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   New Covenant Faith

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The Christian Faith is Defined by Covenant

The Witness Follows the Record

Lesson 6 of 13

Apostles today bring the church back to the true understanding of how the Witness of the Spirit works with the Record of Jesus Christ. Let's take a moment and look at these two words:
1. Record
2. Witness
 
What is the “record?” The record of your faith is the pattern of truth God lays as a foundation within the heart. Jesus Christ is the living record of our faith, the pattern Jesus set in Himself for our obedience to God. The record contains the terms, commandments, tools, and contact points for our faith, which framework of truth gives us boundaries we are to abide in. The record holds the contents of our faith, which is in the form of knowledge, which is the substance of our faith. 
 
What is the “witness?” The witness is the accompanying presence and power of God in your faith to sanctify your faith, make it living, and tether you to God. “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth,” (1 John 5:6).

This is what we saw take place in the previous lesson. God established the pattern of worship and then entered into it. Moses built the tabernacle according to the pattern God showed Him in the mount, and then God confirmed the pattern. Solomon built the temple according to the pattern David received, and then God confirmed the pattern. We see here that the witness follows the record. 

As we observed, God gave Moses the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments of the ministry.  Here is where we’ll look more closely at the physical things God assigned to the faith of those under the First Covenant. What I want you to see is that by this knowledge God was establishing a record for their faith as they observed these physical things: 

  • The ark of the covenant was placed within the holy of holies.
  • The altar at which the sacrifices were to be offered was set in its place.
  • The candlestick of pure gold was set upon the table.
  • Tongs, snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels were set in order.
  •  The sweet incense and shewbread also were set in order.
  • The children of Israel were instructed out of the law.
  • The priests were cleansed and attired for service.

The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle to confirm this record.  This confirmation of God upon the record He established for faith is called the “witness.”  God was signifying that His presence was among them.  

This is what Christians want:  They want their faith empowered by the Spirit. They want to experience God’s presence. They want the Lord to build their understanding by the Spirit.  And they are asking, “What do we need to do to get there?”

Knowing now that the knowledge of Jesus is our contact point with God in the new spiritual covenant, we can understand that God will no longer enter into the physical contact points of the old physical covenant of Moses, like the tithe, baptisms, feast days, and communions, nor in the physical things of David, like dancing and music. These are things of the past, which are no longer sanctified for our faith. God now only enters into the spiritual things of Christ.  

THE FIRST COVENANT: 
The pattern for faith was in physical things—physical house, physical tools, and the law of Moses.

THE SECOND COVENANT:  The pattern for faith is in spiritual things—spiritual house, spiritual tools, and Jesus’ law of Grace and Truth.

The Record and the Witness are the Basics of Covenant Faith     

The church has struggled with the dichotomy of conforming their faith to 2 opposing views, that of grace vs. works, believing the message that we have no part in helping Jesus save us by our own efforts, not understanding what the terms of the covenant are or how we are to participate. 

The problem is that believers are not being taught the basics of their faith and the simple truth about the record and the witness. The subject of works will be reviewed more fully in the next course, The Tools of the Covenant, but in this lesson it is important for you to learn a very important covenant concept, that there is a divine pattern your faith must follow: The witness of the Spirit will only  rest upon the record of Jesus Christ to empower your faith, give life to your soul, and confirm Jesus Christ.

New Covenant Theology - The Witness Follows the RecordThe Bible gives this testimony and pattern for your faith when at Jesus’ baptism the Spirit of God alighted upon Him like a dove and the voice of the Father’s sanctification was heard to say, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:17).

From this we are to understand the divine pattern that God established for our faith, that the Spirit of God rests upon all things of Christ for the purpose of sanctifying our faith. The true record of man is God Himself; everything else is the lie. If Jesus were to stand before you right now He would say, “I, the record of your faith, am teaching you  to accept Me as the only measure of faith.”

This is what covenant faith is all about, accepting Jesus as the true record of your faith. There is no other way to measure your faith but by Jesus Christ. And just as God said of His Son, “I am well pleased,” so also He will say to you, “Well done My good and faithful servant, I am well pleased with your faith, enter into the joy of your Lord.”
apostles today teach new covenant theology. Illustration of record and witness
For God to be pleased with your faith, your faith must reflect Jesus Christ perfectly. What that means is that your faith must labor with the knowledge of Jesus Christ to be accepted of God. God established the pattern of faith in Jesus Christ and fully intending to enter into it. The Spirit of God stands ready to bear witness to Jesus Christ, ready to empower faith, ready to give life to the soul, ready to confirm Jesus Christ as we embrace His truth.

As we can see, the witness is that which is living. If the Spirit did not accompany your faith, your faith would be dead. But because the Spirit of God is the living witness of Jesus Christ, giving life to the record of Christ, we then are a living witnesses of His grace. This is what Jesus meant when He said that we are to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
 

The Record of Truth is as the Rails of a Train

apostles today teach new covenant theology-illustration of the record and witnessIt is easy to understand the need for God to first establish the record of our faith in Jesus Christ before He empowers it by the Spirit. God designed faith to follow the knowledge of Jesus Christ, just as a train follows the tracks that were laid for it. Faith then goes in the direction God laid out, and the Holy Spirit empowers faith (the train), meaning that the Holy Spirit will operate upon your soul in confirmation of Jesus Christ. This “operation of the Spirit” upon your soul is the “witness” that God placed upon His own record of faith.

Just as a house is wired for electricity before you can plug in a lamp, and just as tracks are laid before the train can reach its destination, God establishes the record for your faith before He empowers it.

Many Christians claim the “presence” of God upon the Hagar Faith: “I tithed and I got blessed! I applied the principles of the Ten Commandments and I felt the presence of God!” What you have to realize is that the presence of God is everywhere.

People of every religious persuasion experience the presence of God because God is drawing them by His grace to come into covenant with Him. This presence of God is misunderstood to be a confirmation upon the doctrine one embraces.
 
Another thing to keep in mind is that when believers do not have a covenant, they try to generate the presence of God through loud preaching, loud singing, dancing, shouting, laughing, etc. The flesh cannot generate the witness of the Spirit.
 
In the Second Covenant, faith follows the same pattern as in the First Covenant: The witness follows the record. The only difference is that we are not building faith after the pattern (record) of Moses, but after the pattern (record) of Jesus Christ.
 
God designed faith to follow the knowledge of Jesus Christ, just as a train follows the tracks that were laid for it. Faith then goes in the direction God laid out, and the Holy Spirit empowers faith (the train), meaning that the Holy Spirit will operate upon your soul in confirmation of Jesus Christ. This “operation of the Spirit” upon your soul is the “witness” that God placed upon His own record of faith. 

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