Does God expect us to know the Old Testament?

It is written, 

“Others became priests without any oath, but He [Jesus] became a Priest with an oath when God said to Him, ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: You are a Priest forever.’” Hebrews 7:21

It is repeated In Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:11 that God said to Jesus, 

‘You are a Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’   

The reference that Jesus would be a Priest in the order of Melchizedek is found in Psalm 110:4  Note the emphasis, 

“The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’”  

We learn about Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18-20

Jesus is our High Priest, 

‘The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a High Priest who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven…’  Hebrews 8:1

The role of the high priest and his appointment by God is found in various sections of the Pentateuch in the Old Testament.  We can more fully understand the wonderful High Priest, Jesus, by studying these portions of the Bible.  

The question, does God expect us to know the Old Testament, is clear:  He does.  

That is why we have the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Both have as main focus, Jesus, our glorious Saviour and Lord.  With the help of the Holy Spirit we can appreciate our Bridegroom so much better.

One Gospel, one Book

The Bible is the most precious book of all time.  Why?  It reveals the hope of eternal life,  

‘…This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.’  2 Timothy 1:9b-10 

The Gospel testifies that eternal life came through our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  We might think that the ‘Gospel’ is only the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Amazingly the ‘Gospel’ includes the Old Testament.

‘Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God — the Gospel He promised beforehand in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His Resurrection from the dead….’  Romans 1:1-4

Therefore Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells us that the Old Testament is also the Gospel.   Jesus Christ, the omniscient Son of God, agreed,

“He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?’  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”  Luke 24:25-27

‘Moses and all the Prophets’ was a direct reference to the ‘Scriptures.’  That is the Old Testament.  At the time Jesus spoke, the New Testament was not yet written.  The Epistles also form part of the Gospel, 

‘His [Paul’s] letters also contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.’  2 Peter 3:16    

Thus the Old and New Testament are the Scriptures, the Gospel.  We have 66 books that together reveal God’s plan for man through Jesus.  Which ends in immortality for the elect, chosen, loyal followers of Jesus.  Revelation 17:14b  

The beginning and end of evil

I have often wondered why the Holy Spirit gave us the Old Testament?  There must be a reason because it is at least 70% of Scripture.  I found the following reasons for the Old Testament very plausible:  

#  The Old Testament reveals the origin of evil.  

  • If we ignore the Old Testament we don’t know what the origin of evil is.  So many apologists have to answer questions about why there is evil in the world?    
  • There is also a huge amount of information on the growth of evil.
  • God only gives us the wonderful news of how He will finally abolish evil at the end of this age, in the book of Revelation.  

#  The Old Testament describes what happens around us.

  • We see historical scenario’s of the Old Testament repeated in history and in the daily lives of individuals.  Even countries with their respective leaders follow either good or evil.  
  • Yet God never leaves His followers without hope.  He promises a new heaven and earth and tells us what it will be like.  How glorious it is that God clearly reveals the demise of the origin of evil, Satan.  We can look forward to the miracle of eternal life without any evil at all.  There will be only love, peace and harmony.  

#  The Old Testament proves God’s faithfulness.  

People often wonder if they can trust God’s promises?  The following are two of the many examples to show God’s faithfulness to His promises.  

  • The Old Testament covers more than 1,000 years of the history of the descendants of Abraham.  God promised Abraham’s descendants the land of Canaan.  They were exiled from their homeland the last time in 70 and 135 AD, but after about 1,800 years they again live in the land Israel.   
  • God promised in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.  Jesus did come, and He did rise victoriously from the grave.  He is currently seated at the right hand of God, waiting for God’s appointed time to come for the second time to wrap up history.  Then the eternal Kingdom of God will be established on earth and will last for ever.  

#  The Old Testament is part of the big picture of the Bible.

  • We want to discuss the history of the arch rebel Satan, against God – what he tried to do to thwart God’s plans, and what we can expect in future.  
  • We do not do justice to God if we skip the Old Testament and then neglect the book of Revelation.  Both are important to complete the big picture of God’s brilliance.   

Conclusion

The following inspired words by the Holy Spirit are true, 

‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness….’ 2 Timothy 3:16

We cannot ignore the Old Testament, because it is part of Scripture.

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