Difference Between Old Testament And New Testament

 

Old Testament vs New Testament

 

 

Old Testament vs New Testament

 

There is a lot of confusion about the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Some people think that the Old Testament describes a harsh and unloving God, while the New Testament describes an all loving God.

Some people think that the Old Testament has been replaced by the New Testament, while other people think that we live under a combination of the Old and the New Testament laws.  While still others think that all of the Old Testament has been taken away except for the Ten commandments.

And so you can see, there’s a lot of confusion among people as to exactly what we should believe concerning these two covenants, that were both given by God. Some people have actually asserted that there are two Gods.  In this article, we will let the bible itself explain to us exactly what is the difference between Old Testament and New Testament writings.

 

There is One God !

 

One GodOne God, one bookThe first thing I want us all to understand is that there is only one God.  The bible makes this abundantly clear many times over.  Here are some examples…

 

 

James 2:19,  “You believe there is ONE God, you do well..”  That phrase is also translated as “You believe that God is ONE..”  Both are absolutely correct.  There is ONE God, and God is ONE.  People get “off base” when trying to describe what man calls the “Trinity”.  Many people have come to believe that God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three separate beings, but they are NOT.  God is ONE !  Jesus even stated in Jn 10:30,  “I and the Father are ONE”.     (New Testament)

Deut 6:4,  “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God.  The Lord is ONE.”     (Old Testament)

Mark 12:29,  “The foremost is, Hear O Israel!  The Lord our God is ONE Lord!”     (New Testament)

Isaiah 45:5,  “I am the Lord, and there is NO OTHER; Besides Me, there is no God..”   V-6  “..There is  NO ONE besides Me.  I am the Lord, and there is NO OTHER.”     (Old Testament)

Eph 4:4-6,  “There is one body and ONE Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; ONE Lord, one faith, one baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.”     (New Testament)

 

God Does Not Change !

 

Heb 13:8,  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and always.”     (New Testament)

Malachi 3:6,  “I the Lord, do NOT change !”      (Old Testament)

James 1:17,  “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is NO VARIATION, or shifting of shadow.”     (New Testament)

Numbers 23:19,  “God is not human, that He should lie.  NOT a human being that He should CHANGE HIS MIND.  Does He speak and then not act?  Does He promise and not fulfill?”     (Old Testament)

 

Two Covenants

Old CovenantNew Covenant God has made two different covenants with His people.  The first covenant was made ONLY with the nation of Israel.  The second covenant was made with ALL nations, and with ALL of mankind.  Many people don’t realize that the first covenant was made only with Israel, but it’s a fact.  I’ll show you scriptures that tell us that.  And of course the new covenant was predicted by God as far back as 600 BC when the prophet Jeremiah prophesied about it saying, “Behold days are coming, Declares the lord, When I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah..”   Jer 31:31

 

What Is A Covenant ?

 

A covenant is a pact, or an agreement, it’s like a contract.  And just like any contract, if one party defaults on the agreement, the contract can be made void.  The first time the word covenant is used in the bible, is in Gen 6:18.  God made a covenant with Noah and his family.  Here’s the covenant that God made…

Gen 6;17-18,  “Behold, I, even I, am bringing the flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven, and everything that is on the earth shall die.  But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark, you and your sons and your wife, and your sons wives with you.”

So God’s covenant with Noah, was that everyone who would enter the ark, would be saved from the flood, man and beast alike.  And after the flood had ceased and dry land appeared once again, God made another covenant with Noah, but this covenant was not with Noah alone, this one was with all living beings.  Listen to Gen 9:11-16…

“And I will establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.  And God said; This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between you, and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations.  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.  When the bow is in the cloud, then will I look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh, that is on the earth.”

 

 

Rainbow
“I will set My bow in the clouds”

This covenant still remains to this day, and it will always remain, as long as the earth remains.  But although God has promised never again to destroy the earth with water, He has promised that He will destroy it with fire.  Listen to God’s promise…

2 Peter 3:7,  “But the present heavens and earth, by His word, are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”   V-10  says,  “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and it’s works will burned up.”

That’s a promise; but here’s another promise,  “But according to His promise, we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”  V-13   This promise is part of the new covenant that God has made with all who will obey Him.  It’s a part of the Law of Christ, “the new covenant in His blood”  (Luke 22:20).    The “new heavens and new earth” are the eternal heavens, in the “Paradise of God”. 

