What Does the Bible Say About…/Part 11
By: Dr. Thomas Figart
|By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2003|
|Why did people in the Old Testament tear their clothing? How did Old Testament saints get saved? Could Old Testament saints lose their salvation?|
Students from Manheim Christian Day School (PA) ask Questions About the Bible
Answered by Dr. Thomas Figart
When it says in Joshua 7:6 about Joshua and the elders tearing their clothing, did they sit there nude then, or what?
From TT, “When it says in Joshua 7:6 about Joshua and the elders tearing their clothing, did they sit there nude then, or what?”
Answer: Because Achan had disobeyed the LORD, Israel was defeated at the city of Ai. They lost 36 men. Joshua and the elders were grieving over them, because the LORD had withheld His help. They loosened their turbans, put dust on their heads, and “tore their clothes,” which meant that Joshua and the elders ripped the front part of their garments, nearest their hearts, as one commentator described it, “a very natural expression of grief, by which the sorrow of the heart was to be laid bare, an expression which was not only common among the Israelites (see Genesis 37:20; II Samuel 1:11), but was widely spread among other nations of antiquity.”
It was an expression of deep sorrow, but certainly did not involve anything more than tearing their garments at their hearts, nothing more. Nudity was not involved.
How did a person get saved in the Old Testament?
How did a person get saved in the Old Testament?
Answer: We discussed this question previously, where I noted that Job and Abraham were quite aware of the coming of Christ as Redeemer; even Jesus said that Abraham rejoiced to see His day, and saw it, and was glad (John 8:56).
Salvation throughout all the ages was by the free gift of God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. To change this to include any human effort to any degree, is to change the offer of salvation into something less than the free gift of God’s matchless grace.
Faith is the essential element, specifically faith in God’s promises to provide an adequate salvation. (Please read Hebrews 11:39-40.) The death and resurrection of the Messiah was the only basis of faith. All of the prophets spoke of the suffering and death of the Messiah, so all Israel should have known the true way of salvation, not merely a few. Please read Acts 3:18-24; 24:14; 26:22-27.
In addition to Job and Abraham (both lived before the Law of Moses was given), we will give three more examples:
Moses, the great Lawgiver himself had personal faith in Christ Pleas read Hebrews 11:24-26, “By faith, Moses… considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.”
David, under the Law, foresaw the death and resurrection of Christ. Please read Psalm 16:8-11 and compare the quotation in Acts 2:25-36. David said, “Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol, Neither wilt thou allow Thy Holy One to see the pit.” Peter says that David said this about Christ: “he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay” (Acts 2:31).
Isaiah the prophet, also lived under the Law of Moses, but he, too, prophesied of Christ. Please read John 12:37-41, and see how this fulfilled Isaiah 6:10; “These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory and spoke of Him” (John 12:41).
Could a person lose their salvation in the Old Testament, and what are some Scriptures that talk about this?
Question: Could a person lose their salvation in the Old Testament, and what are some Scriptures that talk about this?
Answer: Old Testament saints were “born again,” In John 3:3-10, Jesus expected Nicodemus to know this truth, for example, from I Samuel 10:6, 9. God said to Saul, “Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man” (verse 6). In verse 9, “Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart, and all those signs came about on that day.” Even though Saul had mental problems later, we should never forget that the Lord chose him, not the people. Ezekiel 36:26-27: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…. And I will put my Spirit within you.”
Here are some Scriptures which prove that salvation was eternal, and that Old Testament believers had “eternal security:”
Isaiah 32:17 “And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness quietness and confidence forever.”
The Berkeley Version translates Isaiah 32:17, “And the fruit of justice will be peace, and the effect of righteousness rest and security forever.”
Isaiah 51:6, “Lift up your eyes to the sky, then look to the earth beneath; for the sky will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and its inhabitants will die in like manner. But my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not wane.”
Isaiah 56:5, “I will give them an everlasting name, which shall not be cut off.”
Daniel 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
When you are born again, it is not possible to be un-born!!