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  • From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove

What does God say about the Bible, Part 4?

We could discuss how the age of the fossil record is being used to claim that the Bible is in conflict with science. And, we would find that the people doing the dating are presupposing God, whom they do not believe in, is incapable of speeding up the decay rates. It is a very small God these people do not believe in. My God can do all things, even speed up the decay rate before He created man, Matt 19:26, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” After all, He did not want to create humans until He had created all we would need to sustain life; until everything was in place to allow each of us to find our way to Him.

We could talk about how the problems of this world can all be traced back to defiance of God’s advice, Gen 3:11-12, “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” His advice is intended to help us live the longest, happiest, most productive, and joyful lives possible, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” What makes us think we are smarter than God? Can we imagine any of us standing before our creator God and telling Him we know more than He does?

We can read the Bible to find His answers to all of our problems. Then, if we doubt His way is the best, we can analyze the results by applying His solutions to our problems to determine whether they really prove His advice is good, 2 Tim 3:6-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Notice the Bible says all scripture; we cannot pick and choose the parts we prefer, and discard the rest. When we truly understand the Bible, we will find no conflicts, no inconsistencies. If we think we have found conflicts, we do not understand what we have read. So, when we are exploring the Bible, we must consider the writing style being used and the context of each verse, Is 30:21, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” To understand the Bible, we have to be willing to admit we might not yet understand the meaning of the verses we have read. It is always our choice, Ps 51:6, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” We all have the Truth hidden within, but we will not consciously know it until we are willing to listen. This explains the guilt we feel, even those of us who say we do not believe in God, when we sin, Lk 16:31, “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Some of us will not learn, even if we see someone rise from the dead. It is our pride that keeps us from Him, demonstrated by our refusal to reason with His Truth, Ps 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls, along with many other ancient documents, have proven the Bible has not changed. It is interesting to note that God chose to hide copies of part of His Word for thousands of years, so we could know that it has never changed? What other book in all of history was so preserved? God has left us the evidence, yet so many ignore the evidence and Him, Matt 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

The Bible tells us, Amos 9:14-15, “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” and Eze 34:13, “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.” Who would have believed the prophecies of Israel once again becoming a nation, after many hundreds of years? Yet, in 1947 this prophecy was fulfilled so that we might know He is God, 2 Pet 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

When we follow God’s Word, life becomes simpler, Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” It is the devil that complicates things, Gen 3:1, “…And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” The devil always takes the truth and twists it by either adding or subtracting from it. We, like Eve, follow the distortions because we want what we want. Only when we follow what God truly said, are we able to resist the devil, Matt 16:23, “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Jesus wants Peter to understand that the devil is always trying to get us to defy God. God wants us to recognize the devil when we see him and to decide whom we will follow, God or the devil, Acts 4:19, “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” And here we come to the heart of the matter, will we follow God, or the lies of the devil. God leads us to love, peace, rest and joy. God’s weapon’s in His war with the devil are love, Truth, and freedom. The devil has chosen hatred, jealousy, anger, lies, addictions, slavery, pain, and suffering as his weapons. If we want to know who we are following, we need only look to the weapons we are using, for God calls us to His fruit, Jam 3:17, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." This world and the devil’s evil leads us to strife, distress, and discomfort. When we follow the path away from God, we will never find true love, peace, rest and joy; no matter how much money, power or fame we have, Eccl 5:10, “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

God has described how we are to live in this world, following the Spirit and not the flesh, Gal 5:22-25, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Much of his advice is to help us live a long, happy and healthy life, as opposed to His Commandments, which are not optional. They are not optional because they are a requirement for citizenship in heaven. Jesus summarized God’s Commandments in just two verses, Mk 12:30-31, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Those who refuse to love their neighbor will not see heaven.

Heb 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.” God is able to see past what we say and do, to the very thoughts and intents of our hearts! When we go to His Living Word to reason with Him, He knows what we need to hear and gives us just what we need to help us refine our thoughts and move closer to Him. Sometimes it takes years to understand the advice He knows we need, some of us are very slow learners, and that is why we need to continue to reason with Him daily. I, for one, needed to hear some of His messages many times, and in the light of many other verses, before I understood them, and that journey is not over. Is this why some of us live longer lives?

Rom 1:18, 28, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” the truth of these verses is supported by the behavior which is clearly depicted on current television under the label of reality shows and in the ugly political discourse that surrounds us. Remember, these verses were written nearly two thousand years ago. God's wrath described in these verses is God getting out of the way and letting our reprobate minds rule our actions. This is the result of the freedom He allows us, and it is on full display for all to see. It is always our choice, follow God to eternity or the devil to a life filled with stress, discomfort, and discontent.

When we reason with God, we learn of the goal He has for us. Once understood, this goal becomes our top priority, Phil 3:14, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” God wants us to run the race marked out for us by living in His love, Truth and freedom. He wants us to choose to become members of His eternal family. Ignoring God leaves us alone with “the sin which doth so easily beset us.” When the Truths in the Bible are honestly applied, they do provide for the best way to live. The Bible is the never-changing Word of God.

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