We need to be told the truth about the New Covenant teaching. Theologians today teach there is a New Covenant which eliminates the necessity of keeping the Old Testament laws. This article will prove that this was not taught by the New Testament church and was a new creation stemming from the late 1870’s.
Bible Scholars admit that the teaching called the New Covenant was never taught by the early church nor was it taught during the Middle Ages. Cornelius Van Til, a covenant theologian, admits, “the idea of covenant theology has only in modern times been broadly conceived.” Louis Berkhof, another covenant theologian, wrote, “In the early Church Fathers the covenant idea is not found at all.” Dr. Ryrie points out:
“It [covenant theology] was not the expressed doctrine of the early church. It was never taught by church leaders in the Middle Ages. It was not even mentioned by the primary leaders of the Reformation. Indeed, covenant theology as a system is only a little older than dispensationalism. That does not mean it is not biblical, but it does dispel the notion that covenant theology has been throughout all church history the ancient guardian of the truth that is only recently being sniped at by dispensationalism”.
Covenant theology does not appear in the writings of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, or Melanchthon… There were no references to covenant theology in any of the great confessions of faith until the Westminster Confession in 1647, and even then covenant theology was not as fully developed as it was later by Reformed theologians. The covenant (or federal) theory arose sporadically and apparently independently late in the sixteenth century.
The New Covenant teaching was mainly credited to the teachings of John Darby in the 1900’s. John Darby taught that the keeping of the Old Testament laws ended with the death of the Messiah. He believed that the Messiah started a new church age or Dispensation. (Dispensations means a new church age.) He taught a new church age began with the New Testament and the Messiah. Dr. Darby says,
“They class together the destruction of the temple, the coming of Christ, and the end of the age. We must observe, that here the end of the age is the end of the period during which Israel was subject to the law under the old covenant: a period which was to cease, giving place to the Messiah and to the new covenant.” (John Darby, John Darby’s Synopsis of the Old and New Testaments)
However the Americans churches began in the 1800’s toying with this same idea. The Bible Conference Movement Beginning in the 1870s, various Bible conferences began to spring up in various parts of the United States. These conferences helped spread Dispensationalism. The Niagara conferences (1870—early 1900s) were not started to promote dispensationalism but dispensational ideas were often promoted at these conferences. The American Bible and Prophetic Conferences from 1878—1914 promoted a dispensational theology. The Bible Institute Movement, in the late 1800s, several Bible institutes were founded that taught dispensational theology including The Nyack Bible Institute (1882), The Boston Missionary Training School (1889), and The Moody Bible Institute (1889).
But it was the pushing of the Scofield Reference Bible that would change the teachings in the American pulpits. C. I. Scofield, a participant in the Niagara conferences, formed a board of Bible conference teachers in 1909 and produced what came to be known as, the Scofield Reference Bible. This work became famous in the United States with its theological annotations right next to the Scripture. This reference Bible became the greatest influence in the spread of dispensationalism. Scofield had the financial backing of some very powerful, weathy bankers called the Lotus Club, who would promote his Bible. Samuel Gompers, Fiorello LaGuardia, Bernard Baruch and Jacob Schiff FINANCED THE SCOTFIELD BIBLE. They gave Scofield the financial support he needed to get his reference Bible into the hands of the American pastors. By the 1920’s almost all pastors were using the Scofield Reference Bible. After World War I, Dallas Theological Seminary formed many dispensational Bible schools.
Joseph Canfield wrote the biography of Scofield in a book entitled “The Incredible Scofield And His Book”. Before are excerpts from the book:
“The admission of Scofield to the Lotos Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C. I. Scofield.”
In “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” Prof. David W. Lutz claims, “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas city lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.” Canfield agrees that Scofield’s theology was “most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects – the Zionist Movement.”
This was the birth of the New Covenant teaching in America!!
The Messiah and the Disciples Kept the Old Testament
Most christians believe that the disciples and early church leaders taught the New Covenant. However, there is no evidence of that. This teaching springs from the false teachings by the church leaders in the 1800 and 1900’s.
The disciples as well as Paul kept the Old Testament laws. In fact after the Messiah died, they were in the temple everyday. In fact the Apostle Paul said the following, notice that Paul kept the Old Testament laws.
Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
When Paul came to Jerusalem, he was greeted by the disciples. The disciples told him that Jews believe you teach against the law. Show them you keep the law by taking four men to the temple and conduct a vow sacrifice with them. Then the Jews will see that you keep the law.
(GNB)Act 21:21 They have been told that you have been teaching all the Jews who live in Gentile countries to abandon the Law of Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or follow the Jewish customs.
Act 21:22 They are sure to hear that you have arrived. What should be done, then?
Act 21:23 This is what we want you to do. There are four men here who have taken a vow.
Act 21:26 So Paul took the men and the next day performed the ceremony of purification with them. Then he went into the Temple and gave notice of how many days it would be until the end of the period of purification, when a sacrifice would be offered for each one of them.
The disciples kept the Saturday Sabbath 85 times in the New Testament. They never taught against the Old Testament laws. In fact the disciples were in the temple teaching daily.
Act 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
In fact Timothy said in 2Ti_3:16 ” All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ”
He was referring to the Old Testament. The New Testament had not been canonized yet!!!
The Messiah said it best,
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
The Messiah says NOTHING WILL CHANGE IN THE LAW UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASSES AWAY!! Can you make it any clearer?
The Teaching on Grace in the New Testament
Many point to Paul’s teachings on grace to proof that we no longer have to keep the law. The word of “grace” is the New Testament is not the same as the word for “grace” in the Old Testament. The Word for “Grace” in the Old Testament has a TOTALLY DIFFERENT MEANING!
Strong’s # G5485 χάρις charis khar’-ece means “divine influence upon the heart”.
Strong #H2580 חן chên khane meaning “kindness favor or Acceptance”
Let me explain Grace in the New Testament. Grace was the divine inspiration that God gives us. We can change because of Grace. God gives us Grace which is divine inspiration or the desire to change. It is a godly gift and without it it is impossible to change. God has to give you a desire in your heart to be able to make any change. People change only for two reasons — pain either drives you to change or God gives you the ability to change. The latter is Grace — the God-given ability to change. God either drives you to your knees through trials and pain or he gives you the ability to change. That is why the Messiah told us it is impossible to change on your own.
Now Read 1Co 15:10 But by the grace [God’s inspiration] of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Now notice Paul is saying that God’s inspiration gives him to ability to want to change. God puts in you the desire to change. That is Grace –It is given through the Holy Spirit.
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