What Did God Say? (1)

  • Hebrews 13:9 says “For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace”. Another translation says it this way – “For it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace”. Remember that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

    People today have a distorted picture of who God is, because they don’t study to see what God truly said. That’s because of religion and legalism, which tries to put them in bondage to a works oriented mentality in order to receive from God, by improperly dividing the Word of Truth. As a result, people are alienated from God.

    The institutionalized church, religion and legalism have created this distortion. They are more interested in counting people rather than making sure people count. Preaching against sin, which is nothing more than shame management, rather than preaching and teaching about the freedom found in the grace of God.

    Jesus came to give us a true picture of who God really is. Just look at the Pharisees. How angry they were when Jesus reported Himself to be God. They had a religious distorted law-filled perception of who God was, but this man named Jesus sure didn’t fit that mold or belief. This man was eating and drinking with sinners, doing miracles and healing on the sabbath. No way could this man be God. How dare Him.

    Well, there are people all over the church world that think the same way. I know Jesus loves me, but He demands I perform all my rituals correctly. After all, if He is God as He says, then the judgement of God will fall on me if I mess up. So I have to live up to a set of standards set by God’s helpers, who of course have an inside track on this stuff. I mean, just look at them. They’ve been performing, working and pressuring themselves to be obedient. Just ask them. They’ll tell you how holy they are. Oh Yeah? How’s that working for them?

    How do you feel when someone says “you need to obey the Lord”? Do you take that as pressure, or a JOY? It should be a joy. Most times when we hear about obedience, it’s like a ton of bricks falling on us. This puts you back in the Christian trap that destroys rest and peace.

    So I know I said that obeying the Lord should be a joy and here’s why. I’m about to destroy legalism and religion with my next statement. Here it is – TO BELIEVE IS TO OBEY GOD. Not to perform. Not to make sure you read your bible everyday. Not to make sure you’re in church every time the doors are open. Just believe God.

    Now I know that just grinds against those who are still in bondage to religion and rule-keeping, because religion says to obey is to follow a set of written codes or ordinances usually made by men or women. God says obedience is trusting Him.

    Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t give attention to studying the bible, going to church, or praying, but that’s for your benefit. Studying your bible everyday will not make God love you more, but it will help you to love God more. Praying everyday will not make God appreciate you more, but it will give you a greater appreciation for God. Going to church every service will not win you any points with God, but it will help point you to God. Besides, Jesus has all the points.

    Studying your bible, going to church, praying, or giving should never be something that you believe you have to do. When you have a revelation of the love and grace of God, you will want to do them. Walking in grace will result in you doing more for the Kingdom of God by accident than you ever would on purpose under the law.

    Also, remember, that the devil doesn’t miss a service, because he’s in the religious business. Will God still love you if you fail to DO these things. The answer is clear in Romans 8:38,39. Nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Again, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m only trying to press the point that when we get so focused on trying to DO stuff to please God, we actually push Him to the side in favor of our works. Remember, it is Christ who is at work in us (Phil 2:13), and because of that we are more than conquerors. How are we more than conquerors? Through Him that loved us (Romans 8:37).

    Hebrews 1:1-3 (NLT) says:

    Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.

    And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.

    The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

    So what’s this all about. It’s about what God says today. In times past He spoke through the prophets, but now, verse 2 says He has spoken to us through His Son. To know what God has said, we have to make sure that the words stated are the actual logos of God.

    The term logos of God refers to Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace. So, anything that refers to Jesus Christ and the finished work on the cross can be rightly categorized as the word of God, because Jesus is the Word of God, and Jesus is perfect theology. In other words, not the logos words of Elijah, or Isaiah, or Amos, but of God.

    For instance, you’ve heard people say “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away”. Then they display that as God’s word, but those are not God’s words. Those are Job’s words. Besides, those words aren’t even in the bible. The correct phrase/statement, made by Job is found in Job 1:21 and goes as follows – “And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”. Did you notice that statement was in the past tense. The false statement of “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” infers present tense.

    Look at the scripture again in the NLT about giving and taking away – “The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away”. So, people take scripture and attribute it to something God said and then use those words to put people in bondage to it. Notice again, it is past tense.

    You see, this is Job speaking about what happened to him. This is not God speaking about what will happen to us all. Also, it is not a prophetic statement, as you would see in the books of the prophets, but a statement of an event that only happened to Job.

    So the premise that a preacher and teacher can deliver a statement that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, based on this scripture in Job is a total distortion of scripture. It’s a failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth. It would be like me saying, the Lord called us to the prison ministry so you must minister in the prisons also. NO. It was a personal occurrence for Job and Job alone.

    How could this possibly be God speaking. God is not just a promise maker, He’s a promise keeper. He does not give you a gift and then take it back. How disingenuous would that be? I’m sure you’ve heard the scripture that says the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.

    We see then that this is not the Word of God, but a statement made by Job. Job was not denying God here, but he was sure displaying wrong believing about God and who He was.

    If we try to apply the whole bible as God’s word we will use the bible to bring condemnation into our personal relationship with God, thereby hindering the true preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God (John 1:1).

    We must study scripture in the same Spirit that inspired the writers. If we try to attribute all scripture to God speaking, then we will fall into deep error, because there are portions of scripture that quote what the devil said. Study what he said to Eve in the garden. Look what he said to Jesus when He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness. Are those God’s words? NO!!! How could they be. That was the devil’s words and therefore could not be the Word of God.

    Now, is all scripture inerrant? Yes, but not all scripture is truth. It is true that the devil said those things to Jesus, and there is no error in the quotation of what the devil said, but those words are not truth. How do I know that? Just do a word search on the word “truth” and see how scripture refers to it as His truth or Thy truth. Also, John 1:14 says the word was made flesh……full of grace and truth, to paraphrase. Also, John 1:17 says grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Word and truth. He said in John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”.

    On the other hand, in Isaiah 53:5 we see the prophet referring to Jesus and declaring the power of healing in the stripes. Likewise, 1 Peter 2:24 refers to Jesus and His stripes. Jesus being the Word. As a result, we can attribute these words as the logos of God, or God’s word, because they refer to Jesus Christ and the finished work on the cross.

    Now this is deep, and will take some study. So, I'm going to stop right here for now and let you do just that. Study this portion over again and we will pick back up with more proof and Truth about what God really said in part 2. Grace and Peace.