The Power of The Old Testament

"For whatsoever things were written
aforetime were written for OUR learning,
  that we through patience and comfort of
 the scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4)

I would like to take a few moments here to plainly demonstrate to you why the study of the old testament scriptures are so vitally important to you and I, and to all who would learn how to be led by the blessed Spirit of God; the one guide that God has provided for us to lead us from here to eternity. First of all let me say that there is no question that the importance of thoroughly studying and understanding the old testament has been greatly devalued to this modern generation of the body of Christ. I want to explain to you why this is so, and how that the explanation for why the OT scriptures are disesteemed, is also the explanation of why they are so important.

First of all, the misunderstanding within the body of Christ about the new birth experience, which is the baptism of the holy Ghost, certainly lays the foundation for this lack of esteem for the OT writings. Now I realize that I just inflicted confusion upon almost everyone reading this article, but I can assure you that this confusion is for your good, because most likely you are believing the wrong thing about the new birth; and finding out that you are wrong is really more conviction than it is confusion. The real confusion is in believing that something apart from the Spirit baptism with the evidence of speaking with other tongues is the new birth experience. Maybe you would like to read a few of our articles that explain detail about the new birth, which articles are absolutely and positively totally consistent with new testament scripture. A good place to start would be with this short FAQ's page Q & A: "When and how is a person born again?" When the new birth is properly understood, then anyone reading the old testament can understand that Israel, and those who were the patriarchal fathers of Israel (Seth, Noah, Abraham, etc.), are a shadow type of people who are now in the one worldwide Congregation of God through the experience of being baptized with the Spirit (I Cor. 12:13).

With these things in mind, we can understand who the "we" are in our text scripture, wherein the Apostle informs us that the OT scriptures "were written for our learning." In fact, our text scripture alone should be enough to boost the old testament scriptures right to the top of our study and learning priorities, if we actually believe what we are reading. The significance of understanding that the holy Ghost baptism is the the new birth experience, is that when we receive this glorious experience, what we actually receive is the old testament itself, written or engraved upon our hearts (Heb. 10:14-16 with II Cor. 3:3). This is what the Apostle Paul was saying in Rom. 8:4: "...That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." In short order let me just say that the Spirit baptism is the law, or testament of God, infused into our spiritual being. Actually the law was and is the true will of God which comes from the heart and mind of God; and the holy Ghost is in fact that which constitutes the heart and mind of God! Praise God, how I feel that statement! Everything that was contained in the law; all of the commandments written in stone, and on the pages of the scribes; as well as all of the ordinances of worship and service which were in carnal, ceremonial, and symbolic form; are now engraved into the hearts and spirits of everyone who receives the holy Ghost baptism. So when we read the old testament, we are reading the details about what we have received into our hearts. So naturally (or spiritually I should say), when we study the old testament, we get to know the "new creature" that we've become, because the new creature that we've become is one who is made according to the law, or will of God that has been instilled into our spirit. Again the apostle confirms this to us: "And [we] have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:" (Col. 3:10).

With these things in mind let's consider the following words of Jesus: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Mat. 5:17,18). And the Apostle Paul echoed these things in his epistle to the Romans: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Rom. 3:31). So seeing that the law, which in reality is the old testament, has not gone away, but rather has become empowered in us; it makes good sense that the study of the OT is very significant and vital to our faith, as our text scripture also states. And let me note here that the entire OT writings revolve around the law, and God's dealings with Israel, in regard to how they valued or devalued His law. This is where statements like the following sobering new testament warning come from: "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb. 3:19 & 4:1). The apostle was warning us to not repeat the pattern of Israel, who failed to enter the promised land after being delivered from Egypt, because of unbelief. And another statement exactly like this one is in I Cor. 10:5,11: "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness...Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."

I would like to make just a couple of final points, in an effort to give you some more motivation to study the old testament. It would be wise for us to consider that the Apostles preached the gospel of Christ strictly from the old testament writings. There were no new testament scriptures to preach Christ from, because these men were the ones who wrote the new testament scriptures, from revelation knowledge about the old testament scriptures, from which they preached Christ. In fact a large portion of the NT writings are either quotes from the old testament, or direct references to it. In other words, the new testament is the old testament, and vice versa. And last but certainly not least, we are left with the proven fact that throughout history it has been well documented that history repeats itself. The reason for this is very simple: Man is still the same creature he's always been, God is still Who and What He's always been, and God has always governed and judged the affairs of men. Man has yet to learn one of the most proven lessons of all time - 'You can't continue to do things the same way, and expect to get different results.' And it is certain that God's dealings with His people today, and His people's dealings with Him, are mirrored by the relationship between God and Israel in the old testament writings. And in all reality the truths of the doctrine of Christ can still be more effectively established through the old testament writings and events, than by new testament scripture alone. In conclusion, I feel that just the little bit that we've set forth here shows us that the old testament is as relevant as it gets for the faith and understanding of God's people today. May God bless you richly in your studies and prayer to seek His glorious face! Amen.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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