So if you are to present Gods word - How do you approach it? The bible is made up of these 66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years. Is there a coherency to these books and one central message. If you could summarize the message of the bible – what would it be? Let’s look at how God allocated the space in the bible – That maybe a clue to what He considers important. Gen 1 – He Spoke the universe out of nothing but He takes the time to form man in His own likeness and breathes His own life into Him. Cost him nothing – took a week. Chapter 2 He plants a garden and puts man in it – and created his wife from part of Adam…Together they live naked in paradise. Pretty good so far. Chapter 3 Here Sin enters – Our parents end up Hiding from God when He comes to walk with them In the cool of the day. So then they tried to cover their nakedness with their own works by stitching leaves together. But it was God who introduced blood sacrifice as a way to cover the fallout of sin. Gen 3 v 21 - The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. God drove man out of paradise for a Holy God will never make peace with sin. It is God who set out the path back to Fellowship with Himself and ultimately back to Paradise. Lets go to the end of the book. The very last two chapters of the bible describe - Everything man lost in Fellowship with God is finally restored. Rev 21 v 1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. ………..3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ―Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. GENESIS. the book of beginning.The REVELATION , the book of the end.Earth Earth created passed away Sun by day No need of the sun Darkness night "No night there" Waters called seas "No more sea" Entrance of sin. End of sin Curse pronounced "No more curse". Death entered "No more death" Tree Life barred . ―Tree of Life Open" Sorrow Enters No more sorrow . We see Revelation finish what Genesis started. That tells me the story we have is complete. Great bookends to one story. So of 1189 chapters tell the story of God’s work to Redeem Mankind and restore the Fellowship He had with His children in the Beginning. Of the 1189 - 3 in Genesis that start the story and 2 in Revelation that end the story – 1184 chapters tell the story of God redeeming His children. They come and Go—He remains weaving the story. What God created in 6 days cost Him nothing. He spoke and it existed. What man lost in refusing to walk in Harmony and obedience with that God, would take 7000 years and Cost God His beloved son to restore. My summary of the bible is = The Story of the bible is of the Holy God in Fellowship with His children, then Separated by their Rebellion, and His efforts to Redeem them to Himself, to again enjoy Fellowship Usually reconciliation demand that two aggrieved parties compromise --- and we find a middle path of compromise – not so with God. The bible is to explain Gods Point of view – and while He says come let us reason together – His Holiness and his Truth is not negotiable. The way back to Fellowship is outlined 1) In the cycle of the Feasts of God and His calendar 2) The story of the nation of Israel – 3) The very design of the Temple, the House of God.4) The Story of the Church -- All these describe the process of God Redeeming Man and God providing a way back to Himself for fallen man. It is my hope Gods Spirit in you will recognize these truths as self-evident. Please consider this theme of Historical Redemption in scripture and a framework within which to understand all the subjects of the Bible. So where does one start? Where would God start His story. Well He started the bible with Genesis Not Matthew –Why would you start anywhere else? Even - Yeshua also started His story with Genesis ….The first day alive as a resurrected Savior Yeshua takes the afternoon off to cheer up two dejected travelers traveling to Emmaus. Their incomplete knowledge of scripture could not make sense of what had just happened in Jerusalem. Yeshua had been crucified and their hopes were dashed. Now they were leaving town. So He joins two Travelers who have lost hope ….and opens up to them the scriptures. Luke 24 v 25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with 1) Moses or The Law 2) all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. So Jesus describes scripture as two parts 1) Law what we call Torah and 2) the Prophets. So let us look at he two sections and how they are designed…Beginning with Moses and all the prophets.. The Law = Narrative and a Revelation of Gods will to Moses The Prophets = God correcting his people and calling them back to obedience to the Revelation given Moses. Why would a New Testament Jesus –who came to do away with the law of Moses -- give a bible study out of Moses AFTER He is resurrected… He started with Genesis and the 5 books written by Moses. He did not start with His own biography as the gospels do Nor did he do a miracle. He started with the Word of God and the books of Moses. He answers their discouragement with a Bible Study and when He is done their hearts burned within them. To a Spirit born believer the Word of God is the Life of the believer and will strengthen and revitalize His people. God’s spirit in us will resonate with the word of Scripture and will revive our spirit from despair and discouragement. Lets open the First book of Moses No doubt Jesus - He took them back to Gen 3 v 15 – First prophecy given Eve. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. You see Satan and Mankind were content together -- It was God they Hid from. But God puts hostility between Man and the offspring of Satan. He also promised a human Saviour that would be bruised, but He would crush Satan. Perhaps Yeshua took them to Gen 22 When the word love is first used in scripture to describe an Fathers love for his son == Where God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac a son whom He loved. Perhaps they discussed Isaac – who carried the wood up a mountain and lay himself down in obedience on it - to fathers wishes that He be a living sacrifice. Perhaps Yeshua explained the rejection of Joseph by his brothers the sons of (Israel) as type Messiah Ben Joseph – How he too was betrayed and sold for silver to the Gentiles in Egypt by his own people and cast into the prison. There He met the bread and wine in the form of the baker and butler of Pharaoh. Then exalted by the Lord of all the land and placed at his Right hand. He is given a mysterious gentile Egyptian bride by Pharaoh himself and is exalted by all the Egyptians to be 2nd to sit at the right hand of Pharaoh. There Joseph could offer the bread of life to the starving world and to his brothers who finally come to buy bread. He stays hidden from them until their 2nd visit could show Himself to his family Israel as their glorified ruler? The story of Redemption is How God Called a man Abraham and Sanctified his son Isaac and Justified Jacob with all his troubles and Glorified Joseph as ruler. …. Does that process sound familiar? As those discouraged travelers walked the Road to Emmaus He opened their eyes to see Him in all the words and the types in scripture. The whole plan of God was revealed to them – unchanging – constant – from the Gen 3v 15 – Nothing had changed. His death and resurrection – His ascension - a soon to be selected gentile bride --- all these truths were tucked away in the scriptures of our Old Testament. In the 2nd book of Moses – The Exodus story … So after 400 years of silence …. between Joseph a Type of Messiah …..comes Moses and the Exodus story … There a people was saved by God – called out of Egypt and the blood of a Passover lamb saved them from the death angel. There Moses baptized them into the Red sea – and led them into the desert. They had no calendar – and did not even know this Gods name but over time He introduces Sabbaths and a calendar to them and He feeds them Living Bread – Manna and Water from that Rock Paul says was Yeshua. God brings them to Sinai and there He introduces Himself in Exodus 20. Then God spoke all these words: Ex 20 v 1 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. I am the God who saved you – now enter into covenant (agreement) and my principles of law is how you are to live. The code of conduct did not save them out of Egypt, but because they were a saved people already. So God called a nation – So he calls a people like you and I today. We were in slavery to world our nature and Satan. Who of us really knew the God who called us out of slavery to Satan? Did we know God when we were first confronted by God? For many of us we were in crisis, and Yeshua was a way out of our Egypt. We accepted His Blood as deliverance, out of our own personal Egypt? Then we were baptized and He led us into a period of learning as we began to feed on the Word of Life and the process of cleaning up our lives by the washing of the Word. Like Israel we entered into agreement with the Great God who had saved us. Now His words, became the instruction of how we were to live. The center of the 5 books of Moses is the Leviticus –The 3rd book is about the Tabernacle. This was Gods house to live with his children. Like at Creation - There the Spirit of God created --- so again God gifts a man to build his house by the Holy Spirit. EXODUS 35 v 30 And Moses said to the children of Israel, "See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, (not just in Acts) in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. They build a house for God …to live with his children …. God tells them the process and what the furniture items are …itemizes the 7 furniture items which mirror this process of redemption again. Just like the Exodus – The process starts with the blood at the Altar of Sacrifice which was the first item of furniture by the gate of the outer court of the tabernacle and then the Brass Laver to Wash like the Red Sea -- At the Brazen Altar - FORGIVEN; At the Laver - CLEANSED entering the Holy place lit by the Candlestick and the Shew bread of Communion with Yeshua – Bread of Fellowship and the Lamp stand is the only light. The altar of incense –the aroma of prayer fills the house of God. All the noise of trumpets and singing is outside. Prayer is what is inside. ( Pay attention worship leaders) Then inside the Holy Of Holies --there is no light – Only God. There you are in the presence of God alone. The furniture from Tabernacle to Temple did not change – Repentance and acceptance of the blood offering greets you on your journey to fellowship with God as you come into the outer court of the temple. The Temple Follows the same pattern as Exodus did to save a people and approach God at Sinai --- so and it is still the pattern to God for you and I The whole process was God explaining to man, the way back to the Father. Strange that 1500 years later - In the book of John, Jesus claims to be all 7 these things but you have no idea what they mean unless you have read Exodus. The Gate//door - Sacrificial Lamb – The water of Life – the Bread of life – all the implements of the Temple and the way back to the Father. Well the nation of Israel does enjoy a land and nationhood and a successful time under David and Solomon and build a great temple to God. They later backslide go back into idolatry this “saved’ people called the ―people of God. So Israel end up as God found them, back into captivity to the empires and Kingdoms of this world. Egypt - Assyria and Babylon. Ever gone back to a bad habit after you were saved?? The Prophets are Gods emergency men for crisis hours --- They are messengers calling His people calling them back to their agreement at Sinai, and to the Law or Way of Life – He expected. They were not there to tell the future but they were there to correct the Present and in their darkest warnings