Friday, August 04, 2006

Who REALLY knows God?---and How do you know?

The Bible records for us what it is that happens when men and women meet the God of the Bible as revealed in the Covenant and demonstrated in Jesus Christ. There are certain things that happen that appear to be normative when this encounter occurs.

If our experience does not match the normative as recorded in the Scriptures, is it not incumbent upon us to evaluate our experience as compared to the Biblical norm?

In other words, when the God of the Bible encounters men and women He does so in a very specific and predictable manner. The Tabernacle system reveals in the mind of God how it is that men and women may approach and know Him. There is no variation in His requirements.

If we were under the OT sacrificial system, before we ever brought a sacrifice to the Tabernacle or Temple, certain things would necessarily have had to occur in our minds and hearts. I do not believe that anyone would bring an animal, present it to the priest, have a priest hand them a blade, and then each sacrifice bringer cut the throat of that animal and watch it die in his place, without some kind of previous instruction as to the reasons why. You have to admit, it was a pretty gruesome event to take part in without understanding why and having some conviction that what was being done was true.

The mistake we make, well, one of them, is to suppose that the basis for the New Covenant is anything less than it was for the Old Covenant: We actually must bring the Lamb, "cut its throat" and offer it in our behalf still. Unfortunately, we have attempted to divest the declaration of the gospel of all of its "gruesomeness." In so doing, we present another gospel and another Christ. This may be the beginnings of the explanation of the disparity between the experience of our predecessors in the faith and our experience today. The implication of course, is that we may not have encountered the God of the Bible on His terms and no redemptive transaction actually occurred.

I know that sounds harsh. But when men and women encounter the God of the Bible He implants within them Himself, His Life, and there are certain things which are inevitable when that occurs. An orange tree produces oranges because it has "orange tree life" within it. It's inevitable because of the kind of life within the orange tree.

So it is with the Christian. Certain things are inevitable. And if these things are not evidenced, well, "By their fruit ye shall know them."

We come to Him on His terms or we do not come at all. Attempting to gain access to God through the wall surrounding the Tabernacle rather than through the entrance He has established is certain death. It is also called Religion.

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