We sometimes hear men contrast the “GOD of the New Testament” with the “GOD of the Old Testament”. We are puzzled by such “contrasts” since the LORD (who is both the GOD of the NT and the OT) clearly tells us that HE does not and has not changed. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal 3:6) “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8) HE who formed the earth out of the dust is exactly the same ONE who is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith.
HE who gave the law to Moses is the same ONE who fulfilled that law in its jot and tittle by HIS sinless life, and satisfied its claims against HIS elect by HIS offering of HIMSELF once and for all as the spotless LAMB of GOD whose blood was shed for the remission of their sins. HE who brought the plagues upon Egypt is the same ONE who healed the lepers, and gave sight to the blind, and restored the lame and halt. HE who created the Devil and his angels is the same ONE who cast them out of the Gadarene demoniac and who “spoiled” those principalities and powers and triumphed over them. HE who ordained the death of the first Adam is the same ONE who vanquished death as HE arose from the tomb on the third day. “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3)
There is no conflict between the actions which the LORD demonstrated in the OT and then manifested in the NT, when we understand that HE works all things according to HIS purpose. HE did not create the world as an experiment to find out what would happen to HIS creation, but rather that HE might set a stage upon which HE would demonstrate the glory of HIS grace in the redemption and calling of a people which HE loved from before the foundation of the world.
Salvation is not by chance, nor can it be bargained for by the free will of men. Rather the salvation of unworthy sinners is designed by HIM who does all things well and knows the end from the beginning. HE who has designed the salvation of HIS people will bring it to pass.
HE has demonstrated that redemption in HIS dealings with the natural nation of Israel and in the giving of the Law which established the tabernacle, the mercy seat, and blood redemption. In the laying of the High Priest hands upon the Scape Goat HE showed the imputation of sin which is the very basis upon which the hope of the sons of GOD rests in the present day. HE demonstrated the principle of blood redemption by the institution of the sacrifices made by the High Priest. Yet we read in the scripture that those sacrifices could never take away sin. So, we conclude that these OT sacrifices were never intended as a true sacrifice for sin but only a type and shadow of that perfect SACRIFICE which would forever make atonement for those for whom it was shed and to whom it is imputed.
The only SALVATION which is provided for any of the sons of GOD, regardless of whether they lived in OT times or NT times is that which is manifested in JESUS CHRIST the RIGHTEOUS. The TRUTH of GOD is the same in all eras even as the Psalmist says, “HIS truth endureth to all generations.” The gift of faith by the SPIRIT of GOD is the same to all generations whether it was that faith seen in those who “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb 11:13) or that which is demonstrated by those who, “(beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John1:14)
The LORD loves HIS people which HE chose in CHRIST with a perfect and enduring love and it is this foreknowledge that forms the basis of the outpouring of all HIS blessings upon HIS children, not the least of which is the abiding comfort of the “enduring truth” which HE has both declared and made known unto them. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. “ (John 16:13-15)
Most religions of the earth teach that there is a life after this life. Men (for the most part) simply believe that they cannot surely die, having embraced Satan’s lie. They envision either a reincarnation into another form to dwell upon the earth or a life in a place generally referred to as heaven where they expect to rejoin all of their loved ones and dwell in perfect peace doing the very things which they most loved to do in this life. They plan to sit in rocking chairs on the front porch and reminisce over the past or sit by a lazy stream and fish for hours without a worry in the world. Their notions of bliss are tied to the carnal enjoyments of this world.
Yet the reality is that hell and destruction await all of those who are not found in JESUS CHRIST in the day of Judgment. This is a terrifying truth to those who shall be reanimated to stand in HIS presence and told to depart, most especially those who trusted in the false religion of their father’s and who despised the gospel of HIS free grace, disdaining the PERSON who obtained eternal redemption for HIS elect. Yet as terrifying as this prospect may be that man whose heart has not been changed by the new birth and made a new creature would find no enjoyment at all in that place which CHRIST has gone to prepare for HIS own.
That place is one which is centered upon HIM who is the TRUTH. Unless a man is given a pure love of that TRUTH, he would be most miserable in HIS presence through the ages to come. The mind and heart of a man is not changed at death, only that which is carnal passes away. If he loves the WAY of CHRIST in the present time, then the grave cannot swallow that nor remove him from the hand of HIM who loved HIM before he drew his first breath. “Them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Thes 2:10-14)
So Paul writes, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-7) That ONE which is the delight of the saints in the present time is the same ONE in whom they shall delight forever. This is indeed an “enduring truth” upon which the saints find much comfort. “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1Thes 5:8-11)mam