Lessons Learnt From The Old Testament Survey
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Post on 23-Jan-2018
- 1. LESSONS LEARNED from The OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY By Dr. Peter Hammond
- 2. Old Testament Survey By Dr. Peter Hammond
- 3. Sola Scriptura! was the battle cry of the Reformation. Scripture alone is our ultimate authority.
- 4. However, while all Christians claim to believe the Bible, few seem to have actually read the whole Bible.
- 5. Our professor of Old Testament at Baptist Theological College, Dr. Fritz Haus, regularly asked the students how many had actually read the OT book, which we had been focussing on for the semester.
- 6. Incredibly, only a minority of the students could say that they had actually read the Bible book we were studying!
- 7. Some commented that they had read the commentary!
- 8. To this Dr. Haus would reply: "You do not read the cook book and skip the meal!"
- 9. On one occasion, Dr. Fritz Haus, asked the assembled college students, of all years, at a Chapel service, how many had read the whole Bible.
- 10. Some started to put their hands up as one asked: "You mean the New Testament?"
- 11. To this Dr. Haus smiled and replied: "No, I mean the whole Bible."
- 12. Hands went down throughout the college.
- 13. Surprisingly few pastors can articulate the central message, or clear distinctives, of each Book of the Bible.
- 14. We know this, because for over three and a half decades of ministry in the streets, market places and shopping malls, across the continent where we have engaged in personal one-on-one Evangelism and surveys, it is clear that there is a pervasive Biblical illiteracy.
- 15. Even at our camps and courses, and at Bible Colleges, we can see from the responses to the Bible Exam that most students, and even a surprising numbers of lecturers, are ignorant of central doctrines of the Scripture and major events in Redemption history.
- 16. Scripture alone is our ultimate authority.
- 17. The more we study the Bible, the clearer it is that much of what is being done in the Name of Christianity world-wide is far removed from Biblical Christianity.
- 18. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- 19. Surprisingly, few can articulate the central message and clear distinctives of each Book of the Bible.
- 20. When last did you read through every Book of the Bible?
- 21. If asked, could you explain where each Book fits in the broad sweep of Redemption History?
- 22. How well do you know the Word of God?
- 23. "Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" 1 Peter 3:15
- 24. This Old Testament Survey is the first part of our Bible Survey. It has taken three years to
- 25. The messages summarising each Book of the Old Testament, as presented to Livingstone Fellowship, are also available in an audio and data MP3 boxset.
- 26. God willing, in two years we should be able to also offer the New Testament Survey.
- 27. This has been a tremendous challenge and adventure, exploring and seeking to explain the central messages of each Book of the Bible and where it fits in the broad sweep of Redemptive history.
- 28. Whenever we delve into the Word of God we find gold.
- 29. The deeper one digs, the greater reefs of gold can be discovered.
- 30. LESSONS LEARNED from The OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY By Dr. Peter Hammond
- 31. ..Mount Sinai in Arabia. Galatians 4:25
- 32. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
- 33. Objections and Opposition On a number of occasions I have come across Christians who seem to despise knowledge, wisdom and instruction. "Why are you doing a study on the Old Testament? What possible relevance can that have to us today?",
- 34. "But the Letter kills! It is only the Spirit that gives life!" said another. "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." Proverbs 12:1
- 35. We received criticisms over The Bible in a Nutshell articles beginning with the Old Testament. "Why dont you just start with the New Testament?" A surprising number have dismissed the Old Testament as "irrelevant" to Christians today! "The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" Psalm 19:7.
- 36. Scripture alone is our ultimate authority. Yet, many of the prevalent practices and prejudices of all too many Christians today, are challenged and demolished by the matchless Word of God.
- 37. The more we study the Bible, the clearer it is that much of what is being done in the name of Christianity worldwide, is far removed from Biblical Christianity. "My people perish for lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6.
- 38. Progressive Revelation The Bible is progressive revelation. You can only understand the New Testament in the light of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system, covenants, promises and prophecies of the Old Testament. A great building needs a deep and strong foundation. A tall tree needs an intricate root structure.
- 39. God's Word is the Truth that Transforms Our Lord Jesus prayed: "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth." John 17:17
- 40. Lessons Learned from the Survey What are some of the things that I have learned during this three year project of studying, preaching through and summarising every Book of the Old Testament?
- 41. "Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40
- 42. Everything has Consequences Everything has consequences. Every promise comes with conditions. Nobody gets a blank cheque, or a free pass from God.
