Friday, December 31, 2010

The New Covenant---For Whom?

Obadiah, I appreciate your question. I have written this article below in an attempt to answer it.

Heb.9:15 reads:
"For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set 
them free from the sins committed under the first covenant." 
                        (Jews first heirs -Matt.15:24; 10:5,6,7) 
                        (John10:16; Acts13:46; Matt.21:43; Acts22:21; 28:28; 13:26; John10:16)
(See Heb.9:15; Rev.5:9,10; Rom.8:28,30,16,19; Gal.3:26,29; Rev.20:6)

Many have commented on my reference to 1 Corinthians 11:26 and how it proves that the Memorial Celebration continues until the arrival of Christ. This scripture was used to establish the reasoning that Christ has not yet arrived. There are many implications to this. The foremost one is that the assertion made by some - that of the "faithful and discreet slave" as already having been identified and rewarded - is thus proven false. It is well known to those familiar with scripture that this designation and reward is not given until Christ returns. If that has not yet taken place, then the claim of being the "faithful and discreet slave” is unfounded.

Yet now, some have wondered why the Memorial Celebration ends with Christ's arrival. 
Once he arrives, the harvest undergoes completion, and your sins are either forgiven, or not. The hope of forgiveness is realized, or not. In either case, the symbolism of that hope, is now a thing of the past.
Others wonder who exactly should partake of the Memorial emblems due to uncertainty as to who is included in the "New Covenant". (Heb.9:15)

The reason why the emblems are not partaken during God's Kingdom, is because prior to this period the meaning of the emblems is fulfilled; the purpose of this Covenant, realized. Just as the Law ceased being practiced when Christ fulfilled it, so too the "Memorial" will cease being practiced when the New Covenant is fulfilled. What was the purpose of the Covenant? Jesus said at Matt.26:28 that it is "in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins". Does this "many" include all who will ever have their sins forgiven? Or do "many" have their sins forgiven by means of it, and yet others have their sins forgiven by further means?

You touch on the answer when you say that life will not be attained by the "rest" (Rev20:5, 6) "until the Thousand Years have ended". Yet we have already seen that the fulfillment of the Covenant for those called, took place before God's Kingdom begins. Yes, the anointed are unique in that they need to have their sins forgiven before achieving perfection. Otherwise there would be no "administration" to implement the blessings to the rest of creation (Eph.1:10; Rom.8:19). The anointed must be atoned for while they are "yet sinners".
During the Thousand Years of atonement, the faithful and repentant chosen attain sinlessness, and by means of the spirit given them (1Pet.1:23) they then receive everlasting life. 
(1Pet.4:1,2; 2Pet.3:11; Gal.5:24; Col.3:3,4,5; Rom.6:2,7,11; 8:9; Eph.2:6; Matt.5:48)

Jesus was prefigured by the Passover lamb (John1:29; Rev.14:1; 1Cor.5:7).
That original Passover lamb was sacrificed....NOT for the entire Nation of Israelites...but only for the "firstborn" of Israel (Heb.11:28). These "firstborn" are fulfilled...not with the "world" in general, (nor even with those who claim to worship God in spirit and Truth)... but with the sealed anointed alone (Heb.12:23; Rev.14:4; 20:6). These are the one's whose lives are saved by means of the blood of the New Covenant, which salvation affords them the "crown of life" (Rev.5:9,10; James1:12; Rev.2:10; 3:11).

Then as you say, it is the "Bride" that directly provides life's waters to everyone else. (Rev.22:17). She becomes the covenant of life to others (Isa.42:6; 49:6; 62:5; 2Cor.5:20; 1Pet.2:5; 1Cor.4:1,2; John7:38,39; Rev.22:17) Everyone else does not attain to life until after the Millennial Reign (Rev.20:5; Matt.25:1,2,46; Ps.110:1,2). It is through the "Administration" of Christ and his Bride (Zion), that they do (1John2:2). They will "gather all things together again in the Christ" (Eph.1:10). It is clearly a different arrangement than the Covenant that observes the unity of Christ's "body" previous to its materialization in heaven (1Cor.11:29) as the Bride (Eph.5:23; Col.1:18a) Rev.21:9.

