Friday, June 27, 2014

Christ’s Kingdom and the Law

Christ's Kingdom and the Law


Following are two readings about the Kingdom of God.  The first one from Dr. Tim jenni ngs of Come and reason Misintries and the second from Pastor Jack Sequeira. 


 1.      This is from Dr. Jennings discussion of Sunday's lesson,

 Read first paragraph, "When God…"


Any concerns about this paragraph? One minor concern, just a typographical issue, which no one would misunderstand, but we should clarify. God gave Adam dominion over all things on earth, not all things. But the bigger concern in this paragraph is the false conclusion that "ownership" of earth went to Satan.


This idea has led to all types of false conclusions about God and the plan of salvation. This is a false idea which fuels certain legal models of the atonement. The idea that Satan, after Adam's fall, had some legal claim, some "title" to earth, some actual legitimacy as ruler of earth that Jesus had to confront and get back, i.e. earn the legal right to own earth again.


Not so. The earth was never Adam's property. Adam was steward, viceroy, governor, but Christ was owner. Satan "claimed" ownership but Satan is the "father of lies." It is a lie that Satan is the owner.


Thus, when he presented himself in heaven, in the book of Job, claiming to represent earth, God rejected the claim – Not so fast, consider Job, he does not recognize you as the representative of earth.


He recognizes my ownership and true Sovereignty.


Let's think about it and see if we can figure it out, understanding God's law and the parameters upon which the universe operates.


· Could Adam create from nothing? Could Satan?

· Could Adam keep the sun, moon and stars in the sky? Could Satan?

· Could Adam control and balance all the forces of nature constantly? Could Satan?

· Then, all Adam's rule was subordinate to, under, at the behest of the One who actually uses

His power to uphold and sustain all things. So too, what Satan stole from Adam was the subordinate governorship, now ownership.

· What would happen to nature if God let's go His sustaining presence? The disintegration of life.


Here is a quote from one of our founders:

When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan's dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God's, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan's hands, Christ still remained the rightful King. Thus the Lord had said to King Nebuchadnezzar, "The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will." Daniel 4:17. Satan can exercise his usurped authority only as God permits. {DA 129.4}

When the tempter offered to Christ the kingdom and glory of the world, he was proposing that Christ should yield up the real kingship of the world, and hold dominion subject to

Satan. This was the same dominion upon which the hopes of the Jews were set. They desired the kingdom of this world. If Christ had consented to offer them such a kingdom, they would gladly have received Him. But the curse of sin, with all its woe, rested upon it. Christ declared to the tempter, "Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." {DA 130.1}


Thoughts? Sadly, the lesson, having accepted the false view of God's law, inadvertently present

Satan's dream, to be the owner of earth and Christ be subordinate to him.


The idea that Christ had to achieve some "legal" victory is fiction, falsehood, lies based on accepting Satan's lies:


· Every sin must meet its punishment urged Satan

· God must punish sin if God is to be just

· The earth is now owned by Satan

· Satan has legal claim to earth


Reality is that God is and always has been the owner of earth. Satan's lies have impact in the minds of intelligent beings. Thus Christ didn't have to do some legal accomplishment in His battle with Satan.

He had to defeat the lies of Satan in order to set intelligent minds free and He had to overcome the infection of selfishness in the human being in order to destroy death and restore God's design of love back into humanity.


Then, why does the Scripture, including Christ refer to Satan as either prince of this world or ruler of this world?

Because the primary operating principle of the world today is Satan's principle of selfishness, thus he is credited with being the leader or owner of:


· Lies

· Selfishness

· Coercion

· Disease

· Pain

· Suffering

· Exploitation

· Abuse

· Domination

· Death


This is Satan's kingdom and this is what God wants you to realize.


But in Christ we have a different kingdom, "my kingdom is not of this world" meaning the principles of how this world operates. Christ's kingdom is the kingdom of:


· Truth

· Love

· Freedom

· Healing

· Relief

· Restoration

· Self-sacrifice

· Protection

· Deliverance

· Life


Note the contrast.



· Truth

· Love

· Freedom

· Healing

· Relief

· Restoration

· Self-sacrifice

· Protection

· Deliverance

· Life



· Lies

· Selfishness

· Coercion

· Disease

· Pain

· Suffering

· Exploitation

· Abuse

· Domination

· Death


We must stop attributing to God the very attributes of Satan and Satan's kingdom!


Read second paragraph, "What happened…" thoughts? Given what we have just discussed how to you analyze this paragraph?


Is it true Christ could only win earth by His perfect life and sacrificial death? Why? Why was His death necessary? Who needed it?

What did Christ come to take back? He came to reclaim the love, devotion, loyalty, trust of human beings, while securing unfallen beings in their loyalty. Can Christ get this love and loyalty by force or coercion? No, love awakens love, the only way to achieve His goals was to expose the lies with truth and demonstrate God's perfect character and design of love, while simultaneously eradicating the infection of fear and selfishness from the humanity He assumed upon Himself.


Thus as the Scripture says His death was necessary to:


· Destroy him who holds the power of death Heb 2:14

· Destroy death 2Tim 1:9,10

· Destroy the devil's work. 1Jn 3:8 And the devil's work which was to efface the image of God

in man and put Satan's image where God's should be.


2.       This next reading is an edited portion from Pastor Jack's sermon on the hidden treasure:

To appreciate this short parable, notice the key phrase Jesus introduces the parable with: the kingdom of heaven.  To understand this parable and the other parables of Christ, it is important that we realize what the importance of that phrase is. 

What did Jesus mean by that phrase?  To answer this, to understand it, we have to go back to Creation.  As you are fully aware that when God created our first parents – Adam and Eve – the Godhead said in Genesis 1:26: Let us make man in our image and let him have dominion over all this earth.  So while this earth belongs to God He gave us human beings dominion over everything that God had created.  Unfortunately, when Adam sinned, Not only did he come under condemnation, but he handed over this world and everything that is in it to Satan, who then became the prince of this World.  I want you to notice how Satan spoke to Jesus in the temptation of the wilderness.  In Luke 4, Jesus was taken to a very high mountain, listen to what Satan said to Jesus in Luke 4: 5, 6. 


Luke4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

Luke4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

Luke4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.


The Devil is saying to Jesus, "if you bow down to me and I will give to you this world with all its power or authority, glory or splendor.  For it has been delivered to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to."  In other words, Satan was claiming that he was the ruler of this world.  And, Jesus did not question that.  In fact, in many instances Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world, which means the lord of this world. 

It is into this doomed world under Satan that you and I were born.  And, there is nothing we could do or can do to escape this predicament, nothing!  It is for this reason that Jesus came to this world: to rescue us from this situation.  He came to deliver us from the kingdoms of this world under Satan and introduce in exchange the kingdom of Heaven, which he wants us to join.  This is of course what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about. 

This is part and parcel of the good news of the Gospel.  Jesus came to establish His own Kingdom on this earth, and he wants you and me to join it.  That is why, because of the Gospel, this human race that we belong to, is divided into two camps, and only two. Oh, yes, we human being have divided into all kind of nations, and cultures, and political camps – but in God's eyes, ultimately there will be only two groups of people:  those who are for Christ and those who are against Christ:  those who have been crucified with Christ and those who crucify Him. 

Please, turn with me to 1 John 5:19, to see how the Apostle John divides these two groups.  Because, it's important that we understand this situation in order to understand this parable that we are going to study this morning.  1 John 5:19


1Jn5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.


John is addressing believers, those who accepted Christ as their Savior, He says, "we believers know that we are of God."  And the rest of the World is under the control of the evil one.  So here you have two groups:  one group under the banner of Satan – the kingdom of this world.  And, one group under the banner of Jesus Christ – the God of heaven, and of course our Lord and Master.  Now, the Bible tells us that one day all the kingdoms of the world will brought to an end.  This was especially revealed to the prophet Daniel.  In Daniel  2:34 We see that the stone came and hit the feet of the statue, which represents the kingdom's of this world.  Let us read from Daniel 2:44, the conclusion of the interpretation of this great image that Nebuchadnezzer saw.  Let's see what happened to the kingdoms of this world when that great event takes place. 

Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings (that is the divided kingdoms – by the feet of the statue) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:

So that is one of the major distinctions: the kingdom of heaven will last forever and the kingdoms of this world, under Satan, will be destroyed.  In fact, if you turn a few pages to Chapter 7 of Daniel – the chapter on the judgment, you will notice what verse 26 and 27 says,

Dan7:26 But the judgment shall (stand) sit, and they shall take away his dominion, (the little horn – the kingdom of Satan) to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Dan7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

 We as Christians belong to the Kingdom of heaven.  

Raul Diaz

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Christ’s Church and the Law

Christ's Church and the Law

Memory text: Revelation 14:12

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

The object of our lesson is to prove that in the end what will identify the church of Christ is that they keep the commandments.  And, while this is true, we need to clarify that the Greek word for commandments is singular.  So, it cannot be referring to Ten Commandments.  What commandment is John referring to?  Let us go to 2 John 1: 5 and 6,

2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 


The commandment is that we love one another.  This does not deny the Ten Commandments.  This is what the Ten Commandments point to.  Now, how are we to love one another?  John tells us again,


1Jo 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.


What we are talking about here is living for others as Christ lived to minister unto others and not be ministered unto.  The all-important question in the Judgment will be, Have we learned to love others with heavenly love? Not how many "works of the law" have we engaged in, but have we received His over flowing love and allowed it to spill over onto others daily. Jesus separates His people as sheep from goats on that one score of true love (Matt 25:31-46)... After all, Christ said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).


Someone said that to discuss the commandments of God without giving equal prominence to the 'faith of Jesus' (the Head of the church) is like teaching about the Sabbath without giving equal time to the Lord of the Sabbath.  Ellen White said in the following quotes of how we have treated the Sabbath. 


"The faith of Jesus has been overlooked and treated in an indifferent, careless manner. It has not occupied the prominent position in which it was revealed to John... The great subject of the righteousness of Christ connected with the law, which should be constantly kept before the sinner as his only hope of salvation." - {1888 212.1}


"While you hold the banner of truth firmly, proclaiming the law of God, let every soul remember that the faith of Jesus is connected with the commandments of God."  {SpTA01b 15.1}


"Let Jesus be our theme. Let us with pen and voice present, not only the commandments of God, but the faith of Jesus.This will promote real heart piety as nothing else can." {SpTA01b 19.1}


The Word is very clear, the just (those who keep the law) shall live by faith.  Abraham lived by faith.  How did he keep the law?  Gen. 15:6 details Abraham's continued and ever strengthening choice, "he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness."  Man often emphasizes his law keeping as righteousness but God counts biblical faith as the "right thing" for the sinner to "do" (John 6:28, 29). Perhaps that's why Hebrews 11 reiterates "by faith" instead of "by keeping the law." A faith surrender to a living and indwelling Christ is obedience and results in a life that keeps both the letter and spirit of God's holy law.


Now if faith yields righteousness, and, we need the righteousness of Christ, it follows that we need the faith of Christ.  His faith is tested and never failed.  We need a faith that overcomes the enemy and the World (Revelation 12: 11, 1 John 5:4).  We need a faith that will empower us love not our lives unto the death (Revelation 12: 11).  This is the faith of Jesus.

Raul Diaz

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Apostles and the Law

The Apostles and the Law

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

The objective of the lesson this week is to answer the question of whether the apostles set aside the Law.  Before we answer the question we must ask ourselves, what does the author mean by the Law?  We have said previously, that the author and our denomination see the Law as the 10 Commandments.   We have also said, previously, that this is not the Biblical definition of the Law, and neither is the Spirit of Prophecy's view.   The Law is a principle upon which God has designed life.  Why? Because the Law is how He is.  How do we define it?  It is to love God and others above yourself. 

So, did the disciples set aside the Law?  The answer is tricky, because, there seems to be two laws: "One written in the hearts of the believers and other written in tablets of stone."  They both say, in essence, the same thing.  But, they have different purposes.  The one written in our hearts is to make us more like Jesus, the one in tablets of stone, is to remind us of Sin.  When the Law is written in your heart, you do not need a reminder.  In this case, the written law is set aside. 

This concept is perhaps brought out more clearly in an explanation of Romans 6: 12 – 15 by one of my favorite authors.  Let us read His explanation,

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!"  (NKJV)

"A Parallel. -In the nineteenth verse we are exhorted to yield ourselves as servants of righteousness just as we have yielded ourselves servants to sin. This being done, we are assured in the following verses that just as surely as the fruit was sin and death when we were yielded to sin, so surely will the fruit be holiness when we yield ourselves servants to righteousness. Yea, even more sure; for 'where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.' Righteousness is stronger than sin, even as God is stronger than Satan. God can pluck out of the hands of Satan the soul that cries out for deliverance; but none can pluck God's children out of His hand.

