You Have Exalted Your Word Above All Your Name

 

bible-sunlight-fire

As the psalmist turns to the temple to worship he writes in Ps. 138:2: “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” God’s Word is His communication, His promise, the revelation of Himself to His people. It is to be a lamp to our feet in a dark and fallen world, without it we would have no way to know God or how to do God’s will. Throughout scripture we have a consistent theme of the dichotomy of light versus darkness. The world we live in is darkness reserved for judgment. John the apostle in 1 John 1:5 tells us God is light. Light is God’s very nature, it represents to us Holiness and perfection. This is why we often read that a physical manifestation of God ‘s glory is light or fire. Sin is associated with darkness and judgment. It implies imperfection, and principally ignorance, sinfulness, and misery.

The Psalmist asks Ps 119:9 “How can a young man cleanse his way? He answers, “By taking heed according to Your Word. Just a few more verses later v:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” God’s word keeps us from sin and keeps us on his path, as the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps.119:105) in a dark world.

Ps. 43:3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me. s one reads the psalms one grasps the importance of the Word to the the people of Israel, especially the leaders.

To disregard God’s Word that is holy, pure and absolutely true is to defame God’s name and character. It is to bring ruin upon our walk. So it becomes the main focus point in our daily walk with Christ.

Jesus in his high priestly prayer, (the only one we have details on) says in John 17:6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” Those who want to follow Jesus live by His Word, which separates them from the World, and sets them apart for His service. Jesus said that the words he spoke were not just his but the Fathers also. “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Ps. 138:2). If Jesus manifested God’s name, His nature to the people, how much more important is his Word that is exalted even above his name?

God has delivered to us all that is needed. The Bible says the Scripture is sufficient in all matters for the believers spiritual life, there is no need to go anywhere else to learn how to be spiritual. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Tim.3:16-17). The doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures and its priority in all matters of faith is one of the core teachings of the Christian faith.

This inspiration has to do with the words; the Words of Scripture came from God; they were God breathed through the human agency of men. They as imperfect men did not affect the accuracy or infallibility of the Book. The Bible is as accurate and infallible as if God had written it without any human agent. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet.1:21). God has never left us without a witness; He commanded those who he revealed himself to, prophets, judges or Kings to write down what he has said. The writings were God breathed; He purposely moved the prophets and scribes to write the words down. So it was not by there own initiative, they were not the source but God instructed them and it became God’s communication to mankind.

The word for Scripture in Greek is “graphe” it means “a writing,” or “anything written.” The expression “Holy Scriptures” is found twice in the New Testament: “Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures” Rom.1:2. “And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” 2 Tim.3:15. Wherever we see the word Scriptures it is referring to the Divine writings. The Bible does not contain the Word of God; it is the Word of God.

In a day of various opinions The Bible stands as an absolute reliable source for us to know exactly what God wants us to know, believe, and act in our the spiritual life. Christ is the focus and the theme of all the Scripture, John 5:39.

Peter recalls 2 Pet. 1:18-21 “And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Peter heard the audible voice of God and saw Jesus transformed as showed the disciples the power of the future Kingdom and who He really was by revealing his glory. Peter did not exalt his experience over the Scripture; his experience validated the Scripture. He showed us that we are to make Scripture the rule of our experience. The light that shines in a dark place is our world. We are to take heed to the Word from God as a light for us in the world until the “day” dawns (v.19). That day will establish everlasting righteousness, Christ’s kingdom come to the earth. At that time the “morning star” will arise in our hearts and a new day, the messianic age will begin. This refers to Jesus, as the “ bright morning star” (Num. 24:17; Rev. 22:16), the one whose presence will illuminate any uncertainty that we now experience. At that time our faith will become sight, and we will know even as we are now known (1 Cor.13:12). But until Jesus comes, our first and final authority must always be the sacred Scriptures, which is a lamp unto our feet.

It is written!

Knowing, trusting and obeying God’s Word is our shield to falsehood and the temptations of the world. Christ quoted the Bible as his ultimate authority and witness and it is to be our ultimate authority and guide to living. The Bible, according to the way Christ and the apostles used it, sets the standard for us, providing us with everyday guidance. So why have so many put the Scriptures into a second place next to the Spirit? Why is the word read less and studied in the churches than ever before? The answer is one that you may not like, Jesus said in John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Jesus wants His words to consistently be first in our life, having the highest priority or we will not be led by the Spirit into truth, but be lead away.

Jesus prayed in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” God changes the believers life through the Word, it is a steady work of the Holy Spirit as we walk, yield and obey, He fills us with the Spirit. There is no impartation that will change us like this. The Word is Spirit, and it affect us by our understanding it so we can be changed into the people Christ wants us to be.Ps.119:130 “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.”

Christians that insist on the Holy Scriptures as their only most trusted source of spiritual knowledge are mocked as unspiritual and some consider them to be in idolatry of a book. Move with the spirit is cry of the experientialists. But to have a spirit divorced from the word proves it cannot be the same Holy Spirit who wrote the Word.

Christians since the Scriptures were written have always faithfully reverenced the Holy Scriptures as the VOICE of GOD. If we’re practicing bibliolatry were in good company with David, Moses, Jesus and the apostles.

Only Christians who want to know God by his HOLY WRITTEN WORD, and enter by faith will hear from him. Those who want to know God without it, by any other means are not following the Holy Spirits direction and are only fooling themselves. God does not speak to us new doctrine, it is complete and written down. We are to get in the Word, and let the Word dwell in us, as Jesus said whoever does these sayings of mine will build their house on the rock. These saying are written by the apostles to the church. They are our sure foundation.

Listen to the Psalmist who wrote, “My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word. My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, “When will You comfort me?” (Ps. 119:81-82) Ps. 119:134-136 “Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes. Rivers of water run down from my eyes, Because men do not keep Your law.”

To put the Word as first is to fear God Himself. Isa. 66:2. “But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My Word.” Isa. 66:5 “Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at His word” Ezra 10:3 “tremble at the commandment of our God.” Do we do this today? To honor God’s Word is to honor the God of the Word; He makes no distinction. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13). To fear God is to respect His Word above all else. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” But for those who do not have this respect The Lord says in Prov.13:13-14 “He who despises the word will be destroyed, But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.”

Things are changing all over the world, and they are also changing inside the church. There are those who want to hear something new from God, showing their disrespect for what he has already spoken.

Those who want to hear the fresh word of God need to look for it where it has always been “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (2 Pt. 1:12) The word which is eternal continues to be the same eternal absolute truth to all generations. We may change; our culture our society may change, it has not, the Word continues to have the same power and life to make us new creations.

The Bible states without faith it is impossible to please God, yet the Bible also tells us faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God. Our faith cannot be divorced from the Scriptures, to honor and practice what God has said is to respect the God who said it. Our faith is developed by learning the doctrines by applying them to our life. Scripture can be divided into numerous subjects with its teaching spread throughout the Word. We are to gather the scriptures on subjects to know what God has said and train ourselves in His worldview, so we would be in the world not of it. The Bible states us if you do not continue in the doctrine of Christ you are not his. “Whosoever abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 1:9) That’s how important doctrine is, and the doctrine of Christ can only be found in the word of God, the Bible. We need to be in the Word of God.

The Word is the like the lines on the highway that keep us driving correctly. But we need to listen to it. Many of us have become frustrated because we do not see the results that others have, God is not a respecter of persons, he wants you to be fruitful. To be in Christ and be fruitful we must abide in His teachings, walk in the Spirit. Jesus said in John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine” “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John goes on writing in v:10-11 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The commandments are all his instructions found in His Word (He is not just talking about 10). The abiding factor is done by the Holy Spirit who is in us, when we yield to him.

As Jesus himself said in John 15:26: “when the Helper comes… He will testify of Me [the truth].” I John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” He (the Holy Spirit) is to give us understanding to comprehend the truth: knowing Scripture. The Word of God convicts, saves, and changes us daily.

The Scripture does tell us what the church will be like in the end of time, they will no longer adhere to sound doctrine, they will heap up teachers for themselves. “Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). They will hear other spirits who teach them, leading them away from the Word of God. They will think they are hearing from God when in fact it is the enemy of their soul. We seem to have a built in tendency to wander away from what is right and good for us. We also have an enemy who is constantly trying to remove us from being in the truth and doing the will of God.

Because the Israel did not obey God’s word, he needed to send prophets. The prophet Jeremiah was frustrated because of the peoples unwillingness to hear God’s word “To whom shall I speak and give warning, That they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, And they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD” (6:10-11) Jeremiah had a godly anger against the people that were now unable to hear what God had to say. They had listened to the false prophets messages for so long that they were unable to hear what God really had to say. They could no longer listen to the voice of God because they were trained to hear another’s voice.

When Jesus was among the people he asked and answered his own question. “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word”(John 8:43)

Matt. 11:15-17 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear! But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.” Jesus is explaining to them that they were unmoved in the heart from something that should bring joy, or something that would have them grieve. They were unresponsive, cold; it was all a matter of their heart.

This generation that Jesus offered his messiahship to was more privileged than any other, He was there physically in front of them, they saw the miracles and how he cared for people, they heard His voice, but many were not moved in their innermost being to take to heart what was said and follow. At one point the Scripture says that all the people were going after him but when the questions came up the religious leaders stepped in and the people instead listened to their leaders who were not leading them to know the Word of God, but their own words.

So Jesus was justified to scold them, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered”(Luke 11:52).

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” (Matt 23:13) What happened to the loving Jesus, this doesn’t sound like tolerance. Actually this was the most loving thing he could do, reproof them so they would turn. Yet today we hear do not judge what anyone says, but we see Jesus’ example of doing this all through the Scripture. Those who apostasize from the truth always come against those who stand for it.

Peter said of Paul in 2 Peter 3:15-17, “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.” Yes ones faith can be shipwrecked by listening to those who cannot explain things and yet dress them up as a message of faith. “A Christian would love and adhere to what Jesus and the apostles said before any man. “He who loves the Lord hates everything that offends him” (W.M Cowper)

Much of the church is in denial that they have taken part in any deception. Many do not believe in any deception affecting the Church. Its as if we are behind some wall invulnerable to anything negative taking place. By thinking this they are denying Jesus’ own words who said that deception would take place from false teachers and prophets from inside the church at the end of the age (Mt.24:4-5,23-24). I know none of us like to hear this or talk about it, we want to hope that anything like this will just go away. These heresies have become like stampeding elephants inside the church, yet people act as if they are but a flea that’s barely been noticed.

Psalm 138:2 (NKJV) “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for you have magnified Your word above all Your name.”

Why has God magnified His Word above all His Name? A name is only as good as the word of the person behind that name. A man’s name is esteemed when his word is good. A man’s name inherently communicates the integrity of that man. This is why Proverbs 22:1 declares, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches…” and Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, “A good name is better than precious ointment…” God’s Name is magnified because He is faithful to keep His Word. The nature and character of God’s Name is revealed through His Word. The Bible, the Word of God, reveals the God behind His Name. God’s Name is to be praised because His Word is ever true! God’s Name is holy.

Therefore God will not sanction by His Name what He has not sanctioned by His Word. Neither is He obligated to recognize our works done in His Name (Matthew 7:22-23). Thus we should never accept on face value what is done by people “in the Name of the Lord” or “in Jesus’ Name” (Jeremiah 23:30-32). We must test what is said and done “in His Name” by the Word of God (1 John 4:1). Why? It is because what God sanctions with His Name will never be inconsistent or contradictory with what He has revealed about Himself in His Word. God will confirm His Word done in His Name (Mark 16:20). Because God’s Name is holy, He has chosen to sanctify it by magnifying His Word above His Name.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: