Worship the Word!

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Whom do we honor in our hearts? I’m talking about the depths of our “subconscious”. Not simply our surface thoughts and words but, our “heart of hearts”?

The New Testament revealed many things that were previously hidden in shadows and types because the O.T. only testified to that which was coming in Christ! One of the OT shadows was the “Word of God”. The OT Scriptures were idolized by the religious Jews and I, personally fell into that deceptive trap for a few years. I believe that when we are serious about our love for the Lord, it’s not an uncommon thing to fall into “Bible worship”.

Let’s be clear. The Word if God is God and worthy of worship! However, we must be on the same page as the New Covenant writers in our understanding of the Word! The Bible and the Scriptures are truly God-breathed and testify to who God is and how he lived in the flesh through Jesus but, they are not God.

 

THE WORD IS GOD.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; 2this one was in the beginning with God; 3all things through him did happen, and without him happened not even one thing that hath happened.”

The Word was no longer supposed to be understood as an “it”. The Form behind the shadow has been revealed and it’s Jesus! The OT outlined an idea, it veiled the face of God so to speak. However, Jesus tore the veil and stepped into full view as the perfect representation of God; even the Word of God!

Everything in the universe was created through the Word, Jesus. This cannot be said of the Bible because the Bible, apart from the Spirit of God is a dead letter.

12For the word of God is living and active” ~ Heb.4:12

Is your Bible living and active? Does it ever wake you up in the middle of the night and ask you to come read it? It’s just a book! If it gets thrown into a fire, it will quietly burn into ash!

I would never do that because I revere the authority behind the Scriptures and the sacrifices that God’s people have made to preserve them. However, I will not elevate the Written Words above the Spirit of God.

One is fully God and the other is not. 

The Holy Spirit is God. The Bible is not.

This is why I have a problem with the Theology that came from the Reformation called “Sola Scriptures”. I agree that we need to read and learn from the Scriptures apart from the doctrines of man but, Sola Scripture replaced one faulty doctrine of man with another! Nowhere in the NT are we encouraged to restrict ourselves to a book! We are consistently instructed to depend on the Spirit of God; the Holy Spirit to guide us in the Truth!

 

 

 

ABOVE EVERY NAME ~

Consider Psalm 138:2 from 2 slightly different versions ~ “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (KJV)

“I will bow down toward your holy temple, and give thanks to your Name for your loving kindness and for your truth; for you have exalted your Name and your Word above all.” (WEB)

Whether God has exalted His Word above His Name or His Word and His Name above all is not worth disputing. The main issue is whether God has exalted the Scriptures above all?

No. Jesus is the Word that is exalted above every Name. Jesus has been given the Name above every Name! The Scriptures must be placed under the feet of Jesus and not above him! He is the Head of the Church and not a book.

The Title “Word of God” is very intentionally given to the Lord Jesus Christ and not the Scriptures in the NT. About 2 years ago, I have personally studied all 331 instances of the use of “Logos” in the NT and can say that the NT never once calls the Scripture “The Logos/Word”.

 

 

CAN’T WE HAVE IT BOTH WAYS?

Sure. If you want to be a casual Christian that simply has a daily devotional instead of being the Light of the World and being a living devotional to God. I don’t “do my devotions”. I have a long quiet time with Almighty God, my Father and friend in the morning and I stay devoted to him throughout the day…(for the most part).

When I sin (miss it), it’s because I stopped focusing on God and temporarily stepped out of intimacy with the Lord. I repent (turn back around) and focus on Jesus and continue to run well.

I used to think that God wanted me to memorize and recite Scripture all day long. I meditated on the Scriptures (which is a great thing!) but, I also found myself striving instead of abiding. My zeal for the written code became an obsession that trumped relationship with people and even with God.

God doesn’t want us to think about Scripture all day long. He wants us to stay in a practical relationship with him.

The Scripture contains powerful information about God. The Holy Spirit is God and will teach us how to live in intimacy more fully and practically with Our Father and Our Lord Jesus.

The Holy Spirit will also teach us profound mysteries in the Scriptures that reveal God’s amazing heart for us that teachings of man have unfortunately tried to conceal.

We have heard so many times “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!” It’s absolutely true! However, have we noticed that the context of this verse is specifically regarding reading the Scriptures?

This saying was not some random Word from God (although it is Holy-Sprit inspired) about every situation in life. Yes, it has practical application for our lives. However, Paul was specifically referring to “sons of Israel” (2 Cor.3:13) who revered the Scriptures but could not fully see the glory of God because of the Old Covenant veil!

In the next chapter, he declared that the veil was “the god of this (that and not ours) age”. What if the Veil (and therefore god of their age) was not Satan in this context. What if the veil was something pertaining to the Law or Judaism? Is it possible that the Old Covenant and the veil are related?

“3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Because in the context that Paul was writing; he was not specifically writing about unbelievers of the Scripture. He was writing in regards to the Jewish unbelievers, who believed in the authenticity of OT Scriptures but, not in their Messiah! They believed in the Torah but not the Gospel!

13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away.14But their minds were closed. For to this day, the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. 15And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. ~ 2 Cor.4:13-16

I think that we have many people who believe in Jesus and have “given their lives to him” but, still have blinded eyes. I say that because, it’s how I lived the first few years of my Christian life. We can loves the Lord and honors the Scriptures all of our lives! But if we don’t see God’s glorious love for the entire world expressed in the life of Jesus, we are probably looking at God through a veil.

“For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ.” ~ 2 Cor.4:6

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Why Jerusalem was Babylon

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Jesus prophesied to the unbelieving Jews and Jerusalem before he went to the cross ~

32“Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.33“You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?34“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36“Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” 37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

That generation was being sent more prophets and would fill up the martyrdom of ALL the previous generations! The guilt of the blood of all the prophets would be held against that generation and their house was being left desolate! The Disciples immediately asked about these events  and Jesus detailed his prophecy in Matthew 24; which was about THAT generation!

Because God’s wrath was poured out on those who truly deserved it the most. We all fell short and deserved judgement but, not all of us were guilty of literally crucifying Jesus and killing the prophets. We were guilty of sin, YES but how could we be guilty of killing Jesus even before we were born? NO. The Jews demanded Jesus blood be on them!

25And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” That may not sound like a big deal to a culture that doesn’t have a high regard for words or oaths but, to God and THOSE people; who were in Covenant with God…it was legally binding.

Jesus made it very clear ~ “for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:33)

Even Revelation confirms the words of Jesus (imagine that) but very differently than what I heard man teach for most of my life. Consider some of the same warnings to “Babylon” (probably Jerusalem or the Jewish Religion)

At the 6th “Bowel of Wrath” ~“Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” ~ Rev.16:6

That’s why Paul and John confirmed God’s wrath was currently coming on Old Covenant Israel.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” ~ Rom.1:18

you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the UTMOST (usually translated ~ the end or completion” ~ 1 Thess.2

God’s wrath HAD COME upon the Jews to the utmost fulfillment! Consider more examples in Revelation, bearing in mind that Jesus prophesied the blood of the prophets would be on that generation (that witnessed the desolation of Jerusalem and Judiasm in 70AD)

 1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters…5and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” 6And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.

12“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings …13“These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast….16“And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17“For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. 18“The woman whom you saw is the great city!”

Before I started seeking the Lord about “partial preterism”, I did not know that Roman was divided into 10 mini-kingdoms but, it was Rome who destroyed Jerusalem and who else was guilty of the blood of the Saints, prophets and Jesus?

4I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” 

This warning was given not long after Paul exhorted the Galatians  (who were being seduced into a mixture of Judaism/Christianity, not unlike American churches today) to get rid of the Old Jerusalem/Covenant/LAW and live in the Freedom of Holy Spirit in New Jerusalem! ~ Gal.4

26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.”

Don’t over-analyze if in your mind. Ask the Lord to guide you into the truth! Jerusalem was an allegory of us and God’s Covenant!

The woes of Jesus to Jerusalem (Matt.23) were repeated to her in Revelation!~‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ ~ Rev.18:10

‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

Now John quotes almost verbatim a Prophecy about Jerusalem’s “70 Weeks” given in Jeremiah 25:10 ~

21Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22“And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer…

No more rejoicing because over a million people were trapped in Jerusalem for months with almost no food and less than a tenth survived.

Those were taken as sex slaves, slaves and prisoners to be killed for sport. Why don’t more Bible teachers talk about the Historic writing’s of Josephus, the secular eye-witness that recorded Rome’s atrocities?

The Light of the world had shown bright in their city for so long and the voice of The Holy Bridegroom and the church would now be silent to them.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.” (Next verse)

Who would be found guilty of all that innocent blood?

Men have tried to convince us it’s some future city, world system, religion or even Country but, Jesus said in Luke 11 ~ 

49“For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation

The religious leaders knew he spoke of them. The Apostles knew he spoke of that generation. Somewhere along the way we have been taught something contrary to the truth and we need to replace it with truth.

Admittedly, there is much about Revelation and these prophecies that I don’t yet understand. But, I believe the words of our Lord Jesus over the teachings and doctrine of men. All of the Apostle’s writings emphasized a manifestation of Jesus’ Kingdom and glory in their generation. Who are we to deny they understood God’s plan…even if it didn’t look exactly like the way we think it should have?

Isn’t that why the Jews (people of God) killed Jesus in the first place?

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”