The Heart of God – A NEW Creation

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How does one begin to claim that he knows the heart of God? Only by drawing close enough to Him that you can feel both what pleases Him and what disappoints His great loving heart. We can read the sacred writings and expostulate about them until the cows come home and still miss what our Father is saying (see John 5:39-40) unless we have become like David. God said, “I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22 RSVA). I had to go through a heart change to see the things I share with you in this article. I used to study the Bible to justify myself and to get “ammunition” to condemn others. I soon found that Jesus was right—with the same measure of judgment I was doling out to others, I was getting the same judgment heaped back on me. That heart had to go.

Just what has been on the heart of God from the beginning of time? We see a hint of what He wanted in the earliest writings of the Bible narrative. “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.’” (Genesis 2:18 NLT). God had made Adam in His image and likeness right down to making him a lonely man, lonely like Himself. “He [Adam] gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. But still there was no companion suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:20 NLT).

God created man to be His companion. He walked and fellowshipped with Adam in the Garden of Eden. As we read further in the Old Testament, we find Him speaking of a wonderful intimacy that He desired with man:

Go and shout in Jerusalem’s streets: `This is what the LORD says: I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness. (Jeremiah 2:2 NLT)

But Israel, the nation He chose to manifest His love for man, was unfaithful to Him and so, undaunted by their coldness toward Him (for Israel had become a harlot chasing after other lovers (see Deu. 31:16, Ezek. 6:9 and Hosea 2:1), He started speaking of a New Covenant with a new people.

 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:32 NLT)

Where the people of the Old Covenant were a people with stony hearts toward Him (thus their commandments were also written on tablets of stone), He would now create a new people and give them new hearts that would be faithful to Him as their Husband.

 For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:24-27 RSVA)

Yes, this people would be given a new heart and a new Spirit, His Spirit, and be gathered out of all the nations unto Him as His faithful Bride. God proved that all the law keeping efforts of man were futile. Unless God does a miracle, puts a new heart in each one of us, and puts His Spirit within us, there will be no lasting change. We will continue on as bankrupt lovers, unable to keep our hearts fixed on our heavenly Husband.

This, my friends, is the message of the New Covenant. Our Father has made for Himself a new people with new hearts that long to be with their Bridegroom, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We who are His are caught up unto Him and devoted to Christ as our loving husband, not some religious counterfeit.

 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:2-5 RSVA)

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, (Revelation 21:9-10 RSVA)

So many Christians today still have not seen that God makes all things new! We have been given a New Covenant unlike the old one based on the works of the law. His righteousness dwells within us, not our own. We are made perfect in Christ. Why? Because we who believe have put on Christ and He is our only identity!

 …for ye are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as were immersed into Christ, did put on Christ. There exists neither Jew nor Greek, there exists neither bond nor free, there exists neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28 WAS)

As Paul quoted, “it is in Him we live and move and have our being.” There are no longer any walls of separation among us after the manner of this fallen world or men’s religions (see Eph 2:14-15). In Christ we no longer look on one another and think of ourselves in divided terms like Jews, Gentiles (or any other form nationalism or religion). We no longer think of ourselves in class distinctions and social stratum (bond nor free). And here is a big one, men! We no longer think of ourselves as better than our sisters in Christ, because in Christ God has made all things new and all the old divisions and curses that are a result of the fall of man are passed away and all things have become new (notice I said in Christ, not in ourselves).

How does this new found unity in the New Covenant work? What is the life transforming power that makes us not only see one another as new creations (see 2 Cor. 5:17), but that binds us together as a cohesive unit? What makes us the very Body of Christ in unity with Him as our only Head here on earth? In Hebrews we read:

 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchiz’edek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. (Hebrews 7:11-12 RSVA – see also Hebrews 8:1-7)

Jesus told us what this new commandment that goes with the New Covenant is. As we see in the above passage, with Christ as our Great High Priest after the order of Melchiz’edek, a new law came. What is that new commandment that Jesus has given us? He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35 KJ2000)

So now, dear saints, we have come right back to where we started. God requires and also provides us with new hearts and fills them with His love, first for Him and then for one another. This is the love of the Bride of Christ. It is a love for Him and as a result a love for everyone He loves.

