Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Yahweh's Book - Unlocking the Bible
Divine truth is exceedingly precious. In the same way that man places his treasures under lock and key, so does Yahweh. The treasures of the kingdom of God are not carnal things like silver, gold, and precious gems. In the treasury of heaven are hidden divine mysteries and the knowledge of the Holy One. Yahweh does not permit anyone to stroll into His treasure house and freely take what they will. The entrance into the storehouse of wisdom, knowledge, and divine secrets is a guarded one.
Having read the previous two chapters, it would be a mistake to conclude that all that is needed to obtain spiritual wisdom and the understanding of divine mysteries are the Scriptures and various tools to aid in their study. If that were true, Bible Colleges and Seminaries would be able to offer a money-back guarantee that all students who pass through their doors will leave possessing the great truths, and divine treasures, of the kingdom of God. The evidence proves such a thought to be a lie. There is great apostasy among the institutions of Biblical learning. Men who spend years learning about Biblical exegesis (critical explanation) and Scriptural hermeneutics (the science of interpretation) often come away doubting even the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the resurrection of the Son of God from the dead, and other seminal truths of the faith. How can this be?
Yahweh has linked together obedience to His will and access to His storehouse of truth. Just as there are laws that govern nature, such as the law of gravity, there are inviolable laws in the kingdom of God. One of these laws is expressed in the following words of the Messiah.
"So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him."
If God has given you truth and you have obeyed the truth, conforming your life to the light you have received, Yahweh will grant you access to more truth. However, if you have disobeyed the truth then further truth will be withheld from you. In fact, those who are hearers, but not doers, of the word of God will find that even that which they once possessed will be taken from them.
Have you ever observed the life of a carnal believer who is living an unholy life, justifying his/her actions despite what they know to be the will of God? Have you never observed such an one come to a point in their life where they deny the truth they once possessed, even turning away from their profession of being a Christian? Those who are given the light of truth, but choose to walk in disobedience will find that their understanding will become darkened. The knowledge of God will be restricted. They will never advance past elementary truths, and they will be in danger of losing those as well.
The Bible reveals that spiritual truth comes from the Father. To some men truth it is withheld, while to others free access is granted. Those who are outside the kingdom of God, strangers to the Holy Spirit of promise, are unable to understand, or receive, spiritual truth.
I Corinthians 2:12-14
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Being born of the Spirit of God is a prerequisite for receiving the thoughts of God. Yet, spiritual birth alone is insufficient to guarantee that the Christian will be granted access to divine truth. If a Christian walks like a natural man, they will be treated like a natural man. The mysteries of God will remain mysteries to them. Carnal Christians often behave as scoffers when divine truth is spoken to them.
In the book of Isaiah, the prophet declared to the people of Israel that Yahweh had removed from them discernment and wisdom because they were walking in sin and had embraced idolatry.
For Yahweh has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers. And the entire vision shall be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, "Please read this," he will say, "I cannot, for it is sealed." Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, "Please read this." And he will say, "I cannot read." Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed."
Yahweh will do the same thing to Christians who do not surrender their lives to follow the path He has chosen for their perfecting. There are myriads of Christians who seek to serve both God and mammon. Having come to confess faith in Christ, there is little fundamental change in the course of their lives. They continue to pursue the desires of their soul. They work where they choose, live where they choose, date or marry whomever they please, pursue worldly entertainment as they did before coming to Christ, spend money on whatever their soul desires. They then wonder why the Bible remains such a closed book to them.
Worse yet, many who have rejected Christ’s invitation to “take up YOUR cross and follow Me,” gravitate to preachers and churches that teach falsehood, where there is no mention of the cost of discipleship. They are self-deceived, believing that the no-cost Christianity, and materialistic doctrine of personal fulfillment and prosperity they are hearing are “the deep things of God.” These are blind followers of blind leaders.
“And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
It is both just and wise for Yahweh to withhold truth from those who are unfaithful. Yahweh will always bring to a Christian some test of truth to see whether they will obey, accepting the consequences no matter how costly. For some, the test may be something as simple as separating themselves from cultural holidays that are pagan in origin. Year after year the Spirit of Christ has directed me to teach publicly about the idolatrous origins of Christmas and the traditions that are associated with it. It is quite costly for a Christian to separate themselves from idolatry when it is something their soul loves. It is all the more difficult when one recognizes that a spouse, children, or other family members, friends, work associates, or fellow Christians will object, sometimes vehemently. Following Christ in the way of truth often leads to separation from those close to our hearts.
Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
I have people write to me frequently who declare the Bible to be a closed book to them. They relate to me how they can read Scriptures and not get anything out of them. Some sit down to study the Scriptures and cannot even recall the passage they just read. In such cases I never ask the person if they are using the best Bible study tools. The issue is not one of access to the right information. It is a matter of having a veil over one’s understanding, placed there because of some failure to obey the truth that God has already given to them.
Many Christians would vociferously deny that there is any link between participating in Christmas festivities and their ability to glean truth from the Scriptures. Yet, if God has called you to separate yourself from that which is unclean, and you refuse to do so, He is both just and wise to withhold from you further truth.
Many men and women have married a person that the Holy Spirit told them not to marry. Some have adopted a lifestyle that is sinful. It is reported that a large percentage of Christian men are viewing pornography regularly on the Internet, or on television. When Christians walk as natural men, engaging willfully in sinful behavior, Yahweh will treat them as natural men. Access to His most holy things will be restricted from them.
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,” declares Yahweh, “and I will restore your fortunes...”
Yahweh never intended all mankind to be granted understanding of His word. We see this clearly in the ministry of Christ. Yahshua knew who the Father had given to Him to be His disciples, and who had not. Though all the Jews were religious and claimed to be followers of Yahweh, the Son of God made a clear demarcation between His disciples and the rest of the Jews.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”
Christ spoke all things to the multitudes in parables. Similarly, the Bible has been given to the masses of humanity, but it is a veiled book. During the years of His ministry Yahshua would take His disciples apart to some private place and explain to them the meaning of the parables. The masses of people who heard the parables got no such explanation.
And with many such parables He was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
A critical matter is revealed when one understands the criteria for being a disciple. Yahshua spelled out the qualifications for being His disciple so that no one would be in doubt.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Being a disciple is a costly proposition. A man or woman must yield the control of their life to Christ. They must agree to go where He says go, and to do what He says do. They cannot claim anything in this world as their own. All they possess, their very life, must be placed in the hands of God for Him to determine what to do with it.
It was men and women who had embraced the cost of discipleship that He took aside to explain to them the mysteries of His kingdom. It is such men and women who continue to be granted access to God’s most holy things today.
It has ever been a remnant who have heeded the invitation to “Come, take up your cross, and follow Me.” These are accounted as true disciples. To such ones the Bible is a rich banquet. They are given permission to eat from a table of truth and divine mysteries that is restricted to others.
Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefitted. We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.
Note how the apostle compares doctrines to food. He then states that the altar of divine truth is restricted. “Those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat” from this altar. This is a parable, for the tabernacle is a symbol for man’s body.
I Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit...
Those who “serve the tabernacle” are those who serve the flesh. If you would dine on the truths of Yahweh’s kingdom, if you would be a partaker of His holy things, you must crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. You must accept the invitation of Christ and follow in His steps.
The pride of man would entertain the thought that anyone can be a possessor of divine truth. It is nothing more than humanism to believe that all one needs is a Bible, some tools and some training, and they can plumb the depths of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Yahweh’s kingdom does not function along such lines. Yahweh grants wisdom and understanding to whom He pleases, and He withholds the same from those He has determined should not have access to His divine mysteries.
If you love truth you will show your love by your willingness to suffer for it. If you are faithful with the little you have been given, Yahweh will give you more.
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Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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