New Dispensation Disciplines
When we begin talking about any kind of worship, it always refers to a certain kind of discipline that we have to bring to our lives. There is a certain kind of way that we now have to think, act and behave, and there are certain things that we are required to do, as well as some things that we should let go from. All of these things are different kind of disciplines that we willingly choose to subject ourselves to.
We are all familiar with what the Old Covenant required from those who wanted to serve God and the different kind of disciplines that those early saints had to adopt and practise in their lives, in order to live well pleasing in God’s sight.
But how about the New Covenant (The New Dispensation) that has come through Jesus Christ? How many of us know what disciplines are required from us in this New Dispensation of worship?
You will be shocked to discover in reading this, that although we have entered a whole New Dispensation, many of us are in fact still practising our worship the way those did who were a part of the Old Dispensation! Our human nature plays a great role in this and also in how we perceive what will make us acceptable to God.
Through this short teaching on New Dispensation Discipline, I trust that the Holy Spirit will open a fresh Revelation in your heart and unlock the true beauty and essence of what Jesus had come to accomplish for you and I, and how the Father had intended for us to worship Him in this dispensation of Spirit and in Truth!
I trust that you will come to learn and see that -
* All things in the New Dispensation is accomplished by God and by His Power within us.
* The cross is the standard of our living and what makes us acceptable to God and nothing more.
* The Holy Spirit has been given to live in us by His transforming Power and that in yielding ourselves to Him, He will cause our lives to become Heavenly epistles on earth - flooded and filled with the Character, Nature and Personality of our Father, while bearing the very fruit of His Person and Presence being evident and evidently displayed in us and through us as men and women who are filled with His Own Life!
For the sake of clarification the following definitions -
* New Dispensation = New Covenant (Testament).
* Old Dispensation = Old Covenant (Testament)
1- Principles we will deal with
Beginning in the Old Covenant, we will discover that there was a great deal required as far as a variety of disciplines to be practised in order to be well-pleasing to God.
Besides the Law and the offerings, there were many other things required for example:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. - Joshua 1:8
… But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. - Psa 1:2
In addition we may think of specific prayer and fasting routines among others religious acts, that were all to be a part of worship during these times.
(Reference: Page 10 - See how these instructions are fulfilled in us in the New Dispensation disciplines)
The New Covenant on the other hand has one Supreme underlying principle from where all New Dispensation disciplines have their origin - THE CROSS.
* On the cross Jesus paid the ultimate price to obtain total victory in all things.
* There are no other offerings to bring God that will please Him, there is only an offering for us to receive, which is Christ (The Holy Spirit of the Father in us, received through Jesus the Son).
* Everything is complete in this one Offering, there is nothing to add to it, nor can anything be taken away from it. We cannot add anything by doing anything more than what has been done. All New Dispensation disciplines meet in this one Supreme discipline of the cross.
Galatians 6:14 -
But as for me, I will never boast about anything except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 - So what are we called upon to do in the New Testament as far our discipline in worship is concerned?
To answer this question effectively, we have to begin in the Old Testament to find out what God said about the New Dispensation, and how it would work and what we would have to do to become partakers in this New Dispensation. So let us examine some Old Testament prophecies where the Father speaks of the New Dispensation that would come and how it will work -
"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
"FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. "AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,' FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
"And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. "Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
…in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are being led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
DO YOU NOTICE SOMETHING?
DID YOU SEE THAT EVERYTHING THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN PERTAINING TO THE NEW DISPENSATION WAS GOING TO BE DONE BY GOD HIMSELF AND NOT US? DID YOU NOTICE THAT THERE IS NOWHERE WHERE HE SAID THAT WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING?
That is quite different from the Old Dispensation, is it not?
There is was all about WHAT THEY HAD TO DO - It was all about -
In the New Covenant however, we find that it is no longer our works that will cause us to be accepted - but that it will be God’s work alone, and that by Grace, that will give us access.
FIRSTLY THROUGH JESUS AS OUR ATTONEMENT ON THE CROSS - AND SECONDLY THROUGH HIS RESSURECTION AND THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT WOULD NOW COME TO ABIDE AND WORK IN US, to accomplish what we could never achieve in our own power or strength!
There remains nothing for us to do more than to receive what He has done on our behalf and to allow that to be worked out inside of us daily by His Power, as we continue to submit ourselves to the Authority of His Holy Spirit, working out His will by His Power within us!
WHAT A GLORIOUS DIFFERENCE!
Suddenly everything would now revolve around relationship with Him, rather than separation from Him. We would no longer worship Him from afar, but He would make it possible for us to share a whole different dimension in Him, where His Power would now be activate and Alive in us and where He would work in us, accomplishing His will and His purpose through us, enabling us to become co-partners with Him, dependent upon His Power to strengthen us and to lead us into His perfect will for us.
Now there may be those who will have some early objections to what I have stated, you may feel as though these statements are out of balance and leaning over to the so called “grace message”. You may feel the need to correct me by quoting the words of Jesus saying, “If you love Me you will follow My commandments”, and be disagreeable towards this seeming liberal approach of “having to do no more except to receive what He has already done” - What I would ask of you my friend is to finish this teaching with an open heart before God before making any objection! For what you are about to discover is not the lack of need to bear fruits of repentance - but rather how to become the fruitful field in whom God may produce them!
The purpose of this teaching is to bring us to the full understanding that the New Covenant does not free us from being One with God and with everything pertaining to Him, and also at the same time, that none of the things that Jesus commanded would ever be within the power of any natural man to perform! When the Penny drops here, we suddenly come to understand why it was essential for the Holy Spirit to come! For without Him in us, we would never be able to be as Jesus Is, in this world!
It is the Spirit of the Father, the Holy Spirit, Who makes all the difference and Who comes in His Person to work His Power in us so we may be able to be as Jesus Is, and so that the Spirit of the Father may be expressed in us, as we allow Him to work His Power in us.
Just take a simple example and read Luke Chapter six. How possible would it be for any natural man to live by these commandments of Jesus? For the man filled with His Spirit though, it will be easy to accomplish, because it will be the Spirit working in him that will cause him to will and to work according to the good pleasure of the Father! The Anointing will overcome where any natural attempt will falter and will fail - IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAD TO COME IN ORDER TO WORK THE WILL OF THE FATHER OUT IN US DAILY. HE IS THE POWER-SOURCE IN US THAT CONSTANTLY WORKS AND TRANSFORMS US INTO BEING WHO THE FATHER DREAMED US TO BE AND WHO JESUS DIED TO RESTORE US TO, IN BEING.
The entire New Testament Covenant is founded upon Grace, and a complete work of Grace - from beginning to end.
It is by Grace that we are drawn to the Father. It is by Grace that we are reconciled through the Jesus and through His work on the cross. It is by Grace that we receive the Holy Spirit as God comes to dwell in us in His Living Person. It is by Grace that He works in His Power, changing us and revealing the Glory of the Father in us - from one dimension of Glory to the next.
Ephesians 2:8 -
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:10 -
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are a people saved by Grace, a people of Grace, and a people in whom God’s Living Grace is actively at work from day to day!
3 - OVERCOMING IN THE NEW DISPENSATION
In the Old Covenant Moses was told to lead his people from slavery, then he was caught between Pharaoh and the Red Sea. Joshua was sent to defeat Jericho with no more than than trumpets and a shouting choir. Gideon was told to defeat the Midianites with only 300 men, with nothing more than torches, trumpets and jars of clay.
Are you seeing a theme appearing here?
What is it?
IT IS THE FACT THAT THEY ALL WENT TO WAR WITHOUT WEAPONS OF TRADITIONAL WARFARE, the battle was going to be won BY FAITH - It was to be GOD’S battle and GOD’S victory! They would have to depend upon God and upon His Power to deliver them!
This was to be a foreshadow of how our battles would be won in the realm of the Spirit and how we would not be called to depend upon our natural ability, but on the Power of God within us, and Him alone, to bring us through and to lead us into the things He has already prepared for us to walk in - It would be Him, all of Him without anything more of us to be added!
It would not be our great praying, our jaw-dropping fasting or our exceptional knowledge of the Scriptures - It would be our total surrender and deepen upon Him and upon His Power only!
4 - A NEW WAY OF OVERCOMING AND VICTORIOUS LIVING HAS COME!
the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
John 15:4 -
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,
"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
Romans 8:14 -
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
1 Corinthians 15:10 -
But God’s amazing grace has made me who I am! And His grace to me was not fruitless. In fact, I worked harder than all the rest, yet not in my own strength but God’s, for His empowering grace is poured out upon me.
DO YOU SEE HOW ALL OF THESE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES BRINGS US BACK TO THE PRINCIPLE OF GOD BEING THE ONE WORKING IN US BY THE POWER OF HIS SPIRIT, AND CALLING UPON US TO YIELD OURSELVES SO THAT HE MAY DO SO FREELY, CHANGING US INTO NEW DIMENSIONS OF LIVING AS THE PARTAKERS OF HIS GLORY!
He does not call us to go to war with our weapons, taken from His armoury, weapons of prayer, quoting Scripture, declarations or even binding or loosing - He calls upon us to do something far greater - He calls on us to become ONE with Him first! To be joined to Him so that these weapons will not be operated by us in our strength or ability, but by His Power! That it may be the Holy Spirit in us wielding the Sword of Truth and Him leading us in the warfare of prayer, that the declarations will not merely come from our lips - rather that they would be piercing Words given utterance from the Father’s heart - Words of Fire released from Heaven to earth that will not return but accomplish His will and establish Heaven on earth!
In one of the books the Holy Spirit inspired me to write “Revival Living”, I share the story of how a well known prophetic minister had a dream, she tells it like this …
“... In my dream I found myself in a place of total darkness. It was the darkest place I have ever seen. I was surrounded by powerful demonic forces, and found myself in the middle of a severe battle for my life. I fought as hard as I could, but it just seemed impossible to win, the battle got very hot and as I was fighting my sword was knocked out my hand. For a moment I thought it was all over, I was exhausted, and now without a sword. Then suddenly I felt someone pull me through a door and rescue me into a room I never knew was there. The room was the exact opposite of the darkness that I had just come from – It was a room filled with Pure Light! As I looked around me, I could see row upon row of different kinds of weapons. I realized that I had been brought into Heaven's armoury room. The angel that had rescued me, stood next to me, and told me to choose a new weapon for myself before I would return to battle. I walked down the many rows of swords, trying out one after another. Suddenly I saw a Sword that was different from all the others, it was a Sword of Fire! I walked over and wanted to pick it up, but as soon as I touched it, but it burned my hand and I instinctively let go! I chose another weapon and a few moments later I was back in the darkness, fighting off the enemy. This time the number of forces coming against me seemed to have doubled and was stronger than ever before. I fought all I could, but it was not long before I soon fell to my knees in exhaustion! Again I was pulled back into the room of Light. I chose a new weapon, hoping that this would give the victory and went back to fight, only to be defeated again, and again! After several attempts and failure and having found myself being rescued again. I finally walked back to the Sword of Fire. I knew that this would be the only Weapon that would be able to defeat the enemy and win the battle. I was determined not to leave it again! As I took hold of it, the Fire began burning my hand with such an intensity that I almost thought I would not be able to keep holding it, but I just did! Then something incredible happened! As the burning heat intensified in my hand, the Sword melted into my hand and became a part of my arm! As I stepped out of the room of Light into the darkness this time, ready to face the enemy – But There was no more darkness, and no enemy to face!”
This wonderful dream could not be a more vivid presentation of how we overcome the enemy in our own lives! Here we can clearly see and learn the secret of entering the Life of God in the Spirit – The Life satan fears beyond all else, that renders him powerless and puts him to flight!
We may have a weaponry full of all the right weapons, yet without having the Holy Spirit as our Ultimate Weapon and choosing to go with Him and in His Power, we may find that our weapons will be ineffective, no matter how holy they may be! God had ordained that it would only be BY HIS POWER that the battle would be won - WE NEED HIM and we NEED to YIELD IN HIM!
He has called us to unite our “self” (or natural man) with all it’s self-effort and ego to the cross, so that we may die to self, and so we may yield ourselves completely to obedience to the Holy Spirit, giving Him full control over us to guide us, lead us and teach us in all Truth.
We are required to discipline our outer man to become redundant in attempting to please God through performance. But to come to a place of “resting in peace” - (Aka - R.I.P), or dying with Christ and in His perfect offering and sacrifice of the cross. So that we may arise with Him in a new life where we are moved and led of the Holy Spirit in doing His will, rather than in doing things for Him.
This leads us to the place of absolute obedience and absolute surrender, where we no longer seek to please God from an external place, but where He is Alive in our inner-man and from there is able to perform His perfect will in us and through us, being completely yielded as serving instruments in His hands.
I therefore no longer have to attempt to please God or to come into His Presence, rather - I have come to the place of understanding that Christ lives In me in unbroken harmony and seeks for me to join Him in living in unbroken harmony with Him also.
This Union or unbroken harmony is not achieved by any effort from my side, but by fully yielding to Him Who now dwells inside of me to rule and to reign in me and through me as He wills to do so.
My fellowship has therefore become a Love-Union with Christ and as I constantly discipline my natural man to allow Him to reign and to rule in my inner-being, so He, from inside me, can express Himself both in me and can be seen, felt and experienced through me.
Paul uses the beautiful word - Communion, when he refers to our relationship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. This word is made up of two main root words - Comm - from communal (meaning more than one) and Union - describing two becoming one. This is the very reason Jesus came, so we may be restored to Union with the Father. The Holy Spirit was given so that the Spirit of the Father in us may bring us to the place of perfect Union with Him, where we would be joined together in Him to be made One with Him on earth.
5 - LEARNING TO LIVE IN SURRENDER AND IN RESPONSE TO HIM WHO DWELLS IN ME
Do you remember Paul’s glorious words to the church in Philipi?
Philippians 3:8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),
Philippians 3:10 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power out flowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope].
He had discovered the Spindle that everything else revolved around! In most cases people discover everything else except what makes it all happen!
When Paul discovered this great Secret - Christ within - He had found and discovered everything he would ever need to walk in Union with God! He no longer required anything else - in fact in comparing any other way of coming “to know” about God, He concluded that it was not even worth been mentioning. He considered self-effort as rubbish, compared to the excellency of KNOWING CHRIST WITHIN!
As we learn to focus inwardly, where Christ dwells and have Living comm-Union with Him, rather than trying to reach Him by our own works, you will find Him flooding your entire being with His Living Presence, and His Life and transforming you into His very Person, as He does.
From this principle of life in Christ, all things pertaining to my daily walk in Him becomes the fruit of our Union by pure surrender without any effort from my side to “try and be”.
He has paid the ultimate price to secure ultimate victory, so that He may grant me His victory as I live my life in His.
6 - WHAT DOES THIS KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM CHANGE AND PRODUCE IN ME?
*This means I am no longer trying to be holy, I am allowing Holiness to live from the inside of me and to change me into His Likeness and Being!
* I am no longer trying to overcome sin, I have changed my focus to where Christ dwells in me, and therefore there is nothing that I am paying any attention to that may cause me to sin. My desire has changed to live in the inner-man and in the process the things of the world has become tasteless and dull to me by comparison.
Christ’s victory is alive in me and has now also become my victory!
… for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
7 - THE FRUIT OF HIM WHO DWELLS IN ME
Obedience, praying without ceasing, studying His written Word, living a holy life that is separated unto Him, living free from sin and bondage - all of these things have now become the FRUIT of His Spirit being produced by Him Who dwells and reigns in me as I allow Him to do so every minute of every day!
IT IS ALL HIM! … ALL HIM IN ME AND THROUGH ME!
So where do I begin and how do I do this?
By simply choosing to live in Him Who dwells in me. By choosing to focus myself inwardly in Him Who is Alive in me. By crucifying my flesh from having any authority or say or trying to attempt to do things for Him and on behalf of Him, but choosing to be led - how simple is it to be led …
All it requires is the will to let go of all that we have and to lay ourselves in His hand and ask Him to guide us in our daily walk in our actions and in the things He would want us to do!
It equates to a total distrust in our efforts and total trust that in simply giving ourselves to Him, we are pleasing Him!
THIS IN ESSENCE IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS -
No more of me, but I surrender all to Him, so He may now come and live and rule in me!
*Now we simply have to move from a proclamation to living the reality!
8 - THE 4 ESSENTIAL PILLARS OF TRUTH TO ACCOMPLISH THIS
There are 4 essential pillars of Truth that needs to be established in your life in order for this to happen -
1 FAITH - Believing that what He says is true!
He is calling us to surrender to His Spirit to guide, teach and lead us daily. He wants us to lay the natural man down on the cross and to die with Him, so that He may live in us and that His victory may be our own.
2 ACCEPTANCE - Accepting that He has paid for us to be free from self effort and performance to please Him.
- There are no other discipline that we have to follow to please Him, except for the one discipline of a TOTAL SURRENDER - All else is the result of His Spirit in us bearing the fruit of Who He is in us and expressing Himself through us.
- There is nothing good we can offer Him.
- That He is the One Who is good in us.
- That as we live to obey in giving ourselves to Him to be guided and led of His Spirit, we are being changed into His Image and Likeness in becoming as He is in this world.
3 HOPE - That we know that in allowing Him to guide and direct us in His will, we will never fail to please Him.
- That His ultimate desire is not that we train and attain being like He is, but that we allow Him to Be Himself in us and in the process bringing us into such a harmony with Himself, that we truly are as He is, not because of what we have done, but because of Him being able to be Himself in us and through us in every area of our life and being, having being able to remove every obstacle in us, from the inside out, that would prevent us from being in Union and in harmony (Oneness) with Him!
4 OBEDIENCE - Following Him and His instructions!
Obedience means abandonment. It means casting away everything that disagrees with what God says and abandoning myself in Him and to Him to be led and guided in His will, as He wills and chooses to so lead me.
WHAT DOES HE SAY ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?
* He says that the Holy Spirit has come to take His place in us. That we should now obey the Spirit, have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, be taught of the Holy Spirit, be led of the Holy Spirit and have comm-Union with the Holy Spirit.
John 14:17 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him.
But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
John 16:12-13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
* We have to turn away from the previous external disciplines of the former dispensation and enter into that which requires no more works from us in order to be pleasing to Him, but requires no more than the discipline of a complete and total surrender in Him and a full and utter acceptance that He has completed all things that would be pleasing to the Father in His one sacrifice on the cross, which is now offered to us by Grace - that in it we may receive His Spirit that now dwells in us, having been re-United or reconciled to the Father, to now live our lives in total obedience and surrender and in fellowship with Him Who now dwells in us!
THIS AND THIS ALONE CONSTITUTES WHAT IT MEANS TO CRUCIFY THE FLESH AND TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND TO LIVE BY FAITH!
* No longer resting on our efforts or holding unto the things that can be seen and practised to give us assurance, but walking in the reality of the New Life of Christ in us, invisible to the natural man - A LIVING REALITY TO THOSE WHO LIVE IN HIM!
THIS IS A DISCIPLINE!
YOUR FLESH WILL LIKELY SCREAM AGAINST IT WITH ALL THE LOGIC IN IT’S POWER.
Johann and Theresa van der Hoven