Once this occurs, the purpose of Covenant is fulfilled; the sins of the anointed paid for.
Then the Bride becomes the new mother covenant, for the rest. (Gal.4:24,26; Rev.22:17)

At Gal.4:24 we see there are only two covenants: The Law Covenant of the Jews and the New Covenant by virtue of Christ's blood. These two covenants are compared to women. The Law Covenant is compared to the Slave Hagar and the New Covenant is spoken of as Sarah. And then the New Covenant is referred to as the "free woman" (Gal.4:31). Her children, are no longer slaves to sin. She is clearly described as "Jerusalem above"; the "mother" of the anointed (Gal 4:26). Therefore, those belonging in this covenant are enrolled in the heavens under this Covenant that gives them life (Heb.12:23). They receive spirit life from her though the "forgiveness" of their sins that her covenant provides.

True, that administration would not exist or function on behalf of all humanity without the Covenant. But once the purpose of that covenant is fulfilled at the start of that eternal administration of God's Kingdom, the provision for life provided everyone else changes.

This makes clear why celebrating the Memorial and partaking of the emblems ends with the first resurrection of the anointed. Although this is a controversial subject, it is scripturally clear that the New Covenant is for the anointed to have their sins forgiven at the start of God's Kingdom (and the end of Christ's "Thousand Year" reign). 

If the New Covenant in force now, were for the forgiveness of all sins, the Thousand Year reign of Christ and his brothers, would not be necessary. But we know the Thousand Years are necessary because not all sins have been forgiven (and life received) when the Covenant concludes. It is reasonable then to realize that the sins forgiven by the fulfillment of the Covenant are those of the faithful anointed.

Some additional scriptural thoughts:

Acts 3:25 reads, "YOU are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God covenanted with YOUR forefathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed.’"

Gal.3:29 "Moreover, if YOU belong to Christ, YOU are really Abraham’s seed, heirs with reference to a promise."

Romans 9:8-9 "That is, the children in the flesh are not really the children of God, but the children by the promise are counted as the seed. For the word of promise was as follows: “At this time I will come and Sarah will have a son.”

[This being the "Sarah" covenant (Gal.4:22, 24, 26), meaning that at the time of Christ's "arrival", the Sarah Covenant will have a "son"...all the anointed will have been sealed.
This fulfills the purpose of "Sarah".]

*These and other scriptures indicate that the "seed of Abraham" is made up of Christ and the sealed anointed. The scriptures indicate (as Acts 3:25 shows) that it is through them that the rest of mankind will be blessed. Therefore, it is not directly through the "New Covenant" which has been shown to be for the sins of the anointed themselves; previous to the blessing of the rest of mankind, through them.

Another point is found at Romans 8:19, which reads:

"For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God."

The context is revealing: (Rom.8:18-23):

"Consequently I reckon that the sufferings of the present season do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. For the eager expectation of the creation is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will but through him that subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation keeps on groaning together and being in pain together until now. Not only that, but we ourselves also who have the firstfruits, namely, the spirit, yes, we ourselves groan within ourselves, while we are earnestly waiting for adoption as sons, the release from our bodies by ransom.

Here we see clearly that the salvation of the physical creation will be accomplished through the Kingdom of Christ and his Bride; not through the New Covenant, but through those bought and saved through that Covenant.

Someone made comments concerning who the "virgins" are...stating that they are not the anointed.
My reply was as follows:

First, the ten virgins are present on earth at the arrival of the bridegroom. Therefore, they can not possibly represent all 144,000.
They represent those being inspected, just previous to the marriage feast. Their passing or failing that inspection, depends upon the light coming from their lamps, as well as how much oil (holy spirit) their lamps contain.

As you correctly point out, the scriptures point to the bride of Christ as being a Covenant....Sarah.
At the marriage of the Lamb, Christ fulfills this promise to her children/attendants/firstfruits.

This Sarah/Covenant/promise can be compared to the blueprint for the Holy City.
It is only a promise/blueprint.
It's actual materialization/construction/fulfillment occurs at the "marriage of the Lamb".
The consummation of the relationship between Christ and the Covenant/Sarah, occurs at that "marriage".
There is where the blueprint/promise materializes....
and the reality is fulfilled...
the first human children (firstfruits) who receive the promise to inherit (heirs) the blessings of this Sarah/Covenant, are changed from prospective heirs,,,into the resurrected incorruptable living stones that make up that City...during the marriage in heaven. That Bride/City is not built before it's living stones exist.

Previous to that "marriage", that City is just a promise/hope/blueprint.
During the "marriage" of the Lamb with that Covenant/Sarah/woman, that blueprint/promise/hope becomes a reality.

Those who were promised membership in that glorious City/Jerusalem above/Bride of Christ, are now made into living stones in heaven.....installed and placed into that materialize into the reality. This installment causes that blueprint/promise, to become a reality.
No longer is the Holy City/Bride/Covenant a mere promise to those who belong to that covenant/Sarah's children/Bride's virgin attendants...
But during the marriage in heaven, those virgins enter God's heavenly palace, to become installed building materials of the Holy become the realization of those promises...the reality of that Bride/City/Mountain/Administration.

Until that "wedding", these things are only a promise/blueprint. Those belonging to that promise/Covenant/Sarah/Jerusalem above, are only her children/hopeful wedding attenders/attendants to that Covenant, ...which promises them life...their mother.

The Covenant/Sarah/Jerusalem above, is the mother of the anointed (while human), in that this promise will result in giving the anointed their immortal spirit lives (mother). Once they have received that spirit life in heaven, they are no longer children of promise; but heirs of becoming that promise themselves, to yet others who will receive life through them. When that promise is fulfilled, they become the materialization of that Promise/Bride/City/Jerusalem.

Previous to the marriage, the anointed are not the Bride.....the Covenant is the Bride, and the human "Chosen", her virgin children.
At the marriage, that Covenant is realized, and the Bride/promise/blueprint, literally becomes a reality....the anointed become the Promise/Covenant/Bride/Holy City of living stones.
During the "marriage"/consumation between Christ and that Covenant/Sarah, the resurrected spirit sons, become the spiritual building materials of that Bride/City....
It is constructed during the marriage/adoption, into a reality. The resurrected anointed are transferred from being the daughters/virgin attendants of the Covenant/promise...into the realization/fulfillment of that promise....the glorious appearance of the reality of a Living City...complete and realized...ready to descend to the to bring that consummated Covenant to the rest of Creation, so that it too, can be transformed; from death, to life.

The physical illustrations found in God's Word, are translated into physical terms for the sake of our partial understanding. It gives the human mind a reference point, and a rough understanding of spiritual realities.
Yet the true spiritual reality, is not limited by these illustrations. We must resist further interpreting and defining of these realities, by means of the limitations of our own physical minds.

I tell you the truth...
The virgin companions of the covenant are the anointed, previous to their induction into the Heavenly City.
The Bride (previous to the marriage), is only a promise/Covenant/blueprint/Sarah.
At that point, while human, the anointed are NOT YET the Bride/Holy City/living stones. They are not yet the Bride!
It is only a promise/covenant. The human anointed do not see the fulfillment of that promise, nor become the "Bride", until they enter the application of the covenant, at the "marriage" in heaven. Only then, do they become that Bride/Holy City.

At the marriage of the Lamb...those virgins enter heaven and form a procession into the "marriage" between Christ and the Covenant. The covenant covers over them as they enter...their righteous acts adorn that covenant, as Sarah becomes a "tent" over them, justifying their entrance before Jehovah. They are the virgins in Sarah's train.
Once the consummation of the Covenant arrives, they are transferred into the reality....each one is placed into the walls of the City, according to the blueprint/promise. As Jehovah God constructs that City during that marriage/adoption, it's living stones are built into the reality, and the completed Holy City, appears.

That which was only a promise/hope/blueprint, (the living Bride of Christ) truly appears/materializes. Christ joins with her/the newly constructed Holy City of living stones....and she descends to the earth to work with her Lord and bring forth the second resurrection/generation of living children. These too have placed their hope in that Covenant, which is now a reality for them...coming down...bring with it, life everlasting.

The firstfruits of the Covenant receive life first, to become the Bride/Holy City.
This is the first resurrection...the first humans given life by means of the Sarah Covenant (their mother), and Christ (their father), through the consummation of these two.
After receiving this incorruptible spirit life, they are adopted by Jehovah God in heaven.

After these firstfruits become the spiritual reality of the Bride/Holy City/Sarah (during the marriage), they then bring that Covenant to the earth, for the second resurrection....the giving of everlasting life to the physical creation. That living water/fruit/leaves will be brought to earth by the newly installed members/trees of life, of that City. (Previous to that installation, they are only hopeful virgins/servant attendants of the Covenant.)

Rev.5:8,9,10 makes plain whose sins Christ's blood pays for, and why. 
(check NKJV translation)

Side point: (The wedding feast occurs previous to the consummation between the Bride and Groom. The wedding guests and admitted virgins are not yet at the consummation in heaven. This is a spiritual feast (spiritual food/enightenment) that occurs previous to the first resurrection. Only those found suitable are given this "food".)


This is a lengthy comment in response to the comment left by "John".

Hello John, 
Thank you for leaving your comment. You are correct in noting that the virgins that enter the wedding feast ARE in a changed condition.

They are then, sealed. The marriage feast of spiritual food/understanding, is only for them who prove loyal. 
In Revelation, it corresponds to the "woman" being "fed" in the wilderness Rev.12:6. 
In Matt.24:28, it corresponds to the eagles feeding on the carcass (1Cor.10:17). 
This is previous to the sealed anointed being resurrected. 
Certainly, Jehovah and Christ can decide who is blessed with understanding, and who is not. To be favored with that insight, it is not necessary to be in heaven. Mark 4:25
At Rev.11:3, we see that it is Jesus who "causes" his "two witnesses" to prophesy truth. It is also Jesus who decides who is admitted to this feast, so that they know what to prophesy.

You said, ".I'm reminded of the Lord' promise at the last supper that he wouldn't eat or drink with them again until they were all in the Kingdom of God."

Remember, once the male child is born (anointed sealed), it is "caught away to God's throne"
...a changed condition indeed for those sealed. Their inheritance in the heavens, is now sealed, and backed by Jehovah's sovereignty (Heb.12:23; Rev.12:10,11). Now that the last of the 144,000 are sealed, the sealed remnant of these are now assured the Kingdom, whose administration is now completed and sealed in heaven (the place of "God's throne"). In essence, they ARE now, in the Kingdom of God. Although still on earth, they now receive immediate blessings of insight, for the task at hand...the final witness Rev.11:3.

This scripture you quote though, (Luke 22:18)
" 18 for I tell YOU, From now on I will not drink again from the product of the vine until the kingdom of God arrives.”   

Notice he does not talk about food here; but he is speaking of the "fruit of the vine". This is not the same as the marriage feast. Here he is referring to the meaning of "vine" as consistent with many of his illustration. This consistent meaning is speaking of the channeling of holy spirit and it's results. Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches". What then, is the fruit...the grapes? 
That would be the resulting teachings, as well as those saved by them.
  And so, Jesus is here referring to enjoying the "fruits" of all their the Kingdom. Once there, Jesus and his brothers will enjoy and imbibe all the products of their preaching labors...the final results...the kingdom rule, the earth-wide knowledge of truth, and all creation offered freedom from sin and death....a lovely cup to drink, indeed.

Getting back to these spiritual provisions of understanding given to the sealed anointed at the brink of the end....for the last witness and last prophesied.....

In accord with the "virgin" illustration....

All anointed ones need to "arise" and ask themselves...what should I be doing? They are all aware that their lamps need to be burning.
 But each one must decide what they will shine...
What will be the fuel of their teachings? All anointed must decide what the source will be, for what they teach. Will it be from God/Holy Spirit, or will it be from men? Who do they trust more, who are they loyal to, who will they put strong faith in? Psalm 146:3 Who do they slave for? 1Cor.7:23; Rom.6:16; Col.3:24.
All Chosen Ones start out by receiving Holy Spirit (1John2:20,27) when they are anointed by it. The foolish virgins have decided to bury what they have being given (Matt.25:18), in favor of what buys approval with men (John12:43).
Let not such anointed imagine that Jehovah will grant them His Spirit, that "searches into the deep things of God" 1Cor.2:10. Let not them imagine that the door of understanding will be opened to them Rev.3:7.

When Jesus said that the "door was shut" to those who sold their loyalty out Matt.25:10,11,12; 
it can be understood by remembering what he said at 
Luke 11:9-13:
"Accordingly I say to YOU, Keep on asking, and it will be given YOU; keep on seeking, and YOU will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to YOU. 10 For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened. 11 Indeed, which father is there among YOU who, if his son asks for a fish, will perhaps hand him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if YOU, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to YOUR children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”

This is THE scripture to understand why the foolish virgins are not admitted. Do they follow Jesus' advice here, and rely on Holy Spirit as to what to shine from their lamps?

Remember....when their oil (holy spirit) grew low...they did not turn to as Jehovah as Jesus advises above. Instead, they sell their virginity to "buy" from a different source. They commit simony (Acts8:20,21) as well as spiritual prostitution (2Cor.11:3). They "buy", from those who "sell" Matt.25:9. 
Darkness now burns in their lamps of insight. Matt.6:22,23.

When these ones "knock" that they might share in the spiritual feast/understanding 
given the wise virgins, it is NOT given them...
because they preferred to turn to a foreign those who "sell".

This parallels the "wild beast" who oversees the "buying and selling" of spiritual provisions and position. Rev.13:17.

These foolish virgins receive the mark of the wild beast, by buying their lamp's light from it,
instead of from Holy Spirit. Those anointed who so compromise, will not be given understanding of the final prophesies, nor be among the "two witnesses". Mark4:25
Instead, they will be among the "ten kings", who rule "one hour with the wild beast" Rev.17:12.
Note that the "image" of the wild beast is an object of worship
(Rev.13:8,12,15; 14:11; 19:20), and is in association with a "false prophet" (Rev.19:20; 20:10).

All of this occurs prior to the consumation/marriage of the Lamb with his covenant-Bride (Gal.4), in heaven. 
That *consumation* follows
1. the resurrection to spirit
2. the "two witnesses" are DONE prophesying what they have receive at the "feast"
3."two witnesses" spend "3 1/2 days" dead on the broadway of the Great City, "Babylon the Great".

No human can have spiritual insight, unless it is granted them by the heavenly Father Matt.16:17. Certainly then, yes, the foolish virgins can be shut out of understanding that the wise virgins are graced with once they become sealed.

Jesus himself tells us the meaning of asking/begging Jehovah for Holy Spirit, so that the "door" of understanding might be opened to us. 
If we beg HIM, he will do it. If we don't, but rather turn to Satan's agents for "light", we will not receive God's grace of insight at that "marriage feast". The marriage "feast" occurs previous to the marriage's consummation in heaven (in accord with ancient tradition).

As many illustrations show, this "feast" is for more guests than just the "virgins". Yet, if these un-anointed ones show no respect for what is being put before them while these "two witnesses" feast and prophesy, they will be "thrown out" to join the ones prevented entrance, and no more understanding (spiritual food from this feast) will be granted them, either (Matt.22:11,12,13). What is the "wedding garment" that these need to don?

12 Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, lowliness of mind, mildness, and long-suffering. 13 Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Even as Jehovah freely forgave YOU, so do YOU also. 14 But, besides all these things, [clothe yourselves with] love, for it is a perfect bond of union. (Col.3)

Those unappreciative ones who despise the final messengers, will be judged based upon how they received the final sayings of these "least ones" Luke9:5; Matt.10:40,41; 25:43,40.

Even now, those with spiritual insight can compare the lamps of the wise and foolish virgins, and see the difference. The wise virgins/two witnesses, are already at the feast!

Thank you for your comment.