(355) – THE BLESSING

There are two testaments in the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament, in the evangelical Bible, is made of 39 books, and in the Catholic Bible, of 46. The New Testament is made of 27 books in both the evangelical and Catholic Bible. Jehovah made the Old Testament with the Hebrew people. God, the Father, made the New Testament with the Church. The mediator between Jehovah and the Hebrew people was Moses (Ex. 33:11-12; Gal. 3:19), and the mediator between God, the Father, and men is Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). The Old Testament Concert had as base the law of Jehovah and the sacrifices of calves, sheep, goats, doves and lambs. The New Testament Covenant has the grace of God to all men as its base (Titus 2:11) and the sacrifice of Christ to atone for the sins of those who believe (Gal. 1:4).

Each testament has an inheritance.  In the testament of Jehovah the inheritance was the land of Canaan, where the people was going to rest from wars, slavery and famine. For this reason Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey, and a land of plenty. The inheritance of the saints of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ is not on the earth, but in heaven. It is a heavenly kingdom with the glory of God (2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:3-4).

The striking difference between the two testaments is that the Old Testament does not mention any heavenly inheritance for the people, and the inheritance of the New Testament is all in the heavenly places. Those of the faith are called pilgrims and strangers in this world. The sacred text says: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and embraced them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. If indeed they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had enough time to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Heb. 11:13-16). Abraham himself rejected the Old Testament inheritance of Jehovah, to keep the inheritance of Jesus Christ, for he was the first one to hear the Gospel, that is, the good news. The text says: “By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went. By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise (of Jehovah Gen. 17:8), as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:8-10).

Jesus refers to the two testaments like this: “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it” (Luke 16:16). If they were until John, they were extinguished.

The promises of the kingdom of God are not in the Old Testament. It is comic to see thousands and billions of Christians stuck in the Old Testament and struggling to show that there are prophecies that are still to be fulfilled. If Jesus said that they ended with John the Baptist, will we contradict what Jesus said?

Another incredible difference between the two testaments is that in the Old Testament the heirs were the ones to die, not the person who had made the will — Jehovah. In the New Testament, the one who made it dies, and the heirs take immediate possession of the inheritance. The text says: “For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a last will and testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him who made it. For a will is in force where there has been death, for it is never in force while he who made it lives” (Heb. 9:15-17).

In the covenant of the law of Jehovah, the very law cancels the inheritance, for the law imputes sin, and the soul who sins dies (Ezek. 18:4). With death, the inheritance goes to another. The inheritance of Jehovah is an illusion. We understand why the blessing passes from father to son in the Old Testament. Abraham received the blessing of Jehovah and blessed Isaac, and Isaac blessed Jacob (Gen. 27:26-29). The blessing secured the favors of Jehovah. The text says: “God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you” (Gen. 27:28-29). The blessing of Jehovah, who passes from father to son, aims at earthly things, offspring, and power over other men.

Paul describes the blessing of the Father, which Jesus gives to us: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). The blessing of the New Testament is not hereditary. Only those who believe in Jesus and follow him closely, receive.

There is a great difference between the two blessings. The blessings of Jehovah are earthly and material. That is what we read in Gen. 27:26-29. The blessings of Jehovah do not include the heavenly blessings. It is easy to prove this. Jehovah is the god of the gold and the silver (Hag. 2:8). And Solomon says: “Jehovah ‘s blessing brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (Prov. 10:22). Jehovah values gold and silver so much, that he plundered the conquered nations. When Israel destroyed Jericho, he commanded: “But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are holy to Jehovah. They shall come into Jehovah treasury” (Josh. 6:19). Jehovah made David rich (1 Chr. 29:28). He also gave wealth and glory to Solomon (1 Kings 3:13). He gave wealth and glory to Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:27). And it is amazing that Jehovah gave power, majesty, and glory to Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 5:18), a cruel, unrighteous and proud king. And Jehovah submitted all the peoples under his feet, threatening them with curses (Jer. 27:1-8). Jesus forbids people to gather treasures (Matt. 6:19-21). To those who have them, he commands them to spend them on charity to the poor (Matt. 19:16-21).

Jesus commanded also John and James to stop seeking glory and power (Mark 10:10:37, 42-45). The kingdoms are two. The kingdom of Jehovah is an earthly kingdom, and the kingdom of Jesus is a heavenly kingdom.  It is obvious that their values also differ. The gold of the kingdom of Jesus is charity, and so he said to the rich man: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matt. 19:21).

The difference between the two blessings is greatly noticeable:

  1. The blessing of Jehovah is for the man who is faithful to the law and to his offspring in the flesh (Ps. 128).
  2. The blessing of the Father is for the spiritual offspring of Jesus (Heb. 2:9-10; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:13).
  3. The blessing of Jehovah is for the ones of this world (Eccl. 2:24-25; 3:11; 5:18-19; 8:15; 9:9).
  4. The gifts of God the Father is for the ones who are not of this world (Rom. 15:29; Col. 3:1-3; Eph. 1:3-4).
  5. The gifts of God the Father are irrevocable, and include the blessing (Rom. 11:29).
  6. The blessing of Jehovah can be stolen before his eyes (Gen. 27:6-19). If somebody disapproves of the argument, read Deut. 21:15-17, where Jehovah determines that the blessing of the firstborn cannot go to another.
  7. Finally, the prophet Malachi declares that the blessing of Jehovah can be turned into curse: “‘Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name,’ says Jehovah of Armies, ‘then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart’” (Mal. 2:1,2).

If someone wants a blessing that can be cursed, choose the blessing of Jehovah, who says that there is no man who can stop sinning; and obviously, when he sins, he inherits the curse instead of the blessing (Eccl. 7:20; 1 Kings 8:46).

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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