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Observations Michael

OConnor, p. 1

Observations based on Jason DeRouchies Father of a Multitude


of Nations

One writer who sees a close relationship between the Old and
New Covenants is Jason DeRouchie. In his article, Father of a
Multitude of Nations: New Covenant Ecclesiology in OT Perspective,i
he develops the case that the revelation found in the New Covenant of
a body of Christ that incorporates both Jew and Gentile has its roots in
the Old Testament.

For many writers the idea that the main themes of the New
Testament have their roots in the Old Testament is usually based on a
methodology that begins with the revelation of Jesus Christ found in
the New Testament. In other words, for many, the New Testament has
priority in determining Old Testament interpretation. Steven Motyer
makes mention of this:

Many New Testament scholars maintain that the


New Testament use of the Old Testament works
within a closed logical circle: it depends on
Christian presuppositions and reads the Old
Testament in a distinctly Christian way (even if
employing Jewish methods of exegesis), often
doing violence to the true meaning of the Old
Testament texts employed. Thus, New Testament
arguments based on the Old Testament, it is held,
would generally be convincing to Christians but
hardly to Jews. (Steven Motyer, Old Testament in
ii
the New)

The idea for many theologians is that were it not for the New
Testament, we would not be able to see these revelations just from
reading the Old Testament. Yet, in DeRouchies article one is left with
the impression that since such references and allusions are so
numerous, the full biblical notion of the people of God, a notion which
finds its culmination in the New Testament church was already being
revealed in the Old Testament, at least in part.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 2

If that is the case, it brings the common approach (as cited by


Motyer above) in question. Indeed a salient characteristic of the Old
Testament is that it was forward looking and had much to teach
regarding future events, indeed the very events of the New Testament,
even the events surrounding the composition of the new covenant
church. If this is true , then one could conclude that if someone in the
time of the Old Testament truly sought God, they would have had all
that they needed for a faith not only in the Messiah, but also in a new
people of God. Faith is, indeed,the substance of things hoped for. And
that was true not only in the time of Jesus or Paul, but also in the time
of the prophets. Something, evidently, was convincing to those Jewish
saints!
(And saints they were. Hebrews 11 lists some of those Old
Testament saints citing that they were saved by a forward looking
faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of
things not seen. For by it the people of old received their
commendation. Hebrews 11:1-2 ESV. By faith Abraham obeyed when
he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an
inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By
faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living
in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For
he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose
designer and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 ESV. Your father
Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.
John 8:56 ESV)

DeRouchie quite justifiably notes that the revelation of the New


Testament, although based on the Old Testament, is also a
transformation of the Old Testament. While there are both elements of
continuity and discontinuity between the two testaments, DeRouchie
aptly shows that the signs of continuity were there in abundance, and
that the signals of a coming transformation were also indeed present
in the Old. iii

Therefore the issue goes beyond just that of the makeup of the
people of God and touches on the issue of Scriptural interpretation,
especially that of how to reconcile the New Testament with the Old.
DeRouchie recognizes all that and undergirds his thesis through the
following concepts seen already in the Old Testament, concepts that
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 3
explain, predict, and illustrate the transition from the Old Testament to
the New.

Distinct developments and transformations occur as the text


moves from the Old Testament to the New. The following are some of
the concepts that I have pulled out of DeRouchies article that help the
reader understand how the shadows and roots of the Old Testament
become the verdant reality of the New:

1. Offspring: an analysis of how the concept of seed as seen in the


Old Testament indicates that eventually the seed of Abraham will
come to include more than biological descendants.
2. Expansion of the Old Testament references to Israel as the people
of God that go beyond just ethnic Israel.

3. Faith: The basis of the inclusion of offspring of Abraham as the


people of God will be by faith, no longer by natural birth.
4. Adoption: The concept that natural descendants will be expanded
to include descendants through adoption.
5. Connection to the Messiah. The new covenant community, whose
identity will be intricately connected by faith to the messiah
Jesus, the true and faithful Israelite. The indications of a coming
Messiah led also to the idea that there would be a new era.
6. Two Eras. There will be two distinct covenantal eras. From the
particular to the universal: This eschatological era would be
characterized by expansion of the original promises from the
particulars of ethnic Israel to a universal application to all
mankind. The inauguration of the New Era will come with the first
coming of Christ and be consummated with his return.

