21 August 2016

Words From Above


In Islamic theology and thought, the Quran is believed / taught to be a word-for-word, perfect and without mistake message from an angel to a man who memorized the message, and then that man repeated verbally without mistake this message to other men, who also memorized the message, while yet others wrote down the message they heard.

The account varies, as do many reports within Islamic history, with some reports stating scribes of Muhammad were the writers of the Quran, taking dictation from him.

There is even a report of one scribe helping Muhammad edit and rephrase certain portions of the Quran, but this is simply a point besides what I'd like to illustrate.

What I'd like to highlight, and correct, is the framing a perception has when placed onto something quite different.

Regarding how the Gospel came about, a typical Muslim polemic points to the variety of translations, versions and questioning which language the Gospel message was first written in.

This, as previously stated, follows the Islamic frame of mind when considering their believed-to-be inspirations from God in how their book came about.

This is not the manner Christian theology and thought understands the manner the Gospel message was recorded.

When reading the Old Testament accounts, God's Word was revealed and recorded in various ways.

Sometimes, someone was witnessing and writing the event(s) after the fact.

Other times, a prophet received an inspiration and then wrote down what they were seeing, experiencing, hearing, etc..

With the New Testament, we see the same manner of communication from Above, with Zechariah, Mary, John the Baptist and others.

As with what Christ said and did, there were at least 12 constant witnesses since the beginning of His ministry, and we read four of their accounts in the Gospel.

The letters are written by several men, writing about their experiences, what they heard and saw.

In my judgment, much more has been written, but not every believer understands or accepts if God's hand has worked through others beyond what has been popularly labeled “canon”.

The canon having changed several times (the addition or removal of certain writings) is another issue besides, but I mention it to further my point.

For me personally, I have read some writings that are surely inspired from Above.

Here is why:

It is like reading works by a favorite author.

People who are avid readers usually like the style and 'voice' a certain author has, and thus they look forward to the next book by this particular author, for they can 'hear' and identify with the manner the author writes.

This is what I see in the case of Scripture / God's Word.

Every book in the bible has the same 'voice' and manner of expression, the same spirit in the message.

One can also 'see' and 'read' God's voice in other writings that are not part of the bible.

In contrast, one can also distinguish the false writings; the false can be quite obvious to some, not too noticeable to others.

The Gospel message speaks to the heart.

The use of more words beyond the message will never answer the questions the Gospel message already answers.

Ears are 'opened' not by human effort, but by God's will.

Here is why:

The Word of God is a message that God desires to be written on your heart, by His hand.
Keep My commandments and live, and My teaching as the apple of your eye. 
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 
- Proverbs 7: 2-3
God promised long ago a very amazing thing, a certainty that goes beyond religion, repetitive rituals and exterior efforts of religious observance:
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; 
I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 
- Ezekiel 11: 19
God's Spirit dictates what is written on the heart.

The individual who has God's Spirit in them can decipher what is from Above and what is not.

This is how the men who witnessed Christ were able to write down their experience and were able to remember what they heard Christ teach.

What else did God promise?
As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord. 
- Isaiah 59: 21
Here's another promise: a new covenant between God's Spirit and man's heart.
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
People do try to memorize Scripture, and rightly so, but somehow God has already written His message in the hearts of believers, placing His message on the lips of His chosen.

This means God still speaks Today, and people are still writing what they hear from Him.

The misperception of something written in a book and being called the "words of God" prevent many who only look to certain sources, or make critical analysis of words and sentences, while never reflecting the manner the message is speaking to their heart in order to understand what the Gospel message is saying.

When men desire to prove that the "original" Gospel, whether it was written in Hebrew, or Aramaic, or Syriac, is no where to be found, they are only arguing against 'what' they do not know and 'who' they know not.

They do not know what God has done, nor what God is capable of still doing Today:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 
- Acts 2: 1-4
Notice how they were "enabled" to speak in different tongues / languages.

In times prior, God would usually speak through one or a few prophets in any given generation.

After Christ, God began to speak through many people.

He still speaks Today through His church, those in which the kingdom of God resides by His Spirit.
For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 
- Hebrews 4: 12-13
The Word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE.

If something is living and active, has it ceased to speak?

God is continuing to speak, even Today, through His chosen.

Amen.

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