The wise scribe: The old is a shadow the new but not the very image. (Part 1) – Poju Oyemade

Jesus made a profound statement concerning one who has been well instructed in the things of the kingdom of heaven. He will be seen to be one who brings out of his treasure things both new and old. 

Matthew 13:52 “Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

The amplified version makes very clear the thoughts being communicated here. 

“Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar]”

A proper interpretation of the Sacred writings will amount to bringing out things both fresh and familiar. A combination of the old and new. A demonstration of the authenticity of the origin of the Book through its consistency. Showing clearly that what we see and teach today was spoken of somewhere almost 2,000 years ago. Such a powerful witness that God is not an author of confusion and that the origin of all scripture is consistent. 

How can the same person be behind a book and it all appears disjointed with no real connection. How did Paul come about his revelation of God and the mystery of redemption? It was through the scriptures and we must understand that the only known scriptures at the time he told Timothy “all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God” was a reference to what we term old testament. 

He attested to the field where he found the treasure when he said in Romans 16:25-27.

“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

The gospel was made manifest (clear) to Paul by the scriptures of the prophets. Peter also said that “no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation for prophecy came not of old by the will of man but men spoke as moved by the Holy Spirit”. Paul said also that the righteousness of God without the law is now made manifest but it was witnessed by the law and the prophets. 

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

We don’t need to keep the letter of the law to obtain this righteousness but even the law witnesses to the fact that there will be righteousness without it. In order words, if you understood the intent of the books referred to as the law you will see they spoke about this righteousness we have obtained by faith in Christ only. 

Paul as a wise scribe in teaching the new covenant used the old to establish it. Scripture says the law was the shadow of the things to come. “The things to come” The law was simply its shadow. In order words, the law was a dark outlined image of the new covenant. It wasn’t the substance but the outline. The features of the covenant could not be seen in detail but the outline was there. 

Now a shadow isn’t very clear but you cannot see the shadow of a dog and someone brings out a rabbit as the thing casting the shadow and you will agree. Even though the shadow doesn’t give the colour of the dog etc but it is not that you now pull out a rabbit. In the new covenant, the veil is removed and we can now see the very image of those things. 

Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”

Hebrews 8:4-5

“For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”

2 Corinthians 3:13-14

“And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.”

​The story of the prodigal son and his journey into true fellowship with his father – Poju Oyemade


The story of the two sons one which we today refer to as the story of the prodigal son is a very powerful illustration of the forgiveness of the Father and His compassion. We should, however, be conscious of certain things that are also pertinent in the account.
First of all the fact that the son who was received and celebrated first repented. He came to a realization of what it meant to live outside His father’s presence. The Bible recalls he came to himself and said even the hired servants in my father’s house have enough bread having to spare that I feed with swines here. He walked back to his Father having realized the consequence of sin and a life of disobedience, saying I have sinned against my father and heaven. 
It wasn’t that the father was angry at his son and sent agents to punish him for leaving him, it is that a life in sin does have consequences. Apostle James said sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. It was sin and not God that rendered man naked in the garden. 
The Father who never stopped loving his son and whose heart was obviously always with his son never once sent substance to the son to try to help him. The father understood his son needed to go through the process to come to know what being in fellowship with him meant. The father always loved the boy through the process but it took the boy coming to himself and then going back to experience fellowship. 
Hebrews 12:7-9

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
The boy only experienced the party when he came back to his father even though the father always loved him. Allowing the son to go through the process of knowing what it meant to live outside his presence in a life of disobedience was part of the father’s love for his son. I seriously doubt if that boy will have ever again entertained the idea of walking away from his father. 
His love wasn’t just shown through the party but even in restraining himself from going to look for him even when the father knew this boy must be suffering out there. I mean we all agree the father always loved the son, why didn’t he seem to check up on him? Was he a control freak who only showed compassion when you came under his roof? To say the father only loved when the boy returned is to describe a conditional love. 
Those who will preach true fellowship with the Father must also teach that repentance must precede it where one actually realizes the true privilege of being in fellowship with God and having the priceless treasure of receiving direction daily from Him.
Poju Oyemade is the senior Pastor of Christian Centre, Lagos. Find out more on www.pojuoyemade.org

Thoughts of a great evangelical – Poju Oyemade 

​Thoughts of a great Evangelical.

“Once we begin to reckon (appropriate) identification truths, some of us make the mistake of trying to straighten out our pastor and the church along those lines. But our testimony must first be observed by others and then heard. 

The Spirit will have us prayerfully watch for the hungry heart, feeding the few in preference to offending the many. 

Furthermore, those around us have a right to observe over a period of time whether or not our witness and our walk are valid”

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

1 Timothy 4:15Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Olowogbogboro: How the apostles broke through into the mind of the Gentiles – Poju Oyemade 

Olowogbogboro: How the apostles broke through into the mind of the Gentiles by Poju Oyemade 
As the apostles went out into the Gentile world to preach the gospel, they obviously came across a certain challenge. It was easy to tell the Jew about the coming Messiah and to use types and shadows in the old covenant and tabernacles with other historical events in Scripture to show that Jesus Christ who came in flesh was the Messiah and the true Saviour.
You could teach on why the law was given, Mount Sinai, the High Priest etc but not to the Gentiles who had no such concepts in their background. They knew nothing about Sinai nor Zion. They had no Scriptural background.
How then were they to preach Jesus? There must be a way around this they must have thought. Then they saw it. God is omnipresent and if so, His presence must be recognizable in the cultures of the people.
Paul said it this way in Acts 17:26-28 (KJV)

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring”- even their poetry spoke to this.
There must be a way through which the people who felt His presence tried to reach Him. They knew if they looked into their cultures they will find God’s presence and they could preach from there.
Paul clearly saw it. In Acts 17:22-24 (KJV) it says

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you”
satan had clearly exploited the ignorance of the people to turned the people into idolatry.
Paul further explained to the Romans that even though the Law wasn’t given to the Gentiles, if you went into their midst you would find the presence of God witnessing in their consciences the same things the Law said.
Romans 2:14-15 (KJV)

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”
Prof William Barclay, a man of Scottish origin and one of the finest theologians who has a version of new testament in print due to his vast knowledge in Greek had this to say about how John came to use the word Logos to define Jesus to the Gentile world. 

I quote
“By the end of the first century the Christian Church was faced with an acute problem in communication. The Church had been cradled in Judaism, but now she had to present her message to a Greek world, to which the categories of Judaism were quite alien. As Goodspeed puts it: ‘A Greek who felt like becoming a Christian was called upon to accept Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah.
He would naturally ask what this meant, and would have to be given a short course in Jewish apocalyptic thought. Was there no way in which he might be introduced directly to the values of Christian civilization without being for ever routed, we might even say detoured, through Judaism? Must Christianity always speak in a Jewish vocabulary?’
Round about A.D 70 there was a man in Ephesus called John who saw this problem. He was perhaps the greatest mind in the Christian Church; and suddenly he saw the solution. Both Jew and Greek possessed the conception of the logos of God. Could the two ideas not be brought together?

Let us see the Greek background with which John had to work. 
(i) Away back in 560 B.C there was a Greek philosopher called Heracleitus, who also lived in Ephesus. He conceived of the world as what he called a flux. Everything is in a state of change; there is nothing static in the world. But if everything is changing all the time, why is the world not an absolute and complete chaos? His answer was that ‘all things happen according to the logos’.
In the world there is a reason and a mind at work; that mind is the mind of God, God’s logos; and it is that logos which makes the world an ordered cosmos and not a disordered chaos. (ii) This idea of a mind, a reason, a logos ruling the world fascinated the Greeks. Anaxagoras spoke of the mind (nous) which ‘rules over all things’.
Plato declared that it was God’s logos which kept the planets in their courses, and brought back the seasons and the years in their appointed times.
But it was the Stoics, who were at their strongest when the NT was being written, who passionately loved this conception. To them this logos of God, as Cleanthes said, ‘roamed through all things’. The times, the seasons, the tides, the stars in their courses were ordered by the logos; it was the logos which put sense into the world.
Further, the mind of man himself was a little portion of this logos. ‘Reason is nothing else than a part of the divine spirit immersed in the human body,’ said Seneca. It was the logos which put sense into the universe and sense into man; and this logos was nothing other than the mind of God.
(iii) This conception was brought to its highest peak by Philo, who was an Alexandrian Jew, and who had the aim of joining together in one synthesis the highest thought of Jew and Greek. To him the logos of God was ‘inscribed and engraved upon the constitution of all things’. The logos is ‘the tiller by which the pilot of the universe steers all things’. ‘Every man is akin in understanding to the divine logos.’ ‘The logos is the high priest which sets the soul before God.’ The logos is the bridge between man and God.
Now we can see what John was doing when he uttered his tremendous statement, ‘The Word was made flesh.’ (i) He was clothing Christianity in a dress that a Greek could understand.
Here is a challenge to us. He refused to go on expressing Christianity in outworn and Judaistic categories. He used categories that his age knew and understood.
Again and again the Church has failed in that task through mental laziness, through shrinking from possible heresy; but the man who would discover a new continent must accept the hazard of sailing upon an uncharted sea.”- end of quote
Next time people ask you who is this Olowogbogboro you worship? simply reply thus He said
“Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”