The Spirit Often Contradicts What Is Written

The Spirit Often Contradicts What Is Written September 15, 2018

Quite often when I suggest that believers today can hear the voice of Jesus and be led by the Holy Spirit, people are quick to say that the Holy Spirit would never contradict anything that had already been written down in the Scriptures.

This knee-jerk reaction is meant to do two things: First, it is meant to maintain the Bible as our ultimate authority. Nothing new or different can ever be introduced into our faith system because God’s Word (the Bible) has said everything that will ever need to be said about God.

Secondly, the statement is meant to downplay our experiences and subjugate those experiences to the Scriptures. In effect, all experiences are essentially pointless because anything they might reveal to us, and anything we might learn from those experiences, are subject to correction. Therefore, what good is experience if anything that might be learned from it is already written down in the Book for me?

The problem with this view is that the Scriptures themselves completely contradict this assumption.

Rather than a unified voice of agreement throughout the Bible, what we observe is an ongoing dialog where one prophet says something about God, and then, later on, another prophet challenges that idea. So, in other words, the Spirit speaks to the prophet who writes down what he hears, and later another prophet also hears from the Spirit and writes down something that modifies or enhances—or sometimes flatly contradicts—what the previous prophet wrote down.

This is what the Bible is: A series of progressively enlightened ideas about who God is and what God is like.

As we’ve already seen, for example, when Moses says that God requires animal sacrifice and other voices modify this until Jesus gives us the final word on the matter. Or, when Moses introduces the idea of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, but Jesus shows up and says, “But I say to you, love your enemies.”

Not only this, but Jesus also corrects Moses’s statements when He says that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (See Matt. 5:45) Because, according to Moses, in Deuteronomy 28:12, God says to the righteous: “The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.” But to the unrighteous God says: “The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed.” (v. 24)

Jesus makes it clear in the Sermon on the Mount that Moses was wrong about God’s disposition towards people. He loves and blesses them both the same, and brings rain on both the just and the unjust alike.

Another good example of how some prophetic voices in Scripture correct what has been said previously is when Elijah commands a man named Jehu to strike down the entire house of his master, Ahab. (See 2 Kings 9:7-8) Once he obeys this command, Jehu is praised as a righteous man of God. However, later on, the prophet Hosea writes that God spoke to him saying: “I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.” (Hosea 1:4)

So, I ask you: Are you still so convinced that the Holy Spirit will never contradict what has been written in the scriptures?

The fact is that the Holy Spirit almost always contradicts what has been written in the scriptures.

Peter learned that when the voice of the Lord spoke to him and commanded him to kill and eat the unclean animals. The Pharisees learned that when they brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. James and John learned that when they asked Jesus if they could call down fire on the Samaritans as Elijah had done.

In every single case, if these men had held tightly to their scriptures, they would have missed what Jesus was doing.

Peter would not have awakened to God’s plan to redeem the Gentiles.

The Pharisees would have executed an adulterous woman instead of showing her mercy.

James and John would have called down fire upon Samaritans before Philip could come and preach the Good News of the Kingdom to them. (See Acts 8:5)

The surprising truth is: The Holy Spirit will almost always contradict what has been written in the scriptures. In fact, we should probably expect it.

Jesus affirms this idea when he rebukes the Pharisees who cannot let go of their Scriptures long enough to accept what they have seen with their eyes and heard with their own ears.

They are blinded by their Bibles. The refuse to see that the eyes of the blind were opened and the lame were made whole because it didn’t fit with what their Scriptures told them.

So, because what they were seeing didn’t line up with what was written, they rejected their experiences of God and attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan. Jesus responded to their blindness and warned them that the unforgivable sin was to reject what the Spirit of God was doing right in front of them.

“Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:28-29)

The greatest sin, according to Jesus, is to deny what the Holy Spirit is doing and revealing to you—even if that revelation contradicts what has been written in the Scriptures.

This means that we must be willing to leave the safety and security of our Bibles to walk with Jesus in the uncertain and unknown realm of faith. This is why we are called to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) and to use discernment in our walk with Christ. Because we are expected to be venturing out into the deep with Him, not lounging comfortably in our pew clinging tightly to our absolute certainty, but holding fast to Jesus who is untamed and unbound by any book.

Jesus was most critical of the Pharisees because they were mired in the traditions of men (Mark 7:8) and unwilling to accept anything that didn’t line up with their understanding of Scripture. He begged them to see that the life they were seeking for in the Scriptures was only available through Him. They refused to come to Him for life because they were convinced that their Bible had all the answers. (John 5:40)

The Pharisees rejected Jesus because they assumed that the Holy Spirit would never contradict what was written down in their Scriptures. But, they were wrong about that. When the Holy Spirit did something they didn’t think aligned with their Book, they attributed that to Satan, and as a result, they totally missed the fulfillment of every prophecy in that same Holy Book.

He was standing right in front of them, and they missed Him.

Please don’t make the same mistake.

[Excerpted from Chapter 17 of Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible by Keith Giles]

**

Keith Giles is a former pastor who left the pulpit 11 years ago to start a church that gives away 100% of the offering to the poor in their community. 

His new book Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.

BONUS: Unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more on my Patreon page.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The Mouse Avenger

    Rather than a unified voice of agreement throughout the Bible, what we observe is an ongoing dialog where one prophet says something about God, and then, later on, another prophet challenges that idea. So, in other words, the Spirit speaks to the prophet who writes down what he hears, and later another prophet also hears from the Spirit and writes down something that modifies or enhances—or sometimes flatly contradicts—what the previous prophet wrote down.

    This is what the Bible is: A series of progressively enlightened ideas about who God is and what God is like.

    This! ^_^ This to the max! 😀

    Oh, BTW, I really want to check out your book now! 🙂 Where can I find it? ^_^

  • Mr. James Parson

    This is what the Bible is: A series of progressively enlightened ideas about who God is and what God is like.

    So perhaps the Mormons and Muslims are the most enlighten about who God is and what God is like?

  • John

    So this begs the question, how can someone know it is from the Spirit as opposed to last night’s meatloaf?

  • LastManOnEarth

    Puh-leaze.

    Everyone knows there is no such thing as leftover meatloaf

  • Depends upon who is making the meatloaf.

  • LastManOnEarth

    I suppose if the Spirit is making The Spirit’s World Famous SpiritLoaf(tm) we would have a hell of a paradox (and ketchup) on our hands.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Can we count vegetarian cottage-cheese and special-k loaf? https://www.cooks.com/recipe/q65al0ez/vegetarians-special-k-loaf.html

    I used to wonder why people actually liked meatloaf 🙁

  • I’m not big on it, myself, given that I have a weird thing about not liking the texture of ground meat. I can eat burgers just fine, but most other things with ground meat… I have to be in a particular mood to accept it.

  • TinnyWhistler

    I can guarantee that the worst meatloaf texture you’ve ever experienced is not quite as rubbery as special-k loaf.

    Textures can be a mood thing for me as well. I’m glad I’ve grown out of most of my aversion to weird textures, but sometimes I just cannot swallow things that feel wrong.

  • Jessica

    I disagree. God doesn’t change. Our understanding of God does change with the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

  • Guy Norred

    How does this contradict the OP?

  • Thanks, Keith for the clarity of this position. This implies that fundamentalist Christians who refuse to admit one can ‘hear’ form God are generating sterility with that position. In terms of inner healing through listening prayer we now know that God’s very word spoken to us is one of the few things capable of shifting emotional learning.

  • Herm

    Why doesn’t God change with each and every relationship they share in love with? What does God have to look forward to for an eternity if not learning from adventure shared in the Spirit of truth and love?

    Consider this, would you be satisfied to have an eternity with ans in God playing your harp on a cloud or sing songs of worship for ever more?

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

    How long will it take you to be led into all truth? Why would anyone believe even God would know all truth right now when a promised eternity of relationship as not come to an end?

  • Herm

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    I can only testify truthfully from my own life that you would know. If you seek God, then don’t debate God. Go directly to God, knock on their door and it will be opened for you to ask the question you beg. If you do not get an answer then all the theology (study of God) is fruitless for God just isn’t real or available to you as promised in your bible. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are available to you, challenge them.

  • That is a very good conclusion to the fatally flawed reasoning of the article.

    Fortunately, I came early to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. It has served me well.

  • Herm

    Only students (disciples) of the Spirit of truth are the most enlightened about who God is and what God is like, as they can bear to know. There is no religious order, founded on the study of God (theology), speaks for God who can speak for themselves.

  • Herm

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    The New Testament of your Bible wasn’t even written before the word of God was boldly spoken.

  • Yes. And that is wonderful!

    But God is consistent. He does not contradict Himself. As a person who accepts the New Testament as the Word of God, I believe that nothing genuine I hear today from God will contradict what He said in the New Testament.

    I know we may disagree. Just stating my honest belief. And, as I originally said, that belief has served me well.

  • Herm

    God didn’t write the New Testament. The only written word in the entire Bible attributed to the hand of God is the Decalogue. All scripture in the “Christian” Bible is attributed to the “Testament” of each book’s author, not the sacrosanct inerrant written words directly impressed on each author to pen God’s opinion verbatim. Let me give you an example of testimonial witness that is in all four gospels:

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

    Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Mark 1:10-11 (NIV2011)

    When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Luke 3:21-22 (NIV2011)

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    This is my inspired word of God that I testify to according to my own witness relative to the only source for all truth, as was quoted from the mouth of Jesus, the Christ:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    Keith alluded to where the Messiah contradicted (Matthew 5:38-42) what was considered the Lord your God speaking (Leviticus 24:17-22) that was written less than 1,500 years earlier. Have we learned any more truth in the last 1,950 years that the New Testament authors did not know, such as the earth is not flat and all the heavens do not revolve around earth? Has the Spirit of truth (the one appearing as a dove who led the Christ into the wilderness and filled those who spoke the word of God boldly) been quiet to other contradictions of authors since Revelations?

    I appreciate your honest belief. I am witnessing to you in honest inspired testimony, today, that the Holy Spirit filled me, whelmed me, baptized me, 24 years ago when I was 50 years of age. Prior to then I was under the mistaken belief that the Bible was the word of God. I am a 74 year old (computed by the revolutions of this earth around its sun) little child, born of the Spirit, sibling of Jesus my Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth, of a God, who is spirit only, who knows no beginning and will know no end.

    The time came according to quoted testimony for all who worship in Jesus’ church to worship only in The Spirit and in truth:

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    All other worship is idolatry. Fellowship with all other followers of Christ, children of God, is not to be hallowed as worship but to be celebrating relationship with each other, our brother Jesus, and our Father bound in all love with and in the Holy Spirit.

    Belief may have served you well but I am trying to help you understand that actual relationship with and in God today will serve you forever.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Please, don’t be so complacent with adequate for now by belief alone when you can know for sure the Spirit of truth living with and in you today. Belief served me well for 50 years until it didn’t and I lost everything that I thought I had earned, including the presumption of God’s favor. Laying prostrate, in complete humility, I subjected myself completely to God’s will for me by pleading to fill me with the truth and direction I clearly lacked with only the Bible as my guide. You don’t have to do the same to be baptized by the Spirit of truth to be living with and in you fully, without pause, without end. You only have to, in all humility likened to that of a new born infant, seek, knock and ask and all will be opened to you as you can bear.

    Keith’s article is a long ways from flawed because it points to the Spirit for the only source of truth as does all testimony in your Bible. Once fully filled, living with and in the the Spirit, the Bible becomes no more than a road sign along the way, pointing to the destination you sincerely seek today.

  • As a fellow Spirit-filled and Holy Spirit led Believer I find your thoughts interesting. And I can assure you that while the Lord has never led me or spoken to me in a way that contradicted the inspired Word of God in the New Testament, He sure has spoken to me in ways that contradicted my understanding of that Word. The more I hear from Him, the more I have had to adjust my theology, lol. Which is a good thing.

    Also, I assure you that I have much more than just “Belief may have served you well but I am trying to help you understand that actual relationship with and in God today will serve you forever.” I do walk daily in that actual life giving mind and heart transforming relationship.

