God's Old Testament Church - 2
Lesson 9

One line runs through the entire Bible and that is God’s everlasting covenant. This covenant was the promise of the earth restored. Though sin had marred God’s creation and had resulted in setting man at enmity with the Creator’s authority and rule, the promise envisioned the coming of the Messiah, and that through Him, mankind was to be fully restored, reflecting the image of God, as he was originally designed to do.

This promise, first given to Adam and Eve (see Genesis 3:15) was later confirmed with Abraham and reference is made to it throughout the Old Testament. However, it was not until the coming of Christ and the preaching of the gospel by the apostles that followed, that all its provisions were clearly explained.

We can only briefly cover the record of the rest of God’s dealings with Abraham, as well as with Isaac and Jacob. Though their lives and the experiences through which God led them are rich in spiritual lessons, it is beyond the scope of these studies to look at them in great detail. It is well to note, however, that Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was in keeping with the covenant God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob. See Exodus 2:24

1. Who do we find revealed throughout the Old Testament writings?

John 5:39

2. Of whom did Christ say Moses wrote?

John 5:46–47

Note: As the books that make up the Old Testament were the only Scriptures of Christ’s day, we may know that in all our reading of them, we are to find Christ revealed.

3. What will a reading of these writings accomplish for us?

2 Timothy 3:15

Note: By many, the writings of the Old Testament are thought to be inferior to those of the New Testament. However, not only did the apostles believe them to be inspired, but Christ, as did the apostles, pointed to the Old Testament, to prove the validity of their own writings and mission. In fact, as our previous text indicated, Christ stated that if we do not accept and believe the writings of Moses, neither will we truly accept Him.

4. What did Jesus say Abraham was privileged to see?

John 8:56

Note: All of the misunderstandings of the promises of God to Abraham and his seed have arisen through a failure to see the gospel in them.

5. To Whom did God promise to give the land into which Abraham entered?

Genesis 12:7

6. Who is the Seed of Abraham?

Galatians 3:16

Note: The Seed of Abraham to whom the promise is made is Christ. He is the heir of all things. See Hebrews 1:2

7. Who else are included in the seed of Abraham?

Galatians 3:29

8. When we receive Christ, what do we become with Him?

Romans 8:17

Note: Though there are many thousands included in the seed, there is only one seed, for they all are one in Christ, who is the Seed.

Stephen in his last testimony makes very clear that the Promised Land was not for Abraham’s seed alone, but that he would also share in the inheritance. “So he [Abraham] left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.” Acts 7:4, 5, NIV

We learn from these verses that, although it is sometimes merely stated, “Unto thy seed will I give this land,” Abraham himself was always included in the promise. Moreover, we learn that Abraham died without having received the fulfillment of the promise. Had God’s promise failed? Certainly not. God “cannot lie.” “He abideth faithful.” Titus 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:13

9. For what did Abraham look as the fulfillment of the promise given him?

Hebrews 11:8–10

Note: Clearly, while the promise included the land which Israel was to eventually inherit, the promise given to Abraham and his seed was, in its fullest understanding, that which can only be received through Christ and the resurrection and that is the earth restored, brought to view in Revelation. Had it been otherwise, Abraham would have died in disappointment, instead of dying in full faith of the promise.

10. When Israel was called from Egypt, what was Judah to become?

Psalm 114:1–2

Note: The word “sanctuary” signifies “holy place,” and indicates the dwelling place of God. In calling Israel out of Egypt, it was God’s purpose that He might dwell among them, sanctifying them by His presence.

11. What does Paul tell us is God’s ideal for us?

2 Corinthians 6:16

12. With what kind of people only, is God able to dwell in this way?

Isaiah 57:15

13. In all His dealings with Israel, what was God seeking to teach them?

Hebrews 4:2

Israel’s great mistake was in failing to read God’s purpose for them individually in the sanctuary and its services. As a result, once they had passed into Canaan, they put their dependence on the Lord, only as He dwelt in the tabernacle; they did not allow that tabernacle and its ministry to become the means of preparing their hearts for Him to dwell in themselves through faith. God therefore allowed the ark of God to be taken by the heathen for a time. See 1 Samuel 4:10–22.

After a period of time the ark was returned, but it was not until many years later that the tabernacle with its services was fully restored. But again its true purpose was gradually lost sight of and formalism increased.

14. When the temple and its services became an end in itself, how did God view the people’s sacrifices?

Amos 5:21–24

15. What was more important to God than their sacrifices?

1 Samuel 15:22

16. What was necessary before their sacrifices could be acceptable to God?

Isaiah 1:11, 16

17. In what had the people come to trust?

Jeremiah 7:8

Note: Verse 4 tells us what those lying words were: “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.” In other words, the people had come to trust in the temple (see verses 14–15), rather than in their relationship with God; they had a form of religion, but they had never experienced its power in their lives.

18. What is one of the signs of the last days?

2 Timothy 3:1–5

Note: Israel was not alone in failing to correctly perceive God’s purpose for them. Though the enumerated sins in the last days are many, those which constitute a sign of the last days are not those committed by an irreligious people, but by those professing religion while they know nothing of its practical application in their lives.

Instead of allowing God’s great purpose of the temple and its services to be worked out in themselves, the people utterly perverted that purpose. Rather than allowing God to dwell in their hearts, making their lives holy, they sanctioned grossest evil under the cloak of religion. For such a system there was no remedy but destruction. Accordingly, the city was besieged by the heathen and the temple destroyed. For seventy years the people experienced captivity in Babylon.

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