Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: XI

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.

Chapter XI
The Words Of The Word

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
Again, let us not make it harder for the lost and confused to fully accept what our Heavenly Father actually says is absolutely true, but how can anyone do this if they are lost or confused themselves? For how can the blind lead the blind anywhere but to where they know not[1]?

Proof of just how blind far too many are can be found in the fact that most in the Christian community consider “The Word” to be our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible. For the absolute truth of the matter truly is that “The Word[2]” is the Lord Jesus Christ[3]—not the sum-total of the words that He had placed into written form[4] in order to serve as written confirmation[5] of what He Himself wants to personally reveal, albeit through the efforts of His Holy Spirit[6], to each and every one of us, on an individual basis and without exception[7].

Yes, our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible is often referred to as being the written word of God, but this does not change a thing. For instead of teaching that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God[8] means that faith comes from Christ Jesus Himself, it is taught that faith comes from hearing the Bible being preached.

Yes, preceding verses in the related passage certainly seem to support their convictions—especially in regards to there being a need to preach the Gospel far and wide in order to fulfill The Great Commission[9]. For it is written: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! [Romans 10:14-15 KJV]

On the other hand, how can any of us come to have faith in what is so unnatural to us[10] without the true Word of God being there ahead of any effort made on His behalf[11]? Therefore, is it not really by His efforts, first and foremost[12], that anyone comes to have faith in Him[13]?

No, this is not just another futile exercise in semantics, nor the splitting of theological hairs, in an effort to make some ridiculous point. For it is written: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” [John 5:39-40 NIV]

To get the full magnitude of what is being addressed, the entire related passage should be considered. For it is written: “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” [John 5:31-47 NIV]

Simply put, we are talking about a matter of eternal spiritual life and death here[14]. For the faith of far too many is based upon what is contained in our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible instead of upon it’s Author, which is to make it an idol[15].

No, this is not to say that what is contained in our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible is of little value. For it is written: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17 NAS]

Nonetheless, it would do us all well to obtain a proper perspective. For it is written: Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. [2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV]

In other words, Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible was never meant to be employed as a book of instruction—certainly not in the same way as an educational textbook about science, mathematics, nor even history normally would be. For it is truly a book full of spiritual truths that only the spiritually-minded can correctly discern[16].

Yes, it would be different if we really were as much on our own as we appear to be in our own sight[17], but since we are not[18], would it not be better to have the Author to teach us instead of relying upon just the book by itself? For it is written: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30 NIV]

No, it should not be assumed that it is the same for everyone. For it all depends upon what our Heavenly Father wants to accomplish in and through someone that determines when, and to what extent, He will allow and enable them to come into the knowledge and understanding of His absolute truth[19].

A good example of what I have been given to say about no one being able to truly understand what our Heavenly Father’s Holy Scriptures are really saying without Him allowing and enabling them to can be found in Luke 24:13-49, with the optimum verse of the passage being the 45th one. For it is written: Then He (thoroughly) opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures. [Luke 24:45 AMP]

Yes, there is something to say for tradition. For it naturally makes a great deal of sense to us that a belief system would not last very long unless it was based upon something tangible, and our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible is something that we can literally grab a hold of[20].

Therein lies a problem—does it not? For who could really be sure that what is contained in our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible is any more true than any of the other texts that are held to be sacred by millions upon millions of others of other beliefs if it was not for the witness of His Holy Spirit[21]?

Alas, woe be it to us all if there is really no way to be absolutely sure. For who can leave this world in peace without such knowledge and understanding[22]?
Since there are still some (quite a few, actually) who insist that the King James 1611 Authorized Version (KJV) is the only true and accurate English-language translation of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible there is, it would be good to address this before proceeding any further. For it is pure folly to believe in such a way as this[23].

No, this is not to say that the venerable KJV should not be held in high esteem. For it is as fine of a translation as we have been given, but it is no better than many others.

Yes, there are some versions of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible that are really not versions at all. For they have been rewritten to fit a particular set of doctrines adhered to by the followers of certain denominations.

Be assured that the same thing is required to tell the difference between what is truly of our Heavenly Father and what is not—regardless of what version you may be reading. For the worshippers of the King James 1611 Authorized Version base their claims about its superiority upon the fact that it was compiled from completely accurate copies of the earliest known copies of the original manuscripts in their native language, but how can they be so sure that those copies of the earliest known copies of the original manuscripts really do contain the very words that were given to be placed into written form without the witness of the One who first gave them[24]? After all, were they not actually copies of earlier copies of earlier copies of even earlier copies, and have not many other versions of our Heavenly Father’s Holy Bible been compiled from the very same texts?

{1}1 Timothy 1:5-11; {2}John 1:1-18; {3}Revelation 19:13; {4}Ecclesiastes 12:11-12; {5}Romans 15:4; {6}John 16:13-15; {7}Hebrews 12:2-3; {8}Romans 10:17 KJV; {9}Matthew 28:18-20; {10}Job 11:7-9; {11}John 15:5; {12}John 16:8-11; {13}2 Peter 1:1-4; {14}1 John 5:9-12; {15}1 John 5:20-21; {16}1 Corinthians 2:14; {17}Isaiah 45:15; {18}Psalms 139:7-12; {19}Philippians 2:13; {20}Proverbs 14:12; {21}1 Corinthians 12:3; {22}Ephesians 1:13-14; {23}Isaiah 29:13; {24}Psalms 119:105.


  1. I love John 5:39. When I first read that verse it gave me the answer I was looking for---where to find eternal life. Thanks for reminding me of it. God bless.

  2. All of the thanks goes to our Heavenly Father, my dear JFS, but it is still good to hear that the work He is doing through me is appreciated. Be assured that John 5:39-40 came as a great shock after He made Himself real to me. In fact, the entire related passage did. For I was counted amongst those whose faith was based solely upon the Bible and the testimony of others not so unlike myself before He opened my eyes to see just how blind I had been.

  3. I have just been very encouraged through this this morning. Very good today.

    However to stop pride getting in can I remind you that you are still a mere rebel........?

  4. If I were claiming to have figured all of this out on my own, you would have good reason to be concerned about pride getting the best of me, my dear Adullamite, but I thought I had been making it quite clear that I consider myself to be nothing more than a scribe who has been called to place into written form what I have been given to say by our Heavenly Father. Perhaps I haven't been making that as clear as I thought? If so, please forgive me.

  5. I have stumbled onto your blog just recently and have been blessed by your passion and the diversity of your posts. Photos are also a love of mine.

    Be blessed.

  6. Thank you so very much, my dear Dr. Bruce!!! Your Faith and Facts blog is certainly worth more than a mere glance, and I hope you will come back here again and again.

  7. The Bible is the word of God, as far as it has been translated correctly. We need to exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that through his attonment, we can be saved at the last day. He is the light of the world, and we can rely on him to be our strength, we should look to him in all of our thoughts and not doubt or fear. I must confess, that this is one of the hardest things for me to do. I'm not really sure what it is, I believe in Jesus Christ and his power to save, but I have a hard time completely accepting my situation in life and I have a hard time trusting in what I think he wants me to do because of my own weaknesses and frailties. What I think he wants me to do is write, among other things. Yet I sometimes get vain about it, and to be honest I don't think that my writing is very good when I am not listening. Luckily, he steps in every now and then and nudges me to what I need to do. One thing that I do know is that God wants us to Love one another. So if we are not focused on loving our brothers and sisters, we are not doing Gods work. That I think is the absolute gospel truth and it is one of the greatest truths. Even as I say this, I also think that this is one of the hardest things to do. (and I am disclaiming here letting someone abuse you because you love them, I think God wants us to have patience with others, and forgive others but not to be endlessly abused).

    Thank you for putting so much thought into this FW.


  8. I can understand where you are coming from, my dear Strawberry Girl. For I have been where you are at, but that was all changed when our Heavenly Father made Himself real to me.

    Okay, maybe not ALL, in the purest sense of the word. For my perspective on things has been changed completely, but I still fall prey to the same traps as before, much to my chagrin.

    Thanks for stopping by again. I hope we can talk about this some more later.


Since the Blogger spam filter has been found sorely lacking lately, I will start moderating comments. Be assured that I am only interested in deleting spam. So, if you feel a need to take me to task over something—even anonymously, go ahead and let 'er rip, and I will publish it as soon as I can.