Ask Pastor Adrienne column: The Old Testament is as relevant as ever
Does the Old Testament remain relevant to 21st-century Christianity and society overall?
A: Unfortunately, there has been a slow drain of education toward the importance of personal, biblical literacy within the church, especially regarding the Old Testament (OT). As a result, the average church member has little knowledge of the prophetic benchmarks we’ve surpassed within the last 70 years - and certainly not the prophetic movement sweeping across the world right now. Relevant? The OT is full of clues to our current situations on the earth because it is full of prophecy about them. If the OT is not relevant, we are driving an evangelical bus around in circles without a compass.
“The Prophetic” as it’s referred to, is a groundswell of awakened Christians cutting huge swaths of enlightened highway through miles of blighted, religious forests these days. Christ is waking up his Bride and reminding us that he fulfilled what was written in the OT. Jesus is now presiding over what he embodies. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17, 18, NASB). “The Law” Jesus spoke about is what we call The Old Testament, otherwise known as the Hebrew Bible; the ancient books.
We are, and have been, in a prophetic tsunami since the day Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. That incredible day fulfilled prophecies in both Ezekiel and Isaiah. Here are those prophecies, respectively: “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel’” (Ezekiel 37:21, 22). “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules and on camels ... to My holy mountain, Jerusalem,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:8, 20).
Once that milestone of an Israeli-nation was achieved on the Bible’s prophetic time-line, certain segments of the church began paying closer attention to the OT. The study of the Old and New Testament (NT) prophecies then deepened and accelerated. By the late 1970s, the prophetic movement was born in America. Numerous prophetic voices around the world, once unpopular or dismissed in unbelief, got louder. We have Joel 2:28 to blame for how the church is dramatically changing as we speak. People, filled with the Holy Spirit’s gifts (prophecy being just one) are now activated and are finding their way to platforms, cameras and microphones. We are living in exciting times! We’re acknowledging that many of the OT prophecies are fulfilled, we’re stepping into the Book of Revelation and watching God’s strategies be declared to the modern-day prophets (Amos 3:7).
Like many pastors lately, I’ve been pressed by the Holy Spirit to begin teaching Revelation - line by line; chapter by chapter. Few will attempt it because of its controversy and mystery. (Until now, I never have.) While Revelation’s vital, last thoughts from Jesus are found in the NT, it is rooted in OT books, namely the prophets. Christ referenced the ancient texts with his revelation because he wanted us to hear it again, straight from his mouth.
It saddens me that the backdrop to Messiah’s triumphant life is rarely emphasized or referred to in today’s mainline, evangelical church. The OT explains the whys and wherefores of Christ’s existence and more - it proves out his authenticity. It is absolutely relevant and critical to our Christian walk. Especially now.
Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information, please visit www.adriennewgreene.com or tune into the “Ask Pastor Adrienne” YouTube channel.