After I edited the above, I added what was to follow; but instead I just posted it below on next post:
THINGS "WRITTEN AFORETIME" FOR VARIOUS REASONS & PURPOSES
Think of the stories leading up to and afterwards, in which God both gave the command to the Israelites to "go in and possess"
- literally - "the land"
of Canaan - *"the land of milk and honey"
. What is 'the land' we are to walk across, conquer and possess today? We know it is not literal Israel (Canaan of old). So what is this 'land' for us? In Paul's letter to the saints (believers) in Roman and to those in the city of Corinth, he said something that was similar in nature to them both: What was it he said; and what is some of the insight we can gain from his words? I'll relate the particular statements he made here:
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.";
"Now these things were [written for and given for] our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."
A STORY TO PONDER ABOUT A 'TITLE-DEED'
Once and awhile, I meet some people who I think my get something out of a story I came up with, in my effort to help fan whatever flames I think I see in them to try to heighten their appreciate for something they have been given, like a 'Title-Deed' to hold in trust - as I might put it at the first, such a beautiful opportunity to . provoke them provoke them to accelerate their
But my story is designed to do more than to make them aware of what they have been given. It is designed more so to arouse them, to provoke them, to wake them up ("awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light"
) to the fact that what it is that they have been given is not merely something that they are to 'hold in trust'...to sock it away (so to speak), lets say, in a 'safety deposit box', 'under their mattress' or some similar place of safety. No, what they have been given them, was given to them to do something with.
I go on and ask something along the lines of:
Me: You are a believer?
P [Other person]: Yes.
Me: As a believer, what is something you would say is important to you to 'own'?
P: A Bible?
Me: Yes, good.
And let us just say here, thank the LORD, that IN this country, we are at liberty to both own a copy of the Bible (multitudes of them; study-helps; etc.) and openly carry or discuss what is written in the Bible; and also to freely assemble with, if we have been so blessed as to have found others of like precious faith, to do so with [...presently that is...].
P: Ah. Yes. Very true. Thank God. ['Presently? What does he mean by that?'}
Me: So what do you do with your Bible, you read it I assume?
P: Oh yes.
Me: That is good. And what about that: do you read it often? Are you in the habit of doing so?
P: Ahh, yes. But not as often as I should (or 'Several times a week at least'; or 'Yes every day').
In fact our 'Pastor' just yesterday while holding it (the Bible) up high in the air, spoke about how the Bible is God's Word. He said that it was written by God, that it is eternal, without flaw. And that it contains all that God has to say to man, and all that man needs to know about God. He repeated all this and then passionately asked us (almost yelling at the same time):
''Is this the Word of God?'
Yes', we said.
'Do you/we believe this is the inerrant, infallible Word of God'.
And we all shouted out 'YES!'.
I then may say:
Me: That is good. But I would have been interested in following up these declarations
with a question.
P: Question? What question?
Me: I would have reiterated all that he said, asking again myself, each and every person sitting out there, if they 'believed' that every word contained in the 'Bible' was the Word of God, and that they believed them all. Whereupon, I am sure they would answer in the affirmative. But I would then ask them:
'But do each of you KNOW every word contained in the Bible?'
Of course the answer is 'No." No one knows
'every word' in the scriptures...by memory. And even if they did, that does not by any means equate to understanding; no one understands what each and every word, passage, or phrase contained in the scriptures means...let alone much of it. Some are, no doubt though (in comparison), very far, much farther 'down the road' (so to speak) then many others in their knowledge and understanding of many things expressed and taught in the scriptures.
So, as good as it is to 'believe
' that every word in the Bible 'is' the Word of God; it is not enough for our personal growth and even our protection from the wiles of the Enemy to merely 'believe' in something we have - really in effect - very little personal knowledge of what it is that we say we believe 'in'
; WE must KNOW what
it is that we say we believe in
. Therefore it is imperative not to merely 'believe' that the Bible is the Word of God; we need to be diligently about the business (our business) of discovering what it says
'A STORY TO PONDER' CONTINUED
I go on to ask:
Me: Can I tell you a story?
P: Ah, sure, what is it about?
Me: Let me just say it, and you'll see in a moment I think, what I'll be attempting to to convey by it.
I tell of a person sitting home watching TV, or on the computer (modified to include this, since the explosion of the use of the Web); who one day hears a knock at the door. They open it and there stands a fellow telling them how they were there to deliver to them what had been left to them, by a distant relative after their death. That in their will (last will and testament), they had willed to them and so they have inherited a great parcel of land: one thousand, one thousand acres of land (1000's of 1000's of acres). And upon this they hold out the documents containing and describing all that was left to them.
Now, the one thing that this particular person did right, was to extend his own arm and hand
and accept the title deed (papers) offered to him
. Without accepting them (receiving them), this fellow would not and could not really own
is 'owning' the same as 'possessing' what is given to you?
But think now of four different people being given the same title deed; but each one responding in differing degrees to what they have accepted:
one, takes his Title-Deed, but promptly sticks it in his safe-deposit box - never to do anything with it afterwards.
, is curious enough to take a trip to the state where his land is located (say Wyoming; Idaho, etc.), drives his rental car to the south most part of his 1,000,000 acres of land, stops and gets out and then looks out over the little that he can see for an hour or so. But after a while, gets back in his rental car, drives off, flies home; then he too, sticks his Title-Deed into a safe-deposit box - never to look at it again.
though is a bit different. He after going to see his property (what very little he could see with his eye and at the spot he stood), decided to move there. He does so in fact. But after sectioning off a 1/4 acre of land on the south-eastern most part of his land, and builds a house on it, he just settles in and sticks as well his Title-Deed (with all the 56 coordinates outlined in the Deed, that establishes the internal boundary lines of his property) into a safe-deposit box, and is content to just enjoy the view from his back porch, his land that looks north and westward. Occasionally, he does a little 'scouting' into some of the acreage that lays just in back of his little carved-out piece of homestead. But nothing beyond that.
, well he is of any other kind. He (or she) is filled with both a hunger and thirst, curious to the marrow of his bones, to fly, drive, walk or whatever else it takes to first get to his newly inherited vast landholdings, but then to traverse as much as he can the very moment he arrives there! Boots, backpack, compass, notebook & pen in hand, he starts off to personally discover whatever and all that he can, about this graciously given inheritance, that had been given to him and that is his, and that he is by diligent and protracted daily effort, becoming ever increasingly aware of the riches that have been there all along, but yet to be discovered...save by those that ask...seek...knock...and wait, I say wait on the LORD to open there eyes to behold wondrous things out of His Law: "...and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints"
! "...That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
"And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power..."
[See Ephesians 1; Colossians 1:8-11; Philippians 1:9-12, 13-18]
Comment here:"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ"
Notice above here, how that the meaning of sincerity is not speaking about 'innocence' of heart; but rather being truly sincere, has everything to do with being saturated in both knowledge and judgment, in order to be able to "approve things that are excellent" as opposed to things that are not - what I would say certainly includes what is being taught and accepted as 'biblical' teaching, which is not. One cannot be scripturally "sincere" without being able to be purged of their false opinions. "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord..."