The New Covenant is TOTALLY Spiritual in Nature and Being!
Those students of the Bible who have worked their way through the materials on this web site have been exposed to the biblical fact that the New Covenant is totally spiritual in nature! This truth appears in a number of places on the web site, and is quite pointed in Learning Activity #76, which is entitled, The New Covenant: Physical, Spiritual, or Both in Nature? Although many work through these web site materials, apparently agreeing with their content, there is no application of the truth in their mind (no mind renewal) and they do not apply them to their every day thinking and speech. This paper takes those attitudes to task and will challenge those who are guilty of the above kind of “stinking thinking.” The kingdom and covenant that we live in at the present time is totally spiritual in nature and being. Our thinking must make the transition from the Old Covenant thinking to a renewed mind that embraces a New Covenant that is spiritual in nature. Consider the following.
The Nature of the Covenants
1. Pertaining to the body, as distinguished from the mind or spirit; bodily, corporeal, pertaining to material things, matter.
2. Deals with physical Israel.
3. Physical, historical Jerusalem.
4. The world below.
5. A pattern of things in heaven.
6. Law written on stones and in Scripture.
7. Walking in the flesh.
8. Symbols, ceremonies.
9. Types and shadows of the spiritual that was to come.
10. A physical mediator (the priesthood) between God and mankind (Exodus 28: 1-3.
11. Temples of materials made by man (1 Kings 6:7).
12. A physical day of rest.
13. Physical circumcision (Romans 2:28).
SPIRITUAL IN NATURE
1. Consisting of or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material, supernatural.
2. Deals with spiritual Israel.
3. A heavenly Jerusalem came down to earth (Hebrews 12:18-24).
4. The world above at the time of that writing.
5. The real (spiritual) substance of things.
6. Law written on the heart (Jeremiah 31: 31-34, Ezekiel 11:19, 20).
7. Walking in the spirit.
8. Heavenly, eternal.
9. Spiritual fulfillment of all types and shadows is found in Christ.
10. Christ is our High Priest.
11. The believer is the temple of God, living stones (1 Peter 2:5).
12. Everyday is a day of (spiritual) rest.
13. Priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9).
14. Spiritual circumcision (Romans 2:29).
Do you agree with each of the statements made above? If your answer is NO, would you be willing to email me and inquire about any of the specific items listed?
We must look carefully at each item listed under the New Covenant section above and ask ourselves the question, Has this truth been placed in my renewed mind? If not, why not? What do these items require us to have in our renewed mind?
1. Is the covenant we presently live in accepted in our thinking as a non-tangible, supernatural covenant, or are we still holding on to the physical as our covenant of Christianity?
2. When we read the Scriptures and come across the word, “Israel,” are we able to distinguish if the text is speaking and referring to the Old Covenant historical Israel or do we commingle ancient physical Israel with the New Covenant spiritual Israel?
3. Do you clearly distinguish between the physical city of Jerusalem and the spiritual Jerusalem? In your thinking, do you accept as fact that the “heavenly” spiritual Jerusalem already came down to earth and we Christians spiritually live in it today?
4. Are you able to separate in your thinking the world below (the physical) from the world above (the spiritual)?
5. When you read the Scriptures, do you see the physical typology of the Old Covenant being merely a pattern or type of the real, true, spiritual substance of things?
6. Have you been able to leave the entire law of the Old Covenant behind (which was written on stones), and realize that “the law” of the New Covenant is written on the heart of every believer? Are you still dragging the Ten Commandments along into the New Covenant?
7. Do you have a clear picture that everything that we see with our physical eyesight is earthly and temporary in contrast to everything we do not see with our physical eyesight which is permanent, heavenly, and eternal? Do you have a problem, as the young people say today, in wrapping your mind around that fact?
8. Do you fully understand and accept as fact that during the Old Covenant there were physical mediators (primarily the priesthood) that were between God and man such as described in Exodus 28:1-3? More importantly, has your mind been renewed to the New Covenant fact that no such physical mediators exist under the New Covenant that we live in today? Do you believe that all of those who believe in Christ are spiritual priests? Furthermore, if any person, male or female, takes on the title or functions of a Christian priest and inserts themselves in between a Christian believer and God they are acting out of man-devised ideas that are not a part of the New Covenant!
