OLD Truth and NEW Things

I’m hearing a lot these days about how God is doing a NEW things in our time. Now, I am not saying that God CANNOT do new things, for I would be trampling on His sovereignty if I did. I’ve been told by well meaning folk that God doesn’t need to do new things, but that he just IS doing a new thing in our time. While I totally agree with the former, I am skeptical about the latter. When I look as some of the touted NEW things taking place these days I see more of man’s imagination at work along with a little help from the ‘dark side’ (in some cases), than God being manifested in His true glory, majesty and sovereignty.

These NEW things range everywhere from ‘softening’ terms we use (‘Christ follower’ instead of ‘disciple’), how we ‘do’ church (I hate that term but it’s everywhere) to the completely unbiblical and sometimes even heretical. I have also discovered that most, of not all of the NEW things dancing around on the stages of many ‘churches’, are just based on old lies that surfaced early on in the history of the church that the Apostle Paul even warned against.

When I have thoroughly investigated some of the NEW things popular in our time, I find that scriptural ‘evidence’ for them is either slim and taken out of context, or non-existent. I have offered scripture after scripture, with contextual explanations, and been told what is plainly read is just my opinion man’s doctrine.

I offer here the twin notions that God has not changed and neither has man. Scripture still means what it says to us and what it says about itself. (See this post.) The only things that have changed since men first appeared on planet Earth are the ‘toys’ we play with. Could it be that perhaps WE are the ones fascinated with NEW things and not God? Just a thought. . .

11 responses to “OLD Truth and NEW Things

  1. In Cornwall visions and dreams and words of knowledge are common among the Cornish Christians. Many will testify of God’s speaking to them and showing them visions just like the early church experienced.
    In my own family this was very prominent, my mother would tell me how she would hear angels singing praises to God as she walked in the fields, and my grandmother saw a vision of Jesus, walking down the corridor in hospital when she was very poorly. She soon began to recover after seeing Jesus.

    When I was about twelve years of age, I experienced God in a very powerful way. I was coming home from school, it was about a mile walk to my farmhouse, and the clouds became very dark, then a hailstorm started to fall, stinging my face, lightening tore across the sky, it was like being on a battlefield.
    I hid myself behind a garage wall for shelter, but then things became much worse. I saw in the sky a huge ball of fire with lightening coming out of it, and it was heading straight for me. I cried to God, “Oh God, Oh God, save me,” and then there was a huge explosion, as God blew it out of the sky before it could kill me.
    I was very surprised to find that there was no hole in the ground, or any damage to the garage. I could hardly believe it, even though I had experienced it with my own eyes.
    So, I asked the children who were on the bus with me, “did you see a ball of fire coming out of the sky last night when I got off the bus?” “Yes,” they replied, and also my mother saw the same ball of fire streaking across the sky.

    How true is God’s Word when He says,
    “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you.”

    LINK
    EVANGELIST BILLY BOLITHO
    http://www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com

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  2. Hey, Dan. I ran a search on “new” through Bible.org – this has quickly become a favorite pasttime, I can peruse the list of scriptures without having to squint with the teeny lettering in Strong’s – I found:

    new wine – new wineskins – new garments
    new commandment
    New Covenant
    new song
    new spirit
    new husband – new bride
    New Heaven
    New Earth

    Those who are in Christ have experienced all of these promises of new things. We are the new bride awaiting our bridegroom who will come for us. We will one day see the New Heaven and New Earth. I believe all this is scriptural.

    However, I also found this warning:
    2Ti 4:3 For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.

    I believe this speaks to the great delusion that will occur toward the end of time which is explained in greater detail in 2 Thess. and 2 Peter. With this understanding of the end (delusion and apostacy) before the New Heaven and New Earth, I tend to be more on guard, in prayer, and test the spirits against God’s Word.

    I grew up in a denomination which emphasized experience over scriptural revelation…many strange doctrines can arise from such an approach.

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  3. Billy and Michelle,

    I see in both your posts evidence of things that are new, but not really NEW as in not even heard of, or supported in scripture. I absolutely love having a NEW nature in Christ under a NEW covenant, as well as all the other things that have become NEW in my life as a believer. Thank you Michelle for listing promised ‘new’ things. I even believe we can have visions and dreams that are of God, but we can also receive both due to purely natural causes or from our enemy.

    Scripture must trump experience when they are in opposition to each other. Excellent point!

    Where does that leave this crusty old soldier/skeptic? When somebody tells me God is doing some NEW thing, I’m not going to get all gaga over it, but hopefully I will ask “What is this new thing to which you refer?” and exercise the Berean principle.

    Love your comments!

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  4. Michelle and Dan I am sure this will bless you.

    All Things New, today there is a very evil doctrine being taught in some of our churches, by some very prominent preachers. They have decided to ignore God’s Word concerning what He is going to do with this earth. I guess that you could call them the green preachers, well, you certainly couldn’t call them gospel preachers.

    The Lord said, “…. The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men…… The heaven shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.” 2 Peter 3:7, 2 Peter3:10.

    The Lord said, also not only the earth shall He destroy, but the heavens also shall be destroyed — even the heavens are not clean in God’s eyes. “The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” 2 Peter 3: 12.

    Now this is how it shall be with this old earth, I heard a preacher say, “God is going to renovate this earth.” How foolish, God never fixes up old things, behold our God makes all things new, hallelujah, praise God. Jesus told us in His parables that you cannot patch up an old garment with a new piece of cloth, and you cannot pour new wine into old wine bottles. You see Jesus said we must have a new garment and new wine bottles that has always been the way that God has done things.

    We who have the witness of the Holy Ghost in our hearts know that God has promised a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness shall dwell, and the glory of God and of His Son Jesus Christ shall be in it. There shall be no more tears, no more death, or sorrow, crying, and pain, for all things will be burnt up, and finished, and will never be remembered ever again. For our God is a fountain of life, and we are His children, made possible through the sacrifice of His dear Son, who gave His life to save us all.

    “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Revelation 21:1.

    The Lord has said in His Word that He is going to give you a new name, Rev 2:17 a new song, Rev 5:9 praise God it just gets better and better, a new heaven and a new earth, Rev 21:1 and a new Jerusalem which will come down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, Rev21: 2.

    “And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new”. Revelation 21:5.

    EVANGELIST BILLY BOLITHO

    http://www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com

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  5. Billy,

    I will opt for the new heaven and the new earth over renovating or saving the old one. We are to be good stewards of God’s creation, but saving the planet is not the gospel, as some are teaching theese days. The Gospel that Paul preached has been determined by some to be ‘too narrow’ and environmentan/social concerns have been added to it.

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  6. There is no question of the new in God’s redemptive work, and I, for one, greatly appreciate and bless you both for believing and teaching and not shrinking from what the word says.

    If I may raise a few questions about what seems to be the thread of “not restoring the old but doing away with the old and making an entirely new thing”. If am overstating the case, forgive me.

    There is no question that the variegated unholy offspring of Liberation Theology are manufactuing a “theo”-logical view of the environment in order that humanity may once again engage gleefully in worshipping the creature in the stead of the Creator. As has been said here, being good stewards and thinking that we are the redeemers of creation are two vastly different things, and so I do not for one second desire to throw my hat in with the errors of much the the ironically, poorly named “New Evangelicals”. But it seems clear to me that there is something to the idea of God restoring creation, which by definition means doing something to the old in order that it would be new again.

    In 1 Cor 15 Paul walks a seemingly dichotomous path between the perfecting work of God and our ongoing existence as bearers of Imago Dei. In the process of discussing the resurrection Paul says the following,

    1 Corinthians 15:36 that which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

    and

    1 Corinthians 15:39-40 ll flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.

    Now as he writes this he certainly has in mind the firstborn from the dead, our Lord Jesus. Christ’s glorified body is vastly different in composition and ability from our bodies, but much of who he was before he was murdered remained. My point is that Our Lord’s glorified body is not an utterly a different thing, but it is changed, as Paul says in 1 Cor 15:51-2.

    I am not sure where to attach the following, and if someone is able to refute or explain it, great, but it also seems that redemption does not involve having to make billions of new images, but in redeeming the old ones. What this may actually look like is beyond our comprehension, but redemption necessitates the restoration of the old, that is, not accepting the old as is, but actually restoring it. There is an additional hang-up of mine: If God needs to start over completely, then the death of Christ did not redeem the old, and our sin and the rebellion of Satan has succeeded in ruining God’s work. I realize that this is only a philosophical objection, but when I read of the utter efficacy of the work of Jesus Christ, I don’t see room for understanding creation as being permanently soiled, just hopelessly tainted with sin apart from the redemption of Christ.

    This won’t make me any friends, but I also think that this goes toward a partial understanding of the purposes of hell. That which remains unredeemed is to be extracted from that which is being purified, as with the view of the work of God coming in Malachi 2:17-3:6, the refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap do not destroy and make new, they burn off and clean off the dirt, that which is impure, the unredeemed.

    As with much of God’s word, there is a shadowy, lesser reality of God’s redemption here and now, and this less visible activitiy is a guarantee of the complete work of glorification which is yet to come within the timeline of an earthly existence. Here exists the truth that we are to attend to the matters of our own soul by intending to do all that we do to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and knowing that this occurs in time by the power of the Holy Spirit and knowing the mind and will of God to the extent to which he has revealed it in his word. And though this temporal activity is a perpetual exhortation throughout the bible, and though this activity is brought to fruition by the Spirit over the course of our lives, there is a vastly greater and completely perfect version of this sanctifying work on the day of the Lord. So though we are to be sanctified here and now by the power of The Holy Spirit, a perfect sanctifying work will take place on the last day, both are true. I feel that the difficulty of harmonizing the truth that God will make all things new with the reality that a. we will still bear the image of God, and, b. Christ’s resurrected body is to be seen as the first in this matter, must be allowed to reside in a bit of the already, not-yet tension, which is such a buzzword right now, I know.

    Curious to see some Scripture and thoughts in confirmation or opposition to all this.

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  7. “not restoring the old but doing away with the old and making an entirely new thing” might be an overstatement, but I might misunderstanding your meaning.

    Christ died to redeem(purchase for God)sinners lost to God because of sin. When we receive him ‘old things pass away’ and all things become new in Christ. However, although I have a new nature, it lives in a sinned trained body. Complete restoration (back to God’s originally intended state) will not occur until we are glorified with Christ.

    In like manner, man cannot ‘restore’ the planet (also corrupted by sin – Romans 8)but we can become better stewards. We can also do a much better job of alleviating some of societies ills. However, saving the planet and being responsible members of society are not part and parcel of the Gospel of Christ that brings salvation to the lost. Tht Gospel is the Christ’s death for our sins and His subsequent resurrection (1 Cor 15). There are those today who say that the social and environment ‘gospel’ is equal to Christ’s death and resurrection and in some cases more important.

    God could probably do away with every vestige of sin everywhere, in whatever form it takes, without total destruction, but for reasons of His own he tells he there will be a totally new ‘heaven and earth’.

    In the meantime, I’ll be the best possible steward with the one we have, as well as continue in the sanctification process that ‘conforms me to the image of His Son’.

    I have no idea if this addresses your concerns, and we can certainly correspond further via email if you like (I have your address in the notification message of your comment).

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  8. The tension to which I am referring seems to be the reality that 2 Cor 5:17 sits conceptually between 1 Cor 15:51-52 and Revelation 21:5. You draw this difficulty out in noting correctly that those who are in Christ are a new creation, however, what of the sin-trained body? Is that destroyed as well? Since the bodily resurrection is a deal breaker in the New Testament, and in light of 1 Cor 15:51-2 – Paul speaking of the day of the Lord says both that we will be changed and that we will be raised imperishable – it seems that our understanding of the sovereign work of God in making The New Creation needs to be informed in some part by these passages.

    If we are to say Revelation 21:5 means exactly what it seems to when read in isolation, that is “new” means that anything from before is gone, we bump up against 1 Cor 15:51-2, and against the testimony of the writers of the New Testament of the walking, talking, stick-your-hands-in-my-side, glorified Jesus Christ. Our view of the the totality of the new creation needs to harmonize these. This harmonization needs to happen in light of the vaguely physical, indefinable characteristics of the body of our risen Lord and the fact that you can’t change something that has been destroyed. This view of the disposability of all of creation, its irredemptiveness (presume that’s a word), is one of the core errors of Gnosticism, that matter is inherently bad.

    Additionally, it seems as though “New” in 21:5 must be, as far as the The Day of the Lord goes, in ‘comparision’ to the old, rather than in substitution of the old, because Christ is speaking to people who are re-surrected, he isn’t speaking to people who are only new because all the old bodies were destroyed.

    Does that help to clarify at all? Not at all?

    I would like to talk about it further, I appreciate your desire for faithfulness and clarity, so slide me an email.

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