New Covenant Ways – BT5
Our “flesh” is why the old covenant failed miserably and why it was ended
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For a detailed discussion about the flesh and how it relates to the other parts of man and the indwelling Holy Spirit, see the Identity page. In fact 97.4% of the OT – see Logos Word of God – BT5a – depends on the “might and power” or “flesh” of man being obedient to the Law of commandments. It failed miserably, so God replaced it with a completely-different-in-kind New Covenant that relies ONLY on “by My Spirit, says Yahweh of hosts,” as we’ve seen in the previous BLOGs.
Paul explains in Romans 8:3 that the “Law failed to accomplish” because it was “weakened by the flesh.” Hebrews 7:18-19 says: “a former commandment [against covetousness as an example of the whole Law] is athetesis abolished-cancelled-disannulled because of its asthenes beggarly-poor-weakness-feebleness-impotence and anopheles unprofitable-uselessness, for the Law made absolutely nothing in fact teleioo consummated-to-the-intended-aim . . . [and so] a kreitton more useful, serviceable, helpful, better hope is introduced.” Paul explains in Romans 5:20 why the Law was introduced if God knew it was going to fail to reach its intended aim: “Now the Law came in to increase/multiple the trespasses” – it wasn’t meant to stop sin but increase it! Why are some Christians and musicians “borrowing” from any of the 613 failed commandments to improve their fellowship with God? It only increases failure! But is it the Law’s fault?
The real problem has always been our “flesh.” Jesus explained that concerning the things of God, “with man it is impossible” (a) because without “trusting-relying-faith it is impossible to please God” (b). Works FOR God will never do, because Jesus said “the sarx flesh is asthenes beggarly-poor-weak-feeble-impotent” (c) and concluded “the flesh is opheleo oudeis absolutely in fact useless or profits nothing” (e). Paul also often talked about “the astheneia beggarly-poor-weak-feeble impotence of the flesh” (d), which is exactly the reason the “holy, righteous, good” Law of God utterly failed (f) and why “if the first covenant had been not memphomai faulted-blameworthy-rejectable-condemnable, there would have been no occasion to look for a second” (g). The old covenant was rejected! The “flesh” greatly limits our view, mindset, and judgment, and its sin leads us to death (h). Our “flesh” is the problem, the very reason the Law was flawed and failed! Nothing changes as a Christian when it comes to the flesh – you still have it, so ALL parts of the Law will still fail, because the flesh is not redeemed until or glorification at Christ’s coming, called “the blessed hope” (i). <Notes> a) Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27, b) Hebrews 11:6, c) Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38, d) Romans 6:19, cf: 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Hebrews 4:15, 5:2, 7:28; Romans 8:26, e) John 6:63, f) Romans 8:3, g) Hebrews 8:7, h) 2 Corinthians 5:16; John 8:15; Romans 7:5, 8:6, 13, i) Romans 8:23-25; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3.
The NT uses “flesh” just like Zechariah 4:6 uses “might and power” – see Identity for more details. The Greek word sarx simply means “of human origin or empowerment, thus carnal” because “what is born of the flesh is-defined-as/exists-as actually, ongoingly flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is defined-as/exists-as actually, ongoingly Spirit” (a). In many cases, “flesh” is viewed neutrally as simply being human (b). Sometimes, it is viewed positively as with marriage intercourse and communion (c). Of course we’ve seen the NT emphasis that Jesus was physically “flesh” yet sinless (d), even that Christ’s “flesh” refers figuratively to the whole of Jesus as God’s bread of life (e). So the “flesh” isn’t always viewed negatively! <Notes> a) John 3:6; Galatians 4:29, b) Matthew 16:17, 24:22; Mark 13:20; Luke 3:6; John 17:2; Acts 2:17, 26; Galatians 1:16, 2:16, 20, 4:13-14, 23, 6:12-13; Ephesians 5:29, 6:5, 12; Philippians 1:22-24; Colossians 1:24, 2:1, 5, 23, 3:22; 1 Corinthians 1:26, 10:18, 15:39; 2 Corinthians 1:17, 11:18, 12:7; Romans 2:28, 3:20, 4:1, 9:3, 5, 8, 11:14; Hebrews 2:14, 9:10, 12:9; James 5:3; Philemon 1:16; 1 Peter 1:24, 3:21, 4:6; Jude 1:8; and Revelation 17:16, 19:18, 21, c) Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:8; John 1:13-14; Ephesians 5:31; 1 Corinthians 6:16, d) Luke 24:39; John 1:14; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7; Acts 2:31; Ephesians 2:15; Romans 1:3, 8:3; 1 Peter 3:18, 4:1; Colossians 1:22, 2:11-13, 18; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 5:7, 10:20, e) John 6:52-56, 63-35, 48, 51.
However, “flesh” is often viewed negatively as “any effort unaided by God’s Spirit, including that which comes from the body or bodily members of man,” and this exactly correlates to “man’s external resources” that Zechariah’s 4:6 “might” depicts in the Hebrew/Greek. “Flesh” is also negatively defined as “any effort from the psyche soul of man as the mind (reasoning, intellect, etc.), emotions, and will of man” – see Identity. And this exactly correlates to “man’s internal abilities” that Zechariah’s 4:6 “power” depicts in the Hebrew/Greek. Thus Zechariah 4:6 “absolutely not in fact by might and power” refers to both the external and internal aspects of the “flesh,” which Jesus said even includes their “works of righteousness” outside the Spirit (a) – that is the definition of “religion” as opposed to actual fellowship with God. Paul said: “All those who put their trusting-relying-faith in the works of the Law are under a curse” (b). Why are Christians messing around with ANY of the 613 commandments? We can only be saved apart from works (c), for “by works of the Law absolutely in fact no human being will be justified/made right” (d). Certainly the flesh can be cast into Hell (e) once God takes His breath of life (spirit) out of man. <Notes> a) John 6:63, b) Galatians 3:10, c) Titus 3:5; Romans 4:6, d) Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16, e) Matthew 10:28.
Paul explains in Romans 8:5-10 that “what is born as flesh is separate from what is born as Spirit and so the phroneo/phronema mindsets-paradigms-worldviews of the two are completely-different-in-kind – there’s that set theory again of 2 circles that don’t touch, let alone intersect. One “circle or sphere” has “flesh-kind-of things” in it and the other “Spirit-kind-of things” in it. People either live kata “down-from/according-to the dictates/desires of” one circle of influence/dominion or the other. The “flesh” circle is hostile to God because it cannot and does not submit to God’s torah, nomos instruction/law, and so cannot absolutely in fact please God.
Too many people assume Paul is talking about the Mosaic Law of God, but to the unsaved Jew they are certainly “under the Mosaic Law” (a), and even the unsaved Gentile have a “law in their conscience accusing/excusing them” (b). But Christians are “not under the Mosaic Law but under unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace” (c) but “under the Law of Christ” (d), which nomos/torah instruction would then be the only entole commandment given to the saved, whether Jew or Gentile – unconditionally-love one another as Christ did us – see Logos Word of God – BT16! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 9:20, b) Romans 2:15, c) Romans 6:14, d) 1 Corinthians 9:21.
The “Spirit” circle/sphere is where zoe genuine-life and peace are found. The indwelling Spirit of God puts a Christian into the “Spirit” circle, making you the property of Christ, making you righteous/justified with God because of Christ’s obedience, even if your flesh’s soul and body is still dead because of sin. It is a dangerous thing for Christians and musicians to “borrow” things from the “flesh” circle to use in the “Spirit” circle/sphere, even if FOR God as religion often does. This “borrowing” is what creates The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit, whether “borrowing” from the old covenant or the world.
What people are proud of or boast in is also completely-different-in-kind within the two circles/spheres. Boasting or pride in the “flesh” is spoken of often (a), but “God opposes the proud” (b), for “he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts” (c). I have heard a lot of Christians and musicians boast quite a bit of what they have done and their speech is laced with “I, me, and my.” I counted “my church” 7 times from a pastor who went on a feverish, defensive rant. I think all of us struggle with self-preoccupation. We always find our own picture in an album the fastest. I’ve heard musicians talk about “their quality gear and dedicated skill being used FOR the Lord,” as if it pleased Him. I will never forget an anointing on my forehead by an Alaskan prophetess who had heard about a Holy Spirit class I had just found out about and a group of us attended. She told me, “You have the mind of Christ. You will say and do things that others will laugh at and say that it can’t be done. Politely ignore them and continue, but watch the use of ‘I, me, and my’ because this will quench the Spirit and so stop His work.” <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:18; Galatians 6:4, 13; Philippians 3:3-4; 1 John 2:16, b) James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5; 2 Timothy 3:2, c) Luke 1:51.
So we see many verses that speak very negatively of the “flesh” as part of the unredeemed world of the sinful, natural men, even religious men, who are essentially selfish, self-centered, self-serving, and ruled by their bodily or sensual passions at the expense of God and others, leading these worldly men towards destruction and eternal death per: Matthew 5:29-30; Roman 6:6, 12, 7:5, 18, 25; 8:4, 7, 9-10, 12-13, 13:14; Galatians 5:13, 24; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Corinthians 5:5, 6:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 2:11, 4:2; 2 Peter 2:10, 18; 1 John 2:16; and Jude 1:7, 18, 23.
Now regarding worship music in completely-different-in-kind New Covenant churches, why are we involving any of man’s external resources or internal abilities that Zechariah’s 4:6 “might and power” speaks of, which is this worldly “flesh,” especially if it’s the very reason the old covenant failed miserably due to the “asthenes beggarly-poor-weakness-feebleness-impotence and anopheles unprofitable-uselessness” of the “flesh” that is absolutely unable to accomplish God’s will, if you are religious doing it FOR God? How will any of our ergo “works/doings” help accomplish anything of God’s? Jesus said in John 15:5, “Apart from Me you can do absolutely in fact nothing” – nothing in His kingdom! Even connected to the Vine, do our human efforts of our flesh’s soul and body amount to anything?
Remember that absolutely nothing in the “flesh” circle/sphere belongs in the “Spirit” circle/sphere – oil and wine don’t mix, and you can’t put new wine in old wineskins or both are ruined. Law and Grace are opposites: the first earned, merited, and conditional, but the second is unearned, unmerited, and unconditional. Absolutely nothing in the “flesh” circle/sphere can please God because it’s not in fellowship with Him by trusting-relying-faith, because that is ALL in the “Spirit” circle/sphere.
There is a mindset/paradigm/worldview and a pride associated with it for people in each circle/sphere, and they are completely-different-in-kind – one leads to death and the other to zoe genuine-life and peace. All of man’s religions, including the Jewish religion, or based on our working/doing FOR God, and so ALL of this belongs in the “flesh” circle/sphere. A lot of Christian religions are doing the same. However, only working in/by/with God by the means of the Spirit is IN the “Spirit” circle/sphere – that’s what Zechariah 4:6 prophesied for the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant! In which circle-sphere-mindset-paradigm-worldview is your “doing” of life and music being born out of, and to what end is its growth? For more about the difference between the flesh’s body, soul, and spirit see the Identity page.
Lord, we totally surrender our flesh’s mind, emotions, will, and bodily members to You. We offer none our our works/doings to You but completely have trusting-relying-faith in the perfect and complete work of Christ to make us perfectly righteous, holy, and godly in Your sight. Now we call for Your Holy Spirit “to fill us completely with all your abundant-fullness, to work in us both to desire and do Your good pleasure.” Now there are only 2 commandments – continue to have trusting-relying-faith in Your Son and to unconditionally-love others just as You did. Praise Your name that it’s been dumbed down for even the “least among you” so that there will be no partiality. We choose to live in that realm of the Spirit, so every day we “offer our bodies as living sacrifices for You.”