There are things that were added to the Bible that were not a part of the original Scripture texts. Punctuation, spaces, chapters and verses, headings, titles and I am not criticizing these cultural changes. However; some things that were added could affect our understanding of God’s Words to us.
For example; “Old Testament” and “New Testament” causes a huge misunderstanding. The word “Testament” in greek is actually also “covenant”. This means that considering Matthew through Revelation “The New Testament” is equating it with our “New Covenant”. While it is true that the N.T. writings do bring to light revelation of the New Covenant that were detailed in the O.T.; it is not true to simply call the N.T. the New Covenant.
There are things written in the New Testament that are not part of the New Covenant and there are also things in the Old Testament that were not part of the Old Covenant but, are part of the New Covenant. A lot of O.T. promises were not for the O.C. but are only for us in the N.C. Without serious study and guidance by the Spirit of Truth; it would be easy to mix the 2 together (which does not please God). This is what I have done all of my Christian life and hopefully am not still doing but, it’s doubtful that I have arrived…however; I have left 🙂
“Let every man be a liar but, God be true.” We need to trust that “The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.” and reveal “that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. (Ephesians 1:18,19)
“For all the promises of God are “Yes” in Christ.” (2 Cor.1:20) This does not say all of the promises in Mathew through Revelation are “Yes in Christ”; it declares ALL (all means all)! Many of God’s promises that are fulfilled in Christ for us are in Genesis-Malachi. We receive them by faith in Christ and miss them by unbelief. We have not been given a spirit of fear or unbelief but, of faith, love, power and sound mind. That’s the “mind of Christ”. When we operate in unbelief; we are “getting out of Christ” or, no longer abiding in the Vine. Hence, the promises of God are not necessarily “Yes” to us because fear and unbelief is not “in Christ”.
The truth seems to be that the New Covenant was introduced at what is called “The Last Supper” by Jesus and was continuing to come by the time Hebrews or Revelation was written (before 70 A.D. and the destruction of the Temple). So the New Covenant given by Jesus but, had not necessarily completely arrived. In a previous post called “Welcome to New Jerusalem!” I explored this idea concerning the Old Covenant being referred to as Mt.Sinai or Old Jerusalem and the New Covenant being Mt.Zion and Jerusalem “from above”, New Jerusalem. The Scriptures I referenced make it clear that we have come (in the spirit) to New Jerusalem and Mt. Zion; which is the New Covenant.
But, here’s only one passage the references New Jerusalem as coming down and continuing to come down. ~
Revelation 3:12 ~ “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”
Sorry about the KJV Olde English. It was necessary to show the Greek tense used to describe the one who overcometh (is overcoming and continues to overcome) is the one who will (symbolically) receive the name of “New Jerusalem” which cometh (is coming and continues to come) down from Heaven! Both of these verbs are a Present Participle Active which is used for an action that is presently happening and will continue to happen. Like when I eat at a buffet.
Wow, that may be my first successful joke in this blog. But seriously, I hope someone is appreciating the amount of research I do in this.
So, New Jerusalem was not only a “place” that we arrived upon being born-again (in the spirit) but, it was “coming down” (symbolically) about 2,000 years ago and would continue to come. Because New Jerusalem is simply the New Testament. OOPS…I mean New Covenant. It makes no difference, they are one and the same…except in our minds…
The New Testament is not a group of the last 27 books in the Bible! It’s God’s ONE perfect covenant in Jesus Christ that includes every covenant promise of blessing God ever gave in the Scriptures! The true New Testament is the New Covenant; which is “New Jerusalem” and the nature of the covenant of God and all his promises is given to those who overcome!