¡¡¡¡By Simon Ifeanyi Ezeh
¡¡¡¡An English dictionary, the word web, defines wisdom as accumulated knowledge, erudition or enlightenment or the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight or ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding or common sense and insight or the quality of being prudent and sensible. All the definitions given above are correct with respect to man but not according to the revelation of Jesus Christ because none of them says anything concerning good and/or evil. So, those definitions are utterly useless as far as Jesus Christ or God is concerned.
¡¡¡¡The dictionary definition of wisdom is simplistic and limited to scholarly knowledge even if such knowledge is profound, vast and versatile! The knowledge in question could be in the field of Geography or History or Quantum Mechanics or even religion but it¡¯s all rubbish if it couldn¡¯t determine what is morally right or wrong as well as what happens beyond this limited phenomenal world.
¡¡¡¡Since fate doesn¡¯t go in a straight line and everyone has a viewpoint about anything, especially the concept of moralitywhich usually depends on the contents and contexts of one¡¯s exposure to life, we need a ¡°faithful witness¡± to tell us what is right or wrong regarding our relationships with God and our neighbors. Unless Jesus Christ defines it, the position of religion, science, government, social media, etc. is of no fundamental consequence. Any other opinion apart from that of Christ is irrelevant if the subject matter is God and his kingdom. Even the Bible which is presumed holy and inspired by God is not faithful, consistent or infallible in its internal dialogue. The need for a confirmatory or faithful witness to the truth is imperative and thankfully, this trustworthy witness is provided in Christ.
¡¡¡¡Many people have had to write me to ask if I really think that the Bible is errant and I always answered by pointing out that it isn¡¯t me who says so, it¡¯s Christ, the Messiah, who says so. Any time you hear or read Christ saying, ¡°You have been told a,b,c(in the Bible) but I say x,y,z (in the same Bible)¡±, know that he¡¯s overruling some age-long lies which had been presented to us as the truth before his coming. For instance, we had believed that God actually rested after the creation (people just made God in their own image) but Christ came to puncture the lie and free us by affirming that God is always working and never rests ¨C John 5:17
¡¡¡¡But Jesus said to them, ¡°My Father never stops working, and so I keep working, too.¡± NCV
¡¡¡¡Christians ignorantly believe that working on Sundays is wrong or sinful but God never stops working and he¡¯s the only one we take our cues from. Remember that whatever God does is good, so, you should always work whenever you have to as long as whatever you¡¯re doing is good. Imagine that God decides to rest (assuming rest applies to God or that God gets tired) for one minute and within that one minute, millions of people called on him for critical deliverances from dangers like plane crash, demonic attacks, dying people who ask for last minute forgiveness and mercy, etc. and God is unreachable since he¡¯s resting! That would be an eternal catastrophe. God is the one who gives power to the faint or tired, he could never be tired himself, he would never need rest. It¡¯s unthinkable. However, the sabbath rest is made for man, not God and people of God could rest (physically) from work on any day they choose since no day is holier than the others even though the actual promised rest for God¡¯s people is in heaven, not on earth.
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¡¡¡¡Take a look at the scriptures below and count how many lies that had been masquerading as scriptures which Christ had to cancel and replace with the truth although some ignorant people are still holding on to those falsehood to their own peril. The whole point of this message is to open our eyes and ears so we see and hear and be free. Please, note this passage below very carefully.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God¡¯s throne:
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him havethycloke also.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for hemaketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye morethan others?do not even the publicans so?
¡¡¡¡Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
¡¡¡¡How many ¡°You have been told a,b,c but I say x,y,z¡± did you count? You might see places in the Bible where people swore or took oaths, retaliated wrong doings or even went to wars, divorced their wives, hated their enemies etc. but Christ is the opposite of all of that. So, finding it in the Bible is not enough, what matters is whether or not it enjoys the approval of Christ.
¡¡¡¡There are so many doubtful events in the Bible which Christ never referenced or approved of in his sermons but we don¡¯t have to bother with such stories since everything we need is properly taken care of in Christ (his teachings). We don¡¯t have to know Jewish culture, or obtain a degree in classical studies in order to know God. It¡¯s not even important to know or read the entire Bible because the gospel of God¡¯s kingdom is delivered by Christ in a down to earth, tautological and childlike manner such that no serious seeker of God could miss it.
