As we studied in “The Manifestation of Christ 1”, manifestation is to bring to public knowledge something that was hidden. In the letter to the Ephesians Paul declares that he had a revelation of the mystery of Christ that was not manifested to the sons of men in other centuries (Eph.3:3-5). It becomes evident that, if the ministry of Christ was never manifested before, Jesus has never been in the Old Testament. For example: In the Old Testament, faith was a hidden mystery, for Paul Says: “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (Gal.3:23). There was faith in the Old Testament, but it was not faith in Jesus Christ, because the mystery of Christ had not been manifested to the sons of men in the past centuries.
Jehovah gave the law on Mount Sinai, and the people of Israel became children of Jehovah through the covenant of the law. Moses declared: “You are the children of Jehovah your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead” (Deut.14:1). As the faith in Christ had not been manifested, those children of Jehovah were not children of the God and Father that Jesus had revealed. Jesus was manifested through the baptism of John the Baptist, and the faith was manifested (Gal.3:23). Paul continues in the same text, saying: “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (Gal.3:26). As there are two kinds of children of God, those that become children through the faith in Christ are not any longer under the law as the children of Jehovah are. What is the difference between the two families? The children of Jehovah were guided by the law, and the children of God the Father are guided by the Spirit of God (Rom.8:14).
After the resurrection the Church among the gentiles increased a great deal through the faith in Christ and no knowledge of the Law of Moses, the guide of the converted Pharisees. Those who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees that had believed wanted to force the gentiles to be circumcised and also to keep the Law of Moses. After great discussion the apostles came to the conclusion that the Church of the gentiles should not be submitted to the law (Acts 15:5-20). The Holy Spirit manifested himself in favor of the apostles and against the believers of the old law (Acts 15:28-29).
As the flesh will not be justified by any law before the Father God, for by the law comes the knowledge of sin, the Israelites were justified before Jehovah through the sacrifices of the law (Rom.3:20; Lev.4:20,26,31,35; 5:10,13,16,18; 19:22; Num.15:25-28). Those sacrifices that Jehovah accepted were not pleasing to God the Father. In the letter to the Hebrews we read: “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, ‘Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire, but you prepared a body for me; You had no pleasure in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.’ Then I said, “Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me) to do your will, O God.”’ Previously saying, ‘Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them’ (those which are offered according to the law)” (Heb.10:4-8).
The truth is that Jehovah gave the law, saying: “You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you” (Ex.20:24). And these sacrifices of the law were pleasing to Jehovah: “You shall burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering to Jehovah; it is a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Jehovah” (Ex.29:18).
The offerings for sins were accepted by Jehovah, and the sins were forgiven; however, there was no justification before God, and the forgiveness had not value, as in Num.14:19-23, where Jehovah forgave and afterwards condemned the ones he had forgiven. We reached to the conclusion that the law covered sacrifices for sins, burnt offerings pleasing to Jehovah, commandments, statutes, judgments, feasts, Sabbaths, commemorations, days, months and years, altars, etc. And none of these made men perfect. For this reason Paul declared: “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).
Jehovah himself, after a thousand years, tired of that sinful people offering sacrifices on the altar, and to remain on the flesh, on sin, in corruption, in malice, in idolatry, he said: “Hear the word of Jehovah, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! ‘What are the multitude of your sacrifices to me?’ says Jehovah. ‘I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed animals. I don’t delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of male goats. When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more vain offerings. Incense is an abomination to me; new moons, Sabbaths, and convocations: I can’t bear with evil assemblies. My soul hates your New Moons and your appointed feasts. They are a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them’” (Is.1:10-14).
Jehovah committed such mistakes in his covenant of the law made with Israel, that he ended up rejecting and destroying his people: “Jehovah said, ‘I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, “My name shall be there.”’” (2 Kings 23:27). The kingdom was destroyed 2,600 years ago. The city of Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed 1,930 years ago. Only the Wailing Wall was left, and also the faith of the Christians connected to the Old Testament, which ended with John the Baptist (Luke 16:16).
God the Father, through the only-begotten Son, started everything over. Jesus is the last Adam of the old creation, but it is the first one of the new creation: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor.5:17). Paul explains everything in 1 Cor.15:45-49.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira