The first advent of Christ not only rocked the system of expected worship of the one true God, it forever altered how believers are to understand his word.
According to the author of Hebrews, “He sets aside the first to establish the second.” In context, those who persist in maintaining allegiance to any aspect of the former system are excluded from inclusion in Christ.
Our weekly study through Wineskins highlighted the prophecy of Isaiah which warns against listening to those who speak contrary to the law and the testimony. It is one of those passages that when initially recorded could only apply to the Old Covenant.
However, now that the Revelator has claimed to have fulfilled that law, it is one of those prime examples of why the blood of Christ must cover not only believers, but even our understanding of Scripture. Viewing Scripture any other way than through this God-lens distorts theology.
The warning reads:
“To the law and the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (Isa 8:20).
Following the repeated announcement of the name Immanuel, the prophecy precedes this pronouncement by calling for fear, not of worldly concerns, but of the Lord. This Lord will be a stumbling block for the people of Israel and the message of the prophesied law and testimony was required to be hidden among God’s faithful disciples. In other words, the understood law of the Old Covenant would continue to be available, but would serve as a stumbling block.
Rather than a warning to avoid ministers who speak contrary to the Old system, this Messianic prophecy was intended to emphasize the Law of Christ.
Consider how the apostle John references his final words as the “words of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:2). By the end of this letter, he warns that those who dismiss this new focus will have all the curses of Revelation poured upon them. In his earlier gospel and first epistle he repeatedly identifies the light of dawn spoken of by Isaiah as Jesus himself.
When filtered through the New Covenant blood, the prophecy is understood to mean:
To the law of Christ and the testimony of Jesus! If they do not speak according to the New Covenant words of Jesus, they have no light of Christ within them.
Those ministers who vainly attempt to mix Old and New without allowing the New Covenant to impact what can be gained from understanding the former mislead their flock. In spite of any sincerity, they continue to perpetuate the stumbling-block.
Only in Christ is the blinding veil removed, and the believer set free to discover the treasures available in both the Old and New Testaments.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase: to the law and the testimony?