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Saturday, February 13, 2021

FROM THE HOLY INFANT JESUS 

UNTO MATURE MANHOOD

(Acts 4:30 & 27 – Eph. 4:13)


Ephesians 4:13



Let me be perfectly clear:  This is not a Roman Catholic polemic on behalf of their understanding concerning the “baby Jesus” – this content would, I presume, be found to greatly enhance their enlightenment, and for that matter, at least all our understanding of the “infant Jesus” as used in Acts 4:27 and Acts 4:30 which centers on the word “Servant” as used in most English translations or “Child” in other translations, including the KJV.

Frankly, this “child” is neither the Greek words “teknon” (“a child” – Strong’s G#5043) or “teknion” (“a little child” – used always in the plural) nor the traditional word for “servant” or “slave” (doulos – Strong’s G#1401).  The Greek words used here in Acts 4:27, 30 (paida and paidos) according to Strong’s Concordance are derived from "paidion (pahee-dee-on) - Paidion, a diminutive of pais, (1) signifying ‘a little or young child’; (1a) it is used of an infant just born."

 

I was somewhat amazed to hear Peter and John rehearsing the “threating” of the “rulers and elders and scribes . . . [along with] Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John and Alexander, and as many as were of the high-priestly family” (Acts 4:5-6) who when Peter and John “came to their own” (believers), when released, they had initially acclaimed the “name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene” before these authorities (Acts 4:10) – then they were admonished by these political and religious authorities “to no longer speak on this name to any men . . . not to speak at all, nor to teach on the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:17-18).  However, again, returning to their fellow disciples they acclaimed His name as “Your holy infant Jesus” and that it was “through Your holy infant Jesus” that “healing and miracles and wonders” were wrought.

 

Those gathered upon the return of Peter and John announced the following account by reciting Psalm 2 as they addressed their prayers to Almighty God:

 

Why do the nations rage, and the peoples devised foolish things?  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were assembled on the same day against the Lord, yea, against His Christ (His Anointed)” (Acts 4:25-26).

 

Yes, “against His Christ” – but His Christ is clearly defined as domiciled “through Your holy infant Jesus.”  The assembled spoke in this manner, as well:

 

And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings, and give to Your servants (NKJV – or “slaves” KJV – Greek word used here is Strong’s G#1401 – doulois) to speak Your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29).  I insert “doulos” in contrast to “pais” to clearly delineate Luke’s account wherein he knew full-well the distinction between “servant-slave” and “infant-child.”

 

Luke had both in “mind and spirit” a most profound truth:  Something was being birthed into the world – a NEWBORN – the INFANT JESUS and both “Jew and Gentile” (Acts 4:27—Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Nations [ethnisi – “ethnicities”) and the peoples of Israel were gathered together against Your holy infant Jesus”); yes, were gathered together against this NEWBORN INFANT!


PETER & JOHN BEFORE RELIGIOPOLITICAL LEADERS

POLITICS & RELIGION . . . A word to the wise . . .

 

The “battle” had begun – the persecution had commenced in earnest – the disciples had been threatened, warned, not to speak further in this Name!  Those assembled who heard Peter and John’s account turned to Psalm 2 and acclaimed that their opposers were gathering against the Lord Himself and against His Anointed One—the HOLY INFANT JESUS!  They knew exactly what they were saying—a NEWBORN was being birthed—it was the beginning of something entirely new . . . it was the BIRTH OF THE INFANT JESUS!  But why were the disciples in this initial outburst using such a term?

 

It is mandatory that we understand Luke’s amalgamation of this religiopolitical cabal set against the Holy Infant Jesus—the Anointed One.  To blame but the Jewish religious leadership for the crucifixion of Jesus, without inculcating the political leadership of Rome, is a prejudicial preference that is historically false.  The political leadership of the Nations were, as well, wholly set against His Anointed. 

 

The concoction of religion and politics is, as was the case with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, a similar admixture exposed by Elijah’s prophetic ministry—this witch’s brew conjured up by Jezebel placed the “sons of Belial” (1 Kings 21:10-KJV – i.e., two “scoundrels”) who accused Naboth (who would NOT sell his inheritance to King Ahab) for being against “God and Country” (i.e., “he [Naboth] has cursed both God and the king” – 1 Kings 21:10).  Just as politics (King Ahab) and religion (Queen Jezebel and her Baal worship) had Naboth, a faithful Israelite, stoned—even so, did politics and religion crucify the Lord of Glory and commence their threatening of the disciples. Today, the “Woman rides the Beast” (Revelation 17) – we as believers should leave well enough alone; yet remain steadfast to our inheritance in Christ!

 

JOHN 16:19-22 – THE UPPER ROOM DISCOURSE


THE UPPER ROOM DISCOURSE - JOHN 13-17

Jesus, prior to His prayer in John 17, and throughout His Upper Room Discourse as recorded in John chapters 13-17, emphasizes “His going is His coming.”  I believe it is here that if we connect the dots, we shall discover the words Jesus used to explain His “going and coming” to His disciples in the language of the NEWBORN:

 

"A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me?  Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being (lit. “a man” – Strong’s G#444 - anthropos) has been born into the world.  Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you" (John 16:19-22--ESV).

 

Yes, “as soon as she has given birth to the child” – this “child” is the same Greek word used by the early Ekklesia in Acts 4:27, 29:  παιδίον (paidion), which clearly in this context refers to an “infant” – i.e., a NEWBORN BABE. 

 

In other words, Jesus was relating to His disciples concerning His soon-coming crucifixion would be a time of great sorrow likened to that of a mother giving birth to her infant; a human being, a MAN-CHILD.  His going to the cross would be a most painful time for His disciples because an INFANT was being birthed into the world—once the babe, the infant, the human being, the man, was birthed, then immediately the mother would no longer remember[s] the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 

 

Now, carefully examine the metaphorical language Jesus was using here.  You will weep and lament” – so who’s having the baby?  Who is giving birth?  Listen up: “. . . you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”  Is it Jesus who is sorrowful or is it the disciples?  Careful!  Are the disciples watching the birth or are they participating in the birth?  From the sound of it—they are wholly (somehow) engaged in the birthing process. 

 

Something – a NEW CREATION – a NEWBORN – THE INFANT JESUS – was being birthed and they were to be the full expression of the JOY that was set before Him . . . they would be that JOY.  Yes, this is the object of His JOY set before Him.  I am persuaded that the ambiguity of these antecedents is purposeful and deliberate.  Who is birthing?  What is being birthed?  Both the disciples and Jesus are rejoicing in the expression of this JOY!  Is it the FIRSTBORN among many brethren?  Is it the INFANT JESUS?  Are His disciples witnessing their NEW BIRTH? 

 

Indeed:

 

. . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). 

 

You see, the political and religious authorities thought they had gotten rid of this “Jesus” – but, BEHOLD:  He’s alive forevermore!  Now, no matter the sorrow and pain of crucifixion – notwithstanding how the “heathen raged and imagined a vain thing” – notwithstanding how the “kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together” against the Lord’s Anointed – the JOY expressed in His NEWBORN, this BABE, this little INFANT – this HOLY INFANT JESUS – the same one Herod and Pontius Pilate tried to annihilate – has become the FIRSTBORN of many brethren! 

 

“. . . because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29).

 

Could it be that through the Spirit of Promise—“I am coming to you” (“I am going away and I am coming back to you”—John 14:28)—Jesus was birthing Himself in His disciples?  I know that sounds “out there” – perhaps a bit theologically farfetched . . . but was it, is it?

 

It’s nigh impossible to ascertain the antecedents in John 16 – the mother?  The sorrow?  The babe?  The joy?  Go ahead, try to figure out who’s who; who’s doing what.  Is Jesus the mother or are the disciples?  Are the disciples experiencing the pain or is Jesus?  Who’s the NEWBORN, the infant being birthed?  The JOY is more than just an abstract emotion because such joy demands an object, which is the very NEWBORN.  Then, what or Who is the object of this joy? 

 

“Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.  In that day you will no longer ask me anything.  Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:22-24).

 

The JOY set before Jesus was the same joy to be experienced by His brethren in that they would be living in the reality “in My Name.”  They would pray: “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy infant Jesus” and it would be done unto them!  Being “in My Name” – in the Name of Your Holy Infant Jesus – yes, therein was the outstretched hand of the Father cherishing His Newborn Babe.

 

I am tempted to delve into the murky waters of Revelation 12 and the identity of the woman and her “male child” (Lit. “a son” --Rev. 12:4-5) . . . but I digress.

 

THE NEW MAN – NEW CREATION – NEW HUMANITY

 

Through the sorrow - then the birth - then the joy!  Who or what was being born?  I believe it was the NEWBORN - the NEW MAN - the EKKLESIA Jesus promised to build - the "revelation of the mystery." 

 

Furthermore, this seems perfectly in keeping with the NEW MAN of Paul's writings to the Colossians . . . when a NEW MAN appears, this New Man is NOT full-grown . . . there is a beginning, growth, and then what happens follows the pattern below:

 

“His purpose was to create in himself one NEW MAN (new humanity—NIV) out of the two [Jew and Gentile], thus making peace, and in ONE BODY to reconcile both of them to God through the cross” (Eph. 2:15-16).

 

"And having put on the NEW MAN, having been renewed in full knowledge according to the image of the One creating him; where there is no Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave or freeman - but Christ is all things and in all" (Col. 3:10-11). 

 

"And that you put on the NEW MAN which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:24).

 

“. . . until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to MATURE MANHOOD to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13--ESV).

 

Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the NEW CREATION . . . Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God (NIV)” or “. . . peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God” (KJV) (Gal. 6:15-16).

 

So, if anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creation (lit. “in ChristNEW CREATION”).

 

Allow me to briefly exegete the NEW CREATION found in Galatians 6:16,  comparing it with 2 Corinthians 5:17. It appears rather obvious that Galatians 6:16 – “nothing avails but a New Creation – nothing counts but a New Creation” tends toward the corporate in that “as many as shall walk by this rule, peace and mercy be on them, and on the Israel of God” or as the NIV suggests:  Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God” (in other words THEY who follow such a rule are now “a part” of the Israel of God—meaning, it has a corporate connotation). 

 

Whereas in 2 Corinthians 5:17 it “appears” that an individual who finds himself/herself in Christ is a “new creature” or a “new creation”—and this is how most Bible translators have so translated the text—the translators have “personalized” the meaning of the “new creation.”  However, that is NOT how it reads nor can it be taken in context as the singularity of an individual alone—i.e., that individual is in essence “a part of the new creation” and not the sum and substance of a New Creation.

 

The Greek is most fascinating here.  Both Galatians 6:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 use Strong’s G#2537 and G#2937 in succession—in that order.  “A new creation” in BOTH cases, giving, in particular, 2 Corinthians 5:17 an altogether corporate rendering, which is the obvious case in Galatians 6:16—that is, the “NEW CREATION is THE ISRAEL OF GOD” (NIV).  Yes, “all things are new” in the New Creation.  Substantiating the corporate nature of this claim is the context in which it is given in 2 Corinthians 5, to wit:

 

“And all things are of God, who reconciled US to Himself through Jesus Christ, and giving to US the ministry of reconciliation . . . and putting the word of reconciliation in US . . . WE ARE ambassadors, as God is exhorting through US, WE beseech on behalf of Christ . . . we might become the righteousness of God in Him . . . but working TOGETHER, WE also call on you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 5:18-20; 6:1).

 

Attempting to tie in the NEW MAN - the NEW HUMANITY - a NEW CREATION (Gal. 6:15) to this INFANT being birthed is NOT a stretch of the "theological imagination" - indeed, the NEW MAN, the NEWBORN manifesting is the NEW CREATION where neither "circumcision" or "uncircumcision" avails anything but a NEW CREATION - therefore, we can boldly assert, as Paul:  "As many as shall walk by this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16).  Yes, a NEW HUMANITY was being birthed . . . the very ISRAEL OF GOD!

 

As we decipher further Paul’s statement in Galatians 6:16, it is imperative that the claim of the INFANT JESUS be recognized as the NEW MAN wrought under both the New Covenant and the New Commandment be “theologically connected.”  The “mature manhood” (Eph. 4:13—ESV) or “full-grown man” (ERV) or “a perfect man” (NKJV) has gone from infancy to maturity.  Indeed:

 

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead speaking the truth in love, we will GROW to become in every respect the MATURE BODY of him who is the head, that is Christ . . . From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Eph. 4:14-16).

 

Yes, from infancy – this INFANT JESUS is growing by the “growth in life” to become the MATURE BODY – “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).  Can we go so far as to say that this INFANT JESUS has been growing ever since the resurrection brought forth the FIRSTBORN of a NEW HUMANITY, a New Creation?  I think so. 

 

Moreover, maturity in Christ cannot be manipulated by human ingenuity or organizational gifting but solely by the Life of Christ—it is wholly organic, other worldly, without human endeavor but wrought by the Spirit of Promise, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Living God working in us all to mature and expand His New Creation.



THE ISRAEL OF GOD - GAL. 6:16

FINALLY . . . THE ISRAEL OF GOD

 

I would be remiss not to inject into this conversation that which yields itself to such maturity are those “whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:8-NIV) – but in vain are those “After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3-NIV) – O FOOLISH GALATIANS!   

 

Consequently, they who vainly would attempt to bifurcate the benediction of Paul's "peace and mercy" by claiming it is given, on the one hand, to the ethnic Galatian believers in Yeshua and then (separately), on the other hand, this same "peace and mercy" is given to those Jews known as the "Israel of God" do horrific exegetical injustice to the Word of God!  NO, NO, NO - the only thing that avails is the NEW CREATION wherein both ethnic Galatians of the nations and Jews (uncircumcised/nations and circumcised/Jews) find themselves – TOGETHER as the New Creation – which IS the Israel of God. 

 

These Galatians from the Ethnos/Nations and these Jews constitute not only the NEW CREATION but together they are the very ISRAEL OF GOD!  To suggest otherwise flies in the face of Paul's entire letter to the Galatians - Paul declared the ONE NEW MAN when he withstood Peter to his face when Peter would NOT eat with Gentile believers in Galatia and separated himself to eat only with Jewish believers - Paul said that Peter was NOT LIVING BY THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL (Gal. 2:5, 14) - we are all in the "S"eed - we are all "children of promise" - (Isaac--Gal. 3:29) - and with this Paul asserts the One New Man principal:

 

"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:27-29).

 

DISTINCTION YES – SEPARATION NO.  The "inseparable message" contained in Commonwealth Theology was announced by Peter and John upon their return from their initial encounter with these religiopolitical leaders--their "fallback position" was the INFANT JESUS was being birthed through them!  This was the New Man, the New Creation, the Israel of God - this is the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL and that is the "revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all NATIONS" (Rom. 16:25-26). 


THIS PROFOUND MYSTERY:  CHRIST & HIS EKKLESIA


And, yes, this is the MYSTERY OF CHRIST, even His Ekklesia, to wit:

 

"I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles (ethnon) - if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the MYSTERY (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the MYSTERY OF CHRIST), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Nations, should be fellow heirs, of the SAME BODY, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power" (Eph. 3:1-6).  (Lit. “Joint-heirs – a “Joint-Body” – “Joint-Sharers of the promise of Him”)

 

"This is a GREAT MYSTERY, but I speak concerning Christ and THE EKKLESIA" (Eph. 5:32)

 

The revelation of the mystery is the bringing together of the two distinct peoples (i.e., JOINT) into the ONE NEW MAN (the “One New Humanity”), so making peace through the blood of His cross, both Jew and Greek (Eph. 2:15).  Hidden, yes, but wholly promised through the prophetic Scriptures!  Even so, there is neither "male nor female" but there are "brothers and sisters" - there is neither Jew nor Greek but there are Jews and there are Greeks - but in Christ we are inseparable!  Distinct, yes – inseparable, NO!  This is the EKKLESIA Jesus is building – from start (INFANT) unto the “whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:13) made for the New Creation – the Mature Man – the One New Man.

REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY – COMPLETE GOSPEL

 I would like to expand upon the COMPLETION GOSPEL found in Romans 15:29:

“But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness (lit. “completion”) of the gospel of Christ.”

The Gospel of the Grace of God unto salvation from Acts 20:24 and the Gospel of Peace unto reconciliation of peoples (Rom. 10:15) is designed by the Almighty to make of the Two (Jew and Gentile) One New Man--so MAKING PEACE. 

True, most folks do not fully understand the Gospel of Salvation to be saved from the Wrath of God (the penalty of sin--Jesus took the "wrap" for us) but they scarcely comprehend the reconciliation of hostile peoples and the cure not only for sin but the cure for division -- not only in the Body of Christ but between the peoples of the world! 

It's the same Gospel but it's the complete Gospel - once, I believe, folks can be persuaded that He not only desires for sinners to be saved from sin's penalty and be granted eternal life in Him but (also) He prayed that they all may be ONE in the fellowship of the Father and the Son - personal peace - corporate peace. 

Most folks can readily grasp the difference and most believers, sadly, hardly hear of the difference, let alone embrace the COMPLETE GOSPEL - but Paul's presentation to the Roman Christians (book of Romans) is simplified wherein Romans 1-8 reconciles the individual believer to God through the blood of Jesus unto personal glorification; while Romans 9-16 reconciles us to one another through the preaching of the Gospel of Peace--which is not just one's personal Peace with God but His Peace He prayed for in John 17:  THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE.

"But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the COMPLETION of the blessing of the gospel of Christ . . . Now the God of peace be with you all.  Amen" Romans 15:29, 33.  

The fullness or COMPLETION of the blessing of the gospel of Christ is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God among the elect - both branches of the One Olive Tree (Rom. 11:11-27; Jer. 11:16) - now and into the prophetic future. 

This FULL GOSPEL (sorry, my Pentecostal brethren) is the gospel we preach (or should be preaching) - this should be the dominant theme when the gospel is proclaimed - and, by the way, it is in full accord with Acts 15 at the Jerusalem Council regarding “what to do with the nations entering into the assembly” which was originally considered but a “Jewish sect.”

 The restoration of the Tabernacle of David - the United Kingdom of David – was in view in Acts 15 and has embedded within its message the only place in the book of Romans where the Kingdom of God is mentioned:  "For the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" - smack-dab in the middle of brethren quarreling over their pet doctrines and practices--Romans 14:17 -instead we hear:

"Therefore let us pursue the THINGS WHICH MAKE FOR PEACE and the things by which one may EDIFY ANOTHER."  

In other words, the United Kingdom—aka, Tabernacle of David—found in Acts 15:16-17 is intrinsically connected in matters of unity in diversity with the Kingdom of God in Romans 14 which is full of “divine tolerance” between members of the United Kingdom of David, the Tabernacle of David—which is in point of fact:  The Commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12)—dare I connect the dots?

Our beloved brethren who would twist Acts 15’s Jerusalem Council on this amalgamation of Jews and those elect from the Nations entering into the singularity of the Commonwealth of Israel—i.e., the Tabernacle of David--by projecting its exegesis into the future Second Coming of the Deliverer Who shall roar out of Zion, have not only completely missed the mark of the ultimate, immediate prophetic fulfillment of why the elect from among the nations were beating a path into the assembly of the Firstborn (in the first place) – but have inadvertently/ignorantly or purposefully separated God's Eternal Plan and Purpose for creating in Himself ONE NEW MAN, so making peace (the goal of the cross) - for “nothing else avails but a new creation” which is the very Israel of God--plain and simple (Gal. 6:15). 

Cleverly devising and manipulating the conjunction kai (in Gal. 6:16) to grant peace and mercy to Galatian gentiles - AND that the same goes for Jews who alone bear the enlightenment as the Israel of God - is not only a contortion of the Word of God but the entire thrust of Paul's overall message domiciled in his confrontation with Peter over the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL (Gal. 2) - Jewish and Antiochian believers should all eat together at Messiah's Table - ENOUGH OF THIS SEPARATION STUFF . . . the CROSS produces the New Creation in the here and now—not in the sweet by-and-by (Gal. 6:12-14).

No, the proper "sense" of Galatians 6:16 is found in, oddly enough, the NIV:

Galatians 6:16, NIV: "Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule--to the Israel of God."

Galatians 6:16, "Peace and mercy will come to rest on all those who conform to this principle. They are the Israel of God."(God's Word Translation)

Even the Phillips translation gets it (if you interpret it properly)!  "But in Christ it is not circumcision or uncircumcision that counts but the power of new birth. To all who live by this principle, to the true Israel of God, may there be peace and mercy!"

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Instead, distortions like this pervade Christendom:

16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and conduct their lives by this principle], and upon the [true] Israel of God (Jewish believers).  (Amplified version--parenthesis in the Amplified V.)

16 Peace and mercy to those who ·follow [walk/live by] this rule—and to ·all of God’s people [L the Israel of God; C either: (1) Jewish Christians or (2) the church as the “new Israel”]. (Expanded Bible) (Notice:  Somehow keeping the two separated!)

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There is but one New Covenant -the MYSTERY REVEALED!
The Healing of the Nations

In the strictest sense the New Covenant is the very essence of the COVENANT IN HIS BLOOD that cleanses ALL who call upon the Name of the Lord, for the forgiveness of sin and freedom from its penalty—both Jew and Greek; however, this New Covenant is likewise the very BASIS and ESSENCE of the COVENANT OF PEACE SHALL BE BETWEEN THEM BOTH . . . listen carefully:

"My servant David shall be their prince forever.  Moreover I will MAKE A COVENANT OF PEACE with them (with both Judah and Ephraim - Ref. Ezk. 37:15-23), and it shall be an EVERLASTING COVENANT with them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" (Ezk. 37:25-28).  

NOTICE:  The New Covenant - THE COVENANT OF PEACE - was strictly made between these Two Houses (Judah and Ephraim/Joseph) - the MYSTERY revealed was to bring the ethnos/nations into His One New Man, New Creation, to wit (read carefully):

"If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the MYSTERY (as I have briefly written already, by which when you read, you may UNDERSTAND MY KNOWLEDGE in the MYSTERY OF CHRIST), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it HAS NOW BEEN REVEALED by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: [NOW WHAT IS THIS MYSTERY NOW REVEALED, ONCE HIDDEN BUT NOW REVEALED?] . . . that the Nations (aka Gentiles) should be fellow heirs, of the SAME BODY, partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel . . . that I should preach among the Nations the unsearchable riches of Christ . . . to the intent that NOW the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the EKKLESIA to the principalities and powers in heavenly place" (Eph. 3:2-10 excerpts—my emphasis).  

His EKKLESIA He is the building of the INCLUSIVE Commonwealth of Israel!

On the one hand there is nothing new - BUT on the other hand, there is something altogether new:  the ONE NEW MAN!

Brethren, it is this INCLUSION of the nations into the Commonwealth of Israel (viz., the MYSTERY OF CHRIST so revealed), into the singular New Covenant, the Covenant of Peace between them both that is the REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY once hidden but is NOW revealed:  That the nations/ethnos/gentiles should be fellow heirs of the SAME BODY!  Ephraim, swallowed up among the nations, who is no more, is brought back into this Covenant of Peace--EVEN ALL THE NATIONS, EDOM, MANKIND (Acts 15:17).

“After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David (aka, the United Kingdom of David), which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind (lit. Edom—Amos 9:11-12) may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles (lit. Ethnos/Ethnicities/Nations) who are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things!” (Acts 15:16-17; Amos 9:11-12).

THERE ARE NOT TWO NEW COVENANTS - nor is the Covenant of Peace separate from the EVERLASTING COVENANT - the nations, the ethnos have been included, brought into, the Commonwealth of Israel - brought into the covenant He made and promised in Ezekiel 36:25-27 and Jeremiah 31:31-34.

God's ultimate plan is UNIFIED, SINGULAR, two nations, MADE ONE under King David WITH the inclusion of the Ethos/Nations!  The only thing NEW about the Ekklesia is the following:  ONE NEW MAN, SO MAKING PEACE!  It was always there--IT JUST GOT BIGGER!!  Do we SEE it?

In all above references the unmistakable imprint of the New Covenant is made with Judah and Ephraim (Israel) with the repeated statement:  "I will be their God, and they shall be My people" - thus, the ultimate consummation throughout all time and eternity will be His New Jerusalem inclusive of His chosen, His elect, the full expansion, if you would of His Bride, the GREAT MYSTERY:  Christ and His EKKLESIA (Eph. 5:32) - for:

"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people . . . God Himself will be with them and be their God" (Revelation 21:3).

This is the ultimate manifestation of the New Covenant!  What is it about the “leaves of the Tree of Life are for the healing of the nations” we don't understand (Rev. 22:2)? - Thus ends the notion of repopulating the universe with humanoids (sorry - the NATIONS "which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King" at the Feasts of Tabernacles in Zechariah 14:16-19 do so during His Millenarian Reign on the Earth--"from year to year" (vs. 16) but the NATIONS in the "eternal state" of the New Jerusalem are already HEALED, and, I hasten to add, stay healed - no need to repopulate the universe or earth - but who knows, I could be wrong - but I'm not wrong by INCLUDING the Nations/Ethnos into the immediate Commonwealth of Israel, into the One New Man, and ultimately into the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of Rev. 21-22 and Ezekiel 40-48, the Bride of Messiah. 

Let's not theologically tamper with the EKKLESIA He is building - let's enjoy the MYSTERY REVEALED!

 

Doug Krieger -


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