OUR COVENANT, Part 8
November 22, 2019
We still have some territory to
cover before we can get to the Covenant that our early forefathers made with
the Lord for the founding of America.
Without wasting any time….
We have a
better covenant than Israel had. Israel's covenant required the constant
shedding of blood, and the consequences of their failure to make sacrifice and
re-enact the covenant of blood on a daily basis hung over them like the
"sword of Damocles." Jesus fulfilled that once and for all on
our behalf; and the only necessity we have is to believe His Word implicitly
and act on it in faith.
covenant with the Lord enables "all the fullness of God" to be
operational in every single one of us -- not just some special few like apostles,
prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. Every single one of us!
Every single one of us! Every single one of us!
it over and over and over and over and over again everywhere the Lord sends me,
to everyone that will hear the Word of the Lord. Because the concept of
covenant is so missing in our society today, and teachers within the body of
Christ have failed to both grasp it for themselves as well as teach covenant,
an overwhelming majority of Christians live their lives as "believers"
so far beneath their stations in Christ as to create a horrible and weak image
of Him to the world today.
Christians are fed today as "salvation" is a miserable image of what
it means to "be saved." Preachers stand behind their pulpits
and preach a "come to Jesus" message. That message includes
"the Cross" and the "shed blood of Jesus" on the Cross on
our behalf. Unfortunately, without the understanding of the covenant that
sent Jesus to the Cross in the first place and the new covenant and testament
He made available "to those who believe," folks are left with
virtually no understanding or faith to believe that "all
the fullness of God"
is their rightful heritage under this new covenant.
becomes an emasculated experience, devoid of the power and authority of the
Lord Jesus Christ working in them to conform them to the image and likeness of
Christ, and minus any visual image within themselves of the "riches of His
Glory." It is the New Covenant, the New Testament working in us with
agape-kheseed that drives, that compels,
that empowers us to heal the sick, to raise the dead, the cleanse the lepers,
to cast out demons: to show the world that Jesus Christ IS our covenant
It is the
New Covenant that empowers, makes operational, and puts in place the life of
Christ in a practical dimension in our lives. It is the New Covenant that
changes our speech and enables the confession which enacts that covenant and
places it legally in force.
Would I ever like to take off on that point alone! Trouble is, it would
take me down a path I don't have time for in this particular discussion.
That will have to wait for some other day and some other discussion.
made the statement that our covenant with the Lord enables "all
the fullness of God"
to be operational in every single one of us -- not just some special few like
apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers.
This is a
truth that is fundamental to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Once
again, one of the primary concepts of covenant is the giving of all that we
are, all that we have, and all that we ever expect to become to our covenant
It is a
sad and sorry truth that far too many Christians relegate their relationship
with Jesus Christ to "being saved." They think that if they
repent of their sins, ask Jesus Christ to "come into their hearts"
(this is a religious cliché), and get water-baptized, they are
"saved." OK. Saved from what? Hell?
But it goes so much farther than that! Being "saved" has become
a trite religious phrase, devoid of its covenant roots. Being
"saved" in today's terminology is scarcely anything more than getting
one's "fire insurance." There is little evidence outwardly to
support their claim to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul
lays a clear foundation for our covenant with the Lord as he opens his letter
to the Ekklesia in Ephesus, Blessed, Honored and Highly Favored
is the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has spoken favor and
prosperity over us from and through the multiple dimensions of the Holy Spirit
in the Heavenlies;
Inasmuch as He has selected us to be
in Him (and in His family) even before the founding, the conception, and the
deposition of the world, that we should be pure, blameless, consecrated and
without blemish in His sight through His immeasurable love;
Having predetermined and planned in
advance our adoption and placement as mature and fully-grown sons by Jesus
Christ to and for himself according to the satisfaction and delight of his
To the place where we would bring
praise and laudation to the splendor, preeminence and brightness of his grace
(that empowerment He provides to accomplish His will and desire) by which He
positioned us to be honored by, through and with His immeasurable love.
In whom we have full deliverance,
riddance (of the past) and healing through His shed blood , the total eradication (as though it had
never happened) of our sins, our trespasses, our missing the mark, through the
abounding wealth of His being gratified;
Wherein and by which He has
super-abounded and excelled toward us in all wisdom and insight
Having declared and certified to us
those previously hidden secrets and purposes of His will and desires according
to the covenanted kindness and desires which he predetermined and exhibited in
That in the administration of the
completion of the ages, He might sum up all in Jesus Christ, both of which are
in Heaven and on earth and finish them in Him!
In whom also we have an assigned
privilege and inheritance having been planned for and prepared in advance
according to the proposal and intention of Him who energizes all after the
volition and advice of His will and desire;
That we should become the means by
which He receives praise and honor of His magnificence and splendor, those who
saw and hoped in advance, trusting in the anointing of the Anointed One, Jesus
Christ; (Ephesians 1:3-12, RAC Translation
Whewww!!! What a
Do you see
the framework of this covenant? Let's see if we can spell it out.
"He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the
He picked us before we ever responded to Him.
It was the motivating and driving force behind all of creation that the Lord
Jesus Christ should have a people who would "be holy and
without blame before Him in agape."
