Just as there are two Testaments, there are also two schools, for the Testaments are different in promises, heritages and in lifestyles. They are also different as to its laws. For example, in the Old Testament, the law commanded: “…eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deut. 19:21). This is the law of vengeance that Jehovah commanded to Moses (Deut. 4:13,14). Jesus goes against this evil school, saying: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any one wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also” (Matt. 5:38-40). These are two antagonist schools.
We mentioned Gideon’s example, one of the most exalted heroes of the Old Testament. Gideon is talked about everywhere. There is an international society of the Gideon. Well, this great hero followed closely the law of his god, concerning the eye for an eye and the tooth for a tooth. This valiant man and his three hundred men were going into battle against Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. His men were tired and hungry. He, then, asked the men of Sucoth to give him bread, to feed his soldiers. The princes of Sucoth told him, “‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmnuna already in your hands, that we should give bread to your army?’ And Gideon said, ‘All right, when Jehovah has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will thrash your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers’” (Judges 8:5-7). And Gideon went from there to Penuel to ask them for bread for his soldiers. The men at Penuel answered him just like the princes of Sucoth had done. Then Gideon said: “When I return safely, I will tear down this tower” (Judges 8:8,9).
Gideon and his three hundred valiant men had a great victory over the armies of Zebah and Zalmunna, even though they were tired as they were. Gideon returned and thrashed the bodies of the princes and the elders with the thorns of the wilderness. They were seventy-seven men in total (Judges 8:13-16). Then, they went on to Penuel, tore down the tower, and killed the men of the city (Judges 8:17). Could not the great leader Gideon have forgiven them? If he had the Spirit of Christ, he surely would, but he had instead the spirit of vengeance of Jehovah and his law, for Jehovah is the god of vengeance (Nah.1:2). Vengeance is always more cruel and brutal than the offense. Who is it that offends deity? Men, a mere grasshopper (Josh.40:22). Who takes vengeance, full of anger and fury? The one who claims to be men’s creator, full of mercy and pity (Josh. 42:5; Ex. 34:6).
Jesus gave us the following commandment, in the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). The truth is that, in the churches, they teach the story of Gideon to children, and these will receive the vindictive spirit of Gideon.
Another story that fills the children’s teaching books is the story of David, the man who had a heart like the heart of Jehovah (Acts 13:22). David, the shepherd who sang psalms during the night watches, when he became king, had sixteen wives, and committed adultery with the wife of his great friend, one of his thirty valiant men. In this school, the innocent children of the Christian people are going to learn that the men who have a heart like God’s fall into adultery. To these children, the school of the Old Testament is the school of sensuality and of corruption of the costumes (2 Sam. 11 and 12). Jesus says, “but I say to you, that every one who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matt. 5:28,29). David would be reproved in the school of Jesus. If it is so, why do Christians promote the story of David as they do? Are they blind? Or do they want to pervert their own children? As everyone is certain of David’s salvation, the number of pastors and elders who are adulterers is uncountable.
The Old Testament is a school where the very Jehovah teaches to kill. When the priest Eli rebuked his sons, Jehovah himself shut their ears so that they would not listen to their father, because he wanted to kill them (1 Sam. 2:25). When Israel was entering into Canaan, the very Jehovah hardened the hearts of the people so that they would fight against Israel, because Jehovah wanted to kill and destroy them (Josh. 11:20). The Old Testament is a school of violence, of unjust wars where men, women, children and old died, and the spoil of blood, that is, the silver and gold, went into the treasury of Jehovah (Josh.6:18-21).
Jehovah forbade Samuel to pity Saul, that is, he forbade charity (1 Sam. 16:1). Jehovah forbade Jeremiah to pray for the welfare of his people “Do not pray for the welfare of this people” (Jer. 14:11). Jehovah forbade Jeremiah to pray for his people, because he was fashioning calamity against Israel (Jer. 18:11). Children, when they hear the story of Jeremiah, or when they read his book, are going to make an erroneous idea of the character of God, and are going to learn to plan evil against the people whom they do not like.
James and John, forged by the Old Testament school, wanted to call on fire from heaven over the inhabitants of a village of Samaritans who had not given a place for Jesus to eat and rest. The Lord Jesus rebuked them, then, saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of” (Luke 9:51-56). In this text, Jesus teaches three things:
- His school was not the same school as the one of Jehovah.
- There was a spirit in the school of Jehovah, and another in the school of Jesus.
- Jehovah destroyed the souls of men, but Jesus forever saves them.
Jesus, the principal of the school of the New Testament, declared: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28,29). At another time, when James and John asked to sit one at Jesus right hand and the other at his left hand in his kingdom, Jesus told them, “and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:36-45).
Paul, the greatest of Apostles, who followed faithfully the school of the New Testament, which Jesus has planted, said, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Nobody follows Paul, on the contrary, they criticize him, and the majority is fixed on the bankrupt school of the Old Testament, exalting Gideon, David, Solomon, Samson, and others. We, of the ABIP are fixed on the school of Jesus, according the Sermon on the Mount, and will do our best to follow the role models of Paul, Epaphroditus, Dorcas, Aquila, Priscila, and so many others, whose names are dimmed by the outdated role models of the Old Testament (Phil. 2:25-30; Acts 9:36-43; Rom. 16:3; Acts 19:24-26).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira