The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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The New Covenant: The Days Have Come
By Patrick B. Woods
 
Part 2
 
THE PEOPLE OF THE COVENANT
“with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”
 

The New Covenant was promised to be made “with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” It was to be made with them and not the house of Nebuchadnezzar, not the house of Caesar, not the house of any other. The covenant would unite Israel and Judah and it would be made with them. God has always been focused upon His people. They are foremost in His mind. He is the “King of saints” (Rev. 15:3), and known in Jeremiah’s day as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For the promise of blessing was made to them and their seed.
 
“They are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called.’ That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, ‘At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son’” (Rom. 9:6-9).
 
This does not exclude all others from being in the New Covenant but it does mean that they must be associated with this house. For “salvation,” as Jesus said, “is of the Jews” (Jn. 4:22). And to them, Peter preached saying, All the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying, unto Abraham, “And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities (Acts 3:24-26).
 
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:23). In other words, salvation is for the Jews first, and also the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16). So, What of the Gentiles? While it is common among many groups to have a strong disdain for Israel, you will not find this attitude portrayed in the Scriptures. If it weren’t for the house of Israel and the house of Judah, we would have no salvation. But through their fall, in order to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:11). The Jews that fell, fell because of unbelief (Heb. 3:19), and the Gentiles that came in, came in through faith. Therefore, those who are Gentiles according to the flesh are exhorted, “do NOT boast against the branches” (Rom. 11:18). You will say then, “Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Rom. 11:19-23, NKJV).
 
All those who continue in the goodness of God and continue to live by faith in the Son of God will be saved. And Jews, if they do not continue in unbelief will be saved as well. But it is clear that both Jew and Gentile are and will be saved, not by their nationality or fleshly heritage but by their faith in God. This is seen in Abraham who was justified before being circumcised that he might be the father of the faithful, both of the circumcised Jews and the uncircumcised Gentiles. For the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham . . . For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:8-9, 26-28).
 
The promise of blessing made to Abraham and to his seed is fulfilled in Christ and anyone who is “in Christ.” “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). In the New Covenant this has happened as God has united all believers in Christ, and by Christ, is blessing them and bringing them to Himself.
 
They Will Be Reconciled to God as One New Man. The task of reconciling man to God as dearly beloved children is accomplished in the New Covenant. In the covenant all things, including all believers, are gathered together in One, even Christ (Eph. 1:9). The people, who had gone astray, are gathered to Shiloh (Gen. 49:10), that Great Shepherd and Bishop of souls (I Pet. 2:25). They are hearing the voice of the Prophet (Deut. 18:15) and following Him as sheep follow their shepherd (Jn. 10:3-5). Whether Jew or Gentile, those who hear His voice come to Him, for He has spoken kindly to them. His message was one of nearness, one of acceptance and salvation: one of peace.
 
For He Himself is our peace . . . so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross . . . and He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:14-18, NASB).
 

THE DAYS HAVE COME

Yes, brethren, the days have come! The prophets who prophesied spoke of this great salvation but without knowing the time in which it would come or the man in whom it would be (I Pet. 1:10-11). But now the days have come. Christ has suffered, and glory has followed! We are now living in the day of salvation. “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2).  Heaven is open and prepared. God is now accepting men who believe the record that He has given concerning His Son (I Jn. 5:10). That which was once a mystery has now been made known. And now we can preach the unsearchable riches of Christ “to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:10-11).
“Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Rom 16:25-27).
 
There is now no need for ignorance. There is no need for fear. There is no need for mediocrity. But rather there is a great cause for rejoicing. Draw near brethren. Redeem the time (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). Behold, see the salvation of your God and go, gather the spoils of victory - they’re yours! Let the word go out. Lift up your voices with one accord. “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Rev. 12:10). “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him that heareth say, ‘Come.’ And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). –Pat Woods
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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).