The most misunderstood page in The Bible
What do you suppose is the most misunderstood page in all the Bible?

There are, no doubt, many different answers. Some would argue that one of the pages from Revelation, Daniel or Zechariah with their images and prophecies must certainly be the hardest. Others would choose pages containing some of the many doctrinal passages that seem to generate such controversy.
This writer has found a much simpler page to actually be equally as confusing to the casual reader. It’s the page at the end of Malachi and prior to Matthew chapter 1 that is inscribed “The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” This page is not a part of Scripture, but serves as a separator between the Old and New Testaments.
There is much misunderstanding as to what this divider page actually signifies. Most folks think that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are actually in the New Testament time period. They are properly grouped there because they are the biographies of the One who would seal His New Covenant (Testament) with His very blood; however, this New Testament had not come into force yet. These books contain New Testament teaching in the sense that Jesus was preparing his disciples for the coming Kingdom and the New Covenant, and fulfilling both the prophecies and the purpose of the Old Testament. A common phrase found in the four Gospel accounts was the combination, “you have heard it said of old...but I say unto you.”
Jesus actually lived and died under the Old Testament time period, faithful to all the Law of Moses. It’s not until we get to the cross of Christ at the end of these records that we actually enter into the New Testament or New Covenant period. Note Hebrews 9:16-17: “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” Jesus had to die before His new Will would come into effect. The executors of His Will, the Apostles, executed the terms and conditions of His Will beginning on the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter 2. That day marked the beginning of the New Testament church or kingdom.
One significance of this is that I cannot go to episodes like the thief on the cross to discount specific commandments in the New Testament such as “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” (Acts 2:38). Christ was very much alive at the point of speaking to the thief, “today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Whether the thief was or was not baptized has no bearing at all on Acts 2:38 and it’s relevance to you and me. The thief lived and died under the old covenant. You and I live under the terms of His New Testament.
A misunderstanding of this change from the Old to the New Covenant has also caused men to use the Old Testament to justify many practices that were not ordained by the Lord for the New Testament church. Examples of these would be: Sabbath Day observance, instruments of music, ceremonial worship, and a separate priesthood. Paul admonishes us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15).

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