Difference between revisions of "The Message and the Old Covenant"

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(What is the "new covenant"?)
(What is the "new covenant"?)
 
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:''In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is '''the new covenant''' in my blood, which is poured out for you.<ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 22:20.</ref>
 
:''In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is '''the new covenant''' in my blood, which is poured out for you.<ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 22:20.</ref>
  
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==Is the "Old Covenant" still relevant?==
  
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Paul refers to the Ten Commandments are the "ministry of death" in 2 Corinthians 3:7 and the writer of Hebrews tell us that:
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:''...by calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.<ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Heb 8:13.</ref>
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How does an obsolete covenant relate to the new covenant Gentile church?
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In Acts 15, we find Paul and Barnabas in Jerusalem telling the apostles about their concerns with certain people who were preaching that the old covenant applied to the Gentiles such that they were required to keep the law.  The apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church met to consider the issue.
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Peter stated his view clearly:
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:''“Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.  God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! '''We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.'''”<ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:7–11.</ref>
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And James was even clearer:
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:'' “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me." ...“It is my judgment, therefore, that '''we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles''' who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to '''abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.''' For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” <ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:13–21.</ref>
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The apostles, elders and the entire Jerusalem church agreed and sent a letter to the Gentile believers:
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:''The apostles and elders, your brothers,
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:''To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
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:''Greetings.
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:''We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.  So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul — men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
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::''You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.
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:You will do well to avoid these things.
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:''Farewell.<ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:23–29.</ref>
  
  

Latest revision as of 19:50, 2 May 2020

William Branham mentioned the "old covenant" 16 times in over 1100 sermons. He mentioned the term "new covenant" only 11 times. As a result, it is clear that he did not understand the importance of the new covenant or what it meant.

What is the "new covenant"?

Jeremiah speaks of the new covenant:

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”[1]

And when Jesus replaced the Passover with the Communion, he stated:

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[2]

Is the "Old Covenant" still relevant?

Paul refers to the Ten Commandments are the "ministry of death" in 2 Corinthians 3:7 and the writer of Hebrews tell us that:

...by calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.[3]

How does an obsolete covenant relate to the new covenant Gentile church?

In Acts 15, we find Paul and Barnabas in Jerusalem telling the apostles about their concerns with certain people who were preaching that the old covenant applied to the Gentiles such that they were required to keep the law. The apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church met to consider the issue.

Peter stated his view clearly:

“Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.[4]

And James was even clearer:

“Brothers,” he said, “listen to me." ...“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” [5]

The apostles, elders and the entire Jerusalem church agreed and sent a letter to the Gentile believers:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.  So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul — men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.
You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.[6]


What is sin?

There are a number of Greek words that are translated as "sin":

Missing the mark - Harmatia

The most common term in scripture for sin is the Greek term, harmatia. It was a word from archery, meaning to miss the target. The original suggestion of “missing” an aim or a way, contained both in the Hebrew and the Greek may be detected in such a phrase as Romans 3:23 (“all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”) This Greek word describes an archer who missed a target. This meaning is illustrated where the term describes left-handed select men who could sling a stone at a hair and not miss (Jud. 20:16, NASB). The same word is found in Prov. 19:2, “Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who makes haste with his feet errs (or misses a mark).” [7]

Harmatia is used in two ways. (1) It describes the state of all who sin. In this sense it is used as a spiritual holding place, thus sin is regarded as imprisonment. Paul wrote, “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22). Paul asked, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1). (2) It describes the actions and thoughts of man to do or think wrong rather than right. One who is perverted in mind is said to sin, “being condemned of himself” (Tit. 3:11). One who commits sexual immorality sins “against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). Sin is the active transgression of law, says John (1 Jn. 3:4).

===Transgression (parabasis) and Trespass (paraptōma)

These words are, for all intents and purposes, synonyms in the truest sense. Transgression is the stepping over the boundary line. Trespass signifies blundering into forbidden territory. Transgression and trespass presuppose a law. John said, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 Jn. 3:4). Luke tells us that Judas, “by transgression fell” (Acts 1:25). James adds, “If thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (Jas. 2:11). Jesus asked the hypercritical Pharisees, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Mt. 15:3). Paroptoma is translated by “blunder,” and “fall” (Rom. 11:11, 12).

Lawlessness - anomia

Lawlessness is the violation of law. W. E. Vine said,

In 1 John 3:4 the R.V. adheres to the real meaning of the word, “every one that doeth sin (a practice, not the committal of an act) doeth also lawlessness: and sin is lawlessness.” This definition of sin sets forth its essential character as the rejection of the law, or will, of God and the substitution of the will of self. (357)

Lawlessness is also translated iniquity. Workers of iniquity (Mt. 7:23) are those who disregard the law. Ungodliness (asebeia). Thayer defines this word as “want of reverence towards God, impiety, ungodliness,” and cites Rom. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:16 and Titus 2:12 as examples. Paul refers to the “ungodliness of Jacob” (Rom. 11:26), as Jacob’s sin from which Israel must turn away. “Works of ungodliness” are sinful deeds and Jude uses the term exhaustively. “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 15).

Unrighteous - adika

This word is primarily dealing with personal relations between people. It focuses on how one treats a neighbor or a brother. To do our fellow man wrong is to act unrighteously toward him. John says “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 Jn. 5:17).

Debt - opheleima

Jesus taught the disciple to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Mt. 6:12). It is used only once in the sense of sin. That Jesus meant sin in this instance is seen in that Luke’s account uses the word harmartia (Lk. 11:4). The only other occurrence of the word in the New Testament is where Paul said, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4).[8]


Paul, however, writes in Romans 14:23, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” The word “faith” in the Bible means to “trust in, rely upon.” Sin, then, is not a matter of lying, cheating, being immoral, or any other act. These are only the results of an attitude of sin. Sin, rather, is any lack of conformity to the will of God, anything we do that does not come from our trust or reliance on God. Attitudes such as worry, irritability, and depression are symptoms of our lack of trust in God. Therefore, a good definition of sin is doing what we want instead of what God wants - both in attitude and action.


Bill Bright, 5 Steps of Christian Growth: Leader’s Guide (Orlando, FL: NewLife Publications, 1994), 46.


Is it a sin for a woman to wear pants?

Quotes of William Branham

The old and new covenant

109 The New Testament means “New Covenant.” The Blood Life, the Blood Life Itself, is the Token. The Life out of the Blood is the Token. Remember, in the Old Testament, the actual blood of the lamb had to be applied. Here, it’s the Token of the Blood; it is the Life from the Blood, that’s in the person, for the Token.

  64-0208 - The Token
  Rev. William Marrion Branham
  

24 Now, the Old Testament, the Aaron’s plate was done away, with the Old Covenant.

  64-0306 - A Greater Than Solomon Is Here Now
  Rev. William Marrion Branham
 

329 New Testament is “new covenant,” new Life, shows Jesus has met every requirement for us that God required, to make us back, truly, sons and daughters of God, under the Blood, where there is no more condemnation.

  63-0901M - Token
  Rev. William Marrion Branham
  

149 The bloody Lamb is our Token tonight. In Hebrews 13:10 and 20, it is called the “everlasting covenant,” if you’d like to read it. God’s Blood-bound promises made us free from sin and flesh. It is an everlasting covenant, to worship Him and show forth His promised signs. The New Testament is the new covenant in His Blood. The Bible said so. The New Testament means the “new covenant,” Blood Life, new Life Token in us. Where the old blood stood for a simple sign of the chemistry that a lamb had died, the Holy Ghost is the Life that was in the Person of Jesus Christ that’s displayed in you and I, tonight. Outside of that, there is no mercy. “Only when I see the blood, I’ll pass over you.”

  63-1128E - The Token
  Rev. William Marrion Branham

119 The New Testament means “new covenant.” The Blood means “Life.” The New Testament is the Holy Ghost testament, the Holy Ghost giving testimony of what Jesus Christ has raised from the dead, showed Jesus has met every requirement for us, and is alive today. The Token proves He is alive to identify Hisself with us, according to His promise. Now how can a man read the Bible and see that He promised it, and see Christ return in these last days in the form of the Holy Ghost and identify Himself alive? That’s the Token. That’s the sign. That’s the price paid.

  64-0308 - The Token
  Rev. William Marrion Branham

What is sin?

Well, what is sin? See? Drinking whiskey is not, and smoking cigarettes, and committing adultery is not sin. That’s just the attributes of sin. You do that because you’re sinners. That’s what you life bears. Smoke… Just like I said tonight outside, “How much this is nice, the whole thing’s nice.” And you’re a sinner, because you believe not. “He that believeth not is condemned already.” You’re a sinner, because you don’t believe.[9]

273 What is sin? Sin is “unbelief.” Unbelief in (what?) the Word; unbelief in God, which is the Word.

  65-1125 - The Invisible Union Of The Bride Of Christ
  Rev. William Marrion Branham
 

79 Look in the Bible, you see where, what age we’re living in then, when you see these great things being made manifest. When God promised to do it, He always does it at the end of each age when the church is come to the turning place, and is turned from the Word back to sin and worldliness. Worldliness is sin. The Bible said, “If you love the world or the things of the world, the love of God’s not even in you.”

  65-1206 - Modern Events Are Made Clear By Prophecy
  Rev. William Marrion Branham
 
  


Footnotes

  1. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Je 31:31–34.
  2. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 22:20.
  3. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Heb 8:13.
  4. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:7–11.
  5. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:13–21.
  6. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 15:23–29.
  7. Bob Buchanon, “What Is Sin,” in The Bible Doctrine of Sin, ed. Ferrell Jenkins, Florida College Annual Lectures (Temple Terrace, FL: Florida College Bookstore, 1997), 5.
  8. Bob Buchanon, “What Is Sin,” in The Bible Doctrine of Sin, ed. Ferrell Jenkins, Florida College Annual Lectures (Temple Terrace, FL: Florida College Bookstore, 1997), 7–8.
  9. Willaim Branham, 54-0216 - Jairus And Divine Healing, para.13


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