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So What’s New? – A Guest-post by R.P. Amos

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Behold, I make all things new,” Rev. 21:5

New cars, new smartphones, new technology, new leaders, new homes, new medicines, new clothes, new job and a new spouse are the daily pursuit and dream of many.  Money, education, time, stress, and relationships are spent to gain the rush of something new.  And yet what is new today becomes old tomorrow and the thirst continues unquenched.

However, the believer in Christ Jesus has at least 7 major things called ‘new’ that will never change.  They bring joy.  They endure forever.  And they don’t get old.

  1. New Covenant – “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” (Heb.12:24)

The Old Covenant (Testament) law promised physical blessing or physical cursing in the land of Israel.  The average person would experience such for about 70 years.  But the New Covenant has “better promises.”  It promises spiritual blessings with no cursing.  The promises range from the forgiveness of sins to an eternal heavenly inheritance.

But the new covenant in Christ Jesus is also a “better covenant” by the terms it offers.  The Old gave the blessings only – if – one obeyed the rules; otherwise it would be the promised cursing.  That’s why Israel ended up cursed for it was based on man’s ability to perform according to God’s holy standard.  The new covenant is embraced by an act of faith in the risen Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.  The promises are based on what God will do by what Christ did, not what we do.  (See Deut. 28 / Eph. 1-3 / 1 Pet. 1:4 / Heb. 8-10)

  1. New Creature – “in Christ, he is a new creature” [creation] (2 Cor. 5:17)

When one puts their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ he is baptized with the Spirit into a union with the living Lord.  He is an actual member of the body of the eternal Christ as the life of Christ is in him.  Being connected to the Son of God he is now one with Christ.  God now accepts him in Christ – because God has accepted Christ with full privilege.  The old status, destiny, principle of relationship and way to perform has forever changed.  He is a new co-heir with Christ Jesus of all the glory that is ahead.

The one “in Christ Jesus” now has: a new Integrity (holy) – a new Validity (accepted) – a new Amnesty (forgiveness) – a new Eternity (heavenly kingdom) – a new Vitality (Spirit-life) – a new Identity (sons of God) – a new Unity (part of the one body).  (Eph. 1-3, Gal. 3:26-28, 4:6-7, Col. 1:13 / 2 Cor. 3:17 – “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”)

  1. New Man – “…to make in Himself…one new man”                                 (Eph. 2:15)

The new man is God’s creation by His workmanship.  Rather than being dead in our sins (a mind with no life to understand and know God) the believer now has been renewed in knowledge and understanding of God.  “The new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Col. 3:10.  (Also 1 John 5:20 / 1 Cor. 2:10-16)

With that renewed knowledge the believer has the nature and ability of holiness, “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Eph. 4:24.

  1. New Way – “a new and living way…He hath consecrated for us”          (Heb:10:20)

No longer is there a closed door (the veil) that keeps one from the presence of God with the exception of an ordained religious man.  That door has been opened when Christ’s blood was given to take away all our sin.   Because the Lord Jesus is alive and seated, not in a holy city on earth but in the heavenly Jerusalem next to God, every believer can come through Him to directly commune with God – apart from a human man on earth.

The believer also does not have to come to a holy temple building on earth to be in God’s presence.  This is because he is now a living spiritual stone that is part of the new temple of God  – which is a body of Spirit-indwelt people – not a pile of rocks.  Believers are God’s sanctuary!  (See Heb. 10:19-21, Matt. 27:51, Eph. 2:20-22 / 1 Pet. 2:5, 1 Cor. 3:16-17)

  1. New Commandment – “A new commandment I give unto you”     (John 13:34)

The new commandment is not a “thou shalt not” but a ‘thou shalt’.  It is not only to love your neighbor as yourself but also to love one another in Christ’s body as Jesus loved you.  His love was a sacrificial love that gave Himself.  His love is enduring, patient, longsuffering – and in truth.  This love is now in our hearts, not just a rule on stone.  And love never fails.  It’s even greater than faith and hope.  (See Eph. 5:2 / Rom. 5:5 / 1 Cor. 13:13)

  1. New Song – “And they sung a new song saying, Thou art worthy” (Rev. 5:9)

Israel sang a victory song unto the Lord when they were redeemed (freed) from slavery.  After the blood was applied from the Passover lamb, Pharaoh finally released them from Egypt.  In exuberant song they rejoiced that their masters sank as a stone in the waters and were drowned in the Red Sea.  They could enjoy life for a few years.  (Exo. 15)

The new song is sung not only by believing Jews but also by their former enemies, people from every nation. The theme of the excitement is that the Lord Jesus is their lamb and has redeemed them from the slavery and judgment of sin by His own life’s blood.  They are God’s kingdom of priests to reign on the earth eternally.  This new victory song will be sung in heaven right before the Lord returns to destroy unrepentant sinners.  Then His saints will have freedom on earth, but the new song begins now in faith, (Rev. 5:1-10).

  1. New Heavens and earth – “I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1)

The hope for the future is not reformation of present politics or environmental climate control but re-creation.  Because unrepentant sinners and Satan will be removed and cast into the lake of fire there will be some things missing.  War is gone.  Disease is gone.  Suffering is gone.  Death is gone.  Pain, sorrow and tears are gone, too.  (Rev. 21:1-5)

While things are gone there will be some things present.  God will be there.  The Lord and His bride will be there.  The tree of life will be there in a gorgeous and peaceful environment.  God’s glory in Christ Jesus will be there and be so bright that there will be no need of the sun.  There is no night there because eternal light is shining.  Yes, there will be peace on earth and good will toward men – and unto the Lord Jesus.  (Rev. 21-22)

We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

2 Peter 3:13

Guest-post by R.P. Amos: God’s View of Contemporary Israel

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

God’s View of Contemporary Israel

With Israel so much in the news and tensions high in the world, it might be helpful for the Lord’s church to consider God’s view on Israel as taught in His Holy Scriptures.

1. Israel’s Present Spiritual State      “blindness in part is happened to Israel”

As to knowing God’s plan as revealed in Messiah Jesus, since His crucifixion, Israel has a judgmental cover over her mind.  She’s spiritually unable to see anymore (with the exception of those who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus, they are part of His church).

2. Israel’s Jesus Attitude   “Let him be crucified”

They are still rejecters of Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God and risen Lord of all.  Their attitude toward God’s saving gospel in Christ Jesus is: “Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost”, 1Thess. 2:15,16.

3. Israel’s Political Land Claim      “the LORD spake … the land is mine”

All the nations have been given land by God but the land of Israel is God’s land.  And He has chosen to give it to Israel as His own heritage on earth.  He also has chosen Jerusalem as the city for His Name.  Their land claim is not based on who occupied it first or won a war but God’s choice.  To divide God’s land among other peoples is rebellion against God.  Their claim to the land is by the unconditional covenant to Abraham.  However, their blessings or cursings in that land are conditional according to their law covenant.

4. Israel’s Immediate Political Future   “then shall be great tribulation”

Because she is unrepentant concerning the Lord Jesus, she is headed for her darkest hour.  She is back in her land but as unbelievers in Christ Jesus (as prophesied): it is a deadly combination.  She will lose her future rebuilt temple and be severely persecuted.  All nations will eventually unite against her and be poised to finally destroy her.

5. Israel’s Final Political Future      “all Israel shall be saved”

On the eve of destruction King Jesus will come in judgment to destroy the attacking nations and their demonic leadership.  This is to fulfill God’s promises by her prophets.  The Lord Jesus Christ will set up the kingdom of God on earth with Jerusalem (God’s land) as its capital.  Then there will be “on earth peace, good will toward man”.

6. Israel’s Spiritual Future        “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced”

Also on the eve of destruction, her national Christless self-confidence will be broken.  Her reliance on other nations to help save her is gone.  The survivors will then in utter brokenness realize the Lord is their Savior and His name is Jesus as they see the marks of the cross. The Lord Jesus will in mercy take away all her sins for He died for them.

So when it comes to Israel: “concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake”  – but as to God’s elected political future – “they are beloved for the father’s sake”.  Be an equal opportunity gospel ambassador to all nations but don’t hate Israel.  God does not.  {Some Scriptures for Israel.  1.Her blindness – Romans 11:25 / 2Cor. 3:12-16 / Acts 28:26,27.   2.Her Jesus rejection – Matt. 27:22 / Acts 13:42-47 / Romans 10:1-4.  3.Her land claim – Lev. 25:1, 23 / Gen. 15 / Deut. 32:7-9 / 1Kings 11:36 / Joel 3:1-2 / Deut. 28.  4.Her immediate future – Jer. 30:7 / Matt. 24:15-22/ Dan. 9:27/ Zech. 14:2 / Rev. 12:12-17 & 16:12-16.  5.Her final future – Romans 11:26 / Zech. 14:2-9 / Rev. 19:11-21 / Isa. 2&11 / Luke 2:14.  6.Her spiritual future – Zech. 12:9-14 & 13:1 / Romans 11:26-27, 32 / Isaiah 53.  Last Paragraph – Rom. 11:28 / Luke 24:47 / Col. 3:11 / Rom. 10:1.}