions predictably respond to whatever we are thinking. We are made that way by God. You feel something because you are thinking of something. I feel jealousy. What were you thinking? You say, “I feel depressed.” What are you thinking? Depressing thoughts. That is why I am feeling depressed. I am angry at my mate? What are you thinking? Nice sweet thoughts? No, angry thoughts. That is why you are angry. Not complicated. We are made that way. In order to cure the emotion of depression, you must have your mind renewed. And you must renew your mind on truth, Truth sets you free and error keeps you in bondage.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
That verse I had to come to in order to start learning these things. I am driving down the freeway, as busy as you can get. If anyone was judging someone on my works, I was at the top of the list on that one. But I lost the joy of my salvation. My mind figured out that if truth sets you free, then error is what binds you. You do not have to figure that out when driving down the highway with tears down your face that something is wrong. God tells me that I have error.
The error was in forgiveness. I was still trying to seek forgiveness, something in God that I already had. There is no peace in that. Peace comes when something is settled. Peace comes when I know what I know what I know. That is where peace comes. I had no peace. I had Jesus but I did not have any joy and I did not have peace because I had not really made peace with God. So how can I experience the peace of God. Why had I not made peace with God? I had never totally accepted that. He had taken away my sins, never to see them again. I was still trying to keep myself forgiven. As long as you are continually doing that you will never have peace with God.