ANSWERS TO 1/14’s QUESTIONS:
- Zadok: There’s about 9 Zadok’s in the Bible. This would make for a great name for your next baby (though people might think you were naming him something celestial/alien—like Zadok from Zakar). The most prominent Zadok was the son of Ahitub who was a Levite priest during David’s reign (I. Chronicles 6:50-52 & 27:17).
- Valley of Dry Bones: In Ezekiel 37, Ezekiel takes him in a vision to a valley full of bones and told him to prophesy to them.
- Wheel within a wheel: Another prophetic vision that Ezekiel had in 1:16 and 10:10.
- Nazarite Vow: A vow made (see Numbers 6:2 & 21) to separate oneself unto God. He could eat nothing from grapes or alcohol. He could not cut his hair. He was to touch no dead bodies (not even his mother, father, or siblings should they die). Samuel and Samson are the two famous biblical men to be under this vow (though Samson despised his vow and didn’t honor it).
- Red Heifer: A special Jewish offering of a red cow found in Numbers 19:2.
- The sun standing still: During a battle when night was coming, Joshua commanded the sun to stand still so they could win the battle (Joshua 10).
- Cyrus: Persian King whom Daniel prophesied about.
- A command to cook bread over human dung: Improperly marketed as Ezekiel 4:9 Bread, God wasn’t giving Ezekiel a recipe for sprouted grain bread at a ridiculous price per loaf in the supermarket, but was a prophetic example. He was told in 4:12 to cook it over human excrement. Because that would make him unclean under Jewish Law, God then changed it to animal dung in verse 15.
- Jesus calling a Gentile woman a dog: Here’s a tricky one! In Matthew 15 a Canaanite woman came to Jesus wanting Him to heal her daughter from a demon. Jesus indicated that He was there to help His children and not take their portion and feed it to dogs (i.e. a Gentile in this case). Her faith was so prominent that He healed her daughter and praise her faith.
- A man so fat that when he was killed, the dagger disappeared in the folds of his fat: In Judges 3, Ehud (a southpaw) hid a dagger on his right side knowing he would be searched on his left. He went into King Ehud of the Moabites and then killed him. Ehud was so fat that verse 22 tells us “The handle also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the refuse came out.”
The more we read the Word, the more of these stories and people we’ll encounter and remember. The fact that most Christians never encounter them is due to 1) Not reading the whole Bible themselves, and 2) Pastors not teaching the whole counsel of God.
I figure that if God took the time (over 1,500 years) to transmit His Word to us, then how hard is it for me to read it, study it, and teach it? And if your pastors faithfully commit to this task, you will be convicted of sin, encouraged, built up in your faith, sanctified, kept from doctrinal errors (doctrines of demons), reproved, rebuked, motivated to serve, deeper in your love for God, exhorted, and growing in maturity.
- “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”—Leonard Ravenhill
One of the rules of Bible reading and interpretation is that the meaning of Scripture is theScripture. In other words, it does not matter in any way as to what it means to you. God doesn’t care what it means to you. It also means that I am not allowed to handle it in such a way to create my own meanings and misapplications in my teaching (He doesn’t care what it means to me). It’s His Word and holds His meaning.
- II. Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Your pastors are commissioned to handle the word properly. If we don’t, then many dangers creep into the church including the false beliefs and worldly philosophies that are destroying churches worldwide:
- LGBTQ acceptance and implementation of LGBTQ “pastors”
- Health and prosperity teaching (God wants you healthy and rich)
- Moralistic Therapeutic Deism—described by Christian Smith as including such beliefs as:
- “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
- “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
- “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about one’s self.”
- “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
- “Good people go to heaven when they die.”
- The local church isn’t important—all that’s important is The (universal) Church.
- You need a second baptism or blessing from God.
- You need to speak in tongues to confirm you are saved.
- And the list is almost too long to exhaust.
- II. Corinthians 1:12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdombut in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
- I. Corinthians 2:4-5 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
- I. Corinthians 3:9 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”;
I’ve referenced the great Southern Baptist B.H. Carroll before. In his sermon entitled, “Observing the Commands of Christ”, he instructs his church to learn the Word, know its doctrines, and vet its speakers against the Word of God! He says,
- “When men corrupt the plain words of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is to step out of the highways which He illumines, which He overshadows, which He guards from uncleanness and peril, to wander in a dismal Okefenokee swamp of tradition, to listen to the bellowing and hooting of alligators and owls, and to dwell with slimy things.”
It is with this focus that we enter Thankful Thursday and open our Bibles and pray:
- Thank God now that He loves us enough to give us His Word, and that it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105):
- What areas of life can you thank Him for that the light of His Word has illuminated and guided you in? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Thank God that He has given you His light which opens your spiritual eyes to understand His wonderful Word (Isaiah 8:20; I. Corinthians 2:9-12):
- What new truths from His Word has He revealed to you recently? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Thank God for loving you and providing His wisdom for your guidance by giving you His Word of Wisdom, the Bible.
- Think of areas in your life where following His wisdom has protected you and guided you right: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Think of times when you’ve failed to follow His wisdom and the drastic results they produced: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Now thank God for graciously loving you even though you’ve failed, and that He continues to guide and protect you as His child.
How Firm a Foundation—Hymn Author Unknown
1How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in God’s excellent Word!
What more can be said say than to you God hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
2“Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
3“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with thee thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
4“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
5“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake.”