The prophet, Jeremiah, spoke forth God's words, announcing to His people that there would be a new Contract, a new Covenant, between them and God. In the 31st chapter of Jeremiah: v.31"Behold, the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: v.32not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took hold of their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: for they abode not in my covenant, so I neglected (˛μέλησα: 1st Aor/ameleo) them, says the Lord. v.33For this is my covenant (διαθήκη: nom./diatheke) which I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, says the Lord, I will surely put my laws into their mind, and write them on their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. v.34And they shall not at all teach, every one his own citizen, and every one his own neighbor, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them: for I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more." [Jeremiah 31:31-34 from the Septuagint, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, p. 953]
If asked, most Christians would define the New Covenant as "Gospel," which is, by common definition: "that Jesus died to atone for everyone's sins, thereby making it possible for all people to go to heaven after they die." If you read very carefully the "New Covenant," of Jeremiah 31, then you see that it is quite different from the so-called "Gospel" taught in Sunday Schools and in Sunday sermons.
I just quoted the New Covenant from Old Testament Scripture, but as Christians, we think of the New Covenant as the New Testament. In the New Testament, the statement of Jeremiah is quoted in Hebrews, chapter 8: v.10"For this is the covenant that I will covenant (διαθήσoμαι: fut. indic./diatheke) with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, giving my laws into their mind, and I will inscribe them on their hearts, and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people, v.11And by no means may they teach each man his citizen and each man his brother, saying: Know the Lord, because all will know me, from little to great of them. v.12Because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins I may by no means more remember." [Hebrews 8:10; author's literal translation from the Greek]
Do you understand what you just read? We are being informed of a brand new relationship with our Father, that the matter of sin is no longer the basis for religion, that God's will is implanted in our hearts and minds, and it is here that we KNOW our God! Since God rather bluntly tells us he wants no more teachers; that makes each person's spiritual growth between him alone and his Father. Here we see our loving Father, pushing teachers and priests aside, saying, "these are my children; I'll take over now." Our Father has reclaimed us, and it is His Spirit which now works in our hearts and minds a personal realization of Him. Friends, this is radically different from the religious lessons we've been taught! This covenant is stated simply and clearly, yet Christianity has ignored it, promoting its own agenda of doctrines, and written laws. Promotion of this New Covenant is such a radical notion that organized Christianity would be angered. I ask you to consider this covenant without other religious notions, just simply for what it says. I'm asking you to do something dangerous, here, for if you think about this, Christianity will never be the same for you. I warn you that if you look at our Scriptures for what is really being said, you will find a Christian religion that is very different from that "old-time-religion" you now know. A light will come on revealing the kingdom of Heaven, and you will feel uplifted as you find yourself before the throne of the Lamb, praising and rejoicing. I'm going to show you a glimpse of that Kingdom.
Now, you might ask, if there are to be no teachers, pointing people to "know the Lord," then why am I writing this material? I'm a little confused about that myself. About all I can say is that I don't know how to NOT do it; I write as I feel compelled to write, and it doesn't matter if no other person ever reads this. Even if I knew with absolute certainty that no one would ever read this, I would still write it, because it must be put into words. Perhaps I have to do this because no one has done it before. Perhaps it is necessary to pull the foundation out from under the religion which has God's children locked in ignorance. Perhaps it is the turning on of a light. I know this will not seem like "light" to many, but for certain individuals it will. It is for them I write. Actually, I think that Christians should gather together as friends to discuss spiritual topics, to share their thoughts, to pray, and to praise. My thoughts are my offering to my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I enjoy reading your thoughts, too. I'm not trying to teach, but merely to share my insights.
This book is going to define a Christianity that has not been known before, because the time had not yet arrived in God's plan. This new Christianity is not based on any new Scriptures, but is going to be a fresh look at the Bible we already hold in our hands. The difference is very simply that we shall look at the words which were originally intended. We will ponder things such as the English translation of John 3:3: "You must be born again," while St. John really said, "You must be born from above." [Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, p378: "Both in and outside the NT a. an adv. Of place 'from above…' As regards Jn. 3:3,7 … "anothen" here means 'from above.'"] The words "again" and "from above" are two quite different concepts. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, He wasn't understood correctly. Jesus immediately tried to explain Himself, inasmuch as to say, (my wording here): "I'm not talking about being born again; I'm saying that whoever is born from flesh is earthly and those born from spirit are divine; I'm saying that only those who come from God can return to God, that only those whose source was Spirit can realize God in Spirit." Jesus explained quite clearly what He meant, to Nicodemus, but the Christian church has made a religion out of being born "again," ignoring Jesus' intent completely. Jesus even explained to the Jewish Pharisee that while He was speaking of heavenly things, Nicodemus couldn't even understand earthly things. He was making clear that there was a difference between spiritual-children of God and spiritual-opposites like Nicodemus. Jesus was speaking of two different races of people, both who have divine origins, but one whose essence is worldly-flesh rather than God's Spirit. He explains that because Nicodemus is of this world he cannot understand things of Spirit. Notice that Jesus did not invite Nicodemus to be converted. Jesus was no reformer or crusader who wanted to "save" all the world; He came for a specific, limited purpose, and He made that explicitly clear. He came to repair Israel's breach of the Old Covenant, and to mediate a New Covenant for the same people, the "house of Israel." Old Testament contracts with God were made with no other people of the world except the "house of Israel.'"
[Reference Notes: ("And to Jesus, mediator of the new covenant." (Heb. 12:24): Mediator = mesite: "one that acts between two parties, a mediator, one who interposes; to intervene, interpose." - Analytical Greek Lexicon, by W.J. Perschbacher, 1990/Hendrickson, p.271). & ("Hence NT religion in its whole range is strictly and exclusively orientated to the mediator concept . . . in the sense that in the Mediator Christ there is accomplished by the decisive self-offering of God to the full fellowship to which we are absolutely directed." (Theol. Dict. Of N.T., edit. By Gerhard Kittel, vol. IV, p.624)]
No other races of the world needed a Jesus to remedy the breach of the old contract. Other races couldn't breach a contract which didn't obligate them! The Bible is clear and explicit about this; how could theologians ever get confused about it, then go forth to announce God's law to other races? Read the New Contract again, and you will see that it also applies ONLY to the "house of Israel." And that is the subject of this book. Look at Jesus' own words for yourself.
When I read Jesus' words, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," my interpretation of that passage is contrary to the interpretation of Christian theologians. So, one might say my interpretation is just my own speculation, but my heart tells me that His words mean exactly what He says: that He wasn't sent to anyone except the "lost sheep of the house of Israel!" If you think taking Jesus at His word is always acceptable, just try to tell your pastor or theological professor that Jesus didn't come for anyone except the lost-sheep of Israel. You'll be striking a blow at his religion-business! And then, you might ask him who those lost-sheep might be; he won't know, in spite of the fact that abundant historical information clearly answers the question. He doesn't know, because Christian tradition still clings to the ignorance of the dark-ages, and he dares not look. Traditional Christianity lives under the aegis (protective shield) of cognitive dissonance (if I don't already know it, it's false!). They WANT to believe the simple Gospel that Jesus came for everybody in the world, even though He says clearly that He did not.
Now, consider this as you ponder this subject of New Covenant. The Bible is a story of genealogy. God was especially protective of one particular racial strain that He nurtured and favored above all others for several thousand years, which He clearly stated throughout the entire Bible. Those "sheep" became lost, (thru the curse of Lev. 26 & the resulting Assyrian & Babylonian captivities) so God sent His Son to reclaim them, exactly as Jesus explicitly stated. It makes no sense that God would have His Son die for the sake of that very plan, and then immediately abandon that very plan which He promised He would never abandon, in order to adopt everyone of any race who claims Jesus, with no further mention of the plan He had protected so carefully! What kind of nonsense would that be? Who could respect such a God who acted so capriciously and irrationally? Well, I tell you, if you read Scripture for what it actually says, God has not abandoned His plan at all! I'll show you how it will be fulfilled perfectly as planned. The present-day confusion is the devil's work and will be exposed by the increasing light of truth.
The New Covenant is real, just as it was promised, and should be the subject of many books; but I can't find any! It is the subject of this book, and if it is understood as the Bible actually states it, and if Scripture is permitted to be consistent, rather than forced to agree with the theology of evangelistic fervor, then you will find that Christ is mediating a new relationship between us and our Father in a special and exciting way which the church has not yet considered. Jeremiah 32:39 says: "And I will give them another way, and another heart, to fear me continually, and that for good to them and their children after them. And I will make with them an everlasting covenant, which I will by no means turn away from them, and I will put my fear into their heart, that they may not depart from me." (Septuagint) What does he mean by "another way?" The ancient Israelites practiced many detailed worship rituals, including sacrifices and fastings and commemorative days with their protocols. Then Jesus came and instituted the New Covenant and did away with all the old practices, but He never suggested any new practices or rituals at all. As Jeremiah says, the new way regards our hearts. With the Temple curtain torn down by God, there was no further need of rituals and sacrifices in order to appease a distant God. Suddenly, Jesus had made God reachable, touchable, attainable, and personal WITHOUT need for any priest-proxies to stand between us and our Father. Every one of God's children can access Him personally, at will, anytime, all the time, without hesitation and without any rituals or intermediaries.
