Old Testament and New Testament
We see that the Bible is divided into two main Testaments. We are also able to see that there exists two main divisions in time before and after the arrival of Messiah, Jesus Christ. While a linear approach to the Bible is a viable way to learn the history of Israel and the Church, it is also important to understand how different parts of the Old Testament complement parts of the New Testament. We see that everything GOD has created has a specific purpose and it is seen throughout the Bible.
In Genesis, we are able to see the creation of the earth and the universe. We are able to understand that we serve a GOD of Creation that is able to decide the size of the seas and rivers, the amount of grass that exists in the wilderness, and the height of the mountains. We are able to see a GOD that is able to provide for His creation and allow us to understand His infinite characteristics. We also learn about the creation of mankind and the manner in which they were formed. We see a paradise that exists in Eden that allows the first humans to have everything including the ability to see and talk to GOD. We also learn about the difficulties they experience and the first account of sin when the first humans did not follow the purpose of GOD and decided to eat of the forbidden fruit. While this leads to the visual manifestation that sin created in the world such the difficulties that exist in humanity, we learn that GOD is always providing the ability to give us another chance at reconciliation away from sin.
We see that GOD calls Abraham to allow him the ability to lead and create a nation. The nation created would be able to grow as large in number as the stars in the sky. This allows us to see that GOD wants humanity to worship and believe and move away from sin in order to trust in the power and glory that exists in GOD. We have the ability to call GOD our Father. Abraham would create descendants that would continue through faith in the guidance of GOD. While sin existed and people stumbled, there was the ability of forgiveness since GOD is a forgiving Father that allows His children the ability to believe in His promises. We learn of the manner in which GOD gives Israel blessings to continue prospering under the guidance of GOD.
We are able to see that through cycles of holiness by certain individuals and sin by others, GOD continues to establish His purpose for humanity and for the world. We learn that He gives multiple opportunities of giving forgiveness for those who ask with a contrite heart and change from their sinful behaviors. We see how Moses who experienced the pleasures of Egypt in his earlier days chooses to leave Egypt for the sake of GOD’s calling. We see how Moses is able to lead GOD’s people from Egypt through the sea into the wilderness through the desert into a land of plenty. We see that GOD allows all of this to occur according to His purpose.
We are able to see that while the people lived in the great land, some decided to maintain their devotion to GOD and keep holy while others mixed with teachings that were idolatrous. We learn that GOD sees our hearts and minds and wants us to trust in His steadfast love and His promises. We see cycles of difficulties and cycles of plenty when faithful individuals follow GOD’s guidance and turn the hearts of the nation to GOD. While the greatness and splendor of Israel is seen during David’s reign, we learn that there would be a messiah that would be even greater than David. An individual that would be able to save His people from enemies and foes and allow Israel’s inhabitants to experience the grace and steadfast love of GOD.
Before this happens, we see Israel change from a land of expansion and prosperity to a kingdom divided into the norther and southern region. We see strife between Israel and Judah. We see Israel become conquered by the sins of its inhabitants and fall to a foreign nation being driven to exile. We see a few centuries later, Judah mix with idolatrous practices in similar manner to Israel, and it too is driven to exile. We see the cycles of sin and how they bring about the exiles.
We also see the abundant grace in sending prophets prior to the exile, during the exile, and after the exile. We see GOD give Judah another opportunity at faith and belief in GOD. We see prophets sent to preach and to teach and rebuke. We see inhabitants who are able to believe and turn from their sins. We see renewed faith in the scriptures and faith in the love of GOD through Ezra’s writings.
We are seeing things become better and then again the cycle of unbelief and sin cause the inhabitants to fall back. Sin leads to droughts and insect infestation which devour the land and prevent crops from being produced. People lack faith and do not worship wholeheartedly at the works of GOD. We see the people question the prophet that is sent to them and keep their lack of faith.
We then see the faithfulness of GOD sending John the Baptist to prepare the path for the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We see how John the Baptist’s birth and Jesus Christ’s are foretold by angels. We see the divine protectors and workers of GOD tell His faithful individuals that they would see the works of GOD again. Zechariah does not believe that John the Baptist will be born due to his wife’s and his advanced age. The angel shuts Zechariah’s mouth for his unbelief until the actions occur. Mary experiences a visit from an angel and is told what GOD’s purpose for her present is and agrees to follow GOD’s purpose and believes the angel faithfully.
We see both boys grow to preach the good news of GOD’s kingdom even when the exile had taken place. They continue to preach about a kingdom that was not of this world. We see the preaching reach Jerusalem and Israel. Individuals begin to believe again in the power and greatness of GOD. However, this causes division and we learn that there are individuals who do not believe or appreciate a message of their kind. How can the lowly preach and much more forgive individuals their sins? We learn of the hardening of hearts that attempts to prevent the message.
We see the number of people preaching grow in number from the previous amount. We see Jesus adding disciples and apostles that follow and help preach the word. We see the connection that exists between those that believe in salvation through repentance given by GOD and the Ten Commandments given by Moses to be followed by believers. There is a clear connection and overlap to the birth of a new nation of Israel through Abraham and Sarah, the commandments and traditions given to Moses that continued through David and were preached through history past the time of the exile with Malachi who preached about John the Baptist who prepared the path for Jesus Christ. We see the completeness and purpose of GOD throughout history. We see that there are clear connections that cannot be separated or removed. We see the fulfillment of GOD’s word.
We see the Church started by Israeli individuals become established through the faith and belief in GOD, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit through both Israeli and Gentile nations. We see the apostles and disciples preach the word of GOD through history, through land and sea, and through exile. We see that John is the only apostle that is exiled on the island of Patmos while the rest of the apostles and disciples were preaching or had completed their preaching. We see the revelation that Jesus Christ gives to John concerning history. We learn about not only about the beginning but also about the latter days. We are told by the Alpha and Omega what is to happen.
We begin to see the connections that exist throughout history. We learn about the purpose of GOD in our lives and the opportunities He gives us to repent and change before the day of the LORD. We see similarities and the belief in coincidences begins to fade when studying the Old Testament and New Testament. The ideas about random chance and the Big Bang Theory do not hold to the realities of order and structure that exist. We see GOD work His purpose through both believer and non-believer. We see the truth shine bright and continue to be shared throughout the world as knowledge increases.