Updated on March 4, 2014
Did God Really Say…
In my last post, I discussed the Blessing, the fall of man, along with Satan’s temptation of Eve. If you missed the article, I recommend taking a quick peek back before continuing. One of the most common weapons the devil uses to undermine faith, is to get people to doubt God’s Word. Because if you doubt God’s Word, your faith will definitely fail. How can you have faith in someone, if you don’t trust their word?
Just the other day I was sitting in a church listening to a sermon on Hezekiah, the Assyrian invasion of Judah, and the siege of Jerusalem (2 King 18:13-37, 2 Kings 19:1-37). This is a wonderful story of how God supernaturally destroyed the Assyrian invasion force, 185,000 men in a single night. Hezekiah had heard Sennacherib’s threats, and instead of worrying about it, or focusing on the circumstances, he turned the problem over to someone who could handle it, God. But that’s where the sermon derailed a bit. The pastor started to undermine the story – maybe it wasn’t 185,000 killed, or perhaps there was a plague, or maybe the writer embellished the story. Though momentarily offtrack, he somewhat recovered by mentioning the decline of the Assyrian Empire from that point, and the fact that Judah would remain independent for another 100+ years until Babylon invaded. Unfortunately though, the damage had already been done. Because you don’t believe the story because historians, theologians, or even archaeologists think its true. You believe the story because God’s Word is Truth. Natural evidence may put your mind at ease, but faith rests in your spirit. You KNOW the Word is true in your heart first, and you renew your mind with the Word of God until it falls in line with your spirit. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. But you must have spiritual “ears that hear.” (Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9, John 16:12-15, Romans 10:17, 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:4-16, Galatians 3:1-6, Ephesians 4:15-23, 5:6-10)
This is where so many Christians miss it. Its the little foxes that ruin the vines (Ecclesiastes 10:1, Song of Solomon 2:15, 1 Corinthians 5:6-7). With just a couple of comments, sermon fodder if you will, seeds of doubt and unbelief were planted. Because this is an educated man, he must know the Bible so much more than you, right? Maybe the Bible is embellished elsewhere? You see how easily it is to undermine the Truth of God’s Word? This should not be the case. And imagine the compounding effect of 2,000 years of errors, doubt, and unbelief. Its not surprising that Christianity has been weak, disorganized, and ineffective at times in the past. But those days are over. There are more Believers, more Spirit-filled teachers, and more opportunities to study the Word than ever before. The Body of Christ is alive and well, growing and getting stronger every day!
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 <NLT>)
Take the bold confession that Jesus makes in John 14:6-7. How often have even good Christian folks suggested that Jesus was not the only way. Religion has presented a plethora of alternatives, and argued against God’s free gift of Salvation by faith in Jesus. There have been great theological divisions caused by those that disagreed on whether Jesus was the way or not. How can that be? Here it is in black and white, or even printed in red in some Bibles.
In verse 7 Jesus adds, “If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” Now, what are you as a Believer going to do with that? This is where the rubber meets the road. Jesus is telling you that if you have seen him, and also if you know him, you know the Father. You must set aside any religious or secular ideas that Jesus was just a prophet, or just a good man. Either he is the Son of God, as he claims, or he is crazy. And if you have read this far, I assume you fall into the former category, not the latter. If you know that Jesus is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, you can trust ALL that he says. (John 1:1-14, 4:21-26, 8:42-47, 10:7-16, 10:25-30, Revelation 1:8, 1:17-18)
The Word of God is Spirit and Truth. It is Alive and very capable of being understood and trusted. The Holy Spirit has been given to you to lead you into all Truth, to confirm God’s Word and guide you. But the whole house comes crumbling down once you start doubting God’s Word. (John 6:63, 14:16-17, 17:17, Hebrews 4:12-13)
Note the parable of the two men who built houses. One built his house on sand, and the wind and the flood swept it away. But the man that built his house on a rock, the same wind and flood came, but the house did not fall. What was the difference? The parable was about two men who heard the Word of God. One forgot the Word. This was the man that lost his house. The other heard the Word, and was a doer of the Word. He was the one that built his house on The Rock. His house was not built on a man, an opinion, a church, a denomination, or even a religion. Instead, he built his house on an Eternal Truth that will never fail. Jesus is that Rock. He is that Word. The Word, Jesus, is that solid Spiritual Foundation that will never crumble, and never fail. (Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 6:46-48, 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:2-9)
Did God really say…
Doubting, or questioning the Word, is not something new. You see it from the very beginning, with Satan challenging God’s Word in the Garden (Genesis 3:1). Every evil report, all doubt, fear, and unbelief is either directly, or indirectly from the devil, or his spiritual kids. You see it again in the wilderness, when Satan challenged Jesus saying, “If you are the Son of God…” Jesus did not even argue or debate this fact. He knew the Truth. He simply countered with “It is written…” By quoting God’s Word, he was speaking Truth (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13). The devil could not counter the Truth. He was so thoroughly whipped that he left Jesus “for a season.”
The reality of Satan’s attacks against the Word are vividly revealed in the Parable of the Sower. Jesus said that the seeds that fell along the path were scooped up by the birds. When pressed for the meaning of this, Jesus explained that when someone hears the Word of God, and does not understand it, Satan comes immediately to steal it away. (Matthew 13:16-23, Mark 4:13-20, Luke 8:9-15)
Let’s put this in simple Texas terms. You see in your Bible, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (Psalm 118:17) You confess that verse, meditate on it, and praise God for His wonderful promise. And then you visit the doctor. He tells you there is nothing else medical science can do for you. Your friends pat you on the head and say that they will, “remember you in their prayers.” Your family starts making arrangements for your estate, and planning your funeral. Your preacher stops by and says, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.”
Whose report are you going to believe? You can stick to God’s Word, find all His promises of long life, health, joy, and feed on just that Truth. Or you can allow Satan to steal the Word from you. Well, the doctor is an expert, with years of training. Yes, but he is also just “practicing” in the arena of the body and the mind. Friends and family mean well, but they may be trapped in the emotional and mental domains. And if their spiritual foundation is not solid, they are easily swayed by the enemy. The preacher, well, its just time to find a new church, one that Believes (and understands) the Word. Even if everyone else is liar, God is true (Romans 3:3-4). No matter what happens in the physical, or temporal world, it is subject to change. (2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
I came that they may enjoy life in abundance.
Dig into the Word, and never stop fighting (and winning). Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give you Abundant Life! You couldn’t keep people in the casket when Jesus visited. Nor could sickness or demons continue to oppress folks who approached Jesus in faith. He never changes! Nothing will EVER separate you from God’s Love. (John 10:10, Romans 5:17, 8:35-39)
Hezekiah was facing an early death. Isaiah visited him to tell him to get his house in order. Before the prophet could even get out of the building, Hezekiah got his SPIRITUAL HOUSE in order. Isaiah had to turn around and tell him the good news that he would live 15 more years. Did God change? No. Hezekiah did though, and it saved his life. (2 Kings 20:1-11, Isaiah 38:1-8)
“We wish we had died in Egypt,” they wailed, “or even here in the wilderness,” (Numbers 14:2 <TLB>)
Twelve spies entered the Promised Land. They all saw the massive walled cities, the giants, the fruit, and the goodness of the land. It truly was a “land flowing with milk and honey.” When they returned to the Children of Israel, they showed them the fruit, and told them how good the land was. Two spies suggested they go up and take it at once, since God had promised it to them – they had His Word on it. The other 10 said that they could not take the land. The walls were too thick, giants too big, and they were just too small. The entire congregation believed what God called an “evil report.” This same congregation had witnessed all the miracles in Egypt, the parting of the sea, the food and water in the wilderness, but they could not trust that God would be with them when they entered the Promised Land. A whole generation rebelled against God. For 40 years, they wandered in the wilderness until all that did not trust God had died. When it was finally time for the next generation to enter, only the two spies (Joshua and Caleb) that trusted God were still alive (and healthy) to enter the land with the people. (Numbers 13:25-33, 14:1-11, 14:23-37)
The story shows the importance of placing your trust on something solid, like God’s Word, and not experience. All the adults that were in Egypt had been eyewitnesses of tremendous miracles. God had led them out, judging Egypt, and obtaining extraordinary favor for His children. They left with all the wealth of the land, a complete recompense for their 400 years of slavery. There was not one feeble person among them, and every need was met throughout the journey to the edge of the Promised Land. Even after such an impressive display of divine power, provision, and love, they still doubted God’s ability. That unbelief prevented them from entering the Promised Land, and cut their life short. That was not God’s plan for their lives. (Genesis 15:13-14, Exodus 12:35-36, Numbers 14:26-35, Psalm 95:6-11, 105:23-45, Hebrews 3:12-19)
Unfortunately, you can’t build faith on experiences. You build faith by hearing the Word. Through fellowship, trust is established and confidence grows. With an established relationship in place, anchored by faith in God’s Word, what some might call the miraculous, or the supernatural, becomes the way things are. God doesn’t fill you with the Holy Spirit, declare you Blessed, dispatch an angel to encamp around you, request that you command His Hands, place a hedge about you, give you The Word, as well as the Name and Blood of Jesus, among so many other wonderful gifts and precious promises, just so you can be a miserable failure, and die way before you complete His plan for your life. If you are a Believer, you have overcome the world, even if you don’t know it yet. Jesus died so that you would reign in life through him. (Genesis 1:26-31, Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Joshua 1:7-9, Job 1:6-10, Psalm 23:1-6, 34:4-7, 91:1-16, Isaiah 45:11, John 14:9-21, 14:23-27, Romans 5:15-17, Hebrews 10:17-23, 1 John 1:7-10, 5:1-5, Revelation 12:11)
I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. (Psalm 89:34 <NLT>)
Do you know any honest Presidents? What about politicians, reporters, or salespeople, do you know any honest ones? In this modern world, truth is a rare commodity. Its so very difficult to find people of integrity. That might explain the hesitancy for folks to trust their Creator. Heck, you may not even trust yourself. With God however, this should not be a problem. His Word is His Power. If He says, “Light Be!” LIGHT IS! That’s not the best English, but it makes the point. As I have said before, you can take God’s Word to Heaven’s bank, and it will never bounce, and the bank will never fail! You need to approach God’s Word with reverence, and respect. And when you see a promise of God for you, know for sure that all of Heaven stands behind that Word.
God can’t afford to let any idle word slip out. And no untruth will ever be uttered, because He is Truth. Once you get an appreciation for the power and integrity that stands behind every Word of God, you can see how foolish it is to ever doubt anything He has ever said, or will say specifically to you. (Psalm 119)
One of the reasons I continually capitalize “Word,” “Truth,” and “Bible,” is to remind myself, and others, of the importance of God’s Word. Its not just any old book. Whenever you sit down and read it, or listen to someone else read it, you are in God’s presence. Man lives by every Word from God. Your spirit feeds on the Word of God. And just like your body needs healthy food to survive, your spirit needs the Word of Life. And there is nothing better than the pure Word of God. Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. (Psalm 138:1-2, 119:97-104, Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4, John 6:63, Romans 10:17, Philippians 2:14-16, Hebrews 1:2-5, 1 John 1:1)
One of the definitions of integrity is undivided, or whole. That seems like a perfect way to view God. He is not divided. He cannot say one thing, and mean another. He can’t be both good and evil, or light and darkness. When they accused Jesus of casting out demons by satanic power, he made the point that a house divided will not stand. The same goes for God. He can’t make one person sick, and then cure someone else. You will never see Him killing Mom, but raising Dad. Where in Heaven would God go to find sickness, poverty, death, and disaster? It does not exist! (Matthew 7:9-11, Luke 11:11-13, 11:14-20, John 10:10, James 1:16-18, 1 John 1:5-6)
The facts of every case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. (2 Corinthians 13:1 <NLT>)
The Bible will never lead you astray. With the help of the Holy Spirit, and a desire to know the Truth, you can understand every Word of the Bible, and be Blessed by the Wisdom and Revelation found on every page. There is a principle found within the Word that you can establish truth by the testimony of two or three witnesses. You can apply this to the Bible itself. If you see something that sounds odd, see if you can find two or three other verses that confirm it. The Bible will not contradict itself. The Bible can be a Blessing, or a curse. You can twist almost any verse to mean whatever you want. But it becomes much harder to do that when you attempt to compare an untruth to the entirety of Scripture, or even in context. (Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15, Matthew 18:16, John 8:16-18, 1 John 2:26-27)
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16 <NLT>)
There is a divine purpose behind every word written in the Bible. There is no “filler” in Scripture. God can reveal a great Truth in the genealogies, just as easily as He can in a Psalm. And while some of the Old Testament may seem to not apply to Christians, there is still much to glean from the Truth found on every page. As Peter wrote, “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
It is important to rightly divide Scripture, and to study the Scriptures as eagerly as the Berean Jews. (Acts 17:10-12, 2 Timothy 2:15) That means, understand the context, the dispensation, and whose words are being recorded. There are plenty of lies and sins recorded in the Bible. You are not to go out and do likewise in those situations. Those are there to teach you the consequences of sin so you can avoid similar mistakes. Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians is also important to consider, natural man cannot understand spiritual things. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16, 3:1-3) Don’t attempt to understand the Bible with only your intellect. Plant it first in your spirit, and then renew your mind with God’s Word.
Jesus said that he only did the things, and spoke the things his Father commanded. (John 12:44-50) He was the Word made flesh, and obviously a doer of God’s Word. It is your responsibility to follow the example of your Savior, and be an imitator of Christ. (John 1:1-14, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Ephesians 5:1-2, James 1:22-25)
What Does God Really Say?
– Word of God is established in Heaven, and is Eternal. It will never fail. God’s Word will always accomplish His Will. His Words will not pass away. They will endure forever. (Psalm 119:88-91, Isaiah 40:7-8, 46:9-11, 55:10-11, Matthew 24:34-35, Luke 21:32-33, 1 Peter 1:24-25)
– God is Truth. He cannot lie. He is faithful, and a Covenant keeping God. His Word is Truth that sets you free. Even if every man is a liar, God will be true. Believers will be led by the Spirit of Truth. (Deuteronomy 7:7-9, Numbers 23:19-20, Psalm 25:4-5, 105:7-8, John 8:31-32, 16:13-15, 17:17, Romans 3:3-4, 8:14-15, 2 Timothy 2:12-13, Titus 1:1-3, Hebrews 6:17-18)
Learn to appreciate the Word, trust it, and desire it more than anything else. It is the Eternal Rock that will never fail. Learn to love every Word from God the same as the Psalmist.
I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity]. Oh, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your words] are ever before me. I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I keep Your precepts [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your word [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:96-105 <AMP>)
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