Whole Bible Christianity

It's a God Thing


Introduction to Theology - Whole Bible Theology

Two Interpretation Methods, Four Organizing Methods, One Biblical Theology.

Theology is not scary

Literally it means "God's Word." A theology is just a way to describe how we look at His Word. Do we think the words mean what they say? Or do they mean something else, something that only "really spiritual" people know? Do we divide the Bible into subject headings unrelated to each other or do we look more at the context and connections? Has God chopped up the message and doled it out to different bodies, or is the Bible one message (one faith) from one God and Lord to one Body? These are the questions that a theology answers.

Theology starts with a choice of interpreting methods

Do you believe the Bible means what it says, or do you believe there is some hidden or deeper meaning? Whichever you pick, this will affect the rest of your theology. The first is the literal method and has rules that everyone can follow. The second is the allegorical method and has no rules such as grammar, syntax or context. With the first we can check the conclusions ourselves. The second is beholden to the whim of the interpreter.

We use the Biblical method of analysis

The Biblical method of analyzing and organizing Bible truth simply asks, "What does the Bible say?" The systematic method asks, "What does the Bible say about (a specific heading)." The problem with systematic theology is that the headings are frequently disconnected from each other. Biblical theology sees the Bible as one organic whole, which is why we like it so much. We used to use systematic theology, but found it much too limited.

Whole Bible Christian Introduction to Theology

Everyone uses a Theology

On this page we discuss a number of different theological approaches to the Word of God. This subject is important because the teaching you hear from the pulpit on Saturday or Sunday, and the other preaching or teaching you get from books, web sites or emails is all influenced by some sort of theological system (theology). The preacher or teacher has had training either in a formal school or is self-taught, and this training without a doubt has been delivered by people who were themselves trained or exposed to systems of theology. Even if it could somehow be proved that a student had not been trained according to some system of theology, the nature of man would indicate that he would try to systemize the teaching he received anyway.

You have a theology (or a theological system) of your own. It is a part of your thinking processes already. The package of thoughts and beliefs inside your brain sets up your theology and acts as a 'filter,' affecting every other thing you have learned. What you accept as 'truth' will be used to measure other 'truth.' Your understanding of the Bible is affected by all the other things you learn, including formal education in a school and life experiences. This is what we whole Bible Christians like to call street theology.


Systems of theology are full of 'preconceived notions' and these are hard to escape. Even if a person hasn't been to school it can be proved that he still has some sort of ideas concerning the Bible before he even picks one up. For instance, evolutionary theory has affected many people's view of the Scriptures by causing them to assume if it is 'old' it must be 'less developed,' or that people 'back then' were dumber than we are now (because we have 'evolved'). See? You might have even caught yourself thinking this way without realizing it. At The Word of God ministries we think that the further back we look the smarter the people probably were, just the opposite of evolutionary thinking.

It's not so bad to have preconceived ideas. We just have to search ourselves and bring them out in the open, and take them into consideration as we study the Bible. We should continually question our own conclusions and the reasoning process we are using to jump to them (yuk, yuk, just kidding). We also have to be open to changing them if they are not in line with Scripture.

Theology is not a big scary word. We heard one pastor at a local Vineyard church one time say that he wanted to "throw theology out" of the Church (years later Dan Cox retired, divorced his wife who was in a wheelchair with MS, and married another woman. This explains his desire to throw theology out of his church). Or maybe it was just his church he wanted to throw it out of, we don't know. But theology is nothing to be afraid of. Theology is just made up of two Greek words, the first of which is theos meaning 'god,' and the second of which is logos meaning the spoken or written 'word.' Theos, logos, God's Word.

It's not the word or what it represents that is the problem, it's what you do with it that can be either good or bad. Some people use a particular theology to excuse what they wanted to do even before they started studying the Bible. Others get caught up in theology for theology's sake. We can easily get into intense fights over obscure details that have no practical value, but we need to resist the urge to follow the rabbit trails and get involved in useless conflicts. Theology can be used to clarify understanding and help us deepen our intimacy with our God and Messiah. The pastor mentioned above may have had some of the negative tendencies of theological studies in mind when he expressed a desire to remove theology from his church. But there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, although I fear we may be too late. God's Word has already been thrown out of the Church (attaboy Mr. Dan Cox).