Jesus was aware of the reason for His upcoming death, as revealed in his talk at the Last Supper, in Mat. 26:28: "this is my blood of the covenant for many, being shed for the remission of sins." The blood sacrifice of the "Lamb" was necessary as "a surety (§γγυoς) of a better covenant" (Heb. 7:22). Christ's blood-sacrifice accomplished this "surety," a guarantee of a new relationship with the Father for those persons whom Jesus specified. That's it; it's a contract between two specific parties, God and His chosen children, the "lost sheep of the House of Israel." The contract provides that God will put an INSTINCT TO KNOW HIM into the hearts and minds of this particular group, and sin will no longer be a factor in their spiritual relationship with Him.
St. Peter understood this contract well, and in his First Epistle, addressed to the "sojourners of the Diaspora" (the lost-sheep of Israel) he says, "you are a chosen race (γέvoς/genos), a royal priesthood, a holy nation (§θvoς/ethnos = ethnic group), a people for possession." (I Peter 2:9 literal translation from Greek by author) Peter had no delusions about this new covenant being for all people; he directed it pointedly to the diasporan Israelites for whom Jesus came.
Although the Christian church speaks little about this New Covenant, it was on the minds of the N.T. writers. St. Paul writes to the church at Galatia regarding the two covenants. He explains that Abraham's two sons are an allegory, one son representing the Old Covenant and one son the New Covenant. The Old Covenant leads only to slavery; that is, the law ONLY condemns and cannot set anyone free. The City of Jerusalem in Palestine represents the Old. But, the New Covenant represents freedom from that old slavery and corresponds to the new Jerusalem, coming in the future. He urges Christians to hold fast to that freedom, not submitting to any who would place them under the Old Law again. v22"for it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave-woman and the other by a free-woman, v23One, the child [Ishmael] of the slave [Hagar], was born according to the flesh; the other the child [Isaac] of the free woman [Sara], was born through the promise. v24Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. v25Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. v26But the other woman [Sara] corresponds to the Jerusalem up ahead; she is free, and she is our mother. v27For it is written, 'Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children, burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs; for the children of the desolate woman [Sara] are more numerous than the children of the one who is married.' v28Now you, my friends, are children of the promise, like Isaac. v29But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh [Cain/Esau/Ishmael] persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit [Abel/Jacob/Isaac], so it is now also. v30But what does the scripture say? 'Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.' v31So, then, friends, we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. ch.5v.1For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 4:22-5:1 NRSV)
Modern Christians (like liberals, atheists, and anti-Christs) are repulsed by the racial discrimination of God in the Bible. Political correctness demands that "all people are created equal" and have equal minds and souls and capabilities. They reason that since everyone has equal capability, the white race should feel guilty of achieving successes that the other races have failed to do. It may be irrational, but that same nonsense has influenced Christian beliefs. Verse 30, above, says, "But what does the scripture say? 'Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.' " The truth is that God's children who are born according to the Spirit are different from the earth races, and God favors His children above all others to an extreme. It is wrong for Christians to feel guilty about who they are, and to become slaves of earth-races. Gal. 5:1, above, says "Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
For the legal "new covenant" contract of God, we've defined (1) exactly who are the parties involved: God & Israelites, (2) the purchase price (sacrifice of God's Lamb) (3) the surety (God's guarantee), (4) the nature of benefits to us (God's will is made an INSTINCT within us, so we know Him and His will directly without needing teachers), and (5) that sin is no longer a factor. The New Covenant, also called New "Testament" (an inherited gift rather than a two-signature contract), is different from that which the Christian Church teaches.
God made several covenants (contracts) with His chosen race throughout the history recorded in the Bible. The first covenant was about 5,500 B.C. with Adam (Genesis 2:15) who was charged with populating the earth; subdue it, dominate it, care for the Garden, and refrain from eating one particular fruit. God's next contract was about 3,300 B.C. with Noah (Genesis 9:1-19), just after the flood: to populate the earth, to subdue it, to eat flesh of animals, to refrain from killing other men; and God promised in return to not destroy the earth again by water. Next, it is with Abraham, about 2,000 B.C. (Genesis 12:1-3) that God makes a deal which is one-sided: God promises to make of him a great nation, to bless him and make his name great, and to bless all who bless Abraham. This covenant is basic to all further relationships between God and His children. And then there is the Mosaic Covenant, about 1,450 B.C., when God makes "Law" part of the contract, namely ten commandments. Ever since then, the terms "Covenant" and "Law" have applied to the giving of this particular law; we find this true in New Testament writings.
There was no written law from the time of Adam until Moses, about four-thousand years. The Law of Moses then came to condemn all who fell short of perfection. Other than revealing some specific requirements of God, the Law did not benefit man at all; it only condemned him. Well, that kind of motivation did not succeed in making man better. The author of Hebrews says in chapter 8:7, "if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says: 'The days are surely coming when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt.'" (NRSV) So, there must be a different means of reclaiming God's children who had gone "prodigal." They weren't responding to rules set down in stone, or to threats which accompanied violations of those rules.
But, God would solve this problem by contracting a new agreement which did not require such legalistic perfection; as it turned out, nothing would be required of His children. God would accomplish the reconciliation Himself. It was only a thousand years after the Mosaic Covenant was given, that we hear the prophet Jeremia announcing to the house of Juda in Jeremia 32:39: "I will give them another way, and another heart, to fear me continually, and that for good to them and their children after them. And I will make with them an everlasting covenant, which I will by no means turn away from them, and I will put my fear into their heart, that they may not depart from me." So, that is the solution to the problem. If men will not heed God's will by rules and threats of punishment, then God will just program them to do so, like programming a computer; he will give them an instinct to do His will! And God would resolve the problem of laws and punishment by having His Son fulfill the law and suffer the punishment for them, because only an innocent (without blemish) life could serve as an acceptable offering. After all, death for a guilty man is only what he deserves anyway; if there is to be an offering which God can accept, it must be pure and unblemished. So, with Christ, we have the accomplishment of God's solution to this problem, and also with Christ, we have the mediation of the New Covenant (which we'll discuss later). And most wonderfully, with Christ and the beginning of this new instinct relationship, we have the gift of God's Spirit to dwell within us and lead our minds to realization of truth and of God.
During our "end times" period, we are witnessing the work of God's Spirit working dynamically in the world, bringing to light truths long hidden. For instance, the discovery in 1945 at Nag Hammadi just "coincidentally" gave us additional writings of Jesus' apostles for our end-times understanding. Did not God have His hand in protecting these materials until the time was right and it was safe, to make them public. The Gospel of Thomas opens with: These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down." [THE NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY IN ENGLISH, ed. James M. Robinson (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988, p. 126)]
The Book of Thomas the Contender opens similarly. We already have Jesus' words in our N.T. that He spoke in parables so the masses wouldn't understand His message. Jesus stated explicitly that He came only for a specific people, not for all, and in His "High Priestly Prayer" of John 17, He makes His most poignant prayer to His Father, saying He is not praying for everybody but only those given to Him.
You see, Jesus' purpose is somewhat different from that which the church has taught, and the New Covenant is different from "Gospel." These differences, and more, are the subject of this book. With the gift of God's Spirit, working within our hearts and minds like an instinct, many truths are, in these latter days, being realized by many people. Pieces of the great puzzle which have frustrated theologians and philosophers are suddenly falling into place and permitting simple people to glimpse the "big picture." For me, the "Big Picture" becomes clear through an understanding of the New Covenant. The purpose of this book is to reveal that Big Picture as God's Design Plan for this world, played out on earth like a play on a stage. This book will reveal the identities of the Players. Like most plays, this great play of God has several character types who interact. There are the good guys, the bad guys, and a great mass of neutral guys who just play opportunistic roles but are not really good or bad by nature. This is an exciting and awesome play, in which you and I are players!
This book will illustrate God's designed plan, along with the practical nature of the New Covenant. It will define the spiritual nature of God's children, and the evil nature of their opponents. This book is like a Theater Program, telling you the set, the plot, and cast of characters, scene by scene, so you can understand the entire play. The New Covenant is the key to understanding the present act and next act.
The premise of this book is this: into this world (onto this earth stage) God formed a special race of people for the purpose of expressing Himself dynamically in a contest between good and evil. Earth is the stage while Heaven is the Performance of Himself through His children.
The world exists because of God's spoken Word, and it is this Word which defines the physical nature of our reality along with defining the path of civilization God has designed. I have diagrammed the long-term plan of God and explain how it all works. Different from any other races on earth, the race that began with Adam had special mental gifts, namely a spiritual Mind. This is what distinguishes the white race from other races. Immediately, two sons, fraternal twins, were born to Eve, from two different fathers, one to father the race of Cain whose nature is evil; the other to father the race from Adam, whose nature is to do good and to struggle like a salmon swimming upstream, back toward the God from whom we came.
