Who is the GOD
of the Old Testament?
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Who is the Word?
In the first chapter of the book of John, Jesus is referred to as "the Word". This is translated from the Greek word "Logos" which can mean variously, word, speech, thought or saying. Being that this term is used to personify Christ (verse 14), it must be taken as the one who speaks the sayings of God or in short, the Spokesman. It was He, Christ the Logos or Spokesman , who created all things. Therefore it is Jesus who is the Creator.
3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. (John 1:3, NRSV; see also Colossians 1:16-17)
This means the God who created man in Genesis 2:7 was the same being that later became Jesus Christ! Interestingly, Genesis 2:7 is the first scripture to use YHVH (Yahweh or Jehovah ) as the name of God.
Who is the Lord?
In the Old Testament , this name "Yahweh" is used when speaking of the member of the Godhead who spoke to men. It is commonly translated "the Lord" as in "The Lord said..." This is not really a translation but rather a substitution for the original word for the name of God - Yahweh, which means the "Self-Existent One," the "I Am" or simply "the Eternal." Even this name, Yahweh, is an approximation of the original, which transliterated from Hebrew is YHWH, YHVH or JHVH. This is known as the tetragrammaton or "the four letters."
This word YHVH is explained by Rabbinical sources as encompassing three Hebrew words : HYH meaning was, HVH meaning is (literally "the present tense" - the word "is" is not used in Hebrew) and YHYH meaning will continue to be. Putting them all together then, YHVH actually means the "Was-Is-Will Continue to Be" Being. Even Hebrew linguistic scholars agree that YHVH must be some form of the verb "to be" (was, is will be). By His very name, then, God quite literally encompasses all aspects of time - past, present and future. This is in complete accord with Malachi 3.
6 For I the LORD do not change; (Malachi 3:6, NRSV)
Here you can see that even etymologically speaking, Jesus Christ and the YHVH or Lord of the Old Testament can be equated.
Who is the Rock?
Another common reference to the Lord in the Old Testament was "the Rock." With this metaphor in mind, examine the following Old and New Testament scriptures that show that the Word or the Spokesman, before He became the man Jesus. We'll leave out the 20 or so references in the Psalms, but you might want to look those up for yourself.
3 “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! 4 “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; (Deuteronomy 32:3-4, NASB)
“For who is God, besides the LORD? And who is a rock, besides our God? (2Samuel 22:32, NASB)
Jesus Christ, who spoke to the prophets of old is the cornerstone of our faith, our Rock.
1 And I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all to Moses were baptized in the cloud, and in the sea; 3 and all the same spiritual food did eat, 4 and all the same spiritual drink did drink, for they were drinking of a spiritual rock following them, and the rock was the Christ; (1Corinthians 10:1-4, YLT)
Who is the Holy One of Israel?
One last metaphor that we'll look at is that of the "Holy One of Israel." This term is most often used along with the term "Savior" or "Redeemer," certainly referring to Christ. But these Old Testament references are also speaking of the Lord God of the Old Testament.
Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel: I will help you - the LORD’s declaration. (Isaiah 41:14, HCSB)
For I the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior (Isaiah 43:3, HCSB)
Old Testament Deity
Remember that before He existed as Jesus, the Logos or Spokesman was the God who spoke with mankind. Remember also the many times that the Lord in the Old Testament spoke to men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses to name a few. In fact in Exodus 33 we read:
11 And Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses face unto face, as a man speaketh unto his friend; (Exodus 33:11, YLT)
Now if all that we have said up to now is wrong and the Lord, the God of the Old Testament is really the one we know as the Father, than how can the following, spoken by Jesus Himself, be true?
37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form (John 5:37, NRSV)
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. (John 6:46, NRSV)
Jesus showed us that the relationship of the Godhead is that of a Family. He told us about the loving relationship between the Father and the Son, a relationship WE can enter into when we become members of His family.
12 But all who have received Him, to them - that is, to those who trust in His name - He has given the privilege of becoming children of God; (John 1:12, MSNT)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. (Romans 8:14, 16-17, NLT)
This is the marvelous destiny that awaits you and me. God has a Master Plan to bring "many sons unto glory." Far from being a harsh and cruel taskmaster, He is a loving Father who wants us to be a part of His Family. Are you willing to accept His offer of everlasting life?
Adapted from original article by Terry Bruns