The Old Testament and Your Savior
Well no doubt you’ve seen—it’s hard to miss it—but Christmas is upon us. I was watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade back a little bit ago, and it’s one thing that’s always irritated me how much they throw Christmas into the Thanksgiving Day Parade. And especially at the end.
But the entire world of mainstream Christianity, as the world views it, is gearing up to celebrate the birth of their Savior, Jesus Christ. Now, explaining the truth about that subject—Christmas and Jesus Christ’s birth and all of that—that’s not my purpose today. But I do want to delve into another topic that is related to that.
Interestingly, those same individuals who call themselves Christian saying that Jesus is the Christ; Jesus is the Messiah and their Savior; and those who are so excited and getting so worked up over Christmas, they also say that the Old Testament is done away with. That the Old Testament should not be looked upon. Well how many Bibles are given out with just the New Testament? You’ve seen those probably your entire lives. That’s the reason they do that. Only the New Testament is the content that they give out in many of those Bibles. And many of those people, if not all of them in traditional Christianity, they just think that the Old Testament is some vague, murky writing of an ancient, superstitious group of people searching and groping for an idea of God. And of course, all these churches, they boast about the fact that they’re New Testament churches. They’re not an Old Testament church; they’re New Testament churches. And that Old Testament is only for the Jews.
Well, let’s begin. Look in Matthew 4, because they all say that they love Jesus, and they all say that they believe in Jesus, and that they believe in the New Testament. Well, this is Jesus, this is Jesus talking, and this is New Testament. This is even in the gospels. Matthew 4 and verse 4, “But he answered and said, It is written ….” Now here’s Jesus talking and He’s quoting the Old Testament of all things! Quoting the Old Testament. And He says, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Now, what Word of God did He refer to here? Well there was no Word of God except for the Old Testament, as far as the written word. And here He’s quoting that. And He’s saying, Look, you had better live by every word that has come from God. Every word. Talking specifically here about the Old Testament.
Look at 2 Timothy 3. Now here, this is the Apostle Paul writing to a younger minister, Timothy. And notice what he writes here. Verse 15: “And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures ….” From a child, Timothy had known the holy scriptures, the Old Testament. But notice what it says here. “Which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Is the Old Testament done away with? Are those holy scriptures done away with? Or are they something that can make you wise unto salvation? Wise unto salvation.
Now let me give you a quote with that in mind. Now these are just two examples, you could find thousands out there, but we don’t have time to read all of those. But just a couple of examples from mainstream Christianity, what they teach about the Old Testament, and their ideas towards it. These are authorities from that Christian world out there.
One that I found says, “The Old Testament was done away at the cross by Christ’s death, which ushered in the New Testament.” “Done away at the cross.” “The Old Testament was done away at the cross by Christ’s death.” This is what they teach. And as I said, there are thousands. I just chose a couple of these because they more so summarize what they all teach out there in this world.
Another quote, especially this one, listen to this: “The lesson is that the Old Testament has been done away as an authority,” notice this, “as an authority for how to be saved ….” Now these are mainstream, Christian authorities. The Old Testament, here’s the lesson you need to learn that “the Old Testament,” they say, “has been done away as an authority for how to be saved and how God’s church should operate.”
Really? Really now? Well that’s very, very different from what the Apostle Paul was teaching in this verse. I mean, I thought these people believed in the New Testament. This verse from the Apostle Paul says to Timothy, from a child you’ve known the holy scriptures. He didn’t say, those old archaic, vague, murky, superstitious writings of people from a thousand years ago. He didn’t say that. And he didn’t say, Well, why are you focused on all that? You’ve got to forget all of that, because, well, it’s no authority on how to be saved. Paul says, Those are holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation.
Now think about that. And, of course, this goes on and says, as I quoted, it’s “no authority on how to be saved [or on] how God’s church should operate.”
Well, going on here with what Paul wrote, “[They] are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture ….” All scripture—talking about the Old Testament of course, and the New Testament, but the only one that had been canonized to this point was the Old Testament. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable”—all of it is profitable. For what? “[F]or doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Well that sounds pretty important towards salvation: instruction in righteousness, correction, right doctrine. That’s what it’s there for. “[F]or instruction in righteousness,” verse 17, “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Well, do you believe mainstream Christianity? Or do you believe the Apostle Paul? Do you believe mainstream Christianity or do you believe Jesus Christ when He said “live by every word of God”?
You see they really have no excuse for saying that they believe in Jesus and that Jesus is the Christ and that they’re going to go out and just show how much they love Him. If we have time maybe I’ll read but over in Mark 7, Christ said, Well, why do you call me lord, lord, and do not the things that I say? Why do you call me lord? See, why do you say you believe in me? Why do you say I’m your master? That’s what the word lord means, it means boss or master. Why do they say—or why would anyone say—that Christ is their boss, their master, their lord, and then not believe what He said? Not do what He said. See, how can you go and say you’re celebrating Jesus’s birthday and that you worship Him and you believe in Him and He’s the Son of God, and then ignore what He said? He said Live by every word.
In reality, you see, there is really no proof that Jesus is the Christ, or that Jesus is the Messiah, or that Jesus is your Savior, or that Jesus is the Son of God, without looking to the Old Testament. If you don’t believe in the Old Testament, you have no proof, no authority to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. And we can prove that. And I will prove that here today.
Look at Ephesians 2. You’ll see from these scriptures that it’s unbiblical and, frankly, oxymoronic to say that you believe in Jesus but you don’t believe in the Old Testament or that you believe the Old Testament was done away with.
Ephesians 2 and verse 19: “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Now this is talking about the Church of course. “Fellowcitizens with the saints, and [with] the household of God,” verse 20, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Now those prophets, that’s Old Testament. Those are the Old Testament writers. That’s the foundation. If the Church is not built on that foundation, the writings of the prophets and the apostles, then it’s not the Church of God. That’s the foundation upon which it’s built. So all these churches out there that say that they are Christian, well, look, Paul says here, Unless you’re built on that foundation then it’s not God’s Church. The true Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets and Jesus Christ Himself is the chief corner stone. And of course this was said to Gentile-born Christians. This was predominately a Gentile congregation.
Look at 2 Peter 1. These are all New Testament verses I’m reading. Haven’t even been to the Old Testament once yet. Here’s the Apostle Peter writing now. We’ve heard from Paul, now here’s the chief apostle as Christ established him there in the government structure. Verse 21, “For the prophecy came not in old,” this is in old time, talking about the Old Testament. “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man.” All that writing was it from just some superstitious people groping in the darkness? No. That prophecy of the “old time” didn’t come “by the will of man: but by holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” They did not speak their own words. And they weren’t just coming up with this on their own. It wasn’t by the will of man. These were holy men of God who spoke as God inspired them and moved them through the Holy Spirit. This is what inspired all of that writing.
Go back just a couple of pages. 1 Peter. 1 Peter 1. Now notice this verse. Verse 25, again, Peter writing. 1 Peter 1 and verse 25: “But the word of the Eternal endures for ever.” God’s Word endures forever.
Look, how much more clear could these New Testament apostles be? How much more clear could Jesus Christ be, Himself, the chief corner stone of the Church? And we’re not talking about just a few obscure verses, one or two that I’m picking out of context. Believe me, we could stay here a lot longer than a half hour and just go verse by verse by verse, passage by passage by passage, and see how much of the New Testament is actually quoting the Old Testament. Do you know, I just did a quick search, there are over 300 passages in the New Testament that directly quote or paraphrase or refer to the Old Testament? Over 300. Now I think that that would have to be getting on up there around 5 percent of the New Testament, maybe even more, 10 percent. Can you imagine? One out of every 10 or a little less of the verses, or one out of every 20 of the verses, actually quoting the Old Testament, and that’s supposed to be done away with. Honestly, if we want to be honest with ourselves and honest with God, we better think about that.
John 5, getting more specific here about Jesus Christ and the proof of Him in fact being the Christ, notice this. John 5. This is Christ talking, and I think this is something that everyone should think deeply about. Verse 39, John 5. “Search the scriptures.” Well, what scriptures is he talking about? The only ones that were there is the Old Testament. Search those scriptures “for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Christ said, Look, if you want to know who I am, you better go back and search the scriptures. Search that Old Testament. Search the writings of those holy men. Search that Word of God that endures forever. That Word of God that is able to make you “wise unto salvation,” as Paul said. That Word of God, those scriptures, that are “profitable for reproof and correction and instruction in righteousness”—instruction unto righteousness. He said, Look, they are what testify of me. That’s how you can know who I am. You can’t know who Christ is—you can’t know that Jesus was the Christ—unless you go back and search those scriptures, see. You can’t really believe that Christ is the chief corner stone unless you go to the Old Testament. “They testify of me,” Christ said.
Verse 46: “For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.” Wow. Those old writings must not be worthless. Christ must not have thought they were done away with. He was telling people to go back and search those scriptures. And He said, Look, had you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But if you believe not his writings, how should you believe my words? See, people who deny the Old Testament, people who don’t believe the Old Testament, people who say it’s done away with, the point is they really don’t believe Christ either. Because Christ believed in the Old Testament. Christ quoted the Old Testament. Christ lived by those words. He lived by it and He told others, You better live by every word. And He’s very clear here. He said, Look, if you don’t believe the writings of Moses, how is it that you can believe my words? Pretty pointed question, isn’t it?
Can you really believe the words of Christ if you don’t believe in the writings of Moses and the writings of those other Old Testament prophets? Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, and Christ, of course, is the mediator of the New Covenant. In that respect, Moses was a type of Christ. If you don’t believe him, can you really believe Christ? Well, Christ gave the answer himself.
Luke 24 [verse 25]: “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Christ, He expounded—He expounded beginning with the writings of Moses—right there in Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy—beginning right there and then going all the way through all of the other prophets, He expounded unto them in all of the Scriptures. I mean how much more clear could it be? He expounded on the Old Testament writings. He taught from the Old Testament writings because those things were concerning himself.
You cannot believe Jesus Christ is your Savior if, not really, if you don’t believe in those Scriptures. If you say that those Old Testament verses are done away with, as those couple of quotes there that I read: “they have no authority concerning salvation”, they have “no authority” concerning how the church should operate. Really? Well, Paul said that the Church is built on that foundation. That’s the foundation of it! Christ said live by every word. “No authority towards salvation”? That’s not what Christ said. That’s not what Paul said. It’s not what Peter said. See Christ preached from the writings of Moses and the other prophets. And He said these things concerned Himself. It was talking about Him! And without that you cannot prove that He is your Savior and that He is the Son of God.
Why are people so foolish? Why do they insist on being so foolish by being slow of heart to believe what the Old Testament says? Because it was not the writings of men, as Peter wrote; it didn’t come from the mind of a man. These were holy men of God that wrote as the Spirit of God moved them; and that Word of the Eternal endures forever. God’s words, not mine. God’s words.
John 1—New Testament scriptures, all of these—John 1 and verse 34: “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.  Again the next day John stood,” and this is John the Baptist who bore witness. And “again the next day John stood and two of his disciples;  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, [and] he said, Behold the Lamb of God!” Now they knew, they knew who He was; they knew that this was the Lamb of God. They knew that this was the Son of God that they were encountering. How did they know?
Skip down to verse 43: “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and found Philip, and said unto him, Follow me.  Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael, and said unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” How did they know? How did they know He was the Son of God? How did they know that the Lamb of God was there? How did they know that they had found Him? Well, because they knew what Moses and the prophets had written. They had studied what Moses had written. They studied what the other prophets had written, and so therefore they knew, just like Christ said. He said, Look, if you search those Scriptures you will know me, because they testify of me. It’s the only way you can know. This is how he knew. He read it in the Old Testament. He read it in the Old Testament.
Isaiah 7 and verse 14, you can just put it in your notes if you want. But it’s a prophecy about the Son of God coming and His name would be Emmanuel, meaning “God with us.” His name would be Emmanuel.
Look at, with that in mind, look at Matthew 1 verse 18: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:” or in this way, “When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together,” so she was a virgin and they had not known each other as a husband and wife, and “she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.” So, he wanted to protect her reputation and probably he had some thoughts himself about just exactly what was going on here and thinking that maybe she was a fornicator. But notice; notice what it says.
Verse 20: “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Eternal appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take unto you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Making sure, here, that he knew that Mary was not a fornicator.  “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Verse 24, “The Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.”
So, again, there’s proof fulfilling scripture, fulfilling prophecies of the Old Testament. Also proof, that as the Catholics say that Mary was this perpetual virgin; she was not, and that verse, verse 25, proves that.
Matthew 2 and verse 1, going on. Now notice this, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.” He asked them, Well, where would the Christ be born? And how did they know about all of this? See, it was written in the Old Testament. How did they know the answer? And he was asking, Well where would Christ be born?
Verse 5, “And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet.” It was written, see, they had studied the Old Testament. It was written by the Prophet Micah. You can put in your notes Micah 5 and verse 2. They knew the scriptures. They knew the Old Testament. They knew what Moses had written. They knew what Micah had written. They knew what all of these Old Testament prophets had written and that’s why they were wise. That’s why they knew who Christ was. They even knew where He was to be born because it was recorded in Micah 5 and verse 2 that He would be born in Bethlehem.
And it also said that, well going on, verse 6: “And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of you,” out of Bethlehem, “shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” Out of Bethlehem would come the King, the Governor, the Ruler, see. And you can go back, I don’t think we have time right now, but you can go back and read that verse that talks about this Governor, or this Ruler, there in Micah that would come out of Bethlehem and that He was the “everlasting one.” He was God. He was the one that always had existed; He’s the self-existent one, the one from ancient times.
Now, Jesus Christ went on and gave the single proof that He was the Messiah. And how many of you know what that proof was? I think probably all of you do. At least one or two. He gave the sign of the Prophet Jonah. Jonah went and warned Ninevah; he didn’t want to. He had been in the belly of the whale—or the belly of the great fish, really, as it could be rendered there, or the sea monster—wasn’t necessarily a whale, but a big fish. And he was in that “grave” as it is referred to in Jonah, for three days and three nights. And then he came out of that grave and he went on and he warned Ninevah. And Ninevah repented. So in that respect, Jonah was a type of the Savior. He was a type of the Savior. He came out of that grave and was a savior. And Christ said, Likewise I will go in the grave three days and three nights.
Do the Protestants, Catholics, mainstream Christianity, do they believe that? Do they? See, if you don’t believe the writings of Moses and the prophets and Micah and all of the others, just like Christ said, You won’t believe me. Christ said three days, 72 hours, and yet they all teach Good Friday crucifixion at the end of Friday and He was resurrected on Sunday morning. That is not three days. That is not three days and three nights.
Look, the Old Testament is not done away with. It is an authority on salvation, so says Paul, so says Christ, so says Peter. It is an authority on how the Church should be ruled and what we believe and the righteousness towards salvation. Christ was in the grave in that rock-hewn tomb for three days and three nights, and He came out of there, and He is our Savior. Thank God for that.
If you want to study this subject more, you can get the booklet on the Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days, Which?