What is the Bible’s meta-narrative? Find out with guests Brock and Bodie Thoene along with hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: December 3, 2022
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Key Verse Commentary
Jesus in the Old Testament Wrap-Up
The consistent theme of the Old Testament is that God’s plan for the ages was to send His Son to save His people. Because Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God (John 1:1-4), He is present throughout Scripture.
The overarching story of the Bible—what we have referred to as the metanarrative—is God’s revelation of His redemptive plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. First foreshadowed as Adam and Eve cowered in shame (Genesis 3:15), God gradually unveiled the Gospel—the everlasting Good News that was His strategic plan for mankind before the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8).
Jesus’ first Advent, virgin birth, sinless life, death, and resurrection were not God’s “Plan B.” Before He created the heavens and the earth—even before He set time as we know it in motion—the Gospel was how He intended to manifest His grace and mercy and love.
We pray that you have followed along through our “Jesus in the Old Testament” series and selected your own favorite “key verses” from each episode of Christ in Prophecy. As you go back through and review those verses, you’ll find that they represent a narrative arc that points directly to Jesus Christ. Try arranging the verses in chronological order as the Word of God was revealed to the various authors and prophets and you’ll be able to trace the gradual revealing of God’s plan that culminates in Jesus Christ.
You and I have another advantage over the men who recorded the Word of God so long ago. They peered forward through a glass dimly; we can see God’s unfolding plan for humanity with hindsight. They accepted by faith that God would orchestrate human history to fulfill every promise, but they could not see the big picture. Jesus said, “Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). But even Abraham could not rejoice, as John did, to bear witness to that window in time when “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Because you can hold the full canon of the Word of God in your hands, you have access to the entire counsel of God. Peter, who alongside John saw Jesus’ shekinah glory manifest when He was transfigured, said that the prophetic Word we possess should make us even more sure of Jesus’ status as the Holy One—God’s Anointed Messiah. With great understatement he emphasized the prophetic Word, “to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
Let your series of key verses stand as a personal testimony to you—and to anyone you are willing to share it with. May those verses be a roadmap shining as a lamp for your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105). And may they lead you without wavering to Jesus Christ—”the LORD God, the Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
Amen! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This will be the final chapter in our 44 episode series on Jesus in the Old Testament. Nathan and I were excited to launch this sweeping overview of the Christophanies, types and prophecies sprinkled throughout the Old Testament that point to Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: As we highlighted last week from Genesis to Malachi God’s unfolding revelation proves His determination to call and preserve a people for Himself. We know that the Jewish people were chosen by God to demonstrate the blessing of being in relationship with Him. But His unmerited favor is extended to all who believe Him and put their trust in Him, from men called out of idol worshiping family in Ur of the Chaldees, to harlots living in the pagan city of Jericho.
Tim Moore: Throughout the Old Testament narrative, it is obvious that God chooses to call and bless people from every background. With the advantage of hindsight, we can see more clearly that the entire storyline culminated in a single person, Jesus Christ. The entire Word of God with prophecies embedded in the Old and New Testament alike, is a testimony to God’s Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: And the same could be said of our programing here at Lamb & Lion Ministries. Everything we do is designed to glorify God by pointing people to Jesus Christ. We proclaim His soon return in order to encourage His disciples and warn unbelievers to flee from the wrath to come.
Nathan Jones: Today, we want to step back and consider the broad sweep of God’s metanarrative, His big story. To explore the rich beauty of His story I’ve invited Brock and Bodie Thoene, my favorite Christian fiction authors, to join us.
Part 1: Interview with Brock and Bodie Thoene
Tim Moore: Well, Brock and Bodie, I want to thank you both for joining us today all the way from California, through the miracle of modern technology.
Bodie Thoene: It’s great to be with you.
Brock Thoene: Pleasure to be with you.
Tim Moore: You know, a lot of our viewers may not realize, but as you look at your names spelled out on your books, it looks different than it sounds. So, explain for them exactly how you pronounce your name.
Brock Thoene: Sure. Well, T-H-O-E-N-E pronounced tainy so that it rhymes with rainy, but it’s probably only pronounced that way at site in one little corner of Switzerland. That’s where it’s from. And so, if you go back there, you may actually be able to hear people say tainy the first time they read it, but nowhere else that we know it.
Tim Moore: Well, I had to learn early on, but I will tell you, I’ve pronounced it correctly ever since, even as I’ve encouraged people to read your books. And I have testified many times on our program and to people individually that you are two of my favorite Christian writers of Christian fiction in particular. But some people may not know that you specialize in Christian historical fiction. So, describe what that genre really means.
Bodie Thoene: Well, it means that you take a historical setting that is important, and you place your characters into that setting. It’s like decorating a stage or something, you use the history as the backdrop for change, for the drama, for the conflict. And then you put people into the center of it and you take them through the story.
Brock Thoene: We are the most blessed of all people because we get to choose a time period, a set of events and circumstances that we want to know more about. And then we get to spend time exploring the history of that time period and so on. And then Bodie creates the characters, oftentimes based on real people, but creates the fictional characters to live in that setting to go through, whether it’s walking around the Galilee with Jesus or experiencing the Second World War in Europe, or going to Israel at its founding in 1947-48. The characters that she puts into that setting really do have lives of their own, because people throughout history have always been subject to the same needs, and wants, and desires, and issues and so on. And so it’s what they react to, their faith or their lack thereof that determines how they deal with a number of different tragedies and issues that they face. In fact, a lot of times we think that other writers of historical novels have missed the fact that humans are not just physical, and emotional, and mental, but we are all also spiritual creatures. And omitting that part is to leave out 25%, if not more, of what motivates a person and what their needs are.
Tim Moore: Well, for those who are unfamiliar with your work, and I hope our viewers become much more familiar just by reading the wonderful works and the extensive series that you have. Let me just say that your Zion Chronicles series has been used to teach modern history of Israel in various Christian colleges and universities. And your AD Chronicles, I just love them because they offer historical insights to the time when Jesus ministered on the Earth. And so, as you say, your writing is so educational because it is absolutely accurate to the historical period and the facts, even as it glorifies the Lord and presents the Gospel. I mean, it is the entire package, which is why I love your writing so much.
Bodie Thoene: Thank you. Thank you. You get it. That’s what we’re all about.
Tim Moore: Well, it certainly is. So, you too have given your readers a sweep of history. And really, in that sense, in our series on Jesus in the Old Testament, that’s what we emphasized about the entirety of the Bible. It gives the entire story with characters that are just like us, real people and not mythical superheroes, but folks who had failings, and flaws, and blemishes, and sometimes fell short. But yet the Lord used them and called them to serve Him faithfully. And it presents a sweeping story from God’s perspective of why we are here, and why we are we beset with heartache. And also what God Himself has done to restore us into a relationship with Him.
Brock Thoene: Absolutely right. And the more that people understand that about people that they meet in Scripture, the more they can see themselves, and their needs, and how the Lord is going to deal with issues in their lives. So, that’s an important connection to be made.
Bodie Thoene: Yeah, the Bible is full of real people, not mythical people. Scripture shows us their emotions. It shows us their failings. It’s a phenomenal record of the human heart. And you can see, for instance, just in the Scriptures that talk about David, his failures and, you know, his failures within his family.
Tim Moore: One of the words we’ve used throughout this series, obviously pointing to and culminating in Jesus Christ, the man and His divine aspect is God’s metanarrative, in other words, sort of His overarching story throughout Scripture. And one of my frustrations, even as I have watched children be taught in various church setting, is how they oftentimes will be given isolated Bible stories with no real connectivity, no real overarching narrative to tie them all together. And so eventually they look at those stories as so many isolated fairy tales. And yet His story, history is woven together as a seamless whole.
Brock Thoene: Right. Well, and it’s something that fascinates us, and that we benefit from getting to study, are all of those often so easily jumped over bits of Scripture that enhance the meaning that in larger understanding. Just to give you a for instance, I’m sure you’re aware, but not everybody is, the fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because that was the City of David and Messiah was going to be of the house of lineage of King David, but that’s not the end of the story. The word Bethlehem means House of Bread. And where else would the bread come down from Heaven, the living bread be born except in the house of bread? It makes perfect sense.
Tim Moore: One of your phrases which I have cited myself, and I think you coined it, if not at least you’ve made it famous for me, is everything means something. Whether it’s the name of the little village that Jesus was born in, or all the other attributes of Scripture, everything means something if we will open the eyes of our heart and if we will study. There is a five letter word that our founder, Dr. David Reagan, says a lot of people think is a dirty word study, but if we will study and seek understanding, the Lord will grant that to us.
Bodie Thoene: And that’s the great joy of being able, you know, having God allow us, permit us, give us the blessing of being able to do these things is that we do study. And we love to study. And if you sit with us over and, you know, you hear us talk about different things that we have just discovered. And, you know, as we grow older, I learn something every single day and I love it. I just absolutely love it. I loved that many years ago finding out that the word salvation is the name of Jesus, Yeshua. So, every time you read Hebrew or you hear someone speak Hebrew and they say the word salvation, they’re saying the name of the Lord, Yeshua, and there it is. And so, He is identified with His name, and what He accomplished is His name. And to know that is to be able to hold on to the purpose of all of Scripture, salvation, Yeshua is throughout the Scripture.
Tim Moore: Well, you all obviously blend in other gifts and other interests. So, for instance, one of the things that has thrilled my heart is reading your insights even on astronomy, the very names of the stars from a Hebrew historical perspective, and how that has meaning. And so just looking up at the sky, the Lord is shouting knowledge to us, if we will have ears to hear, eyes to see from a spiritual perspective. But you all have opened my eyes, even in that regard.
Bodie Thoene: Well, the heavens declare, the heavens declare the glory of God. And I’m going to let Brock talk a little bit about that, because this is something that it just blows me away every time we learn something new.
Brock Thoene: You know just to pick one tiny bit. The seven branch candlestick, the menorah, as much an emblem of Judaism as to the Star of David, didn’t come just because seven was a nice number and magical in some way, it actually relates to all the visible lights in the heavens. And you can identify sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, I think that’s seven, as one of the lights because those were the lights that God put in the heavens clear back in Genesis to start us on the way. And so, the menorah is an honoring of Creation and God has been trying to put light into the lives of human beings ever since Creation. So going back, however many thousands of years, we want to explain that to be that every visible light, every time we see one of the naked eye planets in the heavens, we should be reminded of God’s ability in Creation to try to reach out to us and speak to us in a personal way.
Bodie Thoene: And that each one of those planets has a Hebrew name that corresponds with some attribute of the Lord, which is just phenomenal. I mean, you know, Jupiter is Zedek, which is the righteous one. And, they all have corresponding Hebrew names. So, it’s phenomenal to see them pass through the different constellations, which also have significant meaning in Hebrew. And then, you know, when you see these things happen that the God is speaking to us, if we just will pay attention.
Tim Moore: As you said, everything means something. When you all write, the fact that you weave all of these little nuggets, I call them, of truth, but of just wow factor into your novels, into your writing. Recently you all had sent me a copy of “Why a Star?” talking about the Star of Bethlehem. And you recounted some of that beauty that has been there all along, but for many people has been missed. I will tell you; I often tell pastors I may refer to your story or to the truth that you’re sharing, I may not remember to cite you as the source, and I’ve been told, no, the Holy Spirit’s the source, just give Him credit. And I do. And so, I will give Him credit there as well. I will say, even as you’re talking, I’m reminded of what the Lord said through Moses. He said, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our sons forever, that we may observe the words of the law.” He has revealed things about Himself, and yet it all points to His Son. So, this whole metanarrative and this was my thesis as we began this Jesus in the Old Testament, is the entire metanarrative points like an arrow in flight toward the coming Messiah Jesus Christ, who we now know in hindsight, but who all the prophets were looking forward to foretelling His coming. And so that is even testified in Revelation 19:10, where it says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. It’s really all about Him. History is His story.
Brock Thoene: It’s all about Him.
Bodie Thoene: Yeah.
Brock Thoene: All correct. And you can never say that often enough. It’s important to keep reminding people everything means something. And we often add a second phrase, everything means Jesus.
Tim Moore: Amen. Well, we’ve already talked about some of your other series and the things that you’ve been doing. What else do you have in the works right now? You mentioned 80 some novels and historical works.
Brock Thoene: Yeah.
Tim Moore: What’s in the works right now?