DeRouchies main contention is that all of these aspects of the


new covenant were already in the Old Testament to become key
aspects in the new revelation (i.e., the mystery now fully revealed,
see endnote 4) of the gospel of Christ. In fact it was the eternal Christ
who was casting his shadow over the Old Testament.

These aspects mentioned above now serve as hermeneutic keys


that enable the reader to decipher and understand not only the
newness found in the New Testament, but also the continuity between
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 4
the two Testaments. Paul refers to this relationship as one of mystery
finally unriddled:

This mystery [previously partially revealed, but only now


fully] is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of th
body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through
the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6 ESV) iv

1. The Offspring of Abraham would extend beyond just the biological to


include the Gentiles.

The question then is whether we can point to Old Testament


evidence that supports the proposition that the Gentiles have been
included in the people of God? Was this in any fashion expressed in
the Old Testament? Indeed was this even a key promise? As Jason
DeRouchie points out, the answer is yes, and he first refers us to the
arguments of Paul.

It was so much a part of the Old Testament record that Paul, in


making his above inclusion assertions, would always back them up
with passages in the Old Testament as his supporting evidence. Here
we see Paul referring to the inclusion of the Gentiles as a miraculous
act by citing the verses back in Genesis:

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the


promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all
his offspringnot only to the adherent of the law but
also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of us all, as it is written, I have
made you the father of many nationsin the
presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives
life to the dead and calls into existence the things
that do not exist. (Romans 4:16-17 ESV, cf. Genesis
17:5)

Paul sees a connection between the new covenant Gentile


participation in the people of God as a fulfillment of the Old Testament
promises, especially promises given to Abraham, but also including
those given by other prophets. In Pauls ecclesiology both Jews and
Gentiles in Christ are Abraham seed. (Gal. 3:28-29). Pauls reasoning is
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 5
that all are included through Gods grace and not just because of
biological relationship or even because of self-efforts to keep the law
(Gal. 3: 8-9). Both are included because they both share the faith of
Abraham (Gal. 3:8-9).

Derouchie elaborates on Pauls assertions by focusing on the


word seed [ / ] seen in Genesis to show that new covenant
ecclesiology has its roots in the Old Testament. v The dilemma that
DeRouchie tackles is that from an initial, cursory reading of the text
the word seed, it appears to refer just to those descendants who are
biological offspring of the patriarch. As DeRouchie writes, Genesis 15:
5 appears to address most immediately only natural seed: Please
look to the heavens and count the stars if you are able to count them. .
. . So shall your offspring be.vi

However, as he points out, there are verses in Genesis that


express the anticipation that the boundaries of the term seed will
expand to include those saved from both ethnic Israel and the Gentile
nations (albeit during the age of the Messiah). He sees this new
covenant reality alluded to in Gods promises to Abraham. (I will make
you into nations and kings will come from you. Genesis 17:6) Similar
promises were given to Sarah, his wife, (I will bless her, and she shall
be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Gen. 17:15-16),
to Isaac, (And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven,
and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall
all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 26: 3) and to Jacob (And I
will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give
unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the
nations of the earth be blessed. Gen. 28:14). To Jacob, God also said,
A nation and a company of nations will come from you and and kings
from your loins. ( Gen. 3:11)

Nevertheless, only one nation came naturally from the loins of


Jacob and that was Israel. Even in Genesis 15, God specifically
mentions to Abraham that the offspring promised would come from
his loins. In other words, according to some of the verses,it would be
natural offspring. Nevertheless, in order to fulfill the second half of the
promise, a company of nations, Jacobs progeny would have to be
expanded by adoption through faith.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 6
2. The progressive and transitional idea of expansion.

Consequently, as DeRouchie aptly points out, there is an ample


number of verses that express the idea that the notion of seed or
offspring will be expanded in succeeding ages, going beyond just
natural offspring to include, in addition to ethnic Israel, others from
other nations.viiThis notion of expansion can be seen in several
chapters of Genesis:

I will bless those who bless you, and him who


dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the
families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis
12:3 ESV)

And he brought him outside and said, Look


toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are
able to number them. Then he said to him, So
shall your offspring be. (Genesis 15:5 ESV)

And again in Chapter 28, verse 14 we see the beginning of the


notion that Abrahams offspring will expand:

Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth,


and you shall spread abroad to the west and to
the east and to the north and to the south, and in
you and your offspring shall all the families of the
earth be blessed.

