To fully understand the Old Testament pictures of salvation, one must understand a very important and much overlooked teaching of the Word which describes to us that the Old Testament consisted of many Types and a Shadow (fore views) of that which was to come. The coming of Jesus Christ as Messiah would fulfill all these things ending in a much more glorious Covenant which would be New.
The patterns of salvation are clearly taught in the life of Abraham in Genesis where we see him as the father of the Faith. In his life call and actions we see clearly that SALVATION CAME PURELY BY FAITH IN CONTRAST TO WORKS. The Scriptures says that he Believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness without the works of keeping any laws. Matter of fact the Law was not even given for over four hundred years after he lived and even then the scriptures do explain that Abraham did nothing to gain acceptance by God other than believe all that God said to him.
“For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God)” Romans 4:3.
In other words, Just because Abraham BELIEVED GOD it was said of him that he was Righteous. If you will look deeper into the teachings of the other verses in Romans chapter four, you will discover exactly what that means.
“1 [But] if so, what shall we say about Abraham, our forefather humanly speaking — [what did he] find out? [How does this affect his position, and what was gained by him?]
2 For if Abraham was justified (established as just by acquittal from guilt) by good works [that he did, then] he has grounds for boasting. But not before God!
3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed in (trusted in) God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God).
4 Now to a laborer, his wages are not counted as a favor or a gift, but as an obligation (something owed to him).
5 But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).
6 Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does: 7 Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.
8 Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him” Romans 4:1-8 Amplified Bible (AMP).
From this passage we learn a lot about Salvation in the Old Testament time. I point out to you the following fact taken from this passage:
Abraham was accepted by God because of his Faith not his Works. It was NOT on the basis of any GOOD WORKS that Abraham had done that caused him to be counted righteous but by his simple Faith to Believe God.
Abraham was given a STANDING WITH GOD that is summed up by saying he was ACCEPTED BY GOD which gave him salvation security.
Abraham had it written (imputed) upon his record (book of works) that he was righteous when he really was not. It was written by God (showing His Grace) that Abraham was counted righteous.
Abraham received the blessing of NOT HAVING HIS SIN put on his Record. In other words NOTHING was said about his sin, but instead Abraham was JUSTIFIED.
Abraham proves to us that the Old Testament people were not saved by Law Keeping.
After some four hundred years, Moses did appear on the scene and to him was given the Law of Commandments. Along with the Law and Commandments God dis instruct than to OFFER UP SACRIFICES FOR THEIR BREAKING OF THE LAW OF MOSES. These Sacrifices were the TRUE PICTURES OF SALVATION in the Old Covenant. I point out that by giving these sacrifices it POINTED THE WAY to the coming of Jesus Christ who alone can MAKE A ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE FOR SIN. In the shedding of the Blood of the Sacrifices men were COVERED OR TEMPORARILY FORGIVEN OF THEIR SIN PENALTY but ONLY JESUS and His Blood would finally complete eternal salvation. It is clear from the institution of the Sacrificial Laws that men would be only accepted and forgiven by offering them faithfully. It must be understood that the Laws themselves could not be kept fully by the Old Testament men to who it was given thus they were given A WAY OUT OF THE LAWS CONDEMNATION AND INDICTMENT UPON THEM. See Paul’s Explanation of the Old Testament Sacrificial law and how that that work could not make them perfect and how it shadowed the coming of Jesus Christ who made an appropriate sacrifice of himself and his blood to redeem the Old Testament Men.
“11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” Hebrews 9:11-16.
We we understand these things than it is clear that SALVATION HAS NEVER BEEN BY KEEPING THE LAW OR COMMANDMENTS but by simple FAITH in God to save them. There has never been but one way to find acceptance and forgiveness with God and that way is FAITH.
To fully understand God extending his ACCEPTANCE OF UNGODLY MEN WHO HAVE SINNED AND BROKEN HIS LAWS by Faith alone, one readily sees the true meaning of the GRACE OF GOD. Before the coming of the Law of Moses and even afterward we understand that men are only accepted by GRACE THROUGH FAITH. Men must BELIEVE and when they do BELIEVE BY FAITH, God will accept them. But see clearly the BLOOD OF JESUS had to be shed to FULLY WASH AWAY THEIR SINS.
The Old Testament people who believed did not go directly into the presence of the Lord when they died but had to go to a place in the earth called Abraham’s Bosom to await the coming of the Messiah who would fully shed his blood to save them. Jesus described this place in Luke 16 in the story of the Rich man and Lazarus. There were two places in the lower parts of the earth, one a place of torment for those who did not believe and the other a place of Comfort and blessing for those who had believed. When the Old Testament believers died they went to that TEMPORARY HOLDING PLACE and had to await the death of Jesus Christ and his Blood shed for their sins, than and only then would they be allowed into heaven and God’s presence. They were SAVED BY FAITH looking forward to the Lord’s coming and the day they would be totally forgiven. When Jesus arose from the grave he went there and TOOK THEM OUT THAT WERE SAVED BY FAITH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. See these verses in the New Testament telling of this event:
“8 Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.
9 [But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth?
10 He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest). Ephesians 4:8-10.
“18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit, 19 In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 [The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water” 1 Peter 3:18-20.
Then Salvation in the Old Testament was NO DIFFERENT than Salvation in the New Testament. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY FAITH. Faith is the way to be saved. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His eternal work done for all men upon his Cross. JESUS WENT TO GET THE OLD TESTAMENT PEOPLE AFTER HE DIED… It is very clear than that the Old Testament people who believed were NOT SAVED UNTIL JESUS DIED AND AROSE FROM THE DEAD FOR THEIR SINS. They WERE NOT SAVED BY KEEPING THE LAW OF MOSES. They had to believe in Jesus Christ by FAITH, just like we do today to be saved.
WHY ALL THE CONFUSION TODAY?
The confusing thing which is causing many people to stumble about salvation is discovered in WHY that God gave the Law of Moses and the Commands to the Old Testament men. It will take a New Testament Scripture to fully explain this to our satisfactory understanding. We must see that the REASON GOD ADDED THE LAW OF MOSES some 430 years after Abraham was only to bring man to the place where they could see and understand just how much they had offended God and fallen short of his requirements and morals. We must understand that the Law was NOT GIVEN TO SAVE MEN… but to bring them to CONVICTION and eventually to JESUS CHRIST as their only hope of being forgiven. NOW SEE THE FOLLOWING VERSES IN EXPLANATION TO FULLY UNDERSTAND:
“The Apostle Paul said this:
17 This is my argument: The Law, which began 430 years after the covenant [concerning the coming Messiah], does not and cannot annul the covenant previously established (ratified) by God, so as to abolish the promise and make it void.
18 For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise.
19 What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man].
20 Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person]. Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both].
21 Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law.
22 But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him].
23 Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), 24 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.
25 But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood).
26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith” Galatians 3:17-26.
I believe anyone now should fully know that there has never been but ONE WAY FOR MEN TO BE SAVED… and that way was by Faith. So why is it today that men are FRUSTRATING THIS MESSAGE by adding the Law and warning men everywhere that they must keep the Laws given to Moses to be saved? Do they not read and can they not understand that the bible clearly points the way and that way is JESUS CHRIST. He did save all men who will trust him by his blood, even the men in the Old Testament.
The CROSS OF JESUS stands today IN THE MIDDLE of Time, dividing the Old Testament and the New Testament men of the Earth. The Old Testament from Adam who lived and died before the Cross HAD TO LOOK FORWARD TO THE CROSS and the men of the New Testament, down to the last man to live before the end, MUST LOOK BACK AT THAT CROSS. The Requirement is and always has been the SAME and that requirement is FAITH. Men must Believe and when they do they are saved, Justified and ACCEPTED by God upon Faith Alone.
In closing I quote another verse showing the men of the Old Testament WAITING FOR US IN THE NEW TESTAMENT… before they could receive the PROMISES OF ETERNAL SALVATION:
“39 And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised, 40 Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them]” Hebrews 11:39-40.
THE MEN OF THE OLD TESTAMENT WERE SAVED JUST LIKE MEN TODAY.. BY FAITH. They were not saved by working, but by Believing in Jesus Christ to forgive them of all their sins.
~ Prophet Ken Dewey
Evangelist/Prophet/Pastor Ken Dewey is the founder of “OUT OF THE DESERT MINISTRIES” in Belen, New Mexico, USA. He writes on this Web Site, many Prophetic words, Sermons and teachings while leading people into true church settings and preaching in an End Time Gospel Ministry. NOTICE: One of the ways you can get involved in this OUT OF THE DESERT ARMY is to become a PARTNER or to GIVE A DONATION. We are believing God for many more Monthly Partners to stand with us in Monthly Giving and Offerings. If you have a desire to help and give, please know we need your help. God is sending people as I write to this place. We need your help and prayerful giving to enable us to do more for more people. Please send you pledge to becoming a Monthly Partner or to sow an offering into this Ground. To make a donation to OUT OF THE DESERT MINISTRIES please send to: PO BOX 223, BELEN, NEW MEXICO. PLEASE PRAY ABOUT SENDING A LOVE OFFERING TO SOMEONE WHO IS IN THE MIDST OF THE BATTLE FOR SOULS.. AND TO OPEN BLINDED EYES OF THOSE WHO ARE SLEEPING IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO DO ALL THAT GOD IS SAYING FOR US TO DO. THANK YOU ALL …