LCG Article

Who Was the God of the Old Testament?

Do you understand the true origins of Jesus Christ? Do you know who really spoke the Ten Commandments? Who really was the God of the Old Testament?

Roderick C. Meredith (1930-2017)

Most religious scholars and commentaries know the clear scriptures we will be discussing in this article. They are aware of what a number of biblical passages make very clear—but most of them avoid these scriptures like the plague. Or, on the other hand, they may do a little verbal dance around them—touching on them in their technical commentaries, but then gliding on to “safer” subjects without fully explaining them one way or the other.


Why should religious leaders be afraid of the fact that prior to His human birth, Jesus Christ existed eternally with God the Father? Why should they avoid mentioning that He was the God of the Old Testament—the God who spoke to Abraham and Moses, the God of David, the One who actually spoke the Ten Commandments? Why be fearful of these clear biblical teachings?

We will explain the dark origins of this fear later on. But first, we need to understand the genuine origin of Jesus Christ—the One who died for our sins. Who was Jesus Christ, really? Where did He come from? Why is His life so valuable that it constitutes a payment for all of our lives—billions of us—put together? The truth about this topic is very important to understand—and it is truly inspiring.

The Origins of Jesus Christ

The Apostle John makes it clear that the One who became Jesus Christ existed eternally: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1–3).

Here John points out that the Word—the Logos or Spokesman —had been with God from the beginning. He was the creative agent acting for God the Father in making everything that exists. Later, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (vv. 10–12).

In several scriptures, the inspired Apostle Paul makes the same point. In Colossians 1:15–16, Paul speaks of Jesus Christ: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” And the book of Hebrews tells us that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:2). Again, “But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom’” (v. 8). And finally, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands” (v. 10).

Note that in verse 8 above, Christ is addressed, “O God.” He is described as the One who “made the worlds” (v. 2) and who “laid the foundation of the earth” (v. 10). There is absolutely no indication that any of these verses written by Paul or by John were “poetic” or metaphorical. They simply state the fact that the Personality who became Jesus Christ was “in the beginning” with the Father, that He was the “Word” or Spokesman for the Father, and that all things were directly created through Him, Jesus Christ.

How did all this come about?

Turning to Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” All scholars know that the Hebrew word here translated “God” is Elohim, a plural noun like church or family—one family, several members. And now notice Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”

Note that God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” So the Father and the Logos or “Word”—who later was born as Jesus of Nazareth—were both included here. Acting for the One we call God the Father, the One who became Jesus Christ was used by the Father from the beginning in dealing with mankind.

We see this also in Genesis 18. Here, the Logos appeared to Abraham. He did not appear in His full glory in dealing with Abraham, Moses, and others, but in a more human form—yet apparently with a difference so that Abraham recognized that he was dealing with the “Lord” (vv. 3, 27). After the Lord had explained to Abraham His desire to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sins, Abraham asked, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (v. 25).

Here, Abraham was certainly dealing with the One who became Jesus Christ, for Christ Himself revealed later that “the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). Abraham was certainly not dealing with God the Father, for the inspired Word also tells us, “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).

Jesus Himself said, “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.’ Then the Jews said to Him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM’” (John 8:56–58). The Jews recognized that the expression “I AM” referred to the God of Israel. They thought that Jesus was both lying and blaspheming, so “they took up stones to throw at him” (v. 59). These Jews were blinded to the fact that the Personality who had become Jesus was, in fact, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. They were standing right there talking to the One who was their God—and they did not know it.

Jesus Christ Was the “God of Israel”

In Matthew 22:42–45, Jesus challenged the religious leaders, “‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,” saying: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’”? If David then calls Him “Lord,” how is He his Son?’” The Pharisees were not able to answer, for they knew that King David of Israel certainly had no human “lord.” This scripture had to be describing two personalities in God’s Family—one greater than the other. And, as should be obvious to us, David’s immediate ”Lord”—the one who later became Jesus of Nazareth—was told to sit at the right hand of the Father until it was time for Him to become King of kings.

Yet the Jews had known that the coming Messiah was to be a literal “son of David.” How could this one also be David’s “Lord”—yet having a still greater Lord telling Him what to do?

In 1 Corinthians 10:1–4, we read that ancient Israel was “baptized into Moses” and that they “all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” Again, it is clear—as a number of commentaries acknowledge—that the spirit Personality who dealt with ancient Israel was the One who became Christ.

As we have seen, Jesus said that “no one” had ever seen “God”—obviously meaning the One we call the Father. Yet, right after giving the Ten Commandments and some of the statutes to ancient Israel, we find that the “God of Israel” did indeed appear to some of Israel’s leaders: “Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:9–11). So more than 70 of the leaders of Israel “saw the God of Israel.” Could anything be more clear?

It was the One who became Jesus Christ who literally walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He was the One who dealt directly with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the One who spoke “face to face” with Moses (Numbers 12:8). He was the One who spoke the Ten Commandments from the top of Mount Sinai.

God Has Never Changed

When you understand that last sentence in the paragraph above, you can begin to grasp why so many religious leaders shy away from explaining the real origin of Jesus Christ—for they have nearly all been taught that the Ten Commandments were a product of some harsh “God of the Old Testament” and that Jesus somehow “knew better” than His Father. In many cases they say, instead, that somehow the Apostle Paul “knew better” than either Jesus or the Father—and that he “did away” with God’s law, the Ten Commandments.

These misguided men may be sincere, but they are “blinded” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4)—as is the whole world. Remember Jesus’ instruction about most of the religious leaders of His own day: “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

To men who have been taught that the Ten Commandments were “done away,” it is embarrassing to admit that it was the One who became Jesus Christ who gave the Ten Commandments in codified form to Moses. He is the One who commanded, as an integral part of God’s great spiritual law, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8–11).

Most religious leaders understand that God, through Christ, specifically commanded His people to keep the seventh day—not just any day. They know that during His entire human lifetime Jesus kept the seventh-day Sabbath—the same day the other Jews were observing. And they probably also realize that the original Apostles kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Along with scores of other respected scholars, mainstream Protestant church historian Jesse Lyman Hurlbut acknowledged, “As long as the church was mainly Jewish, the Hebrew sabbath was kept” (Hurlbut’s Story of the Christian Church, 1918, p. 45).

Again, most religious leaders understand that the inspired writer of Hebrews tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). And they know that neither Christ nor the Apostles ever attempted to “do away” with the biblical Sabbath. If they had made such an attempt to overthrow such a major precept coming from the very hand of God, the Jews surrounding them would have rioted, persecuted them unmercifully, not allowed them to continue worshipping in the temple as they did for many years, and quickly proclaimed them heretics and lawless. The enormous upheaval that would have ensued from such an action would have made the Jewish upset over circumcision—described in Acts 15—seem like a tea party by comparison.

Of course, no such change in God’s great spiritual law was ever discussed or instituted by Christ or the Apostles; twenty-five years after the crucifixion and after the Holy Spirit had come upon the early Church to guide it, the original Christians were still “zealous” for the law (Acts 21:20). Even the Apostle Paul was still obedient to the spiritual law of God, the Ten Commandments—notice the inspired account of the instruction given by the presiding Apostle James to Paul: “Then all will know that what they were told concerning you is nothing, but that you yourself live in observance of the law” (Acts 21:24, Modern English Version).

God’s Commandments Must Be Kept

If all professing Christians were taught the truth that the One who became their Savior is the One who gave the Ten Commandments, perhaps their actions would be quite different. The world would probably be a much safer place. All would realize that true Christianity is a law-abiding religion—a way of life based on the great spiritual law of God. They would learn that—although no one is suddenly perfect and we are commanded to continually grow in Christ’s character—it is possible to follow Christ’s inspired example through His Spirit within us.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, Jubilee Bible 2000). Christians would then understand the beloved Apostle John’s explanation of the very love of God and how it functions: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). They would read with new understanding John’s inspired statement in Revelation 14:12: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

The true Christ revealed clearly in the Bible existed eternally with the Father. He and the Father planned together the creation of mankind. Speaking for Himself and the Father, the Logos—who became Christ—said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” About 4,000 years later, the Logos was willing to give up the indescribable glory, power, and majesty He had always shared with the Father.

Paul tells us that Christ “emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:7–11, Modern English Version).

Jesus said, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). So the One who had been totally “one” with God—and who was God—”emptied Himself” to become our Savior. Truly, His life is worth more than all of ours combined—because He created not only the human race, but the entire universe as well. Having bought and paid for us by His death on the stake, Christ now doubly ”owns” us. He is our Maker. He is our God. He is our Master.

Yet after the death of the original Apostles, a great apostasy took over the name of “Christianity.” The clear teachings and examples of Christ and the Apostles began to be altered. The very concept of Christ being a real Master began to be undone. He came to be considered a “Lord” who demanded no obedience to the very spiritual law that He had given mankind—the Ten Commandments. His clear and persistent teaching that “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17), was now explained away as instruction only for the Jews. So also were dismissed powerful statements of the Apostle John, such as, “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). These clear statements were explained away as applying only to the “spirit” of the law or to some “new” commandments of Jesus. But when you study these new commandments, you find that they are only magnifications of the Ten Commandments that Jesus Himself gave on Mount Sinai—again, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

May God help all of you who read this to understand and to respond to the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. As He said, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). If you really want to obey the Christ of the Bible, request your free copy of our very revealing and fully documented study guide Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? or read it online at

We at the Living Church of God are involved in restoring biblical Christianity, the religion that Jesus and the Apostles actually taught and practiced. The living Jesus Christ—the One who existed eternally with the Father—is the One who will guide you, strengthen you, and bless you if you determine to do what He says and worship Him not only as Savior, but as Lord and Master now and forever.