And also in Isaiah, we see this idea of expansion:

when his soul makes an offering for guilt,


he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the
will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the
anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his
knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall
bear their iniquities.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 7
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and
he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he
poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the
transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah
53:10-12 ESV)

It makes sense that there will be an expansion of the


demography of the kingdom and that this would be seen not only in the
New Testament , but also in the Old simply because expansion is a
chief characteristic of the kingdom of God:

Of the increase of his government and of peace


there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:7 ESV)

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout


the whole earth, to give strong support to those
whose heart is blameless toward him.(2
Chronicles 16:9 ESV)

May he have dominion from sea to sea,


and from the River to the ends of the
earth!
(Psalm 72:8 ESV)

This is the purpose that is purposed


concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations. (Isaiah 14:26 ESV)

This idea of expansion even applies to Gods promise of a land to


Abraham. DeRouchie lays out the case that just as there is an
expansion of the concept of who Gods people are, there is also an
expansion of the idea of the boundaries of their habitation, i.e., the
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 8
land promise (contrary to Dispensationalist writers) now becomes
universalized to that of the whole world. viii

Initially, the idea of a promised land as being Gods kingdom was


restricted to the borders of an earthly, national kingdom. But
eventually it was expanded to go far beyond the boundaries of Israel to
include the whole earth, if not the whole cosmos. (Matt 5:5; Rom 4:13;
Eph. 6:3).

Abraham himself understood this. In Hebrews 11:16 we read that


Abraham longed for a better, more heavenly country. As he moved
around the Biblical land that was promised, he knew that he was only
a sojourner (Gen. 23:4, Heb. 11:9). Even so, the land that was promised
had its origin, and therefore the same purpose, as a dwelling place for
the relationship between God and mankind, a purpose found further
back in paradise and only renewed in the time of Abraham. The land of
Israel belonged to God and was to be the place of his presence, a holy
land. But now in Genesis we see the roots of the new covenant truth
that Abraham would not only inherit the land of the Bible, but he also
could anticipate that it would be expanded to include the whole
cosmos. This would be in keeping with the original charge given to
Adam as Gods vice regent to subdue and take dominion over the
whole earth. What once encompassed a call to dominion over the
whole earth was temporarily assigned to a particular people in a
particular land. This, however, would prove to be temporary as God
renews his call to the whole world.

Expansion not only is seen with regard to the people of God and
the land that Gods people inhabit, it also applies to Gods lordship. An
expansive lordship of God over the whole creation was implied in
several places throughout the Old Testament. Numbers 14:21 stated
the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Psalm 72:19
reads: May the whole earth be filled with his glory. The
expansiveness of Gods ownership, and therefore rule, via the rule of
Abraham and his offspring, was also spoken to Abraham:

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your


offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that
is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 9
the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall
all the nations of the earth be blessed, because
you have obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:17-18 ESV)

In the following verses we read that God has promised also to


Isaac not only would he give him this land, singular, but lands,
plural. Clearly there is something in mind that goes beyond just the
Biblical land of Israel:

Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will


bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give
all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I
swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your
offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your
offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all
the nations of the earth shall be blessed,

(Genesis 26:3-4 ESV)

3. Faith

Another important key to understanding the relationship between


the Old Testament ecclesiology and that of the New is through
recognizing the instrumental role of faith. Paul emphasizes in his
writings of the New Testament the role of faith as the instrument of
salvation. But does this concept find its root in the Old?

As the text of the New Testament makes clear, Paul recognized


that inclusion into the people of God is no longer determined by
natural birth, but rather by faith. In the following passage, Paul states
that acceptance into the presence of God and, consequently the
individuals receiving of the gift of his Spirit is determined by those
who have faith. And not only that, Paul also links this back to the
example of Abraham.

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works


miracles among you do so by works of the law, or
by hearing with faithjust as Abraham believed
God, and it was counted to him as
righteousness? Know then that it is those of
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 10
faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the
Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel
beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall all
the nations be blessed. So then, those who are
of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man
of faith.
(Galatians 3:5-9 ESV)

Those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham. God has
now justified Gentiles by faith and had announced that beforehand to
Abraham himself. This revelation to Abraham, although incomplete,
was even called the gospel by Paul, indeed it was the very root of the
gospel of Jesus Christ:

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would


justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel
beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall all
the nations be blessed. (Galatians 3:8, ESV)

I will bless those who bless you, and him who


dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the
families of the earth shall be blessed. (Genesis
12:3, ESV)

Indeed the Gentiles, and even now including the Jews, would be
justified by faith in Jesus and no longer through biological birth or even
religious, lawful works:

For by works of the law no human being will be


justified in his sight, since through the law comes
knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of
God has been manifested apart from the law,
although the Law and the Prophets bear witness
to itthe righteousness of God through faith in
Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no
distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 11
gift, through the redemption that is in Christ
Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by
his blood, to be received by faith. This was to
show God's righteousness, because in his divine
forbearance he had passed over former sins.
(Romans 3:20-25 ESV)

The concept of faith is of course present in the Old Testament


but as a word (faith, believe) it is infrequent. Words like fear, love,
serve, obey, trust, hope and wait are more predominant than
faith.ix Nevertheless, as Paul recognized, the concept and role of faith
had its roots in the Old Testament:

What then shall we say was gained by Abraham,


our forefather according to the flesh? For if
Abraham was justified by works, he has something
to boast about, but not before God. For what does
the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it
was counted to him as righteousness. (Romans
4:1-3 ESV)

And he brought him outside and said, Look toward


heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to
number them. Then he said to him, So shall your
offspring be. And he believed the LORD, and he
counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6
ESV)

4. Adoption

Membership into the people of God under the New Covenant would be
established not by biological means, but rather by adoption through
faith. This is one of DeRouchies main points as he mentions the word
adoption 31 times in his article.x The following discussion is based on
his article with some added comments concerning adoption.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 12
The New Testament makes the case that one enters into the
community of God through adoption with no distinction to ethnicity,
whereas the Old Testament primarily presents the case that, the
people of God were those that keep the law and were naturally born
into Israel (Gen. 15:4). In other words, only the Jewish nation of Israel
constituted the people of God. How then is God going to expand his
family to include those outside of ethnic Israel? This dilemma
concerning the offspring, which normally was from natural seed, is
resolved by the concept of adoption. The question then is whether
there were indications already in the Old Testament that predicted the
New Testament revelation of the inclusion of the Gentiles by adoption?

The word adoption appears only rarely in the New Testament and
not at all in the Old, yet, as a concept it is very present and very
powerful. The concept of God adopting Israel (Romans 9:4), while not
primary, is alluded to in the Old Testament. For instance, among those
in Israel there was the idea that they had been deliberately chosen by
God (Isa.1:2, Jer.3:19, Hos. 11:1). There was also the idea that God was
their father and that he had bought them out of bondage.xi

This then becomes the basis for the New Testament reality of
adoption primarily as expressed by Paul. Paul on several occasions
uses the word adoption with reference to the new covenant believer
in Jesus. The word adoption, a legal term, indicates the process
whereby God bestows sonship on a believer, but not through natural
means. By faith, as a free gift from his grace, and through the Spirit
one becomes Gods child and heir.xii

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons
of God. For you did not receive the spirit of
slavery to fall back into fear, but you have
received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom
we cry, Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears
witness with our spirit that we are children of
God, and if children, then heirsheirs of God and
fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with
him in order that we may also be glorified with
him. (Romans 8:14-17 ESV)
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 13
And not only the creation, but we ourselves,
who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan
inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as
sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans
8:23)

to redeem those who were under the law, so that


we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:5)

In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons


through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of
his will, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:5)

Now the question remains whether this new status that comes by
adoption has even more roots in Old Testament. DeRouchie sees this
phenomenon as having its roots in several sections of the Old
Testament. The first would be in Genesis in the many passages that
speak of Abraham being the father of many nations, such as in Genesis
17:

Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him,


Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall
be the father of a multitude of nations. (Genesis
17:3-4 ESV)

Here he mentions that Abrahams relationship to the nations is


primarily a non-biological relationship and that the use of the term
father is primarily figurative.xiii For instance, in Genesis 17:5 Yahweh
changes Abrams name to Abraham, which reinforces the promise that
he will be a father of a multitude, but it also indicates a future
revelation concerning the people of God.

The Scripture reiterates this promise many times. In 17:6


Yahweh reinforces the promise in many ways. A similar promises are
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 14
given to Sarah (17:15,16) and Jacob, which are essentially a repetition
of the Abrahamic promises. To Jacob the promise reads like this:

And God said to him, I am God Almighty: be


fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of
nations shall come from you, and kings shall
come from your own body. (Genesis 35:11 ESV)

DeRouchie concludes that these promises could not possibly be


fulfilled through just Israel alone (i.e., Jacobs blood linexiv) or even
through Edom (i.e., Esaus blood line), but could only be fulfilled
through a non-biological covenantal relationship. xv Consequently, the
fact that Jacob is to bring forth a company of nations suggests his
family is larger than Israel proper and will include some adopted
from other nations. DeRouchie goes on to suggest that the language of
father can also be interpreted figuratively and therefore non-
biologically. xvi Such use of the this term can connote a relationship of
authority such a king or shepherd and certainly connote a spiritual
relationship!

DeRouchie then goes on to take his investigation into the roots of


the New Testament concept of adoption to the book of Isaiah. In
chapter 52 of Isaiah we see recorded that Gods salvation will reach all
nations (52:10). But regarding ethnic Israel, many will turn away out of
disbelief (53:1, 3, 6). In the end, the suffering, sacrificial Servant will
see his offspring. His sacrifice will justify many (Isa. 53:4, 12).
Many, a term used twice, probably echoes back to the previous
reference to the nations (52:10). xvii

According to DeRouchie, the next chapter, chapter 54, really


underscores the idea of adoption. Here we have a barren woman who
by herself has never borne children. The decree of the Lord through the
prophet Isaiah is that she will, nevertheless, have an abundance of
children. It can be inferred that it will not be through natural birth, but
through spiritual adoption, asserts DeRouchie (Isa. 54:1).xviii

Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth


into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been
in labor! For the children of the desolate one will
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 15
be more than the children of her who is married,
says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:1 ESV)

Furthermore, the mention that the number of her children will


exceed that of the married woman can be seen as a reference to
ethnic Israel. Not only will the number be greater, but her offspring
will possess the nations and will people the desolate city (54:3). If
this woman would bear children, but not with the usual pain of labor,
the conclusion can be that this is not a natural birth. DeRouchie then
offers the suggestion that this acquisition of children is by adoption.
The one who experiences the birth pangs is the suffering servant
depicted in the preceding verses of Isaiah 53. Through his sufferings
we are born again:

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was


crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the
chastisement that brought us peace, and with his
wounds we are healed (or saved). (Isaiah 53:5 ESV)

Note that this suffering will bear many offspring:

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he


has put him to grief; when his soul makes an
offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he
shall prolong his days the will of the LORD shall
prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his
soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his
knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous, and he
shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11 ESV)

Isaiah, in fact, repeats this in another chapter pointing towards


the future reality of salvation of the nations through adoption.

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring


from the east, and from the west I will gather you, I
will say to the north, give up, and to the south, do not
withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters
from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by
my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I
formed and made. (Isaiah 43:5-7 ESV)
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 16

5. Connection to the Messiah. The new covenant communitys identity


will be intricately connected by faith to the Messiah Jesus, the true
and faithful Israelite. The Messiah is closely connected with the next
idea (6) that there will be two distinct eras. Christs life, death, and
resurrection are the key to understanding the new creation of the new
era.

One of the key concepts that unite the two Testaments are the
references to the Messiah. Jesus, himself points to this in his post-
resurrection comments to the travelers on the road to Emmaus:

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,


he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the
things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27 ESV)

Then he said to them, These are my words that I


spoke to you while I was still with you, that
everything written about me in the Law of Moses
and the Prophets and the Psalms must be
fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to
understand the Scriptures, and said to them,
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer
and on the third day rise from the dead, and that
repentance and forgiveness of sins should be
proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning
from Jerusalem.
(Luke 24:44-47 ESV)

So it is not surprising that so much of the Old Testament speaks


repeatedly of the messiah of the coming age. Beginning in Genesis
3:15, humanity was looking for the Messiah that would crush Satan,
rescind the curse, and restore mankind to his original state of Gods
co-regent.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 17

I will put enmity between you and the woman,


and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.


(Genesis 3:15 ESV)

Gen. 12:1-3 speaks of two eras. The first era Abram is told to go
the land that God was indicating where God would make him into a
great nation. However there would be a second phase. The ultimate
fulfillment of the Old Testament promises would come in a second era
through an obedient King, the seed of the woman and of Abraham xix.
This king would be representative of a new corporate entity that would
come from the multitude of nations. Whereas some verses point to
seed as being a corporate entity, others can only be interpreted as
pointing to a singular representative, eventually revealed to be the
Messiah. To that end DeRouchie writes:

Next comes the final period, the age of fulfillment,


which is enjoyed only after Abrahams seed
(realized in Jesus Messiah) serve( s) as agent( s) of
curse-overcoming blessing. During this new covenant
period, God would reconcile mankind, and Abraham
would stand as the father of many nations a
fatherhood manifest through an earthly royal
descendant who would rule over all (Gen 17: 4 6; cf.
22: 17b 18; 49: 8, 10; Isa 9: 6).xx

The first verse that points to an individual messiah who would


crush Satan and therefore reverse the curse of the fall is found in
Gen. 3:15. The use of the pronoun he indicates that it would be
only one of Eves offspring rather than a plurality:

I will put enmity between you and the woman,


and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 18

and you shall bruise his heel.


(Genesis 3:15 ESV)

Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall


be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer
shall your name be called Abram, but your name
shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father
of a multitude of nations. I will make you
exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into
nations, and kings shall come from you. (Genesis
17:4-6 ESV)

And your offspring shall possess the gate of his


enemies, and in your offspring shall all the
nations of the earth be blessed, because you
have obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:17-18 ESV)

Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand


shall be on the neck of your enemies; your
father's sons shall bow down before you. Judah
is a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you have
gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? The
scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the
ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute
comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience
of the peoples. (Genesis 49:8-10)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and


the government shall be upon his shoulder, and
his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end, on the throne of David and
over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.The zeal of
the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV)
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 19

Another Old Testament indication regarding the future Messiah, who


would be the snake crusher (Gen. 3:15) and the progenitor of a multitude of
nations, can be found in the typological role of Isaac:

A. It is significant that the promise to Abraham that he would be the father of


a multitude of nations would come through a singular son (Gen. 15:4).
Eventually, this principle was shown to Abraham in that God promised it
would ultimately be fulfilled through the provision of another future
sacrifice, not Isaac, not a ram, but the true sacrifice of a messiah king.
( Gen. 22:8, John 8:56, Ga. 3:16)
B. Once Abraham received the promise of a future son, he was torn by the
tension of a long, barren wait. The barrenness could be said to be
intended to showcase the truth that the fulfillment of the promise would
come by way of God. It would not be a product of normal reproductivity. It
would be a miracle. Even at the outset when Abraham received the
promise, his response was to laugh (Gen.17:17). In other words, his first
reaction was to react to the improbability of the fulfillment due to his age
and especially the age of Sarah. This too adds to the anticipation that the
promise would come by way of a miracle, a harbinger of Jesus Christ who
too was miraculously born. Abrahams laughter (and that of Sarah, too)
was not to be regarded as a random, fleshly reaction. There could have
been also an element of joy. The idea that the response of laughter takes
on greater significance is seen by God himself announcing the the name of
the son was to be Isaac, he laughs.
C. Isaac as a type of Christ can especially be seen in the episode where
Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. In a figurative way
Isaac was sacrificed (or about to be sacrificed) and then was resurrected
(by way of God putting a stop to the slaughter.) But the clincher comes
when Abraham is told to stop and receive the promise that there would be
a future provision. In this respect it can be said that Abraham was aware
of the significance of the events as pointing to a future messiah, a future
sacrifice provided by God himself. Isaac was a type of Christ as seen in
their similarities. Both Isaac and Jesus were the only sons of their fathers.
Both were identified also as being sons of Abraham. (Gen. 21:3, Matt. 1:1).
Both were sacrificed in Jerusalem near or on Mount Moriah. John 8:56
Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was
glad. Hebrews 11:13 These [including Abraham] all died in faith, not
having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted
them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and
exiles on the earth.
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 20
D. We read in Hebrews that Abraham operated in faith in the promise of God
even without seeing the fulfillment of those promises. Nevertheless, by
faith the fulfillment was real in his heart. Furthermore, the fulfillment, as
Paul asserts, would be first and foremost through a seed, singular, an
offspring of his own, after the example of Isaac, yet not Isaac. God would
provide another.

6.Two Eras. There will be two distinct covenantal eras characterized by


an extension from the particular to the universal: This eschatological
era would be characterized by expansion of the original promises from
the particulars of ethnic Israel to a universal application that includes
all mankind. The inauguration of the New Era will come with the first
coming of Christ and be consummated with his return.

There are two different eras and that there will be a vision of
Israel's restoration in the second messianic era is seen in many of the
prophets.

Afterward the children of Israel shall return and


seek the LORD their God, and David their king,
and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to
his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:5 ESV)

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your


friends who sit before you, for they are men who
are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the
Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set
before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes,
I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD
of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land
in a single day. (Zechariah 3:8-9 ESV)

And I will pour out on the house of David and the


inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and
pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me,
on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn
for him, as one mourns for an only child, and
weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a
firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10 ESV)
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 21
Know therefore and understand that from the
going out of the word to restore and build
Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a
prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for
sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with
squares and moat, but in a troubled time. (Daniel
9:25 ESV)

In fact there are two stages that are seen by prophets. The first
stage is the initial restoration of the physical land of Israel. this is
seen in Isaiah 42:18 and 43:21. But the second stage is the stage of
spiritual reconciliation with God and that is seen in Isaiah 43:22 44 :
23. This spiritual reconciliation will be brought about by the royal
Davidic servant who's blessing will reach to all the nations.xxi

Implications of the continuity of the both Testaments regarding the


canon

One last comment: We can conclude from the authorss article


that there is a very solid case that the New Testament revelations
concerning ecclesiology have their roots in the Old Testament. But
there is more. By implication we can see initial evidence that there is
a close connection between the Old and New Testaments.
And not only that, we can also take note that this connection gives
support to the notion of the authority and reliability of the whole
canon.
Especially we see evidence of not only the consistency of God and
his purposes, but also the consistency of his Word. From DeRouchies article
alone we can see that there is a continuity to Gods word that begins in
Genesis and continues right through to the New Testament. This observation
concerning Scripture as a whole does not come under the thesis of this
article, but it does suggest further research. What other evidence is there
that supports the idea that the Bible hangs together? Is there an underlying
biblical theology that is consistent throughout? The conclusions of this
article certainly points us to an affirmative answer to those questions.

God has made covenants that he adheres to. In addition, God has
continually given previous notice as to how he will fulfill his covenants. And
Observations Michael
OConnor, p. 22
he records as he goes along in a progressive manner making his way to the
fulfillment of his promises. The writers of the New Testament, while dealing
with the new and explosive events of Christ, knew that the eternal truths
brought out and revealed with Christ did not originate at the time of the
events but were recorded in Scripture centuries previous. New Testament
Scripture is reliable because it is in accordance with what has transpired
before, both in terms of patterns, promises, and in terms of fulfillment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, what the author has done is noteworthy. Not only has he
shown us that the concepts of new covenant ecclesiology have their roots in
the Old Testament, but he has given us strong evidence as to how the two
covenants relate: not through a narrow duplication, but rather through an
expanding transformation centered on the promised messiah, Jesus.
Jason DeRouchie's Father of Nations NT in OT p.23 of 26

ENDNOTESS
i(2016-04-15), Jason DeRouchie, Father of a Multitude of Nations: New Covenant
Ecclesiology in OT Perspective in Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a Course
between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies. B&H Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition. Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a Course between Dispensational
and Covenantal Theologies. B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
ii Motyer, Stephen. "Old Testament in the New Testament, the - Baker's Evangelical
Dictionary of Biblical Theology Online." Bible Study Tools. Accessed July 04, 2016.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/the-old-
testament-in-the-new-testament.html.
Another writer that sees the roots of the new covenant in the Old Testament is
G.K. Beale. Beale, G. K. A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the
Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.
iii Even Jesus has a twofold comment on the Old Testament. On the one hand he
endorsed the Old Testament down to its every jot and tittle. And on the other
hand, he introduced new revelations and new ways of interpreting the text. Chief
among the new revelations was that he himself was its fulfillment: "Today this
scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. Luke 4:21
iv Pertinent to our discussion of how the Old Testament reveals this aspect of the
Old and New Covenant, is the notion of mystery mentioned above. Here Paul is
using this term to mean something that was once hidden, or not made known,
but is now revealed. But the question we need to consider is how hidden in the
Old Testament was this notion of New Covenant? What we read in the above
passage in Ephesians is that this and other notions regarding Christ and the New
Covenant were previously hidden and only in the time of Christ were they fully
revealed. But how were they hidden and to what degree? Were they completely
hidden and completely unknown? As we will find out, they were hidden in that
they were revealed only partially, in piecemeal fashion, and over a period of time
to a people that were not at all open to hearing or understanding what God was
trying to say. (Isaiah 65:2, Romans 10:21) But indeed they were revealed. We can
also see that some of the patriarchs (as opposed to most of the people) of the Old
Testament (such as Abraham, but others like Moses, Isaiah, and David) had
developed a mature understanding of what God had in mind, even if some of the
details were still missing.

So as we will see in this chapter, Abraham and others received from God a robust revelation
concerning Christ, and, concomitantly, a revelation concerning the New Covenant, especially
concerning the inclusion of the Gentiles into the people of God. That is why Paul and Luke
can go on to make this seemingly contrary claim that we now read in two other passages.
The claim is that Scripture revealed the mystery of the New Covenant people:

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of


Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the
gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall all
the nations be blessed. So then, those who are of faith
are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
(Galatians 3:7-9 ESV)

Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet
like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in
whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who
does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from
the people. And all the prophets who have spoken,
from Samuel and those who came after him, also
proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the
prophets and of the covenant that God made with your
fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your offspring shall
all the families of the earth be blessed. (Acts 3:22-25
ESV)
v Jason DeRouchie, Kindle Locations 390-391.
vi Jason DeRouchie, Kindle Location 397
vii Jason DeRouchie, Kindle Locations 396-398.

viii Hsieh, Nelson S. "ABRAHAM AS HEIR OF THE WORLD: DOES


ROMANS 4:13 EXPAND THE OLD TESTAMENT ABRAHAMIC LAND
PROMISES?" Master's Seminary Journal, Spring, 26, no. 1 (2015): 95-110.
https://www.tms.edu/m/msj26g.pdf.
ix Veldman, R. "The Concept "Faith" in the Old Testament." in The Standard
Bearer. (originally published March 1, 1956. by Reformed Free Publishing
Association. Jenison, MI) Accessed online December 15, 2016.
http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/node/46897.
x Jason DeRouchie, Kindle Locations 396-398.
xi Walter A. Elwell, Adoption in Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible. Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001. Print. p.25
xii ibid.
xiii Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 451
xiv Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 443
xv Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 425
xvi Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 451
xvii(2016-04-15). Jason DeRouchie, Father of a Multitude of Nations: New
Covenant Ecclesiology in OT Perspective in Progressive Covenantalism: Charting
a Course between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies (Kindle Location
375). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a
Course between Dispensational and Covenantal Theologies (Kindle Locations 396-
398). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
xviii Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 637
xix Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 849.
xx Jason DeRouchie, Kindle location 470.
xxi
When we turn to the New Testament, we pass from the climate of prediction to
that of fulfillment. The things which God had foreshadowed by the lips of His holy
prophets He has now, in part at least, brought to accomplishment. . . . The
supreme sign of the Eschaton is the Resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the
Holy Spirit on the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is not simply a sign which
God has granted in favour of His son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into
history, of the times of the End.
Christians, therefore, have entered through the Christ into the new age. . . . What
had been predicted in Holy Scripture as to happen to Israel or to man in the
Eschaton, has happened to and in Jesus. The foundation-stone of the New
Creation has come into position. William Manson as quoted in G.K. Beale, A New
Testament Biblical Theology. Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. p. 18