JESUS—“MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE”
THERE ARE SOME TRADITIONAL DOCTRINAL BELIEFS WHICH HAVE BEEN INHERITED IN THE CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES WHICH HAVE BECOME HER PRESUPPOSITIONAL BLINDERS TO THE SCRIPTURES.
There are some traditional doctrinal beliefs which the church has inherited and have passed along throughout the centuries. Yet in reality because it is so easy for man to conform and run with the pack, so that some of these traditional doctrinal beliefs have in fact become presuppositional blinders in our interpreting of the scriptures. These presuppositional blinders being paired with a lack of diligent study in searching the scriptures to see if these things be so, have produced many of our flawed interpretations of the scriptures throughout the history of the church. For example, the presuppositional concept of being taught and blindly following the idea that the term ” heavens and earth” being spoken of throughout the bible must always be meant to be referring to the literal planet earth no matter what context it is used in. This presupposition or preconceived idea then becomes the channel, and the lens through which we blindly force and filter the interpretation of the rest of its remaining context. In doing so, we have then forced the context of the scriptures to conform to our presuppositions, instead of arriving at our position from the scriptures themselves, in allowing them to speak for themselves. There are many who are parroting, and blindly following doctrines of men which has been handed down to the church throughout the previous centuries. For example, when we read a passage such as Revelation 21, and carry our presupposition of “the new heaven and earth” to be meant as a recreation of the planet, we then without hesitation must immediately carry that presupposition into the text to be used as a channel or filter through which we must force the meaning of all that follows in this particular context. We will have then interpreted the rest of chapter 21 through the same filter of our same presuppositional lens. Since to the majority of believers “the new heaven and earth” presupposition means the literal planet earth in Rev 21 it should then follow that there will be no more literal sea on the earth. Also, a literal physical cubic city named the New Jerusalem must descend out of heaven and onto the earth taking the place of the old city of Jerusalem. This New Jerusalem must also have literal transparent golden streets, a crystal-clear river of life flowing from a literal throne of a literal Lamb who sits on His throne, and having a literal tree on each side, who’s leaves are for the healing of the nations, and so on all the way through to the end of the chapter.
JESUS—“My words are Spirit, and they are Life”
“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying”
But we who hold to fulfilled eschatology are told that we over spiritualize the scriptures. And yet it seems abundantly clear to me that the book of Revelation demands for us to hear what the Spirit is saying in these words. The imagery and the pictures presented in this book demand for us to go beyond the letter of the Words which are written on the surface of these pages and to hear what the Spirit is saying. We are being shown to spiritually discern, the spiritual things which are being spoken and presented to the church through the pictorial images which are being presented to us in the Revelation. Comparing spiritual things through the lens of hearing what the Spirit is saying throughout the entirety of Genesis to Revelation.
1 Cor 2:13-14 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. We need to allow the Scriptures to be their own best commentary. We need to allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Again, Jesus said, “My Words are Spirit, and they are Life!
Through the presuppositional lens of these letter of the Word, wooden nickel interpretations in such passages as shown here in Rev 21, and in so many other passages, such as Nicodemus interpretation of what does it mean to be born again, and the Samaritan woman at the well of give me this living water, so that I may never have to draw from this well again, the first step of our journey would begin by immediately setting our feet down on the wrong path of understanding. And then our interpretation of the remaining context would be forced to follow suit down that same path of our mistaken presupposition in which we have first begun our journey.
And in the study of eschatology, we can see just how prevalent this has been throughout these generations of church history. It’s easy to see how far off the rails this crazy train of pre mill dispensationalism has gone in their interpretation of scripture throughout the centuries and decades of time. We’ve had every generation believing that they themselves were the terminal generation in which the Lord’s coming was near and at hand. The Lord was definitely coming back in their time, and they had their current world events going on in the news as the signs to prove it! Many books have been written on prophecy throughout time, and continue today as some of the best sellers, because the majority of the church can’t get enough of that good old current event newspaper theology in order to support their mistaken understanding of what were the true biblical last days.
These presuppositional interpretations of the scriptures which have been handed down from the traditions and doctrines of men throughout the centuries have come to be as Sacred Cows to the majority of the church even up to this very day. And this majority are so engrained with this concept, that they will not even give a second thought or consideration of having an open mind to see if these things be so. We all should be open in every area of study in the scriptures, being careful not to let our bias direct our train of thought in interpreting any passage of scripture. Many of these presuppositional doctrines of men have become as sacred cows in the eyes of their beholders. Idols. And they refuse to have it any other way. It’s very difficult for man to let go of anything that he or she really desires to hold onto. Or to let go of the way we really want things to be. Things that our fitting to us, in our own needs and desires. For man it’s all about “My kingdom come”, ” My will be done”. And if anyone such as us would begin to expose a few blemishes on these Sacred Cows of men from the scriptures, their common response is simply to resort to ad-hominem ‘s. Such as, “You are heretics and deceived. You over spiritualize everything. “You are outside of orthodoxy”. “It didn’t happen yet” “You need to conform to our view and join the rest of the pack or you are no longer accepted by the church. You may not even be saved for that matter”. In their eyes we are outside of orthodoxy and the creeds of men. In fact, many of them see us as to being the Hymenaeus and Philetus, as another sign that we are now in the last days. Because we are those false teachers who the church was forewarned of that would arrive in the last days, saying the Lord has already come. Amazing. And if we don’t agree with their “Great Gig in the Sky” concept that is yet to come? Well look out, stand fast, and put on your full armor! Because in their minds we are the enemy outside the camp. And they feel they are doing God a favor by warning the church to stay away from these heretical false teachers such as us. But I seem to remember another group of people in the first century who were also outside the camp. They also were despised through the eyes of the orthodox religious leaders of their day. The orthodox religious rulers of Israel who also thought they were doing God a favor. They too could not see past the letter of the Word written on the pages. They interpreted the scriptures through Nicodemus eyes. Seeing and applying only the letter of the Word. Jesus speaking to Nicodemus, ” You must be born again to see and inherit the kingdom”. Nicodemus, “How can a man enter his mother’s womb a second time”? The religious rulers of Israel, and their followers looked at the letter of the Word and seen an earthly kingdom that would be set up and ruled by their coming Messiah to rule from David’s throne on earth after He would have freed them from the yoke of Rome where they would then rule the world from Jerusalem in an earthly kingdom together with their Messiah. And all the Gentiles would serve them.
I find it amazing how the mainstream church of today can so easily look back in hindsight and be able to see and agree on how the unbelieving Jews of the first century missed the day of their visitation denying Jesus as their Messiah because of the way they at that time had misinterpreted the scriptures by the letter of the Word concerning the nature of the kingdom. And yet at the same time, the church today just as these unbelieving Jews of the first century turn around and do the same thing. Having that same mindset and anticipation for the Christ to come and set up that same nature of an earthly kingdom which the Jews of old looked forward to, where they would rule and reign on earth with their Messiah forever after His yet to be return to earthly Jerusalem where He will sit on a literal throne like David. In their presuppositional view this will not happen until that Great Gig in the Sky takes place, where the King of Kings will come riding in on a white stallion for the great judgment, and earth burning event. Something most of us here were also guilty of in our earlier walk with the Lord.
I have friends whom I have known personally that have been pastors for over 25 years now and still have not even been able to at least get past their pre mil dispensational view of eschatology. How can after 25 years of these men being pastors who are called to be diligent students of the Word, and yet still have not seen or realized that something is not quite in sync or lining up right with the scriptures according to their paradigm and view of eschatology? I’m talking about pastors here, leaders, not babes in Christ who are new in the faith. Men who are called to be diligent students of rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Those who are called to lead and feed the flock of God which He purchased with His own blood. And unless I get too down on myself for seeming to be too judgmental about this let me remember the words of the writer of Hebrews in 5:12-14
Pastors or elders of the church should be diligent students of the Word. Able to feed the flock to which they have been entrusted. The flock which God purchased in His own blood. They should be Bereans who study the scriptures to see if these things be so. And this most certainly includes eschatology which clearly is spoken of not only throughout all four of the gospels but also in almost every letter that is written throughout the New Testament. And by no means am I saying we have it all together or have all the answers. But we have certainly grown in our understanding of seeing the scriptures much more clearly and were willing to surrender our presuppositions to hear what the Spirit is saying in the Word.
THE SCRIPTURES ALONE SHOULD BE OUR SUPREME AUTHORITY OF INTERPRETATION. NOT OUR PRESUPPOSTIONS AND PRECONCEIVED IDEAS. WE MUST ALLOW THE SCRIPTURES TO BE THEIR OWN BEST COMMENTARY. THEY ARE COMPLIMENTARY OF THEMSELVES WITHIN THIS BEAUTIFULLY WOVEN TAPESTRY OF GOD’S WORD. THE WORD OF GOD IS A MASTERPIECE.
It is through the scriptures that we are able to see the golden thread of God’s plan of redemption for man that is being woven from Genesis through Revelation.
Hebrews 12:7 Then I said, ” Behold, I have come, —– IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME—-to do your will, O God
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The conclusions and convictions that we each have come to hold onto in our doctrinal beliefs should be based on an overwhelming abundance of scriptural support and confirmation. A complimentary to themselves.
Our conclusions and convictions are not based on, nor do they come from the natural mind of man’s wisdom, institutions and degrees. They should be and are imparted to us by the Spirit of Truth in the scriptures, who opens the eyes of our understanding teaching us to see and know the deep things of God within His life-giving Word. Jesus said, ” My words are Spirit, and they are Life”. Peter said, “Never a man spoke like this”. “To where shall we go Lord? You have the words of eternal life.” John and the church were told, ” He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.” (In His Word)
In other words, let us “hear the message” which the Spirit of Truth is communicating to us from within, and beyond the “letter of the word” written on the surface of the pages.” That God would give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, that they eyes of our understanding would be enlightened as the Spirit of Truth communicates to us His revelation of truth in His Word.
In John 16 Jesus told the disciples, and I believe us also, that when the Spirit of Truth has come He will lead and guide us into all truth. He will glorify ME. For He will take of what is Mine and reveal it to you. He will reveal to you all the spiritual blessings which God has freely given and imparted to us through the gift of Christ. The things He has prepared for those who love Him. The banquet table which God has prepared for us to feast upon is Christ who is our pass over Lamb of God. The banquet table has been set, and every spiritual blessing that flows from the Pass over Lamb out of His finished work has been laid out on His banquet table for us to feast upon so that we would be fully nourished in all things that pertain unto life and godliness in our walk. Come and dine, for all things have now been made ready. God has prepared this table of spiritual blessings in Christ for us to feed upon. Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who are called. And they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
HE HAS REVEALED THE THINGS WHICH HE HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM
1 Cor 2:9-13 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of this world, but the Spirit who is from God, THAT WE MAY KNOW the things that have been freely given to us by God.
(The things which God has prepared in Christ for those who love Him)
These things we also speak, not in words which mans wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, COMPARING SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL.
Not in the wisdom or understanding of natural man, nor in the letter of the Word being read off the surface of the pages. But by My Spirit who teaches and guides you into all truth of the message that I am speaking to you in My words written on the pages. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. My words are Spirit and they are Life
SIDE BAR: There is no stop sign after verse 9.
Why do so many of us stop here at vs. 9 and misquote and use this verse by saying, “Well you know, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him? As using this passage to mean there are some things we just cannot yet understand.”? Why do we stop here? Cliche? Tradition? Parroting because we’ve heard others use it this way so often? While it is true, that there are many things which we don’t understand, this is not Paul’s train of thought in this passage at all. There is no stop sign posted after verse 9. Notice the very next verse. 2:10 BUT GOD HAS REVEALED THEM TO US BY HIS SPIRIT Them =the things (In Christ) which He has prepared for those who love Him.
And in 2:12 Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of this world, but THE SPIRIT WHO IS FROM GOD, THAT WE MAY KNOW, that we may know, that we may know, the things that have freely been given to us by God.
The spiritual blessings He has given to us in Christ Justification, righteousness, forgiveness, the putting away of our sin, eternal life, His indwelling presence, and how we have been made complete in Christ.
Paul has just confirmed to us in 2:10-13 That only the Spirit of God knows the deep things of God. But Paul continues by saying, and we have been given the Spirit of God who knows the deep things of God to now teach, and reveal to us through His Word the deep things of God, the things which He has prepared for those who love Him, the things which have freely been given to us by God in Christ. So that we may know!
Let’s no longer stop at verse 9 which is so often misquoted to mean that Paul is speaking of things which God does not yet intend for us to understand in our finite minds as natural man. But rather let’s follow Paul’s train of thought through this passage and see that Paul’s meaning here is that God has revealed not only to His apostles but also to us by His Spirit, the deep things of God which cannot be conceived from the thoughts, mind, and wisdom of natural man. But are only revealed to us by the Spirit of God who knows the deep things of God. He reveals the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. Again, Jesus said, When the Spirit of Truth has come, He will lead, and guide you into all truth, He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and show it unto you.
The blessings which flow out of the fountain of Christ. We drink from the same Spirit of living waters that flow from the Rock who is Christ Jesus. These truths which were once concealed in the old, have now been revealed in the new by His Spirit.
1 Peter 1:10-12 Of this salvation which the prophets of old inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. (The glories which God has prepared for us which would follow through the finished work of Christ).
To them it was revealed that, not to themselves but to us they were ministering the things which have now been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven- things which angels desire to look into. I personally believe the angels being spoken of in this context are referring to the called-out ones who were coming to the faith, and those who were preaching this message of the gospel of salvation in Christ. His messengers. The prophets of old desired to look into these things and searched carefully, and the apostles who were now delivering the message were continually desiring to look into them as they received revelation from God concerning Christ being the fulfillment of these prophecies. All of the faith, these angels, messengers, desired to look into these things. The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if these things be so.
1 Cor 2 Because God has now revealed to the apostles by His Spirit the things which He had prepared for all those who love Him. Things which were at one time hidden in old but have now been revealed to us in the new through the apostles. They penned them down in the N.T. Paul’s meaning here is not about things we cannot not yet understand. But rather it is about the things which God has now given to us to understand. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. The revelation of which God intends for us to know and understand does not come by the wisdom of man in his natural mind but is revealed by the Spirit of truth in His Word. Blessed are you Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood HAS NOT revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Peter, you have not come to this revelation that I am the Christ on your own. My Father, who is heaven, has revealed this Truth to you by His Spirit. 1 Cor 12:3 No man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 2 13 -14 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We who hold to fulfilled eschatology are constantly accused of spiritualizing everything. And of course, this is just another one of our detractors’ empty false accusations. So, because we are using discernment, looking at the context, and comparing spiritual things with spiritual, in allowing the scriptures to interpret themselves brings us to place of over-spiritualize everything? Hmmm, I’d say we are the one who are taking the right path to take. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet. And a light to my path. We who whole heartedly desire to look into these things which concern our salvation in Christ, is the reason why we have come to our conclusions. So that God by His Spirit would reveal to us the deep things of God. So that we may know! We desire to allow the scriptures to speak for themselves to us from within the VOLUME OF THE WHOLE BOOK and not be blindly held captive by the traditions, presuppositions, and doctrines of failable men who even debated among themselves in many things. The deep things of God happen to be spiritually discerned and foolishness to the world. God is Himself Spirit. And the Spirit of God has expressed these spiritual truths to us in His written Word. We have been learning to hear the message of what the Spirit is speaking to us behind the letter of the Word. It’s pretty clear that God calls for us to go beyond the surface of the letter of the words which are written on the pages in many passages, so that we are able to see and understand the message which the Spirit of Truth is communicating to us from within that particular context in many places of the Word. We have learned to seek confirmation through other passages which will compliment and confirm their meaning with the same message exceptionally well. To say that we spiritualize everything is an over exaggeration, and a false accusation. Of course, there are places where literal needs to be taken as literal when it is determined to be so in and by its own context. However, I have found that for me personally that the deep things of God written in the Word which can only be spiritually discerned have been to me the most edifying builders, and strength of my faith in Him. The revelation of His Word concerning the deep spiritual riches that are hidden for us in Christ who has been made unto us the wisdom and power of God. Spiritual things which are spiritually discerned. That the message of these spiritual riches which the Spirit of Truth is communicating to us in words, pictures, types, parables, metaphors, etc., are many times within their context hidden beyond the surface letter of the Word.
