Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Scripture versus the Word of the Lord

Many Christians need to differentiate between Scripture and the Word of the Lord. Some even need to differentiate between The Law, The Laws and the Prophets, Scripture and the Word of the Lord.

IF we live only by the letter of the law and think of God's word only as Scripture, we are not living a full relationship with God who wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Think of the ways of worshiping God. A good way to think about this is to think about the historical books, I & II Samuel, I&II Kings. I&II Chronicles. In those books we find four types of people.

The school of the prophet (to whom Elijah, Elisha, Macaiah, Jonah, and all those prophets belonged):
They didn't have the Torah or the law but the holy spirit was upon them and they followed God. They didn't stray from the path because they hung out together (hence the "school" of the prophet)  so they could correct each other but if they had the Laws or the Torah no one really knows.

The priests who traditionally worked in the temple.
The Book of the Law was lost until it was found during the days when King Josiah was restoring the temple. The priests basically did traditional stuff that their predecessors did. But no one really knew what the Bible was. After the book was found, the king tore his clothes in repentance and the people were told the proper way to God.

The people (who included the king and the normal people)
The behavior of the kings and the people varied. Sometimes a few did good but for the most part, the people of Israel back in the day had a strange mixture of religion. They worshiped the Brass Serpent pole. They worshiped the Queen of Heaven, Ishtar and had her prayer beads. They had fertility rites and temple prostitutes and yet they considered themselves God's people.

The false priests of Baal.
These were people who were totally sure of their God and totally sure of their own false religion and were affecting how God's people behaved.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that for most of that time, people could only follow God by what the holy spirit told to them. This is known as "The Word of the Lord." Paul uses it in the New Testament when he says, "I heard this by the Word of the Lord." Words of the Lord can be visions, dreams, deep impressions from God, audible words spoken by God, words from an angel. (Of course one has to be really sure that these words are from God.) Joseph, Mary's husband, had a word from the Lord through dreams. The Wise Men from the east had dreams and insight into the Star, also words from the Lord. Elizabeth heard the word of the Lord when the baby leaped in her womb. Simeon received a word from the Lord through a revelation from God. Zacharias received a word from the Lord from the angel.

Now the trouble with Words from the Lord is that often it is only between the person and God and the person has to hold onto this truth that God has revealed to her/him ---often in spite of what others say. This is revealed quite clearly in this passage in 1 Kings Chapter 13

This prophet was told something. He believed God told it. God hadn't told anyone but this prophet had heard it by the Word of the Lord. So he goes and does what God does. But then he meets another prophet who tells him something else. And he believes the other prophet instead of trusting God's word to him.

We are told to develop a relationship with God. This means we have to learn to hear his voice. And that isn't hard because He says, MY sheep hear my voice." So, the trouble is...when we hear the voice of God do we acknowledge it as God's voice.

If we are told something in a dream or are warned about something, that is the Word of the Lord even though it is not Scripture.

God still speaks today. And it is His Holy Spirit working in us that enables us to discern His truth. The letter kills but the Spirit gives life. The Bible can kill you if you don't come to it with the Holy Spirit, or if you listen to what ministers interpret it. The Spirit and the Written Word must agree and God will tell you in your spirit what the Scripture really means and how it applies to you or to events happening in the world.

I would've given up on certain hopes if God hadn't told me by the word of the Lord to continue. And when I want to give up on certain things, I hold on because I know God has promised me by the Word of the Lord. And I've had guidance about my health that has helped me even though doctors poo-poohed it. I've been really been given a divine rebuke lately because I haven't been doing what God told me to do.

Anyway, I have to commit. Obedience is very necessary. And this means obedience not only to Scripture but to the Word of the Lord that he has spoken to us in dreams or in visions

14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. 15 In a dream, in avision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; 16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, 17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. 18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14-18

The instructions one receives in dreams prevent one from dying! To not listen to them is disobedience, and disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft. It is that bad to sin against what God has personally revealed to one's spirit.

So then, God's lists of things he has told me to do:

No restaurant food: my food is as good as restaurants
No processed food
No chocolate
No pork, cold cuts, processed meats, corn
No tomato sauce

Eat natural sweets like fruits rather than manmade foods
Eat turkey, fish, grean peas beans, potatoes
No red meat

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