and Jeremy Westcott –
A book they didn’t have
If you have spent any time at all in evangelical Christianity, you have probably been taught something like this:
“The Bible is ‘God-breathed’ (2 Timothy 3:16). The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21).” 
As we saw last time, the Bible makes no such claims for itself. The verses quoted are not talking about ‘the Bible’ at all. Jesus is the Word of God, so to describe the Bible as the ‘Word of God’ (especially with a capital ‘W’) is little short of idolatry. We can all have an intimate face to face relationship with the Living Word of God – Jesus – today. Sadly, for many believers, knowledge of the Bible has replaced that intimate relationship with God Himself.
“It’s difficult to expect the same fruit of the early church when we value a book they didn’t have more than the Holy Spirit they did have.” – Bill Johnson
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit will lead us to Jesus (the Truth and Living Word of God) who leads us to the Father in relationship:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:12-13).
Jesus promised that more revelation would come through the Holy Spirit. There is no end to that revelation, no caveat that says ‘until the Bible is complete’. Is it possible that God never intended to limit revelation of who He is to the books of what we call the Old and New Testaments? Should the Bible ever ‘be complete’? Was that God’s intention? Did He even intend for us to have a Bible? Is it possible that insights today can be progressively added by the Holy Spirit?
I began to ask some questions of myself. I encourage you to do the same.
- How much of what I believe came through direct face to face encounter with God Himself?
- How much of what I currently believe has come through other people’s teaching and preaching?
- How much of what I currently believe has come through my own study, leaning on my own understanding, and therefore comes through the confirmation-biased filter of my pre-existing knowledge?
- How many things that I currently believe are different from the understanding that I have previously held? What are those things?
- What do I now believe that contradicts something I strongly believed in the past?
- How much of what I currently believe may change in the future if God continues to renew my mind?
In my own conversations with the Father, He made some statements to me about some of the replacements we have made. His intention was to challenge any religious mindset in me. I offer them here so that if any of these statements resonate with you, or if they arouse anger, indignation or some other strong emotional response, you can take them back to the Father, ask Him why and ask Him to reveal the truth of His heart.
Relationship has been replaced by religion
The Spirit has been replaced by a book
The Living Word has been replaced by the written word
The Truth as a person has been replaced by theological and doctrinal belief systems
Hearing My voice has been replaced by studying a book
The truth of the cross that has reconciled creation has been distorted into a lie that has excluded creation
The perfect picture of love has been twisted to express penal, retributive punishment and torment
The love so perfectly displayed for My children and My creation in the self-sacrifice and offering of My Son has been distorted into a disgusting image of cosmic child abuse
Love that brings life has been perverted into hateful punishment that brings death
The correction and refining that purifies in fire has been replaced by eternal conscious torment
The Perichoresis of a relational loving God has been replaced by Augustinian theology of an angry God
Loving, substitutionary atonement has been replaced by penal, retributive atonement
Restoration has been replaced by punishment
Testing has been replaced by torment
Repentance has become re-penance instead of the renewal of the mind.
The wages of sin have become eternal punishment instead of death
The cross has become penal instead of restorative
Love has been replaced by anger
The grave has been replaced by Hell
The Spirit has been replaced by the letter
The torn veil of the temple has been replaced by the mediatorial coverings of men
Heaven and earth have been separated
An open heaven has been deceptively made a closed heaven
The literal truth of an open heaven has been replaced by analogy and metaphor
Access to heaven through the Way, Truth and Life of Jesus, the Door, has been replaced by access through death
The new covenant of life has been replaced by the old covenant of death
Grace has been replaced by the law
The faith of Jesus has been replaced by faith in Jesus
Salvation by grace has been replaced by the salvation of works
The heavenly priesthood of Melchizedek has been replaced by the earthly Aaronic priesthood
Future fulfilment has replaced past fulfilment
The end of the old covenant has been replaced by the end of the world
The celebration and joy of love have been replaced by the tribulation of fear
Victory has been replaced by rescue
The restoration of all things has been replaced by the destruction of all things
The new heavens and new earth, representing a new temple wineskin, has been replaced by the literal destruction of the world
Parousia of presence has been replaced by parousia of coming
Inclusion has been replaced by exclusion
Reconciliation has been replaced by separation
Preaching the good news of Jesus in people has been replaced by preaching the bad news of exclusion among people
The priesthood of all believers has been replaced by the priesthood of one believer
The bride has replaced the wife: the marriage has been made future not past
The present New Jerusalem on earth has been replaced by a future New Jerusalem coming out of heaven
The past resurrection has been replaced with a future resurrection
The past judgment of the cross declaring that all are innocent has been replaced with a future judgment of only the guilty
‘All are made alive in Christ’ [inclusive] has been replaced by ‘only those in Christ are made alive’ [exclusive]
‘All will confess Jesus as Lord’ has been replaced by ‘some will confess Jesus as Lord’
Being ‘born from above’ has been replaced with being ‘born again’
Being ‘born from above’ through the resurrection has been replaced by being ‘born again’ by praying a prayer of salvation
Salvation of all by grace through the gift of Jesus’ faith has been replaced by the salvation of some by their own faith
Take it back to Him
I am not asking you whether you agree or disagree. Whatever your response as you read through that list, I encourage you to take it back to the Father.
Ask the Living Word of God, Jesus, to give you a true revelation of Himself as the Truth and to deconstruct any pillar of sola scriptura from your mind.
Invite the Truth, Jesus, to deconstruct any lies you believe about the Bible, God, others and yourself.
 source: www . gotquestions.org
When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson, Destiny Image Publishers 2013.
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