November 24th, 1956                                            "The New Covenant"                                     Late Mr. N. Daniel

Mark 14:10-24, Jeremiah 31:31-34

Here is the promise of the new covenant. God gave the people of Israel His law through Moses. But the Spirit of the law was lost and only the letter of the law remained. You can follow the letter of the law and completely lose the spirit thereof. The Mosaic laws have seven "Thou-shalt-nots." The positive nature of God, did not come into man—the nature of love. There can be love without faith. But love without faith is selfish. Love with faith makes you hate yourself and love others and you find fulness of joy. Your righteousness must reach out to others and convert them. Through the law, the nature of God did not come into people. The law came into the mind of man but the heart remained the same. God wanted to drive in His laws into the heart. There was no other way but by the cross. Moses taught Israel to slay the passover lamb to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. The spotless lamb of God had to be slain that He may put His new covenant into us. When we look at Jesus, something happens to us as happened to the snake-bitten people who looked at the brazen serpent. They were rid of the poison in their body. When Jesus took our sins on Himself to the cross, the new covenant could operate. The devil stood firm claiming men on the basis of the law. Jeremiah 31:31 & 33, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah…But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

These laws in our hearts act as reins to our life. Psalm 16:7, "I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons." When the truth of God becomes the reins of our life, they lead us into the paths of life. We come under the complete control of the eternal wisdom of God. Ezekiel 36:27, "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." The Holy Spirit could not be given without the cross and the resurrection. Mark 14:24, "And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." To God, the future, the present and the past are the same. When He makes a covenant, it is an eternal covenant. The cross is an eternal principle. God has accepted the sacrifice of Christ. If Christ had not died, it were not possible for man to live the life in the spirit. When we receive new life by looking at the cross, the seed of this new nature is in us. Christ seals our new birth with His blood. The devil has no power over us and a new principle begins to work in us. There will come an experience in our lives when ourselves will be nailed to the cross. That is sanctification. Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. On the cross we see on either side of Jesus two kinds of men—those that are penitent and go up with Christ and those that are impenitent and go down to hell.

We are thieves in God’s sight. We have used the talents. God has given us to secure for ourselves the destructive pleasures of this world. Like the prodigal son we have taken His property and wasted it. There are many righteous men also who are thieves. They have stolen God’s glory. Their righteousness is like filthy rags. God’s righteousness always touches the neighbour. The righteousness that confines itself to self and congratulates itself, is not God’s righteousness. The gift of life is God’s. The gift of a personality in the likeness of God is His. The capacity to learn is God’s. We are thieves. On the cross we see two thieves. They represent humanity. One of them owns up that he deserves it. The other hardens his heart. Jesus Christ is making the supreme sacrifice. A new covenant is coming into force. A new heart and a new spirit are given to us and we are enabled spontaneously to live the Christian life. There is a higher power coming into operation— not a mental or intellectual power. It is a spiritual power. It is the mighty power of God— the resurrection power.