What is the Old Testament? It is a MONARCHIC RELIGIOUS SYSTEM IN WHICH A HIDDEN, DIVINE SOVEREIGN RULES THROUGH KINGS, PRIESTS, and PROPHETS.
This monarchic system was interrupted 2,593 years ago, when Nebuchadnezzar led Judah captive to Babylon, and destroyed the temple and Jerusalem by fire. Jesus Christ came down from heaven through his birth in the flesh, and became visible and touchable, but it did not restore the kingdom of David, or better, of Jehovah (Ps. 89:34-37). Jesus was the awaited Messiah. Why did he not take the rod of iron foretold in Ps. 2:7-9? (Matt. 16:13-17; John 4:25-25). If he was Jehovah’s promised messiah, he should sit on the throne of David and rule the nations with a rod of iron. Instead, Jesus declared to the scribes and Pharisees: “You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world” (John 8:23). Before the crucifixion he declared to Pilate: “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn’t be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). The kingdom of God the Father is in heaven (2 Tim. 4:18).
The kingdom of David established by Jehovah is on the earth for eternity (Ezek. 37:21-25). Instead of the law of Jehovah, Jesus established the grace of the Father, that is to say, amnesty for all. Now everybody can be a child of God by birth (John 3:3-6). The command after the resurrection was: “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). There will not be Gentile and inferior peoples to be under the feet of Israel (Ps. 43:7; Mic. 5:8). The days of this world are numbered (2 Pet. 3:7). Then the resurrection of the judgment and condemnation of the wicked will come (Rev. 20:11-15). The ones that Christ saved will never go down to this pit, which is the tomb of the dead, but they will live forever in the glory with Christ and the Father (1 Pet. 1:3-4; John 14:2-4). So, the Old Testament was abolished. In the previous lesson we talked about the three things abolished in the Old Testament, which were: the animal sacrifices to forgive sins, the ten commandments that were nullified by the law of love (John 13:34; Rom. 13:8-10), and also the Levitical priesthood, which ceased to exist.
- Jehovah was the god of Israel only, whom he loved (2 Kings 23:27). Jehovah said about Israel: “You are the children of Jehovah your God” (Deut. 14:1). But to Jehovah, hurt pride is greater than the love of a father. The children sinned, and he declared: “Hear, heavens, and listen, earth; for Jehovah has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me’” (Is. 1:2). With the pride created by holiness, Jehovah began to hate Israel: “For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their engraved images. When God heard this, he was angry, and greatly abhorred Israel” (Ps. 78:58-59). And Jehovah, the father of Israel, became the enemy and adversary of his children and devoured them as if he were a lion (Lam. 2:1-5; Hos. 13:7-8).
Then Jesus Christ came and proved that the love of the Father is greater than the hurt pride, for, according the will of the Father, he gave his life for all the cursed sinners of Jehovah, establishing forgiveness and grace for all (Titus 2:11; 1 John 2:12). Christ revealed that God, the Father, is God of the Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 3:29). And he wants to save all men, in other words, idolaters, sorcerers, murderers thieves, gays, demon possessed, condemned, cursed of Jehovah, vases of dishonor; in conclusion, all (Rom. 9:20-23; 2 Tim. 2:20-21). It is thus proven that the Old Testament was abolished.
- In the Old Testament, men were justified by the sacrifices of the law and by the works of the law, which follow all the precepts of the law. But it is written in the New Testament: “But Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn’t arrive at the law of righteousness. Why? Because they didn’t seek it by faith, but as it were by works of the law” (Rom. 9:31,32). “For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4).
And Paul, triumphant, declares: “Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). The law, in face of the love of Christ, became useless and vain: “For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness” (Heb. 7:18). Paul brings light to our minds again, saying: “And by him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39). And he adds, speaking of the glory of Jesus: “Who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Once again it is proven that the Old Testament was abolished.
- Death was the foundation of the concert of Jehovah. Paul reveals to us that the old covenant of Jehovah with men has its foundation on death, with the following words: “Who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: won’t service of the Spirit be with much more glory?” (2 Cor. 3:6-8). The Old Testament was the ministry of death. And this ministry was so strong, that all were dead. Paul tells us: “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sins weren’t like Adam’s disobedience, who is a foreshadowing of him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14). Further ahead Paul continues: “For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). We see that death reigned from Adam until Jesus. We read in the first letter to the Corinthians: “For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Chr. 15:21-22). The law that Jehovah gave only legalized death, for Paul says: “For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law” (Rom. 5:13). By this text we see what the ministry of death is: “DEATH LEGALLY INSTITUTED THROUGH THE LAW.”
Jesus Christ, though, abolished this dark ministry. Paul, through the revelation of the ministry of grace, given to him by God, says to Timothy: “Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News” (2 Tim. 1:8-10).
When Jesus abolished death, he abolished the law, sins, and all condemnation, which were all Old Testament elements. Christ abolished them all, for the glory of God the Father. Whoever believes in Christ passes from death into life (John 5:24). Whoever believes in Christ passes from darkness to the light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18).
By Olavo Silveira Pereira