Have you ever had someone help you out of a bold declaration that you uttered in a group setting? Perhaps due to the presence of an individual in your midst whose feathers might be rustled by your words? This "kind act" usually sounds something like this:
YOU: "I think what's happening is (insert opinion here), and what needs to be done is (insert suggested fix to problem here).
FRIEND: (Laughing nervously) "Oh, what I really think he means is (insert a more palatable version of the opinion here - and then quickly change the subject)."
If you have ever been "helped" in this manner, ask yourself honestly - how did that make you feel? Angry? Humiliated? Sequestered?
And right you would be for feeling this way - for I know of no greater hubris than to assume the mantle of judging another's heart or to speak on their behalf without expressed authorization. If you have ever suffered this indignity, you were likely furious enough to sever ties with that individual permanently - or (at the very least) rise to the occasion in a manner that is equally abrasive in order to make it clear that the exhibited behavior should never be repeated.
Our Holy Father knows just how you feel - for there are "men and women of the cloth" all over the globe who do this very thing to Him every day. More on that in a moment...
Another maddening trend that is being committed alongside this sad behavior can best be illustrated with the following:
"I know that (so and so) said (such and such), and on the surface that seems pretty cut-and-dry - but when you actually dissect her words, you see that her heart was actually saying something else entirely..."
On occasion we are bound to encounter actions for which words like "brazen" and "bold" lose their bite entirely - and must therefore yield the floor to more accurate adjectives like "arrogant" and "obtuse". As such, anyone who presumes to speak for another in such a manner had better be sure that they are doing this with authorization and with complete accuracy. Friendships have ended for far less.
Most who are reading this would concur that these behavioral anomalies should never happen. Why, then, would one ever think that God can be treated this way? Pause a moment and consider the matter carefully. Surely you've heard this utterance from the pulpit (or from the teaching chair) at some point in your life:
"I know that (scripture X) states (absolute Y), but when you dig into the (Greek or Hebrew) you find that what The Lord was actually saying was..."
...or better still...
"We read in (scripture X) that The Lord did (judgment Y) to the subject of our study; but if you really consider the matter, The Lord wasn't really acting in anger. The circumstance just looked like judgment to the writer and was thus recorded."
In case you think that either of these comments was concocted out of thin-air, think again – I have heard them both in various forms and with great regularity.
Thus it has become common to hear evangelists, preachers, and teachers go well beyond what is clearly written in scripture; essentially pulling from the mouth of God words that He never uttered and sentiments of the heart that He never articulated. The very thing that these men and women would never dream of doing to another human they regularly do to the One and Only God.
So let's boil it down and state a couple absolutes...
A. God’s Holy Word says what it means, and it means what it says.
There are indeed many scriptures that continuously yield deeper and greater revelation, but these are underlying layers that will never negate the obvious truths that are clearly articulated for all to understand. Moreover - any deeper revelation that one discovers (usually through diligent study) will never override or re-write the overt text - but will merely help the reader understand the initial scripture in a clearer light. So here is an absolute that you can bank on – ANY "deeper revelation" that reverses (or negates) the base meaning of any scripture is (by definition) a false teaching that must be wholeheartedly rejected.
B. We are not given the latitude to speak for God's heart.
Let's face it - the Word of God is filled with stories that make us cringe as individuals who reject Abba's goodness (and indulge wickedness) are judged for their actions in grievous ways. Because these details are usually unpleasant to read, there are many who have destroyed their purpose (and themselves) by attempting to re-shape The Lord's actions in an effort to qualify them (or make them more palatable) for people who are prone to impugn His righteousness.
So let's be clear:
God needs no one's permission to bring judgment - to any man or to any nation. This Earth and everything upon it belongs to Abba - He needs no man's leave to take what already belongs to Him. Should He decide to crush the world at a blow and end all life as we know it, He would still be perfectly justified in doing so. This truth is clearly articulated from Genesis to Revelation, and it will never be changed.
A quick example of this error can be found in a recent teaching that has emerged among theologians concerning the deluge – or what is commonly known as Noah's flood. This teaching states that the great deluge (which resulted in millions of deaths) was not so much a matter of wrath as it was a sad choice of necessity to preserve the pure blood-line of Messiah. This theory indicates that mankind had been so thoroughly corrupted by the nephelim genome that only Noah's bloodline remained pure – thereby leaving God with no other choice but to start over from scratch (making Noah His “2nd Adam”). It's a clever teaching that (on the surface) has a compelling basis - for nephelim blood corruption was indeed rampant in that day. But do you see what the argument is actually doing? Can you not see the embarrassed "friend" (from our first example) coughing into his adult beverage as he pipes up to save his buddy from a brash comment in mixed company? Do we need to excuse or qualify the actions of Almighty God?
I once asked Abba for a reaction to this teaching - and His reaction?
God did not need an excuse to rid the Earth of wicked people – and He does not need our apologetics to explain His actions today. In the days of Noah, mankind gave itself over to depravity and wickedness on a grotesque level that has seldom been seen in the millennia since – and on a scale that is still hard to fathom. The fact that only one righteous man could be found in the world should say all that needs to be said, while providing ample reason for our Holy Father (after centuries of patience) to finally act. Bottom line; mankind defiled himself and became utterly wicked – and God Almighty roused Himself in anger to execute His righteous judgment.
So do not be deceived by the teaching of those who have been ensnared by political correctness and the “conflict resolution” nonsense which has emerged as a result. If the Bible says that God was angry, He was angry. If God’s Holy Word says He went out from the walls of Jerusalem and killed 185,000 men, it means just that. Whatever the Bible states concerning God’s actions and deeds, it means just what it says no matter how good, bad, or unpalatable it may seem to those who lack the stomach to digest such things. Jesus never wastes a syllable, and every word He utters (or inspires to be written) is absolute truth. This was true of Him during His pre-incarnate days (when He was known as “The Word of The Lord”), and it remains true of Him to this very day.
This does not impugn (by extension) that things never change over time. We all know things most certainly change throughout history to modify what is required of us from the written word of God. Quick example - the Old Testament laws on the prescribed requirements of animal sacrifice were nullified (in practice) by Yeshua's great sacrifice of atonement on Calvary. Does this obliterate the written law? Of course not - it simply means that from the moment of Yeshua's atonement (going forward), the laws of animal sacrifice had come to a worthy completion, which made them even MORE truthful than before. Just because we are no longer required to sacrifice animals, this does not impugn the practice for those who were living in that time. God's Holy Word remains true regardless.
The same can be said for Paul's admonition about woman's prescribed silence in the church during his time. Paul was speaking specifically to individuals who were answering to a system of governance that is no longer in place. We all know that women are anointed to be great leaders in the church and are no longer required to hold their silence. That mandate, therefore (though truth at that time for the intended recipients), is another example of a set of rules to which we no longer adhere. Jesus is the King - and it is His prerogative to change whatever rule that He wishes to change whenever He pleases.
So please remember to walk humbly before your God and never presume to know more than what you are given. If Abba wants you to know more He will reveal it to you - either by way of scripture (extrapolated through diligent study), or through a Word of Knowledge given by The Great Holy Spirit.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett