HAVE OLD THINGS PASSED AWAY?
Whatever the traditional mind-sets are with the majority in the church today, we can be assured they have not seen that the devil’s chief job is that of a traducer. During the time of his masquerading, he has been seen as everything except for what he is. This has attributed to his great success of inducing a multitude of erroneous theological concepts over the centuries. One such concept is how God’s creation will be changed from the image of the adamic man to that of glorified, spiritual sons and daughters of God.
Many feel the change will come at the first resurrection. Some believe they will be instantly changed when the trumpet sounds and then fly away to meet the Lord in the clouds. Others see it differently and express a belief in the manifestation of the sons of God, and all that necessary is to sit tight and wait for it to happen. It seems that a large number are under the assumption that to be in those elite ranks of glory, all they have to do is to merely believe in certain doctrines. This will hopefully qualify them for a place of celestial honor at the Kings right hand. This is primarily the same thought as those who embrace the rapture, the basic difference is — they don’t fly.
However, according to what we read, neither way holds the essence of the matter. Most assuredly, there is a resurrection (Rev 20:6), there is also a catching away (I Thes 4:17), and there will certainly be a manifestation of the sons of God (Rom 8:19); however, much knowledge seems to be lacking in all three of these doctrinal areas, which we will not be covering to any degree, since they are not our subject matter today. We believe the change from an earthy creature to that of the heavens is not quite the same as many of us had presumed it to be. Nevertheless, before we notice what it might be, we will first look into some interesting stepping stones that lead to it.
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God….” (II Cor 5:17-18) . From the surface this may appear to say, we are new creatures in totality, all things in our old lives have passed away and are no more. It also seems to say that everything has already become new. And furthermore, it looks as if the word does declare, “All things are of God.”
We have heard more than a few who had taught it in that manner, and I have not been totally guiltless myself (please forgive me for my shortsightedness). These well meaning brothers and sisters across the land have firmly said, “You are a new creation in Christ! All the old things have completely passed away, all those old things have become entirely new, and there is not one old thing remaining in your lives! If it doesn’t look that way, then it’s a lying vanity, it’s a figment of your imagination. For you see, the word says they have emphatically passed away and have already become new. Just believe what it says!”
I had not personally taught much in those verses, but it is possible for you to have heard me picking up the thought and saying, “All things are of God…now that’s an interesting subject.” However, I never would elaborate on this “interesting subject.” The reason being, if all things are of God, I was not sure how to deal with what “all things are”; such as, murder, rape, incest, child molestation, homosexuality, adultery, devil worship, human sacrifice, greed, hate, lust, envy, strife, and the list goes on. What it would boil down to, if all things are truly of God, every conceivable thought and action that the human mind can come up with would have to be a product of our holy God. That would be true if this is what II Cor. 5:18 truly says. However, there might be something hidden slightly beneath the surface of what we read. Let us, therefore, get our grammatical shovels and see what is there.
It is literally impossible to translate word for word from the Greek to any other language and get the full meaning of the thought. Therefore, since the verb tenses here is in the indicative, aorist, active, we will amplify these verses in order to convey what the ancient Greek is more accurately saying. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things HAVE passed, ARE passing, and SHALL CONTINUE to pass away; behold all things HAVE become, ARE becoming, and SHALL CONTINUE to become new. And all these NEW THINGS are of God.”
Praise God! It is all the new things that are of God! Not the totality of all things which would include every conceivable thing the lust and greed of man’s carnal mind might conjure up while under the influence of the traducer! The context declares what things are of God. IT IS THE N-E-W THINGS! Many Greek scholars and most Bible translations also render it as the new things. Only five out of the sixteen various Bible translations I have checked in my own library render it as the KJV has. The others unanimously say it is the NEW THINGS that are of God.
If we have any understanding at all about the power of the old things that were in our former lives, we would quickly know they could never be conquered except by God. This, of course, is a result of the godly, new things dethroning and taking the place of the old. In this same frame of thought, and also noticing the Greek tense (the indicative, present, active), Revelation 21:5 says, “Behold, I have made and I am making all things new.” It is a past and present of the old becoming new. Incidentally, aren’t we glad He didn’t say “I shall make all new things?” For if He was making all new things, He would have to get rid of us and make something new in our place. But praise God, he’s making us new! He’s making all things new! Let us now look and see how He is making things new.