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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Andrew Carlton and John Cox

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Rush of Fools

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Truth of the Word

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Recently Jane and I have been re-visiting some of our favorite scriptures: teachings that have had so much meaning for us over the years. We’ve treasured so many. It is refreshing to study them again and look at them from another ‘angle’ if you will. We have been actively examining the Word of God for over 30 years now and find new and exciting truths each time we study. We have not become so ‘set’ in our thinking that we think after 30 years that we’ve come to the end of learning all we need to know about God. I’ve written before about how the first thing I learned about God that has held true for 30 years was and is His nature to ‘move’, and never stop moving, on the earth (and I might add move in our hearts as well). Even if we study His Word thirty years or a hundred years, we never come to the end of discovering something new about Him. You never get full, you just keep filling.

Jesus declared in John 14:6, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’. He’s also called the Bread of Life, Prince of Peace, King of Kings and the Light of the World. Each of those references is an important attribute about the character of Christ. Intimately knowing any one of those qualities would bring some sufficiency to our lives. But being the Way, the Truth and the Life is a higher order of all the things Christ is described to be in the Scripture. It’s the ultimate discovering of Him; there is some form of finality to it. I think it obligates us to a greater trust than all the other titles attributed to Him.

This knowing God is akin to the Hebrew word yada and is associated with the intimacy of Adam’s yada with Eve and Abraham’s yada of Elohim. Abraham knew God through a progression of experiencing Him. Abraham alone was called the Friend of God and had enough yada to trust at a level far superior to some of the trust we seem to display. From the unconditional land covenant with God, through the promise of a son, to the altar on Mt. Moriah, Abraham grew to know and trust at a level unavailable for the natural man.

The command of God for Abraham to travel to Moriah was interesting in its symbolic detail. The trip from Beersheba to Mt. Moriah was exactly a three-day journey, akin to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Isaac carried wood for a sacrifice. (Jesus bore the wooden cross.) God called Isaac Abraham’s beloved son, the Father’s same reference to Christ of Hebrews chapter 1. Isaac came from a miracle birth, long past Sarah’s childbearing years (Christ was born of a virgin). Abraham was approximately one hundred and thirty years old and Isaac about 30, the same age that Christ began his ministry. In both incidences, a father and a son were party to both sacrifices. The son in each was obedient unto death and accepted their shedding of blood. Just as Abraham raised the knife over Isaac, we can imagine the heart of God as Jesus was led down the street to be abused and killed by the Romans. Abraham’s experiences with God produced a Faith that manifested itself in the ability to trust so much that he was willing to kill the son of promise, the dearest thing in Abraham’s life.

Truth is not composed of Scriptural mysteries and riddles for us to solve so that we come to a complete understanding of God. Truth is given to know so that we might have Life and have it more abundantly than with any other truth available to us. The Truth that’s attributable to Christ is one that uncovers the complete knowledge and wisdom of God. Many things are true, but they are not all The Truth. Yet, The Truth is the trump card in all matters and situations we find ourselves in. This Truth is something that pre-existed before time and one that will still be The Truth when time stops. This Way, Truth and Life is only revealed in the person of Christ. Before Christ all was incomplete, not having been fully revealed. Paul said that the Law of God, as glorious as it might have been, was weak in comparison to Christ. In Christ, Spirit and Truth merged. There’s a type of steel used in making the finest knives that’s called Damascus steel. It’s produced by laying layer upon layer of steel sheets and hammering them into one metal sheet, merging them. That process causes the knife to have extraordinary sharpening ability and strength. That blending produces something superior out of something that was somehow ‘less’ before the merger.

In Psalms 85:5 David asked, ‘Are You going to be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger through all generations?’ David in verse ten prophesies the following, ‘Love and Truth are met together, Righteousness and Peace have kissed…’ These are the four attributes of God’s salvation for men and they had never existed at the same time, they had never been one, in the whole of the Old Testament. The ministry of Christ produced that moment; it provided the fullness of Truth. Love and Mercy were merged together, Righteousness and Peace laid layer upon layer and hammered into One thing.

Christ is all in all. He fulfilled all; He was the beginning and is the end. The Truth is not just to be discovered or uncovered as some great puzzle, some trick that God is playing on folks for His own amusement. The Truth is found in simply recognizing the person of Christ. Paul identified with Christ in this manner: I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. Truth is revealed in this yada (knowing) Christ. Truth isn’t something to be memorized or quoted only. The Truth is Someone to be trusted and believed in. While we struggle to learn every little dot and tittle, it seems that we are ever learning but never coming to the Truth. Shane and Shane have a song titled Burn Us Up. In it, we hear a familiar story; they raised their hands, asking God to save them from the fire. ‘You are able to deliver. You are not an image of gold! You’re the God of old. But, even if You don’t, we will burn!’ Are we there yet? Are we prepared to raise the knife over the most precious thing in our lives yet? Is the Scripture given that we might figure something out, or given that we might grow to know Him. Faith is a learning process, designed not for us to completely understand God, but for us to know and trust Him intimately.