The Old Testament is filled with great promises and gifts from God. Things done by God under the Old Testament dispensation work to bring His will and Word to pass. And many of these things culminated in the arrival of our Savior, Jesus, the Christ (Anointed One).
Today, under the New Testament, we live in a different dispensation. How do many of those promises and blessings spoken under the former apply to this dispensation? This article is an expansion of a recent Facebook post.
Claiming Old Testament Blessings
Often we hear or read promises and blessings from the Old Testament spoken or written as if they apply, or can be applied to people today. This is mainly because we may not realize or understand what Paul wrote to the saints in Rome…
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Paul said what we read in the Old Testament is for our learning and for hope, not necessarily for us to claim, unless specifically spoken for our time. When we read the Old Testament, we find that the things spoken by God were mostly to specific individuals, not to everyone. So God has no obligation to do for us what He said He would do for Daniel, for example.
We are given the words of the Apostles as taught by Jesus. Are not the words of our Savior enough? Why do we feel we need to reach back and grab the things promised to others?
The Past Looked Forward
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:9-10
Abraham, called the father of the faithful, looked forward to the promise of the New Jerusalem. Were did he get that idea? From God! These founders of our faith looked ahead, not behind. While there wasn't anything for them to reach back to, they did not make things up either. Here is what is said of them…
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:13-16
Note the verse says, “an heavenly”, as in a heavenly country, not necessarly Heaven itself.
The Promises Fulfilled!
When we look at the blessings and promises made to the Old Testament fathers, what do you think they were about? What was to be the result?
“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:” Romans 15:8
Jesus is the not only the confirmation of the promises, he is the fulfillment of the promises. And not only that. We are looking to others for blessings we already have through Christ!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3
A major issue with the Church World is seeking after blessings never promised.
Blessings Never Promised
Once, the only goal of the Child of God was to please God. Today we are constantly pushed to seek after natural blessings. Worldly wealth, position, power, and success has become the false evidence of God's power at work.
But wealth, worldly position, power, and authority was never promised to the believer. Why? Because we can acquire these things by our own hands! God gave everyone the ability to do this. But only by going to God through Christ can we receive the spiritual blessings.
And before we run to the Old Testament to prove a point, let me address a verse used to justify the gathering of wealth…
“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18
I want you to look at this verse carefully, especially the last part. Many will see something they never saw before. Who did God give the power to get wealth? The people He was talking to, the Children of Israel! Why did God give them power to get wealth? To fulfill His promise to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob to establish His covenant with them! The promise of a dwelling place with them, which was fulfilled through Solomon.
For us, God continued to keep His word… by dwelling in us by the Holy Ghost!
We've Been Promised The World!
They had great and precious promises. Yet, we have the better. In fact, we have the best! We have what they hoped for. The fathers looked forward to a day when the world would receive eternal life. They looked forward to a restoration of the time of Adam in the Garden.
And we have been given that promise through Christ. We have the Holy Ghost who leads and guides us. We have the hope of eternal life, which is greater than anything anyone could hope for.
While Israel was promised the land of Canaan, we are promised, by God through Christ, the Earth! Who could ask for anything more?
“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalms 37:9,11
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5