Brock Thoene: Well, let me, if you don’t mind.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Brock Thoene: This is the cover of the most recent release, it’s called “The Final Witness.” That just came out less than a month ago, actually. We were very privileged to work with a gifted pastor and student of prophecy, Pastor Ray Bentley, who very sadly passed away just nine months ago right now. And but we had begun a number of years ago working on a five book series called The Elijah Chronicles. And this was always intended to be the final book in the five book series. Ray, you know, the Lord called him home before he had a chance to see this get published, but we had a chance to work with him and with his wife, Vickie, and to, to put it together and get it out there. And these are a unique experience, they’re not just historical, although they are also historical novels, but they’re also very involved in prophecy, and the interpretation of prophecy and in contemporary events, world events going on right now.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Brock Thoene: So, it’s been an unusual experience.
Tim Moore: Well, I have to tell you both an interesting segway, even as I was preparing for today and looking forward to sitting down with you. I pulled out my most recent book, which was “On The Mountain of the Lord,” and I realized that in the cover, Ray sent that to me with a personal note of encouragement when I took over here at Lamb & Lion Ministries. So, I have a connection with Ray that really touched my heart when you all mentioned him. And I know he’s with the Lord and already witnessing what we look forward to encountering someday.
Bodie Thoene: It was very surreal to have him go to heaven, because what a healthy, vibrant, amazing man. And all we can say is that God just wanted him, a righteous man, took him home so that he would not ever have to go through the things that may be coming on this earth. He was an amazing friend and an amazing teacher to his thousands of people at his church. And Vickie sent us all of his notes. But there are some things that, once again, you know, not having him to talk to we just needed the Holy Spirit to show us what was going on.
And I’m going to have a kind of a reveal here going on, that I never have, and I’ve never done that before. But at the very end of “The Final Witness” we have the characters who are going to places of refuge. They go to the top of Mount Arbel, which is in Galilee, and it’s where Jesus met with His–after He had come back to life, said to His disciples, “Come meet Me on this mountain.” And it’s where they gathered together. And you can look down from Arbel and you can see all of the Galilee; you can see Galilee down there. You can see all of the places where the amazing things happen in the ministry of Jesus.
And as we came to the end of writing this story, I said to Brock, I need to go off by myself and spend some time with the Lord. And God showed me something about the connection between America and Israel that I had never seen, have never heard of, ever, ever, ever, anywhere before. But when John Winthrop brought the pilgrims here in 1630, he had a ship named the Eagle and he renamed it Arbel. Now, many historians think it’s a named for a woman, but it’s not. You read Winthrop’s City on a Hill speech, which he gave on the pitching deck of that ship, and he talked about how America or not America, but the new world would be the launching place for the Great Commission. That if we fail at that, it we will be a byword.
And it’s a phenomenal thing to make that connection. Gosh, I hope I’m saying it right. I know it’s written correctly, but the fact is, John Winthrop and the people who settled in this beautiful, blessed country made that connection to Jesus giving the Great Commission on Mount Arbel and named their ship the lead ship, the Arbel. And I’ve never seen it anywhere, never heard of it anywhere, but because we love history and know history, God woke me up with that. And I double checked it and Brock confirmed it. And it is the ship really was renamed from the Eagle to the Arbel. And so, this place, this country, this nation is a nation belonging to the Lord, a covenant was made before they ever reached these shores. That’s the kind of thing that God has given us as we have written these, and it is a revelation. And do you want to add anything to that?
Brock Thoene: No, I think you did great.
Bodie Thoene: I mean, it’s really hard to explain, but it is in I think the second to the last chapter of “The Final Witness.” And people, when they read it, are going to go, wow, America is so connected with Israel. And of course, we are.
Tim Moore: We are.
Bodie Thoene: You know, this was the first place that Israel was acknowledged was right here in America by an American president. So, you know, all of those things are all tied together.
Tim Moore: They certainly are.
Bodie Thoene: And all prophetic signs.
Tim Moore: And to a degree, we may be a great nation, as we have been at least, just for the sole point of recognizing Israel. And we have drifted so far of late that I think perhaps our greatness is behind us. But I think that’s a perfect example, Bodie, of how one word, if you start pulling on that thread in the tapestry, opens up so much beauty and understanding. And not that we’re unraveling the tapestry, but just that we are pursuing knowledge about what that one word has meaning for because everything means something. I’m reminded even when I read your books and how you weave in these nuggets throughout, of what John said at the tail end of his gospel, he said, “And there were many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were written in detail, I suppose even the world itself would not contain all the books that could be written.” And so you have begun to explain some of those details in ways that just thrill my heart, have touched the hearts of your readers for many years. I hope our viewers will be blessed as they get your books and become readers.
