Broadly speaking, the great subject of the Old Testament is Israel, and the great subject of the New Testament is the church. Notice how the structure of the Old Testament is built around Israel.
- In the Pentateuch (books of Law) is recorded the founding of Israel.
- In the twelve History books is recorded the history of Israel.
- The five books of Poetry were written by spiritual leaders of Israel, and contain instructions to Israel.
- The seventeen books of Prophets contain prophecies concerning Israel.
The structure of the New Testament in the same way centers around the church.
- In the Gospels and the first two chapters of Acts is recorded the founding of the church.
- The book of Acts narrates the history of the church for one generation.
- The twenty-one Epistles were written by spiritual leaders of the church and contain instructions to the church.
- The one book of Prophecy contains prophecies concerning the church.
There are many correspondences between Israel and the church, concerning God's purposes in choosing them, promises given to them, and the conditions laid down for their blessing.
|I S R A E L||C H U R C H|
|P U R P O S E S|
A Witness - Witnessing unto the true God amid idolatrous nations of the world.|
A Demonstration - Showing the blessedness of being God's people.
A Repository - Preserving the revelations which God made to Israel of His character and His purposes.
A Channel - Being a channel through which God's blessings might flow out to the surrounding Gentile nations.
A Witness - Witnessing unto the Saviour Jesus amid a lost world.|
A Demonstration - Showing the blessedness of living in Christ.
A Repository - Preserving the marvelous truths of Christian doctrine which God has revealed to the church.
A Channel - Being God's channel today through which His blessings are reaching the whole world.
|P R O M I S E S|
Purity - Israel could be a pure nation spiritually and physically, by observing the Levitical laws of sacrifices and cleanliness.|
Wealth - All other nations would borrow from Israel.
Might - No alliance of nations could conquer Israel.
Reign - Israel could be the ruling nation of the world, a theocracy, with God on the throne.
Purity - "How much more shall the blood of Christ . . . purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14)|
Wealth - "Joint-heirs with Christ!" (Rom 8:17)
Might - "Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12)
Reign - Reigning with Christ in the millennium (Rev 20:6) and around the throne of God "for ever and ever." (Rev 5:11)
|C O N D I T I O N S|
Surrender - The basic requirement for blessing was absolute and unconditional surrender to the will of God. This meant faith in God and obedience to His Word in all things.|
Surrender - "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23)|
Separation - Israel was to be a separated people, not intermarrying, intermingling, or indulging in the manners or customs of the idol-worshipping nations surrounding them.|
Separation - "Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world" (John 15:19) "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." (Eph. 5:11)|
Service - The surrendered, separated Israelite was to serve his Lord. "And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Service - Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." I Cor. 15:58 "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men." (Eph. 6:7)