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THE NEW COVENANT

Booklet Outline:

1. God is going to act because of His Holy Name
2. God is going to sanctify (make holy) His people
3. God will gather us into His place for us.
4. God will sprinkle us and cleanse us.
5. God will give us a new heart and a new spirit.
6. God will put His own Spirit within us
7. We will dwell with Him
New Covenant Perspective -- Bible Study


God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, promised to make a new covenant with the children of Israel. He lamented over the fact that His people hadn't kept the first covenant, but in His mercy, He outlined a new covenant, which He would offer them.

"Behold, the days come," saith the LORD, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them," saith the LORD: "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days," saith the LORD, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah 31:31-33 KJV, bold added)

Under the new covenant, God promised to put His ways within the hearts of His people. He promised to give us a new nature, one that seeks and delights in His will. He promised to teach us directly, through His Holy Spirit.

In his fallen state, man was self-reliant. He felt he could do whatever he set his mind and will to do; all he felt he needed was proper instruction and motivation. (People are still this way. This is the basis of the motivational systems in our society: we try to change or control our actions and those of others through rewards or fear of reprisals) God met man in this condition and made a covenant with him. He first expressed His desire to bless and help His people through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Then at Mt. Sinai He established the basis of the "old" covenant. He promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28: 1-14, 15-68). God knew people would be unable to continually keep such a covenant, but He had to show man's inability to man.

God's original and continual intent for man was for him to come to Him for life. God offered man a free choice in the garden of Eden to receive life from Him, or to try to be self-sufficient. Man could choose Godís way for himself, or he could choose to be like the devil who had chosen to rebel against God and to live in self-centeredness. Man chose the way of the devil; now God, through the first covenant, would show man his inability to love and obey God without receiving life from Him.

Man did not or could not keep the "old" covenant, so God offered him another one. He offered him renewed access to His life--to a new nature--through Jesus Christ. Under the second or new covenant, we can be changed on the inside; our hearts can be cleansed so we enjoy the nature of God. We then worship God for who He is, not just for what He does. We can desire to want to do good for the sake of goodness rather than for what we may achieve through good works. In the second covenant, God promises to give us a new heart--a new nature--a new character--new desires and motives--a life dependent upon Him for life. Under this covenant we will know God, not just know about God. We will worship Him because we know Him as a Holy Being, worthy of worship and adoration. God can and will and is doing such a work in His people who learn to walk in His Spirit under the new covenant.

We have an option: we can try to please God and to get Him to do things for us under the first covenant; or we can come to God through Jesus Christ and learn to follow His plan for cleansing and using us under the second covenant. WE NEED to be changed through Jesus Christ; we need to come under the second covenant; we also need to release others so they are free to come under the second covenant .

Ezekiel 36:22-28 describes the process by which we experience the working of the Holy Spirit in the second covenant.

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1. God is going to act because of His Holy Name

"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; "I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went."" (Ezekiel 36:22 KJV)

God is Holy. He is filled with light. He is majestic in His appearance. He is far above all other beings in His creation. He is transcendent in His majesty and glory. He loves what is right and hates what is evil. His fiery nature and being naturally destroys what is evil and purifies what is in accordance with Him. He calls us to be holy like Him Ė to be filled with His light and glory Ė to hate what is evil and to love what is good Ė to be filled with His all-forgiving love and mercy Ė to be filled with His hatred and vengeance toward evil. He is committed to filling all of the world with His glory.

God is going to do this because His Holy Name has been profaned among the nations. The peoples of the world do not respect the holiness of God. They have not seen in Godís people the joy and peace one can have living in the will and by the Holy Spirit of God. Rather, many of the people of God are chasing the pleasures the devil offers them. The world is in a mess. Godís people are becoming worldly like the devil, rather than the devilís people becoming holy like God.

BUT, God is going to act because of the Holiness of His great Name Ė because of Who He is.

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2. God is going to sanctify (make holy) His people so that the nations will know that He is the Lord.

"And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD," saith the Lord GOD, "when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes." (Ezekiel 36:23 KJV)

God will show His power and the blessings of His holiness as He sanctifies His people in the presence of His enemies. God will bring His people into His holiness. He delivered the children of Israel at the Red Sea into His holy place (Exodus 15:3). He will show the heathen His ability to give His people a desire to be holy, as well as His ability to make them holy. He will do this before their very eyes.

Our love of holiness and desire to be holy will be a witness to the nations. Many seem to think that living for selfish and sinful pleasures, like Satan does, is happiness. God will show His ability to impart His love of holiness into His people.

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3. God will gather us into His place for us.

"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." (Ezekiel 36:24 KJV)

Just as God is gathering the children of Israel back to their homeland, so He is gathering His people back to their own hearts. He is gathering us into living in the "heavenly Jerusalem," living for the things of eternal value. Just as Godís chosen nation has been scattered throughout the world, so Godís people have been scattered through their own imaginations (Luke 1:51).

Many of us have lived trying to please others. We have focused on living in the will of men. Some have lived for the pleasures of this world. God is gathering His people back to themselves and bringing His heavenly Presence into them.

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4. God will sprinkle us and cleanse us.

"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." (Ezekiel 36:25 KJV)

God will then cleanse our hearts. As we study His Word, His Spirit will use it to show us the ways in us that are not in harmony with Him, and He will lead us to confess our sins and our sinful ways. Then He will cleanse us, removing from us the desires to live in sin and the guilt we have carried (1 John 1:9).

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5. God will give us a new heart and a new spirit.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV)

God will cleanse our conscience, awaken our spirit, and soften our heart so that we will sense His leadings and His promptings. He will give us a heart that is moved with compassion, soft to the needs and feelings of others.

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6. God will put His own Spirit within us, and we will know His ways and be empowered to do them.

"And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:27 KJV)

Under the new covenant, our power is not from ourselves or from a demonic spirit, but rather from Godís Spirit. The Holy Spirit living in us will reveal to our spirit the will of God, and He will also give us the strength to do His will. We will execute Godís judgments in our lives and bring them to others.

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7. We will dwell with Him, experience continual cleansing, and receive His blessings.

"And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen." (Ezekiel 36:28-30 KJV)

In our spirit, we will dwell with God, in His place for us. His place for us is to be with Him, before His throne, in the heavenly places (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1). As we remain "seated with Him in heavenly places," God will continue His work of convicting and cleansing us of our sins and of our sinful ways. He will continue to strengthen us in our spirit so that we become led by His Spirit. He also will bless us so that we can be a blessing to others.

Under the new covenant, God promises to change His people. Jesus is Lord and Christ, the One called to be the administrator of the new covenant. God's purposes can and will be established.

Entering into and living in the new covenant requires a putting to death of the attitudes and desires we've received while living under the first covenant. We must receive the life of Jesus, and become married to Him. However, before we can receive a new husband, our first marriage must become annulled. We can become free to marry another if one of the parties of the first marriage dies. We must therefore die to the first marriage. We must give up entirely our life under the first marriage, married to the law. Once we have died to the law, (our first marriage), we are free to live under the second covenant, receiving our life from Jesus Christ. This is what Paul is describing in the opening verses of Romans 7:

"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:1-6 KJV)

As we come to the end of ourselves, admitting our inability to serve and obey God, we can die to our striving to keep the law, and enter into the death and resurrection of Christ. Our self-righteous attitudes and self-dependent behavior can die as we bring them to the cross of Christ. Through His death, Jesus destroyed sin for us. Through His life, we can receive a new life--His Life--a life which enjoys and is able to keep the law of God (Romans 7:18-25). We can experience the new life, promised in the Old Testament and described in Romans 8:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:1-4 KJV)

We must be changed; that is the universal need of mankind. We can be changed; that is the hope of many. WE WILL BE CHANGED; THAT IS THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. THAT IS GOD'S PROMISE TO US UNDER THE NEW COVENANT.

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The New Covenant -- Perspective

1) God alone is holy and pure. How does the Bible express it:

    a) In 1 John 1:5

 

    b) In 1 Samuel 2:2

 

    c) In Matthew 19:17

 

2) He wants to share His nature -- His holiness -- with us. What does the Bible say in:

    a) Matthew 6:33

 

    b) John 5:26

 

    c) John 10:10b

 

    d) Jeremiah 33:16

 

3) We must come out of our "self-righteousness," our "self-improvement programs." We must renounce our independent desires and attitudes and become "Him-dependent." What does the Bible say in:

    a) Isaiah 64:6

 

    b) John 15:5

 

    c) Hebrews 12:10

 

4) Our hearts--our innermost attitudes and desires--must be changed so that we WANT to serve God -- to do His will, to love His holy and perfect nature. What does the Bible say:

    a) In Matthew 15:19

 

    b) In Matthew 12:34

 

    c) In Matthew 15:8

 

    d) In Jeremiah 17:9

 

    e) In Hebrews 8:10

 

    f) In 2 Corinthians 5:15

 

5) As we receive a change in heart, we will want to serve God. We will know by experience the blessedness of being a servant to Him, entering into His plan to save mankind and to establish His kingdom and principles in the heavenly places, on earth, and in the hearts of men. What does the Bible say about this:

    a) In Psalm 51:10-13

 

    b) In Matthew 6:10

 

    c) In Ephesians 6:12

 

    d) In 1 Corinthians 15:24,25

 

    e) In 2 Corinthians 4:11,12

 

    f) In Matthew 24:14

 

Write out a prayer, thanking God for all He wants to do for you under the new covenant, and asking Him to free you from the ways of your flesh and from the ways of striving to improve yourself under the old covenant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Cyrus Ministries International

Rich and Kay Fick are the directors of Cyrus Ministries International. God has anointed and called them to this ministry. Rich, an ex-alcoholic, has personally experienced Godís love, forgiveness, power, healing and restoration. Their ministry involves helping others come out of their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical bondages into the fullness of the Holy Spirit, enabling them to know and live in Godís plan and purposes for them. They minister to individuals, equip churches for ministry, and disciple others in breaking down spiritual bondages over individuals, families, generations, communities and nations. Their calling and vision is to see Godís people living in the spiritual presence and reality of Godís heavenly kingdom as Jesus manifests His life into them and through them on earth.

The ministry has taken them to churches and groups locally and to many locations in the USA, as well as other nations. (Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Romania, India, Israel, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Bolivia). As they travel, Rich and Kay minister healing, train leaders, and teach and disciple, as well as establishing ongoing networking relationships. Cyrus Ministries provides oversight to ministries and churches in other nations, helping them to come into their calling and destiny. Leaders from other nations are invited to come and spend time at the Big Rock location for training and impartation.

The Big Rock Ministry Center offers a meeting place for both small and large groups.Ü There are regular times of prayer, worship, teaching, impartation of the gifts of the Spirit, and fellowship.Ü


Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

MAILING ADDRESS:
P.O. Box 210
Wasco, IL  60183-0219

MEETING ADDRESS:
46 W 779 Route 30
Big Rock  Illinois 60511

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