Whatever Happened To "Thus Says The Lord GOD"?

To the prophet Ezekiel, God said, “I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them,” Ezekiel 2:4-5. God spoke of a famine of the Word through His prophet Amos, “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it,” Amos 8:11-12. Now this was perhaps fulfilled most immediately during the 400 years of prophetical silence leading up to the incarnation of Jesus Christ, when God Himself would tabernacle among us and speak the Divine words to the sinner.

A combination of these texts yields to us that God’s true preachers preach God’s Word, that God has sent them to people by grace to hear His Word, without which grace, the Word of God will not be heard, nor sought, nor found, but rejected by the general audience like a hoard of rebels that don’t know what – by grace – they have until it is gone and judgment takes its place. The judgment of God was the cutting off of the prophet from the people, His Word from their hearing, whereby they were given over to and lost to their own finite and perishing suppositions.

Currently – though there appears on the horizon a resurgence in biblical, passionate, reformational preaching – the vast majority of the laity, and, God forbid, many pastorates too, have become biblically inept, having turned a deaf ear to God’s word, and a prideful ear to the sound of their own voices. This seems to be the current form of judgment against the modern day version of a rebellious world, and a secularized Church – that preaching has become human, absent of God and the power of His Holy Spirit – many preach their own word; and so many only hear a human word, and have become accustomed to that depravity so that upon hearing the Word of God, it is something altogether foreign to them which they are much inclined to reject due to its “inherent power” which they know nothing of.

A quick examination of many professors of Christianity today offers the evidence of dissipated doctrine, a worrisome retreat from the infallibility of Scripture, and a frightening agreement with the world that nothing can be known absolutely, that experience and culture determines truth, that human movements are the true lens through which to understand Scripture, and if Scripture speaks contrarily, then God is wrong, and the movement right. It is the lost world that influences the doctrine and doctrinal attitude of these Christians (what may only be deemed liberal, thoughtless, and careless theology – and no true theology at all – though it is offered up as “God’s Word” with surprising ease of conscience). They preach it under the title of Christ and the world considers the sound of it quite good, appeasing, and tolerable – it’s just not truth, it’s not God’s Gospel, it’s not God’s Word.

The tempter and the temptable nature of the flesh are quite the tag team in drawing us into error, and overthrowing the truth, being more of a hindrance than a help to Christ. Modern theology is a mere reflection of that moral carelessness of the culture around us on every side. Giving no thought to God’s Word, we often with much earnestness receive and take to heart the erroneous words of self-proclaimed men of God. We are hardly 21st century Bereans – though we ought to be! Rather, we appear much like Lot who grew hardened to true righteousness because of his prolonged love affair with the wicked society of Sodom and Gomorrah – his doctrine, his morality reflected the nature of his surroundings.

If a godly man mentions holiness, they are “judging”; the mention of wrath is deemed “intolerant”; sin is “too harsh”, and hell “unthinkable, because God is love”; that men and women have specific gender roles in the home, in the Church, etc., the godly man is called “sexist”; if he crys out against homosexuality and abortion, he is dubbed “out of context, out of touch, archaic”; if the man preaches the Gospel and engages in active evangelism, he is “ultra-aggressive, dangerous, an invader of personal space”; if he advocates the Word of God as it is in truth the Word of God and clings with his whole heart to every word believing it to be infallibly true, he is at best “puritanical”. And this objection comes from many who claim investment in Christ. What of the type who at the mention of Christ simply says to you, “go to hell!”?

The problem with these type of comments from people in the Church (or not) towards this kind of man is that this kind of man is restating and explaining for those people the truth of God’s Word. It is not his word, his invention, his opinion – what is fact cannot be opinion and what is believed is believed because the one believing is convicted and assured that it is factual truth. It is God’s Word! If when the man, therefore, believes that a woman should not be the pastor of a Church and he articulates his position based on the gender roles specified by God in Genesis, as well as the pastoral roles expounded by God through Paul in 1 Timothy 3, and the like texts, and is titled “sexist” because of it, then the one who titles him must also be willing to call God a “sexist”. It is God’s Word – to all of the above responses, the same must be said of God, that He is “judging, intolerable, too harsh, unthinkably cruel, out of context, out of touch, archaic, ultra-aggressive, dangerous, an invader of personal space, and puritanical, etc.”, to which most would just tell God, “go to hell!”, and we did, all of us, when in Jesus, God spoke His Word and lived His Word before us. We rejected Him, and crucified Him – a blasphemer, smitten by God!

The tempter tempts us into Scriptural lethargy, and this appeases and strokes the flesh quite well. We are at ease with our own spins on Scripture. Let us not forget that the devil knows Scripture quite well – and purposefully misrepresents it but not without cloaking it in a tasty frosting. A move away from biblical orthodoxy is not a step forward, unless by forward it is meant into the doctrine of the devil and of demons (James 3:14-16). The devil is a liar – will you listen to him? He aims at murdering you – and in so far as anyone abides by his principle of interpretation (to bring about selfish ambition, jealousy, bitterness, and ease of temporal life), then you are in fact eternally perishing in heart and mind and soul, swallowing his sweetly fatal poison.