This was Paul’s prayer in the first chapter of Ephesians 1. That God would give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. So that we may know and grow deeper in our understanding of the message which God is communicating and revealing to us in His Word. That the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened ” SO THAT WE MAY KNOW” and understand the deep things of God which He has prepared and freely given to us in Christ for those who love Him. So that we may put on Christ and walk in Him being built up and strengthened in the faith. Strengthening the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and making straight paths for our feet, so that what is lame, may not be dislocated but rather be healed.
We are able to see how tradition, and presuppositions along with other means, have blinded the church for nearly 1500 years, from the doctrine of justification and righteousness by faith, until the Reformation had come.
We see how even Old Covenant Israel of the first century in their religious blindness, found it so hard to break from the years of traditions and customs of men in the law, as being the means to their justification, and right standing before God. Through Nicodemus eyes they interpreted the scriptures from the letter of the Word. And so were not able to see that Jesus was their Messiah who was fulfilling all things which were written in the law. They missed the day of their visitation and the nature of the kingdom of God which was in their midst which would soon be consummated.
Coming from a position of fulfilled eschatology, we can clearly see how powerful of an impact tradition, presuppositions, and doctrines of men have played for at least 1900 years, and how it still continues to play a major role to this very day, of mainstream Christianity’s misunderstanding of the Parousia of Christ. All because of going into the text without having ever removed the presuppositional blinders. And many simply don’t look into these things very much at all and instead just take pastor Joe’s word for it. Or Dr. Divines degrees for authority.
Look at how many, to this very day, because of tradition, have been blinded with a presuppositional “idea” of thinking, that the Parousia of Christ, is still yet to be a future earth burning event, that will by far, supersede any results that would have come out of the destruction of Jerusalem for us. They look for the same physicality of the kingdom of God to come as the unbelieving Jews did in the first century. They recognize the Jews missed the day of their visitation, and the nature of the kingdom the first time around. But now they are guilty of thinking in the same way that the Jews of old did. They also now look for the kingdom to come in the same manner that the first century Jews did! That the Parousia of Christ and His coming to consummate the kingdom will come in the same physical manner the Jews once looked forward to.
2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the MAN OF GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Lord, your word is like a deep, deep mine with jewels rich and rare, hidden in its mighty depths for every searcher there.
What says the Scriptures? Jesus said, In the VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME. You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, yet they are that which testify of ME.
What was hidden in the OLD has now been revealed in the NEW. Luke 24:44-45 Then Jesus said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, CONCERNING ME. And HE OPENED THEIR UNDERSTANDING, THAT THEY MAY COMPREHEND the scriptures.
Hebrews 12:7 Then I said, ” Behold, I have come, —– IN THE VOLUME OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME—-to do your will , O God
Search the Scriptures, For He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
You shall seek ME, and you shall find ME when you search for ME with ALL YOUR HEART Jeremiah 29:13
JESUS, “MY WORDS ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE”