A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

Scriptures are a testimony of Jesus 

            Jesus said in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."  At the time that the Lord said this to the Jews gathered around him, the only scriptures that had been written were the Old Testament scriptures.  It is very easy to see that the New Testament scriptures are a testimony of Jesus Christ for they speak of him and his kingdom throughout.  The Old Testament, however, is a different matter.  The name of Jesus Christ is not in the Old Testament.  How then can the Old Testament scriptures be a testimony of Jesus Christ? 

            There are over a thousand prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah and of his works.  But the Old Testament scriptures have a much greater testimony of Jesus than just the prophecies of the coming of Christ.  Word pictures of Jesus are found in several Old Testament passages and Jesus is portrayed in the types and shadows of the Old Testament.

            Some examples of word pictures of Jesus are found in the following passages:

            A.  Ps. 22:10 "I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." 

            The above passage describes the crucifixion of Jesus and the parting of his garments by the Roman soldiers and the fact that they cast lots for his coat.  It also describes how that a bone of his body was not broken.  The passage is about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  Actually many of the Psalms give us a word picture of Jesus Christ.

            B.  Is. 53:1 "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

            When Phillip was led of the Spirit to go in the way toward the desert and was told of the Spirit to join himself to the chariot of the Eunuch of Ethiopia and the Eunuch was reading from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, Phillip asked him, "Understandest thou what thou readest?"  And the Eunuch answered, "How can I except some man guide me?"  When Phillip understood where the Eunuch was reading, he went to the same passage and preached unto him Jesus.  The 53rd chapter of Isaiah is all about Jesus.

            C. 2 Sam. 23:1 "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, 2 The spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. 3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. 5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. 6 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: 7 But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place." 

            This conversation between the Rock of Israel and the God of Israel outlined the covenant work of Jesus Christ. 

            In types and shadows in the Old Testament, Jesus is found on nearly every page.  In the first chapter of Genesis, Jesus is the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  In the second chapter of Genesis, Jesus is the lawgiver.  In the third chapter of Genesis, Jesus is the judge executing the judgment of God because of sin.  In the fourth chapter of Genesis Jesus, in type, is the lamb offered by Abel as an offering to God.  In the fifth chapter of Genesis, Enoch typifies Jesus in that he walked with God and was taken up into heaven.  In the sixth chapter of Genesis, the ark is a type of Jesus, as it shows forth the death, burial, and resurrection in a figure as set forth in the 3rd chapter of 1 Peter. 

            Additionally, Jesus is the seed of Abraham to which God promised he would multiply Abraham's seed as the stars of heaven, as the sand of the sea shore, and as the dust of the earth, and that his seed would possess the gates of his enemies, and in his seed would all kindreds and all nations of the earth be blessed.  When Abraham was told to offer Isaac as an offering, Jesus is typified by the ram with his horns caught in a thicket who was offered in the place of Isaac.  So Jesus was offered in our place.  Jesus is also Melchisedec, the King of Salem and priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings.  Jesus is typified by Joseph's coat of many colors.  Joseph was also a type of Jesus in that there are over 100 parallels between the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus.

            Furthermore, the bush that burned with fire but was not consumed that Moses saw typifies Jesus.  Jesus suffered the fiery judgment of God for us yet was not consumed by that judgment as he arose on the third day. 

            Jesus is the man who wrestled with Jacob all night and touched him in the hollow of the thigh that shrank

            The Passover lamb typifies Jesus.

            All of the animal sacrifices in the ceremonial law of the Old Testament typify Jesus.

            Jesus is the shadow of a giant rock in a weary land.

            Jesus is the bright and morning star.

            Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness that Malachi spoke of.

            Jesus is the cloud that went before the children of Israel to show them the way and the pillar of fire at night to give them light throughout all of their wilderness journeying.

            The temple of God in the Old Testament typified Jesus.

            The seven sacrifices of Leviticus typified Jesus:

            A.  Sin offering – Jesus was sacrificed for us to take away our sins.

            B.  Burnt offering – Jesus suffered the wrath of God in our stead to satisfy God's justice.

            C.  Peace offering – Jesus through his atoning sacrifice made peace between God and his elect.

            D.  Wave offering – Jesus through his death, burial, and resurrection made us victorious over sin, the devil, death, hell, and the grave.

            E.  Heave offering – Jesus rose victorious the 3rd day and later ascended back to heaven.

            F.  Meat offering – Jesus body was without sin and this was typified by the unleavened bread.

            G.  Drink offering – Jesus blood was ceremonially typified both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament by the wine used in the drink offering.

            The jubilee of the children of Israel typified Jesus.

            Jesus is the balm of Gilead.

            Jesus is the rivers of water in a dry and thirsty land that the prophet Isaiah wrote about.

            Jesus is the ravenous bird from the east that Isaiah wrote about as Jesus lived by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God.

            Jesus is also the man who executes the counsel of God from a far country that Isaiah wrote about.

