Are Matthew, Mark, Luke, And John In The Old Testament
By: Brian A. Yeager
Jesus said: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:21-26).
In the Scriptures above you can see that one’s salvation is dependent upon following that which Jesus spoke while He was on this earth. Furthermore, you can see that the Holy Spirit was going to bring to remembrance what Jesus had said while He was on earth. Folks this is consistent with the “Great Commission” (as it is called): “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
We know that the Old Law was not done away with until after Jesus died (Romans 7:1-6 and Colossians 2:14). That being said, that does not mean that the teaching of our Lord was Old Testament doctrine (John 1:17). Not all things contained in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John directly apply to us today (i.e. Matthew 10:5-10 and Matthew 21:21). The same is true of some things written in the “epistles” (Acts 1:15-26, Acts 19:1-7, and I Corinthians 12:3-11). Does that mean the “epistles” are not part of the New Testament? When Jesus was on earth He was not teaching things that fell into the Old Testament. In fact, even prior to Jesus coming to this earth the Old Law had begun to be set aside. The Bible plainly says so and this is where we’re going to begin diving a little deeper into our study.
The Law And The Prophets Were Until John
“For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come… The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Matthew 11:10-14 and Luke 16:16).
What Old Testament Law was fulfilled when John the baptizer taught repentance and baptism (Matthew 3:1-12)? What Old Testament Law did Jesus obey when He was baptized (Matthew 3:13-16)? Remember, His baptism was pleasing to the Father (Matthew 3:17), though it was not Old Testament teaching! Those who rejected the teaching of John transgressed the will of God (Matthew 21:25-32). In fact, those who rejected the teaching of John were said to have been rejecting the counsel of God against themselves (Luke 7:29-30). John was teaching baptism (of which the Law of Moses said nothing about). Clearly, from John the baptizer forward, a new covenant was being put in place. To say it wasn’t is to say that John was adding to the Law of Moses, for he was teaching things that the Old Testament does not mention (Joshua 1:7). In fact, the same would be true of Jesus and Paul. Let’s notice this point next.
Are Jesus and Paul False Teachers?
Moses wrote: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you… What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). Jesus certainly added to and changed the words of Moses (Matthew 19:3-9). In fact, He proclaimed that His words, while on earth, would be used in the Judgment (John 12:48). If Matthew - John are part of the Old Law, you have to condemn Jesus as a false teacher who added to God’s words!
In addition, if Matthew - John are part of the Old Law, then Paul would be a false teacher. Paul used what happened the night in which the Lord was betrayed as our authority to partake of the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:23-26). The original accounts of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, as Paul used the same wording, are found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, and Luke 22:14-20). If one concludes that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are in the Old Testament they have to conclude that Paul was a false teacher for teaching us to observe an Old Testament memorial.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Were Written After Jesus Died
I have a personal last will and testament. They are words that I have declared while I am alive. However, they do not take effect until I die. What Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not written until after He died. Yet, one will quickly point out that the events occurred and the words were spoken while He was alive and another law was in effect. Pardon me, but that’s obvious. For the words that Jesus spoke while He was on earth to be in full effect, He had to die. Notice the Scriptures: “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 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” (Hebrews 9:15-17).
In Matthew chapter five we find Jesus taking the Old Law and changing it to His Law. We read the phrase, “Ye have heard… But I say unto you” when Jesus taught His Law rather than Moses’ Law on various matters. Jesus taught a new law on anger, adultery, divorce, swearing, carnal revenge, etc. (Matthew 5:21-48). This, as well as all we’ve covered, proves that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are New Testament books. Any of these points should be enough to convince the honest seeker!
Volume 11 – Issue 45 - July 31st, 2011