The Archaic Book

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19: 11-13)

The Word of God in the beginning. The Word of God in the end. But what about the Word of God in the middle? Do we really need His Word today…some archaic book to tell us right from wrong? I mean in this age of grace, can’t we all just do what seems right to us…after all, we are being led by the Holy Spirit, right? Well, any place that I see in scripture where the people are doing what seems right in their own eyes, it doesn’t end well.

Now about this archaic book. There are several places all throughout this archaic book that teach us the importance of God and His Word.

For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. –Romans 15:4

And you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:15-17

For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. –Hebrews 4:12

Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. –Psalm 119:105

Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.—James 1:21

God’s word is the inspired direction book for all of us to live by. It reveals the mind of the Most High, Sovereign God of the universe. It shows us His ways in which we are to walk and pattern our lives. It teaches us right from wrong, holy from profane, ways of God versus ways of man. It is a God-breathed, written record of all things pertaining to God and how to live a Godly life. It illuminates the narrow path to the Almighty God…our way of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is chock full of the wisdom of God that enriches our lives when we live according to His ways. It shows us how to live because, “it is written…”

Word

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:14-17

As I was pondering the Word of God over the last few days, not any particular scripture, but just the infallibility of His Word, several things came to mind. First what came to me is the beautiful continuity between the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”. It saddens me when I hear people say that the old and the new testaments contradict one another. Take out the uninspired page in your bible and read His Word as one complete, whole unit. Some people think the Old Testament is not valid today because they think Jesus came to replace what was written there. Some people think the New Testament is not valid because it contradicts the Old Testament. Well…both camps should brush up on their interpretation of the Scriptures. If people really think God contradicts Himself in His Word, their interpretation is what is in error. The Old Testament is the firm foundation on which everything Godly is built. The New Testament brings deeper meaning and more clarity to the foundation. Notice verse 15 in the Scripture above…”And you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.” What sacred Scriptures is Paul talking about? The only Scripture that Paul and Timothy had was the “Old Testament”. The new had not yet been written. And yet they are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ…Think on that for a few moments. Another confirmation that I keep returning to is straight from the mouth of Yeshua Himself…”Don’t assume I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill (to carry out, or bring to realization, as a prophecy or promise). For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) And finally, did you know that the “New Testament” has more than 1,000 quotes, either direct or partial, from the “Old Testament”? It seems to me that the “New Testament” writers wanted to make sure that their readers knew the firm foundation on which their faith was built.

A second thing that came to me was the surety, or confidence, that we can have in Yahweh and His Word. We can have this assurance because our Most High God is eternal…”Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God. (Psalm 90:1-2)…and He does not change…”God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes his mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19) His Word is forever as well…”The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.” Forever…such an interesting word…what is forever? In the Hebrew, the word ‘olam’ is used over 300 times to indicate indefinite continuance into the very distant future. Some synonyms in English are: always, endlessly, eternally, permanently, evermore, and perpetually. Interesting…forever means………forever. The Word of our God remains…FOREVER! “Lord, Your Word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

Thirdly, I realized how thankful I am to have His Word to guide me. He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) His Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105) “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.” (Romans 15:4-6)

How to BE a Sheep

English: Sheep

I recently felt led to write a post, “How to Spot a Goat”, in response to what, in my opinion, was a poorly written, scripturally-unsound article entitled “How to Spot a Legalist”. However, I think the most important idea that should come from that post is how to BE a sheep.

Throughout His ministry, Yeshua makes the comparison between wheat and weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), sheep and goats (Matthew 25:31-46), and ready and unready virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). I’ve always thought these were interesting teachings, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that He is comparing believers. This realization combined with Matthew 7:21-23 that says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’”, has given me great pause for thought, reflection, prayer, and studying the scriptures. Our focus should be on how to be wheat, how to be sheep, how to be ready, because not everyone that says they believe in Yeshua and has done things in His name is going to go to Heaven. Yeshua said it Himself.

So here is a list for “How to BE a Sheep”. This is not an all-inclusive list, but some important guidelines on our journey with Yahweh.

 1. We must enter THE door. John 10:7-10 says, “So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. We must be saved by grace, through faith, for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

2. We must love Yahweh with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our strength. Absolutely nothing should get in the way of our love of Him. And, our love for Him must be His way. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Matthew 22:34-38; 1 John 2:3)

3. We must love each other. We must be willing to put others ahead of ourselves and love them with the heart of Christ. (Mark 12:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10; 1 John 3:11-18; 1 John 4:7)

4. We must be totally souled out and committed to Yahweh. We must be willing to take up our cross and count the cost. We must be prepared to follow Him no matter what may come our way. (Matthew 10:32-39; Mark 8:34-38; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20)

5. We must hear and obey His voice. It is more than mere mental assent. We must have a saving faith that leads to obedience to His Word. We must understand that if we are living by the Holy Spirit, He will not lead us to do anything that is contrary to God’s Word. (Matthew 7:24-25; John 8:31-32; John 10:27; Romans 2:13; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 John 1:6)

6. We must bear good fruit. We are known by our fruit. What kind of fruit are we producing? (John 15:1-17; Luke 6:43-45; Galatians 5:16-26)

7. We must be servants. We must have a servant’s heart. If our Messiah was willing to wash His disciples’ feet, how much more should we be willing to serve Him and each other? (Psalm 119:125; Mark 10:42-45; John 12:26; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Galatians 5:13; Philippians 2:5-7)

8. We must forgive. We must be willing to forgive others if we want Yahweh to forgive us. (Proverbs 17:9; Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:12-14)

9. We must be humble. We must stay away from self-righteousness and a proud and haughty attitude. We must be humble before Yahweh and realize that every breath we take is because it is from Him. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:12; Luke 18:9-14; Philippians 2:3-11; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6)

10. We must be holy. Holiness is not optional; we must pursue holiness or we will not see Yahweh. (Isaiah 35:8; Leviticus 20:26; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:21; 1 John 3:6-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16)

 Are you a sheep? Are you wheat? Are you ready?