The God of the Old Testament

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Who is the God of the Old Testament? Was it the Father or the Being who would ultimately become Jesus Christ?

We begin to find our answer not in the Old Testament but in the New. In the first chapter of John. It states that the Word was both with and is God (John 1:1). The Greek word logos, which is translated "word," can also mean speech, thought or saying. Since this term is used to personify Christ (verse 14), it must be taken as the one who speaks the sayings of God or his Spokesman. It was He, Christ the Logos or Spokesman, who created all things (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17)!

In the Old Testament , the name "Yahweh" is used when speaking of the God 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.

YHVH for the name of God, as some Rabbinical sources states, encompasses three Old Testament Hebrew words. They are HYH which means 'was,' HVH which means 'is,' and YHYH meaning will continue to be. When we put them together it means 'the One who was, is and will continue.' The name of God denotes he exists in all three time periods know as the past, the present and the future. This agrees with Malachi, who wrote that the Eternal never changes (Malachi 3:6).

Was Jesus created?
How was the Old Testament saved?
Who is the Angel of the Lord?

Who is the Rock?

One very common Old Testament reference to the Lord is the use of the metaphor "the Rock." Take a look at the following Biblical verses that mention 'the rock' before He came in the form of Jesus. We'll leave out the 20 or so references in the Psalms, but you might want to look those up for yourself.

For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! 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 in the Old Testament, 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, and all to Moses were baptized in the cloud, and in the sea; and all the same spiritual food did eat, 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)

Israel's Holy One

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 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 how God spoke to Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11).

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?

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).

Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. (John 6:46, NRSV).

A Family

Jesus showed us that the relationship of what is referred to as 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.

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)

Those who are led by God's Spirit (truly converted Christians) are God's children . . . Since we are his (spiritual) children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people (Romans 8:16 - 17)

This is the marvelous destiny, first revealed in the Old Testament, 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?

Additional Study Materials
How long did Jesus live as a human?
Has anyone seen the Eternal?
Lineage from Abraham to Jesus
Can we pray to Jesus?
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