            Jesus is the tree that Moses cast into the bitter waters of Marah that made them sweet.

            Jesus is the man with the sword drawn that appeared unto Joshua, who asked, "Art thou for us or for our enemies?"  The man replied, "Nay, but as captain of the Lord's host am I now come.  Jesus is that captain of the Lord's host.

            Jesus is the prophet like unto Moses.

            Jesus is the Son of God who was in the furnace with the three Hebrew children on whom the smell of smoke was not found on their garments or the hair of their heads singed.

            Jesus is the ladder of Jacob's vision on which the angels of God ascended and descended.

            Jesus is the half shekel of atonement of the children of Israel.

            Jesus is the beloved in the Song of Solomon.

            Jesus is the brazen serpent that was hung on a pole.

            Jesus is the Rock that followed the children of Israel to which Moses first smote and it brought forth water.

            Jesus is the veil of the tabernacle and temple.

            Jesus is the stone which the builder's rejected.

            The High Priest typified Jesus.

            The garments of the High Priest typified Jesus.

            Jesus is the tree of life in the midst of the Garden of Eden.

            We will stop here, but this is just a very small sampling of the types and shadows and pictures of Jesus Christ set forth in the Old Testament.

            By looking for Jesus in each passage of the Old Testament, it makes reading and studying the Old Testament much more interesting and enjoyable.  Too often people read the Old Testament without looking for Jesus in its pages.  When we do this, the reading becomes boring and tiresome.  There is, however, nothing boring about seeing Jesus in the types, shadows, and figures of the Old Testament.  


Two Covenants 

            Gal. 4:21 "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two  covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband."

            Based on the above passage there are two covenants of worship that are taught in the scriptures.  Now there are other covenants taught in the scriptures, but only two covenants of worship.  The first covenant was given on Mt. Sinai to the children of Israel and was a covenant that gendered to bondage.  At the time this scripture was written it answered to "Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children."  This covenant is often called the "law."  The second or new covenant is said to be free and to be the mother of us all.  This covenant is often called the covenant of grace, or faith, or the kingdom of God. 

            The law covenant brought a curse upon those under the covenant.  Gal. 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith."  Since no one other than Jesus Christ has continued in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them, then everyone but Jesus Christ was under the curse of the law.

            The following passages of scripture show us the purpose of the law covenant:

            1.  1 Tim. 1:9 "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine."

            2.  Gal. 3:19 "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."

            3.  Heb. 10:1 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

            From the above we see that the law was designed for the lawbreaker.  It brought sins to remembrance, but it could not do away with sin.  It also showed us the need for a redeemer.  The law was simply a shadow of good things to come, but could make nothing perfect.  The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.  The work of a schoolmaster is to bring the students to the school.  The law taught us of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and that we are sinners, and that we stood in need of a redeemer.  The law as a schoolmaster pointed us to Christ.  The law revealed to us that we were under the curse of the law of sin and death and unable to deliver ourselves out from under that curse. 

            The Lord came to fulfill the law.  Matt. 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 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."  The Lord kept the law to the jot and tittle and thus fulfilled the law.  Christ completed the law and brought in everlasting righteousness for his people.  Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for every one that believeth."  Christ completed the law for righteousness and according to 2 Cor. 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  Through fulfilling the law and becoming sin for us he made us righteous.  Also, Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." 

            While the law has been fulfilled it still has benefit for us today in that it testifies to us of Jesus: John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."  Also, the law gives us types and shadows of heavenly things: Heb. 10:1 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come…" and Col. 2:16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."  In addition, the law gives us admonitions and examples for our edification and learning: 1 Cor. 10:6, "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." Notice 1 Cor. 10:11, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  Finally, the language of the New Testament is sprinkled with the events of the Old Testament.  To understand the New Testament we need a real good working knowledge of the Old Testament.  We, however, do not worship under the Old Covenant today.

            The New Covenant came with the teaching and preaching of John the Baptist: Lk. 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.  The Lord himself ushered in this New Testament: John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." 

            The New Covenant is stated in Heb. 8: 6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." 

            The New Covenant is based on the principle of the new or spiritual birth where God writes his laws in the hearts and minds of his people, and not on 2 tables of stone.  Furthermore, in the New Covenant there is no need to teach the people to know the Lord, for they all know him as a result of the new birth and the Lord's personal dealings with him.  Now there is a lot that can be taught about the Lord and should be taught about the Lord, but we do not teach to know the Lord.  Third, in this New Covenant of worship God is merciful to our unrighteousness.  Under the law, the transgressors died without mercy.  Fourth, the law continuously brought sins and iniquities to remembrance, but in the New Covenant God remembers our sins and iniquities against us no more.  In New Testament worship, God is to us a God and we are to him a people. 

            In the studies ahead, we will be spending much time looking at the New Covenant worship and service of God's people as set forth in the New Testament.

 

Primitive Baptist