The New Covenant and July 4

In the United States, July 4th is the day, in 1776, when we signed the declaration of our independence from Great Britain. Now, well over 200 years later, we still honor those who took a stand for freedom.

The Holy Spirit has been speaking very strongly and clearly regarding a new stand for freedom. I am not speaking politically, and I am not speaking exclusively to Americans. The freedom the Spirit is speaking about is universal, no matter where you live at this moment in history; the Spirit is focused on getting the Bride of Christ to walk in freedom!

This freedom Christ has given us was worth dying for. Jesus literally died to make us free, to liberate us from the old system of death and to welcome us into the New Covenant of life!

The Bible says a lot about this freedom:

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” ~Galatians 5:1

“For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.” ~ 1 Peter 2:16

“Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.” ~Acts 13:39

The Spirit is not only speaking about the freedom we have been called into but also about the New Covenant that gave us this freedom.  In the coming years the Holy Spirit will begin releasing more teaching about the New Covenant than has been seen during previous generations. A tremendous revelation on this subject is about to be released through apostles, prophets, and teachers. Right now we are only at the beginning. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

In the New Testament, we are the ministers of the gospel (literally, “the good news”) of Jesus Christ. What is this good news? It is the New Covenant itself! Thus, as ministers, our job is to minister this New Covenant of life.

“He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.” ~2 Corinthians 3:6 (NLT)

Independence Day, is a significant national holiday. It New Covenant prophets are beginning to arise, and the prophetic movement is shifting with them. This move will be characterized by the nature of the New Covenant. It will destroy the old spirit of religion and replace it with healthy supernatural Christianity. Legalism will die, true freedom from sin will be released, gender and race will be fully equalized, oppressive hierarchies will collapse, servant-hearted leaders will arise, and apathetic pew-sitters will transform into a fiery army of the Lord.

What an exciting season! Let us align ourselves with what the Spirit is doing. It’s much easier to position ourselves to catch the wave as it comes than to miss it and try to catch up later.

Dear Holy Spirit, as Your ambassadors and citizens of Heaven, we do not want to miss what You are releasing upon the earth. We choose today to position our hearts for this movement that You are releasing. We welcome You to move in our lives, our churches, our families, our businesses, and our communities.

Prayer Directives

1. Holy Spirit align our heart with Yours. We want to be at the center of Your move.

2. Tune our spiritual ears and eyes to pick up on this move, to see it when it’s being released.

3. Please remove any remnants of the old system from our lives and fill us with Your New Covenant life.

4. We pray for the whole Church to be prepared to move with You, Holy Spirit, so that resistance would be minimized.

 

 

To learn even more about the New Covenant, sign up for the Welton Academy Supernatural Bible School. Learn more about it here.

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What did Jesus mean by, “It is finished”?

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog about a popular term, the “Finished work of the cross.”

This week I will follow up on the question that I keep receiving in response to that blog. The question is, “What did Jesus mean when He cried out on the cross, ‘it is finished!’”

There are basically two answers to this question, and I quote from Malcolm Smith’s work, The Blood Covenant:

  • The phrase “It is finished” was used in at least two ways in the days of the New Testament. In Roman warfare, the general would be positioned on a high elevation so that he could watch the battle taking place below him. From where he stood he could see when the battle had been won, while a foot soldier in the thick of battle would not know it. When he could see that the enemy had been routed, he would shout the same phrase Jesus cried – “It is finished” – and every other foot soldier would know that the battle had been won.
  • But the phrase has also been found written across the bottom of statements of account in ancient Greece answering to our “paid in full.” Jesus emerged from the spiritual death He died as us and shouted through the smoke of battle that the battle had been won and the sin of man had been cancelled, paid in full.

By Jesus crying out on the cross, “It is finished.” He wasn’t saying He was done; He wasn’t. He still had to die (moments later), resurrect, ascend, be enthroned, pour out the Holy Spirit (50 days later), and bring the destruction on the Old Covenant (40 years later).

He was saying that our debt was cancelled (Col. 2) and the enemy was defeated (Heb. 2).

“It is finished!”

 

For more in depth teaching, join the Welton Academy

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“FINISHED WORK” & BETTER COVENANT THEOLOGY

In the last few years, the term “Finished work” has become synonymous with the “Grace” movement and its teachers.

I am not writing today to defend or attack the “Grace” movement, and I know the adherents don’t even like being called that, yet it is the identifying name which people recognize.

This week, I would like to ask you, the reader, to think with me about the power of terms. Let’s take the “Finished work” under consideration.

The idea is that when Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is Finished,” that the work of redemption was completely finished and that as a receiver of this gift, we add nothing, we only receive. While I agree that we only receive, I take issue with the implied timing of the “Finished work.”

When I look at the work of redemption, I see Jesus’ death on the cross (including His yelling, It is finished), His resurrection, His ascension, His enthronement at the right hand of the Father, His pouring out the Holy Spirit to the Church 50 days later, and His judgment of the Old Covenant Temple in 70AD.

To say that Jesus finished His work at the cross is not an over-simplification; it is an absolutely tragic way to teach all that Jesus has done.

If Jesus were done at His death, then we never would have received the new nature by being united with His life in resurrection. There would be no hope of our resurrection. The cross released forgiveness, but the resurrection gave us a new creation life!

Without His being seated at the right hand of the Father, we wouldn’t have been seated in heavenly places. Without the Holy Spirit poured out, the church would be powerless (even more so!). Without His judgment on the Old Covenant Temple in 70AD, the OC would have continued endlessly (Heb 8:13) (and Jesus would have been a false prophet: Mt 24:34).

I am not writing to pick a fight. If “Finished work” is a helpful term, then go ahead, but I find it to be confusing to many people I have talked with.

I have found that proper terms for Biblical concepts are highly important. For example, when I released the announcement on April 8th Covenant Theology (BCT). I had thoroughly thought through (say that three times quickly!), the term and implications. I knew that Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism were the other terms and thus I couldn’t use them. Also similar terms such as a Grace Covenant would have caused nightmares because that is a sub-set inside of Covenant Theology. So I decided on a term that is clearly defined and carefully stated.

Now not everyone will stick to the proper terminology (BCT), but at least the adherents have a chance to make something new of this term and communicate correctly.

I hope for the sake of those beautiful teachers of Grace that God has raised up in this hour, that they would come together and find language and a way to communicate so that the maximum amount of the church can be set free from legalism, identity crisis, and the continual begging for forgiveness from a God that forgave once for all!

Blessings.

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Graduation Weekend Recap

I remember standing at the end of my dead end street last March, 2013. I was in the snow, filming the first promotional video for Welton Academy Supernatural Bible School. When we posted the video later that day, I remember praying, “Lord, I hope we can have at least 100 people sign up.”

Now 14 months later, we have finished our first year of school with 503 students, in all 50 states, and 21 countries!

Talk about “Above and beyond all you can ask, think, or imagine!”

A week ago, the Academy had its first graduation in Rochester, NY, at my home church. It was a beautiful blend of local students, as well as students from all over America and the world. We had students fly in as far as from Germany and New Zealand!

Joe McIntyre and Harold Eberle came and shared their hearts during the graduation weekend. The Saturday night of the graduation was literally in my top 5 of the most amazing church services I have ever been in! The manifest presence of God was tangibly thick and everybody was impacted.

Now that classes have ended for the summer, it’s a whole new adjustment. The students are adjusting to not having teaching videos each week, and I am wandering around saying, “It’s over, my first year is really over?!?”

Allow me to say, if you have felt a tug on your heart to join the school, please don’t hesitate. It has been profoundly life changing for every student I have spoken with. It is time for Christians everywhere to walk in the freedom that was worth Jesus dying for!

While we celebrate all that the Lord has done in the lives of our students over the last 9 months, we are diligently preparing for all that the Lord has planned this next year through Welton Academy.

Thank you for being a part of the journey!

Jonathan Welton

 

For more information about Welton Academy SBS, click here.

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CORE BELIEFS

Many churches and movements have a statement of faith. For the Welton Academy, we have Core Beliefs. These beliefs filter through everything that we teach and do. These are beliefs that we write about, teach about, and blatantly stand for. If you identify yourself with the following seven beliefs, then welcome home, you are a part of our tribe! We are passionately pursuing the truth that God has given us and believe that the time for these ideas has finally come. 

“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” ~Victor Hugo (1802-1885)


Identity
We believe that humanity has worth and value in the heart of God. Because of man’s tremendous worth, God sent Jesus to restore mankind’s identity as sons. Identity is integral to walking out one’s calling and position in the kingdom of God. 
(Read Eyes of Honor by Welton & Precious in His Sight by Eberle)

New Covenant Freedom
We believe that Jesus died to establish a New Covenant, which when received by faith brings each individual freedom from sin. This freedom was worth dying for and it is our heart that each individual remains free, this means that neither sin nor religion should re-establish bondage in one’s life. (Read Normal Christianity by Welton)

Supernatural
We believe in the modern ongoing ministry of the five-fold equippers of Ephesians 4. All the supernatural gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit are for today. We are completely opposed to quenching the Holy Spirit. (Read The School of the Seers by Welton)

Advancing the Kingdom
We believe that King Jesus came and established His kingdom in the first century. This kingdom has been growing and expanding since the first century, going from glory to greater glory. By the kingdom expanding, Jesus’ prayer is being progressively answered and it is becoming on earth as it is in heaven. (Read The Advancing Kingdom by Welton)

Victorious Eschatology
We believe that Jesus is going to physically return, judge, and resurrect in the future. In the meantime, the Kingdom of God will continue to grow and subdue the earth. We do not believe in a future one-world antichrist leader, a future Great Tribulation and a secret rapture. The prophecies of Daniel, Matthew 24, and Revelation were in regards to the events of 70AD. (Read Raptureless by Welton, Also review the Statement of End-Time beliefs below)

Fathering
We believe that spiritual models are necessary and important for spiritual growth. The widespread model of “covering” is a counterfeit of true relational fathering. There is no hierarchy in the Kingdom of God, but there are examples, which can be looked up to and can serve as foot-washers and encouragers to the Body of Christ. (Read Authentic Spiritual Mentoring by Larry Kreider)


Statement of End-Time Beliefs:
I believe in the optimistic view of the Kingdom of God being present and growing as was taught and believed before the “Darbyism” of the 1830s became popular.

I believe that when the New Testament writers spoke of the “last days” they were referring to the end of the Old Covenant Age, not the end of the world.

I believe that when Jesus spoke of His coming. He was using Old Testament Apocalyptic language to describe His coming in judgment upon Jerusalem in 70AD.

I believe that Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks was referring to Christ and completed by Christ. I do not believe that Daniel 9 teaches a future seven-year Tribulation.

I believe that the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD fulfilled the Great Tribulation, the Day of Vengeance, and the time of Jacob’s trouble.

I believe in the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the Final Judgment. I do not believe in a secret rapture of Christians prior to the return of Christ.

I believe that antichrist is a first century name for “Gnosticism” and perhaps other false teachings. I do not believe that the Bible prophesies a future one-world ruler.

I believe that the Book of Revelation was written in approximately the mid-60sAD and contains many predictions regarding the first century destruction of Jerusalem.

I believe that the “Beast” of Revelation is a reference either to the person of Nero or the Roman Empire (depending on the context).

I believe that the Israel of God, the Ekklesia, is and always has been, the true inheritors of His covenant promises. This is not based on race but faith.

I believe that the Kingdom of God arrived with Jesus’ first coming and will fill the whole earth in preparation for His final return.

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CORE VALUES

Core Values: How we do everything we do

Core Values are the “how” that the Welton Academy operates by. The Welton Academy is not an hierarchy; we are a team. As a team, these values influence how we do everything we do. The Welton Academy has seven core values.

Biblical
We have the highest respect for understanding and applying the Bible correctly. By having Biblical as a value, we have made a commitment to constant growth and change. We are willing to change our thinking, even hundreds or thousands of time.

Supernatural
By understanding the Bible correctly and living according to it, we have a high value for walking in the supernatural. To claim to have a high value for the Bible and not walk in the supernatural is a bizarre form of hypocrisy.

Relational
We hold a high value for being transparent, vulnerable, valuing relationships, and standing up for people. We will be relational leaders and leave a trail of Sons and Daughters behind us, not orphans.  

Character
We value the Fruit of the Spirit as much as we value the Gifts of the Spirit. We are not soft on sin, but we are strong in grace and love as the true answer.

Empowering others
We do not believe in the “Man of God, holier than thou, big man on the platform” model of ministry. Empowering others is at the core of everything we do. We believe that real Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers are first and foremost Equippers and Foot-washers (Eph. 4, John 13). Our heart is to see others step into their New Creation Identity, fullness of freedom and walking out their calling.

Freedom
We believe that Jesus died to give us freedom; therefore freedom should be valued and guarded. Everything we teach is intended to bring freedom through truth. Also, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom;” so our team believes that where I am, there is complete freedom. I carry a zone of freedom.

Investing
Investing is long-term thinking. This impacts every aspect of life. Although it may cost more, buying quality only hurts you once. It is better to do something right the first time rather than to do it twice.

We believe that time is an un-renewable resource. There is always more money, but there is not more time. Operating in long-term thinking is king thinking, whereas short-term thinking is slave thinking. 

“A Righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”
-Proverbs 13:22

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Understanding the Covenants

Currently, there are two main ways to divide between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant (also there is a third way which is much lesser known).

1. Covenant Theology: This view basically de-emphasizes the division between the OC and the NC. They would say that the NC is a Renewed Covenant, not actually a NC. This is the root system behind the Messianic movement and Theonomics.

2. Dispensationalism: This view divides between the Law Age and the Church Age (Law vs Grace). This view rightly sees that the NC is nothing like the OC and cannot be a renewal (Hebrews 8:9), but overall, it is a Biblically weak and flawed system. This teaching points forward to ending in the Laodicean Age and apostasy; then the wrath of God will show up again. So according to Dispensationalists, God poured all His wrath on Jesus on the cross, we now live in an age of grace where God remembers our sin no more, but then we are going to sin so much that God will get wrathful again and come pour out the Book of Revelation…. Yeah, that’s actually believed by some people!

New Covenant Theology: This very small stream of theologians have risen up and written some amazing books which devastate the Covenant and Dispensational systems, yet they present a third option which has many of its own problems. Basically they teach that Jesus came as a new Moses and created a New Law system. They gather up any directive in the New Testament and turn it into New Law. So in the OC there was 613 rules, according to New Covenant Theology, the New Testament has 1050 Laws!

As I have been studying and teaching about the Covenants of the Bible, I have been asked many times which of these three systems I hold to, my answer is none.

I have studied the works of theologians in all three camps extensively and have arrived at a completely different view which is yet unnamed.

Last week in my Bible school I finally went public with the name of my system of understanding the Biblical Covenants. I shared the following ten points below which show the pillars of my system. Enjoy!

 

Introducing: Better Covenant Theology (BCT), based on Hebrews 8:6: “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”

The defining characteristics are:

  1. Jesus’ birth fulfilled the Abrahamic covenant (and some of the Davidic covenant).
  2. Jesus’ death created the NC (at the cross, there was: No substitution, no punishment, and no wrath)
  3. The NC is between the Father and the Son (We receive the benefits by marriage to Christ. The two becoming one as we are united with Christ)
  4. His ascension/enthronement fulfill the Davidic Kingdom promises
  5. The destruction of 70AD removed the OC finally and fulfills Heb. 8:13
  6. Between the cross and the 70AD, there was a 40-year covenant transition for the church.
  7. The OC and the NC co-existed for forty years (30-70AD)
  8. The “End of the Age” and the “Last Days” are first century references to the last days of the OC and the end of the OC age.
  9. There remains no application of the Mosaic Kinship/Vassal Covenants. The feasts, Sabbaths, Civil laws, ceremonial, and moral laws are done away with.
  10. The Law of the NC is “Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

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