Heb 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Mat 13:23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Mat 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
When I was a young Christian, I had so much zeal to understand the bible that I attended three services a week at different churches. After 25 years, that zeal is no longer there even though I have much more knowledge.
Experiences and struggles have dampened the fire for the Bible which I once loved dearly. There is a call to return to studying, enjoying, resting and reflecting on the bible.
The bible is after all, the Word of God.
The bible is not man made, but God made and inspired. When we let the bible speaks for herself instead of worshiping our mind, intellect and self righteousness, we receive revelation and biblical truths from God Himself.
The Christian faith is made up primarily of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Southern Baptists, Anglicans, Methodist, Mega Charismatic/Pentecostals churches. They are known to use the bible well to bash gays yet having very clear indulgences of their own.
We have made the bible the word of man instead of the Word of God by misusing it in the ministry of condemnation.
The misuse of the bible to bash up gays has weakened the respect and honor outside of the church and becomes simply a set of ideas people wrote about how they see God.
We often reduce the bible to religious law and the Love commandments. There are too many troublesome passages in the details and religious history/culture. Many are quick to use clobber verses against gays, but often the historical and religious context betrays their meaning.
GLBT Christians themselves have a tendency to reject the bible because they have been bashed up using the bible. In many GLBT churches we go to church to hear what we like to hear, and not what the bible is saying and speaking into our lives. Hence, there is no Godly power and revelation from the pulpit just the human voice of a person’s philosophical opinion. This is sad because there are many hungry souls out in the streets but the Word of God is not reaching them.
Often what was preached at our pulpits have both good seed and revelation from the Word of God, and the tares from Satan. But both are allowed to be preached because there are faithful believers in all walks of the Christian faith.
We often impose on the bible a certain perspective in reading the bible until we make it into our own image and over emphasis some narratives whilsts completely rejecting others not within our religious construction. We become the Word!, and not the revelation of Christ.
It’s not that we have different bibles, it’s just we often chose to reject many of the narratives and read what we want to read. This is common even with the large mega churches. For example,
- In the Catholic Church, Mary is considered a co-redeemer with Christ, and the Pope being the bridge between God and man instead of Jesus alone.
- Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest preached from the bible that Jesus was very rich! and lived in luxury.
- Ulf Ekman (who was a good friend of Ps Kong, but we don’t hear of him outwardly supporting him these days) was particularly upset by Pastor Hinn’s Gnostic preaching at his church in Sweden.
But before we get perturbed, God is still the God of the tares and the good wheat. God allows the good and the corrupt. We have a choice, the freedom to decide on what is blibical and where to go.
The tares from the pit of hell are also preached at churches along with christ centered teachings. In some churches, there are so much tares, we can’t see Jesus, but a religious humanistic spirituality that is based on the law and of good works. There are also tares that are devoid of Christ and do not believe in personal salvation, healing for today or the power of God. There is little of faith, hope, salvation nor power.
A tragedy of many churches are that the sheep are hungry because the pastors aren’t feeding the flock. It’s a law based theology where we feed the sheep poisonous and stale bread without love nor grace, or in the other extreme we feed them water only, a humanistic faith perspective without Christ as a personal saviour nor the power of God to deliver.
People are hungry, feed my Gentle Lambs, says the Lord of Hosts.
When we start to reflect and read the bible in an approach of letting the bible speaks to us, and hearing the Word of God as intended, the bible becomes alive and active and we begin to have wisdom and knowledge to know the truth. We begin to realise that the bible narrative is cohesive and one.
Balanced is found in the full counsel of the word of God, especially when we have the five fold ministries of Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors/shepherds, Evangelist, (Eph 4:11).
The Word of God is clear, alive and active, sharper than a two edged sword to discern between good and evil, right from wrong. Grey areas are plentiful but the Holy Spirit is there to guide us along with the commentaries of the prevailing customs and religious settings. When we study the bible, the truth is often unescapable, it’s whether we want to accept it.
The Word of God is not so much a set of ideas of how men sees God, but the actual Word, the letters itself have power, meaning and are God breathed through human agents. The Word was written, preserved, and even though some faiths have tried to hide it at one stage because of its radical contents, the printing press spread the Word and the Gospel through the World.
The bible has the ability to bring clarity to truths, discerning the grey areas that could not be easily distinguished such as the separation between the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow.
Often the hand of God is abound in the bible, giving emphasis to certain events, and putting the sequence of events in a certain order to tell a story. And the truth is easier to discern in the original language and religious history and culture.
The hand of God is in the Word, and when Jesus faced Satan in the desert, He countered Satan with the answer “It is written …”. The Word is a sword and a shield both to protect and to cut down falsehood.
Throughout the ages, many have tried to discredit the bible. It is not so much as all truths are in the bible for living, for the bible is a record of events which is useful for our learning and understanding.
For example God gave the 10 commandments to the Jews in the OT, yet it was not the truth for living, but a teacher to bring understanding that a law based religion is futile. Truth for what purpose? is the question we need to reflect.
How often do we read the bible? we are good at criticising the bible, because we don’t understand or simply do not believe.
When we seek God, the more we read the Bible and the revelation of Christ, understanding will come when we are led by the Holy Spirit and not our religious law minded mindset.
We forget that the bible is both descriptive of events and prescriptive of commands. The first commandment is that the Lord God is One, and our allegience and loyalty is to the God of Israel in the context of the many powerful deities that was drawing the worship of the people of Israel.
We put the bible in the shelf and replaced it with the bible of our own religious human faith viewpoints, with no weapons against the forces of darkness.
The Word of God is like going swiming into the deep waters, and losing oneself in the vastness of the relevation of Christ within of God’s love, grace and mercy.
In the midsts of the Word of God, there we find the revelation of Christ, and behold, we find ourselves sitting at the footstool with Jesus preaching to the disciples.
We read but we often find it hard to see for the keys of the bible and the revelation comes to us as we pray in the Holy Spirit.
The real meaning behind the bible comes when we peel the words and reveal its hebrew and greek roots and meanings for which the English often fails to fully convey.
The next few years, is a time to read the bible afresh again and dwell in the revelations of God’s love, grace, and mercy in the power of Christ to save us.
People are hungry, feed my gentle lambs, says the Lord of Hosts.
Pastor Ulf Ekman on Benny Hinn, 26 July 2010
”… it is my duty to comment Saturday evening’s strange teaching. I must say I was shocked by the content of Benny Hinns teaching. We have known each other since 1986, although it’s been a while since we met last. There is no doubt that the Lord has used him as an evangelist all over the world for many years. …I appreciate him a lot and really like him as a healing evangelist. Having said this, and it is important that it must be said, I must say that I have never in all the meetings I have had with him, heard all this, what he said and taught us yesterday.
His preaching… went far beyond what I mean is classic Christian faith and sound doctrine. It was not just some Gnostic elements, it unfortunately had far too much of pure gnosticism. I write this only after talking to him privately last night and because these are very serious questions.
Too many believers do not care about either theology or its roots… The same Holy Spirit who does miracles, also provides sound and genuine nourishment – miracles alone can not confirm all of our teachings. Saturday night began with Benny talking about the Holy Spirit as person, not just as a force. But very quickly… became extremely speculative about pre-adam races and past sin.
It was also unnecessarily complicated when he spoke of the Trinity from ”the human trinity” standpoint. Our body is not just an outer shell… without an essential and integral part of our identity and personality. We do not downplay the body’s role, on the contrary. We are not a spirit, in contrast to our body. We are spirit, soul and body, or spirit and flesh, and man’s so-called trinity is kept together in one unit – our personality, and we can not separate it into various isolated compartments.
Therefore, the resurrection of the body so important, because the body is at least as important as the soul,as Benny mentioned, but mostly in passing. A heretical view of Jesus presented When it finally came to Jesus in the sermon, it was in some ways, a heretical view of Jesus that were presented. The son was not the Son of eternity, the Father is not Father of eternity, and then it sounded like there was a time when the Son did not exist.
I asked him about this directly after the meeting and he denied that this is what he meant, but he felt that the Son was eternal as the Word and called Son only after coming to earth. It was also strange when he speculated that ”if Jesus had sinned, his body would not have decayed anyway.” This is important to reject, for in that case the body of Jesus was not an actual body, making the incarnation incomplete and illusory.