|Canon J. John|
He had no idea where the door was, but one day John asked Jesus: "Come on in."
The eyes of his understanding were enlightened, and a wonderful warmth filled his heart.
Indeed, his experience describes the new birth which every Christian experiences.
I am saddened, however, when I hear about his reintroduction of the Ten Commandments.
"I heard the Lord tell me to teach them backwards," he shared on one program.
Then he went to his pastor, and John admitted while retelling the story: "I told my pastor: 'I think the Lord has given me a God idea. And if it's not a God idea, then at least I think it's a good idea."
The Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments, they were a good idea, at one time.
The Old Covenant has come and gone.
The Old Covenant, engraven on stones, was fulfilled at the Cross.
"7But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)
Notice that the ministration of righteousness exceeds in glory.
The writer of Hebrews outlines the elements of the New Covenant:
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
Now, consider what the writer puts down next:
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
The Old Covenant has faded and passed away, fulfilled. We don't need it anymore if we have passed from death to life in Jesus.
What does Paul say about returning the Ten Commandments?:
"6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1: 6-9)
Paul was shocked -- shocked -- that men and women born again into Christ would go back to the Ten Commandments. If he or any other messenger of the Gospel, or an angel from heaven (not a demon from hell) preached something else. . .let him be accursed.
Wow! This is not a game, people. Let us not bring despite to the Spirit of Grace (Hebrews 10: 27-29)
Canon J. John reminds me of many Christians who once they are saved by grace through faith, are then convinced that they can be perfect through the law.
I do not doubt that he is born again. I vehemently reject his argument to bring back the Ten Commandments, even in a "positive" light.
Paul was as subtle as a meat cleaver on this issue:
"1O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:1-5)
The error time and again which I find from the most well-meaning of preachers misses the big issue: man is dead in his trespasses, and needs life. He does not help to keep the rules. He needs to know that the Ruler, the King of Kings, wants to keep us!
John received His life, but we do not grow through our efforts.
Let us not forget that through the law is the knowledge of sin, not the Son:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 20)
God the Father invites us to grow in grace and knowledge of His Son.
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3: 18)
That word "Amen" is crucial (based on the Cross). Either you believe it, or you do not, and it is not open for debate.
Today, under the New Covenant, it is no longer about the Big Ten, because Jesus fulfilled them fully and forever.
It's no longer "Just Ten". now it has become "Just Two".
John summarizes the "Just Two" like this:
"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1 John 3: 23)
Jesus spoke of these two simple directions in the Gospel of John:
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 29)
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13: 34)
Throughout the Old Testament, a number of times the number twelve is divided into ten and two.
This separation is a picture of leaving the Old Covenant (Ten Commandments) for the New Covenant (Grace).
Jacob had twelve sons, but the first ten were from lawfully defined wives and bondwomen (Leah, Bilhah, Zillah). Jacob's favored sons came from his beloved wife Rachel (ewe lamb, picture of Jesus our perfect Savior): Joseph and Benjamin.
When twelve spies visited the Promised Land, ten of the spies (a picture of the law, and the Old Covenant) gave an evil report, focusing on themselves and then their enemies. There were only two spies who gave a graciously true report: Joshua (God is savior, and also the Hebrew name for Jesus!) and Caleb, which means "faithful' or "whole-hearted".
The two spies represent the New Covenant, in which we believe on Jesus whole-heartedly, focused on God and His Word:
"And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." (Numbers 13: 30)
When King Rehoboam (Freer of the People) become king, he offended the twelve tribes so much, that ten of the tribes divorced from Rehoboam and established their own kingdom. The two tribes which stayed loyal to the king were Judah (Praise) and Benjamin (Son of My Right Hand)
Through the Finished Work of the King of Kings, Jesus fulfilled the law and rendered it inoperative to condemn us, freed us from its ministry of condemnation, and has brought us into a New Covenant, where He is our God, and all we do is Praise and thank Jesus, the Son at the Father's Right Hand.
We no longer try to keep Ten Commandments, which no one ever could keep:
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient" (1 Timothy 1: 9)
God places His two new laws in our hearts: to believe on Him and love one another.
We live by His faith, and we love through His love for us.
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2: 20)
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4: 19)
Not "Just Ten", but "Just Two" is the New Covenant, and we are just and true to what Jesus has done at the Cross if we recognize that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and just to believe on Him, and let His love move us to love others.
|Beautiful Picture of Just Ten becoming Just Two: Old Covenant to New Covenant|