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Prisms of Interpretation: Blood Covenant

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2014

 

Introduction

In optics, a prism is a transparent, optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light (wikepedia.org/prism). We have all developed prisms of interpretation, which influence the way we interpret ideas and life in general. A prism is like a lens through which we filter and understand information and view the world around us. Prisms could consist of belief systems such as: evolution, humanism, metaphysics, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, atheism, socialism, capitalism and communism. Some people are unaware that the prisms through which they view life were deliberately influenced, or constructed, by others. To be unaware of the prisms through which we view life is to be controlled by others. To deliberately be aware of, and cultivate, the prisms through which we view life is to take control of our life and our eternal destiny. The only prism which is 100% trustworthy is the Lord's written communication to us, which is the holy bible.

 

Our prisms are particularly important when it comes to correct interpretation of the bible. If we have non-biblical or incorrect, biblical prisms we will be hindered from understanding the true, biblical revelation and this error may ultimately brings darkness and bondage into our lives. A Christian can zealously study the bible, pray fervently, attend many meetings, and give sacrificially only to make little, true, Christian, spiritual progress due to faulty prisms. Others can be manipulated, deceived, controlled and exploited by leaders who teach incorrect prisms as a means of using people for their own ends. Many of us are unaware if we hold incorrect, biblical prisms. It is essential for successful living that we develop correct biblical prisms into our lives.

 

As we study the bible with an honest and open heart our prisms can change. As I look back on my life I can see where certain prisms I had were incorrect and caused me considerable, needless suffering due to my wrong perceptions and ignorance. We often trust the teaching of the church, our family, our educational systems, doctors or others in positions of authority and respect, only to find out later they were wrong and we were misguided to follow their advice. The only really trustworthy authority we have in life is the holy bible, and even it must be interpreted correctly. So it is a considerable challenge to ensure we have the correct prisms. The bible commended the people of Berea as being of more noble character than the Thessalonians because they didn't gullibly accept the Apostle Paul's teaching, but rather searched the scripture for verification as to whether it was true or not:

 

These (Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so

Acts 17:11

 

In this month's teaching, and in the coming months, I want to detail prisms of interpretation which will help us to not be deceived by the cunning craftiness of men (Ephesians 4:14). It is extremely important that the prisms we use are irrefutable; in other words we need to be 100% certain that the prisms we accept are true; because if the prism is flawed all our interpretations will also be flawed. An incorrect prism is like looking through a distorted, faulty, or discoloured lens; it pollutes and distorts everything we hear and see.

 

Prisms of Interpretation

Blood covenant

Blood covenant is one of the most important and basic prisms which we need to see through to correctly understand the bible. From Genesis to Revelation the theme of blood covenant is repeated. Blood sacrifice and blood covenant is revealed as the only way a human can approach or have a relationship with our holy creator. Following is a brief summary of examples of blood sacrifice, and blood covenant, in the bible. Hebrews 10:1 says, the law having a shadow of good things to come. We see in the Old Testament 'shadows' and 'figures' of the true and ultimate blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ:

 

  • The Lord respected Abel's blood-offering but did not respect Cain's bloodless offering (Genesis 4:3-5).

 

  • The Lord made a blood covenant with Abram with respect to the promise of land and the numerousness of his descendants (Genesis 15:5-21).

 

  • The Lord asked Abraham to make a human, blood sacrifice of his only son; and through Abraham's obedience and faith all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 22:1-18, Hebrews 11:17-19). This was a 'figure' of the offering of God's only Son - Jesus. Incidentally, Jesus was crucified in the same area that God told Abraham to sacrifice his only son - Isaac.

 

  • Israel was instructed to kill a male lamb without blemish and place the blood on the two side posts and the upper door posts of the house where they ate the lamb. When the destroying angel would see the blood of the lamb he would 'pass over' the house and not kill the first born, and those inside the house would be safe (Exodus 12:3-14, 29-30). This was a 'shadow' of Jesus' blood-sacrifice as "the lamb of God". Incidentally, Jesus was crucified on the celebrated day of Passover.

 

  • Through the Law of Moses, the Levitical' priesthood, and the earthly tabernacle / temple, the Lord introduced an animal, blood, sacrificial system to cover Israel's sins (Exodus - Numbers). This was a 'shadow' of the ultimate blood sacrifice of Jesus which would, not cover Israel's sins but, remit all the sins of the world.

 

  • Through His own blood sacrifice, Jesus of Nazareth was the "lamb of God" who took away the sins of the world (John 1:29, Hebrews 9:12-28, 10:12-22).

 

  • In the final, biblical book of Revelation, Jesus' blood is a mentioned as what: washed us from our sins (1:5), redeemed us to God (5:9), made our robes washed and white (7:14) and, enabled us to overcome the devil (12:11). Finally, Jesus vesture was dipped in blood (19:13).

