Book Excerpt - The Curious Elephant
Why First Century Christianity Is More Relevant Than Ever
The simple reason is that Christ implemented major theological changes regarding the covenants, which resulted in good news for a specific group of people in our age. This group of people today is largely oblivious to the gravity of their current circumstances due to blithely ignoring their heritage despite the warnings given to them in end-time prophecies. Their days draw near, and they have come to the end of their years as the prophecies tell us. They would be us.
In the covenants section of the Feature articles, we discover that there is a Christian misconception today that there are two covenants in force. The Old Covenant is for the Jews and the New Covenant is for the Gentiles. There is one major theological problem with this thinking as we discovered. Only one covenant is in force for the children of Israel today. [See the Feature articles, The Good News Colour Revolution, and Moving Forward].
In reference to the covenants, “For in [the apostle] Paul’s time, according to his view, the new [covenant] set aside the old covenant. The Greek word for New [kaine] Testament implies that it is of a different kind and supersedes the old ….” [A.R. Fausset, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Heb. 8:13].
This is absolutely correct. The Old Covenant, or law covenant, made with Moses and the children of Israel, is no longer in existence. Christ broke it. It is contrary to the purpose and higher power of the New Covenant in the plan of God. [See the Sneakers article, Does Romans 13 Mean We Have To Be Subject To The Evil Authority Of Men?].
“And I took my staff Beauty, and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the people. [Heb. ‘am, nations of Israel]. So it was broken on that day. Thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me knew that it was the word of the LORD. And I said to them, ‘If you think it good, give me my price; and if not forbear.’ So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’ – that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.’” [Zec. 11:10-13].
Zechariah, one of the restoration prophets, wrote this prophecy more than five centuries before Christ’s first coming. And as we know, it came to pass. “What are you [chief priests] willing to give me [Judas in Greek, Judah in Hebrew] if I deliver Him [Christ] to you?” And they counted out thirty pieces of silver.” [Mat. 26: 15].
Just as the prophet Zechariah wrote, Christ being delivered to the chief priests to be crucified for thirty pieces of silver resulted in the breaking of the law covenant on that day. It is no longer in force and hasn’t been for nearly two millennia. [See Gal. 3:24, 25].
The now defunct law covenant was for all Israel, both the House of Israel and the House of Judah. But as the House of Israel was divorced more than 700 years before Christ’s first coming, the law covenant is erroneously perceived today as being only for the Jews. And although the Jews do not recognize Christ, nor that the law covenant was broken long ago, it is null and void along with all its ordinances. [See Gal. 3:10, 11].
Generally speaking, neither the House of Judah nor Christians, nee the House of Israel, realize this. It is understandable for those descended from Judah for they are blinded to this intentionally. [Rom. 11:9, 10]. But for those descended from the House of Israel to believe the Old Covenant is for the Jews and the New Covenant is for the Gentiles totally misses the mark on both counts! We’ve been duped big time.
And the reason why we’ve been duped big time is that we don’t understand the theological changes Christ made in the first century regarding the covenants. And the reasons today why we don’t understand these changes is that the vast majority of those professing to be Christians think we are Gentiles1 despite Christ’s very clear and plain statement to a non-Israelite Gentile woman, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” Instead, end-times Christianity tells Christ, “You’re wrong. Read John 3:16.” Small wonder Christ and the truth have so little credibility among us. [See the Feature article, Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall].
And because we choose to rebel against this basic fact of who we are, in spite of it being hidden in plain sight, Christianity is merrily following the Antichrist, riding those rogue ponies, mindlessly headed right into the teeth of the “Apocalypse.” And despite the furor about the end-times, it appears most Christians could care less about rectifying any of this, exactly as the prophecies tell us.
Of course, this will change rapidly once the pony apples hit the fan. But by then, even the proverbial “pound of cure” will be too little, too late. Or as the prophet Jeremiah quoted our LORD, saying to both Judah and Israel in the end-times, “All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great because your sins are flagrant. Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.” [Jer. 30: 14, 15].
The net result is essentially the same as when the end-time’s Christians are told by Christ in Revelation, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing,’ not realizing you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.” [Rev. 3:16, 17 ESV]. Ignorance and apathy have their price. But looking on the bright side, our beloved Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny will save us from the mean old Jesus Christ … right?! [Jer. 10:1, 11].
If we took Christ at his word, paid attention to first century Christianity as delivered by Christ and the apostles, and acted accordingly, 21st century Christianity still would be relevant, especially to so many of our young men and women who are driven to atheism. [See the Feature article, The Relevance Of The Holy Days In The Plan Of God In The Last Days]. Instead we invent convoluted arguments to support our errant ways, self-righteously justifying our ends, which theologically make us, politely speaking, pony patooties.
However, when we understand the role of the covenants, what they mean for us, and that Christ was correct in telling us he was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, only then we can correctly understand the gospel, the good news, walking the right path before our Savior. [See the Feature article, Paul Was An Apostle To The House Of Israel, Not The Gentiles].
1 For example, when coming across the phrase Jews and Greeks in the New Testament, the Greeks are those descendants of the House of Israel who spoke Greek and lived that culture, much like French, Germans, Dutch and others of the House of Israel do in their respective countries today. The Greek Empire of Alexander was the third head of the great image in Daniel and remained influential into the early years of the Roman Empire, the fourth head of Daniel 2’s great image. See 2 Cor. 1:1. Achaia was the Roman province encompassing all Greece with the exception of the Thessaly region.
Keep in mind, the original manuscripts for the New Testament were written in Greek. The two major languages of the Roman Empire were Latin, which was the official language of Rome, and Greek. Most of the literature read by the educated Romans was written in Greek in the first century, or in works translated from the Greek into Latin. And much of our English vocabulary has its roots in Latin, especially in science, medicine and the law.
Ed. note: The Curious Elephant book is not posted online because we made the editorial decision to go to a digital format rather than print shortly after it was published. In doing so, we used content from The Curious Elephant to seed the original online publication of redshoe.com. Thus, all the chapters in the book are found online as articles, which since have been edited and updated over the years.
Italics and [ ] are the author’s.
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