Monthly Archives: November 2012

THE INTEGRITY OF THE WORD OF GOD

Our God is a FAITH GOD! In Genesis 1, He spoke and released His faith and created this Universe!

Whenever God speaks, He releases His faith!

The Bible is God speaking directly to US! In 2 Peter 1:20-21, it says: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in ole time by the will of man, but Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I always like to say the Bible is the first book written by a Ghost Writer….

There is One author of the Bible: GOD HIMSELF! 

Think of today’s writers – one person writes a book… some are better than others, but there is ONE person weaving the thread of a story throughout the pages of one particular book. And it might take him or her a few months…. and maybe in rare cases, a number of years, to complete that story. One book – one writer. Occasionally there might be co-authors, but for the most part, One book – one writer.

The Bible, however, is quite different. The story line is woven through centuries of time. And the number of writers and the writing style vary. BUT THE STORY LINE DOES NOT WAIVER! The coming of the Messiah – the Redemptive Plan of God – the redemption of God’s Creation, and OUR place in God’s Plan. 

There are more than 30 writers, separated by centuries of time. But the thread of the story-line never fails… the narrative never exalts frail man, but it always exalts the Sovereign, Living God!

The pages of the books of our writers are filled with THEIR views of a particular situation. Even so-called ‘objectivity’ must take a back seat to the writer’s own beliefs and prejudices.

The Bible, however, centers on GOD! Not on what the writer THINKS about God… not the writer’s BELIEF of what God would have him say… but what GOD HIMSELF says! Webster’s Dictionary defines PROPHECY is the inspired utterance of God. Prophecy is not necessarily, nor even primarily, fore-telling. It is the declaration of that which cannot be known by natural means; it is the forth-telling of the will of God, whether with reference to the past, the present or the future. … Then Vines Expository goes on to give Scripture references for each of those definitions of the original Greek word.

The writers of the Bible spanned centuries but the message never varied. They were not carrying on some story line thought up by Abraham or Moses or Isaiah. The Bible is not just a history of the Jewish people – it is a GOD-INSPIRED, GOD-BREATHED ACCOUNT OF GOD’S PLAN FOR MAN!

Take for example, the New Testament writers. The 4 Gospels were written years after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Luke’s Gospel was written around 60AD. The Gospel of John was written around 90AD. Matthew and John were in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost. They experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous revival that took place in Jerusalem, and  yet, their Gospels reveal nothing of that Power. They KNEW the Pauline revelation of what happened from the Cross to the Throne, but their Gospels reveal nothing of the mystery surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. WHY?

One of the greatest literary miracles had occurred. They wrote ONLY what the Holy Spirit had inspired them to write. Can you imagine anyone writing a book like Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, who had the experiences that they had without those very experiences intruding themselves into the biography of Jesus… the very Man that they were writing about? 

John did not write his Gospel until nearly 60 years after the ascension. John had met Paul during that time and had even spent a good deal of time with him. Yet, there is NOTHING in the Gospel of John that would give any hint that John even knew about the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.

Luke was a convert of Paul’s and, in fact, travelled with Paul for 18 years. He had been Paul’s helper and had taken care of him when he was in prison. Go through the Gospel of Luke and try to find ONE sentence that indicates he knew anything about the Pauline Revelation! Nor in the Book of Acts can you find any mention of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus. Luke lived in the very consciousness of the finished work of Christ. Luke KNEW of the present-day ministry of Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, and yet, he does not mention it. Likewise, Mark was Paul’s companion for years, yet you see no hint of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.

Why? These four men who had written these Gospels wrote OLY what the Holy Spirit inspired them to write!

Further proof of he Divine inspiration of the Bible: In John’s Gospel, when Jesus meets Nicodemus and tells him he must be born again, Nicodemus did not understand it. Here would have been a perfect place for John to explain the New Birth – the New Creation reality … yet he does not!

No – God enabled him to say exactly what GOD wanted him to say and nothing more. When you read the four Gospels, you are standing in the presence of God Himself. Unseen – but He is there. HE is the author of those 4 documents. HE is there, unveiling His Son…and the Son is unveiling the Father. In the Pauline Epistles, we have the Father unveiling the work that He wrought in and through Jesus…He is also unveiling “The Family” – the Body of Christ – the Sons of God… OUR place in this magnificent redemption!

There is also the revelation of the contrast between Paul’s teaching and the teachings of Jesus – Paul’s treatment of “FAITH” is an illustration.

Jesus continually urged His hearers, who were the sons of the First Covenant, to BELIEVE. In Mark 9:23, Jesus says: “All things are possible to him that BELIEVES.” In the midst of the storm, Jesus says: “O ye of little faith…why did you not BELIEVE.”  In Mark 11:23-24, “Whosoever shall say to this mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall BELIEVE that whatsoever he says shall come to pass, he shall have it…and… BELIEVE that you receive those things that you ask and you shall have them….” (emphasis mine)

Paul, however, doesn’t urge you to believe… why? Oh, he urges the unsaved to believe on Jesus Christ, but he NEVER urged the Church to believe… why?

We are called “BELIEVERS.”…. we ARE BELIEVERS… WE ARE THE SONS OF GOD!

1 Cor. 3:21: “Wherefore, let no one glory in men. For all things are yours.” Paul was unveiling what was already ours! What belongs to us!

In Ephesians 1:3, it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing….” We are IN GOD’S FAMILY! All that the Father has and all the He did in Christ…and all that Jesus IS… belongs to US! We don’t need faith for something that is already ours!

Paul’s revelation shows our perfect redemption. It shows our place in God’s Plan.

Paul prayed one of the most wonderful prayers in Ephesians 1 and it is OURS… it is for US TODAY! Aren’t we the faithful in Christ Jesus? So this prayer is for us! Even if he hadn’t said that one phrase, these letters are still for us today. The Pauline Epistles (Letters) were written to the Church – WE ARE THE CHURCH! These letters were written to US!… not some ancient message to the analyzed… they are filled with God’s Truths for us TODAY!

Ephesians 1:15-23: 

“…Therefore, I also after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be the head over all things in the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all….”

Verse 15: Paul said he does not cease to give thanks for us – insert YOUR name or personal pronouns for yourself in this prayer. Starting in Verse 17, you would then read: “…that the God of MY Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto ME the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIm; the eyes of MY understanding being enlightened; that I may know what is the hope of His calling and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in ME, one of His saints….” 

Make the Word of God PERSONAL to YOU!

Now, notice this: Paul is praying that we may have a spirit of wisdom. Remember: wisdom and knowledge are different. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. Wisdom doe not come from the reasoning faculties – it comes from the human spirit…whether it is natural wisdom of man outside of God, or whether it is God’s wisdom that is given to the New
Creation.

Paul is praying now that our spirit-man will have WISDOM to GRASP the riches of the work that God accomplished in Christ Jesus FOR US!

Paul had revelation knowledge concerning the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus. Paul had revelation knowledge concerning what happened from the Cross to the Throne. Paul had revelation knowledge concerning the present-day ministry of Jesus Christ. And Paul’s prayer is that WE are to have the wisdom to understand that knowledge. He says: “…having the eyes of our understanding (our spirit-man) enlightened…that our spirit man would understand what is the hope of His calling – and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us – the saints.” WE ARE THOSE SAINTS! EVERYONE WHO ‘BELIEVES’ IS A SAINT! God’s inheritance is IN us!

We are PRICELESS TO HIM!

Continuing in Verse 19: “… and that we would know what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE all principality, and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come; and has put all things under His feet and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all….” (emphasis added)

He wants us – the Believers – to KNOW the exceeding greatness of His ability on our behalf. The definition of ‘exceeding’: to go beyond the limits of. In other words, His ability goes BEYOND the limits of greatness – and that ability works on OUR BEHALF! (That’s worth a Hallelujah shout!!!)

“According to the working of His might power which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.”

This is powerful! Let this sink down on the inside of you! It will transform you!

That same ABILITY – that same POWER that raised Jesus from the dead, is at work WITHIN you and me! It’s at work within us! It was the same power that raised Jesus from the dead that caused our New Creation. … that same ability; that same power is at work within us. The Spirit of God works within OUR spirit – within our body. Remember: in Romans 8, it says: if the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He will quicken (make alive) your mortal body. He is working within us not only in the spiritual realm but in the physical realm as well – our MORTAL body!

Think about it: we cannot fail because we become the instruments through which God is working! God Himself indwells us!

That same power that raised Jesus from the dead is IN you… it is IN me… that Holy Spirit POWER… THAT RESURRECTION ability is IN OUR BODY!

That means healing… and strength… and vitality. That means everything we need to live every day of our lives!

Verse 20-23: “… and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above….” (say: FAR above….. faaaaaaaaaar above) ….. “ all principality, and power and might and dominion,” (remember the angel in Daniel said he had to fights the principalities to get through to Daniel with the message from God….)  “… and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come, and has put all things under His feet and gave Him to be the head over all things to the CHURCH, which is His Body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.” (emphasis mine)

Now look at verse 20 again:  “… and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power and might and dominion….”   

Go to Chapter 2:6  “…and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus….”

God sees us sitting NOW… far…. faaaaaaaaaaaaaar above all principality and power and authority. That is where God Himself sees us! This is Paul praying through the Holy Spirit for US! 

ALL things are under the feet of Jesus. So, ALL things are under our feet! We are here on this earth. We are the Body of Christ… even if we are the soles of Jesus’ feet, ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN PUT UNDER HIS FEET! (are you shouting yet?!!!!)

We must not forget that Satan is defeated. As far as God the Father in concerned, WE were in the depths of hell with Jesus during that great substitutionary sacrifice. WE conquered the Adversary through Jesus. And when Jesus arose from the dead, WE were raised up together with Him… and when He was enthroned, WE WERE ENTHRONED with Him!!!!

Paul is praying through the Holy Spirit; The Holy Spirit is praying through Paul that we might KNOW this fact…that we might have revelation knowledge of this fact. He is praying that we should know this…understand this…and work in the fulness of the knowledge of this fact!

Look at Verse 22 again: “…all things have been put under His feet, and He is the head over all things.”  If ALL things have been put under His feet…and if WE are raised up together with Him, then ALL things have been put under OUR feet!

Now, that evidently includes everything – ALL things sounds pretty inclusive to me. “ALL” doesn’t leave much room for exclusion! ALL is ALL! There’s not any more! That includes everything that can touch my life – ALL things are subject to the Head, which is Christ Jesus, and if they are subject to the Head, then they must also be subject to the Body – which is US!

The Body is the fulness of Him that fills all in all (verse 23). 

Think for a minute about a company – Sears is not one person who works in one of their stores in, say, Wilmington, Delaware. The president of Sears is the HEAD of the Company – but the body of employees is what makes the company work! 

Jesus’ work on earth is completed. He can’t do anything else here. He is now in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father. The only way He can get anything done here on this earth is through US – His Body! WE are the Body of Christ. The Body is the fulness of Him. The Body is the completeness of Him – and the ability of the Body should dominate all things around it.

Our spirit-man is filled with His fullness: with His love; with His grace; with His wisdom; the fulness of His ability to bless and help mankind. 

If we would each get this revelation into our spirit-man – what a mighty force we would unleash on our communities!… on our towns… on our States… on our Nations! WORLD CHANGERS!

Meditate on WHO you are IN CHRIST JESUS! Meditate on what the Word of God says about YOU! Meditate on WHO HE is in your life, and determine to partner with Him every day in every way to reach the unreached and tell the untold of His great Love, Mercy and Grace!