Broken Promises - Part 2

Scripture: Hebrews 8:6, Hebrews 9:1-10, Colossians 2:14-17
This is a continued discussion the old and new covenants and the faulty idea that the 10 Commandments are the old covenant. What was blotted out were the things that pointed out by Christ, the shadow of things to come--which came when Christ came and died. The Sabbath is not a shadow of things to come, but the ceremonial services.
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Today I'm going to continue our subject of law and grace, and especially in relation to the two covenants of the Bible. In our last broadcast we noted that this is a greatly misunderstood doctrine of both Old and New Testaments. Probably the greatest distortion of truth has resulted from the idea that the Ten Commandment law was the Old Covenant and that it has now been done away with. Friends, this just simply isn't true. The facts are that the Old Covenant was an agreement between God and His people regarding the keeping of the Ten Commandments. You read that very specifically in the Bible. Now here is the proof that the law was not the Old Covenant.

According to the eighth chapter of Hebrews, the Old Covenant waxed old and vanished away. It also had poor promises in it, and it was described as faulty. Who can believe that this describes the Ten Commandments? Nowhere are they called faulty, in fact, the Bible says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Neither has anyone ever been able to point out a poor promise in the decalogue. And Paul clearly declares that the Ten Commandment law is established by faith. It has not vanished away in any sense of the word.

Briefly stated, the Old Covenant was the agreement of the people at Mt. Sinai to keep the law of God in their own strength and through their own efforts. That agreement was faulty because those poor promises of the people were almost immediately broken, rupturing the covenant. In Hebrews 8 God said He would make a new covenant based upon better promises, and then, He proceeded to make the promises which formed the basis of that new agreement. Those promises involved Christ living in the heart, regenerating and empowering the individual to obey the Ten Commandments through love. Now we shall go on to consider another phase of the two covenants that has often been misunderstood, that is, the ordinances or ceremonies connected with the covenants. These were added because of sin.

"Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary... which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience: which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation." Hebrews 9:1,9,10.

The Bible is perfectly plain on the fact that the ceremonies of the Old Covenant would remain in force only until the time of reformation, when Jesus died. Other passages make it plain that the time of reformation spoken of here was the time when the New Covenant was ratified. Thus we read in Colossians 2:14-17: "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross:... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."

What does Paul say was blotted out at the cross? Those things which were a shadow of things to come. The types and symbols which pointed forward to Christ, the Lamb of God. This included the offering of lambs, the meat offerings and drink offerings, which were a part of the ordinances, not the Ten Commandments. There is not even a suggestion in the above passage that any of the Ten Commandments were blotted out at the cross. The sabbath days and holy days affected were only those 6 yearly feast sabbaths:

1. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Passover, Leviticus 23:5

2. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, Leviticus 23:6

3. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Pentecost, Leviticus 23:20

4. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Trumpets, Leviticus 23:24

5. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Atonement, Leviticus 23.27

6. Yearly Feast Sabbath of Tabernacles, Leviticus 23:34

These yearly feast sabbaths with their meat and drink offerings were the ones "which were shadows of things to come." The Sabbath of the Ten Commandments is not a type or a shadow. It was given to man in the Garden of Eden before Adam sinned, before there were types and shadows. The types and shadows were added after man sinned.

The things that were blotted out were "against us." 1 John 3:4. The Ten Commandments were given for our good to tell us what sin is.

One of the ordinances of the Old Covenant was circumcision. But under the New Covenant "circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing: obedience to God's Commandments is everything." 1 Corinthians 7:19(Weymouth).

That word obedience is to some people a most hated word. They want to tell you what God has to say about grace and forgiveness, but never do they reveal that God has quite a bit to say about obedience also. Obedience, of course, isn't the means of justification, but it is an evidence of justification and salvation. To get a full picture of the subject let us read what Paul has to say. He explains in Romans 8:3,4, that it is the very purpose of the New Covenant to bring us into harmony with God's law. Now do you see why the keeping of the Commandments of God is everything under the New Covenant? Paul also says in Romans that we know God's will as we are instructed out of the law. Romans 2:18 "And knowest His will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law." So the man who wants to do away with the Ten Commandments doesn't want to know God's will. But remember the law never saves. Only the grace of Jesus saves. The purpose of the law is to tell us right from wrong. To reveal God's will to us.

