Rabbi Schneider - How the Old and New Testaments Connect
I want you to think about this for a second, many, many Christians around the world spend their time studying almost exclusively the New Testament, while at the same time giving very little attention to what we call the Old Testament. The problem with this is, it's comparable to picking up a book that's 400 pages long and starting to read the book at page number 305. In other words, if you didn't read the first 304 pages of the book and just read from 305 to 400, you're gonna get a very wrong perception of what the book is really about. You're gonna come to some wrong conclusions about the characters, you're gonna get some distortion about the script. In other words, your understanding of the book, if you start towards the end of the book without reading the first three quarters of it, beloved, is gonna be very skewed. And yet the reality is many Christians in their study of God's Word are exactly this way, they spend no time reading the first three quarters of their Bible, what is called the Old Testament and they study almost exclusively the New Testament.
Now hear me, I'm in no way minimizing the New Testament, because after all, the New Testament reveals the character, the nature and the plan of God more clearly than the rest of the Bible. But I want you to consider that the New Testament itself begins in Matthew 1 verse 1, by going back to the book of Genesis. The New Testament begins in Matthew 1:1 by saying, "This is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham". So the New Testament begins by helping us see its pages through the lens of the Old Testament scriptures. We can't separate the two. We can't study the New Testament from a vacuum. We have to understand the foundation and the root of the Hebrew scriptures, through which the Messiah emerges. So I want to put the Old and New Testaments together for you through this series. I actually just got done completing a book; It's entitled,The Lion of Judah. And I cover all this in the book and I wanted to get it out to you while it's fresh in my spirit, since I just got done editing the manuscript.
Now listen very carefully, what we call the Old Testament as Christians, is a foreign term to Jewish people. They don't call their Bible the Old Testament. Once again they call it the Tanakh. The Tanakh is made up of the Torah, which is the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy. The prophets that we call the Nevi' im and the Ketuvim are the writings, the books of Proverbs and others. And so together these three elements of the Torah, the first five books, the writings of the prophets in the Hebrew scriptures, the Nevi'im and the other writings like Psalms and Proverbs, the Ketuvim, these three components make up what we call in Hebrew the Tanakh.
If you think about it, the Tanakh actually comes to us from the three separations that I just illustrated for you. The Torah is where we get the t sound in Tanakh. The Nevi'im or prophets is where we get the n sound in the word Tanakh. And the Ketuvim puts the end of the accent on the word Tanakh or Tankh. And so Jewish people once again don't look at their scriptures as being old, but the term Old Testament was coined by some of the early church fathers that began to think it had no relevance anymore. Unfortunately over time the church came up with wrong theology, whereby they inadvertently began to look at the Hebrew scriptures as being old and in some sense no longer truly relevant for their lives.
Now obviously that statement is an exaggeration. I don't know many Christians that would say the Old Testament has no relevancy at all, but they so diminish its relevancy that as a result they're gaining so little revelation that's gained when we study the whole Bible, as opposed to just the New Testament exclusively. So I'm gonna delve deep into this subject. I'm gonna go about this very logically. I encourage you if you're a note taker, write notes on this, put your TV on pause, or your YouTube on pause, or however you're watching. Get out a pad of paper or notebook and take notes, because I'm going through an outline that will be very easy to follow. It's gonna be very foundational. It will be simple, but profound. But I know that for many of you it will truly change your paradigm of the Bible and it will absolutely help you to understand that there's so much to be gained by studying the Hebrew scriptures as well as the Brit Chadashah.
Now I think to lay the groundwork today we should understand that when Jesus quoted from the Bible, when Jesus spoke of the scriptures, He was quoting exclusively, listen, from the Hebrew scriptures, from the Tanakh. In other words, there was no New Testament we all know when Yeshua walked upon the earth. And so when Yeshua quoted from the books of Moses, or the prophets, or the Psalms, His Bible was what we call the Old Testament. So if Jesus relied on the Hebrew scriptures, that should tell us beloved, the church, that we also should be looking at the Old Testament scriptures as foundational for our lives. Think about this illustration, after Yeshua was baptized in the Jordan River we know that the Spirit of God appeared above His head, a voice came from heaven; "This is My beloved Son, You are My beloved Son and in You I am well pleased".
And then the scripture says that the Spirit led Yeshua into the wilderness, where he was tested and tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. And the devil came to Him with three different temptations; "Cast Yourself down, for the scripture says that He will give His angels charge over You, lest you dash Your foot against a rock. Turn these stones to bread. I'll give you all the kings of the world," or the things that Yeshua had to combat in terms of these were the comments that Satan was throwing at Him. How did Yeshua counter Satan's delusional lies? Every single time, beloved, that Satan spoke something to Jesus, Jesus combated Satan's lie, listen, by quoting from the Torah, quoting from the first five books of our Bible. The devil began by saying to Yeshua, "If You are the Son of God command that these stones become bread". And he quoted scripture to Yeshua, misusing the scripture.
What did Jesus do? Jesus came back to the devil and He quoted Deuteronomy chapter 8, verse 3. "It is written man shall not live on bread alone, but in every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God". Again the devil came to Him and he took Yeshua to the top of a city, the Holy City and he said to Him, "If You're the Son of God throw Yourself down. For it is written, He will give command His angels concerning You". What did Yeshua do in verse 7? Once again He quoted from the book of Deuteronomy. "On the other hand it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test".
Again the devil came to Him and he showed Yeshua all the glory, it says in verse 8. "And again the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me.' Then Yeshua said to him, then Jesus said to him, 'Go Satan, for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'" What I find so powerful about this is that Jesus, Yeshua, defeated the powers of darkness by quoting from the Torah. Three times Yeshua used the Word of God from the Torah, the book of Deuteronomy, to break Satan's back and to defeat the enemy's power.
What this tells us, is that there's power in the Torah. There's power in the Hebrew scriptures. Church, there's powers in what we call the Old Testament, to break Satan's back and to break the powers of darkness off our life today. But how many of us study the Torah? How many of us know the Torah? How many of us are using the Word of God revealed to us by Father God in the Hebrew scriptures, in our own personal walk with God today, in our own spiritual warfare today? I am here to declare to you that we need to get back to the foundation. We need to get back to the foundation of God's Word, by starting at the beginning rather than three quarters of the way into the Bible and just reading the New Testament exclusively. And let me explain something else that I think is important for us to understand.
Many times when we begin to read the Old Testament, we get discouraged because we can't understand a lot of it and I understand that. It can be confusing. That's why it's good to have a good teacher to read a book that simplifies it for you, because it is easy sometimes when we read the Hebrew scriptures, to get lost in the forest. In other words, have you ever heard the expression that you're in the middle of a forest, surrounded by all the individual trees and because you're right in the middle of the forest surrounded by all the individual trees, you lose concept of the bigger picture. Well sometimes that happens to us when we read what we call once again, the Old Testament. We read some of the prophesies and they don't make sense to us, or we read about God's wrath upon His enemies, or those that are being disobedient and we just get lost and it confuses us.
And I understand that, that's why I'm here to try to simplify it for us. We're gonna continue our walk, beloved ones, through the Hebrew scriptures, through the Tanakh and I'm gonna be pointing out some very simple elements from it that are important for you to understand. It will bring you great peace. It will help you to understand that the Old and New Testaments are not two different books that don't connect together. I'm gonna show you how the Old and New Testaments flow together through what I call, progressive revelation; Meaning that the Old Testament begins a revelation, but it comes into clarity in the New Testament.
See the book of Hebrews tells us in chapter number 1, that in times past Father God spoke to us through the prophets and the fathers in many portions and in many different ways. But in these last days He's spoken to us through His Son, who's the exact representation of His nature. In other words, the Hebrew scripture contains tremendous revelation, but the New Testament brings the revelation into so much more fullness. It's like the difference between receiving a beam of light from the sun, as opposed to looking at the full sun. The Hebrew scriptures contain beams of light, but Yeshua is the Creator Himself in the flesh, so He brings everything into clarity. But unless we understand the foundation of the Hebrew scriptures, even as Yeshua defeated the powers of darkness by the Hebrew scriptures, we're not gonna be able church, to understand the New Testament properly.
Now this is gonna take some work to understand the Hebrew scriptures, because we do get lost in the forest, as I said earlier. And we don't understand sometimes how some of the things that we read about in the Hebrew scriptures apply to our life today. For example, we can get into some of the dietary laws and we can get into some of the tests that the, the priest would do. For example, someone that was suspected of adultery, or we can start reading about how different types of mold was inspected by the priest to determine certain types of things. And we think, how does that apply to our life today? And it's easy to draw back and say, "I'm gonna start reading something that's more relevant for me".
And I understand that church, but I want to clarify, if we can simplify it for you and help you to understand how the nature of God is consistent in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, how the plan of salvation is consistent in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, how the revelation of Messiah is consistent in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament, how the end of the age is consistent in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. If I can show you that they connect together, once again beloved one, like a hand in a glove, it's gonna give you peace and it's gonna bless you. And that's what we're endeavoring to do in this series.
Now I want you to consider this, the Hebrew scriptures as I indicated, can become hard to understand. We just have to keep plowing through, plowing through and God's gonna begin to give us clarity when we see the big picture and don't get focused on the little details. We have to look, be big picture oriented. We have to be concept oriented. In other words, when the Lord gives us so many laws in the Hebrew scriptures, the Rabbis actually teach that there's 613 laws in the Hebrew scriptures, some of which we find to be inapplicable to our life today. We can't get lost in the fact that they seem inapplicable to us today, but rather we have to ask our self, "What are the prophetic meaning of all these laws? How does it have relevance for me today"? And when we take a couple big steps back we begin to understand that Father God gave us so many laws, listen now, to show that He's holy, that He's separate, that He's unique, that He's separate from the world and that He wants His people to live holy and separate and unique from the world around them.
So once again, we're stepping out of focusing on the little, little details and we're taking a big step backward to say, "What's the big picture here"? So keep that in mind as you're gaining more and more knowledge about the Hebrew scriptures. We're looking for the big picture, we're not getting lost in small details. Now Jesus Himself, this is important for you to hear, Yeshua Himself had to study the Hebrew scriptures. In other words, Yeshua was not born with a microchip in His mind so that He already had the entire Bible memorized at birth. He had to study. The scriptures tell us in the book of Luke chapter 2, verse 41 through 52, that Yeshua grew in knowledge and He grew in favor. How did He grow in knowledge? He grew in knowledge from studying.
In fact beloved, the Bible told Israel that they were to teach His word and His law to their children. We read about this in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 6, when they walked by the way, when they arose, when they went to sleep they were to write His law on the doorpost of their home; Meaning that Yeshua was taught the scriptures by Joseph His father and he studied the scriptures. So He Himself had to study the scriptures, just like you and I beloved ones, have to study the scriptures. I want to show you what to me is a fascinating scripture, that gives me much joy, that teaches us how relevant the Hebrew scriptures are to our faith in Yeshua. I'm gonna go now to the book of Luke chapter number 24 and I'm gonna be reading there the 44th verse. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God abides forever.
Listen to what Jesus said in Luke 24:44, He was speaking to his followers and He said to them as he was speaking to them he had taken them on a mini Bible study. He had began to take them on a study through the entire Tanakh, the Torah, the Nevi'im, the Ketuvim, the first five books, the prophets and then the writings like the Psalms. And listen what Jesus said to them in verse 44 of Luke 24. "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you". Listen now, "That all the things which are written about me in the Law of Moses," that's the Torah, "in the prophets," that the Nevi'im, "and the Psalms," the Ketuvim, "must be fulfilled". So Yeshua has plainly taught us in the New Testament that the Old Testament reveals Him. So we understand who Yeshua is in a much fuller way when we see Him being revealed, even as Yeshua said here, in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms. And not only did Yeshua use the Hebrew scriptures to defeat the devil, to show people who He was, Paul did the same thing. Paul tells us for example in the book of Acts chapter number 28, that he used the scriptures to witness.
Listen to verse 23, "When they had set a date for Paul, they came to him as his lodging in large numbers. And he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the Kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the prophets from morning until evening". Notice how important the Tanakh, the Law of Moses and the prophets were to Paul in his ministry. So the Old Testament, beloved ones, is not to be relegated to some ancient past to a people that lived long ago, so that it has no relevancy for our life today.
In fact Yeshua said in the book of Matthew chapter 13, verse 52 this; He said, "Every scribe" and a scribe is someone that actually made copies of the Torah. So he knew the Hebrew scriptures very, very well. Yeshua said, "Every scribe that becomes a disciple of Mine will be like the owner of a mansion or a large house that brings forth treasures from that mansion, old and new". In other words, there's treasures beloved in the Hebrew scriptures, as well as the New Testament, the Brit Chadashah. And through this series I'm gonna help you to understand riches that you can apply to your own life from the Hebrew scriptures. It's gonna strengthen your faith, it's gonna make you a bolder witness and it's gonna help you to understand how the Old and New Testaments, how the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament fit together like a hand in a glove. This is an important series. It's an exciting series and I pray that God really uses it in a very special way in your life.