“The new is the old concealed; the old is the new revealed.”
— St. Augustine
Recently, I was thinking about what Augustine wrote so long ago about the nature of the Old Testament and the New.
As the author of the new book “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament, I also believe much more can be revealed in the New Testament through study of the Old.
Yes, there is certainly new light shed on the mysteries of the Bible in the New Testament. And there is certainly greater understanding of what is in the New Testament by going back and referencing the context of the Old Testament. In fact, what I found in my research is that it is nearly impossible to fully understand the new without the background of the old.
When Paul commended the Bereans in Acts 17 for their readiness of mind and for searching the Scriptures daily to see measure what they heard from their teachers – including the apostle himself – it’s important to recall that the only Scriptures around in those days were the Hebrew Scriptures. The Bereans understood that if teachers taught anything contrary to what they read in the Old Testament, they were false teachers. God cannot contradict Himself – and neither can His Word.
The key for me in both searching all 39 books of the Old Testament for the Gospel, and finding it, was in knowing exactly what I was looking for. And the passages that provide the key to unlocking that mystery were found, interestingly, not in the Hebrew Scriptures, but in the book of Matthew. There were three passages that jumped out at me in my study, even though I had seen them countless times before. I believe that’s how the Holy Spirit works in our study of God’s Word when we show a real desire to understand and find what might be concealed.
The three key passages were:
- Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
- Matthew 9:35: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
- Matthew 24:14: (Jesus’ own words) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
When we think about the Gospel today, it is almost exclusively associated with the message of personal salvation and the forgiveness and expiation of sin. But Matthew and Jesus are telling us in these passages there’s more to the Gospel than the miracle and blessing of personal salvation associated with Jesus sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. What is that overlooked component? The restoration of the Earth as it was intended before the fall of man and the fulfillment of Jesus’ promised kingship over an epoch of peace, justice, sabbath rest, abundance and truth reigning over the entire world.
How did that unlock the Gospel throughout the Hebrew Scriptures? Well, that’s exactly where you find most of the information about this Kingdom. This was the great hope for the apostles and all those who became Jesus’ Israeli disciples in the first century. They were awaiting their Messiah who was prophesied to delivery on that promise.
While I believe “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is a tremendous resource for sermons, deep Bible studies in the Hebrew Scriptures, a clear view of the singular miraculous message of hope and grace that runs through the entire Bible, perhaps the greatest gift is the way it reminds readers of this sometimes-overlooked component of the Gospel itself – the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Yes, Jesus is coming back to fulfill the promise of a paradise-like Kingdom age on Earth. He doesn’t need man to build it for Him. We’re incapable – just as we are incapable of saving ourselves from death. All He commands His faithful to do, as He told His closest followers before ascending into heaven in Acts 1 is to take this Gospel of the Kingdom to the uttermost parts of the Earth. Only then will He come again and bring about “the end,” not of this Earth, but of its fallen, decaying state.
Joseph Farah’s “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is available now in a preview e-book edition at Amazon.com and at the WND Superstore. It is also available at the WND Superstore in a commemorative signed Special VIP Advance Reader Copy form for donations of $100 or more to support the forthcoming hardcover edition to be released nationwide in September.
Would you like to learn more about the Gospel in the Old Testament and the Gospel of the Kingdom from Joseph Farah on a fall tour of Israel, the epicenter of the future Kingdom presided over by the King of kings? Sign up now as registration will close soon. This will be your only chance this year to spend 11 intimate, memorable days with the author of this highly acclaimed “breakthrough Bible book.”
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