The Scarlet CordWritten by Stephen Kingery
From Genesis 1:1 all way through Bible to last verse of Revelation, there is a plan by which man can receive salvation and promise of God for eternal life with Jesus Christ. This plan is like a scarlet cord which runs all way through Old and New Testaments. This plan is embodied in life, ministry, and deity of Jesus Christ. In this article we shall examine this scarlet cord; Christ of Old and New Testament.
Many uninformed Christians believe that Jesus Christ "appeared" on scene in book of Matthew and that New Testament is about Christ and His teachings. They also believe that Old Testament is an account of history and laws of Jewish people before time of Christ. They do not see or recognize relationship between two testaments. The relationship is Christ.
As early as Genesis 3:15 we see Christ in Old Testament. The Old Testament is replete with prophesies about coming Messiah, and God begins to tell His people these in first book of Bible. In Genesis 3:15 we see that Christ is seed of woman; in 4:25 we see that He is from line of Seth; in 9:27 we see that line continues through Shem; in 12:3 line continues through Abraham; in 21:12 line continues through Isaac; in 25:23 through Jacob; and in 49:10 we see that Christ shall be of tribe of Judah.
Another way we see Christ in Old Testament is through types. A "type" is a historical fact that illustrates a spiritual truth. For example, Adam is said to be a type, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to likeness of transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Romans 5:14) How is Adam a type of Christ? Both entered world through a special act of God as sinless men. We think of Adam as being head of first creation, physical creation of man. Jesus is head of new creation. Through Adam, sin was introduced to world, through Jesus sin is made null and void.
There are also what I like to call "pictures of Christ" in Old Testament. An example of this is Abel's acceptable offering of a blood sacrifice which points to or "pictures" Christ as being acceptable blood sacrifice for all mankind's sin. In like manner, Cain's murder of Able pictures death of Christ; both were a result of jealousy.
Joseph is also a type of Christ. Both Joseph and Christ were objects of special love by their fathers, both were hated by their brothers, both were rejected as rulers over their brothers, both were sold for silver, both were condemned though innocent, and both were raised out of their humiliation to positions of glory by power of God.
Not all Old Testament books contain direct messianic prophecies. Some books which may not have direct prophecies will be full of types and/or pictures of Christ. Let's take a look at each Old Testament book following Genesis to see what of Christ we can see in each of them.
EXODUS: Exodus has no direct prophecies but is full of types. Some of these types are: Moses, Passover, seven feasts, exodus, manna and water, tabernacle, and high priest.
LEVITICUS: Leviticus is also brimming with types and allusions of person and work of Jesus. Some of more important are: five offerings, high priest, and seven feasts.
NUMBERS: In Numbers there are several pictures of Christ. Some of these include: a bronze serpent on a stake (a picture of Crucifixion), rock that quenches thirst of multitude, daily manna, pillar of cloud and fire, and six cities of refuge.
DEUTERONOMY: The most obvious picture of Christ is found in 18:15, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear." Also we see Moses as a type of Christ as described above. Also note that Moses and Christ were only ones to fill three offices of prophet, priest and king (remember that Moses was never named a king, but fulfilled duties of a king as ruler of Israel).
JOSHUA: Joshua himself is a type of Christ. Joshua led Israel into their promised land, and as such he pictures Christ as One who will bring "many sons to glory" (see Heb. 2:10). Joshua succeeded Moses and realized victory which was unattainable by Moses, and in like manner Christ realized victory which was unattainable by law. The "Commander of army of Lord" which we see in 5:13-15 is evidently a preincarnate appearance of Christ.
JUDGES: The judges fulfilled two roles, that of spiritual savior and political ruler. These two roles picture role of Christ as our Savior and King. The seven judges also functioned individually somewhat differently. Some are warrior-rulers, some priests, and one (Samuel) was a prophet. These different functions all picture three offices of Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King.
RUTH: The book of Ruth shows redemption of Ruth by her kinsmen. This kinsmen-redeemer relationship is a picture of relationship which Christ has with us. Also, Ruth was Great-Grandmother of David and therefore a blood relative of Christ.
I & II SAMUEL: Samuel is a type of Christ as he holds offices of prophet, priest and judge. However we see more of Christ in life and person of David in these two books. David is born in Bethlehem, serves as a shepherd, and rules as king of Israel. David is forerunner of messianic King, and New Testament calls Christ "seed of David according to flesh" (Romans 1:3) and "the Root and Offspring of David." (Revelation 22:16)
I & II KINGS: Solomon is a type of Christ in a number of ways. His wisdom points to Christ; his fame, glory, wealth, and honor also point to Christ. Solomon was indeed considered great, however Christ said of Himself, "indeed a greater than Solomon is here." (Matthew 12:42) In northern kingdom there were nine different dynasties. However, in southern kingdom dynasty of David is preserved and thereby also linage of David of which Christ comes. Elijah is more a type of John Baptist than Christ but he reminds us of Christ in that he stressed repentance.
The Restoration MovementWritten by Stephen Kingery
Do you know what Restoration Movement is? Do you consider yourself to be a part of this movement? Do you think that movement is important to church? Do you even care?
Please don't think that I am trying to me a smart aleck. I certainly do not intend to be. However, I hope that you can find an answer to each of these questions in this article.
It would not be possible for me to even come close to giving a complete history of Restoration Movement in this short article. There have been volumes written about movement, key people who founded it, its underlying principles, and how it has progressed. My aim is to acquaint you with movement and hopefully spark your interest so you will seek to learn more about it.
The Restoration Movement was founded in 1800's by such men as Barton W. Stone, Thomas Campbell, and Alexander Campbell. These men, along with others, sought to get church back to following New Testament as its only source of authority. They also preached against a denominational structure and in favor of local congregations modeling themselves after churches in New Testament. They spoke in favor of using Scriptures as only source to determine how one receives gift of salvation.
I am convinced that most people who attend Christian Churches and Churches of Christ which associate themselves with Restoration Movement do not know what sets us apart from all rest who claim to be Christian. So, what does set us apart?
We strive for restoration of church, both in unity and practice, on a New Testament basis. The church was instituted by Christ. The church is His! Local congregations (we most often call them churches) are just a part of church which Christ instituted. If this is true, and it is, then we have an obligation to Christ to pattern local congregation after pattern which is set forth in New Testament. By reading and studying New Testament we can learn how first churches which came into existence conducted themselves, how they were governed and so forth. Here are a few things we can learn:
"And they continued steadfastly in apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) They continued steadfastly, or in other words, they did not allow themselves to deviate from these practices. They continued in apostles' doctrine -- they followed teachings of apostles. We have these same teachings in New Testament. We too can, if we choose, continue to follow teachings of apostles. They continued in fellowship -- they met together as Christians to worship. They continued in breaking of bread -- they observed Lord's Supper on a regular basis. They continued in prayer -- they went to Lord in prayer on a regular basis. There are many groups today (over 300 major denominations) who claim to be Christian but have gone away from teachings of apostles. Just turn on your television and listen to doctrines being broadcast as if they were part of apostles' doctrine. Such things as infant baptism, sprinkling or pouring as a form of baptism, speaking in tongues, "once saved always saved," salvation by faith only, faith healing, prophesying (as if relaying a message directly from God), denying that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, and list goes on and on. None of these "doctrines" can be found in Scriptures. And if this isn't bad enough, there are other groups who claim to be Christian who deny deity of Jesus Christ or who follow teachings of men (latter day saints) who teach things contrary to Christ.
"Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;..." (Acts 6:3) The local church is to be governed by deacons and elders, each office having its own functions or duties. This governing group is to come from people in local congregation not a regional or state governing board as is practice of those in denominations. See also: Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17, 1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 1:5, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1-5, and 1 Timothy 3:1-13. "Now on first day of week, when disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." (Acts 20:7) We in Restoration Movement observe Lord's Supper each Lord's Day (the first day of week) as is patterned in this Scripture.
Not only should we pattern local congregation after those in New Testament, but church should be unified. "For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another." (Romans 12:4,5) Notice in New Testament that all local congregations were given same teachings. A study of this shows that apostles considered church to be unified, that all were obeying gospel, that all were to obey commands of Jesus, and that all were expected to conduct themselves in same manner. Are we today to believe that when Jesus returns for His church that He will receive a divided church, a church which teaches different doctrines, a church which has different means by which one may receive salvation, and a church which will not even associate or fellowship with each other? No, He will not! Listen to some of things Jesus tells seven churches in Asia as written in Revelation: "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent." (Revelation 2:5); "... Be faithful until death, and I will give you crown of life." (Revelation 2:10b); "Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with sword of My mouth." (Revelation 2:16); "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until end, to him I will give power over nations-" (Revelation 2:26); "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (Revelation 3:5); and "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:16) Please read this entire passage in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Do we see here a picture of what Christ expects when He returns? He expects church (you, I and everyone who professes to be a follower of Christ) to be faithful and not following false teachings. If we don't measure up, then we can expect to have our name blotted from Book of Life.