    It is amazing what God will tell us and how He will lead us and what He will have us do if we simply listen to Him and walk with Him, not filtering everything we hear Him say though our current understanding of the inspired Word in NT Scripture.

    My Brother, it just might be that our individual walks with God are more similar than dis-similar!
    God bless you.

  • John

    A non-sensical response Herm. At least the other responses had some fun with my meatloaf comment.

  • Herm

    If you truly want the truth. I’m glad you have had some fun. I’m sorry that the Spirit of truth is so unreal to you that he is as nonsensical in the final analysis as meatloaf.

  • soter phile

    this argument would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

    just read the Gospels. notice how Jesus holds the OT in the highest regard. it’s constantly (positively) on his lips.
    then he sends his Spirit to “remind you of everything I’ve said” and “guide you into all truth”.

    but hey, you go ahead and use the NT abrogation of OT ceremonial laws or Jesus amplification of OT standards as an excuse to claim the Spirit self-contradicted… just don’t call that following Jesus. “not the least stroke will pass…”

    the very Scriptures to which you (ironically) appeal repeatedly undermine your position.
    even the Jn.5:39-40 passage you invoke is not denying but emphasizing the OT Scriptures.
    (Jesus doesn’t say “the Spirit was wrong” but “you missed the point: me!”)
    in your rush to establish a fluid & progressive pneumatology, you’ve jettisoned any access you have to Jesus.

    while you may gain the ability to dodge clear teachings you don’t like, you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. the result is a god of self-projection. Isa.44 comes to mind.
    if your god cannot contradict you, who is the real god? and how would you ever change?

  • jekylldoc

    This probably looks pretty scary to a person who is preoccupied with getting it right, who worries that someone will abuse the authority of Jesus, who has no project of Shalom to get on with. But the Spirit still gives life, and the letter still kills. Life on the Way is so much richer and more joyful without all that “Wait a minute, what does Ezekiel say about that?” mentality.

  • jekylldoc

    Would I get to sing “My love colors outside the lines”? And “Draw the circle wide”?

  • jekylldoc

    Herm, I think the world, which cannot accept him, refers to the people who are so caught up in the pressures and the status comparisons that they are not ready to just be people relating to other people. Those who can’t get past the religious concepts and the Biblical vocabulary are kind of a different category, in my experience. All of us have some of the world in us, blocking our transformation into mere humans. Inability to do church is not the same as lacking the courage to become.

    It’s kind of you to encourage John to give it a whirl. Who knows, it may help him someday. But it sounds like he has interpreted your suggestion as a condescension. Might as well be talking about meatloaf.

  • Herm

    Sometimes, I wish that I could be as succinctly considerate and thought provoking as are you here, pointing others to the Spirit and the truth as their eternal Way, living with and in God as little children full of joy and peace, full of faith that they can play without the worry of ever becoming orphans.

    Most who read their Bible, trying so hard not to stimulate the wrath of the Father, don’t know that “the Law and the Prophets” Jesus speaks to refers to the Jewish canon separated into the books of the Law of Moses (generally the first five) and the rest as the Prophets. Ezekiel fits into the prophets. All of the “Old Testament” (the Law and the Prophets) hangs on God’s intention according to what is written in Matthew 22:37-40 and is summed up in Matthew 7:12. Relative to the subject of this article, according to the written letters in Ezekiel as versus the letters written in the Good News of John we have yet another contradiction in the ultimate will of the Father.

    “ ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

    Ezekiel 36:24-28 (NIV2011)

    The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.

    John 6:63-64 (NIV2011)

    It intrigues me that, in the time of Ezekiel, God is portrayed taking people of the flesh, separating them from “the nations”, sprinkling clean water (baptizing) on them to transform their heart of stone to a heart of flesh. In the time of the Messiah on earth, in the flesh, God is portrayed as transforming hearts from flesh to spirit by baptizing (whelming, fully filling) each by the Holy Spirit. God, full of awareness and influence (life) eternal, is spirit while all flesh (physical/carnal) will die to know nothing and be forgotten.

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:27-28 (NIV2011)

    The heart, soul, strength, mind related to in Matthew 10:27 is spirit (the image of God graced mankind, Genesis 1:27, John 4:24), not flesh.

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

    Matthew 1:20 (NIV2011)

    The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

    Luke 1:35 (NIV2011)

    He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

    Matthew 18:2-5 (NIV2011)

    In the flesh I have never been as much filled with a sense of freedom, joy and peace as I was as a little child at play fully trusting in the love of my adult guardians never to leave me orphaned. I had complete faith, took it for granted, that they would continue to provided for my sustenance, my guidance, protection, and my healing, even when I failed to get it right. As a child I was too young to comprehend just how fragile and vulnerable to death I was, or how dependent my continued life was on the limits/barriers set by my adult community. I survived to become a responsible adult realizing, most often without fear, how little power I have alone to have provided for my children’s sustenance, guidance, protection and healing.

    I was over 50 before the sense of freedom, joy and peace was restored in my heart, soul, strength, mind of spirit becoming fully filled by the Spirit of truth, now living with and in me forever, to become a little child of God. Since that time, now knowing how infinitesimally little of all there is to know that I want to experience throughout eternity, my faith has not been that there is, or might be, a truly loving God to guide and nurture me the entire Way. My faith is that the God I know, living with and me and I living with and in them, will not ever leave me orphaned, even when I failed to get it right. Today, I am only asked to accept the truth as I can bear as a little infant child born of the Spirit.

    I am asked, as a student of God, who is spirit, to teach others, from all nations, of the flesh to become students of God, filled with the Holy Spirit to boldly speak the word of God apropos to each in their moment as they can bear. Any and all scripture that I might quote has been shown to me by the Spirit of truth only to show that the letter, that if left alone in the moment it was written would kill, is truly pointing to the Spirit, who, if accepted to live with and in each unique heart, soul, strength, mind, will sustain life eternally.

    Thank you jekylldoc for all you do to free others from their “scary” preoccupation “with getting it right”. For those who accept the Spirit of truth, he will always be with and in us little children, without pause or end, to guide us into all truth as we can bear in each moment of eternity, beginning today, even when in and for the good of the flesh, also. Since becoming filled with the Holy Spirit, my heart, soul, strength, mind has been unable to not empathize with all others, of spirit and flesh, to in everything do to them as I would have them do to me. Children learn from trying, and failing, to eventually get it right. We depend on those who care and know to keep us safe from evil and death (Matthew 6:13) as we grow to know.

    Hopefully, even in my verbosity, I’ve got this right enough that others learn not to fear to accept their available place in the Spirit as a little infant child student of God. If not, I will be led next time to get it more right, I am sure, apropos to those who hear.

  • Herm

    … for as long as you wish …

  • Herm

    … so you are of the Christian Bible is inerrant and fully self contained crowd, true?

    The Messiah is quoted to have said:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV2011)

    The Law of Moses is quoted to have said:

    Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    Deuteronomy 19:21 (NIV2011)

    “ ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

    Leviticus 24:17-22 (NIV2011)

    But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    Exodus 21:23-25 (NIV2011)

    Which Lord God do you accept?

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    Apparently the Spirit of truth was available to fully fill (baptize) to guide the receptive into all truth, the word of God, as they could bear to boldly speak, long before the New Testament was written, collected, compiled and canonized by scribes, teachers of the law.

    The tragedy here is that you don’t seem to see to accept and know the Spirit of truth living with and in you forever, without pause. You, by your fruit, demonstrate here that you depend on a carnal (physical) 1,900 year old script for you knowledge of God rather than from within God themselves; the living (aware and influential) Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

    You’d be overwhelmingly amazed at how much more we, mankind, can bear to know 1,950 years later. Wow, to think the world was not flat after all and that all the heavens don’t revolve around this earth??? What, the cosmos, now with all its still incalculable lights, actually began 13.8 billion (a number incomprehensible in biblical days) years ago? Good thing we can depend on one each dependable living Father, Instructor and Teacher to fill in the blanks as we are each ready.

    Oh, and speaking of the LORD and not idols as spoken of in Isaiah 44 how about this:

    “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:21-24 (NIV2011)

    Do you worship God with and in anything other than the Spirit and in truth, such as is carnal (physical)? The physical Bible, church plants, alters, creeds, rituals, crosses, pews, steeples, robes, dogmas, theology, and sacraments are all of the flesh and not of the Spirit.

    My Lord God guides me, as a little child of theirs, into all truth, in the Spirit, as I can bear. I write to you, inspired by my one Teacher, today as I can bear to understand God in me and I in God. Only because you seem to worship your Bible as any more than simply others writing to you as they could bear over 1,900 years ago, as they were inspired, do I contradict your misguided premise that “this argument would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic“.

  • jekylldoc

    Thanks for your kind words. I, too, feel that if they can feel the Spirit and trust the truth, many more could let go of fearful religion. Loved the great connection between the “heart of flesh” and the sprinkling of the Spirit.

  • This!
    “Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the light,even though for the moment you do not see.”
    ~ Alcoholics Anonymous

  • /All of us have some of the world in us, blocking our transformation into mere humans. Inability to do church is not the same as lacking the courage to become./
    WOW! YOW!

  • soter phile

    Your repeated quotes do not seem to have a theme, other than you *think* it refutes my position.
    (note: it does not even address it. you either have a misperception or a straw man.)

    related, you said: “”you seem to worship your bible…”
    quoting the bible is worshipping it? citing passages? taking Jesus’ words as true is now worshipping the words rather than the Speaker? it *seems* you have no nuance for those with whom you disagree.

    you said: “…simply others writing to you as they could bear over 1900 years ago…”
    and yet that is NOT how they themselves regarded the OT, nor the NT for that matter. again, notice how Jesus refers to the human writing of the OT as the Word of God (even while simultaneously attributing it to human authors).

    you are trying to create a middle ground that does not exist for any who would follow Jesus.
    if you are a self-styled follower of Jesus, why do you not share his view of the Scriptures?

    as i said before, that is tragic – replacing Jesus with a domesticated self-projection.

  • Herm

    soter phile, do you have any idea the history of the Bible? Do you know how each Testament was gathered, compiled and canonized? Do you have know exactly who the scribes (the teachers of the law were)? Do you know how each book, of both testaments, were copied to remain with each community before the printing press? Not one of the books of the Bible today is the original inspired manuscript as penned by the original author, guaranteed.

    Jesus, the Christ is real and is very much aware and influential, using all his authority in heaven and on earth as is written in your Bible, for all who see to accept the Spirit of truth today and forever more. If your heart, soul, strength, mind (which is spirit in the image of God) is living with and in the Spirit of truth, is in Jesus the Christ’s and you in his, as is the Father’s, bound in all love, what more could your Bible teach you about God as you could bear to know?

    You do not seem to accept that the “LORD your God” quoted in Leviticus 24:17-22 is not the same Christ that is quoted in Matthew 5:38-48. You seem not to see any contradiction.

    I am not on middle ground for my foundation today is the rock Jesus builds his church on. I live with and in the Spirit of truth, without pause, without end. That is the entire focal point of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Jesus, the Father and the Spirit of truth as taught by the Messiah, in your Bible, is the only inerrant word of God. I do not replace the relationship I have today with words written that are 1,900 years old as having any authority in my life. The Bible does point, and has pointed me, to he who does have all authority in heaven and on earth today.

    Just for your edification, this is where the Good News according to John was concluded:

    This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:24-25 (NIV2011)

    If not all Jesus did was written down, for the whole world would not have room for the books if they were, carefully consider this quote from the book of John spoken by the Messiah to his disciples who knew him well, day and night for three years:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

    Go back to John 14:15-21 and consider that if the Messiah is not teaching you with and in the Spirit of truth, the one who appeared as a dove to remain with and in Jesus, the one who led Jesus into the wilderness, today for certain then you are of the world and cannot accept him because you neither see him or know him. You are blind to the living word of God.

    The same author is considered to have written the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Both are considered to have been written after all of the apostle Paul’s epistles. In the book of Acts it is written that the word of God was spoke boldly by all who were filled (baptized) with the Holy Spirit, chapter 4, verse 31.

    I can write at length on this but to keep it short, hoping you take the time to reconsider your apparent defense of your Bible as the sacred word of God, I pose this question to you: Has God been impotent and silent to all of mankind since the book of Revelations? Has there been no more continuation of disciples (students of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit) made from all the nations? Is the Bible an inerrant substitute teacher for our living God?

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV2011)

  • Hi Herm! Thought of you today… Here is a song I like…
    https://youtu.be/kMTbqvSOLRA

  • Herm

    Thank you charles, very much!

    In times like these you need a Savior,
    In times like these you need an anchor;
    Be very sure, be very sure,
    Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
    This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
    Be very sure, be very sure,
    Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    In times like these you need the Bible,
    In times like these, O be not idle;
    Be very sure, be very sure,
    Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
    This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
    Be very sure, be very sure,
    Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    In times like these I have a Savior,
    In times like these I have an anchor;
    I’m very sure, I’m very sure
    My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
    This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
    Be very sure, be very sure,
    Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    Matthew 16:16-18 (NIV2011)

    I had a dream last night, after I wrote the reply to soter phile, that made it very clear that the eternal living rock, who did not die for the love of this world for three days, who never was kept from all nations in the Holy of Holies, is my Father’s will. Today, Jesus is my anchor to that will and the Spirit of truth is he who tethers me to him. That’s the spirit mechanics of my eternal relationship, as a sibling student of the Messiah, my brother, living with and in God … and so it is written.

    Love you, as always!

  • soter phile

    I have a postgraduate degree in this field. I am well aware of the scholarship – which largely refutes your contentions.

    The Bible is the most read, most scrutinized book in history, and even the last 200 years of higher-critical hermeneutics has basically led us back to the form we have today (“final form”, despite what some fringe scholars may claim, e.g., Jesus Seminar, etc.). Three rounds of the so-called “Quest for the historical Jesus” has only highlighted that we have no access to the Jesus of history apart from the earliest, most well-attested manuscripts (i.e., the NT).

    For a quick primer on the reliability of the NT texts as we have them today, here’s a brief overview (note well the “embarrassment of riches” available to NT scholars):
    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

  • Herm

    Okay, savior loving avatar, it does help to know more of whom I am speaking with. My university credentials do not quite exceed yours, especially in hermeneutics, the interpretation of the Bible. I remain certain that my one Teacher leads me more into all truth, as I can bear, than all of your inferred defense of the Bible, including a good webpage relative to New Testament manuscripts, as the inerrant word of God.

    My “contention” is that the “Christian” Bible today is no more than sincere human testament pointing to the word of God available to all mankind with or without a Bible. If you haven’t noticed, yet, I quote quite a lot from the Bible as it is written. All of those quotes assert that the Bible is limited to no more than what the author can bear in that moment.

    Now, are you contending that Christian Bible, today, is the inerrant word of God sufficient for all mankind to find all truth, beyond that moment of being born of the Spirit as the heavenly Father’s child, today?

    Do you believe that the “LORD your God” of Leviticus 24:22 is the same LORD God quoted to have said Matthew 5:38-48?

    What do you derive from your interpretation and study of the Bible ….

    You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

    2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NIV2011)

    … relative to the fact that there was no compilation of a New Testament canon in Corinth at the time of Paul’s letter?

    By your studies you are then aware that Saul of Tarsus was highly educated in scripture and found that superiority of knowledge sufficient evidence to personally have followers of Christ persecuted and murdered in God’s name. It was only by the Spirit of the living God, writing on his heart (not of flesh but of spirit), that he learned to reconsider his interpretation of scripture to follow Christ to his death.

    The Spirit, by my personal experience, often does contradict written testimony. I have one Teacher when in only company of other children of God, siblings of our one Instructor. I am called to teach others only so far as they come to accept the Spirit of truth as their one Teacher, and then to support my sisters and brothers of God in all love as equals.

    You have an education that has expanded your brain to consider beyond those who do not exercise reasoning. Consider that Jesus announced worship of the Father to only in the Spirit and in truth, not in the flesh or the study of God (theology) that is without relationship with and in God without pause, without end. No matter how any carnal church wants to spin it, all that is physical, living or not, will cease. Only the Spirit, having no beginning and having no end, is eternal. If we can’t get that the image of God, graced mankind, is spirit then we can’t possibly comprehend heaven, being a child of God, eternity, or even infinity. We, likewise, cannot then possibly understand that living with and in the Spirit truly means Christ being in each and each being in Christ, the Father being in each and each in the Father, as one bound in all love.

    The Bible means absolutely nothing to me except as a tool to teach others, who find themselves stuck in the Bible as their one word of God, to find the one Teacher, one Instructor and one Father forever as the inerrant word of God and divine family that will never leave them orphaned.

    I am a little child of God dependent upon the Spirit of truth to teach me as I can bear. I am nothing, and I know nothing at 74 years (relative to the revolutions of my puny earth around its dim sun) of age, compared to my Father and my brother Jesus. I carry my cross, not because I am the prophesied Messiah, but, because of my Father’s will and my Instructor’s example.

    Yes, I shotgun all around through the clear picture in my heart and mind of spirit, shared by the Spirit living with and in, that it might, also, begin to develop within the spirit hearts and minds of others to see to accept the one appearing as a dove into their heart, soul, strength, mind in all love.

    If it would help you I would be glad to focus to show many, many conflicts of testimony throughout the Bible. The human conflicts of inspired understanding do not subtract from the fact that the Bible can lead, will and has led, to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of inerrant truth, in their midst to live with and in them forever. The Bible contains virtually nothing compared to what there is yet to know, to relate to, and to relate with.

    Maybe, you could help me by explaining what you mean relative to …

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    John 5:39-40 (NIV2011)

    … “emphasizing the OT Scriptures”. I really don’t believe Keith anywhere was denying the value of the Old Testament to lead others to Christ. I agree with Keith that neither Testament written by the hand of Man is without error. I agree with Keith that accepting any other truth than that directly from the Spirit of truth is subject to error. That includes what you argue and what I argue as truth to the best of our abilities. As I read it, the entire point of Keith’s article is getting our brains out of the Bible to be directly led into all truth by our living God, apropos to each as we each can bear, which seems to be what Jesus is saying in John 5:39-40.

