Monday, June 23, 2008

What Is the Fate of Old Covenant Keepers?

What of those who choose to be under the Old Covenant, what of their fate? Do they have the Holy Spirit? Is their salvation at stake? If not, where do they wind up in the Kingdom? What resurrection do they receive?


These are questions I have been asking myself for two or three years now. I have realized, as of late, that there is obviously a consequence or Paul would have said nothing to the Galatians.
He would not have told them that they were alienating themselves from Christ, had fallen away from Grace. He would not have told them that Christ would be of no value to them at all.

If you do
not keep the Holy Days or the Sabbath... guess what? Your salvation is not in jeopardy! I repeat, you, by no means, jeopardize your salvation by not keeping Sabbaths! There is nothing wrong, however, with observing them if you realize it is no longer commanded, as long as you know it's not a command and that salvation cannot be attained, or get you closer to attaining it by doing so.

Consider the following verses:
Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

[If you can gain salvation by keeping the Sabbaths, then.. Christ.. died.. for ..nothing. And if He died for nothing, He is of no value to you.
Consequence: If He is of no value to you, He cannot dwell within you, no Holy Spirit, because you are cut off from Him.
]

Gal. 5:2
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

[Notice his statement; "Mark my words" i.e.; "I'm warning you. If you rely on O.C. laws for salvation, Christ will be of no value to you at all."

Consequence: If Christ is of no value to you, you do not have Christ dwelling in you. He cannot pay your debt if you are relying on O.C.]


Gal.2:10
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
[If you believe that keeping the Sabbaths are a requirement for attaining salvation, then you are under a curse because if you don't keep the law in it's entirety, flawlessly, you cannot be credited righteousness.
Consequence: Since, obviously,
everyone sins; without repentance, on this path you will not be part of the Bride.]


Gal. 5:4
You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
[If you rely on the O.C. laws for salvation, Christ is of no value to you- meaning; rather than receive salvation through Him, you are attempting to gain it by your own efforts.
Consequence: Without repentance, you are destined for the pit, because there is no such thing as a perfect human, and perfect is what you'd have to be in order to obtain righteousness though O.C. observances. You cannot
have the Holy Spirit if you are cut off from Christ. You cannot receive the grace you have fallen away from.]


Gal. 4:30
But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."
31
Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

[The analogy that Paul uses here, of the two women, is so clear. The Slave Woman is the Old Covenant. The Free Woman is the New Covenant. We are not children of the Old Covenant, but of the New Covenant.
Consequence: Those who keep Old Covenant laws because they believe they are required to, will
not inherit with the Bride of Christ. You will not be part of the Bride of Christ.]

Gal.3:11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."

12
The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."

13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

Now, I know some, if not all of you don't believe you are keeping the Old Covenant, but you are.
Why do I say this? How do I know? Because the Bible makes it quite clear. The Sabbaths are Old Covenant, that is; the Mount Sinai law, which was given to the Israelites. Jesus ended that Contract when He died on the cross to pay our debt for the sins we commit and have committed. Which brought into effect, the New Contract.

Don't be so easily fooled into thinking that you are to keep things from the O.C. because you think Jesus magnified the law. He did not!

For goodness sake, surely you realize that contracts can have similarities. Do you think that if God were to give you a new contract, that it could not contain anything about Love? 

God can make as many contracts as He chooses and everyone of them can and will be about Love. Do you think God was so shortsighted that He used up His one contract that could contain Love? Do you really think that if He makes a new contract and it doesn't use the ten examples written in stone, of what Love is and isn't, that it means this new contract permits sin!? Of course it doesn't.

Do you really need God to spell out for you what Love is? The ten items written in stone were merely ten examples of what Love is and is not, which didn't even include every sin that man has committed! It doesn't mention pedophilia, but that doesn't mean it's not a sin! So why would you think that by not being under the ten commandments, (part of the Old Contract), that it would mean sinning is okay?

You are keeping the old contract/covenant, you are not keeping a modified or amplified contract. That is not permitted! Paul tells us this is so;

Gal.3:15
Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

So you see that the contract could not have been modified or amplified in any way!


As Christians we should know what we believe, and we should know why we believe it. At some point in time we should be able to somewhat easily lay it out for others who may ask us about what and why we believe what we do.

Read the book of Galatians and do some thinking. You are intelligent, and I know you want God's truth.

I know that if you read something in the Bible that doesn't quite fit with your current beliefs or make sense, you will ponder over it and consider it rather than just read past it and ignore it, because we are seekers of truth, and as such, we pour through the scriptures with the goal of getting to know God and learning about the things that will please Him.
We are on a quest for truth. It's an ongoing education, so we may have to say; "Well, as I understand it at this point in time, I believe/think it means..."



************
You know what I think about the quest for truth and how to find it?

It's pretty simple actually;

1)WANT THE TRUTH
if you don't truly want it, you won't get it

2)DON'T ASK OTHERS WHAT THEY THINK THE TRUTH IS
leave it to God to reveal this, He is smarter than people

3)TELL GOD YOU WANT THE TRUTH
now that you know you want it, you need to tell Him you want it

4)TELL GOD YOU HAVE NO PREFERENCES FOR WHAT THE TRUTH IS
for me, I told Him; "It doesn't matter to me; if I am required to keep Sabbaths fine, if I am not required to, fine. I am only interested in pleasing you."

5)TELL GOD YOU ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN PLEASING HIM
we have no one to be loyal to but Him

6)GET A THREE RING BINDER WITH POCKETED SUBJECT DIVIDERS
this is better than a notebook, as it is easy to rewrite, add, and rearrange papers, the pockets/pouches are good for loose and/or small items

7)MARK THE SUBJECT(S) YOU WILL BE STUDYING IN YOUR BINDER
some of mine are; "Did Jesus have a beginning?"; "144,000"; "Accepting Jesus on the death bed"; "Do we need to be taught by others?"; "Old/New covenant"; "Names of Jesus"

8)OPEN YOUR BIBLE

9)OPEN YOUR PAPER OR ONLINE INTERLINEAR
this is necessary for examining the Greek or Hebrew word in question

10)OPEN YOUR PAPER OR ONLINE GREEK/HEBREW DICTIONARY
this is necessary for examining the Greek or Hebrew word definitions for better understanding of a words meaning and translation

11)ASK GOD TO SHOW YOU HIS TRUTH

12)BEGIN TRACKING YOUR SCRIPTURES;
you will need to refer back to these frequently to remember what you are learning, they are also your references when sharing what you have learned with others.

13)BE WILLING TO INVEST TIME INTO YOUR QUEST
this is an ongoing commitment; Jer. 30:21 "...for who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?' declares the LORD."



So, what is the fate of the old covenant keepers? My understanding at this time is: Without repentance;
  • alienated from Christ and thus,
  • do not receive the Holy Spirit, the deposit, the guarantee of inheritance,
  • not an heir with Christ
  • not the Bride of Christ,
  • destiny?...the pit.
With repentance;
  • not the bride of Christ, and if not the Bride...
  • destiny?...second resurrection...
  • ... so where is your place in the Kingdom as one who is not part of the Bride?
I am interested in truth so, if anyone has any other insight on this subject, I would be happy to examine it if you would like to add something or if you feel I have overlooked something, or...

13 comments:

AggieAtheist said...

This all sounds familiarly like one side of the "bible jigsaw" equation that was drilled into our heads by the church and HWA. (My take on the bible jigsaw is available from the link to the AS blog through my userid.)

"I am interested in truth so, if anyone has any other insight on this subject, I would be happy to examine it if you would like to add something or if you feel I have overlooked something, or..."

My article about the bible jigsaw is pretty much my insight at the moment, but I was just wondering if you thought those keeping the real Judaic old covenant (not the cherry-picked version we, and current CoG splinters, and messianic jews, follow today), are considered, by you, to be "doomed to the pit", or if you feel they are going to come up in "the second resurrection"?

(I still can't quite get my head around the fact that non-CoG Christians believe in the three resurrections. Of all the Armstrongist things to abandon, the entire book of Revelation would be one of the better choices, and Weinland's group is more than ample proof as to why.) :-(

That's the one thing that really really annoys me, still; the fact that Judaism and Christianity are branches of the same ("Abrahamic") religion, and yet both sides are at impossible loggerheads.

That said, Christianity was born out of a war-like mentality, in a war-torn region, so maybe hoping for lightness and goodness and sweetness really is too much to ask for, all those syrupy sweet bible-beaters to the contrary.

The dangerous trap people fall into, in my opinion, is when they choose one side of the bible jigsaw over the other, because it was that very disparity that caused Armstrongism to be born. (HWA's attempt to "connect the dots" between the old testament and the new.)

That said, I do not believe in the inerrancy of the canonical christian text, nor do I believe that text was divinely inspired. So take my opinion for what that's worth.

Anonymous said...

The Prophet Jeremiah tells the fate of people when they don't obey God, for his time and also wrote it down for a time in the future! I see on many blogs that people have bickerings about this and that about the law of God. But the Bible tells us how to live and if we don't, then we have to suffer the outcome later from the way we live! It is our choice either do what God commands and be blessed or don't and be cursed, he leaves the choice strictly to us, and suffering comes by our choice, by disobedience to what God says is right, and by not following after what is right in our heart, but what God says is right!

Richard said...

I would add one thing to point 2: don't assume other denominations know what the truth is.

Many think they know -- and many will tell you so. (COG's or otherwise.)

I heard a UCG Pastor say once that the Bible is a "no-spin book." (Of course, UCG still spins it -- as do other groups.) Ask for God's help in seeing through the spin.

Seeker Of Truth said...

As I mentioned in this post; I do think that "those keeping the real Judaic old covenant" are doomed for the pit

without repentance.

Paul makes it clear that there are consequences for keeping the old covenant, because if you keep it, believing it is necessary for salvation; you must keep it perfectly to be found righteous, which is impossible. If there were no consequences, Paul would not have bothered writing to them about it.

Obviously there is a benefit to repentance; it keeps one from the pit.

Some questions to contemplate are:

If one repents before Jesus returns, wouldn't that mean first resurrection?
If you repent once Jesus returns, wouldn't that mean post millennial resurrection? After all, you have alienated yourself from Christ; alienated = no Christ dwelling in you. The Holy Spirit is the deposit, the guarantee. Without the deposit, the guarantee, how can you be part of the Bride of Christ? Where, then, is your place in the kingdom?

Russell Miller said...

I think you are falling into a trap that many people do. You have to be willing to follow the truth wherever it takes you. Christianity *may not be right* for some people. The truth is what gives life meaning for you and makes you happy. Nothing more.

But I guess this is a first step. Get out of the COGs and mainstream, and you're much more likely to go where the pursuit takes you, no matter where that might be.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Russell,

You have given up on God because of what people have done. Just because we experience some bad examples of spouses, doesn't mean we should abandon marriage or relationships; my spouse didn't even like the terms" husband" or "wife" because of this, and still finds them a bit unpleasant. The problem is not with God or with Marriage, it is with people.


You said, "Christianity *may not be right* for some people."

Christianity is not a hobby or pastime we take up. "The truth is" in God we move and have our being. We exist because He created us. Whether one believes in God or evolution/big bang; it is all faith. Evolution is a faith, and if the two (Christianity and Evolution) are fairytales, which is easier to believe: An intelligent creator, or hitting the jackpot from the get-go, every time, all the time - that is; happy little accidents that lead to where we are now?

I don't believe I have fallen into a trap. I look around at the world, I look at biology and I see a creator, not a non-stop jackpot.

I do, however, believe you have fallen into a trap, by allowing a bunch of screwed up people to turn you away from God. They are the nasty ones, not God.

We expect God to make everything right in our lives, to rescue us, but that's not how it works. If He were to do that now, we would be full of excuses when He came back. We have to have complete choice and we have to fall flat on our faces, hard, before we can admit fully, that we are 100% incapable and need Him.

Look at it this way:
Sin is the chicken pox and we are being sent to play with the infected children for our own protection.

In the end, we will want nothing to do with sin, because we will have been up to our eyeballs in the 'crap'- been there, done that'-
unlike Lucifer and the fallen angels.

We have our own ideas of what God should be, or should do, and that's the problem; they're our ideas, not reality.

Russell Miller said...

Then answer me this.

Objectively, what makes your religion any better than, say, Islam? Why are people who follow Islam not "saved", and Christians are?

Just curious.

AggieAtheist said...

I can't speak for Russell, but I can tell you this: It isn't that being born and raised in the church turned me away from "God", it is that being born and raised in the church turned me away from the christian god.

I lean towards a panentheistic view of deity, if one exists, that falls more closely in line with Quakerism, Gnosticism, and/or a few of the more grounded Eastern beliefs.

If I wasn't so skeptical of ALL religion, I would probably have taken up at least one of those "paths" I listed above, before this. But if there's one thing the church gave me, it was the love of complete spiritual and intellectual freedom, once I was free of it.

Christianity and Judaism are two disparate entities, and never the twain shall meet. Armstrong thought he could solve the bible jigsaw, but the fact is, both sides are wrong; the Christians just did a lot more damage than the Jews, in their pursuit of "righteousness". In my opinion.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Russell,

Christianity has fulfilled prophesy/history, & archeological evidence. Mostly, it's fulfilled prophesies that tell us Christianity is not fiction.

AggieAtheist said...

Canonical Christian "history" perhaps. Even a quick perusal of the books that did not make the canonical cut, are proof of a Christianity practiced "on the ground" in 2 and 3 and 4 CE, vastly different from romanized version Constantine, and later the monarchs of England through James, co-opted in an attempt to shore up their respectively faltering empires.

I don't agree with a lot of the views of the modern Gnostic Church. However, the Nag Hammadi Library sheds a fascinating light on the difference between the christianity that was, and the the christianity that was "legalized", three hundred years later.

AggieAtheist said...

BTW love the new look for the blog! :-)

Russell Miller said...

Seeker of Truth:

I've researched and read sufficient evidence to believe that that archaeological evidence is either nonexistent or warped.

But I know that I'm not going to make a dent here, so I won't bother any further.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Thanks Aggie,

I'm still adjusting to this new look.