By Grant Phillips
The greatest story ever told is about the fall and redemption of mankind. It is about the love of an eternal God for His creatures that He made in His own image. It is about the provision He made to bring man back to Him in intimate fellowship. It is all that and more. It is the Gospel.
Unfortunately many do not have a clear understanding of what the Gospel really is. This is often because of unscrupulous pastors, ministers, teachers, etc. who are only interested in “feathering their own nest.” Let me give a few examples of what the Gospel is not. The Gospel is not believing in Jesus and:
– Gaining wealth,
– Being cured of an illness,
– Having all your wishes come true,
– Never again having any problems,
– Living like hell, while waiting to go to Heaven,
– I’ll just name it and claim it Christianity,
– I have my name on a roll at some church,
– I walked the aisle,
– There is good in all people,
– There are many ways to God,
The Gospel is seen throughout the New Testament books, but is it mentioned only in the New Testament of the Bible and not in the Old Testament?
Jesus made the Gospel clear to Nicodemus in John 3:16-21.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
The Apostle Paul and Barnabas made it so clear in Acts 16:31 when speaking to the Philippian jailor. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Paul clearly defined the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
Were people of the Old Testament saved by a different method than we are today? They brought sacrifices. We do not. Were they saved by works while we are saved by grace?
Allow me first to provide the answer to the above questions. Those in the Old Testament and we in the Church Age are saved exactly the same way, by God’s grace.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Works will never save anyone, whether we’re speaking of one who lived under the Law of Moses or one who now lives in the Church Age, or any other age for that matter. We often call the Church Age the Age of Grace, but in reality, all ages are the Age of Grace. God has always saved those who believe in His Son by His own grace and never by our works.
What about those who lived prior to The Law, such as Adam and Eve or Noah and others? Again, regardless of the age, it is always by the grace of God and not of works. The Gospel is about the works of God and man’s trust in God’s work.
Prior to the cross every eye looked forward to that day when the Messiah would come and provide the sacrifice for their sins.
Since the cross, we look back to that day when the Messiah came and provided the sacrifice for our sins.
The first hint of the Gospel was uttered by God to Satan in Genesis 3:15.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Those words were not written down until many years later by a man named Moses. In the meantime, what was said by God was passed down orally from generation to generation. By the way, when Moses penned the words to the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, he did so by the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I point this out to emphasize that there are no human errors in the original writings of the Bible, because the writers were inspired and lead by the Holy Spirit.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
The Old Testament does depict the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we know it today. One area that is often overlooked by the Church is the Tabernacle. Why? I’m not sure, unless it is thought to be irrelevant with the Gospel of the Church. I’m happy to announce that the Gospel of the Tabernacle is the same Gospel that the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles preached. It is the same New Testament Gospel of the Church. It doesn’t just show, “What must I do to be saved,” but goes beyond that.
Many good articles, slideshows, pictures, and books are available concerning the Tabernacle, so it is not my aim to expound every detail. I’m not sure that could be done anyway, by anyone.
We the Church are missing a great blessing by avoiding this area. Granted, some of it may sound boring at first, that is, until you really listen. “He, who has an ear, let him hear.”
So as we proceed through this marvelous study, I will attempt to present an overview of how the Tabernacle has blessed me and can bless you too.