Monday, April 29, 2013

Christ Validated the Patriarchs

The core belief of Christianity is that Christ is the Son of God.  As God, He would know the full history of the earth.  We know that God is not man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).  Therefore, we should look upon what He said as Truth.

Notice, that while God became a man in Yeshua, He is NOT a "man" to begin with.  God became a man to win us back to redemption - LEGALLY - within the boundaries of His Own Law.  Making us just in any other way would have violated His Law, making God Himself UNjust.

I've witnessed a growing trend among Evangelicals, who believe the OT stories to be just that: stories.  Allegory.  Oral tradition.  Perhaps stories like the Garden of Eden or Noah's Flood are just too fantastic to believe.  But I wanted to know what CHRIST had to say about the Patriarchs, because if I believe Him and His words as the Son of God, I need to also take a look at the people spoken of in the Old Testament.

Let's start with Isaiah.

I start with Isaiah because he also spoke of the Patriarchs before him.  It's very important to note that Isaiah was a real man who'd truly been given prophecy by the Lord God.  In two places Christ mentions him.  First, in Luke 4:16-21, Christ is back in His hometown of Nazareth.  He grabs the scroll of Isaiah and announces the prophecy He read has been fulfilled in their hearing.  The Son of God not only validates Isaiah's prophecy (which also means ALL of Isaiah's prophecy is truth, as God wouldn't endorse a liar or a man who never existed), but He also FULFILLED it.

Christ speaks of Isaiah again in Matthew 15:6-8.  This is another validation, not only of Isaiah as a real man, but as a prophet who speaks true.  Therefore, with the endorsement of God On High, we can also look to Isaiah's writings to validate the Patriarchs.

The story of Noah is a big stumbling block to a lot of believers.  How did Noah fit ALL the world's animals in his boat, even if God *did* bring them to him?  Did a flood actually cover the entire earth?  Maybe it was just a flash flood and he merely saved his family.  Or maybe it's just allegory passed down from generation to generation.

Christ speaks of Noah as a real man in Matthew 24:38 and Luke 17:26-27.  In both of these instances, Christ is giving a prophecy of the future end times, "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man."  Yeshua doesn't say "Like the story of Noah teaches..." or "From the tradition of Noah, we see..."  No.  He speaks of it AS THE DAYS OF NOAH, which means to me, there actually were "days of Noah", when the man lived and built an ark.

Isaiah speaks of Noah too, Isaiah 54:8-10.  In this prophecy, God says "the days of Noah" again, but this time, goes into deeper depth; "as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you".  Remember, God doesn't lie.  Christ validated Isaiah's prophetic words back in Nazareth.  Therefore, there had to be a time when someone named Noah lived, and a promise was given by God that waters should no more "cover the earth."  Not a flash flood.  Not an allegory.

Christ spoke of Abraham in John 8:58, and in Luke 16:23.  He also spoke of "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" all together in Matthew 22:31-33.  In the John reference, He says, "Before Abraham was, I AM."  This was to tell the Jews He was God.  They were fixing to stone Him for such blasphemy, but He managed to slip away.  In the Luke text, He's telling a parable about "Abraham's Bosom", which was where the faithful went to die before they could be taken into Heaven after Yeshua's death.  In the Matthew text, however, is the clincher.  He claims they are all three ALIVE.  "God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living!"

Men who never existed cannot be alive in the Living God, though they be "dead" to the world. 

Isaiah also speaks of Abraham and Jacob in Isaiah 29:22, Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 51:2, & Isaiah 63:16

This brings us to Lot, Abraham's nephew.  Christ speaks of the end times again in Luke 17:28-32.  He's already mentioned it will be "as the days of Noah", and here, we see it will be "as the days of Lot" as well.  He even goes so far as to say, "Remember Lot's wife."  What was shall be again.  That is basically what Yeshua is telling us.  History repeats itself.  God rained His wrath down upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  Christ is saying it will happen again, just as in the days of Lot.  If it will happen again, it had to happen the first time.  Therefore the story of Lot and his wife was no idle tale spun to scare people into being righteous.

The story of the Exodus from Egypt is, perhaps, one of the Bible's greatest sagas.  God parts the Red Sea, delivering the Israelites from the hand of a cruel king.  Christ speaks of Moses many times, recorded in Matthew 8:4, Matthew 19:8, Mark 10:3, and Luke 16:31.  He was well aware that God Almighty had given His Law to Moses.  It was Moses who went up on Mount Sinai and received the 10 Commandments.  It was Moses who wrote the Torah.  Yes, it was obvious to one and all that Moses had once been a true flesh-and-blood man.  Yeshua was obedient to the Mosaic Law and mentioned what Moses had written in the Law.  Christ took the Law quite seriously.  In fact, it is BECAUSE of this Law that Christ came to deliver us from the bondage of it.  If God had never given the actual Law to an actual man named Moses, then Christ's mission was in vain.

Isaiah 63:10-12 speaks of him as well.  Just as the Isaiah text with Noah, the Isaiah text with Moses goes into greater detail.  Again, Isaiah validates the miracles associated with Moses when he writes, "Then he remembered the days of old,of Moses and his people where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock?" and "who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself an everlasting name."

Christ validated the man named Moses who was given the Law.  Christ also validated Isaiah's prophecies.  And Isaiah validated the parting of the Red Sea.

Finally, we come to King David.  I've done a study of King David before on this blog which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.  It opened my eyes on how to have a heart after God's Own Heart.  Christ spoke of David as well in Matthew 12:2-4 and Matthew 22:41-45.  In the first Matthew text, we have Christ speaking of David as true history.  "Have you not read what David did..."  He was making a point.  The pharisees were trying to trap him by saying he was being unlawful.  But Christ reminded them that even King David did what was considered unlawful.  In the second Matthew text, Christ exposes who the Messiah truly is.  By using the Psalms, He shows that the Messiah is David's "Lord".  But David was King over all Israel.  Therefore the only "Lord" over David had to be God, as David himself was the highest authority.

We also see in the second Matthew text that Christ validates the prophecies in the Psalms.  Which means Psalm 22 and Psalm 83 are legitimate prophecies.  Christ validates the Psalms in another text, Matthew 21:16, which refers back to Psalm 8:2.  So not only was King David a real man, but what he wrote was endorsed by God Himself.

The story of Yeshua Messiah is built upon the backbone of the Biblical Patriarchs.  If we believe Christ is the Son of God, we also must believe the Patriarchs were true men who actually lived.  Through Christ's approval of Isaiah's writings, we can also glean that the miracles associated with these Patriarchs actually happened as well.

With Christ as the hub of our beliefs, we can then work outward from Him to see what is actual truth in the Old Testament.  But saying the old stories are all allegory, tradition, or word-of-mouth is naive at best and ignorant at worst.  The Jews view Yeshua in light of their rich history.  The Gentiles, however, do not have this rich history to draw from, and therefore must learn it after coming to Christ.  These things actually happened.  Yeshua Himself gave His stamp of approval on all the OT Patriarchs, as well as Isaiah the prophet.

They were actual men who lived actual lives, touched, blessed, and spoken of by God Almighty, Who is not a man that He should lie.


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