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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
The New Covenant is for all who believe in the LORD Jesus Christ.

This past week, we noted that one of the most powerful enemies that our LORD and His apostles had to face continually was the power of religion that came from the Scribes, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. However, whether they were Scribes or Pharisees or Sadducees, they all had 3 things in common:

  1. They used people for their own benefit.
    2. They coveted money for self-promotion and power.
    3. They all turned against our LORD.

It was principles like these that caused our LORD to warn His disciples about the evil of religion and tradition that they were about to have to face and deal with. The word tradition is equivalent to what we call religion.

MAR 7:1, “And the Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered together around Him when they had come from Jerusalem.”

In verse 2, what was it that caused the Jews to become very religious and self-righteous and in bondage? It was what we call religion or tradition; MAR 7:2. In MAR 7:2, (the Pharisees and the Scribes had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. To these self-righteous leaders and rulers in Israel, something so petty as washing their hands before they ate was more important to them then their relationship with our LORD.

MAR 7:3, (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, {thus} observing the traditions of the elders;

Notice that the Pharisees and all the Jews did not eat unless they carefully washed their hands and observed the traditions of the elders rather than the doctrines in the Torah or the Word of GOD. They were not interested in the words that our LORD spoke or even for the new doctrines that were getting ready to be taught as the mystery doctrines of the Church-age. Being ignorant of the new doctrines of the Church-age, they rejected the doctrines found in the NT. The key word here is “new” as it relates to the NT. For example, in MAT 26:26-29, And while they were eating, Jesus took {some} bread, and after a blessing, He broke {it} and gave {it} to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

MAT 26:27-29, And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave {it} to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant [that is the New Covenant], which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it NEW with you in My Father's kingdom.”

In MAR 1:27, our LORD taught a new type of teaching; “And they were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

In MAR 2:22, the word “new” refers to the “new wine of GOD the Holy Spirit,” with new wine [the new ministry of the Spirit] into fresh wineskins [New Creature].”

In LUK 22:20, we have the New Covenant in His blood;  “And in the same way {He took} the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

And, what exactly does the New Covenant mean? The New Covenant is based upon the principle of sins being judged and GOD forgetting our sins. One of the best Old Testament passages is found in JER 31:31  “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will make a New Cove­nant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

JER 31:32 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My Covenant which they broke, al­though I was a husband to them, “declares the LORD.

Now in JER 31:33, the main principle behind the new Covenant is given;  “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD; “I will put my law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their GOD, and they shall be My people.”

JER 31:34 “And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'know the LORD,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”  (HEB 8:12; HEB 10:17).

Look at HEB 10:15-18, And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them. After those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws upon their heart, And upon their mind I will write them,” {He then says}, And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer {any} offering for sin.”

The point is that the New Covenant is for all who believe in the LORD Jesus Christ.

1JO 2:8, we have a new commandment given to us.

MAR 1:27, we have a new teaching with authority.

ROM 6:4, There is a newness of life.

2CO 5:17, There are new things that have come.

In fact, our LORD also had to deal with the ancestors of these Scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees way back in the Old Testament. For example, as a Theophany, which is an Old Testament appearance of our LORD Jesus Christ; the LORD said to His people in ISA 29:13; “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.” Rote refers to information that one learns through repetition and meditation which is used to trap others into guilt and condemnation. In a negative realm, Rote was used to trap others into making decisions based upon human viewpoint and feelings. This is when a believer is forced into believing certain things because they are in bondage to religion and moral degeneracy. Moral degeneracy is found in different ways throughout the Word of GOD. For example, moral degeneracy is found in MAT 6:23 when our LORD said; “How great is the darkness when you think you are in the light;”

Moral Degeneracy also means that those involved in it are involved with Satan and his kingdom of darkness. Moral degeneracy is found in the believer or the unbeliever who lives in a Religious Rote that speaks of mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned without concentration and without having the appropriate mental attitude.

Rote also speaks to us mechanically and automatically at times without thinking what one is trying to say. It is also found in ISA 29:13, Then the LORD said, #”Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned {by rote,}

He was a Theophany in the Old Testament where He said; “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned {by rote,}” Such as repetitious prayers which our LORD condemns. Such as replacing doctrine with the word, tradition or religion. Look at MAT 6:5-8, “And when you pray, you are not to be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners, in order to be seen by men.

Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.

Also look at MAT 15:1-11, Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of GOD for the sake of your tradition? For GOD said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever shall say to {his} father or mother,” Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given {to GOD,}”

This individual tells his father and mother that he gave the Levitical priests and others the financial support they were to give to their father and mother in their old age.

MAT 15:6-11, He is not to honor his father or his mother. 'And {thus} you invalidated the word of GOD for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' And after He called the multitude to Him, He said to them, “Hear, and understand. Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

Don’t forget, the teachings that our LORD taught dealt with the religious leaders who were judgmental and critical toward others while they themselves were guilty of the very same thing they judged others for.

Remember the questions that I said many times before which answers the age-old questions such as:

Is there a GOD?

Is there a devil.

What is the Angelic Conflict?

Why am I here?

What does GOD expect from me?

Why is there Suffering?

Why are there Two Kingdoms?

Where did these come from.

Why the Church?

After salvation; What?

Those are just some of the questions that all believers and unbelievers have. This is also one of the reasons why our LORD said what He did to the religious leaders of His day and why He gave us one of the most important lessons to learn about religion which is the fact that religion is the devil’s ace trump, especially against our LORD then others. The devil’s Ace Trump is religion; tradition; works; guilt; condemnation; self-righteousness; fear; worry; doubt; legalism, etc. Anything that can take you away from your relationship with our LORD and  cause you to be in bondage to a system of religion is classified in your life as the Devil’s Ace Trump.

Let me show you this principle of doctrine that our LORD warned His disciples would happen immediately which is the fact that in MAT 23:3 that these false religious leaders tell you what to do and observe, but “they do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them.” Our LORD is literally saying, “You won't go wrong in following their teachings but be careful about following them.” They talk a good talk, but they don't live in that which they claim to believe. One of my personal favorites in our publications is the Book on Guilt. Because guilt is a subject that we all have to deal with “one way or another.” And when I say, “one way or another,” I mean guilt will either plague us within or condemnation will cause us to use guilt in our relationships with others. It is the inner struggles of guilt that lead us to the overt manifestation of condemnation, that we will all personally have to deal with.

So, in MAT 23:4, They tie up heavy loads of guilt and condemnation and they lay them on men's shoulders; but they are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. Instead of giving you GOD's truth that you can bank upon, they package it in bundles of rules and regulations as they load you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger or stumble under these loads and wouldn't even think of lifting a finger to help. They may think that they are getting away with something, but trust me, they are not getting away with anything at all.

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