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Old Testament Survey

Afterwards



Ezra 7:6
This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.

About 70 years after Malachi, Alexander the Great conquered his world, including Palestine. At his abrupt death the empire was divided between four of his generals. One ruled the area around Syria, while a second ruled the area around Egypt. Palestine became the battleground for these two kings. As has been mentioned, in 168 Antiochus Epiphanes presented the world with a picture of the anti-Christ as he desecrated the Temple. The Maccabees captured the City and the Temple away from Epiphanes a couple of years later. The rededication of the Temple became celebrated as the Feast of Lights or the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah. Then, came the Romans. Daniel’s prophecies were being fulfilled, one after another.

Then, in a dirty stable, a baby is born who will change the world. The Messiah has come. His cousin, John the Baptist, becomes the voice of the King’s herald. John is the last of the Old Testament prophets. His King, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is God’s final revelation to the world.

Jesus fulfills over 300 Old Testament prophecies at His first Coming. The mathematical odds of this occurring are not imaginable. Yet, for all of this fulfillment, the Old Testament prophets missed one of the great surprises God provides to His people. As Paul puts it, the mystery of the church is not found until the coming of Christ.

Eph 3:3-6
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

This mystery is the unified body of believers of whom Christ is the Head. This is the afterward of the Old Testament. This was the conflict of the Pharisees with Christ. God had come to earth in the flesh to save sinners. Yet, the sinners did not come to him, just as today they still do not come.

Ezra 9:15
O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Have you come to Christ? The teaching of the Old Testament is that God reveals Himself in stages and expects belief and trust in Him at each stage.

About Abraham it is written:

Genesis 15:6
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Jesus comes preaching repentance and the need to trust God.

Mark 1:15
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

And what is this trust to be? It is to be in the revealed Word of God. The Mosaic sacrifices are a thing of the past. God has now revealed Himself through His Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ. As it is written in John,

John 3:36
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Have you placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? We live in the “afterward” of the Old Testament where God reveals to us things not revealed to the Old Testament prophets. What a great blessing and responsibility this presents to us. This mystery is life in Christ. This mystery is God indwelling those who believe. This mystery is the Holy Spirit dwelling with us now and the future hope and promise seen by the prophets that some day we who believe will dwell with God in the true sense of the word, similar to the fellowship enjoyed between God and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the fall.

Don’t you want to be part of this? Empty your heart and repent. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Accept God’s continuing revelation. Trust God. Trust Jesus.

This simple prayer will help guide you.

Dear Father God,

Your Word shows that I have sinned and need to be saved by Jesus Christ. I hereby confess my sins and repent of them, turning to you, Jesus. I believe that you died for my sins, were resurrected, and now live. I hereby ask you to forgive me my sins and to become Lord of my life. Father, I thank you for my salvation in Jesus’s name. Amen.

1 Tim. 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Luke 24:27
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

For more on learning about a saving faith in Jesus, see the section on Jesus Saves.

 

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December 15, 2019

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