- 43. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple twice should have made that crystal clear!
- 44. Neutrality is a Myth There is no middle ground. You are either for God, or against Him. You are either under the blessings, or under the curses, of Deuteronomy 28.
- 45. We reap what we sow. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7
- 46. God is Not Permissive God did not give us the Ten Suggestions. God has provided us with specific guidelines and clear instructions as to how to approach and worship Him.
- 47. The abrupt judgement of the sons of Aaron, the High Priest, for introducing strange fire provide a shocking illustration of how the holiness of God should lead us to fear God and to obey Him.
- 48. Cleansing and Consecrating is Required We may distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, however God clearly distinguishes between the sinful, the secular and the sacred.
- 49. Just as there is a process that profanes the holy and makes it common and that pollutes the common to make it unclean, so there is a process of redeeming the situation by cleansing the unclean and consecrating the common to make it holy.
- 50. Leviticus, explains the downward process that profanes and pollutes and ends in death and the upward process of cleansing the unclean and consecrating the common to make it holy.
- 51. Seven Deadly Sins of Israel The people of Israel were condemned for: ignorance, idolatry, infidelity, immorality, ingratitude, injustice and interfaith.
- 52. The Scriptures roundly condemn the spiritual adultery of prophets, priests, princes, profiteers and people.
- 53. The Most Condemned Sin The sin most often condemned in the Bible is idolatry. We plainly have much idolatry in the world and even in the church today.
- 54. Cremation is Condemned Cremation is plainly condemned in Amos 2:1. All the patriarchs practiced burial (Genesis 47:29-30; 50:25-26; Exodus 13:19). Yet, many Christian leaders today say that the Bible has nothing to say concerning whether it is better to practice burial, or cremation.
- 55. Body Piercing is Condemned Body piercing and tattoos are expressly forbidden in the strongest terms, along with occultism. Yet many leaders in the church today claim that the Bible says nothing about body piercing and tattoos!
- 56. The Scriptures are clear: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord" Leviticus 19:28.
- 57. "You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead, for you are a people holy to the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 14: 1 2
- 58. "The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves." Isaiah 3:9
- 59. No Age Restrictions It is also apparent that all ages were instructed to gather for worship and the reading of the Law. There is no mention of children's church in the Bible.
- 60. Do Not be Unequally Yoked There are repeated, emphatic prohibitions against mixed marriage.
- 61. The Prophets focussed intense condemnation on the giving of one's sons and daughters to marry those of other nations.
- 62. Joshua warned the children of Israel that if they intermarried with the heathen nations, Know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you.
- 63. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you. Joshua 23:12-13
- 64. The Scriptures record Solomons great sin of marrying many foreign women, as well as the daughter of pharaoh; women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sideonites and Hittites, from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, you shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you.
- 65. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. 1 Kings 11:2
- 66. In his great prayer of National Repentance Ezra warned against mixed marriages. Israelites had married the daughters of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perusites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites.
- 67. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the Holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass
- 68. So when I heard this thing I tore my garment and my robe and plucked out some of the hair on my head and beard and sat down astonished. Then everyone who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.
- 69. At the evening sacrifice, I rose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. And I said: O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. Ezra 9:2-6
- 70. Now therefore, do not give your daughters as wives for their sons, nor take their daughters to your sonsthat you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever. Ezra 9:12 Intermarrying with the heathen nations around them, Ezra describes as: our great guiltour iniquitiesthese abominations Ezra 9:13-14
- 71. When Nehemiah discovered that some of the believers had married women of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab
- 72. and that many of their children could not even speak the language of Judah but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.
- 73. So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them, and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying you shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves.
- 74. Did not Solomon, King of Israel, sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, he was beloved of his God; and God made him King over all Israel.
- 75. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin. Should we then hear of your doing all this great evil, transgressing against our God by marrying pagan women? Nehemiah 13:24-27
- 76. Nehemiah drove from the priesthood a man who was married to a pagan. Nehemiah banished him because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan. Nehemiah 13:28-30
- 77. The Law of God warns the believers against following what is popular: You shall not follow a crowd to do evil Exodus 23:2
- 78. Yet today, all too many claim that the Scripture is silent on this matter.
- 79. Who You Marry Matters There are many genealogies in the Scriptures, emphasising the importance of who our ancestors are. Who we marry matters for all eternity. We are saved to serve.
- 80. Presumption is Not Faith Much of what is today presented as faith, is condemned as presumption in the Bible. In presuming that Sarah could give her maid, Hagar, to Abraham to conceive a child that could fulfil God's promise of an heir, set in train a disastrous series of events
- 81. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
- 82. Roots of the Muslim Menace The presumption of Abraham and Sarah led to the birth of Ishmael "a wild man"; "his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him" Genesis 16:12.
- 83. To a large extent the violence and hostility of the Muslim Arab nations today, is an ongoing legacy from that presumption, 4,000 years ago.
- 84. Esau Have I Hated The Bible says that God loved Jacob, but He hated his brother, Esau (Malachi 1:2-3). Esau showed contempt for the Covenant by marrying two Hittite woman, who were a grief of mind to his parents, Isaac and Rebecca (Genesis 26:34-35).
- 85. Esau later married a daughter of Ishmael (Genesis 28:9).
- 86. Esau despised his heritage and sold his birthright for a mere plate of food (Genesis 25:33-34).
- 87. The descendants of Esau, Edom, became the intractable enemies of the people of God.
- 88. The Enmity of the Edomites The descendants Esau, the Edomites, are condemned in particular by Obadiah, for their role in the fall of Jerusalem, joining in the destruction and looting.
- 89. After the Exile of the people of Judah to Babylon, the Edomites migrated into the now, mostly depopulated, Judah. The Edomites came to control Judah to such an extent that the Edumians became kings of Judah.
- 90. Herod the great, an Edomite, became king of Judah in 37 B.C. The age-old enmity between Esau's descendants and those of Jacob, are seen in the attempt of king Herod to murder Jesus at His birth in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18).
- 91. The hatred of the Jewish high priests and the mob in the streets against the Lord Jesus Christ leading to His betrayal, mockery of a trial and crucifixion, reflected how much the poison of the Edomites had infected the people of Judah.
- 92. Dates and Context Matters Chronology is important. Context is key. Many pre-exilic prophecies (already fulfilled) are today being applied to present and future events.
- 93. End times prophets often abuse Old Testament prophecies given before the Exile and fulfilled in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, are being peddled as futuristic and confusing a great number of people.
- 94. These false prophets open up the church to ridicule and inoculate a great many people against the church, which they perceive as crying wolf, date setting and prophesying events which fail to take place.
- 95. Return of the Judaizers Today's Judaizers, Hebrew Roots, Sacred Name movements and Zionists are actually a cult. The first Church conference in Jerusalem (Acts 15) rejected the premise of the Judaizers.
- 96. The Books of Galatians, Philippians and Hebrews expressly reject and condemn these teachings. The Zionists, Judaizers, Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name movements are worshipping a false God and proclaiming a false gospel.
- 97. "Therefore the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24. In 1 Corinthians 10, we read that all these things are written for our instruction. Judgement begins at the House of God.
- 98. Jesus Christ is the Fulfilment of all Messianic Prophecies Our Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all Old Testament Messianic prophecies. The Old Testament must be interpreted Christologically.
- 99. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Seed of the woman, the Door to the Ark, the Sacrifice of Isaac, Jacobs Ladder, Joseph lifted out of the pit, the Rock from which water flowed in the wilderness
- 100. our Passover Lamb, the Bread of life, the Serpent lifted up on the stake in the wilderness, our High Priest, the Commander of the army of the Lord, our Kinsman Redeemer, the Sign of Jonah, the Fountain of living waters.
- 101. The Path of Blessing or the Broad Way to Destruction God sent His messenger, John. The Lord Himself came into His Temple and cleansed it. Moses and Elijah point to Christ. All the prophets point to Christ. Christ has come.
- 102. He is the Sun of Righteousness who has arisen with healing in his wings. Christ is the Fountain which brings blessing to all the nations of the earth. Those who bless Christ will be blessed.
- 103. Those who curse Christ will be cursed. He is the only hope for mankind.
- 104. "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ." Galatians 3:16
- 105. Chose This Day Whom You Will Serve The Old Testament ends with a warning of a curse as the New Testament ends with a promise of God's blessings on all who will trust and obey Him.
- 106. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
- 107. How Firm a Foundation
- 108. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your Faith in His excellent Word! What more can He say than to you He hath said, You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
- 109. Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, For I am thy God and will still give thee aid; Ill strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent Hand.
- 110. When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply; The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
- 111. The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose, I will not, I will not desert to its foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake, Ill never, no never, no never forsake.
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