The Covenant Heresy

There is a heresy that is currently being taught within the body of Christ that needs to be addressed because of the damage that it does to the integrity of the gospel.
    Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6). Jesus said, “No man” can come except by Him. Jesus is the fulfillment of the plan of redemption instigated by God from the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:20, Rev 13:8). The false teaching that I am going to address, refutes Jesus’ statement, and contradicts the Scriptures by parroting a false doctrine that was instigated by Cyrus Scofield. If any of you have in your possession a Scofield Bible, check out the title he adds to Ephesians chapter two which he christens as; “the Method of Gentile Salvation.” Scofield maintained that the Gentiles were saved by Jesus, but the Jews didn’t have to be because they had a covenant with God. That’s not what Jesus taught, neither did any of His apostles, especially Peter.

In the second chapter of Acts, Peter’s sermon was directed to the “men of Israel” (Acts 2:22). These were Jews who had assembled in Jerusalem for Pentecost “out of every nation under heaven” (verse 5). Peter does not hesitate to let them know that they needed to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38,39). The promise of eternal life clearly cannot be accessed by anyone, Jew or Gentile without faith in the atonement of the Messiah Jesus. Peter obviously did not ascribe to Cyrus Scofield’s distorted version of salvation, and he definitely would not hesitate to refute today's current crop of false teachers for perpetuating this massive falsehood.

When the believing Pharisees said that the Gentiles needed to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to be saved, (Acts 15:1,5), the Apostle Peter countered that by saying, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we (the Jews) shall be saved even as they (Acts 15:11). Therefore again the scriptures affirm that the Jews are saved through faith in Jesus, just as the Gentiles are saved, and there is no distinction.

After the Jew’s rejected the gospel, - “Then Paul and Barnabas became bold, and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should first be preached to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judged yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, look, we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46). Obviously the apostles did not believe that the Jew’s salvation depended on anything other than the gospel.

Jesus said, "...many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:10,11).

Here we have to stop and ask ourselves, who are we going to follow, Jesus and His apostles, or teachers whose doctrines the scriptures obviously refute?

When Jesus tells us that no man can come to the Father except by Him, the Lord means everyone, Jew and Gentile alike with no exceptions. The covenant that teachers like John Hagee and the others who insist relieves the Hebrews of their obligation to receive Jesus as the Messiah, has been rendered obsolete. The prophet Jeremiah was chosen by God to proclaim that there would be a New Covenant that would replace the old covenant which the Jews had broken. –

Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says the Lord:
    But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says 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 (Jeremiah 31:31,33).

God’s promise to Israel that they would be His people is contingent on their acceptance of the New Covenant. This New Covenant is represented by the new bottles in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 9:17) The old bottles of the old covenant had to be replaced by the New. Jesus’ parable of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-43), clearly shows us that the Hebrew’s rejection of the Messiah would result in losing the vineyard that God had given them, and what they had would be given to others. This prophecy is reiterated by Isaiah, who tells us that the Messiah will be received by the Gentiles (Isaiah 65:1), and these ones would be called by another name (Isaiah 65:15). Many Bible scholars recognize that new name is Christian in light of the historical events that have already been fulfilled.

Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed because they did not know the time of their visitation (Luke 19:44); that Messiah had come. They rejected Him, and Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled forty years later when Jerusalem was annihilated by Titus in 70AD.

The Apostle Paul taught very clearly that the wild olive tree, the Gentiles, are grafted into the Hebrew olive tree and the natural branches, representing the Hebrews were cut off because of their disbelief, but they can be grafted in again (Romans 11:17,23). That grafting in can only be accomplished through their acceptance of Jesus the Messiah, which is clearly taught throughout the New Testament.

Christians are now considered to be Abraham’s seed (Galatians 3:29), along with believing Jews. In Jesus there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:28). Jesus said there would be one fold and one shepherd (John 10:16).

In the book of Daniel the Lord refers to Daniel’s people as all those whose names are written in the book of life (Daniel 12:1, 2, Rev.20:12). According to Jesus and the words of His apostles, there is only one way someone can have his name written in the book of life, and that is by receiving the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.

Jesus died for our sins, He rose from the dead, (as Peter assured us that he was a witness, Acts 2:32) and by believing we have eternal life. –

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life - John 3:16.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved - Acts 4:12.

Jesus fulfilled over two hundred Old Testament prophecies. The Gospel is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament, beginning at Genesis and cumulating in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy. –

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
     Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: when Thou shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed
(Messiah would live again) He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand (Isaiah 53:10).

Every sacrifice that was made in the Old Testament tabernacle services was a foreshadow of the final once for all time sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

In view of what the Scriptures teach regarding what is required for salvation, it is blatant ignorance on the part of any Christian to teach otherwise. I am totally amazed at the amount of pastors and other Christians who end up parroting the rhetoric of others who willfully disregard the authority of the Scriptures to promote their own distorted version of what the word of God actually says.

I am appalled at the number of Christians who sit at the feet of heretics, lapping up every word they hear without checking the scriptures for themselves to verify if what they are hearing lines up with God’s word.

Heretics breed heretics.

Copyright 2019 by H.D. Shively

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