"Not Under the Law. -Many people are fond of quoting this expression, thinking that it forever absolves them from any observance of the law of God. Strange to say, this expression is used as a cover only for non-observance of the fourth commandment. Repeat the fourth commandment to a man who objects to keeping the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, and he will say, "We are not under the law." Yet that same man will quote the third commandment to a man whom he hears swearing, or the first and second against the heathen, and will acknowledge the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments. Thus it appears that men do not really believe that the statement that we are not under the law means that we are at liberty to break it. Let us study the whole verse, and its different parts.

"What Is Sin? -"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4. "All unrighteousness is sin." 1 John 5:17. This is definite; let us hold it well in our minds.

"What Is Righteousness? -Righteousness is the opposite of sin, because "all unrighteousness is sin." But "sin is the transgression of the law." Therefore righteousness is the keeping of the law. So when we are exhorted to yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God, it is the same as telling us to yield ourselves to obedience to the law.

"Dominion of Sin. -Sin has no dominion over those who yield themselves servants to righteousness, or to obedience to the law; because sin is the transgression of the law. Now read the whole of the fourteenth verse: "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace." That is to say, transgression of the law has no place in them who are not under the law. Then those who are not under the law are those who obey the law. Those who break it, are under it. Nothing can be plainer.
"Under Grace. -"Ye are not under the law, but under grace." We have seen that those who are not under the law are the ones who are keeping the law. Those therefore who are under the law are the ones who are breaking it, and who are therefore under its condemnation. But "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Grace delivers from sin. Distressed by the threatenings of the law which we have broken, we flee for refuge to Christ, who is "full of grace and truth." There we find freedom from sin. In Him we not only find grace to cover all our sin, but we find the righteousness of the law because He is full of truth, and the law is the truth. Ps. 119:142. Grace "reigns" through righteousness, or obedience to the law, unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." {November 8, 1894 EJW, PTUK 707}

"'Sin is the transgression of the law.' 1 John 3:4. Now the Apostle Paul writes, 'Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.' Rom. 6:14, 15. There is no necessity for any misapprehension as to what it is to be under the law, for the apostle says that those who are not under the law do not sin; that sin has no dominion over them. That is to say, they do not transgress the law. The man, therefore, who is not under the law is the man who keeps the law. Christians are under grace, and the grace of God saves from the transgression of the law." {September 5, 1895 EJW, PTUK 563.2}

"Then comes the conclusion: 'For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace.' Verse 14. Notice a few facts and necessary conclusions. 1. Since 'sin is the transgression of the law,' the absence of sin must indicate obedience to the law. Therefore when the apostle says to any persons, 'Sin shall not have dominion over you,' it is an evidence that they are keeping the law. 2. Those over whom sin has no dominion are those who are not under the law. 'Sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law.' The fact that sin has no dominion over them is an evidence that they are 'not under the law.' Therefore, to be 'not under the law' is equivalent to being free from the dominion of sin. 3. But we have already seen that to be free from the dominion of sin represents a state of obedience to the law; therefore, to say that one is 'not under the law' is equivalent to saying that he is keeping the law.

"These propositions will stand the test of any criticism, and they demonstrate that the apostle's argument is based on the fact that the law is in full force, binding upon all, and that there are but two classes of people; those who keep the law, and those who transgress it. Those who keep the law are not under it, and of course those who transgress it are under it. In other words, those over whom sin has dominion are under the law; and those over whom sin has not dominion, are not under the law." {May 6, 1886 EJW, SITI 263.6}

Now, rather than opposing Paul, James is elaborating on what Paul says.  Let us read the end of Chapter 1,

Jam 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James is establishing the fact that those who live by faith, who are under grace, indeed righteous, will not have preference for a kind of person.    Many claim to have faith, but give preference to the wealthy, at the expense of the poor.  James is saying this is not faith in the Word of God.  James is saying that this kind of attitude and behavior is breaking the Law.  What James is saying is that if you truly had faith – Jesus' faith – you would not dismiss those in need.   This is clear in the following passage,

Jam 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jam 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jam 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Jam 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jam 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

The works here are helping your hungry and naked brother.  These works are a natural outgrowth of having faith.  Just as offering Isaac was a natural outgrowth of Abraham's faith.  And, helping the messengers was a natural outgrowth of Rehab's faith.  By their fruit you will know them.

Raul Diaz

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fwd: Christ, the Law and the Covenants

Christ, the Law and the Covenants 

The Fork in the Road

Originally published Friday, December 02, 2011

Driving Eastbound on I-94 in Chicago (it is southbound in Chicago) the road splits.  It is what some call a fork in the road.   I-94 continues to the left (eastbound) and I-57 continues to the South.  There are signs warning of the split a mile or two before by also suggesting possible destinations each route will take you to.  Depending on where you are going you will go right or left.  There is no reason why anyone should go in the wrong direction.  But, some manage just that.  Taking one route means not taking the other.  This means that if you take the wrong route you will gradually go farther off the your intended destination.  The farther you go on the wrong road it will probably be longer and harder to get back on track. 

At Sinai the Israelites came to a spiritual fork in the road (Exodus 19 and 20).  They had had to choose which spiritual road to take.  Their issue was not that they did not want to go where God intended to take them.  They thought they could get there by going on the road of their own choosing and not God's intended road.  They sincerely thought their chosen road could take them there.  So, they deviated from God's road and took the other.

Abraham had a similar experience of a spiritual fork in the road.  Like the Israelites later, it was not that Abraham did not want what God promised him.  Abraham thought he could get there following a road of his choosing.  Abraham thought that he could fulfill God's promise to him, by performing methods not suggested nor approved by God.  Thus, Abraham conceived a child with Hagar (Genesis 16: 4).  Once Abraham went down that road, it would take years of hardship to get back on track.  God's idea and intention was that Abraham conceived with Sarah (Genesis 17: 16,19). 

According to Paul, this event was symbolic of the Old covenant.  When Abraham finally conceived with Sarah it was the new covenant.  Let us read Galatians 4:22-26,

Galatians 4: 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4: 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Galatians 4: 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Galatians 4: 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Galatians 4: 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

In this verse Paul ties Hagar with Sinai.  In other words, the Old Covenant that Abraham followed by conceiving with Hagar is what the Israelites followed in Sinai. A covenant the Jews continued to follow even on to the day of Paul.  While, Abraham eventually, after years of hardship found God's road again, the majority of Israelites and Jews never found God's road again. 

What road have we taken: The Old Covenant or the New Covenant?  It is important to know that a misunderstanding of the Covenants can lead you to the wrong road.  Many Christians have what is called a dispensational view of the Covenants.  To them the Old Covenant is a road that failed to take them to their destination so then they tried another road, which is the new Covenant.  The Covenants to them is a matter of time, not a heart relationship with God.  To them from Sinai to Jesus people were saved by keeping the Law and the ceremonies of the Sanctuary.  According to this view this method failed, so God then instituted the new method which is saved by grace.  Paul has argued successfully in Galatians that this is not true.  Paul's example of Abraham being under both covenants at different times in his life shows us that dispensation is wrong.  Especially, when we know what Abraham was going through at each of these stages.  Abraham's unbelief led to the Old Covenant.  When Abraham believed He was under the new covenant. 

Paul's argument also stands against Mainline Adventism view in the Covenants.  Adventists are not quite dispensational.  They believe that it is only one Covenant.  To them the Covenant is one road, which at different points has different scenery and even a different name, but it is the same road, nonetheless.  From Sinai to Jesus the covenant was to be understood and practiced though the types, forms and symbols of the ceremonial law; this is the old covenant.  Since, the ceremonial law pointed to Jesus, when Jesus came, type met antitype, and thus Christ fulfills the ceremonial law.  The Old Covenant fulfilled its purpose to show us the new Covenant, so it is no longer needed.  But, how can the Old Covenant be the Sanctuary and its services, if according to Paul 430 years before the sanctuary service was enacted, Abraham was under the Old Covenant?  

Now, although the Adventist view is different from the dispensational, it is similar in that they both believe the Old Covenant is past.  We need to reiterate, they are two different covenants.  And, each covenant is a different method of salvation.  Each covenant is a different attitude toward God and the Gospel.  As the author of the Lesson tells us, "The two covenants are not matters of time; instead, they are reflective of human attitudes."  One of my favorite authors states, "These two covenants exist today. The two covenants are not matters of time, but of condition. Let no one flatter himself that he cannot be bound under the old covenant, thinking that its time has passed."

These Covenants are based on a heart relationship with God.  The New Covenant is for God to fulfill His promises to us; we are just to receive them humbly and gratefully.  In the New Covenant God dwells in our hearts and writes His law in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33).  In the New Covenant we abide in Christ and Christ in us (John 5).  In the New Covenant He becomes our God and we His people (Ezekiel 37: 23, 27).  In the New Covenant we become His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).  In the New Covenant God bestows on us His inheritance:  eternal life in the new earth.   "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1)!

Raul Diaz

Raul Diaz