Let me explain Covenant Theology. They see divine History as follows.
So Covenant Theology see's no distinction between The Jewish age and the Church. They view history as primarily the outworking of God's plan of salvation
1. The Covenant of Redemption:
Where God the Father made a covenant (or contract) with Jesus Christ to Redeem mankind
2. The Covenant of Works The covenant of works was made in the Garden of Eden between God and Adam who represented all mankind as a federal head. (Romans 5:12-21
3. The Covenant of Grace The covenant of grace promises eternal life for all people who receive forgiveness of sin through Christ.
The problem with this view is that God's purpose in History is not just saving Men. A better view is that God's plan for history is to reveal his glory. He does this not just by saving men, but by fulfilling his purpose and revealing himself through his dealings with Israel, with the Church, and with the Nations.
Those who emphasize the Biblical Covenants are known as Dispensationlists.
Because in the Biblical Covenants you see the distinctions in different stages of human history.
The Dispensations are as follows.
The Dispensation of Innocence. (Ends with Judgement of Adam)
The Dispensation of Consicence. (ends with judgement of the Flood
The Dispensation of Human Government with Noah Ends with Judgement at the Tower of Babel.
The Dispensation of Promise with Abraham. Ended by failing to bring conformity to the will of God which laid the ground work for the Law. Judgment. Temporary loss of land and Bondage into Egypt.
The Dispensation of the Law Began with reclaiming of Land. And Ended with the crucifixion of God in Flesh in one sense and another at Pentecost. Judgment destruction of the Jewish Temple at A.D 70.
The Dispensation of Grace (The Church) Will end with God's judgement of the “Professing Church”
The Dispensation of the Kingdom
The subject tonight is “Sin consuming your Soul” Last lesson we asked the question: “Does sin have power over your life?” Tonight's lesson, just like last time will show people who are way past sin just dictating what they do. This lesson will show people who are completely consumed with sin. .
Last time we focused on how the sin of others can effect everyone around them. Also we focused on Christians who were consumed with sin.
Tonight we will see a lot of unbelievers who are consumed with Sin, but beyond that, do a lot of unjust things in the name of “Religion” Organized Religion with all of its traditions (whether scriptural, or not) have been responsible for millions of deaths. Many wars were started in the name of Religion.
And not just the more recent Jihad from Islam against the rest of the Western Civilization. In the 15 Century one of the leaders in the protestant Reformation John Calvin petitioned for the execution of Michael Servetus
Michael Servetus was a Spanish Theologian, and Physician. He rejected the Deity of Christ, and also the doctrines of the Trinity, and Infant Baptism.
It is recorded that John Calvin would right to him and try to persuade him. However Once Michael Servetus was not convinced. Calvin labeled him a heretic.
On 1553 on his way to Italy, Servetus stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons and attended one of Calvin's sermons in St Pierre. Calvin had him arrested, and Calvin's secretary Nicholas de la Fontaine composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court.
On October 21 1553 Michael Servetus along with his books was burnt at the stake. (John Calvin to his credit did plea for beheading)
However you have to ask yourself. Here is a doctrinal Believer. Who participates in having a person put to death. Furthermore it's not like John Calvin didn't embrace some false doctrines. One of the reasons for putting Michale servetus to death was he denounced infant baptism. Infant Baptism is some denominations is thought of as a ceremony to save their soul.
Others view it as a sign, just as circumcision was for the Jews. It's interesting because Covenant theologians advocate infant baptism for this reason. However in their arguments they admit that when Jesus came his ordinances replaced Jewish ordinances like (Circumcision)
The Sadducees have a problem with Peter and John because they taught the resurrection of Christ. They believed they were continuing the orthodox of Jediusm and saw the Apostles as adding to the scriptures by teaching on a subject that wasn't in the Old Testament. Furthermore They also had a problem with the Apostles teaching the people period.
They viewed themselves as the Spiritual authority at that time, and how dare the Apostles come and teach the people. In fact if you'll remember back in Acts 4:13 the Sadducess were amazed that the Apostles knew so much about Old testament because they hadn't even gone to their seminaries.
They called the apostles “Unlearned” or we would call them today “Uneducated” men. They didn't have “Mans” piece of paper saying that they were now certified to teach.
In Acts 4:3 Remember the Sadducees put the Apostles in prison over night after the Apostles healed the lame man in chapter 3.
So Acts 5:17 records the second persecution against the Apostles. You can only imagine, if the healing of one man (the lame man) caused so much opposition in Acts 3 and 4. Acts 5:15 Lukes writes that now “Many” were being healed. And the Apostles were gaining respect from the people.
Notice Acts 5:17. The sin of Jealousy. Is devistating. It is what motivated the Jews to Crucify Jesus. It motivated Josephs brothers to sell him into slavery. It motivated the Satraps to push to get Daniel thrown into the Lions dem.
Turn to Genesis chapter 4.
Compare that Acts 4:36 Barnabas' offering to the Lord to Annanias and Saphira's offering in Acts 5 1-10. They were trying to be percieved as 'Holy” in the eyes of fellow believers because they made it look like they had given all of the profit they made for selling their posessions to the Lord. Cain held back in Genesis 4. Unlike Abel, Moses doesn't record Cain as giving the “Frist fruits” (The very best of his fruit to the Lord. He also held back. So notice what God asks Cain?
6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ge 4:6-7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
God ask Cain a series of questions. 1. Why are you Angry?. 2. Why has your offering fallen short in my eyes? God is trying to get Cain to think through his mistake. 3. He then says if you present an offering with the right motivation, will I not accept it? He is showing if infinite Grace here. God know why Cain is angry, he is Jealous that God accepted Abel's offering and not his. And instead of listening to what God is saying he holds on to that Anger which is fueled by his Jealousy, which is fueled by his selfish offering. God however is giving him an opportunity to Repent. Notice what God says. I think this part gets over looked when telling this story.
God says If you do well, (Make an offering to me with the right motivation) will It not be accepted?
God is also pointing out, that there is no favoritism here. If you make your offering with the right motivation, I will accept your offering too
Turn to Hebrews Chapter 11. .
God then goes on to say if you do not. (Do not do what? Do not Repent, make another offering with the right motivations, then Sin is lurking at the door. Cain was already in sin. God is using an analogy to say that sin is already in your presence but it is about to CONSUME you.!!! Lets read on. Notice Cains response to God. When God asked where Abel was. He responds by saying “I don't know, am I my brothers keeper.” (or using common language “Am I my brothers babysitter?”
Sin had definitely consumed Cain. What attitude to have in the presence of the creator. One word and Could have had a lighting bold headed straight at him!!
God incidentally was asking a rhetorical question. Having all knowledge he knew what Cain had done. God in his punishment still had mercy. He banished Cain from his presence and from the presence of his family.. He also placed a mark on Cains forehead which was a sign of banishment but also of God's protection over Cain.
So one initial sin (offering to the Lord with the wrong motivations) sparked another Sin Anger, which sparked another Sin Jealousy of Abel.
Sin left unchecked can lead to a pattern of sinning. This same type of sin Jealousy is what is consuming the souls of the Sadducces. Just as it did with all the Jewish leaders when dealing with Jesus.
We saw last time with Achan in Joshua 7, and Now with Cain in Genesis 4 what sin allowed to continue without Repentance can do to the person consumed with it. And also do to the innocent bistanders around that person.
This can also serve as a lesson. If you know anyone (not that maybe in sin from time to time) but one who is always consumed with Sin. STAY CLEAR!! The innocent bystander just may be you.
So in this case we don't just have one person Consumed with Anger and Jealousy. We have a group of them, and they are people who are influential Spiritual leaders.
This has happened many times in the Bible and throughout History. However turn to Matt 27 12
So John mentions that Barabas was a robber. In John 18:40 Mark mentions that Barabas is a Murder and a terrorist in Mark `15:7.