The delusion is manifold, but mainly, that to stray from God’s Word and to create your own will be a greater joy than to love and obey and abide by God’s Word. The serpent slithers within the guise of secular and pop culture, and the culture weaves your theology upon his scales. As our patriarchal parents did, so we, their progeny do. Culture rather than the Bible determines our thinking about God, the devil rather than the Creator.

What do we make of ourselves by the notion that we ought not speak of sin, or that we should not speak up against the immorality of human nature? Shall we give evidence that the devil’s fangs are attached to our hearts? Then by all means let one speak half-truths which are no truths, let one be advised by the blindness of unregenerate culture and unregenerate persons that to speak so passionately about God in Christ for righteousness is an intolerable type of speech, and therefore, ought not to be proclaimed. This will grant you an easy life – maybe – but what of that life to come which is called “everlasting”?

What eternal joy is there in usurping the authority of God’s Word? What do you gain by deeming God “a sexist pig”? It is of note that in the galactic battle between the devil and the Lord Jesus Christ during the period of His temptation, that the temptation came in the form of the misinterpretation of Scripture – and that Jesus defeated satan with the right and authoritative knowledge of Scripture!

What must be observed in these things? That the lie consists within the thought that God’s Word is out of touch with reality; that false happiness consists in the authority of one’s own word and rationale. That we must be careful not to become the Church of the Culture, rather than the Church of Christ. That it is not in our deviation from God’s Word that will bring greatest joy, but instead, our greatest joy and fulfillment lies within the obedience to and love of every one of God’s revealed words. God has spoken and He speaks still – through His Word! And what God has revealed, He has revealed because it gives the knowledge of Himself to sinners who are starved for the Real, for the God of the universe, and this revelation is so understood in the life and words of the Son, Jesus Christ, and that whatever is revealed, because it is meant to lead us to God, is revealed to be loved and adhered to with the most sensational delicacy, and it is within such “stick-tuitiveness”, such true faith in every word, that our greatest joy and happiness and fulfillment will be realized both now and increasingly forevermore, and not the contrary. If God has given specific gender roles, have we given thought to the reality that it is in our obedience to those roles that our greatest joy will be had in Him, and that it is in being contrary to those roles that we will be ruined, moving away from His Word – and yet, women continue to be the spiritual activist’s and men the spiritual “passivist’s”, etc., and we say, “Ah, this is good; this is the way things are!” And satan applauds.

The Scriptures are the written form of God’s authoritative Word. As we depart from them, ever so slightly, we depart greatly from Christ, for any measure of departure from the Word, is a total departure from Christ, Who is the Word of God. And this Word gives rules and regulations and requirements, and Christ fulfilled them for us who because of sin and the weakness of the flesh could never (this is the Gospel of grace), and the prescription, the intentionality of this Word is to bring us to God that we may in part know Him and enjoy Him now as the Treasure of our soul and the universe and of eternity – and as this is the intentionality of the Word of God, so it is the intentionality of Jesus Christ, Who is the Word. Any adherence to anything less is in no way profitable for the soul in view of eternity.

More than peanut butter to the roof of the mouth ought we to cling to every word of Scripture, and then, at no time should we forfeit our stance in God’s Word, but bring every thought, doctrine, word, deed, opinion, persuasion, everything that is anything, into captivity to the doctrine of Christ, the Word of God. Let us hold up the banner of God Almighty atop the massive peaks of Holy Scripture, and not settle to sit upon the dung hills of liberal theology, unregenerate reasoning, secular culture, or church tradition (which often stands in stark contrast to Christian doctrine).

Be warned! Satan would have you convinced that your greatest joy lay in Scriptural lethargy, misinterpretation, and uninspired human babble, masquerading as “something new and fresh” – and completely opposed to everything true and godly. By this design, the enemy of your soul would take you down to hell.

In truth, our greatest joy is God, known through faith in Jesus Christ (the Word of God), and therefore, to love and obey and be taught by His authoritative rule and justifying Gospel is to embark on and taste now the happiness which is only and truly known through our unwavering and uncompromising feasting upon and propagating of His Word, the Christ. By this, we meet God.

By God’s grace, I will hold steadfastly to every word of Scripture, believing it in truth. I will not depart, for I long to know Christ, and if you so long to know Christ, know not your own inventions, but instead hold fast the Word of God. At least in the day of the prophet Amos, the people sought out the Word of God. Let us long for the day when men will roam from sea to sea, and from north to east, running to and fro, from South Carolina to South America to South Korea to South Africa and beyond to find the word of the Lord, and by the mercy and kindness of God, may they find it both heralded, “Thus says the Lord GOD,” and heard and loved not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the Word of God.

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