Some things Christians believe never fail to amaze me. One of them is what is named “the New Covenant.” Covenants have been and always will pertain to Israel, not the Church of God in Christ Jesus.
The Book of Hebrews will be a lot more familiar to a Hebrew than to a Gentile. The language and the words used will be much more understandable to them. Nevertheless, this “new” covenant mentioned in detail 14 times from 8:6 to 13:20 will leave even former Gentile, now Christian believers, with no doubt to whom this covenant applies.
8:6 tells us that Jesus will be the mediator of this new covenant. Verse 8 begins a quote of Jeremiah 31:31-34 which goes like this:
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,……NASB
It is pretty clear “to whom” this new covenant applies. This prophecy is yet to come to be fulfilled.
8:10 and 10:16 says “After those days,”—-after what days? “Those days” aren’t just any days, but refer to the Day(s) of the LORD, the days of the vengeance of our God.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in “those” days!
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake “those” days shall be shortened.
Immediately after the tribulation of “those” days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Yes, after these days of the Great Tribulation, will this new covenant be enacted for the faithful of Israel who live through it and those who are raised from the dead at the First Resurrection, that of the Just.
Covenants apply to Jews, not Gentiles nor the Church of God. God Bless!
Fred S. Wolfe
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
“For that which is conceived (gennao, a verb, 1080) in her is of [the] holy ghost.” First of all, there is no definite article “the” in the texts. When there is no article, there should be no capital letters. It should read: “for that which is to be born in her is of holy spirit.” “That which is conceived” is the single word gennao* (1080, from ginomai, 1096), meaning to procreate, regenerate, or engender. In the Bible, it is variously translated as “begat,” “should be born,”“were born,” “been born,” “shall bear,” “bear,” “brought forth,” “be born(again),” “was born (Moses),” “is delivered,” “which gendereth,” “is born (us who believe),” “free born (Paul),” “is begotten (us),” etc. In Matthew 1:20, it should have been translated as “that which is to be born,” instead of “conceived.” This distinction will become more succinct in the following verses.
Unfortunately there is not a Bible in print, that I know of, that makes the necessary distinction between The Giver (The Holy Spirit, who is God) and The Gift of (holy spirit). The presence or absence of the definite article “the” determines which one The Bible is talking about.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive (sullambano, 4815)8 in thy womb, and bring forth (tikto) a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 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: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not (never had intercourse with) a man? And the angel answered, saying unto her, holy spirit shall come upon thee, and power (dunamis, 1411) of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also [that] holy thing which shall be born [of thee] shall be called [the] son of God. ( Lk 1:31–35, AT)
First, notice that this passage is in the future tense (some of which is still in the future), while the previous one from Matthew was in the past tense. Second, notice that the word translated as “conceive” is totally different than the word used in Matthew. Sullambano (to seize, take, conceive) is made up of two words: sun (4862) and lambano (2983). Lambano means to take or receive objectively. Sun denotes union; with or together by companionship or process. The same word is used in Luke 1:46:
“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her,who was called barren.”
In Luke 1:35, the angel said, “holy spirit shall come upon thee.” “Come (1904)” and “upon (1909)” are the same words used in Acts 1:8a:
“But ye shall receive (lambano) power (dunamis, 1411), [after that] the holy spirit is come upon you.”
“Come (eperchomai)” means to supervene and to arrive, and “upon (epi)” is a superimposition, as a relation of distribution, rest, or direction. In this verse from Acts, Jesus is instructing his disciples as to what they should expect on the day of Pentecost. The gift from the Holy Spirit came upon them just as it came upon Mary, accompanied by the power needed to be “witnesses unto the uttermost part of the earth.” In these two passages, the word “power (dunamis)” denotes the inherent, miraculous, power of God, which shall “overshadow (episkiazo, 1982)” or cast shade upon. Every usage of the word dunamis in the Bible is in relation to the power of God, whether in a cloud casting a shadow or the shadow of Peter cast over people who desired healing.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, [which] said (saying), This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. ( Mt 17:5)
Jesus was born, came into existence, just like you and I were, with the exception of how he was conceived! God’s spirit, of or from God, took care of the conception with the accompaniment of His inherent, miraculous power! The same power that raised Christ and Lazarus from the dead. Jesus did not pre-exist his birth. God did not take on the form of a man and come down from His throne and decide to become a baby and leave Mike & Gabe in charge of the heavenly hosts for 31 years! He did not die for 72 hours then somehow wake Himself up and raise Himself up from the dead. Too many people in the Christian world are far too entrenched in Greek Mythology and Mysticism. There are no Scriptures as absolutely clear as these that show the coming into existence of my Lord, Jesus Christ.
* gennao (1080), is used 97 times in the NT and this is the only time it is translated as conceive.
8 NT:4815 sullambano (sool-lam-ban’-o); from NT:4862 and NT:2983; to clasp, i.e. seize (arrest, capture); specifically, to conceive (literally or figuratively); by implication, to aid: KJV – catch, conceive, help, take. Strong’s
(The guestchamber in those days was a room adjacent to the house for the lodging of guests. These days some people have Guest-houses, while others may have Guest-rooms. The Greek word this is translated from is used 1 other time in Luke and once in Matthew. In both instances it is translated “guestchamber” in the King James Version: Mark 14:14
And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?
KJV; Luke 22:11
And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? KJV)
Joseph and Mary were not out in the cold with no place to go. They were at a friend’s house or at the very least a friend of a friend. They were like royalty, direct descendants of King David and they were in the city of David. They didn’t just arrive but had been there at least a few days already . Anyone would have been glad to have them in their home, let alone the fact Mary was in her 9th month of pregnancy. John Schoendeit of Spirit and Truth Fellowship adds this light on the subject:
“Another thing we must understand about houses in the East is that it was common for people to bring their animals, such as the family donkey, a couple of milk goats, or a cow or two, into the home at night. Such animals were very valuable, and the people brought them in at night to keep them from being stolen and to protect them from harm. Also, the animals added heat to the house, which would be very welcome on chilly nights. The woman in Endor who King Saul visited at night had her calf in the house with her: “And the woman had a fat calf in the house” (1 Sam. 28:24, KJV).  Of course, if the family were shepherds or herdsmen, they would not bring the whole flock or herd into the house, but would have a family member or hired guard watch them in the field, just as the shepherds were in the field on the night Jesus was born.
It was a common practice to raise the floor of the part of the house where the family lived, and keep the animals in an area that was a little lower.  Knowing this helps us understand Luke 2:6 and also where that idea that Jesus was born in a stable came from. Jesus was laid in a manger, which is an open trough, box, or bin, where the animal food was placed so the animals could feed easily. In Western society, mangers are in barns or stables, so if Jesus was laid in a manger it made sense he was born in a stable. However, in Eastern society, where the animals grazed outside during the day and were brought into the house at night, the manger was in the house. Having the manger in the house kept the animals calm and contented in the tighter quarters of the house, just as many modern farm animals have a feeding trough in their stall stay calm and content.
Everyone knew the manger was in the house, so when the Bible says that Jesus was laid in a manger “because” there was no space in the guest room, any Easterner would understand perfectly that the guest room was full so Jesus was born in the main part of the house where the family and animals stayed. Sometime after his birth he was safely placed in the manger, which would have been filled with clean hay or straw and would have been the perfect size for him. This was not to demean him in any way, but to care for him. The protective walls of the manger kept him safely guarded and away from busy feet and a bustling household, as well as warm and protected from any drafts or cold air in the home.
Another thing that helps us understand the Christmas story is understanding Eastern hospitality. In the East, guests were given special treatment of all kinds, including behavior that seems very extreme to us. For example, in the record of Lot and the two strangers, Lot would have handed over his own daughters to the mob before surrendering his guests (Gen. 19:8). Similarly, the people with whom Joseph and Mary stayed would never displace their guests from the guest room, but instead would inconvenience themselves, graciously bringing the couple into their living space.”
