2/5/2023 0 Comments
The Game Plan - Part 1
His-story as recorded in God’s Word is divided into two parts: the Old and New Testaments. The word testament refers to a solemn agreement or covenant that details a person’s will. The Old Testament deals with the Old Covenant and the New Testament deals with the New Covenant.
God initiated the Old Covenant at the creation of mankind. Needless to say, the Fall impacted that covenant. It was now a binding agreement between a perfect, loving, and faithful God and imperfect human beings. It was initiated by grace, as when God provided a sacrificial covering for the naked Adam and Eve, and when Noah found favor (unearned grace) in God’s sight. Later it was characterized by the Law. More on that shortly.
The New Covenant would be exemplified by Jesus’ earthly ministry of grace and truth. It would be established when the Seed would be “planted” at His death and resurrection. It would be characterized by the giving of the Holy Spirit to live within believers and empower them. That is why the outpouring of the Spirit is the distinguishing trait of the latter Days.
Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Old Covenant (Matt. 5:17), making it possible for a new and better covenant to be established. It’s better because it was made between the perfect, loving, and faithful God and the perfect, loving, and sinless Jesus, who gave His life on behalf of mankind so we could be reconciled back to God, the Source of Life.
Hebrews 10:1 puts it this way: “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.”
We often talk about types and shadows from the Old Testament. To get the picture, think of God as the light source shining down on an object. That object casts a shadow. The shadow has the outline and shape of the object, but it is not the object itself. The different objects that we will highlight from the Old Testament will have the outline of Jesus’ purpose, but they could never fulfill His purpose.
The Chronos Lesson: The book of Hebrews offers a great compare & contrast study of the two covenants. It opens with this summary statement of the two covenants: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last Days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:1-4).
The reference to “these last Days” implies that there are early Days, or what the author calls “time past.” This refers to God’s prophetic great Week (remember how He counts time?). The early part of the Week is the first four Days or 4,000 years that spanned the Old Covenant as recorded in the Old Testament. That is, Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 when counting from Adam. The last Days cover the latter part of the Week that spans the New Covenant as recorded in the New Testament. That is, Days 5, 6, and 7 when counting from Adam. The pivotal marker between the early and later Days is Jesus’ anointing for ministry at His baptism when He was 30 years old.
Have you ever read the Old Testament and come across the genealogical record of who begat whom, and how long so-and-so lived? Boring, to say the least. So why did God take up precious space in His testament to include these tedious details? So that very diligent people could go through the work of adding up all the numbers from the Scriptures.
Remarkably, from the time of creation until Jesus’ appearance as the Messiah at His baptism comes to exactly 4,000 years or 4 Days from God’s perspective! That leaves another 3,000 years or 3 Days for the New Covenant. Almost 2,000 of those 3,000 years have lapsed. We’re closing in on the 3rd Day of the last Days. The last Day is Christ’s millennial reign over the earth.
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