Two Methods of Interpretation

When setting out to find meaning in the Bible, first you must decide on an interpretation method. There are two main methods to interpret the Bible, allegorically and literally. Allegory means that there must be a deeper or spiritual meaning to the text other than the plain meaning. Like an Aesop's fable.  The Literal method is a way of finding what the author meant. It uses rules of language to determine meaning, along with such helps as culture and history.

Depending on which interpretation method you choose, next you pick a method to analyze and organize the Bible truth you discover. The two main methods are Systematic and Biblical. If you choose systematic, then you will create headings (usually that you get from the Bible) and organize the information provided by the Bible (or what you think is in the Bible - an important difference) under the headings. If you choose Biblical,  then you organize the Bible information more according to context. In other words, with the systematic you ask, "What does the Bible say about (your subject). With the Biblical you ask, "What does the Bible say?"

So to recap, the two main interpretation methods (with links to our Interpretation page) are:

  • Allegorical (there must be a deeper meaning that the plain meaning)
  • Literal (one version of literal is called grammitico-historical and the other version "what the author meant.")

Two Methods of Analyzing and Organizing

The two main methods of analyzing and organizing Bible truth you will to use:

  • Systematic (used by Covenant and Dispensational theologians)
  • Biblical (used by Promise theologians)

There are other interpretation and organizing methods, but they are usually just combinations or refinements of these. The exception might be the interpretation methods of Jewish rabbis (are there any other kind?), who over the centuries have developed and used some pretty worthwhile principles (discussed on the Interpretation page). We also might get an argument from theologians who think the grammitico-historical method deserves a heading by itself, but we feel this is just a variation on the literal, at least as far as trying to teach the basics. If you disagree with us we understand. We will stand in the corner if you like.

Four Schools of Theology

Then coming out of these two decisions (which interpretation method and which organizing method) are four main schools of thought (an organized group of ideas, also called a system) that are current among those who claim to follow God and His Word right now. There is a fifth school we like to call "Street Theology" which is the theology everyone uses in everyday living. We get it from hearing, experience and our own ideas. But the four general schools are:

  • Promise Theology (not attached so much to particular churches because it is still fairly new/old/biblical.)
  • Rabbinic Theology (primarily, you guessed it, Jewish.)
  • Covenant Theology (the Catholic Church and Catholic-similar Protestants such as Lutheran and Anglican.)
  • Dispensational Theology (many Baptist and Baptist-similar Protestants such as Methodists. Also Calvary Chapel, etc.)

A summary of these theologies is that Promise theology starts with the promise in Genesis 3:15 of the seed of the woman and goes through the whole Bible adding details (such as those given to Abraham Genesis 15 and 17, Isaac Genesis 26, David and Solomon 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17) which tie the whole Word together.

Rabbinic theology uses the Old Testament but also has past interpretations from other rabbis called the Talmud and centers around interpreting the Law.

Covenant theology imagines several supposed covenants by which the Father deals with Jesus and the Spirit as well as with man such as a "covenant of works" (the Law) and a "covenant of grace."

Dispensational theology divides up Bible history into (usually) seven different ages, where God changed the way He dealt with man, saying that God dealt differently with different people in different ages in different ways.

We think that Promise theology was dominant from the Garden expulsion until Israel went into captivity. From captivity to the Christ, Rabbinic theology, which had elements of the Promises and the living oracles or Law (but wasn't true to them) and used a combination of allegorical and literal interpretation (whatever was convenient) was dominant. There was a split after the time of the Incarnation where Church thought started getting traction and rejected much of Rabbinic theology (mostly the "Jewish" part). What is now known as the Catholic Church (which prefers the allegorical interpretation method) dominated much theological thought up to the Reformation. Covenant Theology (allegorical interpretation) got its start during the Reformation and was the dominant thinking in the Church (along with allegorical interpretation) until the 1800's. Dispensational Theology (claiming to use the literal interpretation method but also retreating to the allegorical on occasion) came on the scene at this time (although dispensationalists try to link their theology back to the first century "church"). Modern Promise theology (using literal interpretation and the Biblical theology organizing method) is a reconnection to the beginning.

Chances are, the church leaders at the church you go to (if you go) are based on one of the two schools of theology (Covenant or Dispensational) when they preach a sermon or publish a book. These two theologies come out of a 'systematic' approach to the study of the Word. The third type of theology beginning to take hold with some people again is Promise Theology. This type of theology comes out of the basic approach to study called 'Biblical Theology.' After we get done discussing the basic outlines of these (below) you should be able to tell which system is used by the person you are reading or talking with.

A theologian, is, of course, one who studies theology. In a way we are all theologians of some kind. Everyone has a theology (sometimes called a philosophy when it doesn't have much to do with the Bible). Why is this important, you ask? Really, it's just a short-hand way of referring to a belief or study system. It helps condense explanations of what we believe, that may involve hundreds or even thousands of hours of study and background, to a few sentences. It also helps us identify where the teachings we may be hearing from others are coming from. For instance, if someone were to tell me that 'grace' is not found in the 'age of law' I would know that person was probably looking at the Bible from the Dispensational angle (which would also tell me he or she was in error). This would help me formulate responses to the person's arguments in a way they could understand. If used properly the study of theology assists us in helping one another understand.

If we had to characterize the theology of Word of God Ministries in a compact statement, that statement would be Promise Theology developed from the Biblical theology analyzing and organizing system.

Systematic Theology

A Systematic Approach to Analyzing and Organizing

The person who uses this 'system' of theology starts with a series of subject headings and then goes through the Bible 'systematically' and tries to divide and/or assign all the teachings under the headings. Typically, this person might have headings starting with Angelology, going on to something along the lines of Eschatology (future events), and ending with something like Soteriology (the study of salvation issues). As we said, it is very systematic. The better systematic theologians try to develop headings from the Word, even if they do come up with some funny names for them.

Two types of theology come out of this approach to Bible study, but each one has a different interpretation approach. One is called Covenant Theology, which uses the allegorical interpretation method. The other is Dispensational Theology, which claims to use the literal interpretation method (although they also use allegorical if the Bible doesn't match their theology).

Covenant Theology

This theological school of thought is a little hard to explain because they depend heavily on the allegorical method of interpreting the Bible (see the section elsewhere on this site called Interpretation). Allegory is used in the Word but not like it is used by the adherents of this school.

Covenant Theology is centered around an imaginary 'covenant of works' and a 'covenant of grace.' These are imaginary because they are not directly taught in the Word. Covenant theologians think that the covenant of works is the relationship we have with God through 'doing' something (which they define as 'works'), and also of the responsibility of everyone to 'be holy.' The covenant of grace is seen as an agreement between the members of the god-head (Father, Son and Spirit) to provide a way (the death of the Messiah) around or through our inability to adequately perform the 'works.' (Like we said before, a whole lot of making stuff up.) This system was developed during the Reformation (about 1200 through 1700 A.D.) primarily as a reaction against the teachings of the Catholic Church mixed with a desire to avoid 'Jewish' things such as the Law, while at the same time trying to stick with the plain teachings of the Word. Quite a tall order, if you ask us. The reformers could have saved a lot of trouble if they had just stuck with the plain teachings of the Word and realized that none of the Word is 'Jewish' but all of it is 'God's.'

Works and Grace

The Covenant of Works was made with Adam and basically states that 'if Adam behaves correctly, God will reward him.' The Covenant of Grace is thought to have been between the members of the God head where God the Father promises a people (the bride) to the Son in exchange for His sacrificial death. Since the Covenant of Grace did not include any need for action on the part of man, we are allowed to take part in it by God's grace (because Jesus paid the price of admission). The Covenant of Works is supposed to show us that we cannot get into heaven by working so we must take advantage of God's grace.

