This ministry in general and this series in particlar are dedicated to exposing professing Christendom’s god who, over the past 20 centuries, has evolved from the strict, no-options Lord of the Holy Bible into the wavering, any-way-you-want-it god of “the church.” One of his changes involves the part the Old Testament plays in church life. His evolution, though extensive, is not 100%, at least not yet. Though he “nailed the Law (Old Testament) to the cross,” he did salvage a few of its passages for use by the New Testament Church. Not surprisingly, they confirm what his church believes, Psalm 23, Isaiah 53 and nine of the ten commandments being cases in point.
According to the Holy Bible, only God has the power to create Scripture and do away with Scripture. The 99.99% of professing Christendom who have proudly assumed the power to do away with 99.99% of the Old Testament are warned in Proverbs 16:19: “Pride comes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before the fall.” Jesus prophesied the fall of the pride-filled, Law-destroying, Scripture-rejecting church. He said that not only would it fall, but “… great will be the fall of it” (Mat. 7:24-27). Jesus noted that the false church would be huge, that it would be filled with false prophets (Mat. 13:31,32), that it would fall, and that its fall would be “great.”
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasized that the Law would remain in effect throughout the ages to come, and that He was simply adding a spiritual dimension to Its tenants. He emphasized that man was not to alter His Law in any way (Mat. 5:18). That the Old Testament is the preamble to the New Testament was established by Jesus when He read an Old Testament passage (Isa. 61:1,2) during a synagogue service, then declared: “… this day this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears” (Lk. 4:18-21). In other words, what had been written by the ancients was then being fulfilled. Most of the Old Testament consists of prophecy about the New Testament era which began in 27 A.D. with the arrival on Jesus of Nazareth on the ministerial scene.
The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the Old Testament was in fact the “Scriptures” used by the apostles in teaching about the coming Kingdom of God. In 2 Timothy 3:15,16 Paul wrote that ALL SCRIPTURE was inspired by God and to be used for teaching, correcting and training in righteousness UNTO SALVATION. What constituted “all Scripture?” THE NEW TESTAMENT DID NOT EXIST AT THAT TIME and would not exist for another half century. Paul again notes this Truth in Acts 17:13 where he wrote about teaching “the word of God” to some men in Berea. Those men then “searched the Scriptures daily” to see if what he was telling them was true. The “word of God” and the “Scriptures” Paul taught and they studied was the Old Testament. When Jesus declared to the Father: “… thy Word is Truth” in John 17:17 He was referring to the only Truth in existence at that time–the Old Testament. In Ephesians 2:20 Paul stated that the New Testament Church was founded on the teachings of the PROPHETS and the apostles. Those teachings became the Holy Bible. There should be no break between the testaments in that they are all one Truth/Word/Scriptures/gospel.
In Jeremiah 31:31-33 the prophet wrote that God would one day establish a NEW COVENANT with Israel. In Hebrews 8:8-12 Paul wrote that He had done so. The New Covenant Church was the result. That covenant, one will read, included God’s Law (Old Testament) which God promised to write on the hearts of His people. Obviously, He would not do away with it. The Book of Revelation is prophecy about the final years of this world’s final era There are over 180 Old Testament Scriptures quoted in that book. The apostles frequently quoted the prophets in their writings, as did Jesus in His messages.
The gospel, we are told repeatedly in the Scriptures, is the good news about the coming Kingdom of God on earth where His Very Elect will spend eternity with Him. Proof of the importance of the Old Testament is the fact that THE GOSPEL was preached to and by the Old Testament prophets. In Galatians 3:8 we are told that “the Scripture” (the Word–Jesus–Jn. 1:1-4,14) preached THE GOSPEL to Abraham. In Romans 10:14,15 we learn that Isaiah and other prophets preached THE GOSPEL to Israel. In Romans 11:2 we are told that “the Scripture” spoke to Elijah. Do we need to be told what He spoke about? Noah was a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5). Where did he learn about righteousness? Recall that Paul told Timothy that the Scriptures (gospel–God’s Word) is good for teaching “righteousness” which, if manifested, will lead one to salvation. Obviously, the gospel and righteousness go hand-in-hand in that righteousness is the end result of obeying the gospel.
In Matthew 28:19,20 Jesus told the apostles to go into all nations, make disciples and teach them ALL THINGS HE HAD TAUGHT THEM. In Matthew 24:14 He told them to do that until the end of the age. Among the “all things” they were to teach was that the Law could not be altered. A man had been killed for touching the ark that housed the Ten Commandments. In John 12:48 Jesus said that He would judge every human being by “… the Words that I have spoken.” He tells us in numerous places that the Words He spoke were spoken to Him by the Father. We are also told that He (Jesus) had been the God of the Old Testament. See Jesus of Nazareth: God, Man or Godman? In Hebrews 4:2 Paul reminds the Hebrews that the gospel that had been preached to their ancestors was the same gospel that Jesus had preached unto “US”–the New Testament Church. More proof that the Old Testament is foundational for the New Testament Church is revealed in the fact that what was spoken by the prophets was recorded of “… OUR instruction” (1 Cor. 10:11). A final nail in the coffin of the “dead Law” proponents is found in 2 Peter 3:1,2 where the apostle equated the Old Testament with the New Testament in terms of power and importance when he told the people to remember “the words which were spoken EARLIER BY THE HOLY PROPHETS,” along with those spoken by “us”–the apostles.
Jesus Christ–the unchanging Word, Scripture, way, truth and life–preached the one unchanging, unalterable gospel to both the prophets and the apostles, who in turn taught It to the people. I wish that those who call themselves His brethren and His friends would believe His Words and obey them. Only those who do so will receive salvation upon His return. L.J.