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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

February 11, 2015

Introduction to the Old Testament

Click here to view/print the Old Testament books in estimate

  1. Today we start a new journey into what we call the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a collection of 39 writings or books. Many of the books are really one in the ancient Hebrew bible, and some that we see as one are actually divided in the ancient Hebrew.

    1. The first five books of the Old Testament include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and are called the Pentateuch.

    2. The Historical books include Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

    3. The Poetic and Wisdom writings include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

    4. The Major (based on length of book) Prophets which include Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

    5. The Minor Prophets which are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

  2. The 39 books that we have are arranged in historical order up until the book of Esther. After Esther, the books fall in the time of the books from 1st Kings through Esther. Basically the books of prophecy are not after Esther, but actually happen in times before Esther with the exception of the last few Minor Prophets. When we get to 1st Kings we will show and demonstrate where the books of the prophets fall within the time line of the historical books.

  3. Christ is the center of the Old Testament. "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:46-47, John 5:39-41 states clearly, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” The Scriptures testify of Christ, and point to Him in a marvelous way. During the time of Christ the Old Testament was the only true Scripture. Genesis chapter 1 starts out with Jesus, and then continues to unveil the person and work of Jesus Christ in elaborate details, which truly amaze and perplex the human mind. A foundational statement regarding Jesus’ own viewpoint of the Old Testament is contained in Luke 24:44-45, Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Again the Lord is confirming that the three major parts of the Old Testament are about Him.

  4. God’s purpose in developing the Old Testament was to prepare a people to recognize His son when He came. The Old Testament is a key to unlocking an accurate and biblical understanding of the New Testament in our day. Let’s take the apostle Paul’s first usage of Genesis 1:3 in 2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said ,"Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Genesis chapter 1:3, Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. The apostle Paul’s inspired way of handling the beginning of the Bible is foundational to how we should handle the Scriptures ourselves. The beginning is talking about a creation and Paul teaches that this idea of light shining into the darkness as the reality of a new creation shining into our hearts, not my heart alone, but corporately creating a new creation. Taking this basic principle of looking at the word of God will enable us to correctly handle the rest of the Holy Scriptures. Each book of the Old Testament has a developing theme that must be grasped in order to thoroughly understand the unfolding plan of God. Chapter one of Genesis is an account of God’s vision to those who are called by Him. The light comes in and then the separations are very significant in our relationship with Him until we see that God is all about making a man in His image and according to His likeness. The image of God is predicted as being both male and female. This man that is both male and female is the reality of the new creation. We do not see the reality of that until we get to the New Testament where our Savior, who is the image of the invisible God, is called the Bridegroom. He is looking throughout creation for a help mate for Him. Then He is put to sleep on the cross by God, “…no man takes my life, but I give it freely, that I may take it again.” When He is awakened, and resurrected, God brings His lovely bride to His side which is the church, His body, the female image of God. The first century is when the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26-28 occurred. The blessing of Pentecost empowers her and together they become fruitful and multiply and fill the land. The goal is to propagate this glorious life with Christ and subdue the enemy and bring Satan under their feet. So the first couple is naked. They fail miserably and never do attain God’s best intention. Please consider this statement that Adam and Eve never attain spiritual life, spiritual relationship, because they are the natural couple or natural man. They cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to them and they cannot understand, because they are spiritually discerned. Adam and Eve never had anything, and because they were in their child stage under the law they could only miss the mark.

  5. In Genesis we see Christ in many ways. He is the word that brings creation into existence. He is the tree of life, he is the coverings for Adam and Eve. He is the Ark that Noah builds. He is the Angel that visits Abraham and Sarah and tells them they will have a Son born of the promise. He is the Angel that Jacob wrestles with in the wilderness. He is seen in the life of Joseph. He is also seen in the Priest Melchizedek.

  6. In Genesis we have four men that stretch across the fifty chapters. The first two are Adam and Joseph. Adam is naked and he miscarries and dies and never attains God’s goal. Joseph is clothed with a many colored robe from his father and comes to the throne over the entire known world. Then he dies and someone comes into power who does not know Joseph. In both instances physical death interrupted God’s purpose and prediction. God’s man is not on the throne. God’s purpose is to have a man in His image who is male and female that will be blessed, (Spirit filled), fruitful, (Soul winners), multiply and fill the earth, (in every place), and subdue everything on the earth (exercise God’s authority). God’s promise is to bring forth the seed of the woman to crush the head of the serpent. This prophecy is fulfilled in Christ, as well as those who are His as His body, the bride who are in the image of God. God’s prediction is, He who called us is faithful and He will do it. Christ has been given the many colored robe from His father and is on the throne over all the kings of the earth and will never die, since death has no power over Him.

  7. The other two men are Noah and Abraham. Both of these men represent the faithful who trust God while living in the world. Noah is one who is seen as a person of faith who trusts God and follows God’s instructions to build an Ark to save his family from the coming flood. Noah lives in a time when people have turned from God, and there is only a remnant of Godly people. The Ark is a symbol of Christ that saves us from the judgment of God. Noah is seen as a preacher who declares God’s salvation and his judgment. All who go into the Ark are saved, and all that refuse to heed the words of Noah are doomed. Abraham is seen as a person of faith who trusts God and follows him to a foreign land. We too have to trust God as he takes us toward a promise land. Abraham has to learn that he can’t accomplish God’s plan by his effort, but must receive it by faith. Abraham is also a picture of the believer, so it is no wonder that the apostle Paul uses the faith of Abraham to teach the Roman church how we are to come to Christ by Faith.

  8. So as we begin this study let us look at the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.

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