Summary: This message was originally written by me in 1999 and was then delivered at a youth meeting in Aba. It has now been modified for the present purpose and title. It deals with issues about the changes in doctrine between the 1st and the new covenants of Go
Distinguished brothers and sisters, servants and friends of the Almighty God and Jesus the Messiah, fellow Christians and all opportune to be here today, greetings and peace to you all. I thank God for the opportunity to share and reason with you on spiritual matters packed into this lecture. As the years rolled by I tried to relate the many bible teachings together for which many have sometimes tagged the bible as contradictory (that is, between the Old and New Covenants), I knew there would be a link for understanding the difference and separation points between the two, so I started serious prayers for knowledge and understanding of the matter.
From wise observation, it is easy to see that every single church is lacking in one teaching or another. It is our responsibility to enlighten the world; but, as Jesus said, one should remove the log of wood in ones eyes before one can see clearly enough to remove the speck from another man's eyes. Generally, ignorance and mistakes are widespread and have spread like fire starting from the Catholic Church to the rest of the churches world over. We can only ascertain such errors by using the scriptures. Jesus once said, "you err because you do not know the scripture." And there is need to correct instantly because it is these words in the Scripture that may stand against a person in judgement as Jesus said in the book of John 12:48. Praise the Lord!
As I began to master some bible teachings, I realized there were key quotations and issues some churches held on to without thorough understanding. Let us now consider four of those controversial quotations and issues.
1. THE USE OF THE WORD "EVERLASTING."
You will find the word everlasting in the books of Leviticus and Numbers. Some people interpret this to mean "eternity." It is not always so. The original Hebrew word is 'oh-lam', which basically means a long period of time hidden from site or period of time indefinite. For instance, God said to Moses that Aaron's descendants would have the everlasting priesthood at Numbers 25:13. Very much later, the priesthood was changed with Jesus "in the order of Melchizedek" at Hebrews 7:12. Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, but the promise was to the tribe of Levi. It is wrong to insist and dwell on a tradition or an ordinance of the 1st covenant because of the word "everlasting" which does not necessarily mean eternity.
2. THE QUOTATION AT MATTHEW 5:17-18.
"Think not that I am come to DESTROY the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled." The explanation is not difficult with wise counsel from God. The last condition given in that quotation is "till all be fulfilled." The question we should ask is whether the law has been fulfilled by anyone. The answer is yes--Jesus said at the beginning of that quotation that he came into the world to fulfil the law. Jesus is still the fulfillment as his spirit lives in you. This is what the bible calls righteousness that comes through faith - that is, believing that God sees you like somebody who fulfills the law (through His Son). While the holy Spirit living in you is the witness. It is the new kind of righteousness.
Now you can see again from that quotation that fulfillment of the law corresponds with the first coming of Jesus Christ. Therefore if Jesus had not come, the law would have remained mandatory till heaven and earth passed away. And you should understand that TO CHANGE A LAW IS DIFFERENT FROM DESTROYING A LAW. In other words, he did not come to destroy, but to make possible a change in the order of things concerning that law. That is why the law says 'an eye for an eye' but Jesus CHANGED it to 'love your enemies.' Therefore, in Christianity, to carry out revenge is sin, but under the Law it is counted as obedience to puncture the eye of someone who punctures the eye of another person. So it is wrong to dwell on tradition or ordinance because Jesus said, Think not that I am come to destroy the Law. That is why he went further to say at Matthew7:12, "Always treat others as you would like them to treat you: that is the Law and the Prophets." He gave that command as the MEANING OR SUMMARY of the VARIOUS LAWS listed in the book of Leviticus and of the WARNINGS OF THE PROPHETS. Coincidentally (same chapter and verse numbers), the book of Hebrews 7:12 further explains it, "For when there is a CHANGE of priesthood, there must also be a CHANGE of the Law." The truth in this matter is further highlighted at the Council meeting of Jerusalem after the resurrection of Jesus. Some pharisees went about telling new converts that they must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses. When the report got to the apostles, they responded with a letter which says, "It seemed good to the holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following four (4) requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from strangled animals, and from fornication. You will do well to avoid these things." - Acts 15:28. There are just four requirements in all!