So ... what about that "complete written revelation of God to man"?
In case these Bibliology articles appear to some as a detour from the Shadow series let me assure you that they are right on target. For though you might come to realize that the sacrifices, the ceremonial rituals, the laws, the tabernacle, and other such OT types and pictures were merely shadows of the greater reality of Christ, you need to be aware that the written revelation of God itself was also a shadow. Now, if it IS as I suggest, exactly how complete do you suppose a shadow could be made?
But you may be thinking that the Bible claims to be the complete written revelation of God to man, and that it asserts itself as our supreme authority in every aspect of life. But then, what if the Biblical record actually reveals the deficiency of such an idea? Let's examine one of the prime statements:
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
Now, if God had made sure to record EVERYTHING we needed for life and godliness in the Bible, then why do those who claim to believe it keep filling the shelves with a never-ending supply of books and tapes with messages instructing us how to discover the "Secrets of the Christian Life"? Take a good look at that verse and tell me you don't see the obvious conclusion that the things revealed give no insight into the secret things of God. But you have already suspected as much in your own endless quest, haven't you?
If you hold any doubts about this, just answer the question that begs to be asked: Did the things revealed cause the people to whom it was given to observe all the words of this law? You know it didn't. And if not, what makes you think a complete written version won't simply make it all the more difficult for YOU to observe?
If we believe the written word as we say we do then why do we not realize what it REALLY says about itself? The recorded words of Moses and the prophets were but a SHADOW of the real Word of God that would come and bring us understanding of the secret things of God. Did you not know that in Christ we have been made privy to that which cannot be revealed by written words?
but just as it is written, 'Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him'. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches ALL things, even the DEPTHS of God ... Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know THE THINGS FREELY GIVEN to us by God 1 Corinthians 3:9,10,12
God did not tell Moses to record the commands, the instructions, the rituals and the failed history of the people under it so that it would become the end-all for life and godliness for those who would be freed from the sin and bondage of the Law. Instead, all the way through these writings there was the constant demand of SOMETHING ELSE.
'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares the LORD, 'I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Jeremiah 31:33
The truth is that the natural mind understands and relates to written commands - for our world yields an endless supply of these futile rules and regulations. What it does not understand is the inner reality that invalidates the need for written laws. Though the written words still have a place of value they were given as but a faint shadow of the miraculous inscribing of the Spirit upon the hearts of men.
You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:2-6
Why should it come as any surprise to discover that the Christian marketplace reveres the shadow and yet rejects the reality it demands? Don't we realize that the completeness demanded by the it is written was not more words on paper but the Word of God himself - Christ - written on our hearts? There is no such thing as a complete shadow, instead, the completeness can only be found in the substance that casts the shadow. The only completeness you will ever find in the Book is the ONE of whom it testifies: CHRIST. And if HE is what you see when you read it, then read on!
Next: The passing away of the jot and tittle