Continuing to reflect on the importance of faithful Christians anchoring God’s Word in our hearts as the Lord led me to begin to instruct about in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus and followed up by last week’s, Loving The Word Of Truth, both under the category, Instruction, I am thoroughly sobered to consider how over the top foolish it truly is to neglect God’s Word at this late hour. Not only is the Word of truth instruction, comfort, hope and life among other things to us that study and practice it, but also through its many uniquely God provided prophecies of these and days still to come, it is light illuminating the times and future.1
At any hour it is foolish to neglect God’s Word! But it is to be especially lacking in discernment, intimate knowledge and the fear of God to do so now for whatever reasons. Indeed, the faithful Christian’s ability to spiritually develop, be fruitful, avoid being deceived or falling away in these latter days depends on knowing God and His Word! Peter, one of the eyewitness apostles of Christ, wrote to first century Christians in his second New Testament letter: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He goes on to stress how important such knowledge is to God’s end that they (and we) share in “the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:1-4, NKJV).
Furthermore, Peter’s instruction to “add to” what they were gaining for eternal benefit from the knowledge of God and Christ (to include more knowledge), leads to his sober warning about the consequences of failing to do this (2 Peter 1:5-11, NKJV). Already surrounded by devouring wolves of falsehood, Peter is reminding Christians then living in what he and other New Testament writers quoting the Old called “the last days” (Genesis 49:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3, NKJV) of “the present truth” (and us too, clearly in the latter of such days nearly 2,000 years later). As well, he wanted to leave them what would be a written reminder we by God’s grace have (2 Peter 1:12-15, NKJV).2
Peter adds his reminder of the present truth not composed of “cunningly devised fables,” but the eyewitness experience of he and other apostles with both Christ’s “majesty” and the Father’s glorious voice from Heaven to the already preserved “prophetic word” of God that fulfilled in what they had seen and heard, “confirmed” its accuracy. This being so, the apostle insists his readers “do well to heed” the prophetic Word “as a light that shines in a dark place” giving illuminating understanding of God’s will and workings concerning Christ to their unknowing hearts until all is fulfilled; knowing by faith how Bible prophecy has come about from God (2 Peter 1:16-21, NKJV).
Plainly from the foregoing taught by the apostle Peter, God wants Christians to have not only a grasp of the propositional truths of His Word, but at least a working general knowledge and understanding of Bible prophecy particularly as it relates to Christ (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48). God is going somewhere with His Word of truth and Christ is it! For this reason, church pastors that shun teaching or even discussing Bible prophecy as part of instructing God’s people are sinning against Him and hurting them.3 This is especially disastrous in these darkening latter days since the light of prophecy Peter speaks of shining in our hearts is a surpassingly great help to our persevering faith.
Truly, it is near impossible to avoid ever saying anything about prophecy since all propositional biblical truth coalesces with and is properly fulfilled in God’s prophetic Word!4 As with the historical and narrative forms of Scripture, God’s prophetic Word when encountered is to be objectively read, interpreted and understood as the One who gave it leads!5 Yes, men over the centuries have given a stunning array of interpretations to the many symbols and symbolic expressions of Bible prophecy.6 But the objective, straightforward approach led to the Jews, for example, expecting the coming of the Lord Jesus at a certain time from Daniel’s prophetic writings (Daniel 9:20-25). Also, their religious leaders even in unbelief spoke of where He would be born from Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:1-6).
Moreover, the Lord Jesus certainly had Daniel’s prophecy in mind when He warned of events that would transpire after His departure and into a final end time period. As Daniel foretold and the Lord gave more specific details, launched by Caesar Nero and finished by Vespasian, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The Jewish people were scattered in the overflowing display of Roman military might. “The war” ultimately between God and Satan would continue and “wrath” follow the Jews wherever they went until the end (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:1-2, 6-7a; Luke 21:20-24, NKJV). Back in the land since 1948, God prepares Israel for the events of the final week of seventy prophetic weeks He gave Daniel by the angel, Gabriel, counting down to His end (Daniel 9:27).
It is at the midpoint of this final week kept from coming by God until He is ready that the Lord Jesus makes direct reference to Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27. He warns any that understand the prophecy and live in Israel at the time the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple (this clearly asserts a Jewish Temple is to be built--Ezekiel 40-43:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8) is fulfilled to “flee” because “great tribulation” follows (Matthew 24:15-21, NKJV). Please note in this brief, but powerful example how the ancients and the Lord Jesus Himself not only took Bible prophecy seriously, but also objectively read and literally understood it. It is imperative that we do the same in these latter days so that we will walk in the light of knowledge and not the darkness of ignorance.7 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the May 5, 2019 post, Out Of Step With The Times?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Not only does Peter know he’s going to die (no rapture for him), but how, because the Lord told him in advance (John 21:18-19). Interestingly, both Peter in the pas-
sage cited (vs. 13-14) and Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 describe their mortal bodies as a tent, that is, a temporary dwelling. Something that is temporary is not meant
to be permanent as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 5:1 when he speaks of “our earthly house, this tent” being “destroyed,” but receiving “a building from God” which
is permanent by virtue of being “eternal” (NKJV). As different as a tent is in form and quality from a building, so, after the metamorphosis to immortality, our bodies
Paul also writes about in 1 Corinthians 15:49-53.
3 See the April 30, 2017 post, God, His Prophets and Word, under the category, Glory To God!
4 A perfect example of this is the declaration by Moses, “The Lord will judge His people,” (Deuteronomy 32:36a, NKJV). Not only had Israel been issued this truth pro-
positionally, but heard it repeatedly as warnings in prophecies and experienced it in fulfillment. For this reason, the apostles and other New Testament writers also
prophetically warn professed Christians the propositional truth God judges His people has not changed (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
5 How could we not be humble enough to recognize that since “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” so, prophecy as part of it is best interpreted with the guid-
ance of Him who gave it as Peter would surely agree (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, NKJV)?
6 The safest ground to stand on for interpreting prophetic symbols in the Bible is to use another of the sound principles of interpretation: Scripture interprets Scripture.
Typically, a symbol in the Bible is interpreted at first use or thereafter and used consistently throughout. Download the free document, Seven Principles Of Bible Inter-
pretation, in the Strong Man Store.
7 Every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ is challenged in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to operate in the knowl-
edge of God’s prophetic Word. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
As the Lord leads me to instruct in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction, to avoid being deceived in these latter days professed Christians that would be faithful must anchor God’s Word as it is written in our hearts! The only way to anchor God’s Word in our hearts is to purposely internalize it through regular study and practice. Study and practice will not be regular if we do not zealously love the Word as the truth with an intentional desire to apply and obey it even with many failures (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-17; James 3:2a).
How does a man get to the point of willingness to regularly study and practice the Word of truth? A hunger and thirst for God and His Word is actualized in every truly born again new follower of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It manifests for some more quickly than others depending on the depth of surrender at spiritual birth (Acts 2:36-42; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).1 Purposely making time to study God’s written Word is typically not the issue for hungry and thirsty newborns in Christ. It is how to get enough milk! Those that press to fruitfulness in understanding and practice despite Satan’s effort to take the Word, tribulations and worldly cares have developed a love for it (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).
Loving God’s Word is the motivational key for both anchoring it in our hearts and deliberately practicing it through obedience. One major reason sold out, faithful Christians come to love God’s Word is because it “is truth” as the Lord Jesus asserts in His prayer to the Father (John 17:17, NKJV). God’s Word is truth that we not only can rationally appreciate because it is perfectly sound, righteous and just, but also experience since it is spiritually alive having originated with God (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12). We want more of, desire to go deeper in as well as practice the Word causing us to spiritually mature because the Word of truth we love is alive in us and so good!2
Indeed, just as in our Holy Spirit fired love we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Mark 12:28-30; Romans 5:5), so, we love the Word of truth written that in the awesome mysteries of God is embodied by God the Word from eternity (John 1:1); Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord who spoke God’s final Word to the world when He came to us from Heaven in first century Israel (John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:1-4)! As a result of loving God and everything about God, we love the Word of truth that flows naturally from God--the Person and Source of the Word, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever (John 14:6)!
For after He completed His work to save us from our sins by dying on the cross and being buried, He was raised from the dead on the third day following. Among the first disciples to encounter and recognize Him in Luke’s account specifically declared to each other how their hearts burned with what could have only been the same spiritual fire we enjoy as “He opened the Scriptures” to them (Luke 24:28-35, NKJV). He spent forty days on earth teaching and preparing His apostles for His return to Heaven. Then, upon giving final instructions to them, He ascended into Heaven where He, the eternal Word, has been seated again at His Father’s right hand (Acts 1:1-11, 2:32-35)!
In the love we have for Christ, the living Word of truth and all that is written from Him and of Him in the Bible, faithful Christians are ready to stand firm whatever the cost against demonically inspired deceit and falsehood and testify to the most prominent of officials as have all of the saints through all time. Many professed Christians have a misinformed tendency to arrogantly believe we are the only ones that know something about Holy Spirit fired love for God and His Word. Not so, and the writer of Psalm 119 is a classic example of an Old Testament saint--to include Spirit empowered king David (1 Samuel 16:13)--that enjoyed this experience with the living God! This saint wondrously writes in Psalm 119:41-48 with the heart of one that intimately knows and loves God and His Word!
He waited like we do now for the fullness of God’s mercies in salvation to come according to His written Word (vs. 41). He like many of us are was persecuted for his faith and needed to trust God’s Word for a right answer to his persecutors (vs. 42). He sought God’s help as we must also to keep the “word of truth” in his mouth because it was his hope; his eternal preoccupation and source of blessing (vs. 43-44, NKJV). He like us was free in and ready to witness to kings boldly standing on the Word (vs. 45-46; John 8:31-32). Lastly, he delighted himself in and loved God’s commandments; lifting his hands in praise for them and meditating on God’s edicts (vs. 47-48).3 Is that you?4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read my February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God! I am one of those whose hunger and thirst for God and His Word
took some time to kick into high gear--22 months after I prayed to receive Christ--because of still trying to cling to my sinful ways of living. But after my total surren-
der to the Lord, I have sought Him and the Word of truth has been my food daily for which my soul yearns throughout the day (Psalms 63:1-8, 119:17-20)!
2 Sadly, the opposite is true for professed Christians that are not inclined to go deeper in the Word and become “dull of hearing;” remaining spiritually immature babes
that still nurse on “milk” and not the “solid food” of the Word. God expects every follower of Christ to grow and mature in the faith made possible only through the
regular intentional study and practice of the Word (Hebrews 5, NKJV). Otherwise, those that purposely remain spiritually immature are easy marks for the deceiver
(Proverbs 14:15; Romans 16:17-20), risk becoming “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” and open themselves up to the possibility of falling away with no re-
course (Hebrews 3:12-13, 6:1-6, 10:26-31, NKJV). Read my December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Even though the Lord Jesus Christ purposely sends us out to preach the Gospel and witness Him helped by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:16-20), we are to still make
purposeful preparation for the task through study to possess knowledge of the Word we love the Holy Spirit can readily bring to our mouths to speak as He wills.
4 It is certainly the heart of every faithful Christian as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
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