THE NEW COVENANT: HOW DO YOU GET IN?
by Rev. Ernest O'Neill
What's the New Covenant? Well, you remember, John the Baptist pointed that out, he said, "I am preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of your sins but the one who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit", that's it. That's the New Covenant. The New Covenant is not the forgiveness of sins. The New Covenant is the baptism with the Holy Spirit that changes your nature, that does what the law was not able to do for the Jews over thousands of years. The Holy Spirit changes your nature.
You might say to me, "What do you mean baptized in the Holy Spirit?" The Greek word has the meaning of 'immersed' in it. Now don't sit there and say, "Oh you mean water immersion". It doesn't matter about water immersion or not but it's immersion. It means being immersed in the Holy Spirit, being washed inside and outside by the Holy Spirit. Being saturated by the Holy Spirit, being permanently surrounded by the Holy Spirit and supported by the Holy Spirit like water as if you were swimming in the Holy Spirit, utterly dependent on the Holy Spirit, that's what it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Looking to Him alone for all your real needs. Your heart, utterly dependent on Him and you know in your heart it's dependent on Him, that's what entering into the New Covenant is about.
If you say, "Well, what is it? How do you get baptized with the Holy Spirit?" Well, Paul explained it to those who would come for baptism at the side of the river in the first century. He would gather them around and he would say, "Now, do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life".
In other words, being baptized into Jesus is seeing that what happened to Jesus on Calvary, happened to us. That Jesus did not die just for the forgiveness of our sins. He did not just died to bear the punishment for our sins. In fact, you have all died with Christ and our old self was crucified with Christ and you all died to the elemental spirits of the universe that have enslaved you for so long, those chains and fetters of greed and anger and desire for position and desire for approval, those all were broken and shattered on Calvary in your life in Jesus because you were in Christ when He died. Your nature was changed in Jesus on Calvary, that's what the Gospel is.
It's in that sense that Jesus died for us -- not that God took it out on His Son like some madman who couldn't discern who was the real evil person, not that God took it out on His Son -- but He put us in His Son and His Son bore the pain that would otherwise have destroyed us utterly and yet at the same time God with His wrath burned out that old nature of yours and when He raised Jesus from the dead, He raised you up a new creation.
Now how do you enter into that? Believe it, believe it! That's it. Believe that, believe that; reckon yourself to be dead indeed unto sin -- that is to getting anything from the world of people and things and circumstances, to getting anything good or bad from them. Die to that, reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin. That's what sin is. It's not just crime or immorality. It's the whole power of life that operates independent of God.
It's the world of things and people and events, die to that, reject that and look to God as you did when you were in Jesus and say "into thy hands I commit my spirit. I receive what You wish to give me in this life and what You don't wish to give me, I don't want. I depend on You utterly, Father, and now I turn away from this world of people, things and circumstances and for anything that I need and I look to You."
Then loved ones, God will fill you with His Holy Spirit and cleanse your heart by faith. You simply put off the old nature because it has already been crucified. So you're actually doing something that has already been done in the spiritual realm, you simply stop doing, stop thinking and stop feeling the things that have burdened you for years.
If you say to me, "Brother, if I have difficulty putting off the old nature what do I do?" Loved ones, the problem is always a partial surrender, a controlled surrender, an incomplete consecration, an incomplete commitment --that's always the problem. Just go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to reveal to you what you're still depending on the world of people and things and circumstances for instead of God, He will show you that.
Yours may be the situation like the dear souls in Los Angeles 50 years ago. You may have to seek God in this prayer room, you may have to seek Him for hours, you may have to weep before Him -- but the Holy Spirit will show you because that's the only reason He's here on earth, to reveal to you the things that you have in Jesus and the most precious thing that you have in Jesus is a clean heart that the Holy Spirit is able to give you. And so when you come to the very bottom of your heart at last, there'll be a witness of the Holy Spirit that you're looking only to Him for all that you need. You'll have that witness in yourself and your faith will rise up. Your heart will be cleansed by faith and you'll be a different person inside and out as well. And so that you understand fully, there will no longer be evil rising up from inside.