Covenant theologians do not have a problem with the Law because they see it as a valid beginning to a relationship with God, if only to show us we can't do it on our own. However, they see the Church as the 'spiritual' realization of Israel, and this is where the despicable anti-Semitic doctrine of replacement theology (the Church replaces Israel) originating around 300 A.D. was developed into an art form.

Dispensational Theology

The Dispensationalist sees the Bible divided up into ages of time or dispensations which don't relate to each other where God changed His ways of dealing with man. There are usually about seven 'dispensations' in this system of theology.

  •  The dispensation or age of Innocence was the time in the Garden.
  •  The dispensation or age of Conscience was the time between the Garden and the Flood.
  •  The Human Government age was after the Flood and up to Abraham.
  •  From Abraham to the Exodus was the dispensation or age of Promise.
  •  The dispensation of Law supposedly went from Mt. Sinai to the resurrection of the Christ
  • The age of Grace goes from the resurrection to the present time.
  •  The seventh dispensation is supposed to be the time after the return of the Christ and last for a thousand years.

To a certain extent this concept of ages is biblical and is spoken of in terms of the 'previous age,' the 'present age,' and the 'age to come.' But the dispensationalist sees many more 'ages' than the Bible defines (as many as 32) and confines God to acting in a particular way in a particular age. This is where the concept 'age of Law' and 'age of Grace' comes from, which are decidedly not biblical doctrines.

Many teachers of this system think that each of these dispensations are completely separate from each other and do not overlap, so that the way God dealt with people in one age is not how He deals with them in the other. This gives the Dispensationalist convenient cubby holes in which to place various doctrines that they would rather not deal with, such as the perceived problems between Law and Grace. For instance, the time of the giving of the Instructions from God on Mt. Sinai is referred to as the beginning of the 'age of law,' while the advent of our Messiah is seen as the beginning of some supposed 'age of grace.' The dispensationalist doesn't see the grace in the Law and doesn't see the Law in grace. He (or she) ends up putting God in a box and sectioning off His teachings in unrelated chunks that hinder understanding and intimacy with the Father.

Many of the adherents of these two different schools of thought are sincere, righteous people who have worked very hard to get to their understandings. We do not disparage these persons; there is much we can learn from them. However, any system that leads a student towards the teacher and away from God should be resisted at all costs.

The good thing about dispensational theology is that when it developed around about the 1800's it rejuvenated the study of the Bible for many people, mainly due to it's literal (sort of) interpretation method. It also returned Israel to it's rightful place as the center piece of God's activities on the earth. The bad thing was it sliced and diced the Bible text and consequently the plan of God into a whole bunch of unrelated pieces. Our ministry does not accept most of the teachings of dispensational theology. Anymore.

Continuity and discontinuity

 There are two other subjects it would be good to define as you are attempting to work your way through these things. For lack of better names they are referred to as 'continuity' and 'discontinuity.' Continuity describes how well things continue from one part of the Word to the next, and how well one doctrine relates to another. Discontinuity describes how disconnected doctrines are from each other (say that ten times fast). For instance, some people see a continuity between what are referred to as the Old Testament and the New Testament (they are in fact very well connected and related), while other see that they are disconnected (a large discontinuity). The Covenant Theologian tends to view both as intimately connected while the dispensationalist sees them as two different ages that are not related (except in very roundabout ways).

Time is a problem under systematic theology. Covenant Theology tends to 'flatten out' time (doesn't pay attention to growth) which makes a tight continuity but tends to blur the effect of the progression of time. Dispensational Theology 'slices and dices' time, making nice little cubby holes in which to place doctrines but in the process magnifying discontinuity.

The mis-handling of time also causes difficulties with the progression or growth in revelation. Whereas Covenant Theology assumes that progressive revelation is non-existent, Dispensational Theology includes it but makes it to where it doesn't relate together.

At first blush it doesn't sound so bad to be systematic about going through biblical teachings. But there are several problems associated with this way of looking at the Bible. First, the movement of time is either ignored (for Covenant) or chopped into pieces (for Dispensational). Second, it does not allow for progressive revelation. Third, frequently when a teaching is studied using subject headings, the text (of the Bible) is taken out of context. Fourth, the systematic approach strives to eliminate all apparent contradictions, a feat which is virtually impossible given the limited extent of man's knowledge. A fifth problem with a systematic approach to biblical teaching is that studying by subject heading causes a disconnection between different parts of the Bible that should be kept together.

Biblical Theology

This school of thought is different from Systematic Theology in that it starts with the Bible and seeks to draw meaning from it rather than starting with a heading and seeing what the Bible says about the heading. For instance, in Systematic Theology you might start with the subject of Angels, and would seek to find all of what the Bible said about the angelic beings. You would disconnect many texts from their context and you would also seek to eliminate any perceived contradictions. Time would not be a factor for your system.

Biblical Theology on the other hand would look at the Bible context by context and ask, "What does the Bible teach us in this context?" For instance you might look at the prophets and try to discern what they say about God. Or you could have a Biblical Theology of Matthew. There is also an expectation of growth or progression in Biblical Theology, and if apparent contradictions exist it would not hinder the thinking as it would hinder Systematic Theology. Biblical Theology also takes the passing of time into account while Covenant Theology disregards time and Dispensational Theology chops it up. The Promise of the Messiah is the central theme of Biblical Theology. Promise Theology using Biblical Theology is the school of thinking we use at our ministry.

Promise Theology

This school of thought uses Biblical Theology and picks up the obvious fact that the whole Bible is connected together with The Promise. The Promise is spoken of frequently throughout the Scriptures, and most particularly in the Apostolic Writings (Acts 7:17, 13:23,32, 26:6; Romans 4:13-21, 9:4,8,9, 15:8; 2 Corinthians 1:20, 7:1; Galatians 3:14-29, 4:23,28; Ephesians 2:12, 3:6; Hebrews 6:13-17, 7:6, 8:6, 9:15, 11:9-39; and 1 John 2:25). Paul (and most of the other writers) uses the Greek word transliterated epangelia (promise) to sum up the goal of the covenants. The Promise is the Messiah, and we feel that all Theology should be centered on Him. It is the promise of the Messiah that binds the whole of Scripture and the divine plan of the ages together.

Promise Theology includes the concept of progressive revelation and possesses true continuity which allows the message from God to mature as revelation progresses. An illustration can be seen using a seed and a tree. The seed carries with it all the information to reproduce the tree, but there are obvious differences. There is a connection between the seed and the tree that may not be immediately apparent to the casual observer but speaks of a clear progression.

Below is an excerpt from our book Whole Bible Christianity explaining more.

15And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15, NASB95)

Adam and Eve got expelled from God’s presence, but He said it wouldn’t last forever. God made a promise not to leave us hanging, cut off from Him. This promise was that the seed of the woman was going to come and destroy the Satan’s authority and kingdom. God was saying that His kingdom will ultimately triumph through the birth of a man who would also be God. Everything in the Word relates to this promise in some way. Every event, every covenant, every law, every blessing, every genealogy, every king and every war has, as its backdrop, the promise.

Another word for promise is “covenant.” A covenant between people is a legal agreement where each one “promises” to behave in a certain way or face a penalty. But when God is part of a covenant there is no one to force His obedience. So His part of a covenant is the same as a promise. God always holds up His end, no matter what we do. If I don’t follow through on my promise, God still follows through on His. His promises (or covenants) never fail (1 Kings 8:56).

God gives a promise to Noah (and to us, Genesis 6:18, 9:9, 9:25-27) but calls it a covenant. It’s one-sided, so we can easily see it’s both a covenant and a promise. The covenant of Genesis 3:15 is still in effect. Noah’s covenant fits right in with it, and is part of what is called progressive revelation. God is going to reveal over time exactly how He will deliver the Promise.

