Terms Of The Covenant

Thursday, August 29, 2013, 6:17 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with the song “Should I Not Preach Jesus” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jeremiah 11 (NIV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2011&version=NIV

Listen and Tell

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”

I answered, “Amen, Lord.”

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”

Before Jesus Christ left this earth to go back to the Father, he left a commandment in place for all of his followers to keep. He said we are to go throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them… and teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded us, and he will be with us always (See Matt. 28:18-20). Amen! This means that we are to listen to his words, and we are to obey them ourselves first, and then we are to share the gospel of salvation with all people throughout the world. Yet, sharing the gospel goes beyond just telling the story of how Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins so we could be set free from the penalty of sin and bondage to sin, and how we could be free to walk in his truth, love and righteousness the rest of our days. The gospel of salvation is about repentance (turning away from sinful lifestyles), obedience (doing what his word teaches us), and it is about walking daily in the Spirit of God (becoming his followers).

God made a covenant with the people of Israel in times of old. The terms of that covenant were that they obey him and do everything he commanded them, and he would be their God, and they would be his people, and they would possess the Promised Land as their inheritance. If they did not obey, and they followed the stubbornness of their own hearts, instead, God would bring upon them all the curses of the covenant he had commanded them to follow, but they did not keep.

We are no longer under that covenant, yet the New Covenant relationship with God still demands the same, though not all teach that. Jesus said that if we love him, we will obey him and his teaching, and we will keep his commandments. He and his Father will then come to us and make their home with us. John said if we do not obey the Son, we will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on us. Peter and the apostles said that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey Jesus Christ. Paul said that if we do not obey the truth, but we obey unrighteousness, we can expect wrath and indignation. John said we know we have come to know Christ if we keep his commands. He said that if we say we know him, but we do not do what he commands, we are liars. He also said that those who know the Lord, who listen to his voice, and who follow him in obedience have eternal life, and they shall never perish. Amen! He said, though, that if we claim to have fellowship with Jesus Christ and yet we continue in lifestyles of willful sin, we are liars.

Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny himself (his self-life), take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old ways of walking in the flesh we will lose them for eternity, but if we willingly die to our sinful selves for his sake, then we will gain eternal life with him in glory. And, Paul said the way we come to know Christ is by putting off our old lives of sin, by being transformed in heart and mind (of the Spirit of God), and by putting on our new lives, “created to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness.” Jesus told the churches in Revelation, where he had spoken to them about their sins and disobedience, that if they did not repent and obey him, he would bring judgment upon them. So, you see, God still demands repentance and obedience as the terms of his covenant of love with his people today, and if we refuse, then we can expect either his divine correction and discipline on his rebellious ones, or his wrath on those who are only faking their Christianity.

A Conspiracy

Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’

A conspiracy is a plot, scheme, plan, and treachery – deceit, treason, and betrayal. The plot is truly against the Lord God, against his Holy Word, and against his messengers. The plot is to destroy the messages of repentance and obedience as necessary components of the terms of our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, and for our salvation, so that the people can continue living on in their sinful ways without guilt or remorse, and with a false hope of eternity with God in glory. And, this plot (scheme) has spread across evangelical Christianity here in America like cultic wildfire. These false teachers of the fake gospel teach that we don’t have to obey Christ and his commandments, and we don’t have to repent of our sins in order to be saved. Yet that is not what scripture teaches, and it is not what Jesus and the apostles taught. Yet, so many people are buying into this fake gospel because it feels good, it doesn’t offend people, and it charms and entertains our sins, instead.

Yet, truly God’s words are true. He will judge the unrepentant and the disobedient just as he promised he would do. God still takes sin seriously. And, he still wants to be our only god, and for us to forsake all other lovers. He is a jealous God, and he is a loving God who desires nothing more than to gather us as chicks under his wings, yet so many are not willing. He is still a just God, too, and he will punish, he will judge, and he will send down his wrath upon the disobedient. Worship of “Baal” today makes allowances for such things as sexual immorality, murder of innocents, gay lifestyles and the like. Yet, the gods the people have made for themselves will not be able to help them when judgment comes.

The people had broken covenant with God, and yet many or some of them gave an impression publicly that they were true followers of God. Jesus called this hypocrisy. They pretended one thing outwardly, while secretly they were given over to sensual lusts and sinful pleasures. They tried to hide their rebellion, forsaking, abandoning or falling away from God and from obedience to him and to Christ’s commandments. They did this by acts of religious sacrifice, yet God is not pleased when we perform ritualistic religious exercises while we are secretly still living in unrepentant sin. He is not deceived by our performances! He knows what goes on behind closed doors and in the shadows of our lives. We can’t fool him, though we may be able to fool people, for a time, until God exposes our secret sins and rebellions against him.

Do Not Prophesy!

Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
that his name be remembered no more.”
But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously
and test the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
for to you I have committed my cause.

Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”
Because there is this powerful delusion going on right now in the church, and Satan has fooled so many professing Christians with his lies and deceptions and his conspiracy to remove the critical elements of truth from the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is also an all-out effort of Satan to also destroy the messengers of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the world those who hold to the testimony of Jesus and who obey their Lord are being severely persecuted and even killed for their refusal to back down from the true gospel. Even in America the true gospel has come under much attack, and so has its messengers, yet we must remain true to God’s word, to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, and we must preach the true Jesus and the true gospel, because only the truth has the power to save lives!

Should I Not Preach Jesus
An Original Work / July 4, 2013

Based off 1 Corinthians 9:16-10:13

Woe to me should I not preach Jesus.
I’m compelled to preach the full gospel.
I make myself a slave to ev’ryone
To win their hearts to Christ.
All this I do for my Lord Jesus,
And for the sake of His Name;
Do it for the sake of His gospel,
So that I, its blessings gain.

Scripture notates the sins of others;
Written down for us as examples
To keep us from setting our hearts
On evil as did those of old.
Do not worship other gods of man;
Do not give your hearts to them;
Not partake in immorality.
Do not test your Lord and King.

So, be careful if you think you are
Standing firm in your faith in Jesus.
God has given his word to warn us,
So through faith we will not fall.
No temptation has o’ertaken you
Except what is commonplace.
God is faithful to not let you be
Tempted past what you can bear.
He gives the way of escape.