Archive for New Covenant

The Good News In One Word

The Good News can be summed up in one word: Grace!

In the first century, the congregations in Galatia who had once accepted the Good News were being subverted into accepting a counterfeit form of ‘Good News’ that involved conditional grace based on adherence to law and works. The counterfeit came from human-appointed authorities who framed their arguments in a very convincing manner. In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul helped alert them to the danger they were in. They were losing their Christian Freedom. By adhering to law, by striving to be righteous by means of works, they were falling away from Grace!

Centuries later, Martin Luther followed a form of ‘Good News’ that he was taught from birth. But no matter how much he adhered to Bible law, as he understood it, no matter how many works he performed, it brought him no relief. He was filled with guilt and fear at not being able to measure up.

Then one day he was mediating on Romans 1:17 which says, “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” It was then that he understood the Good News, as well as the relief and comfort the real Good News brings.

Later, Martin Luther wrote a verse by verse commentary on the book of Galatians, through which he detailed the Good News according to Scripture, that is one of Grace and faith, not law and works, about a direct relationship with God through Christ rather than human mediators and hierarchy and organizations. The truths in this commentary are timeless, for they are not original to this commentary, but come directly from Scripture itself. By considering it, we too can come to know the scope of God’s Grace that he extends through Jesus Christ.

Is the Jerusalem Above an Organization?

Is identifying the Jerusalem Above important? For some, it could mean obtaining a healthier spiritual outlook, drawing closer to their Heavenly Father, and fleeing from any form of idolatry.

Galatians 4:26 says, “But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.”

Who is this ‘Mother’? According to the May 1, 1957 Watchtower: “If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.” This is not ‘old light’ either, as evidenced by the 2012 convention part: Motivate Right hearted Ones to Love…Their Spiritual Mother.

By regarding an organization as ‘Mother’ just as God is our Heavenly Father, this makes the organization a Divine Parent, on par with God. Doesn’t this call to mind Jeremiah 7:18, “…the wives are kneading dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the Queen of Heaven”?

However, is the Jerusalem Above an Organization? Please consider the context of this verse, Galatians 4:21-31. Herein, we read of an allegory of Sarah and Hagar. Verse 24 says plainly, “these women mean two covenants”. Hagar means the Old Covenant, founded at Sinai. Sarah means the New Covenant, the Jerusalem Above.

Thus, the Jerusalem Above is not an Organization, but the New Covenant. In verse 27, likening the barrenness of Sarah to the promises found in Isaiah, we read, “the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband”. This indicates that the spiritual offspring of the New Covenant would far exceed the offspring of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant encompassed millions of fleshly Israelites. It follows that the number in the New Covenant would not be merely 144000, but exceed the millions found in the former covenant.

A proper understanding of the Jerusalem Above can deliver one from idolatry of an organization, and give one real hope that they too can be children of the New Covenant.