What is the New Testament? It is the Higher Law of the Old Testament personified in Jesus Christ. We are His workmanship, personified through Him. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” – John 10:11-14.
My friends, sit down at the table with me as we break bread, together. “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:35-40.
Previously we have looked at the meaning of the “name” of Jesus Christ. We will quickly review it now. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” – John 3:17-21. Below, we will look at the root meaning of the word name, as well as deeds.
During the ministry of the Messiah, He was teaching in a way that convicted down to the very soul. He was even crucified for it. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was a perfect seed. Here is something to consider from Cornell University, “Though placentas support the fetus and mother, it turns out that the organ grows according to blueprints from dad.” As we know about the differences between Genesis 1 and 2, Jesus had to come from the line of Adam and had to be “wrought of the Spirit,” hence, a perfect seed. Although born in the likeness of sinful flesh, he had to learn to choose the good and refuse the evil. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.”
I can picture Jesus growing up looking at the world around Him, constantly making tough decisions. I am confident that many of the choices that He made were very difficult. Things in this world have an appeal to them, a luster about them, an appetizing enticement. It is the same for us today. “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.” Now, to get back to the words that we just looked at the meanings of; as Jesus learned to choose the good, He began a work within Himself that gave Him authority and a certain character. Remember brothers and sisters, “they that are in the flesh, cannot please GOD.” He learned to refuse the evil. He learned to refuse the flesh. I can also picture the days pushing forward, choosing the good, and how with each “act” that He was making, He was being led to the greater Good. His “deeds” were truly wrought in GOD.
Let us now consider something that Jesus said to Peter concerning the matter. “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” “They that are in the flesh, cannot please GOD.” Knowing that in the flesh, we are of our father the devil, let us now consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation (our behavior, to live, to busy oneself) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” As each one of us are considering our decisions in life, we have our own difficult decisions to make. We have to learn to choose the good over the evil. In the beginning, it may be as simple as rated R movies, which leads to no movies, and no television. Each step into the “good” leads to that which is better. As we continue our walk into that which is better, we begin to abhor those things that we thought were ok. We start growing in the Spirit, and begin to have His authority and character about us.
Let us now tie it together with John 6:40 and those which “seeth the Son.” “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” We will look at the meaning of seeth and walk it back to the root.
As we have seen, Jesus had to learn to choose the good over the evil. We also need to learn to be a spectator in this world, as we continue each day to choose that which is better. As we are walking with the LORD in Spirit, we experience those things that He also went through. We begin to have more discernment with our spiritual eyes and with our understanding. We begin taking heed to the promptings within us as we learn each day to crucify more of our flesh, with it’s lusts, passions, and desires, as we draw closer to the Father, forsaking all else. As we are doing so, more of His will becomes present within us and then, we understand this fully: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” We also, as followers of Jesus Christ begin laying our lives down just as He did for the needs and well being of others. We begin to teach. We begin to preach. We begin to loathe that which is evil, wanting nothing but the better, willing to sacrifice every bit of ourselves in the furtherance of the Gospel, even to the point of death.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” My prayer is a simple one this day. As one who has faith in the authority and character of Jesus Christ, my hope is that you will believe on Him and be persuaded by what we all have beheld here this day.
May the truthfulness of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ find it’s way into your heart, and into your soul, my dear friends. What is the New Testament? It is the Higher Law of the Old Testament personified in Jesus Christ. We are His workmanship, personified through Him.
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner