Thursday, May 23, 2019

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon God's New Heart-written Law ]

Lonnie Branam

Six hundred years before Christ, the prophet Jeremiah uttered this remarkable prophecy, “Behold the days come, says 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 broke, although I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their minds and write it in their hearts and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every many his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”(Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Paul, a Hebrew Christian and Apostle, quoted this prophecy word for word in Hebrews 8:6-13 to inform Jewish Christians, in all locations, to convince them that they were no longer living under the Old Covenant but under the New Covenant that was clearly predicted by the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah's prophecy was penned 900 years after the giving of the Old Covenant law on Mount Sinai and 600 years before Christ nailed the ten commandment law to the cross and abolished it forever as a binding law on Jews or Christians(Jews and Gentiles). Jeremiah's prophecy is an Old Covenant statement on the New Covenant revealed in the Christian religion. In these verses, we have the first justification for dividing the Bible into two different covenants.

The first important truth derived from this passage is that the New Covenant was to be written on the heart first and not first a book, in contrast with the Law of Moses. God said, “I will put my law in their inward parts and write it on their hearts.” This would be the radical difference between the two covenants. The law of Moses was given to Israel in a most awe-inspiring manner. The Ten Commandments were delivered by voice from Mount Sinai under the direction of angels. It was immediately written in a book by Moses during the forty days and nights he remained with God on Mount Sinai. The Documentary Hypothesis of Bible critics who claim Moses was not the author of he Pentateuch is another false claim of Bible critics who reject the inspiration of the Bible. The Bible distinctly says that God commanded Moses to write this law in a book, and to preserve that law, God Himself inscribed the ten commandments on two tables of stone. Moses wrote the law on rolls of


Egyptian paper made of papyrus bark. God commanded Moses to write this law in a book, and when he came down from the mountain Moses had the book of the Covenant in his hand, and he presented it to Israel in written form. The law of God was in a written form at the very beginning of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was sanctified by having the blood of a sacrificial animal sprinkled on the book and on the people.

However God's New Covenant with Israel, predicted by the prophet, was to be given in a much different manner. God revealed the New Covenant directly from heaven under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit revealed the New Covenant to the minds of the twelve apostles by supernatural inspiration. He did this by preserving in the minds of the apostles all things Jesus taught them while on earth, and He revealed to them additional knowledge on some subjects He did not discuss while on earth. The New Covenant was first delivered to both Jews and Gentiles directly by the inspired words of the apostles and other inspired teachers. The apostles did not receive the 27 books of the New Covenant from God at the start of the Christian religion and collect them into one book. No, the New Covenant did not begin with a written book, as did the Old Covenant. Nor was the blood of Christ sprinkled on the New Testament, for the New Testament was written over the period from about 50 A.D. to 100 A.D. For the first 60 years of New Covenant history (33 A.D. -100 A.D.) God spoke the New Covenant law directly from heaven by word of mouth, through supernaturally guided apostles and teachers. Instead of writing the New Covenant in a book, the Holy Spirit inscribed it on the hearts of people who received the Divine message from the Apostles, and upon others who were made inspired teachers by the laying on of the hands of the apostles. The New Covenant came directly from God to the apostles, and through the apostles it was given to all others. This method by which God delivered the New Covenant to all mankind makes the original twelve apostles and Paul the last apostle the most famous and most distinguished men who have ever lived on this earth, from 33 A.D. to the 21st century and all centuries that will follow. The human race should stand in awe of these apostles and never doubt anything they have uttered on the subject of the Jewish religion, the Christian religion, religion in general, the origin of the world and human morality. Whatever they said, God said. Permit me to give you one example of how the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 was communicated first of all to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. in the first century of this era. The New Covenant was proclaimed first of all to the people in Jerusalem on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, about 33 A.D. It was necessary that the


New Covenant should be first offered to the Jews, probably because of this prophecy in Jeremiah 31 which promised that God would make a New Covenant with the house of Israel. It had been but ten days since Jesus ascended to heaven, and He had endowed the apostles with miraculous power, as He promised He would do They had displayed some of their miraculous power by teaching God's word . in some 17 different languages, and the multitudes demanded an explanation of such knowledge and ability. The apostle Peter was given the honor to open the New Covenant to Israel. God gave the apostles the keys to the kingdom of Christ on earth, and Peter used one key to open the New Covenant to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Jewish pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire. About seven years later Peter was the first apostle to open the New Covenant to the Gentiles. All the apostles had the keys to open the kingdom of God, but this was a special honor bestowed on Peter.

Peter delivered the first New Covenant message ever heard in the world. He did not read any scripture from a New Testament book and preach on it, for not a single book of the New Testament had yet been written. . He spoke as God moved him to peak from heaven. Here is part of the very message he proclaimed on the birthday of the Christian religion: “This Jesus God raised up, of which we are witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear....Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this same Jesus both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, `Men and brethren what shall we do? ‘ “Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.(Acts 2:32-39)” Three thousand Jews obeyed this command of Peter and became Christians in one day. Please note when Peter proclaimed that Jesus, whom they crucified, was chosen by God to be both their Lord and Messiah, they were cut to the heart. Peter did not read this truth from a book, but speaking as the Holy Spirit moved him, wrote that great truth on their hearts. For the first 60 years of church history the New Covenant was communicated to people only by miraculous-guided preachers or by teachers who had been taught by supernatural inspired preachers. They wrote God's law directly on people's hearts by a spoken message, for the books of the New Testament were not yet available to be studied. All we know is the 27 books of the New Testament were written and completed during the first century. The first century was the miraculous period of church history, and the apostles decided which books were inspired and belonged among the sacred books of the Christian religion. . John who was very


aged and llived near the end of the first century, and he wrote the last book in taghe sacred list, called the Canon. We can be certain the first century Christians were taught by the Apostles what writings should be among the sacred books of the Christian religion, . and there were only 27 inspired writings..

I am sure some may respond to this these truths by asking, “What need is there for the 27 books of the New Testament, if the message comes to people who speak directly from God in heaven by word of mouth? That is a good question. The answer is that when the last apostle died, the gif t of inspiration ended. The gift of inspiration could be received by others only by the laying on of hands by one of the apostles. When the last apostle died, inspiration ceased, and all miracles ceased. There was no further need for either inspiration or miracles after the death of the apostles. Any man or woman today who professes to be an inspired messenger of God is a false prophet or prophetess. Do not believe them. You do so to the danger of your soul. Christ originally had 14 apostles, but one died as a martyr. Another was selected to bring the number back to 12. Those 12 plus one more(Paul) delivered the New Covenant to the world. by word of mouth through Divine inspiration. Because they all passed away in the first century, and are no no longer able to speak to us in person or lay their hands on men to make them inspired preachers and teachers, it was necessary to put the New Covenant in written form in a book, so that all mankind can know exactly what the apostles taught and preached. The 27 books of the New Testament were written by men n the first century when supernatural inspiration and miracles still existed. . The New Testament says, “All scripture is inspired of God.”.All truth the apostles taught by word of mouth directly from God is now in the 27 books of the New Testament. The 27 books of the New Testament are to all people in the world to day what the apostles were to to all people in the world in the first century. Because all truths the apostles spoke while on earth are now in the 27 books of the New Testament, those 27 books in the New Testament are the most valuable books in existence. Those 27 books are the most priceless pieces of literature in the possession of the human race. The one and only way to become a member of the New Covenant and become an heir of eternal life is to read, study and obtain the knowledge that is revealed in those 27 books. The only way today for Jews, Gentiles, Arabs, .Russians, Chinese etc. can be saved and go to heaven is for them to do what God has commanded in those 27 books. In no other way can the human race be saved. The purpose of those 27 books is to reveal to all mankind what the apostles revealed in the first century about eternal life..

Finally, some says, “I don‘t understand how God can write on the heart. The heart is in the chest. To write in the heart is a figurative expression. The Bible heart is the mind, the understanding. How writing is done in one's heart may be illustrated by the motorist who unthinkingly drove in a school zone at 35 miles per hour. Suddenly from between two
parked cars, a 7-year-old boy dashed across the street. The motorist braked hard and swerved the car sharply to miss him. When he stopped, the lad was touching his bumper, and the man broke into a cold sweat. From then on, he needed no externally painted sign by the side of the street saying, School Zone, 15 miles per hour. From then on, such a regulation was written on his heart, deeply inscribed on his mind. You see for the first time he really understood the importance of slowing down in a school zone. That is what it means to have something written on the heart. It means you understand it, respect it and love it.

Similarly, the New Covenant was to be different from the Old Covenant. It was to be more understandable, more spiritual and more personal. Under the Old Covenant, the knowledge of God was a complicated affair. The people didn't understand why God required certain things and forbad other things. In general the people were helplessly dependant on the professional class of the priesthood. But under the New Covenant the worship of God is reduced to the simplest spiritual elements. The New Covenant was so planned by God that it would be in every person's power to know and understand the will of God. Therefore to have the New Covenant written on the heart is to understand it, grasp it and possess it in thought. It is to have God's laws in the mind as a treasure, loved rather than feared. It is to be obeyed from love and respect instead of compulsion. This contradicts a popular belief that the Bible cannot be understood. Some argue, dispute and refuse to obey God's commands on the grounds that the Bible is not clear. Jeremiah declared that God would write His New Covenant on people's hearts. How could God write His covenant on our hearts which cannot be understood. When a thing is written on your heart, it means you understand it. If you do not understand it, it is not written on your mind. The reason people do not understand the New Testament is that they are not willing to take the time and interest to diligently and continually study it. How much time have you given to the study of the Bible in your lifetime? People prefer a rabbi, priest or preacher to study for them. and do their thinking for them. That is why so many people in many nations of the world are religiously brain-washed by a religion God will not accept. All saved people are in Christ's church, and there are no saved people out of His church.

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