by Pastor Bertrand L. Comparet
In the past I have often told you there is as much Christianity in the Old Testament as in the New. Although it is harder to understand, because in the Old Testament it is presented mostly in symbolic form, largely in the rituals. But God is always consistent with His own truth, so it is also true that the New Testament proclaims God's eternal unchanging love for His own people, Israel. In my last two broadcasts, we have been examining the New Testament to prove this. We saw that the four Gospels record the words of Jesus Christ and that He strongly emphasized that He was sent primarily to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. In His parables, He taught the truth of Israel's continued place in God's plan. Then we examined the various Epistles of Paul and we saw that he wrote to "the saints". We know from Psalm 148:14, that ALL of God's saints are His people Israel. We saw that in the Epistle to the Romans, Paul reminded these "saints" to whom He wrote that Abraham was their father, as pertaining to the flesh. No changing of gentiles into "spiritual Israel" here, for Paul said Abraham was their father "as pertaining to the flesh". Similarly, Paul reminded "the saints" at Corinth that their fathers, like his, passed through the Red Sea with Moses and ate the manna and drank of the water which poured out of the rock in answer to Moses' prayer, something that couldn't be said of "gentiles".
Now let's look at the writing of other Apostles in the New Testament. What about James? James addresses his Epistle "To the twelve Tribes scattered abroad". This could not be to the Jews, for they were not of any of the Tribes of Israel and also they were not 'scattered abroad" when James wrote, nor for ten year thereafter, they were still collected together in Palestine. It could not even be the people of the Kingdom of Judah, for they were never more that the 3 Tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi and James is speaking to the "twelve Tribes scattered abroad." But we know that the Assyrians took into captivity first all the people of the ten northern Tribes who made up the Kingdom of Israel. Then the Assyrians, under King Sennacherib invaded the southern Kingdom of Judah and deported 200,150 of its people in the same captivity with the ten Tribes. Finally we know from historical sources that, upon the fall of Babylon, the Tribes of Israel, by that time known as Scythians", swooped down on Babylon and carried off most of the people of Judah, Benjamin and Levi who were captives at Babylon, leaving behind just the relatively few who returned to Palestine with Ezra and Nehemiah. So when James wrote his Epistle, in A.D. 60, the Twelve Tribes were scattered abroad, by that time known as the Angli, the Saxons, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths and the Royal Scyths, already moving on their long march into their predestined homes in Europe. It was to them that James was writing.
What about Peter? The First Epistle of Peter leaves no doubt that he was writing to the Israelites. The first verse is badly mistranslated. Instead of "the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia," as your King James version reads, the actual wording in the Greek is, "TO THE EXILES OF THE DISPERSION in Pontus, Galatia etc.". Pontus, Galatia and Cappadocia are the eastern part of modern Turkey and we know that the Scythian tribes of Israel did occupy this region before they moved out on their long journey into Europe.
They were exiles from their original homeland in Palestine, they were dispersed over a wide region. Finally, to clinch the matter, Peter identified them in the second verse as "Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father." But who were God's elect? In Isaiah 45:4, God speaks of "Israel Mine elect". As to the foreknowledge of God, remember that in Romans 11:2, Paul confirms that "God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew". "Elect" is but another word for "chosen". In Deuteronomy 7:6, the people of Israel are told that "The Lord they God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself above all the people that are upon the face of the earth".
But let's look farther into what Peter has to say. In I Peter 2:9, he says to these "exiles" of the dispersion on Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, etc., "But ye are a CHOSEN RACE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, AN HOLY NATION, A PECULIAR PEOPLE: THAT YE SHOULD SHOW FORTH THE PRAISE OF HIM who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." I know that your King James version Bible says "a chosen generation"; but that is a mistranslation, for the word in the Greek is "GENOS", MEANING A RACE, NOT A GENERATION. THIS COULDN'T DESCRIBE ANYONE BUT ISRAEL. THE CHOSEN RACE IS ISRAEL.
Among many other places we find it in Isaiah 44:1, "Yet now hear O Jacob My servant; and Israel whom I have CHOSEN"; and Deuteronomy 7:6, "The Lord thy God hath CHOSEN thee to be a special people unto Himself above all the people that are upon the face of the earth." Next, "a royal priesthood, an holy nation:" this also can only be Israel, for Exodus 19:6 tells the people of Israel that "Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation." "A peculiar people" is another identifying mark of Israel, for Deuteronomy 14:2 says, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord they God and the Lord hath chosen thee to be A PECULIAR PEOPLE unto Himself above all the nations that are upon the earth." Finally, "that ye should show forth the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" is another identifying mark of Israel. In Isaiah 43:21 God says, "This people have I formed for Myself; THEY SHALL SHOW FORTH MY PRAISE."
I have skipped over the Epistle to the Hebrews, which is not signed, but is usually credited to Paul. I can't imagine anyone disputing that this book, as indicated by its title, is written TO, as well as written about the Hebrews, the Israelites. Probably we need no say more about it here. If I were to start in on that book, it alone would take several broadcasts to cover. I will go into that some other time.
What of the little understood Book of REVELATION? It is too clear for any possible doubt that his book is written in symbols and is not to be taken literally. But, you must understand the symbols used in order to know the great realities for which they stand. These symbols are, in general Israel symbols. Hence it can be understood only by those who can recognize the Israel basis of the symbols. This also is a book about which whole volumes have been written. It is too long for me to take up as just a subdivision of our present theme of Israel in the New Testament.
But, we have covered enough to show that the New Testament and the Old Testament are just the two sides of the same coin which has the same value, whichever side you look at. If this were not so, we could not have confidence in either one of them. Truth must always be consistent with itself. Jesus Christ came not to take back God's promises and nullify the prophecies, but rather, as Paul said in Romans 15:8, "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision, for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers."
All that had been promised to Abraham and Moses was to be made good. Likewise, these promises to Abraham and Moses included the basis for Christianity. In fact, Moses was a Christian! Does that startle you, when you remember that Moses died more than 1400 years before Christ was born? Yet the New Testament tells us that Moses was a Christian. In Hebrews 11:24-26, it says, "By faith, Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season: ESTEEMING THE REPROACH OF CHRIST greater riches than the treasure of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." Now it is certain that he could not have "esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt" unless he truly understood what all the rituals he taught the people really meant, that they talked of the coming Redeemer. So it is that Hebrews 10:1 speaks of "the Law having a shadow of the good things to come." The Book of Hebrews explains how the rituals were only symbols of the coming of Christ and His sacrifice for us.
Therefore, never let anyone tell you that the two halves of the Bible are inconsistent and that to accept one you must reject the other. No, the Bible is all one book. It tells of God's putting His sons and daughters on earth as His chosen people, Israel. The great destiny He set for them. It tells of His foreknowledge of their imperfections and sins and His provision from before the foundation of the world of the Redeemer who would save His people. Both Old and New Testaments are Christian books and both of them are Israel books.