Demons Testify

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46, ESV)

Reading in the Bible today, I wondered at first why Jesus would tell the demons He cast out not to say He was the Christ (Luke 4:41). Didn’t He want the news to be published? Then I realized that demons are no one’s friend. They are creatures of their father the deceiver. So there had to be an ulterior motive for their declaration. I think it was because Jesus didn’t need or want an endorsement from a demon or series of demons, first, and second they probably were thinking it would sidetrack the timing of God’s plan. They were planning mischief, somehow. What do you think?

The Word Reveals

God’s Word is intended by Him to reveal His character, will, plan and purpose to us. It was not written to conceal Him or what He intends for man.

29“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 NASB95)

13For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The Lord God of hosts is His name. (Amos 4:13 NASB95)

It would be somewhat nonsensical for Him to cause His words to be recorded, and no one could figure them out. God lets us in on what He is doing and will do, and what He expects from man. We have no excuse to be ignorant of what God requires. The Bible is preserved for us so that we can read it and learn about God. He made sure the words were written down so other generations would have information they could use to find Him.

16“Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” 17Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18“If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 48:16-18 NASB95)

7Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7 NASB95)

One of the big reasons that the Reformation was so effective is that the Bible was translated into common languages. Everyone could compare the existing church with the one in the book of Acts. They didn’t match up too well, and reform was demanded. God meant the Bible to be understood, and to reveal His works and character and power to all generations, at least to those of the generations searching for Him.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 4 section on It Reveals

Judge with Righteous Judgment

The tenth, and perhaps not the last, guideline is about weights and measures. The verses we’re going to look at are about scales or measuring sticks. But the principles apply to all of our dealings with each other, especially in the field of justice and discernment. We are to be honest and fair in all of our dealings, not just the merchant transactions. Everyone who doesn’t is an “abomination to the Lord.” Not being honest and fair is an abomination to God, right up there with homosexuality and eating pork.

13“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. 14“You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. 15“You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. 16“For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 25:13-16 NASB95)

God is always concerned about honesty and fairness. Accurate weights and measures are just one aspect of His desire for what is right and true. His Word is the standard, and we are supposed to use it without cheating. We don’t want take a tiny verse out of context and make a big doctrine with it while ignoring other, larger parts of the Word. Like this verse on judging, frequently used by people to avoid responsibility or say they shouldn’t answer for their behavior.

37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. (Luke 6:37 NASB95)

Jesus seems to be saying we should avoid judging. But let’s add another verse on the same subject to our measuring stick.

24“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24 NASB95)

It might appear on the surface that Jesus is contradicting Himself. But of course, that’s not the case. It might help to realize that judging has several different meanings. Sometimes we can think of judging as condemning and sometimes as discernment.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Judge with Righteous Judgment

Thoroughly Investigate

Our God is a just God, and He expects His people to pursue justice too. But influence pedaling is a major past time. Pastors or rabbis are untouchable. Money is king with a lot of people. Real justice is scarce. Many want to commit the Law to the rubbish heap so they can pursue their agendas unburdened by accountability or humility.

And don’t try to sell me the lame concept that justice and love are separate. People try this all the time. You’ve heard it said (now where have I heard that statement before?) that we should exercise ‘justice in love.’ This is true, except that the two are not separate. Justice is love; love without justice isn’t love.

If we use the Word properly, we are doing both. The reason Jesus had to die is because justice and love both had to be satisfied. One could not be exercised by God without the other. It was a very difficult thing for God to justify sinners without merely ‘overlooking’ sin. The resolution was the death and resurrection of God in human form. There is such a thing as being too harsh. But that is generally connected with condemnation, not justice. We condemn when we try to practice justice outside of God’s Word, and fail to investigate according to the Word.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Thoroughly Investigate

Small Pieces

Speaking of small pieces, in the section of the Word below Jesus tells us in our eighth guideline to avoid neglecting any law, big or little.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Matthew 23:23 NASB95)

While it is a good thing to measure out the spices, we should pay equal or even greater attention to weightier issues. The tithing of small things is good. We should do that. But we are not to neglect justice, mercy, and faithfulness while we are measuring our spices. This is like a child with a laser sense of judgment when eyeing a sibling’s dessert, but steals money out of mom’s purse when she’s not looking. If I am nit-picky about tithing some spices, yet ignore more important issues that have a far greater effect on people, something is out of whack.

Feast days, diet, and laws of clean and unclean are important. But we must not forget that love, grace, patience, self-control and longsuffering are weightier. The fruit of the Spirit is just as much a law as avoiding pork and shellfish (except weightier). Don’t neglect the weightier commands while obeying the lighter commands. The lighter helps us learn the weightier, and the weightier reinforces that even the lighter words from God are important.

This is one of those teachings from Jesus skipped over by people who divide the Law into civil, ceremonial and moral sections. They tell us to ignore what they deem “small things” in His precious Word. But Jesus clearly says all the commands are important. Some are weightier than others, but none of them are neglected by the believer. As I said before, Jesus also tells us that if we are faithful in small things we will be faithful in larger things (Luke 16:10).

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 section on Faithful in Little, Faithful in Much

Do What Jesus Did

Our Lord and Master gave us a number of rules for living the whole of the word. Some of them were indirect and stated in His parables. But some of them were direct. Technically, everything in the whole Book is from Jesus (all the words should be in red!) but here we are just speaking of what Jesus said directly during His incarnation at the temptation in the desert.

When confronted by evil, Jesus shows us practical defense. In Matthew chapter four, He made three statements to counter the Satan’s temptations, and all three statements came from “what is written” meaning Torah or the Law.

4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4 NASB95)

7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” (Matthew 4:7 NASB95)

10Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ” (Matthew 4:10 NASB95)

Each response is saying essentially the same thing in three different ways. On the surface what looks like three different temptations have the same goal. The Satan tries to get Jesus to abandon God’s will and do His own thing (in reality the Satan’s own thing).

We still get hammered with the same sort of temptations on a regular basis, and the defense used by the Master works just as well now as it did then.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 9 Do What Jesus Did

The U. S. in Prophecy

Some people are puzzled that the United States doesn’t show up in the Bible anywhere. Since we are arguably one of the most powerful nations ever, if not the most powerful, how come we’re not mentioned in Scripture like most of the others?

But actually, we are mentioned. Very prominently too. You just have to know where to look. We are part of the old Roman Empire, the west leg of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. The Roman Empire split into two parts (or was always sort of that way) around three to four hundred years after the birth of the Christ. It was roughly split between the west part (what is now Europe and North Africa) and the east (Turkey, Asia, Greece, Israel, Egypt). Rome ruled the west, and the east was ruled from Constantinople (which was supposed to answer to Rome). It went back and forth for a while, but that’s basically how it played out. So from Europe (the west part of the Roman Empire) and Africa most of the settlers of the United States have come.

Take a good look at our culture. We have laws and customs handed down from the Romans (who also borrowed from Greeks and others). They built roads and aqueducts that stand to this day. We build roads (many built on trails and roads from our colonial era) and large water distribution systems, which have also lasted. Romans liked to build huge stadiums where athletes entertained the crowds. Gee, that doesn’t sound familiar, does it? Most of our major cities have huge taxpayer-funded coliseums (some actually called ‘coliseums’) where athletes perform for the masses. Rome tolerated any religion and incorporated many of the pagan practices into their own. Our presidents have had Muslim Ramadan meals in the White House and churches are full of pagan bits and pieces. Yeah, I’d say it’s easy to see that we are just an extension of the old Roman Empire. That empire might’ve declined and fallen, but their kids live on and keep the family customs alive and well.

From the book in process, ‘Whole Bible Prophecy’ by Bruce Scott Bertram

The Mark of God

There is lots of discussion centered around the mark of the beast. But do you know what the mark of God is? It is mentioned in the Bible long before the mark of the beast. Bruce has an article about it at the Whole Bible Christian website. There is also a book in the works called ‘Whole Bible Prophecy’ where some of this is covered.

Christian Faith and Practice through the Mark

The Believer’s Daily Bread

Some might’ve freaked out a little at our last post on reading the whole Bible. Jesus lost some disciples when He spoke of this concept too. So here’s a short explanation of what we think Jesus means by “eating His body and drinking His blood.”

Jesus describes the new covenant in the gospel of John in a different way. He calls it “eating (His) flesh and drinking (His) blood.”

53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:53-58 KJV)

Remember, this was said at a time when there was no New Testament. You might think Jesus is talking about a so-called sacrament here. But the Protestant crackers and grape juice ceremony hadn’t been created. Neither had the mystical wafer the Catholics favor. It isn’t the feast of Passover or Unleavened Bread (1 Corinthians 10:16), and He’s not saying we should nibble His fingers, or tap His main artery like Dracula. There is life in His flesh and blood, but He doesn’t mean the tissue and corpuscles (although we could argue that point).

63“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63 NASB95)

All Jesus is talking about is consuming God’s Words for our souls like we do food for our bodies. Not such an odd concept. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15:16) Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3) and John (Revelation 10:9) did it. Our new hearts of flesh are fed by the Word and it’s pumped to our limbs for action. This ‘reading and doing’ (hear or see and obey) the whole of the Word is the basis of whole Bible Christianity. His Words – all of them – are His body and blood. It’s not just the words in red that we colored in later. The word ‘obey’ is pretty much the same as ‘abide’ or ‘remain’ and goes along with “hear and see,” and “eat and drink His blood.” Life comes with abiding in God’s Word (John 6:35).

The Law is part of His body and blood. Real communion is to hear and follow. Salvation is faith in action – to hear, obey, abide, and exchange our ways of death for God’s Way of Life. To abide in His love through His Word. Jesus isn’t talking about a picnic, or mystic wafers and wine. He is talking about obedience.

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 1 section on The Believer’s Daily Bread