Updated: Jul 5, 2021
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INTRODUCTION. Before the world was created God purposed to send his Son into
the world to save mankind from their sins. The Bible, though written over a period of some 1500 years, is an organized and complete unit, revealing the mind of God and his eternal purpose to save man from his sins.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning...” (Rom. 15:4). The Old Testament scriptures were written for our learning. From the first prophecy of Christ in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15) to the close of the Old Testament, God's plan unfolds, revealing the lineage of Christ through the seed of woman, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the tribe of Judah, and the family of David. The New Testament begins with the birth, ministry, death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God–the fulfillment of the spiritual promise to Abraham, “...in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). The New Testament then continues with the establishment of Jesus’ church, guidelines and principles for Christian living, and closes with the victory of Christ over Satan.
In the gospel of Luke as the New Testament opens, we are introduced to Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth who were both descendants of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. They were chosen by God to have a son and to call his name John. The angel Gabriel announced this special event to Zacharias while he was in the temple performing his priestly duties.
John's mission was prophesied in the Old Testament. Both Isaiah and Malachi
prophesied of a messenger who would prepare the people for the coming of God's Son. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all affirm that the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth was the one spoken of by the Old Testament prophets.