Bible Study: Three Minute Message
"A New Level of Life" by Dr. J.W. Bernard
In the opening verses of the New Testament we see a man, sent from God. His name was John. He admits that he can only understand the coming Christ from a ground-level viewpoint. That is, whatever teaching John received from God, he understood from the natural level of the Jewish mind. He understood this new thing in terms of the old things that were handed down to him. Christ said, about John and his disciples:
"No man rips a piece from a new garment and sews it into an old garment; for he will mangle the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. No man putts new wine into old wineskins for it will perish. However, new wine must be put into fresh skins. No man having drunk old wine desires new wine, for he says, The old wine is good enough." (Luke 5:36,39)
To receive a new teaching, a man cannot receive it with his old prejudices, attitudes (racial or personal), viewpoints and illusions of the senses that life has formed in him. May I say it this way? He cannot receive new wine lessons from the old bottle capacity.
The new order must replace everything that is old. The higher level of life cannot be received by ground level experience. The new teaching can not be merely added to old subject-matter. Nor can the new piece be sewn into the old material. By taking from the new garment and adding it to the old piece, he will mangle the new and injure the old. The new garment represents the new teaching and life in Christ, which, a man must put on by faith and wear. The new garment must be accepted in it's entirety, not tacked on to the old garment viewpoints. Not only will the new life be ripped apart, but, Christ says: "and the piece from the new will not harmonize with the old." It just won't mix in the experiment.
This statement is about John's level of discernment of Christ after the Pharisees had taken an unfavorable view of Christ's disciples in comparison with John's. They said that John's disciples fasted and prayed while Christ's ate and drank.
In this statement, our Lord exposed the deceit of trying to examine the Kingdom of Heaven with an Old Testament viewpoint.
I worry about others teaching New Testament doctrine from Old Testament concepts. The doctrine of Grace can not mix with Old Testament doctrine. Tithing, baptism, suppers, days, or anything that is under the old concept cannot be added to Grace. Grace is a new garment that must not be sewed together with Old Testament garments of law. They both cannot mix or will not take adding to each other. If anything is added to Grace, it is no longer Grace.