they always told that one Day God would be among his people and Yeshua would reign on the earth again. The people sinned and Exiled from the land – just like from Eden and servitude to the Gods of this world followed and then Restoration as He restores His Chosen people back in their land and they rebuild Gods house on the Foundations of the Temple. The people of God now are delivered again form Captivity by Cyrus and go home to restore the Temple. The leaders Ezra and Nehemiah cleaning up the people of God – making them separate from the nations (sanctifying) around them - after their stay in Babylon captivity. The Old Testament closes with the Post Exile Prophets Rebuilding the House of God with the promise Messiah will again fill that wooden house with His Glory. And again He does show up after 400 years of silence…..Between Malachi and Jesus…….appearing into the Gospels and what we call the new Testament We commonly divide it into an old and New Testament. The origins of the idea of an Old and a New Testament come from a heretic called Eusebius of Caesarea – who concluded the Hebrews told lies about their God and the Greeks like Plato go his ideas from the Hebrews. He tagged the name Old Testament to Gods Holy Word and it stuck. By the very name we relegate the Old Testament we think it Replaced by the New or in this throw away society as OLD is NO good. I have news - for you – God has not traded in an Old Way for a New Way. Jeremiah 6 v 16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. We are so busy doing away with the OLD testament and we are ignorant of 2000 years of an Eternal Unchanging Gods voice to His people – We get our theology without a context and from only 1/3 of the scriptures….No wonder we have reduced the whole plan of God and Salvation to mental ascent to allow “Jesus into you heart” a phrase or belief that is no-where found in scripture. The New Testament writings open with Matthew and the 4 Gospels and the book of Acts = 5 books of Narrative of the New Lawgiver. Like the 5 books of Moses they are a narrative of the Torah in the Flesh Interesting that the Book of John opens with The Word become flesh and Tabernacled among us … which sounds a lot like Exodus and Leviticus. The book of John we love to handout to evangelize, follows the Exodus story in its design. Yeshua upholds the Law of Moses Matthew 5 v 17 "Think not that I have come to abolish the 1) law and the 2) prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. In fact He expands the law – Adultery was wrong – Now Jesus says even Lust is wrong. In John - Jesus offers the Samarian woman living waters like Moses turning bitter waters at Mara Sweet - and the feeds the multitude Bread and Fish in the same order that Moses gave them manna and quail from heaven, as He travels to Jerusalem to clean out the temple. Jesus Miracles are laid out as a Salvation message …So that we may believe. John 20. Like the 5 Books of Moses the 4 Gospels + ACTS are a narrative and law in the for the first 5 books as God selects a people and Moses and Yeshua are lawgivers. He selects 12 men to make followers and invites men – Jew and Gentile into the Assembly or Family of God. Yeshua tells Peter - I will build my church, or my assembly – and in that context He continues what was started in the Garden as God still seeks Fellowship with man and is again building a House to live with His children. In Acts the Holy Spirit - Just as in Exodus empowers men to Temple build – To build a House for God - this Assembly of God - So that He now dwell inside His people. Then the Prophets and the epistles are letters of Correction and hope and instruction to the Assembly of God as they prepare a temple for the Coming Messiah. Paul carries on the Theme of Temple – This house for God to live among His people …. This time Paul says – Do not you know you are the temple of God – Indwelt by the very Spirit of God. Paul calls himself a master builder – Like Ezra and Nehemiah -- building the Temple of God (the people) on the foundation of the prophets - and getting them ready for the Messiah to again come a 2nd time. The Epistles of Paul and the book of the Revelation of Yeshua are the Prophetic r corrective writing to churches. Like the prophets of old Paul again the prophetic word of God – calling His people back to the original truth He taught, as he followed Yeshua’s teachings in the gospels. He fought heresy in Galatians and false teaching in Corinth just like the prophets fought idolatry in Israel. The epistles are corrective works reminding the Assemblies, what they were originally taught out of the only scriptures he had – The old testament. Like Isaiah and Jeremiah and Habakkuk, of old, Paul corrects and encourages and builds up the people of God – exhorting them to live by Faith and to follow him like He followed Yeshua as lived in the 4 gospels. The Old Testament ended with a Restored Temple and the leaders cleaning up the people of God after their stay in Babylon captivity -- to a promise that Messiah will come back to this assembly of God and He will never leave. So the NT ends with a Tabernacle being built made up of you and I – An Assembly who was called out of Babylon and our leaders preparing us for the soon coming Messiah – to live among us. And so the New Testament ends with a message from Messiah himself in Revelation 2 to the 7 congregations to hold fast…He is coming soon. So the main parts of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible are really similar to the New Covenant writings or New Testament. No Surprise they both had one author – GOD with one subject on His mind. The OT had Moses Story and instruction followed by the prophets telling the people to return to the instruction of Moses. The NT has Jesus Story and instruction followed by the Epistles --- Apostles telling the people to return to the instructions of Jesus The bible ends as it started…With God again among his people and Sin is banished and what started in a garden ends in a garden. It is God that calls from Eden to Abraham to Egypt to now - He is always previous – and he does not do the right thing – Whatever He does is right thing. He identifies Himself as ―I am‖ …and the moment you put a word on the end of it –You have just limited God. He does not finish the sentence “I AM……” So what can we learn from this bible that are actually two identical sides or designs with Jesus in the middle. 1) Salvation and Redemption is NOT a New Testament Doctrine. It is the whole story of the Bible - Everything Yeshua and Peter and Paul had to say - they proved out of the Old Testament. There was no NT when the church started. 2) The bible is a story of Redemption – Where man has pawned himself to Satan for a few hours of pleasure and cannot pay the free Himself ---So God has set a plan from the beginning to redeem Him from death and the wages of his sin - and will put Him back into a Garden as it was in the beginning. 3) We do a disservice to the church and insult a holy God by handing out just a NT or Book of John. Old Movies had an intermission – Cecil de mille 10 commandments – an hour and half into the Movie Moses heads into the desert. Imagine being asked to review a movie and showing up at intermission to catch the last part…….. Walking into the movie "The 10 commandments" at intermission You think he was a Hebrew Shepherd from the desert in the 2nd half - back to save his people and you missed the Prince of Egypt part raised in Pharaohs house.. If we would not watch half a movie – Why treat do you treat the word of God with less respect -- Why would we even print a New Testament alone? The words of God deserve a full telling. Do not tell an incomplete story – an incomplete story is a lie! All our doctrines and understanding of God must embrace the Old Testament and New Testament its entirety. If you cannot find Yeshua on every page you are NOT reading it right for He said the whole book is written about me. Ps 40 v 7 – Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, Repeated in Heb 10 - You cannot understand Yeshua’s mission or work unless you study the role He played as defined by the Old Testament. If the Volume of the book is about Jesus – what part of Jesus did you decide was unimportant and not relevant to your life today. Now I have two questions for you: 1) How can you follow a theology, or a church that says the Old Testament is done away with? Yeshua said until heaven and earth passed away – Not a word would change. Nothing changes till Revelation 22 and that has not yet happened. Paul said every word of the Old Testament was written for our benefit today who are part of God s assembly now. Would the God you serve have given really bad advice to Moses and David and Abraham for 2000 years?? Did He teach them a flawed way to live, Something less than perfect? Did they get less than you and I? I thought He was perfect and unchanging? So if He is Perfect – why would He need to change and toss out 2000 years of His dealings and all His commands to man, to do a new thing? Is the way back to Him different now than now? If Abraham is the father of all the faithful in Heb 11 and our role model…. Why are we doing and believing things totally different from him? You cannot follow a theology that disregards the truths of the Old Testament – for that is ALL Paul and Peter, had to establish the biblical basis for the doctrines they taught the early church. There was No New Testament written. Modern Christendom has abandoned the Whole Written Word of God – Relegating 2/3rds of it as ―done away with.‖ Now the other extreme – 2) How can you follow a theology that ends at the Old Testament? Judaism never recognized Yeshua was the Messiah the Word of God in the Flesh? That is like telling me ―Gone with the Wind‖ is a book about the weather. If that is your conclusion – you missed the whole point. So why should the Messianic Believers and Hebrew Roots Movement look to traditional Judaism for understanding of the Messiah – which they do not even recognize as Messiah. He happens to be the focus of the whole book – You miss that, you missed it all. The Jewish faith has missed their Messiah They have an incomplete view of scripture, and largely follow the traditions of men. In Conclusion I would like to encourage you to embrace the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation and realize One God spoke through men over 1500 years – and the message never changed. He never changed. Sin never changed. God has not improved with age. So embrace all of Scripture - Now if that means you have to make sense and understand of the God of the Old Testament and Temples and sacrifices – I suggest you do. We will see these themes explained as the whole counsel of God and they must be substantiated in the context of the whole bible. My hope is in the coming weeks we can address some of these themes as the early church would have --- and follow them thought the context of the whole bible. So consider your ways – and examine yourselves –These words were written to a church of believers. So look at how you view scripture and can you reconcile all the Old Testament and all the New to your concept of God the Holy One of Israel. An incomplete understanding of Scripture can hurt you. Like the men on the road to Emmaus, will the “unexpected” persecution of His church, have you leaving town in discouragement. Or did your review the scripture starting with Moses, and see what the treatment of all the witnesses of God were throughout history. If you cannot reconcile scripture to your concept of God – or to your theology – I suggest You have a problem. Just assuming, ―it was done away‖ or that “God gave really bad advice for 2000 years ― not even worthy to print is a dangerous theology and no explanation at all.
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