(Convergence of the Old and New Testaments)
Nick A. Michael
published for prophetofwar.com
A road diverges ahead of you, and you can see workers along both roadways making sure that the two roads never meet again. On one side, the road curves outward from the other and the road signs tell you that it is the way of the Old Testament, and it is governed by the Old Covenant. On the other side, the road curves outward from the other, and the road signs tell you that it is the way of the New Testament, and it is governed by the New Covenant. You proceed along the roadway that best serves your emotional needs, that seems to match your current way of thinking, or that is supported by whatever you were raised to believe. You never look back and wonder who hired the workers that are making sure that the road remains split in two distinct paths. You never look back and determine if it was ever meant to be a dissection. You just continue forward along your chosen path and follow the road signs that inform you of the rules and regulations that you are to obey as you follow the roadway. At some points the roads come very near to converging into one roadway again, but policemen are stationed at these points to ensure that no one crosses from one road to the other, since it would harm the paradigms associated with the division. You continue onward on your chosen roadway, never looking back and wondering who hired the police to enforce the division. You never question your chosen roadway, and you never consider that they were never intended to be two distinct paths.
I do not know a better way to explain the current dilemma in the modern church systems. Many well-meaning and often well-informed teachers will recite the paradigm parameters so that we can stay comfortable in our chosen path. I recently heard from one teacher that has earned a lot of respect due to his objectivity in research and subjectivity to the gospel of Christ. He said that you can read the Old Testament, not to inform you of how to live, but to have a general background in it, that you should focus on the New Testament to form your foundations since it is the New Covenant. Many volumes of teaching and expository documentation have been based on this paradigm and support the distinction. My concern is that the paradigm exists in the first place. I have to ask the hard question and hope that my readers are self-sufficient enough in internal deduction to apprehend what my goal is. How can you understand the New Covenant, or the New Testament, without understanding the foundation of thought that was brought to us over the millennia via the Old Testament? How can you truly perceive the teachings of The Word, if you ignore the first itterations of The Word? Christ, Yehoshua, did not materialize out of nothing and come to this physical existence in order to create a new reality. The Word of YHWH did not come in the flesh to undo the Word of YHWH that was already given. What a concept to pursue, that The Word came and rejected The Word. How can you justify such a concept? The stark reality is that the same Word that all things were created by is the same Word that sanctified the seventh day and called it holy, it is the same Word that crafted the 10 commandments and gave them to Moshe, and it is the same Word that came in the flesh and physically and audibly said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Yet somehow in all of our theological rhetoric, we have arrived at a conclusion that The Word actually didn’t mean to obey his commands, he actually meant that we should blindly pray for guidance, and in the off-chance that we clearly understand his response to our requests for guidance, we should follow his advice as well as we can. We can just love YHWH and our fellow man and that’s alright. We have arrived at conclusions that YHWH the creator gave us zero guidance for a way of life until the Christ walked among us. What fallacy! How can such concepts be supported?
It is my desire to walk through some specific concepts of the written word of YHWH that will explain that The Way has always been the same, that followers of the creator have always pursued the same Way, and that Christ came in the flesh to provide the final pavement in The Way so that all flesh can access the end goal. He is coming again in the future to bring the promise of eternity to fruition. I am going to make every attempt to avoid standard Christian terminology, because that terminology is often little more than a comfortable hum of rhetoric that has no real meaning to those that claim to believe them. For instance, the concept of sin is grossly misunderstood. All believers in Christ will freely admit that Christ paid the price of our sin and saved us from the result of sin. However, it isthe subtle distictions of language by which I am made aware of misapplied knowledge.
Me: Are you saved?
Average Christian: Yes.
Me: Saved from what?
Average Christian: Saved from sin!
Me: What is sin?
Average Christian: Things I do that put a barrier between me and God.
Me: That is incorrect.
We have all been taught that Christ died for our sins. That the Father forgives us of our sins because of the sacrifice of the Christ. That we should stop sinning since it is bad. It is that extra s after sin that throws people off, that hides the truth. If we only needed to stop behaving in certain ways to be saved from the repercussions of sinfulness, Christ would not have needed to be sacrificed to save us from it. Christ did not save us from actions, he saved us from our nature. Our nature at birth is sin. Before we have committed any actions, we are sinful. How can you think that changing your behavior has anything to with saving you from your sin nature? If we are born in sin, then it is a genetic problem perpetuated through all of the bloodlines from Adam on. How do I know this? Because The Word of YHWH says it is so in the Old Testament, and it was validated throughout the New Testament. If the story in the Old Testament did not explain it, the New Testament writers would not have validated it.
So many concepts that we have erroneously applied Middle Ages “theology” to are actually based in the Torah, or the five books of Moshe. The most basic is that Adam was created perfect and placed in the East, in an enclosure (garden) in which all that was pleasing to the eye and good for food was planted, in which he enjoyed casual walks with the creator in the evenings, et cetera. So we know from this that he and his offspring were intended to operate in perfection and enjoy life in beauty. The negative impact of the subtle deceptions of the Dragon are what brought sin to Adam and Eve, and because their nature was changed to a nature of death, they could no longer participate in perfection in the garden, nor could they casually walk with the creator because the creator is perfection. That same nature of death and imperfection is what we inherit. There is nothing that we can do about it other than to believe in The Word and be saved by The Word, to be remade as a new creature. We put off the nature of death. We put on the nature of The Word. How then can we justify ignoring the first itterations of The Word?
The most common argument to ignore the Word that was recorded in the Torah is to assume that the commands of YHWH are part of the law of Moses. A simple reading of the actual text will show otherwise. The commands are not equivalent to the law. So arguing on behalf of our “freedom” by claiming that Christ freed us from the bondage of the law is erroneous. Paul did not argue that we are free from the commands of YHWH, he explained that we are free from the bondage of the law of sin and death. In his writings regarding the law and the freedom we have in Christ, Paul explains in the New Testament things that are already covered in the Old Testament. If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed the command of YHWH to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would not have been subjected to the law of sin and death. If he had not been subjected to the law of sin and death, his offspring would not be born in sin and therefore bound by the same law. If we were not born condemned already, we would not have needed to be saved. Once we are saved, we are no longer under condemnation, no longer subjected to the law of sin and death, and therefore we can walk in The Way successfully.
What is this Way that I keep referring to? The Way is a lifestyle, it is an ancient pursuit of the creator, it is a label. In Genesis, once again the Old Testament, we read that when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, YHWH set cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life. Most people infer that it was intended to keep Adam and Eve away from the tree of life. This is incorrect. It says very clearly that the mighty angelic creatures were stationed there to make sure that the way TO the tree of life was protected. It is the first indication in the story that YHWH did not intend for Adam’s bloodline to be permanently kept from the tree of life. How was the way to the tree of life to be regained? Because the seed of the woman would crush the head of the seed of the Dragon and destroy the fruits of the original disobedience by Adam. The fruits of his disobedience are sin and death. Christ in the flesh, the Word that walked among men and was not recognized by his own, is the seed of the woman as promised. Therefore we now have been granted access to the tree of life. This concept was reiterated in the revelation of John, as he described the eternal city with orchards of the tree of life. It is true that we cannot access it until the remaking and establishment of the new heavens and the new world, where we will be living in new glorified bodies after the resurection that is promised. Because the early descendents of Adam could not access the tree of life yet still desired to obey YHWH and live in a manner that is subjected to YHWH, they were of The Way. Many men and women obeyed YHWH despite their sin nature throughout history, and many of them are recorded in the Old Testament. These people walked in The Way. The Israelite descendents from the line of Eber who desired to obey YHWH also walked in The Way. The followers of Christ in the flesh walked in The Way. Christ himself told us while he was here among the people that he is The Way. The early believers were not called Christians, the were called The Way. Christianity is not a new religion, it is the same lifestyle that has always been pursued by those who obeyed YHWH from the beginning.
