My studies have made me realize that when reading the Bible, there is an opportunity to view it from multiple dimensions. Reading the Bible in a year is a great occasion to see a limited overview of the dynamics of what, where, when, and a little about how God works (even if we don’t fully understand). We can glean wisdom, correction, direction, behavior, and boundaries which we should live by, as well as the many examples of love, blessings, and promises God mercifully provides His people: those who choose to honor Him and those who celebrate His Son. This revelation and acceptance into one’s belief system ultimately builds faith. Faith is necessary to believe in Him and choose His path for our lives. This process, if acted upon, leads to the infilling of the Holy Spirit and a pathway into maturity in the Kingdom system.
When a person reaches that stage in life, whether young, like David, or older, like Abraham, they can build upon that foundation by asking for eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit would have them listen to and learn in the pages of the Bible. Digging deeper into the intricacies and context of the Bible, researching word origins, and modeling their lives after His through self-reflection, correction, discipline, and repentance, they can ask for revelation that does not go amiss. This communication occurs by asking from an upward posture of faith and belief in God’s finished works and through worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth. However, if one is unwilling to do the work, their posture will remain lowly, in a small space unable to see beyond the truth they have created for themselves, or have been misled to accept fallacies as truth.
Contact, the 1985 novel by Carl Sagan, was adapted and made into a film in 1997. It is one of my favorite movies. It helped me to think beyond the physical space around me. The movie presents many complex themes and dynamics that anyone can associate with. One of them is when they receive the alien signal from Vega, the brightest star in the northern sky, and it turns out to be more than just a communication signal. It contains a structure with pictures, audio, and schematics for a transportation vehicle. Spoiler alert, they must place the schematics into a fourth dimension to read them correctly. A primer is used to bend the pages into four dimensions, and the information comes into focus.
Another theme is the journey of Dr. Arroway, a SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) scientist, which allows the viewer to see two positions: belief in the science and technology to prove the existence of a type of alien (something not of this world like a spirit, possibly out of our physical dimension), or belief in God, the creator of all, who is Spirit and has not been proved by scientific measures. At one point, Dr. Arroway had faith that the aliens knew what they were doing and the technology used to build the machine would work. She ultimately gets the chance to become the first human to test it out. Yet, Palmer Joss, “a man of the cloth, without the cloth,” questions whether someone who doesn’t believe in a higher power, i.e., God, is suitable to represent humanity. In the end, Dr. Arroway has an experience she can’t prove happened physically, yet she knows with every ounce of her being she experienced something real.
From these two examples, they received information but had a new way of understanding them when another dimension was added. A primer; one discovered by scientists to build the machine, and another was found in Dr. Arroway’s experience. She may not have believed in God but did realize something other than just her existence was out there and real, even though she couldn’t produce sufficient physical evidence other than her encounter.
The same goes for anyone reading the pages of the Bible. Even though it was written many years ago, its message with vast intricacies, containing unmeasurable knowledge, requires us to see beyond the black and white. It is written so concisely that even a child can understand the love, mercy, blessing, and requirements it portrays because it is Truth. It is Light and the knowledge of the Kingdom. And where the Word is, it will not return void when read or spoken aloud. I believe the “dumbing down” of the Word has had a detrimental effect on our society by removing truths, not only through false doctrine but especially for children not hearing the Word as preached by Jesus and the lack of Holy-Spirit-led spiritual and prophetic teaching in the Church.
The Ultimate Primer
Moving into a position of maturity requires us to look deeper with the assistance of the Helper, the Comforter–The Holy Spirit. He is the primer to building the Kingdom, who searches the mind of God and brings to those who fellowship with Him great revelation and mysteries to be revealed in God’s timing.
God always meets us at our level of knowledge of Him. He is a gentleman, ever patient and kind, but knows that without resistance, most will not move into deep understanding with Him. We ask amiss when we are not continually growing in our knowledge of the Kingdom and the ways of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. The Bible is alive because our God lives. Truth with revelation gives way to expanding the Kingdom of God as He wills it. We are to press into His presence and follow where He leads us. It is an individual salvation, not a collective one, where God gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers to edify, instruct, and improve the body of Christ.
If we are to accomplish something for the Kingdom, it usually comes with a sign. A sign that you alone cannot achieve it. Your gifts, training, and maturity help prepare you for each new assignment; however, expansion does not come to the idol nor to the undisciplined. It is a personal, intentional commitment, a marriage, you could say, to place the needs of our assignment from God above the wants of our flesh. A hard path to follow. A narrow one, that if it is chosen, nothing shall be impossible for those who walk with God.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.Proverbs 16:3 (KJV)
Another truth is those old wineskins cannot hold new wine. This applies not only to fermenting wine (see Matthew 9:16-17) but to every system of operation that we build in our minds about the knowledge of who God is and what gifts He has given us while we’re here to use for His Kingdom. And it applies to the path He directs us to travel to achieve His will. Notice it’s His will, not our own, that will be achieved. Yet on that path, He gives us the desires of our hearts. He loves a cheerful giver because He gave first from His heart!
Here is an example of old structures or systems trying to grow the Kingdom without seeking God’s will first. Just before the Lord’s Prayer (see below), the Bible speaks of vain repetitions in the sixth chapter of the book of Matthew. Praying for something repeatedly or reciting words for the sake of repeating them that does not align with God’s will, has no power. Jesus immediately speaks the words of God, which line up with His will. Nowhere does He give a petition for what He wants or needs because the point is to listen to God’s will and have faith that all your needs are met. Blessings will chase those who chase God. You see, we sow spiritual seeds with our intentions and actions. Surrendering to His will allows us to do the impossible through faith in His works.
There is only one commodity on earth that we cannot replace, no matter how early we get up, how diligently we work and study, or how much money we make, and that is time. God is the creator of all things, and no matter how hard the world tries through despotism, trans-humanism, technology, or searching for a “new Eden” in the closest solar system, they will never be able to buy enough time to keep from the judgment seat of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). It is written that it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (see Hebrews 9:27-28). And if we are born again, in Christ, in Spirit, the Mercy Seat of God will prevail.
In Latin, the word insanity has multiple ways to be interpreted. Not only does it mean mad, but also unsound in mind or unhealthy. Another definition given to us by Albert Einstein is to do the same things repeatedly, expecting different results. Is it healthy to do the same thing repeatedly, expecting a different result? Why are so many in the Body of Christ continually doing the same things, using the same systems (albeit with newer, fancier technology), and expecting a different result? Would that not also be what we have been witnessing, a dead end for the growth of the Body having a form of godliness but denying its power? (see 2 Timothy 3:5)
Experiencing The Holy Ghost Replaces Old Systems
Old systems should be built upon, not left to languish and be void of power. Don’t be afraid of the unknown. As the disciples moved from being chosen to believing, to being students, to immolating the Teacher, to being filled with the Holy Ghost, we too must be willing to walk away from mindsets, false doctrines, and worldly systems and have faith that the Lord will make it happen. Again, we must be disciplined and committed to working out our salvation.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
One last thing about the movie, in the final moments, a discussion about Dr. Arroway’s recording during her time in the machine reveals that though everyone saw the vehicle drop straight into the ocean, it had captured 18 hours of static. No one told her. If Dr. Arroway learned about the recording, would she be more apt to believe and share her experience far and wide? The Bible is our recording, and its pages reveal Truth. The Holy Ghost is our Primer and puts the pieces together for each individual and is the Helper Jesus promised us for our journey, our assignment. The light and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, the Kingdom, is at hand. Will you have faith and move into that glory?
Feature Image: Bigstock.com | Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible.