Friends, is this question not an authentic faith wrecker? It’s not only a faith wrecker, it’s a theology wrecker, a church wrecker, a division maker, and even a life wrecker.
Honestly, I believe we should stress over this question. In truth, we should stress over every discrepancy we perceive in the Scriptures. Every. Single. One.
But we should not quit on the scriptures. Our stress should drive us further into them. We should persevere in our search for understanding until we come to real answers… Because if this book is truth, then there are real live answers to be found in it.
You guys, if there’s one principle about the Bible that you and I must never let go of, it is this: the Bible was inspired by God and is utterly perfect.
This can only mean one thing regarding apparent disparities between the testaments: when the Bible seems evil or self-contradictory, you and I are not understanding it as God means it.
WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE NEW TESTAMENT WITHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Scriptures are written from the perspective of Heaven, not of Earth. And how life is here, is not at all like it is there. Because of this, the Scriptures—actually, God who inspired them—explain heavenly things to us through the physical world and its kingdoms… because these are things we understand.
You and I need to know from the start that God did this for our sake, because He loves us. He deeply wants us to find him and his freedom. He deeply wants us to know him and his love. So he has gone to every length to help us understand the way to him and life in his kingdom.
Furthermore, we need to know that we cannot understand the New Testament Scriptures without understanding the Old Testament Scriptures. It is actually impossible. This means that we cannot throw the Old Testament out for the New. If we think we understand the New Testament but have little grasp on the Old, then we do not understand the New Testament like we think we do.
ISRAEL, A SHADOW PEOPLE
Israel, the Old Testament people of God, was and is a literal nation of the earth, with which God had/has a special relationship and purpose. They are distinct from the Church. They never morphed into the Church. Nor were they the Church of the days prior to Christ.
No, rather, Israel explains the Church.
It was/is a physical nation of the earth called into nationhood for the purpose of explaining the higher heavenly kingdom/nation/people of God which their Messiah (Christ) would head up… and which they were invited into (1 Peter 2:9).
GOD DOES NOT REJECT HIS PEOPLE
This means that when we read the Old Testament Law (the thing we get especially hung up on), we need to know that the Old Testament Law is a shadow (lower form used to explain a higher truth) of the Law of the Spirit of Life within every individual that comprises the Church (Rom. 8:2).
Therefore, when we read of extreme dealings concerning defilings of people, animals, or property in the Old Testament Law, you and I need to seek to understand how these shadow higher Heaven guidance in the Law of Life within us.
If we read the Old Testament with this frame of mind, realizing God is communicating something higher and Heavenly with us today, we come to see His light and love is the same in both testaments.
This is why the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 was not sentenced by Jesus to a stoning. No, instead, he said “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.” And instead she was told to “Go, and sin no more.”
Israel was taught in her Law to cleanse herself of all defiling on a physical earthly level. This shadowed the higher way of life in the kingdom of God. In order to live outside of the domain of darkness in our flesh, you and I need to be undefiled by the lies it whispers to us in the inner man. You and I need to be cleansed by the words of Jesus within us—by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2, Eph. 5:26). This is why our answer is not to physically stone the sinner, but to go and sin (listen and respond to enemy lies) no more.
When we understand what God was doing with the people of Israel in the Old Testament, we can see his great love for us even all those years ago. We can see his great intentionality toward us long before we ever came to be.
I cannot tell how you grateful for the Old Testament I am. I am continuously in it as I live the research life. I am constantly amazed by the outlandish love of God explained within its pages. And I’m constantly grateful for the way it makes the New Testament make sense and come to true light.
God is the same yesterday, today, and always. With a few solid Bible interpretation principles in mind, we can live encouraged, built up, and delighted by the God of both testaments.
I so hope this encouraged you today! Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.
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