 

The Covenant With Israel

 

Law of Moses

 

 

When people think of the Old Testament, they think of the Law of Moses.  And that’s what I meant earlier when I said there were two covenants.  These are the two “Laws” that people refer to, the Old Testament law, and the New Testament law.  There actually was also a “Patriarchal Law”, which involved the instructions given by God, directly to the heads of households.  These heads of households are called the patriarchs.  An example of some patriarchs would be Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God spoke His laws directly to these men, who in turn spoke those laws to their respective households.  But we won’t get into that now.   That will have to be another lesson.

As I said, when most people refer to the Old Testament, they are referring to the Law of Moses, which was the old covenant that God had made with the nation of Israel.  And again I will emphasize that this covenant was made ONLY with the nation of Israel.  Here’s some scriptures that prove that point.

Jeremiah 31:31-32,  “Behold days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.  Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.  My covenant which they BROKE, although I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.”

 

Some Interesting Points Are Made In Those Two Verses. 

 

 

Make A Point

 

 

First Point

 

God is predicting the New Covenant, that He will make with His people.  He refers to His people as the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  And God isn’t referring to the physical bloodlines of Israel and of Judah, but to the spiritual bloodlines of those who obey God out of faith.  The original promise of God’s blessing was given to Abraham, in Gen 12:3  when God said,  “..And in YOU, all the families of the earth shall be blessed”.

Gal 3:16 tells us,  “For the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. (his offspring).  He does not say; And to “seeds” as referring to many, but rather to ONE, And to your seed, that is Christ.”  Christ is the “seed” of Abraham.  Jesus was physically descended from the bloodline of Abraham, and thus He is Abraham’s seed.  But listen to these next verses…

Gal 3:26-29,  “For you are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ, have clothed yourself with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male or female, you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then are you Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”  

You can see how God is now talking about spiritual offspring of Abraham here.  Jesus was the physical “seed” of Abraham, but verse 29  just told us that if we “belong” to Christ, then are you “Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise”.  And how did the scriptures tell us that we can “belong” to Christ?  God said very clearly in Gal 3:27,  “For all of you who have been baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ”. 

We are “baptized into Christ”, at which time we “clothe ourselves with Christ”.  You belong to Christ when you are baptized “into Christ”, and thereby “clothing yourself with Christ”.  If you are not baptized into Christ, then you are not IN Christ, and then you are NOT clothed with Christ, and then you are NOT Abraham’s offspring, and then you are NOT an heir according to promise.  Don’t you want to be an heir of the promise of eternal life?

“And this is the promise that He has made to us, Eternal Life”.  1 John 2:25  And this is the promise that He made to Abraham back in Gen 12:3,  “And in you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed“.  And do you know WHERE God has blessed us with All spiritual blessings?   “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, IN CHRIST.”  Eph 1;3.   Every spiritual blessing is IN Christ.  There is not one spiritual blessing to be had, outside of Christ.  And again, how do you get INTO Christ?  “For all of you who have been BAPTIZED  INTO Christ, have put on Christ”.

There is NO other way to get INTO Christ than to be baptized into Him.  And EVERY spiritual blessing is IN Christ.  Do you think heaven is a spiritual blessing?  You know it is!  And the only way to get into heaven later on, is to be IN Christ now.  You cannot be OUT of Christ, and get INTO heaven.

 

Second Point

 

(Going back to Jeremiah 31:31-32)   Jeremiah was speaking to the people of the nation of Israel.  And he said that God, “will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with your fathers, (Now listen close) in the day when I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt”. 

The first covenant was made with the nation that God brought out of the land of Egypt !  There was only ONE nation on the earth, who God brought out of Egypt.  And that nation was Israel.  It was the nation of ISRAEL that God made a covenant with.  The first covenant, the Law of Moses, was made with NO one else except Israel, and it was binding upon NO one else except Israel.

The Law of Moses which was what people refer to as the first covenant, was never for anyone other than Israel.  If someone argues that we are still under the “Ten Commandments”, be aware that the ten commandments were a part of the Law of Moses.  Those ten commandments were NEVER for anyone other than Israel in the first place, let alone for us today.  That’s what the BIBLE says.

 

Listen to what Moses said to the house of Israel while they were in the wilderness..

 

Ex 5:2-6,  “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.  The Lord did not make this covenant with your fathers, but with US, with all those of us ALIVE HERE TODAY.  The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain, from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord, but you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.  He said; I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery!”

 

Wow, that’s pretty plain, isn’t it?

 

Third Point

 

Israel BOKE the covenant!  That’s what God said in Jeremiah 31;32,  “My covenant which they broke, even though I was a husband to them, declares the Lord.”   God often times compares His relationship with His people to a marriage.

Is it any wonder that God made a NEW covenant?  A covenant not like the one He made with their fathers, the one that they BROKE.

Listen to how God feels about His people NOT keeping His word…

Ezekiel 44:6-7,  “And you shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord God, enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel.  When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, (God’s sacrifices)  For they made My covenant VOID; this in addition to all your abominations.”

Those again, are some pretty strong words, but some pretty clear words too..  “You have made My covenant VOID..”  Is it any wonder, there’s a new covenant?

 

This is how the Lord our God feels about those who break His covenants.  Ezekiel 17:19,  “Therefore, thus says the Lord; As I live, surely My oath which he despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will inflict upon his head.”     (Old Testament)

Heb 10:26,  “For if we go on sinning willfully (that’s breaking the covenant) after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a CERTAIN terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”     (New Testament)

God Never Changes !

Our Time is Up

 

Our time here today is up, but I’ll have the finishing part of this lesson soon.  In that upcoming lesson, we’ll look at more of the differences between Old Testament and New Testament laws and covenants.  Thanks for being here and for listening to God’s word.  I pray that all people would realize the need to read God’s word and to know God’s word and to obey God’s word.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation, to everyone who believes..”  Romans 1:16

May God bless you in the study of His word.

 

 

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This article has 14 Comments

  1. I do believe that there is only one God, although we have so many religious in the world. There is a saying, maybe people from different part of the world have a different name for God, maybe true maybe not.

    1. People do have different names for God. It depends on what a person has been taught while growing up. But it’s not really the name that matters. In the bible the word translated God in English, simply means “Deity”. And Deity simply means a supreme being or power. So What’s really important is to believe in that Deity, and learn all we can about Deity, and follow everything that Deity has told us to follow. But we must examine all the evidence concerning what, if anything, has been revealed to us by Deity. If our Creator has indeed revealed His will for us, then we would be very wise to follow that will, wouldn’t you say? I believe that the bible is the will of God, which He has revealed to us. And if it is, and we reject it, then we are doomed. Thanks for visiting and for commenting. May the Creator bless you in your search for His will.

  2. I agree with you Jim, that God did punish the israelites for breaking the Old Covenant through their disobedience; but thankfully He made a New Covenant where jews and everybody else can find salvation through Jesus Christ.

    With the Old Covenant, believers today can learn a lot from what the israelites did and not repeat the same mistakes as they made; as a believer I am glad I am under grace and not under the Law.

    1. You are so right Adrian. We’re told that “these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” 1 Cor 10:11. Thanks for visiting and for commenting. What other things about the bible do you find very interesting? Are you a regular attender of worship? I pray that you will be blessed in your study of God’s word and in your life, Jim.

  3. Jim – Thank you so much for posting this article! This is always a hot topic amongst believers for sure. I have listened to some Copeland cd’s on this topic and the authority that we have as believer’s while on this earth… but there’s always more to learn on this journey!

    Curious, and maybe you will hit this in your next part of this it sounds like… What are the commandments that Jesus gave for us to follow that replace the 10 commandments?

    I know that he commanded us to “love above all else”, and some would say that this is the only commandment that have now in this new covenant… but that can be hard to stomach for most people who want more meat than that. Would you say the book of James is a pretty good guide for people looking for “how do I live if the 10 commandments weren’t part of God’s covenant with ME? Or any other recommendations there?

    1. Sometimes people are quite taken back to learn that we don’t live under the laws of the Old Testament, including the ten commandments. But it may make everyone happier if they realized that even though that covenant wasn’t meant for us, nine of the ten commandments are restated in the new Testament. Nine of the commandments are really applicable to all people for all times. Loving God first, and loving your neighbor second. Not stealing, not committing murder, not committing adultery. Honoring your mother and father. All but one is applicable to us and restated, possibly in slightly different wording. The only commandment of the ten, that does not apply to anyone anymore, is to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. The Sabbath day is no longer binding upon anyone. It is a part of the law of Moses that has been “nailed to the cross”. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, that was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.” Colossians 2:14. The book of James is a great book, but no greater than any other. We need all the books of the New Testament to be able to know what God wants us to do today. Thanks so much for your comments and questions. Please let me know how you feel about these things.

      1. You make a good point about them being restated in the New Testament. And Jesus didn’t make it some lullaby style of living when he restated them either! haha

        He actually made things a little more detailed and what some would call “more difficult” to follow Him. One example is when he’s discussing adultery in Matthew 5:27-30 – “27 You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever LOOKS at a woman TO DESIRE HER has ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell”

        And I’m in agreement with you about James not being better than any others, it by itself is very incomplete. It was a great guide for me coming from a very evil-filled lifestyle before coming to know Jesus personally (in a very radical “Saul to Paul” style of change) though to have some basic guide posts of how to live as a Christian all in one place.

        Proud of the work you’re doing here. Honored to be in the battle with you every day for this world’s sake.

        1. Isn’t that interesting how Jesus took things a step further than the old law? the law said one thing, but Jesus said; “But I say…” and He’d explain in more detail. You must be a good student of the bible. How long have you believed in the word? The book of James sure has some rich passages. We can learn certain things, from certain books, and all together, we have the perfect will of God for our lives. Even the Old Testament is in complete harmony with the New Testament. 4500 years of writing, from so many different writers, but all in perfect harmony. That’s what happens when the God of heaven is doing the dictating. Tell me about your religious experiences, Like how you came to believe, and where you worship, and how it affects your life. May God bless you in all that’s good, Jim. PS.. Here’s something that I pray for. You mentioned that this is a hot topic for believers. Well among believers, there shouldn’t be any hot topics, because we should all believe the same. this was Jesus’ prayer to the Father, that we all may be one as He and the Father are one. that’s why we must believe the word without adding anything to it, and without taking anything away, and accept exactly what it says without our own “opinions” getting in the way. It’s a very hard thing to just accept His word for what it says, but that’s exactly what we MUST do. Thanks again

  4. I struggled a lot with the old testament. In a lot of ways it was harsh and a bit graphic in places, especially since God made me a very sensitive person!!! Its lovely to see so many scriptures though.
    I think that some people get quite confused by the saying that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God are three, but they are one as well. Sometimes I get confused too! After all, Jesus is God’s son, and God sent the Holy Spirit down to earth 🙂 Sometimes I address my prayers to God, sometimes to Jesus, and now and then I talk to the Holy Spirit as well, but I’m really talking to the same person! 😀

    1. Thanks for your comments. God the Father, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are indeed all one God. It might be easier for you to understand if you look at it this way. A as a woman may be a daughter, and a mother, and a wife (I don’t know you personally, but this is just an example) You can have three different roles to fulfill, but you are still just one person. Well, the role of the Father, and the role of the Son, and the role of the Holy Spirit, are all fulfilled by the one God. We can fulfill all three roles, but not at the same time. But God can be all three, all at the same time. God is not limited to space and time. I know that you are a daughter, but if you are also a mother and a wife, picture this. You are talking to your husband about some personal things between the two of you, and your child walks in and says: Mommy mommy look at what I’ve got, and you say: just a minute honey, I’m talking to your father. And just then, another child walks in holding the phone and says; Mommy grandmas’ on the phone. Well you can be a wife, and you can be a mother, and you can be a daughter, but you can’t be them all at the same time. that’s how it is with God. He can be the Father, and He can be the son, and He can be the spirit of God; and He can be all of them at the same time. I hope this helps you see God more perfectly. Thanks for your comments. Oh yes, one more thing. We should always pray to the Father, through the authority of the Son. Praying in Jesus’ name means to pray by His authority. And that’s what Jesus instructed us to do. But always, pray to the Father.

        1. I find that most people have never thought of it that way either. People have gotten all wrapped up in trying to figure out how God can be three separate “Personalities” and yet be one. But the bible never uses any language that would indicate that there is even the slightest amount of distinctiveness or difference between the father, son and Spirit. On the contrary, the bible has gone to great lengths to tell us how they all are the same. If all people could simply see the different roles that each ahs fulfilled, they would have a much better understanding of God. Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you will come back. May God bless you in your understanding of His word, Jim.

  5. Another good article Mr. Carlsen,

    Thank you for a very good article explaining the old testament and the new testament to us, when it comes to God there is much confusion in the world.

    Even though God gave us his word to study and understand people still have different understanding, plus all churches do not teach the bible the same.

    You have simplified this for us today, I am sure many people will have a much better understanding what the difference is now.

    1. Thanks for your comments. I’m working on the follow up article which will explain more of the differences between the old and new testaments. I think you’ll find it interesting. Maybe you can be looking for it. What’s your religious background, if you don’t mind me asking? I seem to keep saying this over and over again, but if people would just accept the bible for what it says, we wouldn’t have so much religious division. We all need to pray for unity. I know it sounds like it could never be, but unity is what Jesus prayed for, so we know it’s possible. Thanks again, Jim.

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