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    Reading the Bible with New Eyes

     

    By Jason Charles on 12/18/2019 (63 days ago) Theology & Religion

    “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalms 119:18

    In this poetic verse, King David the Psalmist and man after God’s own heart asks that his eyes be opened to the wondrous things of scripture. Indicating that even he, God’s anointed failed to grasp the fullness of God’s Law. This should be a very humbling thought for anyone, who like David, yearns to know and understand the nature of creation and our Creator. If David perceived himself as clouded in His understanding of scripture, how can we ever begin to think that we can render the Bibles content any better?

    I think, maybe this is where we have collectively lost sight of God’s will and desire for us as humans. Instead of asking for God to personally open our eyes to every Truth of scripture no matter how hard, we scramble from teacher to teacher begging for some morsel of Truth.

    The problem is these morsels, when analyzed are nothing more than the traditions of man.

     

    Traditions or Blinders?

    While some traditions speak to primary doctrines, most seek only to emphasis the proclivities of denomination which are almost always side issues, distracted away from the hard Truths of scripture.

    Analysis would suggest great preachers or teachers of the Word are nothing more than a composite of accepted traditions they inherited from their own mentors and teachers. Every new sermon, or teaching becomes just a novel way of passing down accepted tradition because that is what is safe, that is what keeps people in the pews happy, and the offering bags passing. Traditional interpretation becomes a security blanket for a preacher because you are not asking someone to think about a challenging concept, you are instead finding fun and exciting ways to repurpose the familiar in hopes the listener will see a new angle on an old truth. The problem with this is, while these may be general well accepted Truths, they represent maybe a handful of the many hundreds of Truths that God presents through the historical narrative of scripture. In this way we see how traditions, and the comfort of the familiar begins to limit and narrow the scope of what is available to us via God’s word.

    It was the subject of tradition that became a major point of contention between God and the Jews in the Old Testament, as well the contest between Jesus and the legalistic Pharisees of His day. In fact, it can be said that the oral tradition of the elders is what blinded them to their Messiah Jesus in ancient times, as well as today.

    Jesus became hated by the Pharisees because he disregarded the traditions of the Jewish elders,

    “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” - Matthew 15:1

     

    The reality is people become so entrenched in interpretation and tradition that it makes them incapable of proper analysis. The way they look at scripture and certain passages becomes the foundation of their worldview, and if anyone comes along and starts to undermine the validity of a long-standing tradition, they react as if their entire being has been assaulted. Their interpretation becomes their identity, and if that worldview crumbles, in like fashion they crumble as well.

    Both ancient and modern Jews have been notoriously overly concerned with tradition, but in the book of Acts we see two groups of Jews acting very differently to the Apostle Paul’s presentation of Scripture that challenged their understanding. Acts 17 we read about how the Jews in Thessalonica reacted to Paul’s reasoning and presentation of scripture.

    “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

    But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.” Acts 17:2,5

     

    The Jews in Thessalonica, when confronted with challenging information pertaining to God’s word, instead of reasoning, and searching the scriptures for themselves, they defaulted to accepted traditional interpretation and became outright hostile to a new way of thinking. Contrary to this response, later in the chapter having fled Thessalonica they went to Berea and received a completely different reception,

    “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:10-11

     

     

    Scripture records that these Bereans as “more noble” than those in Thessalonica, because when confronted with a new insight and evidence towards God’s will they searched the scriptures rather than lash out in violent fashion as did their brethren in Thessalonica.

    This is the proper reaction we should have upon hearing new Truth’s from scripture. Tradition is all well and good on some doctrines of Truth, but we have to understand that God has embedded layers of Truth into scripture that we can’t make sense of until we remove the blinders of tradition from our eyes.

    We always must keep in mind that a man commenting on the sacred Word of scripture is a frail shadow of the Glory of the Word of God itself.

     

    Reading Scripture with New Eyes

    A wondrous thing happens to anyone who commits themselves to reading scripture absent of any single person’s commentary, opinion, take, teaching, word, interpretation, speculation, insistence, exegesis, explanation or preaching, and that is God invokes a Spirit of curiosity in us. Every line of scripture becomes imbued with mystery, spurring us to investigate further. Instead of just reading a verse, the Holy Spirit highlights passages, sparks our imagination and wonder, forcing us to delve further into the historical context, looking for the spiritual Truth’s so many miss because they can’t see past traditional interpretation and understanding.

    What happens when God gives you a new set of eyes for the Scripture is things begin to stand out on every page that you never have seen before, you begin to learn new concepts and structures of thought that radically alter your entire perspective of God and His law. You begin to see scripture with new eyes and realize that there are profound themes and concepts that are laced through the entire body of scripture Old and New. It is these universal themes that make us realize that God is indeed the author of this book. A simple man couldn’t be the author because the themes embedded into scripture span thousands of years and speak too Truth’s about creation and our human condition that are evergreen from generation to generation. It is these principles, these foundational precepts that the Psalmist David spoke to in Psalm 119.

     

    Conclusion

    There have been two very important insights that I have personally discovered in my search of the Scriptures that have completely overhauled the way I look at, and read scripture. Coming to the realization of these Truths have opened up the Word of God in an entirely new way to the point where I cannot even read one line or verse without reframing it in line with this new understanding. I often wonder if everyone began to look at God’s Law and scripture with these new eyes how radically different our world would be from the one we occupy now. Here are a couple of insights I can share as milestones of awareness that may be valuable to my readers.

     

    Behold Natural Law

    When you wake up to the concept of Natural Law and the fact God has instilled in us, at creation, a body of laws that rule humanity more so than any written law a judge or politician can give us, you awake to a body of knowledge that seems foundational to any and all understanding. The Bible is full of stories dealing with the consequences of people ignoring these principles, as well as the results of people understanding and acting in accordance to these principles. When you see this you begin to understand that the Laws put forth by God are in actuality rules that are first established in the Laws of creation, then extrapolated into written laws for human kind to better articulate what we already know to be true in our hearts first and foremost.

    Natural laws are very easy in concept to grasp, and they are universally thought of as necessities of societal living. If people never lived in accordance to these base natural laws then we would be a rot and blight on creation as human passions would go completely unchecked.

    In the simplest of terms, natural laws can be articulated as, “do not harm,” “pay what is due another,” “fix what you break,” and “a duty towards preservation of life.” These are things that we know in our heart as law.

    It is right here where passages like Matthew 12:1-7 really stand out as being significant.

     “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” Matthew 12:1-7

     

    Jesus is demonstrating that there is a higher moral duty towards feeding others, and caring for the needs of the body towards the requirements of life, over any silly religious tradition. He is alluding to a Greater Law in this passage that renders the zealousness of religious and spiritual control freaks null and void.

    Natural Law is the universal law that justifies revolution and overthrow of political tyrants. We have no duty to obey men who would feign divine authority, while denying you divine rights!

    These Natural Laws will always supersede the laws of man, where the laws of man error and impede the plain rights of individuals. Once awakened to this knowledge the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation comes alive with references to these laws, and can be seen as the precursor of written law without question. It only makes sense that God's Laws would be built on the foundation of the creative laws of the universe.

     

    Behold the Evils of Judaized Christianity

    The next such epiphany of thought is the realization that much of modern Christian doctrine has been hopelessly and relentless Judaized into apostasy. Everything you can think of that is popular and en vogue in our modern churches has its roots in Jewish mysticism and oral tradition.

    The seeking of sign gifts and tongues, prophetic speculation into world events, signs in the skies, signs of the times, obsessing over genealogies, liturgy, legalism, worship of tradition, sacred names, Hebrew roots, worship and idolization of Israel, politcal messiah seeking, etc. All are symptom of Jewish perversions into Christian doctrine.

    The First Century church was plagued by false Jewish converts, men who were perverting sound doctrine by bastardizing the Gospel with Jewish requirements.

    As a point of evidence, the Apostle Paul speaking about the Judaizers in his day, called them dogs, and evil workers,

    Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, Philippians 3:2-4

     

    In fact, the whole of Galatians is a chastisement of those in that church for succumbing to the Judaizers backward teachings. Read that Galatians with those glasses on I beg you.

    Today, so many in the church fail to recognize that the entire New Testament is filled with references to this contest between the Pharisees and Jesus, and the work of the Disciples abroad. The whole record is permeated with this reality.

    To ignore this record as a warning against Jewish influence and preoccupations with signs and legalism is a sign of obvious blindness. When you read scripture and remove this manufactured love for all things Jewish from your heart and mind you are suddenly confronted with the vile nature of their religion. God hated what they did to the Temple, and how they bastardized His commandments with oral tradition as evidenced in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem, the wrath of God is on the Jews not His blessing.

    Now extend all of this knowledge into the modern era and see how modern Israel is just as evil, embroiling the whole of the mid east into wars with messanic ambitions intermixed.

    Once you lose your infatuation with Jews, Israel, signs and wonders, you see Scripture Old and New for what it is, a Testament to Jesus and His saving work on the Cross.

    When you remove these blinders you can begin to make sense of so much of Scripture. These are just two examples, and I know there are more, but for the sake of time I pray the scales will fall from the eyes of my Christian brethren especially on these two important issues. It is these two issues that could practically overhaul the whole of Christianity, and with it, the whole of the world if properly understood.

    That is why it is so important, that we, like David, ask that God open’s our eyes to the wonderous mysteries of His Word. We are desperatly in need of new eyes for these old Truths in our culture today.

    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2

     

     

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