Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Did God's people in Old Testament times have to live under the Old Covenant? Was all that horrible apostasy in ancient Israel something necessary because the people were living at the wrong time? Did God withhold something from them that He later on relented, and then gave them the New Covenant? Was He being fair to them?
These are questions that have stirred Christianity. Never can the Christian Church lighten the earth with the glory of a final message of Good News (like Revelation 18:1-4 speaks of) unless this problem of the Old Covenant as it relates to the New Covenant gets cleared up. Confusion can paralyze the finest church on earth.
Lukewarmness, apostasy, and backsliding are impossible for a church that is living in the knowledge and experience of the New Covenant. Too strong to say? Unless this is true, the gospel is forced logically to become a contradiction in terms--confusion, a failure.
The reason is that the New Covenant gospel is "the power of God to salvation" (Rom. 1:16), not a program of failure or backsliding. Backsliding is due to the Old Covenant imported into the heart--nine-tenths New Covenant and one-tenth Old Covenant equals failure.
No, ancient Israel were not programmed to failure. Their beginning was "the father of us all," Abraham (Rom. 4:16). God gave him the New Covenant in those seven promises in Genesis 12:1-3. All his descendants should be "children of faith" as Isaac was. They would become the greatest nation on earth, always the head, never the tail (Deut. 28:13), always "a kingdom of priests," meaning, a nation of spiritual geniuses (Ex. 19:6).
They were to be God's missionary nation through whom "all families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). They would evangelize the world! But they fastened themselves under the Old Covenant in Exodus 19:3-8. That thinking kept "popping up" forever afterwards in their up-and-down history.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 6, 2002.
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