"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW



The following is based on a sermon delivered at The HOUSE of TRUTH Fellowship on Dec. 30th 2012
 
~~ By James Fire

Christmas is now behind us and we are now into a brand new year; at home we have all sorts of gifts, new things given to us by our loved ones – new clothes, new toys, new books, new games, new albums, new gadgets… all of them, bright and shiny and new.

By next Christmas however, all of these new gifts will become old: they will fade, wear down, and perhaps be in need of repair. That’s the way of things in this world – nothing stays new forever, things wear away and break down. Have you ever wondered why this is so? Why don’t things remain new, and fresh and in perfect working order? ~The scientific answer is that principle known as the Second Law of thermodynamics or entropy.

This entire universe is like an enormous clock that is slowly winding down and one day will stop. Things that are in order eventually fall into disorder – they wear away and break down. They get old, they rust; they rot.

The spiritual answer is the condition known as sin.


God created all the world in six days and in that time frame, the LORD brought order into the chaos that was the primordial Earth: 

GENESIS 1:2-4
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Note: the words “light” and “darkness” – they correspond to the words “morning” and “evening” (in verses 5, 8, 13 and so on.

“Light” and “morning” can also mean “order” while “darkness” and “evening” can mean “disorder”.
So over the course of these six days, at the conclusion of each day, God declared His work as “good” because he instilled more and more order into the world, and on the last day, when Adam was created, God declared this final day and the completion of His work as “very good” because the order and balance in all creation was perfect.

God is a God of order, perfection and balance; He disapproves of disorder, imperfection and imbalance.

However, in the completion of God’s creation there came the supreme rebel we know as Satan into the Garden of Eden, upset the order that God created when he spoke to Eve, tempting her to deny the order that God had ordained and to establish an order of her own, based on “knowledge” from the tree of knowledge (of good and evil), which God had forbidden to Adam and Eve.

When Eve partook of that forbidden fruit, and encouraged her husband to follow, these our First Parents sinned against God and established a ‘new world dis-order’ of sorts, and that is when Adam abdicated his position as Steward of planet Earth, given to him by God and Satan became the ruler or “god of this world” (2 COR 4:4). It’s been hell on Earth ever since…

Sin and iniquity separates us (ISAIAH 59:2) from the only true source of life, order and balance, which is God Himself, so too sin promotes disorder and imbalance and that is why things deteriorate and get old, why they break down and become useless; why there is sickness, disease, destructive meteorological and geological forces, why we suffer pain, heartache and hardships and grow old and eventually die.

Sin brings corruption to everything in creation and is destructive, the most destructive force in the world; far more destructive than AIDS, more destructive than nuclear bombs, more destructive than anything else – which is why it took no one less than GOD Himself, come in the flesh to destroy it!
 
ROMANS 8:21-23
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. We as followers and disciples of Christ have great hope however; the greatest hope because the LORD Jesus Christ has declared these words to us:

REVELATION 21:5
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

The LORD Jesus Christ is in the process of this very thing – He is working towards making ALL THINGS NEW so that there won’t be any more old, decaying, corrupting, destructive influences anywhere in all creation, based on the power of sin.

This process all began when the LORD God appeared to Adam, Abraham, Moses and David and made to each of these certain promises that we have recorded in Scripture. For a comprehensive view of what the biblical covenants are all about, we turn to GOT QUESTIONS: What are the Biblical Covenants?

We refer to these as covenants which are a kind of contractual agreements between the LORD God and those who will place faith in Him and His Word. To Moses, the LORD God gave the Law – which is the supreme example of the “law and order” of God, how God demands things as they ought to be, in perfect harmony with His holiness and will. Yet, here is the problem:

ROMANS 7:12 – 14
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

For thousands of years, the perfect and holy and morally balanced Law of God testified to the sinfulness and morally imbalanced condition of the human heart, which is incurably wicked according to Jeremiah 17:9.
We could never follow and obey God’s Holy Law because of our imperfect and sinful condition, and of course God was aware of this. This is why He had planned all along to establish something other than this Mosaic (Old) Covenant, that is, a NEW COVENANT and this is where we begin our examination of ALL THINGS NEW:

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith theLORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The Covenant that God made with the fathers of Israel when He led them out of Egypt, was of course, that covenant given to Moses who was not only the Lawgiver, but also the Deliverer of the Hebrew nation, leading them from Egypt through the wilderness and up to the land of Canaan.

This Covenant of the Law was broken by the people of Israel as well as all of us – any of us ever keep the Ten Commandments perfectly, even for just a day?

The purpose of the Law is to prove to us two things: the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man and that is all. It’s impossible for sinful man to be obedient to a holy God (ROM 3:20). Therefore a NEW covenant would be necessary; a covenant that we would be able to enter into and receive what we need in order to please God, to gain the ability to follow and obey Him.

To Israel is this promise made, that God will write His Law in the hearts of those who will believe by faith.

This is also spoken of in:
JEREMIAH 32:37-40
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

This covenant then is an everlasting one, contrary to the Mosaic covenant which was temporary; it would be used of God to show humanity their need for a Savior – the MESSIAH of ISRAEL, from their sins. Since Israel has initially rejected their Messiah, God has now offered to the Gentile nations this opportunity to receive salvation through this NEW COVENANT, or as we know it today, the NEW TESTAMENT: the biblical authority for and the establishment of the church, the body of Christ – us who are saints, saved by the grace of God by faith in Jesus Christ:

MATTHEW 26:27-29
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

HEBREWS 9:14-16
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

As a result of providing this NEW COVENANT or TESTAMENT through the LORD JESUS CHRIST and His supreme sacrifice on the cross, to pay for our sins and to instill in us the Spirit of God we now enjoy the NEW BIRTH:

JOHN 3:3, 5
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

How important is this new birth? The LORD Jesus declared that with out this necessary experience with Himself, there is no way any of us can see the Kingdom of God, much less be able to enter into it! Also note when He says “Verily, verily (Truly, truly)” which is the strongest emphasis that He could place on His statement.

JOHN 1:10 – 13
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

We are not ALL God’s children, contrary to the popular belief of many; we have one of two different fathers:

1 JOHN 3:10
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Let’s look at a couple other verses that speak of the NEW BIRTH:

1 PETER 1:23-25
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Peter tells us that this NEW BIRTH is the result of the Word of God as we receive the GOSPEL; John tells us that we are born by the Will of God, and also that we are born of God by His Holy Spirit and by water – but is this speaking of water baptism? No, John agrees with Peter that we are born of God’s Word. Elsewhere in Scripture, the Word of God is likened to “water” (Eph. 5:26).

Paul the apostle states that we are NEW creations in Christ:

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

This idea of a NEW HEART is found in Ezekiel as a promise to Israel, but now enjoyed by the church of Jesus Christ (and later on by Israel when she receives her MESSIAH):

EZEKIEL 36:26 
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Note that Paul says “ALL THINGS” . . . it’s not only that we have a new birth, new heart and a new destiny when we die, that is, all who are saved are going to heaven. It’s about far more than this awesome truth; it’s about a WHOLE NEW LIFE in CHRIST while still here on Earth, and we receive a NEW NATURE:

2 PETER 1:3-4
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Dogs bark, cats meow, birds tweet, fish swim and human beings sin; that is the nature of these creatures, and for them to do otherwise is unnatural – you won’t see a bird bark or a fish meow, nor will you see a sinful human being be holy.

This is why we need a NEW BIRTH and a NEW NATURE.

The nature of a child of God, born of God’s Spirit is to live according to God’s Word, to live, to follow, love and please God above all others. This divine nature that is a godly nature is given by the divine power of the HOLY SPIRIT and the knowledge of JESUS CHRIST through His HOLY WORD.

This is why the Christian has everything he needs for a godly life and has no excuse not to do so because we are equipped by GOD with everything we need. What proves whether or not we have this godly nature in us is in the choices we make in life that are either in accord with God’s will or not.

EPHESIANS 2:1-9
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our [lifestyle] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Also: a NEW MIND as well as a NEW NATURE –

EPHESIANS 4:21-24 

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former [life style of] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

ROMANS 12:2
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We also have a NEW FAMILY:

EPHESIANS 1:5-6
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
 
GALATIANS 3:24-26
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
1 JOHN 1: 1-2
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

So those who belong to JESUS CHRIST receive a new heart, a new nature, a new mind, a new family – what else do we who have trusted JESUS with our lives receive?

A NEW BODY!

1 CORINTHIANS 15:42-44
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21
20 For our [life style] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

I look forward to getting a new body just as much as I am so blessed that the LORD is renewing my mind now daily, as I yield to Him; and that He allows me to share in His holiness for my life; His heart and desires and plans for His church and for those who have not yet entered into salvation.

This new body will not suffer any pain, injury, tiredness, aging or deformity. I’m looking forward to no longer having this old, crooked nose!
 
We can only imagine what our new bodies will look like or what they will be capable of but its fun to think about [give examples].

What else will the LORD JESUS CHRIST MAKE NEW?

There will be a NEW Heavens and NEW Earth!! But before He can build these new things, He has to perform a little demolition operation:

REVELATION 20:11
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

ISAIAH 65:17
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

ISAIAH 66:22
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

2 PETER 3:10-12
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

REVELATION 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

What else is the LORD making that is new?

A new heavenly city, NEW JERUSALEM, come down to Earth! Along with this, God has promised the fullness of His inheritance to all who are overcomers in Christ:

REVELATION 21:2 – 3
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

This heavenly city is described in detail later in this chapter, and according to the dimensions that were given to John the Apostle, the New Jerusalem is cubic, that is, all sides are of equal length or 12,000 furlongs (Rev. 21: 16). One furlong is equal to about 600 feet, so the calculated size of this enormous heavenly city created by God is nearly 1400 miles long, wide and high!
1,400 miles = 2,253 kilometers.
The following measurements are the mean diameters of our planet and its sole satelite, the Moon respectively:
Earth / Moon = 12,742 km / 3,476 km

So the NEW JERUSALEM is approximately 2/3 the size of the Moon!


This will give you a  better picture of the Moon in relation to the North American continent:





The LORD God will also establish a NEW GOVERNMENT:

ISAIAH 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

LUKE 1:30-32
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

REVELATION 11:15
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The LORD JESUS INDEED will make all things new, and all of the terrible things that we suffer in this world, that’s really ‘getting old’ will be done away with!

REVELATION 21:4-8
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

So in conclusion:
We may choose the new things that God has prepared for those of us who have loved Him, things that our eyes have not seen, our ears have not heard, things that have not come into our minds (1 Cor. 2:9), the incredible blessings that await us – or you can decline this offer of eternal life and stay with the old, which will one day, as we have seen, be burned up and forgotten.

Your choice; my choice – and the choice of all who we share the Gospel with.

Perhaps you feel unworthy to receive such incredible blessings as this – perhaps you think you’ve gone too far into sin and away from God to ever have any hope to enter into these things.

There is the promise of Scripture for those who are humble and of a repentant heart: His compassions and mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING!
 
ISAIAH 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

PSALM 34:18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

PSALM 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contriteheart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

LAMENTATIONS 3:22 – 26
22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

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