133 – THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Old Testament covers seven main issues:
1. The election of Abraham’s offspring as the chosen people — “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing” (Gen.12:2). “‘Now look toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (Gen.15:5).
2. The land of Canaan as an eternal inheritance — “And I will give you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen.17:8).
3. The Law of Jehovah, given by Moses, the mediator of Jehovah (Gal.3:19) — The Levitical priesthood was included in the covenant of the Law; the sacrifices of the Law; the tables of the Law with the Ten Commandments; and the statures and judgments. And the books of the Law are five: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — these books are called Pentateuch and are the Torah of the Hebrew people. The priests ministered the Law (Matt.2:4-7).
4. The agreement of the circumcision of the flesh with Abraham — “A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your house for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant” (Gen.17:13-14).
5. A royal lineage to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah — “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex.19:6). “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants will endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me” (Ps.89:34-36). This lineage is carnal and not spiritual, for Paul says: “Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD” (Rom.1:3-4).
6. The blessings and the curses — Blessings to the ones who faithfully keep the laws and the statures of Jehovah, and infinite curses to the ones who break the law. These blessings and curses are material and earthly, and are listed in chapters 27 through 28 of the book of Deuteronomy.
7. The vengeance of the covenant — “And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins. I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant, and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilences among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands” (Lev.26:23-25).
The Old Testament was established with Israel, excluding all the other peoples (Deut.14:1-2; Amos 3:2).
The New Testament is totally different than the Old, and it includes:
1. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross: a cursed sacrifice (Deut.21:22-23) —The sacrifices of the Old Testament pleased Jehovah (Ex.20:24), but they did not please the Father of Jesus (Heb.10:4-10).The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was not the fulfillment of the sacrifices of the Law of Jehovah, but it was the perfect sacrifice that cancelled the imperfect ones, for an imperfect thing couldn’t be a figure of a perfect thing. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were, therefore, abolished. In Heb.9:23, the figure is not the sacrifice, for it was imperfect; the figure is the tabernacle (Heb.9:21).
2. Jesus instituted his Church — Matt.16:18
3. The circumcision was abolished — “Fro neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal.6:15). Now, the circumcision demanded obedience to all the Law (Gal.5:1-3). Those fell from the grace, and were left without Jesus (Gal.5:4). The Christians were not bound to the Law of Jehovah. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace” (Rom.6:14; 7:6).
4. A royal priesthood and a holy nation were established — 1 Pet.2:9. If the new priesthood, of the gentiles, was the royal one, the Levitical priesthood was not real, but fictitious. A tale is not real, and theater is not real, but fantasy, story, appearance. All the things that do not remain are not real. “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain” (Job 14:1-2). Man is a shadow that vanishes when the light goes off, so it is not real. If he has eternal life in Christ, he becomes real. The Levitical priesthood was changed; therefore, it was not real (Heb.7:12-14).
5. The lineage of Jehovah was carnal, and the lineage of the Father is spiritual — The one who is not born again, that is, born of the water and of the Spirit, does not come into the kingdom of God (John 3:3-6). Jehovah begat sons in the flesh, for this reason he said to Israel in the desert, “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land” (Ex.23:26). But John, the apostle, tells us, “But as many as received Him, to the He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13; Rom.9:6-8; 5: 5-9).
6. The inheritance of the disciples of Jesus is not the earth, neither Canaan, but heaven, for this reason Paul declared, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim.4:18). Peter states the same, saying that the one who will resurrect with Christ have an imperishable, undefiled inheritance, reserved in heaven for the saints (1 Pet.1:3-4).
7. In the Old Testament, the kingdom of Jehovah was for the Israelites alone (Ex.19:6; Deut.14:1-2; Amos 3:2). In the New Testament, the kingdom of heaven is open to all men, of all races, and therefore Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).
CONCLUSION: If the Old Testament is necessary to salvation, the gentiles, ignorant of the issue, would have to adopt it; but the Holy Spirit released them from this obligation (Acts 15:1-29). Paul would not preach against circumcision and the Law (Acts 21:21-28; Gal.6:15; Rom.6:14; 7:6).
The Law is a stumbling block to the ones who keep it (Rom.9:30-33). The righteousness of the Law established by Jehovah is not the righteousness of the Father. If the Old Testament were profitable to the plan of salvation, Christ would not have abolished it (2 Cor.3:14). Paul affirms that it was abolished. Jesus Christ is not the mediator of the Old Testament (Heb.9:15). The mediator in the Old Testament was Moses (Gal.3:19). Jesus is not the mediator of the Old Covenant, for it was not eternal(Heb.8:13; 7:22).
The commandments of the Law were weak and useless, and did not make anything perfect (Heb.7:18-19). The Law of Jehovah was made sick by the flesh (Rom.8:3), therefore, it profits only to the carnal men (Rom.8:5-9). The Law brings sin back to life (Rom.7:9).
The Old Testament forces slavery upon its followers (Gal.4:21-26).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira