27 May 2002

The Complete Written Revelation?

Submitted by theshovel
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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

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Comments

These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Sue

Jim,

Great letter! I am so excited, because with this one I GOT IT!!!!! And what's more, I understood it on the first read!!!! LOL So many things just fell into place for me reading this shoveletter. Memorizing scripture does not "write it in my heart"----only God can do that!!!! I have always felt that I was lacking somehow because that never worked for me, basically because I just can't memorize easily. We have always been taught we must reach God thru scripture somehow (it was always a mystery to me)---what a relief to know that God takes care of revealing to me,,,,I don't reveal it to myself! I also realize that for years, even though I was trying everything, God and I had a great relationship basically because I never could do it the way it was taught to me and had to blindly trust that somehow He was taking care of it all.

Thanks again!


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Sherri

"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!"

Most excellent indeed!! GREAT letter! Another wonderful and free-ing example of how Christ truly IS our All in All!! : )

Hey, by the way! Where is your on-line picture?! ; ) The email photo is great!!

And I am speaking from a completely impartial heart!! ; ) snicker snicker

Love you!!


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Natalie

<<>>

THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this whole series makes so much sense. It is just like watching Christians in a rat maze...always trying to have the best answers on how to live the Christian life but coming to a dead end because they are under the illusion that they must run the race in the maze. But right outside is a clear course in the sunshine that is straightforward, with only the spirit and the wind to push them onward. No one wants to leave that maze tho...it seems so safe and there are so many other christians in there with them...they think the ones running freely in the spirit outside must be heathen!!! HA. I love being heathen. I love you.


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Mike

Jim:

This is such good stuff! One of the revelations God is showing us up here in Yankee land, is that apart from the relationship with this Living Word, this message bounces off some folks like water off a duck's posterior. But to those who (as you said) are already "suspicious," it rings true and liberating! Just want you to know that we appreciate you drawing the fire away from us. As they begin to burn us for heresy up here, we just remind them that the real prize is down south in the Sunshine State! Then we show them your picture, give `em a map of Florida, and they leave us in the dust! Ha!

Love ya buddy. We look forward to sitting around and talking late into the night about these great truths. Have a blessed week!


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Neil

Jim, Lovin' this stuff. Lovin' it. At least my lil ol' computer is still able to get and to give (though with difficulties galore).

Some points to consider:

Paul was a "hands on" sort of guy, right? When he had the chance he would much rather do his thing in person and not write letters. But his persecutions and imprisonments forced it upon him except for a few exceptions. So what if Paul had never experienced those things and had remained free to do his evangelizing in the flesh? Might it have been possible that nearly two-thirds of what we call the "new testament" would not have been written at all?

One may be tempted to answer that it was God's will for those things to happen so that Paul would write his letters so we could have the instructions therein. But that would only be assuming and it is assumptions which get so many into trouble. They assume something is thus and so when in actuality it isn't or it is impossible to know the alternative. Had we been left today without Paul's writings what kind of church would we have?

Additionally, when one considers the primary purpose for most of Paul's letters, which was to correct error which had crept into various church bodies, it begs the question as to why we feel we still need that same correction. After all, in Paul's writings (and in Hebrews which has a "Pauline" look to it) it is understood that the readers were mostly Christians to begin with, folks to which he himself had had a hand in bringing the message of grace. And if not him, at least someone who had originally delivered an accurate message which was accurately received. The letters were not to evangelize at all (which many use) but to encourage, correct, etc. Without those letters would 90% of today's evangelists even know what to do? What would their message sound like without all this "source material"?

Here are some related questions: I have an acquaintance who doesn't believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God at all. Therefore he is not even going to listen to or take note of any verses quoted to him, particularly the ones which seem to have the Bible proving itself. If one is dependant on the Bible for backup when evangelizing how does one go about bringing the gospel of grace to someone who will not listen for a second to the Bible? How did Paul preach Christ to the gentiles who had no knowledge of scripture and he had no Bible? Did he carry Torah scrolls with him and roll them out before those pagans? From what I can gather Paul did not quote or teach any "old testament" to gentiles. When he was teaching Jews, perhaps, but gentiles, no. What did Paul mean, truly mean, when he said, "I determined to know nothing among you except Christ and him crucified"?

And so back to my original postulations: Do you think you could deliver a message of salvation, redemption and grace to someone who had never heard of the Bible or rejected it, all while not using a single Bible verse? Could I? Is quoting what someone else said the same as being the first to have said it? While I might have great feelings about the Gettysburg Address, is my reciting it the same as when Lincoln delivered it?

Just some things to ponder.


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Dan

Hi Jim awesome letter it is the heart of man that gets stir with the living word .i think of the time when Mary said to Jesus about the resurrection He was telling her is life and I think of the disciples when after Jesus had raise from the dead and talk with them and ate with them they said didn't our heart burn with in us and the sciptures were revealed.Thanks again Love


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Steve R

Shalom,

"completeness can only be found in the substance that casts the shadow"........... you are totally redeemed, Jim! Sorry if I had any doubts! Just like Hollywood, you had us on the edge of our seats, there... wondering: "has Jim gone off the deep end?" ha, ha!
God Bless!


Posted: May 27, 2002 by the shovel

Hello again my dear, dear brother Steve!! :)

Hahaha! I love your thoughts, and I thank you for expressing doubts, showing that you realize I am just like anyone else!! :) Of course, with some, the more I've written, the more they are sure I HAVE gone off the deep end! Yeah, I got a scathing "rebuke" for my message of deception, and another heavy concern about what I'm suggesting. The first was pretty much a slam-dunk, with the promise of more to come, but the second was a very thoughtful and loving letter. :)

Love,


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Linda

Thank you, Jim, for your words. I concur totally...everything is summed up in Christ. He is not a shadow...but the shadowmaker. One verse of scripture continually came to my mind as I read your shoveletter and I thought I'd share it with you. It is: II Timothy 3:5a - "having a form of godliness, but denying its power." Sadly, many new Christians (I was one of them) are taught "religion" through the back door, i.e., being told all about Christ, etc., yet the message is never really given that "He's" the power; He's the Life...and that we were never expected to live a life that only He can live. I have a friend who is a (denominational) minister who even makes fun of the term, "exchanged life," and thinks that I'm using it as sort of a crutch to say, "I'm not responsible for living the christian life." I found it very sad when I visited his church one Sunday (he is a boyhood friend of my husband's and has been a minister for 20 years) and I didn't see one smiling face. A heaviness could be felt and I actually found myself feeling (in my mind) how Paul the Apostle must have felt when he said, "You fools! Who has bewitched you!" This friend stood up there pounding them with all kinds of "do's and don'ts" and yet never told them "how" to be able to perform any of them.

The reason I tell this story to you is to show (which I'm sure you have already come up against it yourself in your ministry) that you can be a Christian, even a leader for many, many years...and STILL reject the Power of God within you. Personally, one of the things I think accounts for all this bad teaching is that as new christians, many are so gung-ho to go out and share that many of them feel that God has put a call upon their lives. Yet, look at how many years Paul was held back before he was sent out to preach the gospel. When these young ones get ahead of God, many of them have not even learned themselves of the Power of God within themselves...so they neglect to teach it to their flocks. Instead, you end up with rampant legalism and do's and dont's. By that time...even the minister becomes disenchanted, yet can't walk away because he has so much responsibility. So the Lord has to go back and undo all the damage that's been done by these zealots who were never taught to "wait upon the Lord." I'm always given that picture by the Holy Spirit of Mary and Martha. It's like we think God "needs" us...instead of us just learning about Him and spending time with Him and resting and letting Him map out our path and leading us.

Well, I didn't intend to go off on a tangeant, so I'm sorry to have made this so long. That verse just kept hitting my heart as I read your splendid shoveletter! I enjoyed it very much.

God bless you and yours


Posted: May 27, 2002 by the shovel

Hello Linda!!

<<< Well, I didn't intend to go off on a tangeant, so I'm sorry to have made this so long. >>>

I THANK you for writing as much as you did ... for it has encouraged me greatly!! No, I'm not just being nice when I say that, for I needed the encouragement. :) Your accounting of the whole situation with this minister - and the effects upon the group - is such a validation of the lifelessness of religion.

<<< The reason I tell this story to you is to show (which I'm sure you have already come up against it yourself in your ministry) that you can be a Christian, even a leader for many, many years...and STILL reject the Power of God within you. >>>

If you EVER have another story to tell me, please NEVER hesitate to share it whether or not you think I may have heard it a thousand times before!! :) This is so powerful, my friend. Years of schooling in Greek and man's Theology, and long years of "service" and "ministry" are the very same kind of things Paul counted as worthless crap in view of the amazing power that works within each of those who are in Christ. You have blessed me incredibly today after having just sat down at my computer.

Thank you,


Posted: May 27, 2002 by Anonymous

Hey Jim i found a real gem in hear!I just realized the example Paul was using of the secret things revealed wasnt at all a prophesy he was just explaining that the old testamnt was" describing "things as being untold!

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