Bodie Thoene: Well, this is it. And I tell you, it was a revelation from the Holy Spirit. It was directly from Heaven. And I can just see, you know, Ray up there directing traffic and saying Bodie needs to know this. Brock needs to know this. And so that scene of Arbel, and on board the ship, and also Jesus in the Great Commission, it’s in here and it’s that’s what it’s all about. And that’s what we need to be about as Americans, as citizens of this great nation. We need to bring it back to Jesus being the center of absolutely everything.
Tim Moore: Well, He certainly is the center of absolutely everything in Scripture. And so, as we have had now a mini episode series on Jesus in the Old Testament, over 40 episodes for us, just really getting people’s appetite wet for all the depth of beauty within every book of the Old Testament and how it all weaves together and points to Jesus Christ. Who in that day and age was coming, but who has come and we know is coming again.
Brock Thoene: Amen.
Bodie Thoene: Amen.
Tim Moore: Well, Brock and Bodie, thank you both for taking the time to sit down with us today. I hope our paths will cross in person at some point, but I look forward to getting your next book and adding it to my library. I assure you I have them all and will continue to read if you keep writing.
Brock Thoene: Well, thank you.
Bodie Thoene: Just keep praying for us, and we’ll pray for you. This is the message of this hour. And for such a time as this, that’s why we’re here.
Tim Moore: Amen. Thank you both, and Godspeed.
Part 2: The Prophetic Word Made More Sure
Tim Moore: Throughout this series, I hope your eyes have been opened to the breadth and beauty regarding all the references to Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament. I can only imagine walking along with Him on the road to Emmaus. Luke tells us that that little village was about seven miles from Jerusalem, a journey of only a couple of hours. And as two of Jesus followers were discussing all the things that had taken place on the day of His resurrection, Jesus Himself joined them and asked what they were discussing that was making them sad. Although they had heard others testify about His resurrection, they seemed unconvinced. Instead, they described Jesus’ ministry and their hope that he was the promised one who would redeem Israel. Jesus gently chastised them, saying, “Oh, foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken.” Luke says that beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them the things concerning Himself and all the Scriptures, meaning the entire Old Testament. Wouldn’t you have loved to be there for that Bible study?
But Peter says we have access to that same prophetic Word “made more sure” and that we would “do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” So, what does it take to discern Jesus throughout the Old Testament? Seeing as God sees. If the disciples who walked with Jesus could not recognize Him, let alone perceive all the things pointing to Him in Moses and the Prophets, how can we hope to do so?
First of all, we have the entirety of the Word of God. Second, we have hindsight to understand how many prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus First Advent. Third, we have the Holy Spirit who Jesus said will guide us into all truth, disclosing to us what is to come.
So, if you want to gain understanding, begin as Abram did by believing God, accept His own testimony and take His Word as truth. Study His Word, praying for and expecting the Holy Spirit to give you understanding. And keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. The whole story of God’s Word really is about Him.
Part 3: Closing
Tim Moore: When we first began our Jesus in the Old Testament series, we knew that it would take many weeks to work our way through every book.
Nathan Jones: We also know it would be impossible to dive deep enough to glean all of the insights from every book. Well, like the apostle John said about the things that Jesus did, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that could be written about the depths and riches contained in the Word of God.
Tim Moore: Nathan and I have highlighted key verses from every episode and book that jumped out at us as pointing prophetically to Jesus Christ. Today, we’ll highlight one other key verse, Revelation 19:11 “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” If you didn’t catch our last episode, you’ll want to go back and watch that. We offered a whirlwind, David Reagan speed review of most of our key verses.
Nathan Jones: And now that we finished this sweeping overview of prophecy throughout the Old Testament, we want to offer what is arguably the best book on God’s end times plan for the world. Dr. Reagan’s God’s Plan for the Ages. It’s our favorite study on the entirety of God’s prophetic Word and highlights our Blessed Hope. For a gift of $20 or more, we’ll be glad to send you a copy. Just visit our online store or call the number you see on the screen.
Tim Moore: We pray that our Jesus in the Old Testament series has been a blessing to you, and that you will continue to look up and be watchful for our redemption, the Word of God about whom Bible prophecy testifies, is drawing near. I will end this series with a benediction Paul closed his letter to the Ephesians: “Now to Him, who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” And Godspeed.
End of Program