What Covenant Are We Christians of?

set-free

These things have I spoken unto you, that you should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (John 16:1-3, KJ2000)

I have never read a contemporary Christian author who understands the nature of the New Covenant and the times we are in as followers of Christ better than T. Austin-Sparks. What we have today representing itself as Christianity in a highly visible form (church buildings, heraldic leadership, sacramental-ism, special holy days, etc.)  is more Old Covenant than it is the New and the “church” has gone full circle and is right back to becoming of the same spirit that killed its Messiah 2000 years ago.

I hope you not only read this quote from Sparks, but the book it is taken from for he has shed great light upon what real Christianity is and is not and the freedom that is ours as we abide IN Christ and not in the traditions of men. mdc

When God speaks of a new covenant or agreement, He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether. (Hebrews 8:13 AMP)

This letter to the Hebrews sets forth the all-inclusive revolution or reconstitution which God made when He brought His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world – that is, the religious revolution. This revolution, which was rejected by Judaism, has been almost entirely overlooked or lost sight of by Christendom since Apostolic times. The entire present system of Christianity as generally accepted would be impossible if the meaning of this letter were received as a heavenly revelation in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is – if it came into the heart by the Spirit’s power with the effect of a revelation in the same way as the Apostle Paul came to see who “Jesus of Nazareth” is, then a Christian-Judaism, or Judaistic-Christianity (which Christendom so largely is) would be impossible; as it became in his own case. The Letter to the Hebrews is only one other aspect of the battle fought out in the Letters to the Romans and Galatians.

In the light of such a spiritual eye-opening a whole lot of things would go: but being a “heavenly vision,” there would be no tears, no sense of loss, and no fond farewells. The gain and joy would rather put all such things into the category of a worn-out and no-longer-to-be-desired suit of clothes. In saying this we are only contemplating the full-tide of spiritual life known before any of these things came into being. These things only came in when the fullness of the Spirit had gone out, and, being an artificial substitute, they can never but be limiting things in the realm of Divine purpose. And yet, behold how these things have become the very nature of traditional and organized Christianity! So much so that to touch them in any way which threatens their existence is to meet something more bitter and formidable than any persecution from the world. This is not said carelessly. Religion can be, and is very largely, a terrible force; and Christianity has become a religion. There are very few communities of Christians – even the most evangelical, and spiritual – who wholly escape the tendency or propensity to persecute or ostracize other bodies of Christians who might be regarded as rivals in their field of activity… “God… hath at the end of these days spoken… in His Son.” But the new era and new order had brought out a new and mightier-than-ever conflict.


By T. Austin-Sparks from: “God Hath Spoken” – Chapter 1 

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14 comments on “What Covenant Are We Christians of?

  1. I really loved reading this before going to bed yesterday, too, Michael. No coincidence, I believe, but the same spirit. 😉

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  2. Renee says:

    Such a blessed post. If the rest of the book goes along the same lines, then I will have to read it because I couldn’t agree with this more!

    The glorious Church that our Lord Jesus presented to Himself at the Cross is the one who abides IN Him and He IN them. ALL they want to know is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is the Blood-bought, wholly surrendered John 17 Remnant our Abba is preparing behind the scenes at this time.

    I thank our Abba for you Brother, and for our Sis Susanne. I’m getting ready to go look at what God has led her to post on, but wanted to say thank you to you both for being Led by the Spirit. Bro, you mentioned a quote in a previous blog post by a brother named Norman Grubb. I had never heard of him but Abba said to check him out and I’ve been greatly blessed by the stuff I’ve read by him so far. Thank you!

    By the grace of God may we all continue to hunger and thirst after more of Him. May God bless you all, blessed Blood-bought Family members! {{hugs}}

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Michael says:

    You are welcome, Renee. Yes, Norman Grubb is another brother who had great insight into what it means to walk by faith as we abide IN Christ in the NEW Covenant. I met him in person one time in a private home and all I could do was hold his hand and rest in the presence of the Lord that manifest in that moment. The Old Covenant started with “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not.” But the New Covenant starts with “IT IS FINISHED.”

    May you rest in Christ’s completed work always, dear sister,
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Old Covenant started with “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not.” But the New Covenant starts with “IT IS FINISHED.”

      Woohaa!! This really struck me, Michael! Such deep truth in two short, but poignant sentences. ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, I think that if we continue to listen to the Spirit when we speak and write, He will give us such insights to share. Jesus said, “Therefore every scribe who is instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matt 13:52, KJ2000) We saw the new and the old working together to provide contrast and bring forth a deeper truth in what I wrote above. I think that the Spirit does this often if we listen to Him.

        Bless you, dear sister,
        Michael

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Your post reminded me of a science fiction story I read many years ago. In the story, Christ returns to earth a second time and is crucified a second time…this second time by the church hierarchy, rather that the Jewish religious leaders. The reasoning is the same: better that one man should die, than a whole people perish (John 11: 50).

    That, I think, comes close to the truth. Christ is simply too radical to fit into the tidy little mold the organized church has crafted for Him. He wants more from us than an hour on Sundays, and a Lenten novena.

    Our friend, David Murry, has just released “The Mind of Christ”. I have not yet finished the book. But it speaks to Christ’s boundless love for us, and the limitations we mistakenly place on Him. I think you would enjoy it, Michael.

    With love,

    Your sister A. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Anna. You wrote, “[their] reasoning is the same: ‘better that one man should die, than a whole people perish'” (John 11: 50).” Religion and survival-ism seems to go hand in hand. But the more we seek to save our lives, the more we lose them. Just before they crucified Him, Jesus warned the Jews saying,

      O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets, and stones them that are sent unto you; how often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen does gather her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, you shall not see me, until the time comes when you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. (Luke 13:34-35, KJ2000)

      God still sends people with a prophetic warning to the churches and the result is the same, “You shall not see me, until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.'” Of coarse rarely do they bless or heed the one who dares to speak what the Spirit is saying to the churches and then they wonder why their organizations are dying.

      I found David’s book in PDF form on his blog site.
      https://dwmurry.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/the-mind-of-christ-final112116.pdf

      I rarely read long books, but I will seek God’s leading on reading this one.

      Your brother IN the Son,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Carina says:

        This reminds me of 1 Kings 12. When the kingdom is divided after Solomon dies, the king of the Northern tribes of Israel builds two sanctuaries, one in Bethel and the other one in Dan. He was afraid that, going to worship in Jerusalem, the people would have their hearts turn to the king of Judah. Jeroboam was more concerned about his continued power as king than about true worship. He knew full well he was leading people into awful idolatry, but he only cared about his own popularity. When any leader or pastor leads the people away from worship of Christ and seeks proselyts for himself, you have the same result. It looks like worship but it’s a golden calf that’s being worshiped.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Yes, Carina, this is more common than most people realize.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael, you may remember that I have been reading Andrew Murray’s book Holiest of All (WOW!) I have a three ring notebook with papers and various printouts that the Lord has brought across my life with regards to this very thing. When I received Sparks’ email which you quoted above, I knew I was going to need the whole thing. I printed out the entirety of the book, God Hath Spoken, one for me and one for my mother. Also, I have just mailed out a request form to Emmanuel Church in Tulsa for a handful of Sparks’ books.

    The truth is life altering. It challenges us and all we’ve been privy to. The implications of following the Lamb, of living and trusting our place in the Heavenly Sanctuary in our Father’s presence does not come without some painful consequences. But the joy, the transformation of the Spirits revelation in our spirits far exceeds the pain. Though I must admit the moments of pain are quite real.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Hi Becky,

      It is good to hear from you again. I am happy to hear that you are being blessed by Murray book and the writings of Sparks as well. When it comes to those who write about a deeper walk with God, I started out reading Watchman Nee, then Andrew Murray, A. W. Tozer, and finally T. A. Sparks whom I discovered about 15 years ago. What a spiritual gold mine his writings have been for me. Yes, as we pursue who we are IN Christ and what it means to be His sons and daughters in Him, it can be very painful. That longing we have to find another saint of God who is walking where we are or just ahead of us to help us out along the way… that can be very painful, even more so when you misunderstand one another or find out that you are not as one as you had hoped to be. But we have a promise, “Weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Carina says:

    This quote at the beginning, “whosoever kills you will think that he does God service” is heartbreaking. It reminds me of a passage from Micah which Jesus quotes in the “I came to bring a sword” warning. In Micah you are warned not to trust even the one who sleeps by our side. We’re living in dangerous times.
    I was recently discussing with my husband, based on our latest disappointment, that discernment should never be turned off. Even the most faithful can make mistakes. No one has it all together. So we should not accept anything blindly.
    The New Covenant means that we understand that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. People can help us take the first baby steps but when you have grown older and they keep babying you, something is very wrong. When you begin to show signs of the freedom Galatians and other books discuss, controlling pastors will call you a rebel.
    At best, they will think you are immature because you won’t submit. They don’t understand your lack of submission to them is not necessarily a lack of submission to Christ. It may indeed be a case of, Judge for yourselves if we ought to obey God or men.

    Like

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