Human Vessels In Comparative Study
VESSELS THEN AND NOW
Thoughts By R. L. DeWitt, 2011
God told the people of Israel through the Patriarchs in the beginning from Abraham (note Gen. 12), to remember His calling to be a chosen earthly people forever, and with the hope of the coming Messiah (annointed One of God) as their King on earth; and for His mercies and blessings to them throughout their history; i.e, believe and trust Him, and do certain things to obey and honor Him for all blessings and care forever; however, their worldly ways and great pride in self and their history and accompishments, caused them to boast, and then hate and crucify their Messiah (Jesus, the Christ --annointed one) when He came. God truly knew all this would happen. The Lord Jesus allowed this as sent from His Father, the Creator- God to bring blessings to ALL MANKIND WHO WILL RECEIVE HIM, by being the Savior on the cross for sins in the whole world as the perfect holy One; and this sacrifice was to have a heavenly people forever (the Church) as well as the promised earthly people on the new earth (Israel) to come ---for both OT and NT saints). God loves all mankind and has also called for ALL souls in this age to believe on Him, as RECEIVING His great salvation in His "beloved Son", and keep His Word to obey, honor, and please Him as their Father, for blessings now and for eternity.
The essential difference between the Old Testament saints and the New Testament saints in the Bible, is in the earthly sphere of the Patriarchs and Israel, and the heavenly sphere of this Church age. The OT shows man the Creator and His creation, and His ways with mankind and promises (even including the strangers who came among Israel). The NT sets forth the promised Redeemer now for all mankind in God's Church, and His expectations, and the final scene for mankind as described in the Book of Revelation. One needs to appreciate the seven Dispensations (ages of God's management) by Holy Scripture (periods, times, adminis-trations, etc.) as shown in the Word of God, to understand the OT and NT differences. Israel as a people failed in religion (righteous works), as did all men in every dispensation before the present age, and the Church is now failing in this dispensation of grace (note Eph. 1:3-14; Eph. 3:1-7). Other papers in the Christian Counsel Collection can show the full dispensation picture.
We see the Church as the "Bride" of Christ and formed by unmerited favor ---grace; whereas Israel was a blessed people on earth by mercy to be obedient servants (and certainly there has been some grace and mercy afforded for both). Both of these people have much failure, though both are essentially of God. This is explained further in other ministry. Such understanding is in appreciation of the fact that lost souls in every age will face eternal consequences for rejecting God's "great salvation" --for Israel and OT souls in their lack of submission, obedience, honor, and the rejection of their Messiah; and for the Church, and NT souls in lack of receiving the sacrifice of Christ, obedience to the Word of God, and honor to God.
It is important in such a comparison to understand that all Israelites (often called Jews --from mostly Judah today) must come on the same ground as the Gentiles, and receive their blood sacrifice which is now in Jesus Christ, rather than animal types. The old religion of Israel with sacrifices and a priesthood has been put away --fulfilled in Christ.
Israel put themselves under law by refusing grace, and preferring "a king like other nations", as they stated in their history; so were given that, but also a covenant with ordinances and rules. God gave vessels and instruments to Israel as types to use in worship and godly service, but He made the saints in the Church in this age to BE THE VESSELS ---temples of God. This is an important distinction to see.
Some things that God spoke to saints in olden times are general principles for faithful saints in all ages, such as His expectations for our manner and ways to honor, obey, and please God. Other things were for Israel only in their religion, such as keeping the Sabbath holy, etc. Musical instruments were also sometimes used in worship by saints in the OT, but it is not given for the Church, for the heart and voice of our vessels (physical bodies) makes music to God. Instruments are not forbidden today, but is not given for the Church, and we must not presume to add anything to what God gave for His Church.
God told Israel to believe Him and do certain physical things for their eternal hope and good, but set the Church to believe GOD IN CHRIST ---speaking of a relationship; and to hold His principles, practices, and teachings if they choose to honor, obey, and please God. Saints today are apparently not openly put to death by God for failures as under law, but will forfeit blessings and rewards in Heaven. We need to be reminded that only saints of God (sanctified ones) will be in Heaven, so as it was incumbent on Israel to be saved, so it is for all souls today. Israel needed their sacrifices often (in type), but the Church has the real sacrifice now in Christ. One needs to understand redemption truth and receive it by receiving the Lord Jesus, "the Christ of God" (Lk. 9:20), as our Redeemer (including also Israelites today). It is all about a spiritual relationship.
God has tried mankind under many conditions for five dispensations from the beginning, and they failed; so, we are now living in the sixth period or age ---called Grace, and sadly most souls are continuing to disobey God and will perish; which should stir us to humility and redemption by the Gospel message (John 3 & John 14, etc.) before it is too late. The seventh period to come is the Kingdom age when the Christ will "reign in righteousness" over the earth. More detail can be shown on this subject if one is interested.
- RLD: GB45; 10/11; add 11/19.