Christ, The Word, has always been here. It is by The Word that all things were made, it is in The Word that all that exists is held together. The Word has never abandoned us, not even when the whole world was corrupted and every intention of the hearts of men was evil. The same Word spoke with Noah and told him of the coming flood. The same Word promised to never again destroy the world with a flood. The same Word spoke to Abram and directed him to leave the land of his fathers to go to a country that he did not know. The same Word spoke time and again and guided the people of The Way throughout all of history. When The Word came in the flesh, The Word did not tell people to abandon everything he had ever spoken. He did not come in the flesh to reject his own commands. On the contrary, he verified his commands and said that we would obey them if we truly love him. Modern theology, which is mostly based on Middle Ages fallacy, likes to pretend that it was impossible to have been saved before he died on the cross. If that is true, why then did he first preach to the dead and claim them for himself when he died? The dead righteous from of old were just as saved as we are today. The only differentiation is that before he died, the covenant was based on the future promise. After he rose again, the covenant was based on the present resolution of that same promise.
Many argue that the Old Testament does not apply now because this is the age of grace. What a narrow-minded thought process! Do you really believe that Adam and Eve were not given grace? How about Cain after he murdered his brother and had a chat with The Word? Did Noah not receive grace? And Noah’s family were not recorded as being perfect in geneology, but they were given grace. How often did the grace of YHWH prevail in the lives of people throughout the Old Testament? Grace was always a reality, because it is part of the nature of YHWH. The difference is the application of grace in that after his resurrection, right before he ascended to heaven, The Word specifically stated that he will pour out his breath of life (spirit) on all flesh. There is no indication that YHWH provided it to all flesh in the ages preceding the Word in the flesh.
We like to take little snippets of history and segment them apart from the whole story. We find comfort in small thoughts. This is part of the reason that the prophetic language is always talking about long periods of time as days. Days are easier to contemplate than millenia. When attempting to formulate doctrine, we look back at our history and stop looking once we reach about 1100 AD. If we look back farther it is only to the records of the years during and just after The Word walked in the flesh. We have an unfounded fear that if we look to the Old Testament that we will find ourselves subjected to the law. But everything explained in the New testament, aside from the chronologically historical events, is founded and formed by the concepts already contained in the Old Testament. There is nothing in the New Testament writings that is in opposition to the Old Testament. The New is a continuation of the Old, it is the same story. It is not two distinct stories for two chronologically opposed disections of mankind. We like to look back in what amounts to about 2 days of history. Why do we spend so much effort to persuade believers to ignore the preceding days?
Many teachers try to inform us that the Old Testament is only for the Jews. There are several problems with this type of claim. One is that the Jews are a limited group of Kabballah-based Israelites that took power around the time of Christ and finally solidified their control over the priesthood when they eliminated opposition during the sack of Jerusalem by Rome. A Jew is an Israelite, but an Israelite is not always a Jew. And Jew does not refer to the Judeans, this is an incorrect interpretation of history that seeks to interpret the word Jew as though it were of Hebrew origin. The word “Jew” has a definite origin in Kabbalah, and is not derived from the Hebrew word for the people of YHWH. The word that should be used is Yahudim. You can research this for yourself. Another reason that the Old Testament is not for the Jews only, or to state it in what people really mean, that it is not for the Israelites only, is that the basic history in the Old testament starts before Adam was created. If there was no Adam, there was no Noah, no Eber, no Jacob-Israel. If there was no Israel in the beginning of the story, then how can it be only for them? Every bloodline in the world is covered in the Torah, specifically in Genesis. Every descendent of Adam is spoken of in the text by linneage. Since this is the case, the writings are really for the whole world. Another reason is that if you are a follower of The Way, you are grafted into the family of Israel and are therefore co-inheritors of the promises that YHWH gave to Israel. How can you be grafted in, or adopted, and then tell the Father of the family that you don’t think his promised inheritance to you is important because he gave you grace?
Before Adam had offspring, YHWH created the heavens and the world in six days, and on the seventh day YHWH separated the seventh day and called it complete. This precedes Israel, it precedes Adam’s first child. It precedes religion and law (aside from the command to avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil). This concept of the seventh day being separate from the six and designated for rest is not an Israeli concept. It is a YHWH concept. It predates Israel by a lot of time. It was designated when all of the future population of the world was contained in one man, therefore, it is for the whole world. The seventh day is the seal of the creator to mark his creation, for in six days he made the heavens and the world, and on the seventh day he rested. By resting on the seventh day, you recognize YHWH as the creator, and place yourself at his feet in subjection, and mark yourself as his. The simple fact that YHWH reitterated the seventh day as a day of rest throughout the Old Testament and enforced it as the fourth commandment that he carved in stone should be enough reason for the followers of The Way to desire to separate the seventh day and rest in it.
