The purpose of these articles is to help better understand what the Word of God is actually declaring. Paul say’s first the natural then the Spiritual.[i] This is an important concept to bring understanding.
One problem many have is in how they describe someone who brings spiritual concepts, they say ‘you are spiritualizing’, yet they do exactly the same things in some of their thinking. The issue is that we must know that some things are meant to be understood naturally, and there are some things that need to be understood spiritually and this by applying what Paul say’s in the above passage.
Another point of clarification on the spiritual vs natural understanding is the confusion that comes out of our Greco-Roman educational system in which we have all been indoctrinated, trying to understand scripture which was written to a Hebraic world. Even the New Testament though written in Greek was written to a Hebraic people. And there are many differences as to how these two methods of communication are in many ways totally at odds with each other, especially when it comes to reading of scripture. We must understand that communication is first culturally based, so it is important to not only interpret words but the culture as well. I will mention just a few here.
- The Greek mind sees two worlds, a natural world and a spiritual world. Whereas the Hebrew mind sees one world with two dimensions which are the spiritual and the natural.
- The Greek mind thinks one dimensionally, the Hebrew thinks multi-dimensional.
- The Greek mind focuses on the meaning of words which often creates an abstract view, yet the Hebrew world sees pictures of concepts even the Hebrew alphabet is made up of pictures which is why Psalm 119 is the Hebrew alphabet revealing theology.
This is enough to see that reading scripture is more than just skin deep, yet even in doing so one can glean truth, but we are not called to just read scripture, but to study scripture. We know that the word is oft described as water e.g. “the water of the word”.[ii] I now liken the word to solid water after I received the impression of the word being likened to an “iceberg”. See one can describe an iceberg by looking at what they see, but that is not the full understanding, because we know that 90% of the icebergs volume and mass in where? Underwater where it cannot be seen, until we go below the surface, then a whole new world of understanding opens up to us. It is then that whenever we see an iceberg (read biblical concept) we are never satisfied till we dig deeper that what we see on the surface. As I said many will be satisfied with the truth they receive by reading the words one dimensionally and they will live by the truth they have received, but they will never grasps the depths of God. It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings (royalty) to search it out.[iii]
Then there are those who follow the hunger God by His Spirit has stirred up in them and will pursue the depths of God and His Word and in doing so will be filled. However this creates a possible danger to those who are so focused and that is they can becomes puffed up, or spiritually proud. We must not do so it is a dangerous place to be, but be grace-full to those who are not so endowed for one reason or another.
Another danger is that we can go far beyond what the Word is endeavoring to reveal, and insert our own ideas that cannot be backed by scripture but is based on fables or one is carried away by the own imaginations, or worse still is demonically inspired to draw people away from truth, this is why James tells us; “be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation”.[iv] And so we when we receive what we think to be an understanding we don’t just speak it out but we spend time until we are either convinced what we have is spiritually correct or we lay it aside, or drop it. Remember Daniel in his book tells us that he saw a vision, yet he did not just go out and spread it around, but rather he says that he ‘beheld’ the vision at least seven times until he knew he received the full picture and after this he enquired of the Lord again.[v]
I have heard and I am sure you have as well that there is a Scarlet thread of salvation going through scripture from Genesis to revelation. However on my journey to understand the Kingdom I began to see that throughout the Word there is another colored thread weaving its way through scripture, and that is the Golden thread of the Kingdom. And as I began to understand ‘original intent’ as scriptures true foundation I knew that Genesis 1:1 begins the thread of the Kingdom, while Genesis 3 which reveals Adam’s rejection of God’s agenda, and making his own that God promised mankind that He would provide a without a timeframe that He would bring a deliver. We know from the Word that this would be when sin reached its full measure,[vi] so that God through Christ Jesus could restore His Kingdom.
My prayer is that these articles will encourage you on your journey of Kingdom Life that you will instill in you hope. Hope for the future and enabling you to pass on that hope to your generations. A wise man/woman leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, and if you have no children then become spiritual mothers or fathers to other children around you.
Enjoy the journey to becoming a Kingdom Champion.
The first article coming very soon is; “Understanding the Throne of David”.
©John McDonald December 2016.
[i] I Corinthian 15:46
[ii] Ephesians 5:26
[iii] Proverbs 25:2
[iv] James 3:1
[v] Daniel 7:1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16ff
[vi] Galatians 4:4