FULFILLING ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS_UNDERSTANDING THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS
What is the Law and the Prophets?
Many Christians don’t really understand what this means because, sadly; Satan has deceived us in the Church that the Old Testament is no longer important. True, the New Testament is extremely important but let’s remember, it came out of the Old Testament.
2 Timothy 3:16 KJV: All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The ‘all scripture’ that Apostle Paul was talking about here is the Old Testament, because at that time, the New Testament was still being written. The New Testament is very important but the Old Testament is the foundation and the Apostle Paul called it profitable! The scripture continues to say in:
2 Timothy 3:17 KJV: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
In other words, without a proper understanding of the Old Testament, there will be no perfection of the body of Christ!
When we talk about the Law and the Prophets, they are two sections of the Old Testament.
The Jews call the Law the ‘Torah’ and it runs from Genesis to Deuteronomy. They are the writings of Moses. The Prophets span from Joshua to Malachi: Joshua to 2Chronicles are historical records; Isaiah to Ezekiel are called the Major Prophets, while Daniel to Malachi are called the Minor Prophets.
The Lord Jesus, wanting to underline the importance of all these books, said, ‘Don’t think, because I have come you can do away with them’. In other words, Christians have a tendency to think that because the Lord Jesus has come, these Old Testament books are no longer important. It is true that there are aspects of the Law that have been done away with in the New Testament and so because of that, the natural human mind will think the Old Testament is no longer important.
When I became a Christian, I started reading the Bible from the New Testament because I felt the Old Testament was not as relevant to us as the New Testament: it was a compendium of historical stories and ceremonial animal sacrifices that were no longer relevant to New testament Christians. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It is true, the ceremonial aspects of the Old Testament has been done away with as far as practice is concerned, but the instructions inside the Old Testament stories and ceremonies are prophetic symbolisms and types and shadows that have present-day application and we do a great disservice to ourselves when we don’t know them! That is what the Law and the Prophets are!
The Law of Moses contains two major parts: the Moral Code, which is called the Ten Commandments and the civil, hygienic and dietary laws, and then what we call the Ceremonial Laws, which are the animal sacrifices and offerings that Israel was commanded by God to practice. The ceremonial feasts, which include those animal sacrifices, are the three major feasts: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. All this constitutes the Law: the Ten Commandments, the animal sacrifices being performed during the Jewish feasts and the set days.
In the New Testament, Apostle Paul says:
Colossians 2:16 AMP: Therefore let no one sit in judgment on you in matters of food and drink, or with regard to a feast day or a New Moon or a Sabbath.
These are all different ceremonial observances that were given to Israel in the Old Testament by God.
Colossians 2:17 AMP: Such [things] are only the shadow of things that are to come, and they have only a symbolic value. But the reality (the substance, the solid fact of what is foreshadowed, the body of it) belongs to Christ.
This is one of the most important statements in the New Testament. In Christ, all the symbolic prophetic meanings of the Law and the Prophets will be fulfilled. Now, since we are in Christ, they are therefore to be fulfilled in the Church, the body of Christ! Christians must come to this vital understanding! It is for this reason that the saints need to read the Old Testament regularly and consistently. As you do so, you will understand that it is talking to you and informing you about things you need to do.
The Lord showed me with great clarity what I have been preaching for years. All of the Old Testament can be divided into three or four groups. First one is the animal sacrifices. The patriarchs like Abraham, Enoch, Job etc. all sacrificed animals. God signaled it to them from the Garden of Eden: the time of Cain and Abel. Those animal sacrifices were a type, symbols of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was to come and die for mankind. So when the blood of these animals was shed, that blood was used by God as a legal basis to cover their sins temporarily, so that they could have a covenant relationship with God. Without the shedding of blood the scripture says, there is no remission of sins. Even before the coming of the Law of Moses, whenever God wanted to do anything, He would instruct them to sacrifice animals as a legal basis to forgive their sins, though He could not remit (or cleanse and PERMANENTLY remove) their sins (Hebrews 10:4) until the Lord Jesus died and shed His blood. The animal represents the sacrifice that was to be killed on their behalf, which the Lord Jesus ultimately came to fulfill when He died on the cross.
Secondly, God also instituted three feasts: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles to be observed by Israel every year. All the males would go to Jerusalem with an animal to participate in the feast of Passover. Fifty days later was another feast, the feast of Pentecost, and at the end of the agricultural year when they bring in all the harvests, the fruits of the land, they would celebrate as the feast of Tabernacles.
Thirdly, are the Prophets: a historical account of what God did in and for His people Israel over the years. God had all of it recorded deliberately by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, from Adam right through to Moses when He formalized and gave them the Law, and then unto Malachi. All of these are the Prophets.
The fourth aspect is the Law. These are the Ten Commandments, the civil, hygienic and dietary laws. So we have the animal sacrifices, the Feasts and the Prophets and the Ten Commandments and the civil, hygienic and dietary laws. These are the four major areas of the Law.
Now, how, you may ask, does all this apply to us, the Church?