    I have already overstayed my allotted time to be understood here and, yet, I sense I haven’t shown enough for you to understand why defending the Bible as true, though accepted as sincere human testament I agree it is (useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness), is pointing others into the Bible and away from the immediately available and most solely sufficient, inerrant Teacher, now and forever, the true and only Spirit of truth.

    For the moment it’s the best I can do. You are loved!

  • soter phile

    I agree that we can only understand by the Spirit (as 1 Cor.2:6-16 makes abundantly clear), but where I think you’ve gone off the rails is pitting the Holy Spirit against Scripture.

    Consider …
    a) your pneumatology: where do you get your understanding of the Holy Spirit? From the very Scripture you would undermine as a merely human text? that’s fatally flawed just on logical grounds.
    b) the Scriptures themselves repeatedly teach the Holy Spirit wrote them, even through mere humans (e.g., 1 Pet.1:21)
    c) Jesus himself simultaneously refers to human and divine authors of the same text (“Moses said…” yet he still calls it the “Word of God”; Mk.7:10-13).
    d) Jesus claims not the least stroke would disappear from the OT before it was fulfilled – hardly the type of claim to make for a merely human document
    e) as you noted in Jn.5:39-40, Jesus claims to be the whole point of the OT – again, a rather problematic claim for your position that this is a merely human document
    f) no one quotes the OT more than Jesus – why would God make such a point of quoting error-riddled, merely human texts?

    The major problem with your chosen (popular) line of logic is often the unspoken, underlying agendas. For many, there is some part of Scripture one does not like and/or wishes to jettison or dodge. Sadly, in such cases, the real problem is not even the presenting, symptomatic issue, but rather it is that underlying hermeneutical lens. Once we begin throwing out whatever we don’t “like” about Scripture, we fail to hear God’s Word as such. It necessarily becomes second to ‘my’ word/experience/etc.

    If THAT is what you mean by the “Spirit” being your teacher… that fails to understand some rather basic things about this Word that claims to be written by that same Spirit, the Word which claims that Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (Jn.16:13) and the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:6-7; the same Jesus who was always quoting Scripture, and who said the HS would remind you of all I said), much less that same Spirit which delineates between the Spirit of truth & the spirit of error (1 Jn.4:6).

    That hermeneutic is not reading Scripture “to the best of our abilities.” And it would be unloving for me to affirm such a way of reading the Bible that throws out clear teaching (whether about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, any given hot topic, etc.) – especially when the central agenda of Scripture is that we would know Jesus and become like him. How can Jesus be ‘Lord’ when we put our own word over and above His?

    If the Spirit is your teacher, take up the Scriptures the Spirit wrote, the Scriptures that point to Jesus, the Scriptures he constantly quoted and said would not pass away. That is how we know who Love is. And that tells us what real love looks like – even and especially when our versions of ‘love’ do not match the One who defines Love, including parts of his Word we find uncomfortable, difficult or even repugnant. The Spirit should have us asking not “What’s wrong with God’s Word?” but rather “what’s wrong with my understanding here? what might even reveal what’s wrong with me here?”

    That’s the Spirit that transforms at work. But it’s virtually impossible to be transformed when we’re busy dodging the very places he’s calling us to change.

  • Herm

    a) I do not study God, anymore than Jesus, the Messiah, studys God today. Jesus is my one Instructor and the Spirit of truth is my one Teacher (Matthew 23:812). Theology is no more than an intellectual substitute for those who don’t know God from a familial perspective. The Pharisees, Caiaphas and teachers of the law studied scripture diligently and did not recognize the Christ, the Son of God led by the Holy Spirit, in their midst. I am a child of God living with and in the Spirit of truth today and forever. Flesh is not spirit. Spirit is not flesh. What infant child of flesh understands her/his family on logical grounds? I am barely beginning my relationship with a Father that is spirit. I know him because he is in me and I am in him. There is nothing written of Jesus’ commandments, or the way to inherit eternal life, that is determined “on logical grounds”. It was the Pharisees and teachers of the law, with insufficient righteousness to enter the kingdom, who studied God in the scriptures, and “on logical grounds” who still sought to kill the Son of God in the name of, and by the authority of, God.

    b) It is through Christ (1 Peter 1:21) we, mankind gifted the image of God which is spirit and not flesh, know of the Spirit of truth, to be filled (baptized) with that we may be led into all truth, as we can each bear (John 16:12-15 and Acts 4:31). After Jesus ascension, the New Testament scripture had not been written when disciples of the Messiah were teaching new disciples, of all nations, that they, too, could be filled (baptized) with the Holy Spirit to boldly speak the word of God (Matthew 28:18-20). None of scripture was readily available for mass study until 1,400 years after the ascension of Christ who had all active authority in heaven and on earth for children of God in the Spirit. No where in scripture does it say that scripture was written by the Holy Spirit. The Decalogue is the only occurrence referenced by scripture when anything was written by the hand of God.

    c) I think you had best read Mark 7:10 fully to begin to understand the concept of defilement. That scripture quote does not presume that Moses got it all right. Jesus did not refer to Moses as a divine writer but as he with covenant authority over the Jewish nation granted him by God. This is referred to as “Moses’ seat” (Matthew 23:2) that was abolished when the curtain before the Holy of Holies was torn top to bottom when Jesus gave up his spirit, and the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament scriptures) were fulfilled. This did not presume that Moses got it all right.

    The following two scriptures make it very clear that Moses wasn’t always speaking for the same “Lord your God” as we think today.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV2011)

    “ ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

    Leviticus 24:17-22 (NIV2011)

    d) The heaven and the earth disappeared for Jesus when he said, “It is finished”, bowed his head and gave up his spirit. The dead know nothing.

    e) NO, you assume and read too much into what I was drawing attention to. It is those who study, deliberate, interpret and second guess God through the scriptures, who never come to know Jesus in them, and they in Jesus, who are blind to the Spirit of truth in their midst. The Old Testament is known in the New Testament as the “the Law and the Prophets” (the first five books as the Law). The two scriptures following tell what “the Law and the Prophets” both sum up and hang on. If you read to comprehend you might notice that the Old Testament isn’t always interpreted as in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12 (NIV2011)

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV2011)

    f) Above (c) you will find that I already addressed that Jesus did not always agree with Old Testament scripture. I will place two more contrasting examples following. Please, note that when Jesus is quoted to begin with “ You have heard that it was said” he is diplomatically referring to Old Testament scripture.

    Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

    Psalm 139:21-22 (NIV2011)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV2011)

    You wrote, “If THAT is what you mean by the “Spirit” being your teacher… that fails to understand some rather basic things about this Word that claims to be written by that same Spirit, the Word which claims that Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (Jn.16:13) and the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:6-7; the same Jesus who was always quoting Scripture, and who said the HS would remind you of all I said), much less that same Spirit which delineates between the Spirit of truth & the spirit of error (1 Jn.4:6).

    You just used John 16:13 to support your surmise that the Christian Bible is the word of God. It is not. I have used John 16:12-15 above (b), along with Acts 4:31, to teach you that the word of God is not the New Testament scripture. The Spirit of truth living with and in me right this moment, forever, without pause is explained by the mechanics of spirit, not the logic of flesh, in the following:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about the Spirit of truth available to you, in your midst, yet you refuse to come to him to have life. If what is written in John 14:15-21 is correct, and I testify that it is, why do you need a 1,900 year old document to lead you into all truth, just as much as you can bear, today?

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

    John 3:5-8 (NIV2011)

  • soter phile

    a) your argument here is preposterous.
    -Jesus wasn’t denouncing logic. He used it in most of his teaching.
    -Jesus wasn’t denouncing study of the OT. he was telling the Pharisees that their studies *should* have led them to him. if anything, his constant quoting of the OT alone should make that clear.

    and that’s without even addressing the severe problems in your views on the Trinity… though something tells me you’re going to object even to the use of that term…

    b) you said: “No where in scripture does it say that scripture was written by the Holy Spirit.”

    2 Pet.1:21 (not 1 Peter) – prophets spoke as they were carried along by the Spirit
    2 Tim.3:16 – all Scripture is God-breathed (note well the use of pneuma here; the verb is literally “God-spirited”)
    Jn.16:12-13 – the HS will guide you into all truth (spoken to the disciples, many of whom were authors of Scripture; a fact echoed in Jn.14:26)
    1 Cor.2:12-13 – Paul speaks not in human words, but words taught by the Spirit (note: he’s writing those words)
    2 Sam.23:2 – “The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.”
    Acts 1:16 – Peter quotes 2 Sam.23 (above) & then says: “this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David”
    Lk.1:70 – God “spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old”

    c) I have read Mk.7. Fully. And I’ve *also* noticed that Jesus refers to Moses’ words as “the Word of God” – or do you deny the clear meaning of v.9-13?

    and your argument on the Sermon on the Mount is a classic meme that has long been addressed & debunked. Jesus is *raising* the bar throughout the SMT, not lower or rejecting it. It’s all in a deliberate form to help the “religious” recognize that their moralism will not save them (i.e., the “good people” need saving as much as the bad).

    d) you said, “The dead know nothing.”
    that’s not what Scripture teaches throughout. from Sheol, to the grave, to David saying of his dead son “he will not come to me but i will go to him”, to eternal punishment, to the parable of the rich man & Lazarus, to the thief being told “today you will be with me in paradise”…

    e) since when do summaries directly contradict their component parts? it’s intrinsic to the word ‘summary’ that the component parts are well represented.

    and again, Jesus IS the point of the Law – as it reveals the character of the God who is both just & merciful – two seeming opposites, neither of which can be compromised if the OT is true, but which find their resolution on the cross where the two are held together.

    f) and, again, Jesus *elevates* the standard – he doesn’t contradict it. He’s constantly quoting it, even as he’s suffering & dying on the cross (Ps.22). the OT is almost ever-present on his lips.

    that’s because the same God who wrote the OT does not contradict his own word. Remember Mk.7? No, Jn.16:12-15 isn’t pitting the HS against the Scriptures – it’s explicitly pointing out the connection.

    Think: the HS will guid you into all truth…
    who is the way, the truth & the life? Jesus.
    who said the point of the entire OT was himself? Jesus.
    who refers to human authors as writing the Word of God? again, Jesus.
    who is the Word Incarnate in Jn.1? Jesus.
    and how would you keep his commands if you didn’t know them from the Scriptures?

    if you are a follower of Jesus, why wouldn’t you share his view of the Scriptures?

  • Herm

    Me thinks you struggle too hard.

    You wrote, “how would you keep his commands if you didn’t know them from the Scriptures?

    How did the thousands who died following the commands of Jesus know before the the christian Bible was gathered, compiled and canonized first in the year 325? Oh, wait there is something explaining that in Matthew 28:18-20 which, by the way, was written long after the chronicled occurrence in Acts 4:31, you know, where the word of God (probably some commands) was boldly spoken, not written.

    You diligently study the New Testaments thinking you have eternal life when all it takes is what is written in Luke 10:27, that most disciples knew before it was written, they knew in their heart and mind of spirit, not flesh. The New Testament scriptures are the very ones who witness that you must be born again, baptized, filled, whelmed as Jesus was by the one appearing as a dove to live with and in the Spirit of truth forever, before you can enter the kingdom of heaven. I do have woe for you rejecting the one scripture found in John 14:15-21 as the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven beginning today.

    I am not your teacher, instructor, or father. I have been asked to teach you how to be one with and in God as a little child of spirit born of the Holy Spirit and in truth. All disciples of the one Messiah, Jesus, have only one Father, one Instructor, the Messiah, and one Teacher, the Spirit of truth living with and in them forever, guiding them into all truth as they each can bear [John 16:12-13] today, in heaven and on earth, even those of us still of flesh, sons and daughters of Man.

    You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

    Mark 10:19 (NIV2011)

    Jesus is in me and I am in him, right this moment, and this reciprocal relationship, bound in all love, is promised forever more, never to leave me orphaned as a child of God born of the Spirit.

    If Christ needed the scriptures be written precisely, with no interpretive confusion, he would have written them himself. Today he can easily write the law, his commands, on your heart and in your mind of spirit, if you are receptive. The New Testament that you worship as the word of God was written only by the hand of Man as nothing more than testimony they felt compelled to share in writing.

    The four gospels, that survived the First Council of Nicaea politics sponsored by Roman Emperor Constantine, are clearly not written from the same perspective as that of the one Holy Spirit. What I write to you right this moment is as inspired by the Spirit of truth as were the authors of the entire Bible, as my testimony. Why do you insist that God stopped inspiring scripture 1,900 years ago? Why do you not trust God enough to go to him directly and ask, as Jesus is quoted to have said through scripture that you can?

    Why don’t you hear to speak boldly the fresh word of God apropos to this moment? I do, why not you?

  • soter phile

    1) you said: “me thinks you struggle too hard.”
    no, you’re making a logical leap that is a non-sequitur. you have no access to the very doctrines you invoke unless you rely on the very Scriptures you are undermining. your position is self-defeating. in other words, you need to struggle a little more.

    2) you said: “the christian Bible was gathered, compiled and canonized first in the year 325”
    this is a false representation of the canon as Constantinian construct.
    a) your dating here is off, since Athanasius Easter letter (AD 367) is the first recorded instance of the full 27 books as currently constituted
    b) The Muratorian canon long preceded this (late 2nd c), and had 22/27 NT books… further evidence that the NT was already functioning as authoritative in the pre-Constantinian church.
    c) no church council ‘decided’ the NT canon
    d) early Christians regarded the NT Scriptures as self-authenticating

    There’s much more I could say here… but Michael Kruger’s “10 basic facts every Christian should memorize about the NT canon” series addresses much of what you’ve wrongly assumed here:
    https://www.michaeljkruger.com/the-complete-series-ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize/

    3) you said: “I do have woe for you rejecting the one scripture found in John 14:15-21 as the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven beginning today.”
    NOTE WELL: I have not rejected the Holy Spirit. I am rejecting your radically individualistic mysticism.
    a) again, as a term, you wouldn’t even know the name you’re invoking (“Holy Spirit”, Paraclete, etc.) without the NT Scriptures
    b) nor would you know WHO the HS is. You want to appeal to the modern presence of the Holy Spirit, but even that idea (much less doctrine) is completely founded upon the Scriptures you want to dismiss as ancillary
    c) so do you or do you not regard the Scriptures as authoritative? you seem to want your feet planted firmly in the air of a purely mystical knowledge of God sometimes, and other times you want to invoke the Scriptures. you have a schizophrenic basis for your beliefs
    d) we do not disagree on the role of the HS as necessary to bring anyone to Christ (again, that’s biblical) – but we radically disagree that Scripture is optional or *secondary* to mystical experience. it is not existential experience VERSUS Scripture; that’s a false dichotomy. it’s existential experience INFORMED & NORMED by Scripture.
    e) the Bible blatantly & repeatedly teaches the HS wrote the Scriptures; but you want a spirit that contradicts them. that fails 1 Jn.4:1-4.

    4) you said: “Jesus is in me and I am in him”
    again, that’s almost verbatim Jn.15. why are you denying Scripture as normative for knowing God? you keep invoking it conceptually, but denying its role of correcting misconceptions.

    5) you said: “If Christ needed the scriptures be written precisely, with no interpretive confusion, he would have written them himself.”
    a) this is an argument from silence. that’s a logical fallacy.
    b) this is a counterfactual with a flawed premise.
    – no, Christ doesn’t “need” anything (other than his human needs while he lived a fully human experience).
    – you ignore what Christ himself SAID about the Scriptures, down to the least stroke (Mt.5:17f), which directly contradicts your claim here
    c) God purposefully chose fully human & fallible people (e.g., Moses, David, Paul) to nonetheless write the “Word of God” (as Jesus himself calls Moses’ writings in Mk.7). it’s the doctrine of double agency. human authors? yes. divine author? yes. both. without violating the human character (i.e., not mantic diction), but also without violating God’s character (Ps.19: “the law is perfect”).

    6) you said: “The New Testament that you worship as the word of God was written only by the hand of Man…”
    a) no, the charge of bibliolatry does not fit here. I do not worship the Bible. I worship the Incarnate Word to which the written Word points. that’s a purposeful straw man on your part.
    b) again, you deny what Jesus said (as I demonstrated before), and in addition, here’s Paul directly refuting you:
    “we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.”
    (1 Thess.2:13)
    c) before you dismiss Paul as “merely human” or “corrupt”, remember that his writing largely informs your understanding of the Holy Spirit.
    SUM: the Bible is God’s chosen means of self-revelation. admitting that is not bibliolatry; it’s embracing what God has done… by his Spirit.

    7) you said: “What I write to you right this moment is as inspired by the Spirit of truth as were the authors of the entire Bible”
    this claim fits *your* paradigm (radical, individualistic mysticism) but does not match what the Scriptures teach… the very Scriptures the Spirit wrote.
    a) yes, believers have the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.3:16) living within… again, something Scripturally informed
    b) yes, the Spirit “inspires” us, in a modern sense of the word, but NOT in biblical sense (2 Tim.3:16 does not apply to our words)
    c) but NO, there are no biblical guarantees for our writing, unlike those written by the authors of Scripture (again, 2 Tim.3:16 does not apply to your writing)
    d) when what you are claiming & write here DIRECTLY contradicts the Scriptures the Spirit wrote… therein lies the rub. you choose to go with your autonomous authority, invoking a mystical, biblically indifferent (only when it suits you), self-projected pnuematology
    e) I DO go to God directly… that’s prayer. that’s (again, ironically for you) biblical. And God speaks back AS HE HAS CHOSEN TO SPEAK, namely, through the Scriptures.

    Without God’s Word correcting our own, we replace God with our own words and ideas. A self-projected God cannot help anyone, much less *change* anyone (in which case: why would you need a savior?). God has chosen to speak through His Word – a word he does NOT contradict (Heb.13:7-8). Insofar as your own thoughts contradict that Word… who has the authority? If your God cannot contradict you – who is the real god?

    Self-projected faith is a dead faith, not a ‘fresh word.’
    1 Cor.2:6-16 comes to mind.
    Or as Jesus said: “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.”