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Friday, December 30 2011
What Does Word of God Mean To You?
What does "Word of God" mean to you? The Holy Bible? Or the words written in the Holy Bible that make the Book ("Bible" means book) Holy? Those are both correct, but does "Word of God" also go deeper and more time-distant (even existing before physical time began at "in the beginning") than that? Yes, it does. And Who was and is the literal (i.e. as it is written) and living Word of God?
"1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made by him [see The Rock Of The Church]; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:1-4 KJV)
The verses quoted above describe how Jesus Christ was with God in the beginning, how all things were created by Him (see Christ The Creator) and how He was born as a man to provide the means of Deliverance for those who now await His return - when His Name will still be "called The Word of God."
"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him [see Legions Of Men And Angels] upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean [see also Linen In History And Prophecy]. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and LORD of lords.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"
Jesus Christ was "the LORD God" of the "Old" Testament (see The First Christian Church). As plainly stated in the verses above, He was and is the Word of God, Who spoke the Word of God, which was then recorded in the Bible (Book) that we call the Word of God. When we read Bible History, we are reading all of it together. For example, Saul was given the Word of God when he was appointed to be the first king of Israel; when Saul rejected the Word of God, the Word of God rejected Saul, in favor of David (see The Civil War Kings; also Why Didn't David And Saul Fight For Jerusalem?).
"9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel [see The Prophets: Samuel] said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may show thee the word of God." (1 Samuel 9:27 KJV)
When David became King, he was known as a man whose heart was right with God, not merely because the blood that was pumped through David's heart carried the physical DNA that would be inherited by "the Messiah, the son of David" when "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," but also because David's "heart" was obedient to the Word of God as spoken to him, directly, or through the prophets (e.g. Samuel and Nathan).
"17:1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars [see The Temple Cedar], but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains [see God's Tent; also The Restoration Of David's Fallen Tabernacle].
Israel became a divided kingdom after the death of Solomon, when Solomon's son Rehoboam began to reign. When Rehoboam's southern kingdom of Judah (see The Southern Kingdom; also No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?) prepared to start a war with the northern kingdom of Israel (see The Northern Kingdom), the Word of God warned him not to attempt to restore what the LORD had divided, "for this thing is from Me."
"12:21 And when Rehoboam [see Rehoboam's Answer] was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
Throughout all of time, the mark of true wisdom ("30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV) was recognizing the Word of God, in order to be able to recognize the Word of God. By the time of Christ's birth, that reality had been lost to, or discarded by, the men who had actual possession of the written Word of God, while denying the Word of God that was not only written in it, but Who would soon thereafter be standing among them and speaking the Word that they had forsaken. When they rejected one, they rejected the other. The ministry of John the Baptist was to urge people to repent of their self-religion and look to the Word of God, so that they would recognize the Word of God when He came.
"3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire], Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness [see What Was Strange About John The Baptist?]. 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet [see What Did Isaiah Know About Jesus Christ?], saying,
Merely reading or quoting the Word of God is worthless if it is not obeyed. Satan quotes the Word of God, but is in a state of rebellion against it. In the example below from the temptation of Christ ("4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone"), Satan quoted "91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" of Psalm 91:11-12.
"4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil [see also Who's Hiding On Your Wall?]. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
The apostles followed the Word of God by obeying the Word of God.
"5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret [see The Ships Of Galilee], 5:2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 5:3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
The Parable of the Sower is about how the Word of God can be sown - and thereafter either grow, or be lost, depending upon how much care is made in tending it.
"8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.
Even among His own physical family, "He answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it."
"8:19 Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 8:20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
The greatest opposition to the Word of God came from those who falsely (whether they realized it themselves or not i.e. "the blind leading the blind") claimed to be the authorities in charge of the Word of God. Their religion had become little more than "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," rather than the Word of God - exactly as the Word of God denying, but Christian-professing, churches of the world do today.
"7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.
The very same religious authorities opposed the people of the Word of God, just as they had opposed the Word of God Himself.
"4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
The apostle Paul, formerly as the Pharisee Saul, was one whose time came to truly follow the Word of God. As a highly-educated Pharisee (which he remained through his entire life - much to the benefit of those that he later taught), Saul/Paul knew the Word of God, but hadn't yet begun to follow the Word of God (see The Strait Gate). Prior to that time, he had a religion of nationalistic arrogance and religious exclusivity - the reason that he denied the true Word of God, in writing and in person, before he was cured of it.
"9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
The true people of the Word of God don't just read it, they live by it - just as the Word of God is Himself both written and living. Included among the armor of God is "the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
"6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Ephesians 6:10-18 KJV)
The spiritual Word of God is also the means and the basis of Judgment. The Messiah was Sacrificed for repentant sinners.
"4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
The Word of God is going to return in Person, so that all the world may come to know the Word of God in thought and deed.
"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
This Day In History, December 30
1460: During the Wars of The Roses, Richard of York with 5,000 men was defeated by Queen Margaret and the Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield. Nearly 3,000 Yorkists were killed, including the Duke himself.
1880: The Transvaal, under Paul Kruger, declared itself a republic.
1903: A fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago killed 588 people; public outrage led to new theater safety codes across the U.S.A.
1911: Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.
1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), a German submarine torpedoed the British liner Persia off Crete. At least 330 of the 501 passengers and crew were killed.
1916: Gregory Rasputin (the "mad monk"), Siberian peasant, mystic, and favorite of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra was shot, poisoned and eventually drowned at the house of Prince Feliks Yusupov.
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established through the confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian Federation. It lasted 70 years.
1944: King George II of Greece renounced the monarchy.
1947: King Michael of Romania was forced to abdicate by Soviet-backed Communists.
1965: Ferdinand Marcos was sworn in as the President of the Philippines.
1972: After 2 weeks of heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam, President Nixon halted the air offensive and agreed to resume peace negotiations with Hanoi.
1993: Israel and the Vatican signed an agreement on mutual recognition, seeking to put behind them 2,000 years of often bitter relations.
2006: Saddam Hussein, conquered President of Iraq, was executed by hanging for the war crimes that he committed.