¡¡¡¡There¡¯s this story of Moses smashing the tablet containing the ten commandments on getting angry with idolatrous Israel so that he had to go back up the mountain to have God rewrite the very same things he wrote before except that the contents of the second one is anything but that of the first. Whereas the first is the ten commandments as we know them, the second is all about sacrifice and what portions of the sacrificial meat belongs to the Levites (the pastors) etc.
¡¡¡¡The episode is clearly an attempt to doctor the first and true ten commandments in order to create opportunities for the pastors to enjoy themselves but it¡¯s supposed to be the word of God. Compare that with Nigerian soldiers, mostly headed by a section of the country, writing a constitution for the entire country. The constitution must clearly be in favour of the framers. See the two cases in Exodus chapters 20 and 34 and figure it out yourself.
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¡¡¡¡We also have, among many others, cases of men (most of the Bible writers are men) presenting chauvinistic views against women like banning women from talking in churches, forcing them to cover their heads while in the church, etc.as the word of God just because the Jewish society is patriarchal. The errancy of the Bible as a book isn¡¯t the focus of this message but this background is needed to establish Christ as the absolute word of God and standard of accepting or rejecting anything in the Bible.
¡¡¡¡In fact, prior to Christ¡¯s incarnation, God had said, through the prophets, that the scribes always mess with his messages, inserting their own thoughts and schemes. Jer 8:8 declares:
¡¡¡¡8 ¡°¡®How can you say, ¡°We are wise because we have the word of the Lord,¡±
¡¡¡¡when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? NLT.
¡¡¡¡In other words, the word of God or whatever God says is wisdom except that the so-called word of God has been doctored by men for all manner of selfish purposes. If the word of the Lord is wisdom, how do we know or recognize the word of the Lord when we see or hear it? The word of the Lord is every word spoken by Christ including those in the Bible and the ones we hear directly from his mouth. It also includes other people¡¯s teachings in the Bible which agree with Christ.
¡¡¡¡God always speaks to us in so many ways but the caveat is that he never speaks in contradiction to the written words of Jesus Christ. If one stays long enough on the words of Christ in the Bible, he would know when a stranger¡¯s voice/word is presented as Christ¡¯s. The graciousness of God ensured that not many doctrines of Christ, in whatever version of the Bible, are affected by the false pen of the scribes. The confidence expressed by Christ below tells us that a child of God could always recognize God¡¯s voice/words, no matter what happens.
¡¡¡¡Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
¡¡¡¡Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anymanpluck them out of my hand.
¡¡¡¡Joh 10:29 My Father, which gavethemme, is greater than all; and nomanis able to pluckthemout of my Father¡¯s hand.
¡¡¡¡Joh 10:30 I andmyFather are one.
¡¡¡¡So, the word of the Lord, or whatever God says, or the words of Jesus Christ is what is known as wisdom.
¡¡¡¡Job says that the fear of God and avoidance of evil (sin) is wisdom. That¡¯s absolutely correct. When we remember what sin is, we¡¯d realize that everything about wisdom revolves around Christ.
¡¡¡¡Sin is not fornication, adultery, fighting, stealing, killing people, lying, and the likes. Those are the signs that tell when one is a sinner. Those signs exist when there¡¯s sin in one¡¯s life. What then is sin? Let¡¯s hear from Christ.
¡¡¡¡Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
¡¡¡¡Joh 16:9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
¡¡¡¡Joh 16:10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
¡¡¡¡Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
¡¡¡¡Sin is one¡¯s refusal to believe exactly the testimony of Jesus Christ. That same person may believe other misleading doctrines in the Bible but remains a sinner as long as he doesn¡¯t believe all that was revealed by Christ. For instance, he might go to war just because there are stories of wars in the Bible especially as God was supposed to have fought on the side of ¡°his people¡± in those bogus wars. In fact, OT blind prophets refer to God as a man of war.
¡¡¡¡If God is a man of war, who would be the man of peace? Somebody wrote that there was war in heaven but Christ reveals perfect obedience to God in heaven as well as the fact that Satan is a servant of God. A war between God and his creation is unimaginable.
¡¡¡¡In other to escape sin, we have to sieve our thoughts, words and actions with the sieve of the teachings of Christ, whatever goes through should be retained but whatever remains on the sieve should be thrown away if we want to be seen by God as a wise people.
¡¡¡¡Wisdom is believing every word of Christ and leading one¡¯s life on that basis. That¡¯s the only way of overcoming the world and her king, the devil.
¡¡¡¡Vanguard News Nigeria