The recorded history of our world is the story of the struggle between these two races, who are of the same mother initially. It is a play of Good versus Evil, of Cain versus Abel, of Jacob versus Esau, of Israelites versus Edomites, of Christians versus falsely-so-called "Jews," of earthly-values versus spiritual-values, of bondage versus freedom, all battled out on the world-stage as a contest between Christ and the Devil.
The Old Testament is important to us because it tells how our God wants us to play the script of this great play. Most important to God is recognition of Him as the one true God; second is that we don't become enamored with earthly things; and He places a major emphasis on the purity of genealogy: from one family in each generation from Adam to Jacob, selecting one brother of each family to carry His banner and represent Good. The purity of God's good-race became a primary theme of Old Testament history, with rules against adulterating that purity.
We'll review some of the history, of how God's special children became lost from Him, and how God sent His Son to reclaim them. The most difficult concept to deal with is that Jesus came NOT for everybody, but ONLY for the "lost sheep of the House of Israel," as He stated. Jesus commissioned His disciples to go ONLY to those lost-sheep! Christians have ignored Jesus' explicit statements because they can't reconcile them with their insistence that He came for everybody. Well, I think the conflict is easily resolved by looking at the picture exactly as Jesus stated it. And we'll make clear who those lost sheep are in the world today.
Briefly, I see it this way. Jesus came ONLY for one specific limited group, as He said, for they are the prodigals who must be reclaimed. They are the ones born from eternity, who cannot be lost since they are part of God, different from all other people. Then, as a result of their redemption, the whole world is saved. First, Christ provides surety for a New Contract (The New Covenant); then the elect are reclaimed and empowered; then the epoch of devil-rule ends as Christ assumes rulership, thus bringing forth the Kingdom of God/Heaven, an epoch of Godliness. This whole process is the story of God's Man climbing the ladder back to God by developing his true divine potential. This is the major plot of the play. As a RESULT of this achievement, God has redeemed the whole world from evil, and set it on a Godly course. ALL PEOPLE then benefit, and by worshiping the true God all CAN share the blessings of God. In a very real way, we can say that because of Christ's reclamation of the Elect, the whole world is saved from evil. Thus, it is essential for all people who want to share in the future civilization, ruled by Christ, that they must recognize Christ as their King and Lord.
There, you have my introduction to this book. I come each day to work at this, and each day my prayer is to present this information with gentleness and compassion. Then I watch with some feeling of helplessness as my fingers pound out a tirade. Now, my friend, you should pause to consider that it might be better for you to cast this book aside. God is more lenient with those who are ignorant because they've never seen the light than with those who turned their eyes from it afterwards. Each one of us is responsible for his own relationship with the Father, and for his own personal quest, each, alone. In the end, I can give you no answers at all; I can share thoughts with you, but apprehending truth is your responsibility, alone, for yourself, in the privacy of your own heart and mind. That is what the New Covenant is about. If you find some truth in what I write, your grasp of it is to your credit; I've not taught you anything. There are really no teachers for you, except God's holy Spirit. Pray that you will be guided by that Spirit in truth, regardless of what anyone teaches. Especially, consider carefully and skeptically what I write, before you claim any of it for yourself. I pray the Spirit of Truth be with you.
Chapters of this book are compiled from pieces written at different times over a period of years, therefore some information is duplicated. I've left the duplications in, because they benefit the context of those particular chapters. So, most any chapters can be read as standing-alone, not dependent upon other chapters. But, the key to understanding all this information is in the first chapter. Once one knows that our God is not capricious or acting by whim, or even acting in response to human emotions, but that His plan is orderly and follows a sensible pattern, then one can fit the pieces of the puzzle together and see the big picture. It is critical that one has some concept of the pattern of God's divine plan, and to my knowledge no one has ever defined this plan before. I feel that God has given me this key to His plan, and I am merely a conduit, sharing it with those who seek. It is a gift from God, to you, and not something to which I claim patent. If you find it meaningful, it is God who has given it to you; thank Him! If you find it is erroneous, and you can refute it, then blame me; and I would be most grateful if you would share with me any information which can refute it.
I'm getting old now, and my quest is for truth alone, not caring how much humble-pie I must eat for my vanity and errors, but caring for one thing only: that I might have a chance to correct any errors before I die. If you can help me in this, please contact me, and I would be grateful for refutation and correction.
May God bless your reading of this material, and guide you into His truth.
Roger Hathaway,January 1997
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