The Deception of “The New Testament” Page
Bible Publishers have inserted a page into the most commonly read versions, and it has been a substantial contributor towards leading people into misunderstanding the gospel. That page is found between the books of Malachi and Matthew, and it typically appears with these words: “The New Testament.”
Although found in-between the pages, it should not be considered a part of Scripture, and there is nothing to indicate this page is given by divine inspiration. Why is this such a big deal and what has it done to bring doctrines of utter confusion about the good news of Jesus Christ? People have jumped to the wrong conclusion that the New Covenant began with the birth of Jesus Christ, and this leads to a domino effect of misinterpreting much of what Jesus said, and to whom his words were meant for in any given situation.
The three English words of testament, covenant, and will are all translated in Scripture from the same Greek word, and are basically interchangeable with various combinations used inside of English Bible translations. The book of Hebrews sums it up within these three verses:
“Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive” (Hebrews 9:15-17 ESV).
If you’ve ever been the beneficiary in someone’s will (covenant, testament), you know it didn’t go into effect until the death of the testator. That’s also how it was with the will and testament (or covenant) of Jesus Christ, it began with His death, not His birth. By His own words, Jesus came to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That was His purpose …to help them repent— that is, to have a change of mind by leaving behind the impossible works of the law which came through Moses, and turning to the alternative (Jesus). “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4). Unlike the first covenant, (non-Jewish) Gentiles would also be invited into this New Covenant.
My eyesight is terrible. I’ve worn glasses since I was in third grade. I joke around now about how I can use my prescription to view the rings around Saturn. One year I went to renew my driver’s license and looked into one of those viewers you put your face up against for the vision check. I squinted to try to focus on the letters, “U C Z I P,” I said in a determined but unconfident tone. The lady behind the counter replied, “Those are numbers on the screen.” What a dirty trick! My optometrist always used letters. Armed with this new perspective, I refocused and oh yes, now that I knew what to look for, I could see those same characters the way they were meant to be seen.
And so it is with reading the Bible, including those four books known as the gospels, from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you’re attempting to view Old Covenant teaching with New Covenant lenses, or vice versa, you’ll end up with a blurred view and an inconsistent message that often leaves people needlessly hungering and thirsting for grace, truth, righteousness and peace. Sadly, it often leads to believers thinking the following applies to them:
Sell everything you have and give it away. Forgive or you won’t be forgiven. Move mountains. Never turn anyone away who wants to borrow, and don’t expect it to be paid back. Cut off your hands, pluck out your eyes. Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Seek the kingdom and His righteousness. “Depart from me, I never knew you.” Carry your own cross. Count the cost and pay the price. Be a disciple of Jesus—hate your family. You are salt that lost its flavor and needs to be thrown out. You must confess all your sins to remain forgiven. Only doers of the Mosaic law will be justified. Righteousness and sanctification will (hopefully) occur gradually as you attempt to improve your behavior.
Those things are not meant to be directed at you to be applied to your life personally. We’re in the everlasting New Covenant; meaning that we’re in the Person of Jesus Christ, gifted with His life. His death and resurrection launched an eternal exposure to His unconditional love and forever forgiveness, where He took judgement upon Himself to set the captives free. He finished the job. You are free indeed.
For more on the teachings of Jesus from a New Covenant perspective, and avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Find It Here On Amazon