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Grace Bible Church

Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 020914
The Mystery of the Gospels concerning the Sword of the Spirit.

 

We have been traveling back and forth through the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke as we have been studying the life of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is manifested by the sword of the Spirit. This is because each Gospel focuses in on a different aspect of the Lord Jesus Christ and His ministry on the earth. This is called the doctrine of divine inspiration which by definition means that: God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture, that without waving their human intelligence, or their individuality, or their style of writing, Or their personal feelings or any other kind of human factor, His own complete and coherent message to man was recorded in perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. And it’s important to note that the very words bear the authority of divine authorship.

 

This is called verbal plenary inspiration of the Scripture. This means that God the Holy Spirit through the principle of Revelation led the writers of the first four Gospels to write what He desired to reveal to them in a book or a Gospel with their own style and their own vocabulary, God's words about the Lord Jesus Christ. The writers of the Gospel are not mimicking God the Holy Spirit’s precise words, but He is motivating them to record the life of Christ in their own viewpoint.
The Holy Spirit inspires and ensures the accuracy and the preciseness of the word of God. For example, most scholars believe that the Book of Matthew was written by the apostle Matthew. And that Mark was written by John Mark of Jerusalem. Most scholars and early Church Historians believe that the Gospel of Luke was written by Dr. Luke and his patient, the apostle Paul.

The Gospel of John was written by John. As an example of this principle of how and why God the Holy Spirit operates like this notice what Dr. Luke said in LUK 1:1-3, Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write {it} out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus [means friend of God]; The great discovery is that the Bible is a message system: it’s not simply 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, the Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail.
These principles of the importance of the Gospels and the Word of God, or the Word from God as brought out in the Gospels are found both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, the prophet Ezekiel gave us a glimpse of the Gospels in his visions of the Cherubim angels and the wheels attached to them in EZE 10:14, And each one had four faces. The first face {was} the face of a cherub, the second face {was} the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. The first face attached to a cherub refers to Mark’s Gospel.
The second face {was} the face of a man, referring to Luke.
The third the face of a lion - Matthew.
The fourth the face of an eagle - Gospel of John.

This is from the Word of God that is alive and powerful, HEB 4:12, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. PRO 30:5, this same word is described for us by Solomon when he said, Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. In LUK 11:28, we are told that there are blessings that come from the Word of God; LUK 11:28, But He said, On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.

ACT 6:7 is from the Word of God that raises up disciples; And the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. EPH 6:17 is from the Word of God that is called to be a blessing: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This word of God cleanses us: JOH 15:3, You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. This same word give us spirit and life, JOH 6:63, It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. We are told in 1PE 1:23, that we were born again by this word, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. In REV 19:13, we are told that our Lord’s name is the Word of God, And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

The heavens were created by the Word of God says PSA 33:6, By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. The Word of God abides forever in 1PE 1:25, But the word of the Lord abides forever. The apostle Paul gives us the divine conclusion. ROM 10:11-15, Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!" So, not only do we have a glimpse of the Gospels in the O.T. dispensation of the Law, but also it is referred to in the N.T. book of Revelation during the dispensation of the Tribulation period.

This is found in REV 4:6-7, and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. This time the lion is mentioned first, a reference to the Gospel of Matthew. The second creature is like a calf, a reference to the Gospel of Mark.
The third creature we are told looks like a man, a reference to the Gospel of Luke.
The fourth creature is like an eagle, and is a reference to John. In the doctrine of typology or a discussion concerning interpreting symbols, the number four is symbolic of global completeness denoting the entire world, the earth. The message of the gospels is intended for worldwide dissemination.

The gospels also give us a fourfold manifestation of Christ: He is seen in His sovereignty (Matthew), ministry (Mark), humanity (Luke), and deity (John). For hundreds of years, Christian tradition has connected the authors of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) with the four living creatures that surround God’s throne, as described in REV 4:7.

 

As we have noted before the Bible is a book where Evidence Demands a Verdict. The Bible gives us evidence and then puts the ball in our court, saying in effect; what is your verdict that you conclude after hearing the facts that have been presented? The evidence is that the first four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are symbolic of four major principles. The symbols are the Lion, the ox, the man or the servant-hood of men, and the eagle. The lion stands for Matthew, for he specifically saw Jesus as the Messiah and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The ox stands for Mark, because it is the animal of service and sacrifice, and Mark saw Jesus as the great servant of men and the universal sacrifice for all mankind.

 

The man stands for Luke or the servant-hood of Jesus Christ as found in the Gospel of Luke. The eagle stands for John, because it alone of all living creatures can look straight into the sun and not be dazzled. Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John the eagle. REV 4:1-2, After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Then in REV 4:6-7, and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. The Bible must be interpreted in the time in which it was written and that Bible doctrine must be taught based upon three principles, which we call the ICE principle. I = Isagogics or the historical setting of the passage. C = Categories or the systematic theology developed from combining Scripture with Scripture. E = Exegesis is the grammatical and syntactical analysis of the passage from the original languages.
I’m about to give you some astonishing information that will once again reveal the super-natural origin of the Bible as stated hundreds and hundreds of times throughout God’s word. The Bible is a supernatural book and if individuals would only take some time to examine the evidence, they would discover that the Bible is literally the Word of God. It’s interesting that in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, there are seven different churches mentioned and there are basically two different interpretations of the seven churches mentioned.

Some teach that the seven churches portray seven historical stages during the Church-age that the Church would go through. Others teach that it refers to the seven different types of individual believers that live in every generation. Both of these have some validity to them. The Church in Ephesus had to deal with those who called themselves apostles, and were not, and this was a big problem in the early Church. This is known as the Apostolic Period, from the period of Pentecost to around AD 100. This was the period of the Faith Defined. Then we have a second historical period of the Church in human history, the Church of Smyrna inREV 2:9, which went through tremendous tribulation and poverty. This period is known as the Roman Persecution Period - from AD 100-313. The period of the Faith Defended.

Then in REV 2:13, Pergamum is said to have dwelt where Satan’s throne is. Many historians point to the fact this refers to the time of Constantine who literally said he was taken the place of the Christ, in fact, this is one of the definitions of anti-Christ. Historians call this the Old Catholic Period, catholic is used in the sense of the universal church not the Catholic church as we know it today, - AD 313-590. Then in REV 2:18-20, the church of Thyatira, tolerated the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads the Lord’s bond servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

 

Church historians point to this period of time as the time of the ascendancy of Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholic Period - AD 590-1517. The time of the Faith Defiled. In REV 3:1-2, we have the Church of Sardis. This is said to be a time when the church woke up, a period of time that we call the Reformation or the Protestant Period - AD 1517-1795. The Faith Discovered. InREV 3:8, the Church at Philadelphia is described as one that has divine good deeds and a little power, and they have kept with doctrine and have not denied the Lord’s name. This is said to be the time of the full restoration of New Testament truths and missionary enterprises as never before, something that really happened in the past couple of centuries in England and even our United States. This period of time is called the Missionary and New Testament Assemblies Period - AD 1795-1870.

 

The time of Faith Discerned. Finally in REV 3:14, we meet the lukewarm Church of Laodicea. This is the Modernist and Ecumenical Period - AD 1870 - Rapture. The time of the Faith Denied. So we have: The Faith Defined. The Faith Defended. The Faith Disputed. The Faith Defiled. The Faith Discovered.

 

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