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Discussion Forum : General Topics : New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

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TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 6170
NC, USA

 New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

From the mailbag:

New Testament Jesus Vs. Old Testament God?

Steve,

I have a really good friend of mine, who is backsliding from her faith. She has had bad experiences in the church and cannot reconcile a lot of “contradictions” in her mind within the Bible. She is a very emotional person and has a really hard time reconciling God in the Old and New Testaments.

She pointed to killing the Canaanites I believe, and killing everything that breathed, but saving some of the virgin women or something like that, as being very confusing for her. She has a hard time seeing Jesus there. And honestly it is a hard question for me to answer as well.

She has no problem with Jesus. She said that Jesus is the only part of the Bible she could read without really any problems. She just has a hard time with “God,” in her words. How Jesus and the Old Testament God are the same.

I honestly am at a loss of what to say or do. I am writing you because I seek more understanding myself, and ways to help her see God in the whole

Nathan

----------------------------------------

Hi Nathan,

I am sorry that your friend is allowing herself to be deceived. People who are "very emotional" are especially subject to irrational responses to reality, and need to become capable of suppressing irrational and inappropriate emotions by clinging to the Truth.

According to the Old Testament, Yahweh is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Ex.34:6-7)

That was how God described Himself to Moses, and I can find no reason to doubt Him. He is the world’s greatest expert on Himself! David also affirmed the same things about God’s nature:

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. (Ps.103:8-14)

How is this different from Jesus in the New Testament? Jesus said that everything He did was a reflection of His Father’s behavior (John 5:19; 14:9). If we think that Yahweh is different from Jesus in character, love, justice, mercy, faithfulness, etc., then we don’t believe Jesus on this matter.

In the Old Testament, God endured the abominable behavior of various sinful nations for hundreds of years on end before judging them. However, God would be overseeing a lawless, unjust and chaotic universe if He never redressed evils and vindicated the innocent against their oppressors. It is the role of any judge who loves humanity to punish criminals. The difference between God and human law courts is that God is, in general, far more patient with sinners, giving them opportunities to repent prior to His cracking down upon them.

God judged sinners less frequently in the Old Testament than He did in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, He directly judged the world in the flood, wiped out Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, and Egypt with plagues. He struck down Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire, and Uzzah when he touched the ark. There are a few other cases. These actions were spread out over 4,000 years—meaning that there were many hundreds, or thousands, of years between, during which time God judged no one. In the Old Testament, judgment acts of God occurred, on average, less than, perhaps, one time for every two centuries.

In the New Testament, God struck down Ananias and Saphira for lying to the Holy Spirit, as well as Herod for taking glory to himself. He also destroyed Jerusalem with the plagues described in Revelation. These things all happened within a forty-year period—on average, more than five times as frequently as God’s judgments in the Old Testament. The plagues of Revelation are specifically said to be expressions of the “wrath of the Lamb” (Rev.6:16), who is, of course, Jesus.

Those who object to God’s bringing long-overdue retribution upon sinners may complain all they wish, but they cannot do so without condemning Jesus Himself, who exhibited the same behavior as does His Father. To one on God’s side, it appears audacious for arrogant humans to think that God is subject to their critical judgments. Those who think they can judge God would do well to humble themselves and judge themselves. When the time for ultimate judgment arrives, everyone will see who is on trial, and Who is not.

Blessings!

Steve [Gregg]

P.S. As for sparing those virgin women...what else would your friend have preferred to happen to them?


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Todd

 2022/4/24 19:46Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4821
Savannah TN

 Re: New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

Col 1:15

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Col 1:16

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Col 1:17
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Doctrines of man frequently seek to confuse what Paul wrote above. One will see Jesus in the OT just as Paul did if you submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit.


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Jeff Marshalek

 2022/4/26 11:01Profile
AJM_REV2220
Member



Joined: 2022/2/18
Posts: 10
USA Great Lakes...

 Re: New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

Brothers & Sisters in Messiah,
Praying for those who are earnestly seeking the LORD for His grace is sufficient (2 COR 12:9). I've been in that woman's shoes - trying in vain to reconcile Jesus of the NT and God of the OT but in the manner as I would wrestle in "flesh and blood". First, the mindset of the modern Christian believer is heavily influenced by Greek & modern philosophy. In my search, I have become acquainted with teachings from SermonIndex, Messianic Jewish believers along with the unction Holy Spirit. It really is a community of faith that helps us to grow! So it is good that Nathan is reaching out to fellow believers.

Regarding the issue of "contradictions", there are many strong expository teachings on the nature of God and Jesus (there are no contradictions). Yet, we struggle because the justice we know in the world is nothing compared to the justice, mercy, patience, and lovingkindness from our Creator. One may think "Are the Canaanites deserving of death?" Yet, God judged the very people he chose - more so than the nations that surrounded them. And then there are those today...so we ask of ourselves "Are we deserving of death?" Then read John 3:16-17 in the context of the OT and dig deeper in understanding and prayer. The Word of God is teaching us something today that happened in the past for which I seek to understand His will. I thank the LORD that He bore my sins so that I can have eternal life with Him and the Father. It is His grace indeed!

So my humble suggestions:
1) read the word daily (One Year Bible is a good program)
2) read aloud
3) read with someone else (and you hear them reading)
4) be open to the lessons from the Holy Spirit (the helper)
5) continue to ask the LORD in prayer
6) fellowship with other believers who share your love and pursuit of the LORD

 2022/4/26 14:28Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7524
Mississippi

 Re: New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

Steve,

I think your reply was very good. Would make another suggestion. Read the OT prophets. God always warned people of impeding judgment IF they do not repent. The judgement meted out on them was because of their refusal to repent. Simple. I do not find this hard to understand - this is life. When we fail to react to something that promises some kind of calamity we tend to work to prevent it. Same with heeding or rejecting God's warnings.

Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2022/4/26 18:01Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1710
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: New Testament Jesus vs Old Testament God?

Todd,

Why (in your observation) is there a conflict for people between the two covenants regarding Gods intentions ?


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Fletcher

 2022/4/27 7:48Profile





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