If you still cling to the Old covenant law, read Paul wrote:

 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 RSVA)

If you can’t believe Paul, then believe Jesus:

And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 RSVA)

Love! It is a heart issue that God is concerned with in man and always has been, not about the legalistic enforcing of rules and regulations. Jesus warned the judgmental law keepers of 2000 years ago who judged His disciples, “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath.” (Matthew 12:7-8 RSVA).

It keeps coming back to love and mercy, not law keeping and condemnation. God is gathering a bride for His Son out of all nations, and she will be madly in love with Him, not focused on her own righteousness. His love is in her heart because her heart is His heart. Her spirit is His Spirit. His commandment to love one another as He loves His bride is her commandment. In this the world will know that we are a New Covenant people, that we have His love for one another. Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly… in us.

The New Jerusalem – A NEW Creation

New JerusalemFor it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which brings forth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to [is equivalent to] Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:22-26 KJ2000)

He that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches. (Revelation 3:12-13 KJ2000)

Yes, what IS the Spirit saying to the churches? What kingdom are we of? Where are our hearts? Jesus said that where a man’s treasure is is where his heart will be found. I often have to ask myself what kingdom I am of when I find myself being tempted to put a political comment on my FaceBook page,  “Am I of this world system, the old Jerusalem with its murderous religious and political factions or am I of the NEW Jerusalem of the Father which comes down from heaven? ”

Paul wrote, “Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 RSVA). Many people claim to be Christians, yet do their lives show the reality of being “a new creation”? Have their “old things passed away”? I was saved out of right-winged radicalism with murder and hatred in my heart and overnight I was transformed into a new creation IN Christ when God put his Spirit in me, yet the temptation is there to revert back to that old political mindset and I have to acknowledge where that temptation is coming from and turn away. It take a lot more faith to rest in Christ than it does to think that real change can come about by political means.

I often thought of myself as a revolutionary and wanted to change America back to its constitutional roots. Yet, true salvation IN Christ is the only total revolutionary reality. We are made NEW creatures, with new hearts, given a NEW Spirit and made one with the Father and the Son IN Christ and are made citizens of the NEW Jerusalem which is above. All things are become new and the old are passed away.

There is a story in Luke that shows that the disciples of Jesus still were still of the old kingdoms of men mindset,

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
(Luke 9:51-56 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

How many of us are of this spirit today? If somebody gets in the way of your faction and its goals, smoke ’em! How many churches rallied behind George Bush when he waged a holy war against Saddam Husein for the destruction of the Trade Towers in New York?  A Christianized church-going sinner is still a sinner, but one who truly has been born of the will of the Father in the Spirit is a NEW creation and is no longer a citizen of this world, but is of the NEW Israel of God and his life will show it. These will find themselves to be exiles and pilgrims in a strange land in short order. They will be accused by the worldly people around them that they are “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly [worldly] good.”

Men were constantly trying to pull Jesus down to the level of this world and get Him to settle disputes between them over an inheritance or over whether to pay taxes to Ceasar and many followed Him in hopes that they could all join up under His leadership and rise up against the Romans and cast them out of Judea. Yet, Jesus made it quite clear that His kingdom was (and is not now) of this world. This whole concept of “onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war…” and “holy war” is of THIS world! Did you know that the first “holy war” was waged by the first “Christian” Roman emperor, Constantine? He fought under the banner of the cross to take the city of Rome by force so that he could be the new Roman Emperor. With his newly acquired power he began to paganized Christianity to make it more compatible for all parties and often made pagan priests the priests of his new religion. He used force to make sure that there was only one religion in the Roman empire and the “holy wars” continued “in Jesus’ name” wherever people would not submit. The Prince of Peace in the minds of the faithful in Constantine’s Christendom was now the Prince of War. Thus was born “the Holy Roman Empire.” As a result of Christianity not willing to live by Jesus words, “love your enemies” Islam rose up in revenge by the power of the sword under Mohammad just three hundred years later and the Christians and the Muslims have been killing one another ever since. Why? Because neither of these factions KNOW what spirit they are of!

Jesus said,

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45 KJ2000)

When the Pharisees in Jerusalem wanted to take Jesus and kill Him because He told them the truth about what was in their hearts, He told them that they were of their father the devil for he was a liar and a murder from the beginning. I pray that we may all be found to be “children of our Father who is in heaven.”