9. Do you fully understand that although there are people who have built physical structures and ask Christians to meet with them in those buildings, some of which are called temples even though the New Covenant has no such temples? The New Covenant has no such temples? The Old Covenant had physical buildings that were temples, but in the New Covenant God’s temple is the Christian believer and not a physical building of any kind.
10. Are you still practicing keeping the seventh day of the week as a physical day of rest unto the Lord (as was true under the Old Covenant), or do you understand and practice the belief that under the New Covenant every day is a day of rest because it is a spiritual rest in the New Covenant as contrasted to a physical rest during the Old Covenant?
11. Do you see the Scriptures informing believers under the New Covenant that the physical circumcision of the Old Covenant, which was required, is no longer required under the New Covenant as we are spiritually circumcised in our hearts (Romans 2:29).
12. When you read and study the Scriptures do you use the man-made division of the Bible into an Old Testament and a New Testament as a reference to understanding what the Scriptures are saying? Or do you use the God breathed division of the Scriptures into an Old Covenant and a New Covenant?
If any of the above is foreign or unacceptable to you, you need to have your mind renewed to these facts. In future application papers we will be looking in greater detail about some of the items mentioned above. Those papers may be helpful in the mind renewal process. For the balance of this paper let’s focus on the subject at hand – the nature of the spiritual kingdom!
Our physical senses are of absolutely no use to us with respect to understanding and “living” in the spiritual New Covenant kingdom. Nothing in the spiritual kingdom can be discerned by the five physical senses of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing. We must look past the physical to “see” the spiritual.
“…we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
A. W. Tozer stated it this way in his book, The Pursuit of God, “We habitually think of the visible world as real and doubt the reality of any other. We do not deny the existence of the spiritual world but we doubt that it is real in the accepted meaning of the word. The world of sense intrudes upon our attention day and night for the whole of our lifetime….It does not appeal to our faith; it is here, assaulting our five senses, demanding to be accepted as real and final….we cannot see that other reality, the city of God, shining around us. The world of sense triumphs. The visible becomes the enemy of the invisible; the temporal, of the eternal.”
Once my mind was renewed to the above thinking and understanding, I realized that everything that I “see” around me in this physical world is faithlessly dependent upon the deceitful sciences of the physical senses! It is quite evident to me that “the religious person” loves the things that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, and tasted. They have an affinity toward smells, bells, candles and incense. Those of us who have left the physical behind and live in the New Covenant look for things that are NOT seen and are not impressed in the least with ceremonies and sacrifices of the Old Covenant. The “church” as seen by many today is an affront to the unseen kingdom that we are presently a part of.
During the time of Jesus’ ministry here on earth as Jesus of Nazareth, He spoke to His disciples in parables about the absolute newness of the New Covenant, as it related to both the essence and its appearance to those living on this earth. The Old Covenant had to be entirely discarded for the New Covenant to take full effect.
“In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:13).
And vanish away it did being completely gone by 70 AD!
He addressed the repercussions and dangers of attempting to carry forward any aspect of the Old Covenant into the New Covenant. If we do not understand that the New Covenant is not a revamping or extension of the Old Covenant, but is rather completely new and unlike the Old Covenant in every way, then our minds have not been renewed to the reality of New Covenant Christianity! Jesus warned His disciples of the futility and danger of attempting to patch up the Old Covenant by forcing the New Covenant to fit on and into the Old Covenant.
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins” (Mark 2:21, 22).
We are His body in the New Covenant, the dwelling place of Him who is the New Wine. We hold all the fullness of God! The reason for the entire creation, including we humans, is to contain the Creator! The entire creation exists because Spirit must have a body in which to manifest Himself. The Scriptures are clear that the whole earth is full of His glory. But Jesus of Nazareth ascended so that Christ might fill all things. The purpose of the New Covenant is not to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, or to have some great ministry and be someone great apart from God, but to be humble containers of Him who fills all things! There is a tremendous difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and that is that the Godhead dwells in us and that was not true during the Old Covenant!