A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day (March 7, 2017)
For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Matthew 13:17)
There have been several instances lately where people my wife and I have been ministering to have taken scriptures out of the Old Testament and made sweeping conclusions from them, without understanding the above scripture. Don’t get me wrong! I believe the Bible (Old and New Testament) is the inerrant Word of God. I believe that the prophets of God like Isaiah and Ezekiel were anointed by the Holy Spirit and could see the future and accurately prophesied about the things to come like the birth of Jesus Christ. However, we need to understand, some of the writers of the Old Testament did not see or hear the things we have seen and heard.
There are many instances in the Old Testament where people wrote accurate accounts about what happened in the natural but they did not understand what was going on in the spirit. It started in the Garden of Eden when Eve did not fully understand the wiles of the serpent. Other examples included the three counselors of Job who went on and on trying to explain the spiritual reasons Job was in the situation he was in. At the end, God said they did not speak things about Him that were right (Job 42:7). Another example was when the scripture said that an evil spirit was sent by God to afflict Saul (1 Samuel 18:10) which could lead you to believe that God and Satan are bosom buddies rather than mortal enemies. When you dig into that scripture further you will find it had more to do with God’s hand of protection being removed because of Saul’s disobedience, and God permitting that situation to happen, versus God being in direct command of the evil spirit.
You have to realize that the Holy Spirit came on individual people in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit was not living inside a believer like He is today. Most biographical and historical writers of the Old Testament did not understand spiritual warfare like we understand it today. They did not have the New Testament. They just attributed everything to God, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you don’t understand these differences you can fall into a “letter of the law” trap and get a much distorted view of who God is and what His heart is towards His children.
Paul was constantly fighting this same battle in his ministry to the Gentiles trying to explain the difference in freedom in the Spirit versus slipping back into the flesh or the letter of the law teachings of the Judaizers. We are still fighting that same battle today.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3)
Jesus did not come just to save us. He came to give us a clear picture of the Father. Jesus did not use evil spirits, sickness, death, and tragedy to harass people. He did just the opposite! He was in the business of healing and restoration. He cast out demons, healed the sick, and rebuked storms. Jesus, and the writers of the New Testament, clearly depicted the spiritual warfare that we all face. Jesus clearly distinguished the visible from the invisible. Many writers of the Old Testament, who were writing their accounts, did not have that knowledge and therefore
attributed everything to God.
When reading the Old Testament, keep these thoughts in mind. Was the person under the influence of the Holy Spirit or was this a biographical or historical account accompanied by the opinions of a man? Does the attributes ascribed to God accurately reflect the essence of God that we see reflected by Jesus in the New Testament?
God is love! He is a good God! It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance! The thief cometh to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus comes to give us life and life more abundantly! This is why it is so important for you and me to have a personal relationship with God and know His heart. If you really know God, you will recognize when something false is attributed to Him because you know that is not the God you serve. Don’t be a foolish Galatian and be lured back into the slavery of the law.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. You and I are saved by grace and not by any kind of works!
Don’t forget! We are raising funds for a U.S. Marine in Albany, GA to help his family rebuild their home that was totally destroyed by a recent tornado. You can send your donation to New Life Network at PO Box 70459, Albany, GA 31708, or go to www.www.newlifenetwork.org and make your donation online. Thank you for your help and generosity!!