Is the Old Testament Now Obsolete? :: By Gene Lawley

There seems to be a strong and purposeful trend to cancel out the Old Testament of the Bible since Christ has come into human history. It takes off on a theme that Christ took charge, and all prophecy of the future from past utterances of the prophets are no longer relevant.

It takes on the appearance of a “Kingdom Now” theology, and the next thing to come is “a new heaven and new earth coming down to replace the present heaven and earth. Chronologically, that won’t happen until the end of the Millennium, at least one thousand and seven or more years, according to Revelation 21:1.

Those false teachers cancel out the coming of Jesus to “ingather” His body of believers just before the seven years of the tribulation begins, now looming on the immediate horizon. That missing 70th week of Daniel, told by the angel Gabriel to Daniel and reported at Daniel 9:23 and following, can be none other than the seven-year tribulation period.

A major fault that openly defies Scripture is their claim that Jesus did not die on the cross for the whole world but just for those who believe. Scriptures that deny that claim are readily seen, as in 1 John 2:2: “And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the whole world.” John 3:16 is even changed to mean, “For God so loved the world (of believers) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Does “whosoever” mean anyone, or how did that “world of believers” get belief before Christ died for them?

Furthermore, Romans 5:6 says, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly!” He died for sinners, and I was one of that ungodly bunch. Romans 5:8 further establishes that His death came first, before the believers, saying, “But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

But Romans 5:18 then brings the reason that the death of Christ was necessary in order that mankind would have access to everlasting life by choice if he wanted it: “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”

An available gift is not automatically effective until it is accepted, so this does not mean all mankind is saved. Mankind must choose Christ’s provision of redemption. He is that gift for salvation. And twisting Scriptures to mean something else is obviously promoting a false doctrine. The Scripture is clear in 1 John 5:11-12: “And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” The gospel is an Old Testament promise.

Another Old Testament command also speaks out. When did the Great Commission actually begin? In Psalm 107:2 it says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”

The foundations of our faith are told in the Old Testament, and God never made a promise He did not intend to fulfill. It has been reported that at least 300 or more prophecies and promises of Jesus and His coming into the world have been fulfilled.

Paul, the Apostle, was well-versed in the Holy Scriptures and said so in his testimony in Philippians 3. His declaration in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 was based on Old Testament Scriptures, for none of the New Testament writings had been brought into formal observance yet.

In his epistles, Paul made two worthy observances that testify to the value of the Old Testament in our theology today, In 1 Corinthians 10:11, he reported this: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

God has not changed one bit since the beginning, before time began and eternity past was incomprehensible to mortal minds.

Not only does Paul point us to the Old Testament for examples of sinfulness we must avoid, but he also looks there for the Lord’s affirmations of positive qualities. Romans 15:4-5 tells us of those: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.”

The shedding of blood as the requirement for salvation is recorded in Genesis 3 that is later codified in the law in Leviticus 17:11, saying, “The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for sin, for it is the blood that makes the atonement.”

It is further established in Hebrews 9:22 with this: “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” And, of course, that final blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as One without sin confirmed and fulfilled that law in its perfection.

Concerning the fulfillment of “every jot and tittle of the law,” as claimed of Christ, we see in Hebrews 4:15 how His response to temptations reveals His deity: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Two passages that are so detailed of the coming Messiah’s crucifixion cannot be labeled as no longer relevant Scriptures. Psalm 22 is the first one, and Isaiah 53 is the other one.

That first one details the horror of dying on a cross. You may recall that account in the gospels when Jesus was nailed to the cross on the third hour, that is, at 9:00 a.m. Then, at the ninth hour, or 3:00 p.m., He was pronounced dead. He was hanging there for six hours!

He had just said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” then, “It is finished,” and, “And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last.”

It is an unimaginable and horrible way to die, hanging nailed to an upright cross for six hours, and for the two thieves, having their legs broken to complete their deaths. But for Jesus, a prophecy was fulfilled that none of His bones would be broken.

The Isaiah 53 prophecy tells of His suffering at the hands of the religious leaders as “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” and His hanging between two thieves. It is too truthful to be relegated to nothing worth remembering, as it seems this new “revelation” is promoting.

Another prophecy that stands out in its fulfillment is found in Psalm 16:9-10, saying, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

In John 11, in the account of the death of Lazarus, his sister cautioned Jesus about the condition of her brother’s body, for it had been in the grave for four days, and she said, “now He stinks.” That is, his body had begun to experience corruption.

Thus, Jesus had maintained that He would follow the example of Jonah, who had been in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights. Jesus said, “I will be three days and three nights in the belly of the earth.” Then Peter writes that “He went and preached to the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19)

One of the less recognized considerations of the Old Testament is its place in the four revelations of God to mankind. His first way of identifying Himself was by His audible voice, for no man can see God face to face and live, as the Word declares. And encounters with heavenly beings by people that are recorded in the Old Testament show their responses of great fear as they fall on their faces.

Secondly, He revealed Himself in the law. How was that, you wonder? As Jesus is later identified, it is the character of His being, as He fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law.

Then, Hebrews 1 reveals Him in the person of His only begotten Son, as Jesus declared to Phillip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” and, “Before Abraham was, I AM!”

Finally, He comes into the world at the end of those seven years of tribulation and reigns for a thousand years from Jerusalem, “ruling with a rod of iron” in a theocracy not known to mankind from their prior history.

The “whole counsel of God” is a principle of biblical study that tests whether or not the student is allowing for contradictions that might exist in his basic doctrine discoveries. Just as the Bereans did, as told in Acts 17:11, the Old Testament is necessary to learn of the whole counsel of God. Proverbs is a book of great wisdom with such truths as, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

And, Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will guide your steps.”

When Jude wrote his letter, he was going to write about their common salvation, but he “found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Since he quoted Peter’s second letter, dated about 66 A.D., Jude possibly wrote his document not long after that time.

Those New Testament letters were not based on new writings, per se, but had to have been founded on Old Testament Scriptures. As the Bereans readily searched the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was so, and that was all they had, it remains that “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” came out of Old Testament Scriptures.

Read the angel’s message to Daniel of that missing 70th week that so well describes the purpose of God’s plan to punish Israel for their disobedience and to restore them to His grace and fellowship in an everlasting righteousness.

You who would hijack the promises and prophecies of God for these last days to create doctrines of your own making, get ready for a sudden awakening to a God of judgment. When the flesh of Adam’s heritage injects its tongs into the plan of God and twists Scripture to its own understanding, God must make necessary corrections and exact judgment.

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