Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Living By Every Word That Proceeds From the Mouth of God - Part 3

God’s Word is Non-Contradictory: Implications for God’s Word in Any Age.

(This is part three in a series that examines the view of Justice Boshoff who advocates that God’s word comes to us personally and directly from the Holy Spirit through prayer for wisdom and that the scriptures are a hindrance to hearing the word of God. You can read a transcript of two of his You-Tube videos: According to the Scriptures, You Won't Make It and Breaking Through the Bible Barrier.)

Given any two events in which God has spoken, we are confident there is no contradiction between what he said in one event as opposed to what he said in the other. If there was a contradiction, either one or both statements would not be true, and we believe that God is true and in him is no lie (John 3:33; 7:28; 8:26; Rom 3:4; Rev 6:10; 15:3).

If we assume that Mr. Boshoff’s view is true, that God speaks inwardly through the Holy Spirit, then we must also assume that what God speaks today does not contradict what he has spoken in the past. This is to say that what God has spoken to Mr. Boshoff inwardly cannot contradict what God has spoken through the scriptures. If one avers that he has received the word of God today, but that word contradicts what God said long ago in the scriptures, then what was thought to be the word of God today is, in fact, not the word of God at all. It may be the result of wishful thinking, or an acceptance of an idea or principle that is very desirable, pleasant, and seemingly logical. But it is not God’s word. God does not contradict himself, for there is no contradiction in God. If there were, he would not be God. If contradiction rose within him, he would cease to be God.

If God has spoken in the past, and we can discern the meaning and implications of that word, then it is important that what is proffered as a word from God today should be examined in the light of that past word. Is this not what the Bereans did when Paul preached to them the death and resurrection of Christ?
Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11
They searched the scriptures because Paul used the scriptures to reason with them (Acts 17:2). Paul defended the gospel from the Old Testament scriptures and the Bereans examined those scriptures to see if Paul was telling the truth. Paul did not demand an implicit faith on the part of his listeners but appealed to the scriptures to verify his proclamation.

Jesus likewise pointed to the Old Testament scriptures as witness to himself and his work centuries after they were written:
You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39, 40.
Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you --- Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" John 5:45-47.
The written word had a prominent place in the ministry of Paul and Christ. Undoubtedly, Mr. Boshoff would grant that, but he would say that the scriptures were used to lead to Christ and no more. In support of that, he could point to the post-resurrection incident on the road to Emmaus where two disciples were contemplating the recent crucifixion of Christ. They were downtrodden and full of doubt. When Jesus asked them what was wrong, they were astonished and wondered if it were possible that even a single person could not have known what had happened.

The two men must have been close to the company of disciples because they seemed to be familiar with some who had gone to see the empty tomb for themselves. The report of angels saying he was alive was apparently unconvincing for they were confused about the whereabouts of Christ’s body. They were in a quandary. How did Christ respond?
Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:25-27
 Mr. Boshoff could also point to the Acts of the Apostles where time and again. Paul reasoned from the Old Testament scriptures pointing to Christ or defending the gospel (Acts 17:2, 17; 18:4, 19; 19:8, 9).

Mr. Boshoff can point to all of these as evidence that the value of scripture is only to lead to Christ but nothing more. But these arguments do not clench Mr. Boshoff’s view; rather, they point the other direction. If we see that for Paul and Peter the scriptures were so vitally important to lead us to Christ, how is it that they would not also find in them what is necessary to grow in the ‘grace and knowledge of Christ,’ as Peter writes:
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 1 Peter 2:2.
We understand that the ‘milk of the word’ includes the apostolic word of Peter as well as the other apostles. But given Peter’s high esteem of scripture (2 Peter 1:19-21) it is difficult to exclude, if not give the priority to, the Old Testament scriptures as what is meant by ‘the word.’ This point is not without evidence as Peter uses an application of the scriptures to exhort to tenderheartedness, courtesy, and returning good for evil (1 Peter 3:8-12). We may say that through an insight of the scriptures Peter finds wisdom for growth.

The example of the use of scripture by Christ, Peter, and Paul underscores the truth that the scriptures are never contrary from age to age. They may be relied upon to reason and exhort because they are forever consistent.

Consistency and non-contradiction are inherent to the word of God, regardless of the form it comes in (vision, dream, oracle, law, psalm, parable, epistle, apocalyptic, etc.). A claim to have a word today from God, arising internally from the Spirit must be examined for its consistency with what has preceded.

The question then, Is Mr. Boshoff’s position in keeping with scripture, or contrary to it? Ironically, we must apply the scriptures to Mr. Boshoff in order to confirm or falsify the legitimacy of applying scripture to discern God’s will. That fact in itself exposes Mr. Boshoff’s position as irrational and contradictory.

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