Sunday, January 25, 2015

The (S)Word Of The Lord

Matthew 10:34  "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Eph 6:17 ………………… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Christ in His initial entrance into creation brings the sword of His Word to bear in all of humanity. This brings division not peace. A man’s own household turns against him, and tribulation comes, (all in which the saints are called to patiently endure), on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Rev 1:9; 6:9; 19:10)
The sword Christ carries is now in the hands of His Body, the church. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Rev 1:16  In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

Rev 2:12  "And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: 'The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword………………

16  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.

Christ reveals Himself to be the Word of God, as well as the source of the Word of God.
He wields the sword, even in His church. The church at Pergamum had those who held (hold) both to Balaam’s error, and the teachings of the Nicolaitans. (Rev 2:14-15)
Pergamum means “fortified”, and comes from the root meaning tower or castle. Thus He/we destroy strongholds within the church itself when necessary.  (2 Cor 10:3-5)

Rev 19:
11  Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
12  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
13  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
14  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
15  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty……..

21  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse,

So, Christ came, is currently present (in His church), and is coming, to wage war with the sword of His mouth

Ultimately the nations will fall by the power of that sword. The scriptures are not the revelation of a future world war, nuclear war, or some other war of a conventional nature, by which Christ emerges victorious. They reveal an already victorious Christ, who has, and will conquer, by the power of the Gospel, His Word!  (Rev 5:9-10; 11:15)

Psalm 138:2b …………………….for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

His name is the Word of God!

Solus Christus
Sola Scriptura
Soli Deo Gloria

The Suffering Servant; His Suffering Servants

Isaiah 53:
4  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5  But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
8  By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

1Peter 2:
19  For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.
20  For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
21  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
22  He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
23  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
24  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
25  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Christ came to save His people from their sins, and subsequently from the power (law) of sin and death. (Matthew 1:21-23; Romans 8:2)
Sin and death came through one man, i.e. the first Adam. Righteousness and new life come through the one new man; the last Adam. (Romans 5:12-2; Eph 2:15)

The promise is not that we will not endure suffering, aging, physical illness, or physical death, (as flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom anyway; 1 Cor 15:50). The promise is all those in Christ, both the dead, and those alive at His return, walk in newness of life now, in their fading mortality, (the first resurrection, which is His resurrection; John 3:5-8; 5:24-27; Rev 20:6), and are forever transformed into the immortal when He returns to save His people (Hebrews 9:26b-28; 1 John 3:2).

Hebrews 2:
14  Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15  and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

1Cor 15:
21  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
23  But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
24  Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
25  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Peter, Paul, all the disciples, indeed the saints of God throughout history, understood that suffering was a part of the walk.
A wicked generation seeks “the miraculous”, the righteous seek the resurrected Lord (as if this is not miraculous enough). Signs and wonders are not the gospel. (Romans 1:16-17; Hebrews 10:37-39; Hebrews 11:6)

Colossians  1:
24  Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
25  of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,
26  the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.

2Timothy 1:
8  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
9  who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
10  and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
11  for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
12  which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.

Php 3:
8  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
11  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

2Cor 4:
7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
8  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12  So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13  Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak,
14  knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
15  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
17  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
18  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Rev 14:
12  Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

Christ suffered as mortal, and we who are His suffer in the same way in our mortality. Therefore, when we dwell with Him as immortal we will no longer be called to endure patiently in suffering, as all suffering and death will be over forever. He suffered once for all and for all time!

Hebrews 2:
17  Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 5:
7  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
8  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
9  And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

Hebrews 9:28  so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Rev 21:
3  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
4  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
5  And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Fall Part 1:God's Word

Genesis 2:

15  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,

17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

Genesis 3:

1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"

2  And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

3  but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"

4  But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.

5  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

7  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

There are several matter at issue through the revelation given in the passages cited above. The serpent’s deception, both in content and method, is quite obvious. He co-mingles the truth of God’s word with a lie. (Thesis+antithesis=synthesis; i.e. Hegel’s dialectic which the modern world continues to skillfully employ to its destruction)
The woman succumbs to this line of thought and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is most times overlooked is that the serpent appealed to Eve’s “feelings” and opinions;
“Did God actually say?” Even in her reply to the question we see that she had already added to what the Lord had said, “neither shall you touch it” Some may view this as unimportant, but in reality it reveals the real problem. Deception occurs when men add to, or take away from the word that God has already spoken. 

This is revealed again in the very end of the scriptures:

Rev 22:

7  "And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

8  I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me,

9  but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."…………………..

18  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,

19  and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Interesting that the Lord speaks of the loss of access to the tree of life, as well as access to the New Jerusalem. The end hearkens back to the beginning. He is alpha and omega,as well as everything in between.

Genesis 3:8  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden………………..

22  Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—"

23  therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

24  He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Rev 21:

1  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

2  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

4  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

5  And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

God once walked with man in the garden. The fall changed that in a profound way. Thus, God’s plan from the start was to restore fellowship with His people. This is “making all things new”. It is the new heavens, the new earth, and the new city, the new man, the new creation. (2 Cor 5:16-20) God does this solely through His Son, who is the “Word that came into being (ginomai) as flesh”.

The serpent appealed to the woman’s ego by both adding to, and taking away from the Word, (and we have seen that she, as well, was already inclined to add to it).

Deuteronomy 29:29  "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Eve desired to know the secret things of the Lord, and did not obey that which the Lord had already made known. This is what it means to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the error of mankind to this day.

Therefore, when men desire a ‘word from God”, that is, special knowledge and /or revelation, (the root of all gnosticism), they are eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. (Amos 8:11-12)
The Lord said that men will be known by their fruit. (Matthew 7:15-23) Since God made fruit, trees, vegetation, etc. to carry the seed of its own kind, and reproduce according to its own kind, He also commanded man to be fruitful and reproduce. (Genesis 1:11-12; and 28). Both the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, along with both fruit and seed, would be included in this.

Luke 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

1Peter 1:23  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

When a man speaks he brings forth a harvest, a harvest of righteousness or of sin and death, the regenerate, or those who remain dead in their sins.
God help those who are constantly searching for a “fresh” word from God. Every year there are those who proclaim the “new thing” for the coming new year, as if God needs to correct the course He has embarked upon. The neo-gnostics of the ages refuse to accept the scripture as sole revelation and authority. In so doing they lift one or two scriptures as “proof texts’ out of their context to support their agenda, and their personal word given to them by the Lord. The complete revelation of the scriptures is what God gave us to know; all else is not our concern. The tree was desired to make one wise, as wise as Him.

John 12:

47  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

48  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

49  For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.

50  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."

“Did God indeed say?”
There is no extra-biblical revelation.