Had Ye Believed Moses
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Contents & Foreword
1. You Would Have Believed Me
2. He Wrote of Me
3. What Thing Is This?
4. What Is This That He Said?
5. Two Rocks
6. Your House Left Desolate
7. Saying None Other Things
8. By Faith
9. Through Faith We Understand
10. By Faith Abel…
11. The Blood of Abel…
12. Enoch Translated into Heaven
13. The Biblical Structure
14. Noah, Through the Flood
15. Abraham, A New Beginning
When Christ was on earth the first time He referred to or drew from the writings of Moses, along with other Old Testament prophets, on a number of occasions. Dealing with a blinded and disbelieving Jewish crowd on one occasion, Christ said,
For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.
But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:46, 47).
Then, following His Resurrection, Christ dealt with two disciples on the Emmaus Road after a similar fashion. Their “eyes were restrained [their vision was held, preventing them from recognizing Him]” (Luke 24:16), and He revealed Himself to them through calling their attention to the Old Testament Scriptures. He used the Written Word to reveal the Living Word.
Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:25-27).
Moses had previously written about all the various facets of the person and work of Christ. And an Israelite believing that which Moses had previously revealed would have found it quite natural to believe the things surrounding Christ. The two — that which Moses had revealed, and the things surrounding Christ — were exactly the same.
However, disbelief or unfamiliarity with that which Moses had previously revealed would have resulted in the inverse of the preceding. Such a person in Israel would have been in no position to properly understand the things surrounding Christ. That would be to say, a person in Israel not understanding earlier revelation would have been in no position to understand later revelation.
And this was exactly the prevailing situation throughout Israel when Christ came the first time. The Jewish people, for the most part, were unfamiliar with that which Moses had written. They held to the letter of Moses’ writings, but they didn’t understand the spirit of his writings at all (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6-18). In this respect, they had little understanding of the revelation that God had given to them. This, in turn, led to their not understanding later revelation as well, resulting in their rejection and crucifixion of the nation’s Messiah, something that Moses had also foretold.
And exactly the same problem that existed in Israel 2,000 years ago exists in Christendom today. The letter of the Word is generally known, but the spirit of this same Word is, for the most part, unknown. Resultantly, conditions that prevail in Christendom near the end of the present dispensation are identical to conditions that prevailed in Israel near the end of the preceding dispensation. Christians possessing an improper understanding of earlier revelation simply cannot possess a proper understanding of later revelation.
The “letter” has to do with the exact wording of the text; and the “spirit” has to do with the way in which God has structured His Word, necessitating the Holy Spirit to open up and reveal that which is spiritual. The “words of the Lord” are not only pure words, but God has magnified His Word above His name (Psalm 12:6; 138:2); and the Old Testament Scriptures, were structured in a highly typical manner, forming word-pictures that deal with all the various facets of the person and work of Christ (cf. Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
And any correct study of Christ from the Scriptures must begin with these word-pictures that God has set forth in the Old Testament, beginning with Moses.