Barabbas was one of these popular freedom fighters whom the Romans had imprisoned for participating in an uprising against Rome. Perhaps he was a Zealot since that party wanted to overthrow Roman sovereignty in Palestine violently. He had also committed robbery probably as part of his insurrection
Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Mk 15:7). Galaxie Software.
So the Jewish leaders and the crowd around them would rather execute God in flesh rather than freeing Jesus and executing a terrorist.
This is how far Anger and Jealousy has taken these Jewish leaders and their followers. It is like a cancer that has devoured the Soul.
This same cancer has infected the Saducees who have already been irritated by the Healing of the lame man in Chapter 3, and threatening the Apostles in Chapter 4 and throwing them in jail for the night. Hear stories of these Apostles still preforming miracles. They hear stories of them continuing to teach the people.
In Acts 5:18
Notice this is the first of three Jail door miracles
2 cf. Peter in 12:6–11; and
3. Paul and Silas in 16:26–27).
Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Ac 5:19). Galaxie Software.
Remember in Acts 4:31. The Sanhedrian (Jewish leaders) were helpless to do anything against the Apostles. The Apostles had become very popular with the people. And they couldn't find anything to charge them with. Also they had already went to Roman authorities and had Jesus crucified. The likely hood that so soon after that event they were going to get Roman officials to kill more of Jesus followers was not likely. Not yet.
5:22–23 Luke’s account of the temple police’s bewilderment is really quite amusing. This whole scene calls to mind scenes from old Keystone Cops movies. The people readily accepted the miracles that the apostles were performing, but their leaders seem to have been completely surprised by this miracle.
5:24 The major concern of the leaders was the public reaction when what had happened became known. They appear again to have been more concerned about their own reputation and security than about the facts of the case.
5:25 Eventually word reached the Sanhedrin that the prisoners were teaching the people in the temple. Probably they expected that the apostles had fled the city.
5:26 The apostles were so popular with the people that the captain and his temple police had to be very careful not to create the impression that they were going to harm the apostles. The apostles had become local heroes. Earlier Israel’s leaders had wanted to arrest Jesus but were careful about how they did so because they feared the reaction of the people (Luke 20:19; 22:2).
Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Ac 5:22-26). Galaxie Software.
5:29 This verse clarifies that the authorities had arrested other apostles besides Peter and John. Peter as spokesman for the apostles did not attempt to defend their civil disobedience but simply repeated their responsibility to obey God rather than men, specifically the Sanhedrin (4:19; cf. Luke 12:4–5).274
We as Christians are to respect Divine establishment. (Government, civil leaders, ) However the Apostles were directed by God to disobey the wishes of the Jewish leaders and continue teaching in the Temple. Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25)
5:30 Peter also reaffirmed that the God of their fathers had raised Jesus from the dead and that the Sanhedrin was responsible for His crucifixion, an extremely brutal and shameful death. “Hanging Him on a cross” is a euphemism for crucifying Him (cf. Deut. 21:22–23; 1 Pet. 2:24).
274 274. This is Peter’s fourth speech that Luke reported.
Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Ac 5:29-30). Galaxie Software.
In verse 30 Peter does the same thing he did in Acts 4:10. He lays the guilt of Jesus Christ's death on the leaders of the Jewish people. However he still offers Repentance to them.
In Acts 5:31 we see the reference to Jesus as Prince and Savior The Sanhedrin had asked Jesus if He was the Christ, and Jesus had replied that they would see Him seated at God’s right hand (cf. Luke 22:67–71). Jesus was Israel’s national Prince (leader, Messiah) and the Jews’ individual and collective Savior (deliverer). Jesus had the authority to grant a change of mind about Himself to the nation and consequently forgiveness of sins. Jesus’ authority to forgive sins had been something Israel’s leaders had resisted from the beginning of the Lord’s ministry (Luke 5:20–24).
Tom Constable. (2003; 2003). Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Ac 5:31). Galaxie Software.
So the Anger and Jealousy of the Jewish leaders already consumed their hearts. Not Peter once again (as he did in Acts 4:10) lays the guilt of the Crucifixion of Christ right on the feet of the Jewish leaders. Remember Matt 27:25