Old Testament activities picture New Testament realities, elevated to their spiritual intent. The church has been chosen as a royal and holy priesthood.
The term "covenant" describes an agreement made by two parties and "testament" to describe the one-sided commitment made by God to improve the promises.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
The New Covenant was designed by God to circumcise the heart, making it possible for God's laws to be written in our hearts and reflected in our behavior.
Things written in the Old Testament were written for us. The differences in the covenants focus on justification and access to God, not doing away with the law.
The yoke of bondage Paul refers to in Galatians was a combination of the code of regulations added by the Pharisees and Gnostic ritualism, not God's Law.
Justification does not 'do away' with the law; it brings us into alignment with it, imputing the righteousness of Christ and giving access to God for sanctification.
God made the New Covenant because Jacob's offspring did not have what it took to fulfill the terms of the Old Covenant. The carnal mind is hostile to God's law.
A summary of the Covenants, Grace, and Law series, reiterating the differences in the Covenants and the respective places of grace and law in God's purpose.
The New Covenant, which writes God's law onto the heart, in no way does away with any aspect of the law. Works do not justify us, they sanctify us.
The Law (including the judgments, ordinances, and statutes), far from being done away, shows us our faults and outlines the way of mercy and love—how to live.
The spirit of the law does not do away with the letter of the law; without the letter, there is no spirit because there is no foundation. Examples show God's will.
A future Millennial temple (described in Ezekiel 40—48) will contain some elements of the Old Covenant, including animal sacrifices and Levitical priests.
The fault of the Old Covenant was with the hearts of the people. Christ took it upon Himself to amend the fault enabling us to keep the commandments.
No part of God's Law has been 'done away'. Jesus came to magnify the law, giving it a far more penetrating, spiritual application. Man flounders without law.
God is doing more than merely saving people; He is producing children in His image. The difference between the covenants is in the quality of the faith.
Justification is not the end of the salvation process, but merely the opening to sanctification, where we bear fruit and give evidence of God's Spirit in us.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that most professing Christians are aware of the New Covenant, cautions us not to fall prey to the insidious error that much of the Protestant—especially the evangelical—world teaches. The error lies in misconstruing the significance of the New Covenant as a 'free pass into Heaven' …
Under both the Old and New Covenants, refusal to keep to keep God's Law severs the relationship. God's law protects us and brings us quality life.
We must become leaders in our own families, protecting them from the curses that are already falling on our nation. We have the obligation to fear God.
John Ritenbaugh observes that, in every biblical covenant, God gives responsibilities in order to be in alignment with Him. If we fail to meet the responsibilities He has given to us, God will penalize us. Every covenant we find in Scripture outlines promises, responsibilities, and penalties. As members of the Body of Christ, we …
As we participate in the New Covenant, we go through the stages of justification, sanctification, and ultimately glorification as part of Christ's body.
John Ritenbaugh, asserting that the term leadership never explicitly appears in the King James Version of the Bible,while the terms follow and follower are abundantly distributed, concludes that any form of leadership must be preceded by following. God tells us what we are to follow in the Covenants, legal entities, …
It is commonly thought that we pay no price for forgiveness, yet Scripture shows that God gives us significant responsibilities to be a part of His family.
John Ritenbaugh, warning us not to complain about our lack of talents or spiritual gifts, assures us that, if we were called because of our talents, we would be able to brag. However, we were called solely for the purpose of fulfilling what God has in mind for us. To that end, God has given diverse gifts to all He has called, …
John Ritenbaugh affirms that the New Covenant of Hebrews 8:8 was given to Israel and Judah, not to the Gentiles. God does not deviate from this pattern; Israel is still involved with the New Covenant. It is not the physical nation, but the spiritual remnant (partly composed of grafted-in Gentiles- Romans 11:17-25 and the church …
Those who follow Christ are the true Israel, the Elect, and the Chosen, called by God to precede unfaithful physical Israel in the salvation process.
Charles Whitaker, asking how God is going to fulfill all His promises to Abraham and his descendants of eternal life and membership in God's family, concludes that God is going to use the power of Jesus Christ. God plans to give everlasting life to Abraham's descendants (those who have made a covenantal relationship with …
Many Protestant denominations teach that God's law is done away. Earl Henn proves that II Corinthians 3:7 does not support this.
The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
Some think Galatians 3:19 means that God's law has been done away. Earl Henn explains how certain misunderstandings have led people astray on this verse.
God inspired the book of Hebrews to answer the difficult questions church members were struggling with during the tumultuous first decades of the church.
Those who advocate doctrinal change portray God as a confused and false minister who lacks the power to instruct his chosen leaders to 'get it right.'
God promises to write His Law on our hearts and minds. When we experience the consequences of our or others' sins, we lean the depth of how bad sin is.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
Although God never intended the Old Covenant to endure eternally, the spiritual law (shared by both the old and new covenants) lasts forever.
The yoke grievous to bear (Acts 15:10) was not God's law, but an entire package of Pharisaic regulations that had been elevated to the level of God's law.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
Charles Whitaker refutes a heresy, stemming from a faulty interpretation of Jeremiah 31:34. Adherents of this heresy hold that God has not yet instituted the New Covenant, as indicated by the fact that the Church is deeply involved in teaching. In point of fact, teaching is a fundamental part of God's Work today. God instituted …
Not every sin is on the same level, not every punishment is on the same level, nor is every act of obedience or holiness on the same level. Although everybody is measured against the same high standard (Jesus Christ), everybody is not held to the same high standard. Sins committed presumptuously by people of high responsibility …
Moderns sneer at the Bible's food laws, but God gave them for man's good. This study shows they are still in effect for us today!
The effectiveness of a law is found in its purpose and intent rather than the letter. Love and mercy constitute the spiritual fulfillment of the Law.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes the infinite superiority of Christ's priesthood and one-time sacrifice as contrasted to the repetitive Aaronic sacrifices, which were incapable of remitting sin, purging consciences, or providing access to God. The shadow image of the Old Covenant could not possibly provide the clarity, dimension, or …
Jesus Christ's priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood because Christ tenure is eternal rather than temporal, guaranteeing both continuity and quality.
We need to learn to judge in a godly manner, putting merciful restraints on our tendency to condemn or jump to conclusions. One size does not fit all.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates Christ's superior qualifications as High Priest. After the change from the Aaronic to the Melchizedek priesthood, it was also necessary to bring about a major change in the Covenant. The flaw in the Old Covenant was not in the law, but stemmed from the fleshly, deceitful, carnal hearts of mankind. All …
Early converts from Judaism claimed to accept the Law but had difficulty accepting the Lawgiver. Today, many claim to accept Christ, but will not accept His Law.
John Ritenbaugh, fearing that we may be following suit in the world's religions by focusing on "getting salvation" rather than preparing for service in God's Kingdom, cautions us that we must re-orient our mindset, seeking to grow in the stature of Christ. Many mainstream religions believe that much of the …
Getting to know God intimately, by virtue of His enabling us to experience life as He experiences life, makes the New Covenant vastly superior to the Old.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that everything about the Priesthood of Jesus Christ is superior to that of the Levitical system, which was only intended to serve as a type (a forerunner, shadow, or symbol) of the access to God that Jesus would later fulfill. As splendid as it was, there was neither provision for the forgiveness of …
As the book of Hebrews ends, the author—likely Paul—pens this benediction: "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, ..."
God considered His law so important that He sent His Son to pay for the penalties we have accrued against it, giving us also a model as to how to keep the Law.
John Ritenbaugh teaches that our spiritual transformation (conversion) gives us the capacity to see Christ and other people, the self, institutions (such as churches or governments) in their true light. Things we formerly deemed important (money, pleasure, and power) become less important and other things (love, duty, and …
Nominal Christendom cannot see God's law even though it is in plain sight. In Colossians, Paul reiterates or alludes to all but one of the Ten Commandments.
Charles Whitaker, examining Christ's statement that the law will not pass away until all has been fulfilled, indicates that the Law of God will change only when the preconditions Christ established in Matthew 5:18 have been met. Paul asks and answers the question, "Why do we need the law in the first place?" in …
The last days of the Worldwide Church of God demonstrated a dearth of righteous judgment. God expects us to judge wisely within the parameters of His Law.
Jesus was crucified late on Abib 14, yet the Passover lambs were to be killed at the beginning of the 14th. The time of Christ's death is highly significant.
The book of Hebrews systematically proves Christ's superiority to patriarchs, prophets, the Levitical Priesthood, and angels, establishing His credentials.
Charles Whitaker, reflecting on God's practice of working in patterns, points out that God has wired our minds to think in patterns, such as circles. Gestalt psychologists have demonstrated that, given a set of dots that suggest a circle, our minds are prone to automatically fill in the pattern. Other ubiquitous patterns that …
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that being born again is entirely a spiritual matter, indicates that it is not a doctrine necessary for the achieving of salvation, certainly not as important as faith or sanctification, but it does flesh out some details about our liberty from the shackles or slavery of sin. "Born again" …
The Bible shows a clear pattern of how people leave the faith: looking back, drawing back, looking elsewhere, and then going backward and refusing to hear.
John Reid stresses that in this time of confusion and rapid change, we have a desperate need for something solid upon which to grasp or embrace. Some of the most secure and solid things we could ever attain would be the myriad promises of God, found enumerated in His Covenants. Our prior ineptness at keeping God's Law has been …
The Bible shows different forms of holiness, different forms of righteousness, and different forms of love. The holiness of the Old Covenant referred to something cut away, separated, or consecrated for special use—but not inherently moral or ethical. The New Covenant, based upon better gifts and promises, actually …
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the smallest unit of government is the individual; God is dealing with each of us on this most basic of all levels of government. It is under the New Covenant that individuals are immersed or installed into His church by the Spirit of God, given only to those who willingly consent to obey Him. In …
Protestantism alleges that God's law is 'done away.' What Scripture shows, though, is that some aspects are not required presently, but God's law is eternal.
If we understand the function of the Old Covenant as explained in Leviticus, we will better understand the New Covenant and not reject the law of the Savior.
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
Most people have a dread of something. Even Jesus experienced dread the night He was betrayed, manifested in acute hematohydrosis (sweating drops of blood).
At some point in the near future, the modern descendants of Israel will learn of their true identity—and have to face the consequences of that knowledge.
Richard Ritenbaugh recounts the stormy historical events of ancient Israel, cyclically falling into captivity only to need rescuing again. Was ancient Israel a "failed run" at God ruling a people or did their experience serve a more transcendental purpose? Serving as a model, mediatory nation (a bridge between mankind …
Sin has tainted the most faithful leaders. Most (perhaps all) church leaders have skeletons in their closets, but we follow them as they follow Christ.
We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives. We should employ the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin.
God is not only powerful, but He is the source of all power. We can tap into God's power to avoid slipping into apostasy.