The promise shows up again with Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). It is just given more detail, and fulfillment is connected with a specific person now. God says He will bless Abraham; that Abraham would also be a blessing, and “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” The word “bless” or “blessing” is intimately connected with the presence (and promise) of God. To be blessed is to have God, the source of all blessings. It is impossible to be blessed without God. One cannot bless something God curses, and cannot curse something God blesses.

So when God tells Abraham that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed, it is an extension of the Promise. It means that God will literally be given to the nations. God tells Abraham that the seed of the woman, spoken of before, will come from his loins.

After Abraham, God chose Isaac, then Jacob (Genesis 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 26, and 28) to inherit the promise of the Messiah’s birth. Dr. Walter Kaiser calls it “the accumulating divine blessings.” Isaac was chosen to show God’s promise isn’t going to be sidetracked, and that it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God. Jacob was chosen to show that it is God’s choosing that counts, not who is born first (among other reasons). When Israel was delivered from Egypt, it was because of this promise of God.

24So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Exodus 2:24, NASB95)

25“When you enter the land which the Lord will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. (Exodus 12:25, NASB95, italics added. See also Exodus 6:8).

The giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai was more of the promise (Exodus 19:5). It was "God with us." He established His Word in writing and set up His tent in the desert to advance His eternal kingdom. Way after Sinai, David was given even more detail about the promise (2 Samuel 7:11-16). He was told by God that his son, who we now know is Jesus (the seed of the woman again) would be God’s agent for taking God’s Kingdom into eternity.

David summarizes the promise in a psalm of thanksgiving, after he brought the Ark back to Jerusalem and set it up in a tent.

14He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. 15Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, 16The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. 17He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, 18Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, As the portion of your inheritance.” (1 Chronicles 16:14-18, NASB95)

The “covenant forever” or “the word which He commanded to a thousand generations” is not limited to the Land. The land of Israel was (is) just the focal point for God’s kingdom (and promise) on earth (remember, the kingdom has no end, both in time and space, Psalm 45:6; Daniel 6:26; Luke 1:33). David combines all of the parts of the promise together (Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel).[69] The written Law was simply “added” according to Paul (Galatians 3:19) which makes the Law part of the promise. The Law is not contrary to the promises of God, but complementary. Notice in Galatians 3 verse 22 that Law is equated to Scripture (and Scripture cannot be broken says Jesus in John 10:35).

15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. 19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:15-22, NASB95)

The promise of blessing is the focus of the written Word. It is the glue that binds it. The apostles spoke about it a lot. They were able to teach about Jesus from the Old Testament because the promise was there from the beginning. Jesus is the promise and the goal.

38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” (Acts 2:38-39, NASB95 italics added.)

23“From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, 24after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. (Acts 13:23-24, NASB95 italics added)

1Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:1-4, NASB95 italics added)

16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (Romans 4:16, NASB95 italics added)

29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:29, NASB95 italics added)

12remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12, NASB95 italics added)

9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, NASB95 italics added)

25This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. (1 John 2:25, NASB95 italics added)

The point is, God’s plan is continuous, not a series of stops and starts. As writings were added to the Bible they all revolved around God’s Law and unified message of promise. The wisdom literature (Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs) extols the virtues and benefits of living according to God’s promise (a.k.a. the covenant). The prophets continued telling the people of God’s promise and filled in many details of the coming King, His kingdom, and ultimate victory. They called people to repent and turn back to a relationship with Him through His promise (or Law, or covenant).

The New Testament records the incarnation of the promise (Jesus) and realization of His benefits (and there’s a lot more to come). Jesus is the fulfillment of all parts of the promise. God in the flesh, Immanuel, the blessing for all, arrived in a human body, and began crushing the authority and kingdom of the serpent. Only a little longer and the crushing will be complete.

This is another doctrine that needs a whole book to properly explore, and cannot be covered completely here. However, enough is given that you should be able to get a handle on the general drift of the whole Bible and the unifying Promise of Scripture.