Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bible

I love the Bible.  I believe firmly that it is the true word of God.  One thing that frustrates me though is when people, specifically members of the church (aka Christians) use the Bible to LIMIT God.  Here is a quote from one of my favorite pastors named Bill Johnson.  He is the pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California if anyone wanted to know.

"The Bible reveals God, it doesn't CONTAIN Him.  He is free to act outside of what is recorded in scripture."

This is a true statement.  The Bible is not the containment of God.  It is not God's dwelling place.  It is a book with His words in it and His Holy Spirit flowing through it.  If we act like the Bible is the definition of God, then we are severely mistaken.  God is WAY bigger than the Bible.  The Bible does not reveal every mystery of God to us -- not even CLOSE!  The Bible reveals to us everything we NEED to know.  There are tons of things that God intentionally hides from us.  In fact, there was a point where I was delving in to some of the more heavenly realms of regards to angels, demons, heavenly realms, etc., and God had to deliberately come tell me to stop looking into those things.  He told me that it was not that those things were not true or real, it was that they were not important for me on this earth and would only distract me from what my current focus should be -- Jesus Christ.

The Bible does NOT contain God.  It CANNOT contain God.  If you think that a book can hold God, then you are ABSOLUTELY wrong.  You would be making the same mistake the Israelites made when they actually assumed that the Ark of the Covenant was God's literal throne (in between the two cherubim).

God had to speak this through His prophet Isaiah to correct the people:
This is what the LORD says:
   “Heaven is my throne,
   and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
   Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
   and so they came into being?”
            declares the LORD.

Just how both the Ark and Solomon's Temple could not contain God, the same goes for the Bible.  It REVEALS God to us.  He is not constrained by it.

The most absurd thing about this is that the people that limit God through His word do it AGAINST His word.  For example, people will quench the supernatural, Godly power of the Holy Spirit by saying that the Bible is all we need so they totally disregard the awesome gift that was given us on Pentecost (the Holy Spirit).  The problem with saying that "the Bible is all we need" is that THE BIBLE says that WE NEED MORE.  Jesus Himself said so when He was speaking to the pharisees:

""You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!" - John 5:39

The Bible is not all we need, it just POINTS TOWARD all we need.  The Bible does not save us.  God does.  The Bible even tells us that.

The newest book of the Bible was recorded almost 2000 years ago.  After the Christian Bible was canonized at the Council of Nicaea, no more scripture has been added.  Thankfully for us, God did not stop moving after the Council of Nicaea.  God kept going, and He is STILL going.  Just because His moves since then have not been recorded as scripture, that doesn't mean that they didn't happen.  God is revealing new things still, and if we rely solely on the Bible, then we will miss out on the new things God wants to share with us and invite us into.  That is one of the reasons He sent His Holy Spirit down to all of us, so that we could have a CLOSER, MORE INTIMATE relationship with Him than the Bible is able to provide.

I'm just about done, but I have one last word of advice that I must leave everyone with.  Don't take my word for any of this stuff.  Read the Bible.  It will testify to the truth.  It will testify that it is just a map, not the treasure.