The Apple Of God's Eye

May 8, 2011

God’s Word Versus Man’s Traditions

Why do we do the things we do?

Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:  “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.  In vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”  Jesus, Mark 7:6-7

Some scholars, theologian and clergy believe the only way to understand the Bible is to have it explained to you by someone who has studied it.

Unfortunately, too many people subscribe to this belief.  All too often they listen to a priest, rabbi, or preacher tell them what the Bible says. And as if this was not bad enough,  they go even further into blindness by setting their own standard of morals and conduct.  They, in effect, become a god unto themselves.

The main problem with North America, and the world is that they have become a people who have deserted the Word of God, replacing it with their own “evolving”  moral code of diversity and tolerance. Now we see mainstream society accepted abortion, gay rights, pornography, false religions and every other immoral concept that has been devised in the heart of man.  “To each his own,” they say, and go merrily on their way, not coming close to understanding why our nation and world is in the condition that it is in.

There is a living God who oversees the affairs of men and nations.  This was true of Israel of the Old Testament and it true of the nations of the world today.  As a Bible oriented, moral and family value respecting nation we have become the greatest nation on the face of the earth.  This was also true of Old Testament Israel.  But like Israel, we have forsaken the commandments of God in favor of the traditions of man.  Is there any reason that we should not expect the same fate that befell Israel when they deserted the teachings of God?

It is time that America woke up and turned back to the faith and values that have made us great and condemn the immoral practices being legally practiced  in our nation today.  If we choose to live as heathens we cannot expect the blessings of the God of righteousness.

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April 16, 2010

What Are The Conditions For Receiving God's Implanted Word?

James 1:21 is an interesting verse, in that it tells us to put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness (RSV) to receive God’s implanted word. So there are a few conditions attached to understanding what God says, namely getting rid of things that choke and pollute His word right out of our life.

Why does God’s word have to be implanted? Because as we nurture it, deep growth is experienced and roots form. In other words, God desires change and conversion. He wants us to be different today than we were yesterday. Christians cannot remain static spiritually.

So how does this process happen? Good Bible study for one thing brings God into our life. Deep prayer, fasting and meditation on the things of God are also extremely necessary for His divine nature to grow in the Christian. There is simply no way to receive it intellectually.

Another condition verse 21 speaks of is receiving God’s word with meekness. Having a childlike, teachable mind provides the fertile soil for God to implant His word in our mind and produce spiritual growth. God wants to make us “partakers of His divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4). Then only will His word grow to the point where we come to think and act like our Father. Then only do we grow in the grace and knowledge of God (II Pet. 3:18), to the point where we think and act like Him (Matt. 5:48).

December 17, 2009

Does God Compromise His Word?

Many today think to change the Bible to suit their own needs, desires, wants or beliefs. Some even say that we should throw out the Old Testament because it is not in force today. Nonsense! God says His word is truth (John 17:17), which means “all that God has spoken” (Barnes’ Commentary), or properly, “the word which is yours” (Vincent’s Word Studies). All the Bible is words spoken by the Word, later to become Jesus Christ.

In Gen. 2 we are introduced to the term “the Lord [YHVH] God” as the designation of the acting and speaking member of that “us.” This Being — the Eternal (which is the meaning of YHVH) — is every time the one who deals with mankind as the biblical message progresses. In Genesis 14:18, we meet this Person as the “king of righteousness’ (Melchizedek, in Hebrew), the “king of Salem” (peace). Proof? Suffice it to say here that of this Melchizedek “it is witnessed that he liveth” — that he is the Eternal (Heb. 7:8).

The point to notice, however, is that this Melchizedek, the YHVH, the one who later became Jesus Christ, becoming God the Son, was at that time the priest (compare Hebrews 7:1 and verses following with Hebrews 8:1) of “the MOST HIGH God” (Gen. 14:18-22). Now who was God MOST High, the one to whom the Eternal Himself was priest? Let Jesus Himself answer: “…My Father IS GREATER than I” (John 14:28).

Of course. But let’s be sure. Who was Jesus Christ the son of? “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee,” the angel told Mary before Jesus was begotten, “therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God…. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest …” (Luke 1:35, 32).

Luke 8:28 and Mark 5:7 verify that Jesus is the “Son of God most high” and “Son of the most high God.” The Father is mentioned twice more by this term in the New Testament — Acts 7:48 and 16:17.

One of the purposes of Christ’s coming to earth as a human was to reveal the Father (see John 1:18; 5:37; 8:19; 14:7; Luke 10:22). He would not have had to reveal Him if the God of the Old Testament, whom the Israelites had known, had been the Father.

Christ the Word

So as we have established, Jesus Christ is the Word of both the Old and New Testament. This word is both “tried” (Psalm 18:30 and “pure“(Prov. 30:5), and both words mean refined as a metal, purity.

John 10:35 has an interesting dilemma for those who wish to take parts of the Bible and throw it away. It says that the scripture cannot be broken (destroyed, dissolved, put off, # 3089 Strong’s).That’s a powerful statement of irrefutability. It’s all an issue of faith, which “comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17 ). If we don’t hear and obey, we will not have the faith added unto us to comprehend the word of God. That is why it is so easy for unbelievers and those weak in faith to understand the deep things of God. These people cannot understand because God has to bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual with His spirit. These people handle the word of God deceitfully II Cor. 4:2), which means “they may falsify; deceitfully corrupt or disguise the truth of God, The phrase seems to be synonymous with 2 Cor. 2:17 (falsify, adulterate, corrupt, etc)” – Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible. In other words, they compromise it for their own gain, not handling it in truth, as the very word of God (1Th 2:13).

Commentators are greatly divided concerning what part of the  word of God is meant to be adhered to; some supposing only revelation; others, the NT Gospel; others having varying interpretations. But God says all of His sayings are the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15). Jesus Christ consistently referred back to OT scriptures. Why, if they have no value? Isaiah 40:8 says God’s word will endure forever and we are to live by every word that comes out of the mouth (Bible) of God (Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4)). God also says He blesses those who hear His word and keep (obey) it (Luke 11:28).

True Christians do not pervert and wrest scripture, take from it or add to it. They point out the truth in it, without keeping back anything that is profitable, declaring the whole (Old and New Testament) counsel of God. Prov. 3:6 says we are to acknowledge God in all our ways  in order for Him to properly direct our path. Do we ignore this commandment because it is Old Testament? Doing so would be nothing less than self serving nonsense and ignores the fact that the entirety of the Bible is a plain and open interpretation of the word of God

Jesus Christ, the God of the Old AND New testaments, is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb. 13:8). He does not change, He does not compromise and expects us to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23-24). There is no wishy washy middle ground, only a straight and narrow middle path (Matt. 7:14). Even a small compromise cause sa great stink (Ecc. 10:1). So in conclusion, it can be said that true Christians cannot compromise the word of God and still pretend to walk with Him (Amos 3:3). At this point, the Christian would only be fooling Himself, no matter how vigorously.

July 26, 2009

Visions, Dreams, Or Premonitions: Are They From God?

The Bible reveals that in times past servants of God were given visions and dreams for specific reasons and/or to convey special messages. For example, Jesus gave a vision of the future Kingdom on earth to Peter, James, and John, no doubt as a witness and encouragement both to them and to us (Matt. 17:1-9).

While God has used this means of communication in the past and will do so again (Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28), we must realize that He uses it only when the circumstances warrant. Even then, such revelations are ordinarily directed to His ministers and specially chosen servants such as Jacob, Joseph, Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel (see Amos 3:7).

Today God speaks to us through the Bible. Please notice the following passage carefully: “God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days [today] spoken to us by His Son” (Heb. 1:1-2, NKJV). Jesus Christ is the living Word of God (John 1:1, 14), and the Bible is the Word of God in written form. God the Father gave it to Christ. Christ, in turn, inspired both the prophets and the apostles, and they preserved it for us. Please see II Peter 1:21, Luke 1:70, and John 16:13. The Father’s will, commandments, and specific promises are revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures. God, then, is actually speaking to us through His Word, the Bible.

It is not always easy to determine the origin of a vision, dream, or premonition which one might experience. Therefore, we must be very careful about ascribing to God any such communication — even if it is supernatural! We are warned to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1, NKJV).

Here is the way we should test the spirits: “When they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony [the Bible]! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:19-20, NKJV). Unless a dream or vision agrees completely with the Bible in its message and content, we can know it is not of God.

Some visions and dreams may simply be caused by mental or physical stress or the pressures of daily life. The Bible reveals that dreams may result from an upset mind (Eccl. 5:3.) If one has had a very troubled or busy day, he might be more likely to have vivid dreams that night. Ill health or memories of unpleasant experiences may also cause such dreams.

In situations where an unpleasant dream or vision causes distress, fear, physical sickness, or any such thing, I would advise seeking God’s intervention and healing. If Satan bothers us with bad dreams, we should ask God to rebuke him (Jude 9). We should also stay close to God in prayer and Bible study so that Satan cannot bother us (Jas. 4:7-8). God will grant us peace of mind if we walk with Him each day (Phil. 4:4-9; Isa. 26:3).

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