In actuality, YHWH gave very few commands. They are almost entirely natural behaviors that engage the natural world order, such as behavior that is conducive to a healthy family and society. His days that he marked for Israel to keep forever are rehearsals of events that either have happened already or that will happen in the future according to his promises. The rehearsals are there so that we do not forget his promises. One simple command that YHWH gave is recorded by Isaiah, in that YHWH commands all men everywhere to repent and be saved. That is a very useful command to follow. He gave this command during the times of the Old Testament, once again validating for his people that he was not only concerned with Israel, but the whole world.
It is true that much of the historical information in the Old Testament is focussed on the descendents of Abraham, who was Abram, the son of a priest of the fallen angels in the city of Ur of what is commonly known as Sumer. The writings are clear in that the separation of the Hebraic-descended Israelites was not to isolate the world from the ability to pursue The Way. It was to show the whole world that YHWH was still active, that the Way of YHWH was still pursuable, and to prepare a group of people to understand the impact of the arrival of The Word in the flesh. Israel stands as an example that we cannot fulfill our desire to subject ourselves to YHWH without his direct intervention and help. When read in an untampered condition, the writings of the people of The Way in Israel provide distinct conceptual and historical explanations of the interaction of YHWH among the Israelites, as well as many other nations that are covered in the writings. If you consider the actual behaviors of the Israelites, their history is a clear indication that even when YHWH proves himself present and interacts on our behalf, it is still a common activity to ignore him and pursue the traditions and practices of those who serve the fallen angels. Let them serve as a warning for us, that we should always be aware of our traditions, and weigh them against the concepts provided in the Torah.
The Way is the pursuit of a healthy relationship with the creator, and to be permitted access to the tree of life when all that is corrupt is gone forever. A basic fact is that if you are in a relationship with the creator, you will obey him. It is not healthy to pursue his commands unless you are pursuing them because you love YHWH. The commands will not save you, but once you are saved, they should be the natural behavioral outcome of being saved. It is unbiblical to take a command and build a tradition of behaviorisms around it, to craft laws to support the commands. Each command is simple and easy to follow, there is no need for legalism or long discussions of how to follow each command. Simply love YHWH and follow his commands. It is not difficult. Do not ever assume that the story in the Old Testament ended at Christ’s arrival. It did not end, but every concept was fulfilled and reiterrated in the New Testament. The Old Covenant was for Abraham to produce Israel to build a nation of Yahudim, but the Old Testament goes back much farther than the Old Covenant. If anything, the original covenant was actually that YHWH would save Adam (and his offspring by extension) from sin and death, that we would be free from the law of sin and death in the future, as explained in Genesis. It is the same covenant that was fulfilled by Christ at his resurrection. The New Covenant is that we are currently free from the law of sin and death if we believe in Christ. Believing in Christ is more than just agreeing that he is YHWH Word come in the flesh. Believing in Christ is believing in the same Word that has been here from the creation onward, and if you believe that he is The Way, you walk in The Way by obeying his commands and therefore taking his mark of ownership. If he owns you, sin and death cannot make a claim. Sinful behavior will fall by the wayside and you will grow in your relationship with YHWH by obeying his Word, the same Word that created all things and gives us access to the tree of life.
Segmenting the written Word by chronlogical indicators and creating mountains of doctrinal tradition around the explanations in the New Testament and ignoring the original concepts that the New Testament writers were explaining is a faulty mechanism to pursue YHWH. You would not claim to understand a novel by taking sentences from the second half and rearranging them to your liking. You would read and understand the entire story from the beginning to the end. Read the collection of writings that detail the interaction of YHWH in the same manner. It is an ancient collection of texts, and should be read as an ancient text. Every letter has meaning. Is it absolutely necessary to read the Old Testament? No. But it not necessary to read the New Testament either. YHWH has pursued people and and has taught them The Way throughout all of history. He teaches us all truth. However, to ignore the written record when it is available, and then to create crafty doctrines to legitimize ungodly behavior is absolute narcisism. If you love him, keep his commands, walk in The Way.