Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Bible, An Open Revelation

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The Hebrew and Greek meaning of the words mentioned are from Strong's Hebrew Greek Dictionary.

When I first turned to the Lord in June of 1965, I heard the term the revelation of the Lord Jesus mentioned by many different people. I thought to myself that I would like to have that revelation also. It took a while but eventually I came to the realization that what they were talking about was the revelation of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost manifested in Jesus Christ, e.g., the same God of Deuteronomy 6:4 was the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in the church. I already had the revelation of the Lord Jesus because of what the Bible tells me. There were not three gods but one God. I quit asking God to give me "the revelation," because it was what I had believed from the beginning of my walk with God. The reason that I believed this from the beginning of my walk with the Lord was because His first commandment to me after I said, "Lord Jesus, if you will help me I will serve you from this day to the day I die," was, "read my word and start in Matthew." I was obedient to that command and read the New Testament from Matthew through Revelation that week. (I have been reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation ever since) There is no other revelation of the Lord Jesus but the word of God. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:30, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me." The Bible is an open revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am troubled when I hear the Bible misquoted from time to time. Not that I have never misquoted the word of God in preaching or teaching. I am glad for a good wife/help-meet who will correct me at those times. I do not want to misrepresent God to my hearers (or readers).  There may be ever so many ideas put forth by men as to the identity of the Lord Jesus or what the Bible has to say about Him,  but only the Bible itself can reveal what God thinks about things. I am persuaded that that is the reason, when I first turned to the Lord Jesus, that He told me to read His word. He wanted me to find out what He thinks. I believe the Bible, the Word of God, is the only revelation that truly matters.

Recently I read on Facebook an account by a Pentecostal lady in which it was said that God transferred from Lucifer, because of his rebellion, to the women who had not cut their hair in obedience to the Word of God, the responsibility of the covering cherub. I have never found a scripture in the Bible that speaks of any such delegated authority. However, because I am curious by nature, I looked at the word for "covering" found in Ezekiel 28:14 and indeed the word "covereth/covering" is used in the verses 14 and 16. Both are translated from the same Hebrew word, "H5526 שׂכך    סכך sâkak  śâkak (pronounced) saw-kak', saw-kak' (and is) A primitive root; properly to entwine as a screen; by implication to fence in, cover over, (figuratively) protect: - cover, defence, defend, hedge in, join together, set, shut up." However this was the job description of the cherub. The cherub in question, according to Ezekiel 28:13 had its covering described as a garniture. (H4540 מסכּה mesûkkâh mes-ook-kaw' From H5526; a covering, that is, garniture: - covering.) In contrast, the word for "covering," found in 1st Corinthians 11:15 is, "G4018 περιβόλαιον peribolaion (pronounced)  per-ib-ol'-ah-yon (and is) Neuter of a presumed derivative of G4016; something thrown around one, that is, a mantle, veil: - covering, vesture." It seems to me a bit of a stretch to derive the same meaning from the Hebrew word, "sâkak  śâkak," and the Greek word, "peribolaion."

The Bible says in Psalm 119:89, "Forever O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." I have for the last 48 plus years taken that scripture to mean that the Word of God is forever out of reach of those who would change its meaning. God loves His word. The Bible says in Psalm 138:2, "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." The Bible says in both Deuteronomy 4:2, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you,"  and Revelation 22:18-19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." For this reason I have always tried to be careful to look at the context of the surrounding verses of scripture before deciding what the writer meant. I don't ever want to be guilty of adding to, or taking away from the Word of God.

It is not my design or desire to take issue with others with whom I may not see eye to eye. But at the same time because of the serious nature of someone saying they have received a "revelation" from God, I feel I must speak. Whoever they may be or seem to be, if they are misconstruing the Word of God, they are wrong. The word of God is right. (See Psalm 33:4) The Lord Jesus is more than an abstract concept to me. He is my Saviour! He was the Word of God made flesh. (See John 1:14 and 1st Timothy 3:16) His ways are not my ways, neither are His thoughts my thoughts but as the heavens are higher than the earth so are His ways and thoughts higher than mine. (See Isaiah 55:8-9) As I previously said, when I first met the Lord Jesus and yielded the rest of my life to Him, He said, "read my word and start in Matthew." I started reading my Bible that day and have continued to do so to this day (with rare exceptions). To me, the Bible is God's open revelation. I was baptized in Jesus name because the Bible said to be. (See Acts 2:38) I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost because God promised it to me in His word. (See Acts 2:39) I do not let my hair grow long because the Bible says I would dishonor my Head the Lord Jesus if I did. (See 1st Corinthians 11:4) My wife of the last 48 plus years has never cut her hair as long as I have known her. She has not cut her hair because she doesn't want to dishonor me and because the Bible says she shouldn't. (See 1st Corinthians 11:5-6) The Bible says I am the image and glory of God,  and it says that she is my glory. (See 1st Corinthians 11:7)And the Bible says that her uncut hair is her glory. She leaves her hair uncut because I am her head she is under my authority. And I believe the angels Paul spoke of are pleased when they see us. (See 1st Corinthians 11:10)

I am not sure that there is a conclusion to this issue, but let me say in conclusion that no special revelation is needed. I do not think that if you believe that God has given you a special and extra-biblical revelation regarding this issue that I will change your mind. There is another old saying, "a man (or woman) convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." One only needs to read the Bible, God's holy word and be obedient to it. The Bible says that God will not put on us more than we can bear but will provide a way to escape the temptations that come our way. (See 1st Corinthians 10:13) You and I need to read the word of God as often as possible and pray for deliverance. The Bible asks the question in Psalm 119:9, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." No special revelation needed.

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