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Friend, if you truly have this New Covenant experience, the righteousness of the law, which includes honoring the entire Ten Commandments, will be seen in your life. It is Christ living out a life of obedience to His Father's commandments in you.

If you do not have this experience at this moment, won't you surrender to the control of God's Spirit without further delay? Let the Master Potter mold you and make you after His will. He can only do this as you surrender fully to His will, as you are waiting, yielded and still. This is the New Covenant experience.

So far you have clearly seen that both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant were made concerning God's Ten Commandment law. The Old Covenant also included certain rites and ceremonies which were declared to be only temporary. These ceremonies and not the Ten Commandments were blotted out at the cross. The New Testament reveals three new ordinances which were added under the New Covenant in the place of those ceremonies which came to an end at the cross. The new ordinances are:

1. The Lord's Supper - Matthew 26:26-28

2. Baptism - John 3:5; Matthew 28:19,20

3. Ordinance of Humility - John 13:4-17

All three of these ordinances were instituted before Christ's death. The Bible clearly explains that that is the only way they could get into the New Covenant. They must be instituted before His death. "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament (or covenant) is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." Hebrews 9:16,17.

No one would have the right to have added baptism or the Lord's Supper to the New Covenant after Christ's death. He must include it in His will before His death. The same is true of our weekly day of rest. If Jesus had any intention of ordaining a new day of rest for the new covenant, this would have to have been done before His death in order to be valid. Inspiration sets forth this principle so clearly that none need misunderstand: "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto." Galatians 3:15. If it were not for this provision men would be forever tampering with the will of Christ. Surely, as it is, men have tried to make changes in His will. But the Bible says, no, all that was settled and recorded before the Saviour's death.

It is impossible, according to the scripture, for Sunday to be the Sabbath of the New Covenant because it came three days too late, three days after Christ's will was sealed by His death.

Sometimes people have asked why Christ instituted the Lord's Supper before His body was actually broken. Jesus told the reason in Matthew 26:28. He said, "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Notice that term "New Testament", that is exactly the same as "New Covenant." Jesus had to introduce the Lord's Supper before He died in order to get it under the New Covenant. After the testament was confirmed by His death, nothing could be added to it or taken away. No man's Will can be tampered with after his death. Christ wanted the bread and wine to be in the New Covenant, also the Ordinance of Humility or foot washing, but listen, Sunday-keeping came in much later, long after the resurrection, and it could not possibly be added to the New Covenant which had been closed and ratified by the shedding of Christ's blood.

One fine Christian lady said, "I keep Sunday because that is the day Jesus finished it all." But it doesn't say that in the Bible. It says in John 19:30, "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost." The Bible says it was finished on Friday the day of the crucifixion, not on Sunday the day of the resurrection.

You see, the burden of Jesus' heart was the sins of the world He must die for. The agony that came to His heart in Gethsemane and on Calvary's cross was from the sins of the world. Jesus did not concern Himself with the resurrection morning. He knew He had power to lay His life down and to take it up again. "I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." John 10:17,18, "I lay down my life, that I might take it again." So the resurrection morning didn't bother Jesus. What bothered Him most was dying for the sins of the world and that was finished on Friday. After that He knew He would be resurrected, ascend to heaven, sit on the right hand of the Father, intercede for our sins, and come again for the redeemed. And if I were to choose another Sabbath, I would probably choose Friday, the day Jesus died for my sins. But no, I have no right to be choosing Sabbaths. God already had given us a perfect Sabbath. It was in the world before sin was. And God had no reason to change His perfect Sabbath of the fourth Commandment which says the seventh day, Saturday, is "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." Exodus 20:8-11.

After His death Christ's followers continued keeping the "Sabbath day according to the Commandment."

Isn't that amazing and wonderful, friends? that the Bible is so clear on this subject of Christ's will? And listen, you are the beneficiary of that last will and testament of Christ. All the promises of His covenant are for you, and by them you are an instant millionaire. As soon as you accept Jesus as your Saviour, He also becomes your elder brother, and you are named in His will to receive all the exhaustless wealth and blessings of the New Covenant promises. That woman who inherited a million dollars will have nothing in comparison, and she only had a year to live. You have millions of years to live in the perfect happiness of Christ's own dwelling place.

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