By Mrs. E. G. White
It is in the written Word of God that a knowledge of God is most clearly revealed to fallen man. This is the treasure-house of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
The Word of God includes the Scriptures of the Old Testament as well as of the New. One is not complete without the other. Christ declared that the truths of the Old Testament are as valuable as those of the New. Christ was as much man’s Redeemer in the beginning of the world as He is today. Before He clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to our world, the Gospel message was given by Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. Abraham in Canaan, and Lot in Sodom, bore the message, and from generation to generation faithful messengers proclaimed the coming One. He was the foundation of their system of sacrificial offerings, the great Antitype of all their religious services. The blood shed as the sacrifices were offered pointed to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in Him.
Christ, as manifested to the patriarchs, as symbolized in the sacrificial service, as portrayed in the law, and as revealed by the prophets, is the riches of the Old Testament. Christ in His life, His death, and His resurrection; Christ, as He is manifested by the Holy Spirit, is the treasure of the New Testament. Our Saviour, the outshining of the Father’s glory, is both in the Old and the New.
In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new. When Christ desired to open to His disciples the truth of His resurrection, He began “at Moses and all the prophets,” and “expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” But it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of the New that glorifies the Old. He who rejects the New, does not really possess the Old. For him it loses its vital power, and becomes but a lifeless form. In every page, whether history or precept or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the Gospel. To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, Heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice, Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.
There are those who profess to believe and teach the truths of the Old Testament, while they reject the New. But in refusing to receive the teachings of Christ, they show that they do not believe that which patriarchs and prophets have spoken. “Had ye believed Moses,” Christ said, “ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me.” Hence, there is no real power in their teaching of even the Old Testament.
Many who claim to believe and teach the Gospel are in a similar error. They set aside the Old Testament Scriptures, of which Christ declared, “They are they which testify of Me.” In rejecting the Old, they virtually reject the New; for both are parts of an inseparable whole. No man can rightly present the law of God without the Gospel, or the Gospel without the law. The law is the Gospel embodied, and the Gospel is the law unfolded. The law is the root, the Gospel is the fragrant blossom, and the fruit which it bears. The Old Testament sheds light upon the New, and the New upon the Old. Each is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Both present truths that will continually reveal new depths of meaning to the earnest seeker.