It has been on my heart recently to talk a little about love. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays can be particularly challenging for a lot of people. 1John 4:20 tells us “If someone says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar: for the one who does not love, agapao, his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Agapao love is demonstrated by being full of good will towards, to have preference for, to wish well to, and regard the welfare of. Everyone who born again of God’s spirit is a brother or a sister.
Jesus said in Mt.12:50, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.” Jesus is my brother and hopefully yours too. A father can be a brother as well as a mother and a sister!
One may not think they actually hate someone else but the absence of love as described above is hate. Love is something that must be proved day in and day out, not something to be assumed. We must reach out to those we love and we must, in particular, love our brothers in Christ. To fail to do so makes us liars, when we say we love God.
Galatians 6:10 tells us, “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” The words I want to emphasize here are “while we have opportunity.” The day will come when that opportunity will no longer be available: they will be dead or we will be. I was fishing the other day with a 38 year old man who lost his father when he was 51…….He expressed to me how he wished he had taken more advantage of him when he was alive.
Let’s not take for granted the lives of our earthly and spiritual families this holiday season or any other and reach out to them, demonstrating the love we have for them and the love we have for God. Tomorrow may be too late.
This is one of the more important questions Jesus asked his disciples. Here is the text:
And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
We can see here that the Christ, Christos and the Son of man are synonymous.
The devil knew Jesus was the Son of God, Mt. 4. Devil spirits knew he was the Son of God as well, Mt. 8:29, Mk. 3:11. Martha believed it as well, Jn. 11:26.
Yet, today most of Christianity believes something entirely different. The reason it is so critical to know and believe who Jesus Christ was and is, is because it is foundational. The apostle Paul laid the foundation for the Christian Church:
1 Cor 3:10-15
As an expert builder using the grace that God gave me, I laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. 11 After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus the Messiah. 12 Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day of judgment will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s action. 14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.
If you believe that Jesus Christ is someone other than who he is your work that you are building is not “in Christ,” and consequently you will suffer the loss of rewards because of it. You will still be saved but you may be a little singed!
Some men have told me, “I would rather have 1700 years of church history on my side to support what I believe.” Really? There will be no pointing fingers at the Judgment seat of Christ, sorry. You will be all alone and solely accountable. All that matters is believing what the Word of God says, not history.
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Who do you believe Jesus is?
Why is Passover relevant to the Christian? Glad you asked. We all know JC was considered the Lamb of God, but why? If you have studied the Word of God at all, you will know that Jesus and his disciples “prepared” for the Passover, a Jewish time of commemoration. The beginning of Passover always started on the 14th on Nisan, with the slaying of the Passover Lamb sometime before sunset. Even though Jesus “prepared” to eat the Passover with the disciples, he did not eat it with them. Instead he, figuratively, became the Passover Lamb, which was sacrificed for us.
1 Co 5:7……..For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:KJV
(The Last Supper was the last time the disciples had a meal together with Christ before him being crucified on a tree and raised from the dead. IT WAS NOT THE PASSOVER MEAL. Besides the timeline, the type of bread eaten at the Last Supper was forbidden during the Passover and the the ensuing 7 day period of the Feast of Unleavened bread.)
Furthermore, Jesus was dead in the grave with no consciousness for 3 full days and 3 full nights = 72 hours. There is no way in Hell to fit 3 full days and 3 full nights between Sunset Friday and Sunrise Sunday. Therefore, there is no such thing as Good Friday! Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb,was sacrificed for us and was buried on a Wednesday around sunset beginning the 1st night (Thursday). At dawn Thursday began the first day. At sunset Thurs. began the 2nd night of Friday, then Friday day; thenFri at sunset began the 3rd night, Saturday; then Saturday at sunset completed the 3 days and 3 nights. Sunset Sat. began Sunday night:
Jesus was already gone. Mary was 10-11 hours late, (depending on Daylight Savings Time). By the time she got there he had already been with the 2 fellows on the road to Emmaus. Who knows everything he had done by then?
