Word of God and Truth (Part 1)

  • The title almost sounds ignorant. Of course the Word of God is absolute truth, but many have a hard time receiving it just as it is stated. Saying the Word of God and truth will hopefully get your attention to find out what is meant.

    Those who have difficulty simply letting scripture say what it means, without adding their own opinion to it based on false teachings will find themselves making the word of God of no effect. See the teaching “Making The Word of God of None Effect”.

    How will this happen? Let’s start with Mark 7:13 in the New Living Translation. “And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others”.

    Looking closer at this, we need to go back to the beginning of the chapter.

    Mark 7:1-8.

    One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.

    They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating.

    It always amazes me how the religious crowd is so keen to notice and quick to condemn those who don’t follow the rules that have been established by them. These are self made rules that they are able to keep. They take these man-made, self imposed, legalistic rules that they are able to obey and measure you against them. They are not God given rules, but instead man given rules.

    (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions.

    Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)

    So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first PERFORMING the hand-washing ceremony.”

    Are you seeing this? Are you getting this? Look at the highlighted and underlined portions of these first five scriptures. “Religious law” in verse 1 should be a good indicator that things are going downhill from there. They failed to follow rituals. Didn’t do as required by their ancient traditions. Traditions that they have clung to. All ceremonial. Age-old traditions. I really like the part that says in verse 5 – “They eat without first PERFORMING the hand-washing ceremony.” I mean it’s so clear of the legalism and bondage that’s revealed here in these verses.

    This is how it sounds today coming from the religious/legalists. How come you are not obeying our charter? How come you weren’t in church last Sunday? How come I saw you drinking a beer at that restaurant? How come you socialize with those people? How come you listen to that music? How come you don’t read your bible everyday?

    Did you notice in that verse 5 that they elude to exactly what grace has set us free from? “They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.” Religious legalists will get real indignant when you don’t perform up to their man made, rule-keeping requirements. Well, here’s how Jesus handled it.

    Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

    Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’

    Do you see how the Word of God and Truth destroy the wrong thinking of the religious legalists. Or should I call them “hypocrites” like Jesus did.

    How many know that’s probably not the best way to win friends and influence people. I seem to remember Him calling them vipers and referring to them as whited sepulchers. Beautiful outward, but full of dead bones on the inside.

    Religious people will tell you “that’s not very nice to call them ______”. Just say, Okay, I’ll simply use Jesus’ words. Vipers, hypocrites, whited walls full of extortion and excess.

    For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

    Oh Oh. Not only does Jesus set them in the category as hypocrites, He defines their worship as a farce (verse 7). Describes them as teaching man-made ideas as if they are commands from God when they never can be. Here in verse 8 he says “you ignore God’s law and substitute your own TRADITION”.

    Did you pay close attention to verses 6-8? If you did you’ll notice Jesus was not exactly politically correct in His dialogue about them.

    The reason the powerful message of grace and truth is not being preached is because preachers and minister are afraid of losing members. Steeped in religious tradition, they keep the people in the worst kind of bondage.

    So instead, pastors and ministers sugar coat their message, avoiding the truth and preach a watered down gospel with seeker friendly phrases and words. They do this to satisfy the itching ears group, but it does them no good. It does nothing towards helping people get set free from bondage.

    They are so afraid of offending someone that they will instead ignore the assignment of God and preach another gospel. That’s scary.

    Look at what Galatians 1:6-8 has to say about that.

    I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News

    but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

    Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.

    There is a lot of powerful truth in the above verses. Those who read this and ignore it are in big error. God is intent on getting the great news of His marvelous grace to us, to the point He warns those that would preach another gospel. He warns them they would be cursed.

    Getting back to offenses. Jesus was not worried about offending people. Look at the story in Matthew 15:10-14. This is actually Matthew’s account of the story in Mark 7. We see the disciples telling Jesus that He offended the Pharisees by what He just said (verse 12). Jesus doesn’t miss a beat. He simply says “ignore them”. Then puts another label on them as “blind guides”.

    Then there is the story of the rich young ruler. He came to Jesus with the law when he asked him “what shall I do to inherit eternal life”? Do you notice the self effort in the question. What must I DO? Whenever you come to Jesus with the law, He will answer you with the law. Jesus tells him to obey all the commandments.

    Of course you know the story. The rich young ruler says He has done that all his life. So Jesus gives him one more thing TO DO. You see, that’s the trouble with trying to keep the law. There’s always one more thing that will need to be done.

    We know from the story that the young ruler loved his money more than the opportunity to follow Jesus so he walks away. Jesus did not run after him and say, “well maybe that was a bit harsh. Let’s compromise a bit and keep this friendly so I don’t offend you”. NO. He simply presents His opportunity to us and it’s our choice whether to receive it or not.

    Our assignment is to tell them the truth. Let the spirit of God do the work to give them a revelation of the truth. If they choose not to receive it and reject it, that’s their choice.

    Do not reject it for them by not telling them the truth. It’s not you they are rejecting, it’s the truth and will of the Father. They’ll probably take it out on you, but that’s only because something in them knows what you’re telling them is truth.

    So lets look at truth that has been distorted by false teaching and religious traditions of men.

    “God is in control of everything that happens”. Might as well get you upset right off the bat. That statement is so far out of the truth of God’s word and the will of God it’s hard to even quantify. It’s a religious sounding phrase taught by too many for too long.

    Graham Cooke says “If you really knew God, you would know the last thing He wants to be is in control. He is in charge, but He is not in control. Why? Because if God was in control of your life, you wouldn’t have any freedom, you’d be controlled. The Bible says it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. So God doesn’t want to control our lives, He wants to teach us how to be mature.”

    The statement God is in control prevents people from walking in victory and freedom. If it’s true then why don’t we just sit in our chairs and wait for God to make all things happen?

    If you believe God is a good God, then why would he give you cancer or cause your house to burn down, or have a still born baby, or a deformed baby, or fall asleep at the wheel, or lose your job, or crash into a tree, or……..fill in the blank.

    You see, if it was true that God is in control, then all these things had to happen by His authorization, or they couldn’t happen. Is God in charge? Yes He is, but He does not control our every move. He gave us freedom and His marvelous grace so we could choose correctly.

    2 Peter 3:9 reads “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent”.

    God’s will is for all to be saved. Are they? Of course not. Why not if God controls everything? You see, He’s in charge of providing salvation for all. He did something that works for everyone, but He doesn’t force you to receive it.Psalms 138:2 reads “I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name”.

    God’s word and His name are above all things. That means He will not violate His word. His promises are yeah and amen. All His promises are backed up by the honor of His name. Scripture states that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Does that sound like a God that would inflict pain on you? Wouldn't that be forsaking you? Scripture also says that God cannot lie. So if He says He loves you, has healed you, has given you life, then how can He do the opposite? Scripture also says that He watches over His Word to perform it. Now, you do some leg work and look up all of those scriptures. It's called studying the Word.

    Ya but, what about Romans 8:28. What about it? The problem is you’re reading the verse and not studying it. You’re listening to false teachings about what is truly being said. You think it says “God puts us or allows us to be in situations to teach us and have something good come of them”.

    That’s not what that verse is saying. Verse 28 says “all things work together for good”, it doesn’t say God causes all things and then uses those things for good.

    So we don’t say God, I don’t know why you’re causing or allowing this to happen, but I know something good will come from it. So I guess you have your reasons for it and I’ll just have to accept it.

    Instead we simply realize that this is a fallen world we’re in. So, I say “God stuff is happening” and I can’t wait to see the resulting blessing that will bring glory to you.

    God will take and use any situation and cause good to come from it, but God does not cause situations in order to bring good from it. Besides, you can’t just read verse 28. It starts with the word “and”. That means the things before it apply. So it’s linked to verse 27, which is linked to verse 26.

    Oh but he’s a sovereign God. Yes He is, but that doesn’t mean He controls everything. Now this is a good stopping point for Part 1. Don't miss part 2, because we will look at this thing called sovereign and reveal the false use of the term and expose the real meaning of sovereignty. Grace and Peace.