 

Blood covenant is a major theme throughout the bible and we can confidently assert that there is only one way to approach our holy creator, and it is through blood (Hebrews 9:22). The bible teaches that God Himself put on a human body in the person of Jesus of Nazareth (1 Timothy 3:16, John 1:1, 14, 1 John 5:20). The primary purpose of Jesus' coming to earth was to offer His blood. It was Jesus' sinless, pure, holy, shed-blood that remitted the sins of the world (Romans 3:25). Through faith in Jesus' blood we can be absolutely confident that our creator will accept us (Romans 5:9).

 

It is clear as we study all of scripture that Jesus' blood is the only element which remits human sin. We can, therefore, be completely confident to accept the blood covenant, of the pure and holy blood of Jesus, as a fundamental prism from which to view, understand, and interpret all of Scripture!

 

The benefit of looking through the prism of blood covenant

Let us look at two examples of how looking through the prism of blood covenant will protect us from wrong doctrines.

 

Example 1

I once heard a preacher say to pastors that if they continued in sin then one day God would remove His Holy Spirit from them and they would go to hell. He used Matthew 7:21-23 as his proof text: not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast our devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity.

 

When we look through the prism of blood covenant we can easily see the error of this preacher's conclusion. The preacher is basically saying that if you sin 'too much' God will remove His Holy Spirit from you and say "I never knew you." But the preacher didn't define what was 'too much', which left the pastors in doubt as to their eternal security. The preacher's doctrine, or prism, is saying it is the degree of our sin which determines whether we go to heaven or hell, but without clearly defining what that degree is.

 

But the prism of blood covenant reveals to us that it is not the degree of our sin which determines whether we go to heaven or hell, or whether the Lord will remove His Holy Spirit from us. Rather, it is the power in the holiness of Jesus' blood which remits all of our sins, and our faith in that blood, which determines whether we go to heaven or hell. Jesus' blood makes even the vilest of sinners clean and acceptable to the Lord.

 

In the light of the prism of blood covenant, in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus cannot be talking about born-again believers who are trusting in His blood but are sinning 'too much'. Jesus must, rather, be referring to imposters and unbelievers who masquerade as His workers. That would also be consistent with Jesus saying I never knew you. It would be a lie for Jesus to say he never knew a born again Christian as Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and I know them (John 10:27).

 

Example 2

Galatians 5:19-21 says: now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Have you ever been guilty of one of these sinful works of the flesh? I used to read these verses and think, maybe I will go to hell. Because I am not perfect, I may have committed one of these works of the flesh, and I will therefore not inherit the kingdom of God (1 John 1:8). However, when we read these verses through the prism of blood covenant we know that Jesus' blood has remitted all these sins. So this scripture cannot mean that if I commit one of these works of the flesh I will go to hell; but it must rather mean that if I live in these sins I will not obtain the inheritance of the kingdom of God on this earth. The inheritance of the kingdom of God includes the manifestation of the Lord's promises into our lives on this earth.

 

This interpretation is consistent with, the prism of blood covenant and also, other scriptures which reveal that sin hardens our heart (Hebrews 3:13). As we receive our inheritance on the earth through growing the seed of the Lord's covenant in our heart (Mark 4:20), if our heart is hardened, through sin, we are greatly hindered in our ability to successfully grow the seed in our heart (Mark 4:16-17). Therefore, those who live in these sins will find it extremely difficult, or even impossible, to receive their inheritance of the kingdom of God on the earth. But it doesn't mean that if we commit one of these works of the flesh we will be condemned to hell. Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 that an unrepentant brother who was having incest with his father's wife should be deliveredunto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Paul judged this serious and unrepentant sin by excommunicating the offending Christian from the church, but did not condemn his spirit to hell.

 

Conclusion

Skilled communicators and preachers have the ability to distort the meaning of the bible and make convincing arguments which are not what the Lord intended. They can use proof texts, and persuasive words to deceive, if it were possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24). A time is coming were strong delusion is coming upon the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:11). It is imperative for us to not be led astray by these false Christs, and false prophets, who may even show great signs and wonders.

 

By accepting irrefutable truths, like blood covenant, as major themes of interpretation, and purposefully making these truths our prisms of interpretation, we are better equipped to detect when minor Scriptures are taken out of context to build false doctrines. Having correct prisms greatly assists us!

 

In the case of the two examples above, accepting the prism of blood covenant protects us from being deceived into living in fear and worry as to whether our eternal salvation is secure or not. The truth is, due to the blood covenant of Jesus Christ, even in our imperfection and sin, when we have faith in Jesus' blood we are assured of our justification and eternal life.

 

Prayer

Dear Father, thank you for this teaching on prisms of interpretation. Thank you for the prism of blood covenant. As I accept the truth of blood covenant I know that all my sins are remitted. Even though I am not perfect, I know that, as long as I keep my faith in Jesus' blood, you will never reject me. Thank you for Jesus' blood and its power to remit all my sins and make me acceptable to you forever. Help me to keep my doctrine pure by viewing all scripture through the prism of blood covenant. I love and bless you, in Jesus Christ name. Amen.

 

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Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...

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