The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Old vs. New Covenants

Beyond Atonement: Understanding the True Purpose of the Cross

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Because the Church as a whole downplays the Old Testament—so much so that we often throw it out altogether and publish the New Testament alone—Christians have ended up with a very warped view of the cross. When it comes to answering the question “Why did Jesus die on the cross for our sins?”, the common answer is “Because He loved us.” Well, this answer simply doesn’t work. You see, Jesus has always loved us and as God Almighty, Jesus has been around forever. So why did He all of a sudden decide to show up on earth in human form and go through the whole crucifixion event? Read more of this post

The Trinity Doctrine: Is it an obstacle to salvation?

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Under the Old Covenant, salvation was obtained through sufficient submission to one God: Yahweh. Under the Old Covenant, if you worshiped any god other than Yahweh, you would be rejected by Him. Before the revelation of Christ, Yahweh demanded that His followers practice monotheism (the belief in only one God). Read more of this post

An Introduction to the Gods of the Bible

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When you’re just getting started in Christianity, or when you’ve been poorly taught by other Christians, the Bible can seem rather confusing. You might have heard that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Well, no, this is utterly ridiculous. The Christian Bible has two Testaments: Old and New. Jesus doesn’t show up until the beginning of the New Testament. The only God who is being referred to throughout the Old Testament is Yahweh, or God the Father.  All of those “Messianic prophecies” you hear about were times when Yahweh would drop hints about a coming Messiah–but no one understood that that Messiah was going to be another God.  At the same time that Yahweh spoke of the Messiah, He insisted that He was the only God in existence–that didn’t leave any room for people to assume that the Messiah would be a Divine Being. Read more of this post

Applying Hebrews 10: Old vs. New

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This is a continuation of Applying Hebrews 9: Refusing to Let Go.

The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Heb. 10:1-4)

Where does the author of Hebrews (who we’re calling Rabbi) get off declaring that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins under the Old Covenant? Yahweh said they did. Is Rabbi now a higher authority than Yahweh? Yahweh never suggested that His Old Covenant sacrificial system was insufficient in any way. He said that when sacrifices were done properly, they provided complete atonement for past sins. It was because those sacrifices only provided past atonement that they had to be repeated, for humans sin continuously. But the fact that a man has to provide new sacrifices to Yahweh for his sins this year doesn’t mean that his sins for the previous years weren’t fully forgiven. Yahweh said that atonement sacrifices were sufficient to take away sins. Rabbi is totally out of line to try and depict the Old Covenant as a broken, insufficient system. Read more of this post

Applying Hebrews 9: Refusing to Let Go

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This is a continuation of Applying Hebrews 8: Yahweh Speaks.

As we start Hebrews 9, the author of Hebrews (who we’re calling Rabbi) launches into a comparison of the earthly Tabernacle that was built under the leadership of Moses and the heavenly Tabernacle that Rabbi has invented in his mind. Before we get into his detailed description of how the earthly Tabernacle functioned, let’s look at some pictures so we can understand what he’s going to be describing. Read more of this post

Applying Hebrews 8: Yahweh Speaks

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This is a continuation of Applying Hebrews 7: Melchizedek Madness.

As we dive into Hebrews 8, we find our author (who we’ve nicknamed Rabbi) continuing on with this absurd idea of Jesus serving as the High Priest who surpasses and replaces all of the human priests who served under the Old Covenant. If Christ is a High Priest, where is His place of work? On earth, Yahweh’s human priests worked out of His tent Tabernacle, which was later replaced by a Temple.  So if Rabbi wants to turn Christ into the ultimate High Priest for Yahweh, he has to give Him some kind of priestly headquarters. It’s time to invent the notion of a heavenly Temple. Read more of this post

Applying Hebrews 4: Stretching a Metaphor

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This is a continuation of Applying Hebrews 3: Yahweh’s Rest.

In our last lesson, we learned about how the Jews back in Moses’ day got themselves cursed by Yahweh to die in the wilderness because they wouldn’t stop treating Him with contempt. We also learned how entering the Promised Land is referred to in the Old Testament as entering “Yahweh’s rest.” If the Israelites were faithful to Yahweh, He promised them an abundant, blessed life in the Promised Land. But of course they weren’t faithful, so He filled their lives with hardships. Our author (who we’re calling Rabbi) is now borrowing this well-known concept of “Yahweh’s rest”, and turning it into a metaphor for Heaven. A joyful life in Heaven becomes the Christian’s parallel to the ancient Jews entering some lush land where life was going to be nothing but bliss. Read more of this post

Why did Yahweh lie about being the only God in existence?

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In the Old Testament, Yahweh claims to be the only God in existence. Today we know that there are really three Gods: Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Yahweh Himself confirmed the reality of multiple Gods after the revelation of Jesus. So why did He lie about it? What was the point?

Yahweh always has good reasons for what He does. And once we learn to stop freaking out about the fact that He lied to us, we can finally get around to appreciating the brilliance of His Old Testament evangelism strategy. Read more of this post