Are we borrowing from old ways to build The Great Wall quenching the Spirit?
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A fundamental problem with many churches and Christians is that they think it is okay to “borrow” from the old covenant’s way of man working for God in order to please Him and then incorporate these “borrowed ways” into the New Covenant’s Way of Spirit-empowerment. They simply don’t understand many verses that talk about the old covenant versus the chadash, kainos New Covenant like Jeremiah 31:31-34. God says that the New Covenant is “absolutely in no way in possibility or fact, like the covenant that I had made with their (the Jews) forefathers.” Chadash or kainos means “fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.”
Every term and every practice of the Jews under the ‘old’ was replaced or redefined under the ‘New,’ because the ‘old’ was but a “shadow, model, type, figure, or symbol” corresponding to “substance or realities” in the ‘New. The Son replaced Moses; the unconditional-favor-of-grace replaced the Torah Law of conditional-favor; Salvation by trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s obedience replaced salvation by trusting-relying-faith in our own obedience; The Light replaced Moses’ veil that hid God’s glory; “The Promise” of the indwelling Spirit writing God’s torah/nomos principles/instruction on our hearts replaced the Torah Law of conditional-favor written on stone and with pen; The “One Teacher” of Christ and His Spirit’s knowledge now given first to the ‘least and last’ before ‘the greatest or firsts’ has replaced a hierarchy of human teachers from the greatest to the least; Christ as the living logos Word/Message of God replaced the graphe scripture writings as the “Word of God”; Christ’s logos gospel message of The Truth as the preached “Word of God” during the church age replaced all gramma writings; Directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words from God through “prophecy, dreams, and visions” by a few of God’s servants in the old has been replaced by these now for “ALL of God’s sons and daughters, ALL His men and maid servants,” and the Spirit now gives a “variety of grace-gifts into us, a variety of services through us, and a variety of effectual workings into others through us.” Radical replacement or redefinition has occurred!
What else changed in Jeremiah 31:31-34? 1) The Torah/Nomos instruction of God is no longer written on stone tablets or with pen & ink, “but I will put my Torah within them – I will write it on their hearts.” Remember that Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:3 that the “letter from Christ delivered by us” was “written, absolutely by no means with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, absolutely in no way on tablets of stone but instead on tablets of human hearts,” because Paul was referring to those Christians being Christ’s “letter,” just as every Christian is the expression of God’s will in the world – see Logos Word of God – BT20. 2) Therefore, “absolutely no longer in possibility or fact shall they need to teach one another to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord,’ for My people shall actually all eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know Me, the word most used for a prophet’s vision, 3) This dissemination of the knowledge of God via scripture is no longer top-down through a hierarchy of authoritative teachers like Moses to Aaron to his sons to the Levite men to all men to their wives and finally to children, but now “eido seeing God” will be “from the least of them to the greatest.” “God shows no partiality” per Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6, but “reveals the secrets of the kingdom to little children and keeps them hidden from the so-called wise and learned” per Matthew 11:25, and finally 4) 613 OT laws don’t have to be exactly obeyed for sin to be forgiven, but instead God says, “Therefore, I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Notice that there is no conditions to be met, no resources to acquire, no skills to acquire, no work to be done, and no innate power to exercise. No more of man’s “might and power” is needed! God goes direct and eliminates all the middle men. He does it all! All that’s left is to fully surrender control to His Spirit’s power!
The 2 covenants are completely different-in-kind, sharing nothing! A not= B and A not –> B. There’s 100s of verses in the OT and NT that bare all this out! Borrowing from the ‘old’ (A) for the ‘New’ (B) is like trying to put “old wine in new wine skins, or sewing a new patch on old garments – both are ruined,” just as Jesus explained in Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22; Luke 5:36-38 why He and His disciples weren’t following ‘old’ rules like fasting. Then why are Christians today?
As Christian musicians, we are building the Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit every time we borrow from the old covenant and try to mix it into the New Covenant, or likewise borrow from the flesh or this world to further the kingdom. That includes worship music!