"predestinated us (that's an English
word that poorly translates the Greek, prooridzo,
which means: to mark in advance, to set advance limits, to ordain) unto
the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good
pleasure of His will."
objective was to make "us accepted in the beloved (agapao)." That's a
poetic phrase that describes our being incorporated into the agape relationship
that preexisted between the Father and the Son as part of their unity and
is through Jesus Christ that "we have redemption (a covenant phrase)
through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the
riches of His grace." That redemption "through
is that which comes through the giving us of His covering, His cloak -- so to
note is in order here. When a covenant of blood was cut between two
parties, and they exchanged their cloaks, any previous transgressions or offenses
were blotted out between them. The two parties regarded each other as
co-equal to themselves. From that moment forward, any transgression that
might occur between them -- so long as it did not violate their covenant with
each other -- was forgiven and disregarded. If the transgression,
accidental or deliberate, took place between one of the covenant partners and
some outside person or entity, the other covenant partner stood good for it,
and defended his covenant partner -- if necessary, to the death.
that help you understand Paul's descriptive phrase, "we have redemption
through His blood"?
this covenant, He makes available to us in abundance, "all wisdom and
prudence" (that's an archaic English word that describes
"insight") in order to reveal and explain His "will" (thelema: heart's desire) according to His great
pleasure which "He hath purposed in Himself." His long-term
goal and purpose in revealing His heart's desire is to show us His
administration to come in "the fullness of times" (at the end of the
ages) as He gathers together all in Heaven and all (of us) in Earth, displaying
the handiwork of His purposes and the unfolding of His orchestration of events
throughout time to bring a people to Himself.
That was a mouthful!
He has ordained us to participate in and share His inheritance -- to become
heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, along with all that Jesus has,
receives, and will receive. Here again is another statement I'd sure like
to take off with, but it would sidetrack us from this discussion. Guess
this one will wait for another future date, too.
(prooridzo) ordained us "according
to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after
the counsel of His own will" so that
would "be to the praise of His glory:" that is, those who
beforehand have trusted, believed in, relied on, and exercised the faith of
Once we exercise the faith of Jesus Christ and implicitly trust, believe in and
rely upon Him, we are marked with a seal, a stamp of His approval by the Holy
Spirit, and given a pledge or security (this is akin to the mark in our flesh
denoting the covenant) which sets us apart from non-covenant people for the
final day of redemption. Redemption incorporates salvation. Salvation is a
product of covenant and brings with it covenant responsibility.
same token, the seal in our spirit by the Holy Spirit brings an outer mark -- a
visible manifestation -- by which the non-covenant world may know that we are
covenanted partners and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. In the same way
that Abraham received a mark in his flesh which could have been perceived as an
embarrassment -- and one, I suspect, he was loathe to share with others because
of its intimate nature -- we have a mark in our flesh that, for many, is
regarded as an embarrassment.
in our flesh is the mark that comes when we are filled with the Spirit.
Luke described it in Acts 2 as, "they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit
gave them utterance." This IS a distinguishing mark that
sets us apart.
remember what happened at the Tower of Babel? When Nimrod spurred a
rebellion in which men attempted to build a tower that would raise them up to
be on God's level?
this event, the whole earth was of one tongue and one language. Nimrod's
rebellion against God and the arrogant idolatry he led people into caused the
Lord to divide the people and scatter them abroad by changing their ability to
speak one language. Whereas before this event took place, angelic beings
(the KJV describes them as "the sons of God") came down and
communicated with men and men communicated with angels, and men had the ability
to speak "with tongues of angels" (I'm paraphrasing this from Paul's
quotation in I Corinthians 13), the human race lost the ability to communicate
back and forth easily and to make rebellious compacts among themselves.
The Day of
Pentecost returned to those who were covenanted with Jesus Christ the ability
to "speak with the tongues of men and of angels." It was
witnessed on the Day of Pentecost by seventeen different nationalities and
peoples who each heard those who were filled with the Holy Spirit speaking in
their own languages.
New Covenant bridged the gap that had existed between men and God, and men and
men, enabling those who were filled to declare the works of God in languages
they did not learn naturally, and could not speak in except as the Holy Spirit
took their tongues and spoke through them.
before in history, since the scattering at Babel, had men been able to
communicate across languages and tongues without careful study of the new
language(s) they wished to learn and speak. From the moment of being
filled with the Holy Spirit onward, those so filled have borne this mark in
their flesh. It was a singular mark, a
distinguishing mark. It marked those who gave their cloaks
(metaphorically speaking) to the Lord as they joined in His covenant.
digress for a minute. I've heard people say, "If the Lord wants me
to speak in tongues, He'll give them to me." That is a cheap,
arrogant cop-out for people who are unwilling to yield their tongues to the
control of the Holy Spirit. It signifies individuals and people who are
unwilling to give up their cloaks within the framework of our covenant
relationship with Jesus Christ. They elect to withhold that last vestige
of control over their lives from the Lord, thereby refusing their full covenant
the speaking in tongues that enacts the covenant: it is the complete yielding
of every vestige of self-control to the Lord. Speaking in tongues is
simply the evidence, the outward manifestation of that yielding of their cloak
and expressing their complete willingness to fulfill their responsibility
within the covenant. Minus that yielding, no "believer" in
Christ EVER gets to participate in the full benefit of our covenant
relationship in Jesus Christ.
withhold control of our tongues from the Lord, we deprive Him of the liberty to
speak through us at His will. If we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to
speak through us as He wills, when He wills, and where He wills, we lose access
to the stupendous covenant benefits available to us, in us, and through us by
the Holy Spirit.
I didn't intend to go there today. It just sort of happened as a natural
progression of sharing.
is not just a bunch of benefits. Covenant involves a "Katy, bar the
door," pull out all the stops, full-speed-ahead responsibility in our
responses to the Lord, who has likewise pulled out all the stops on our behalf.
I was going to get to the full picture of being co-equal with Jesus Christ
today, but it'll have to wait for next week. What I'm trying to do is to
lay the foundations in your understanding so that you have a complete picture
of just how great and how significant our covenant in and with the Lord is, and
to help you see what lies ahead as the Lord brings us ever closer to the day of
See you next week!
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment
of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are
available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code
is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on
video using ZOOM. If you wish to
participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can
770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded –
not yet, anyway.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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