The point is, the Bible has Integrity, it cannot contradict itself. If you believe half the stuff Tradition teaches about, this time of the year, you are deluded.
2 Th 2:11
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: KJV
If you believe Christ was crucified and buried on Friday evening and rose from the dead by Sunday at sunrise, you have been misled and it is no one’s fault but your own. If you believe that 3 days and 3 nights can fit in between these days, you will believe anything anyone tells you; and that is dangerous.
Jesus once said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” Prior to Christianity, only Jews had the promise of Salvation. Their Salvation (as well as ours) was not only something in the future, beyond the grave, but something here and now as well. The word alone is used three times as much in the Old Testament as it is in the New. To the Jews it meant Deliverance, Victory, Rescue or Safety.
For anyone who has read even a little of the OT one can see how often Israel prayed for deliverance from their enemies and how many times YHWH delivered them. (Might not be a bad idea today as well.) I have read that Salvation in this day and age has relatively no value for one’s current circumstances, but, nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever it meant for Israel it certainly means for us who are born again, as well.
In Moses day, salvation could be seen: “But Moses said to the people, Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord (YHWH) which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord (YHWH) will fight for you while you keep silent.” NASU
The same was true of David: “And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord (YHWH) in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence. 4 “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies. 2 Sa 22:1-4 NASU
WOW! Just look at these verses and realize the relevance of salvation for us today! In those days these words were used to describe everything attributed to God, Yahweh (YHWH). For us, they are also now attributable to Jesus, whom YHWH made both Lord and Christ. (I cannot help but explain something here for those who may not know: LORD in all capital letters in the OT is the proper name of God, YHWH. Some translation say Jehovah, but the most accurate is YHWH. There is a difference between Lord and LORD. Jesus is our Lord. His and our Father is our LORD.)
Jesus Christ was YHWH’s plan for Salvation to Gentiles who would be grafted in to fully share in the promises of God to Israel and their inheritance! This is exactly what it says in the gospel of Luke. This is what Simeon declared when Jesus was brought to the Temple some forty days after his birth: Lk 2:30-32, for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” ESV
All these aspects of salvation are available are available, now, today, to all who positively affirm what Romans 10:9 and 10 says, which is part of Paul the apostles prayer to God for Israel! Salvation is not something currently out of reach; it is readily obtainable. Get it now, while supplies last!
(See Chapter IV, page 19 of my new book at http://www.fredswolfe.com)
When Paul spoke about another gospel he was speaking about anything other than his own gospel which he was preaching:
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. KJV
Paul did not receive the revelation of Matthew, Mark Luke and John. He received the gospel of Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians. These epistles are in the exact same order in every Greek Manuscript.
Romans, Ephesians and Thessalonians are Doctrinal
Corinthians and Philippians are Reproof
Galatians and Colossians are Correctional.
The revelation Paul received from our Lord Jesus in these letters supersedes everything else, as these are written directly to the church of God which is the body of Christ. These represent the Sacred Secret that God kept from everyone until Paul.
To confirm that Jesus did not know about this secret, he told his disciples that some of them would not die until they saw him returning in the clouds. Yet, they all died. Jesus and the disciples believed that the Great Tribulation described in the book of Revelation and Daniel would begin immediately after his ascension. They all expected Jesus to return within 7 years.
But, God threw them all a curve ball for the sake of the Gentiles. Thank Him He did! We are now living in that time period, the Age of the Secret, the Administration of Grace. Essentially the book of Revelation has been held in abeyance for about 2,000 yrs now.
See Romans 2:16, 16:25; 2Ti 2:8 concerning Paul’s gospel. See also the word “doctrine” in 1st and 2nd Timothy. God bless!