“The word of God is not bound.” (2 Tim. 2:9). But sadly, there have been times in history that the Bible was chained to an altar written in a language only scholars could understand. Thank God for great men like Wycliffe, Luther and Tyndale we can read the Bible in the language of the people. Now many years later, with so many interpretations something has gone wrong and many are still thirsty for the fountains of the scripture to be opened by men who call on the Lord with a pure heart whose sole motive is to glorify God (2 Tim. 2:22).
This day of doctrinal chaos is heartbreaking. What is worse is when men who profess to believe the “cardinal doctrines” of scripture suppress the truth in unrighteousness by holding back and committing spiritual fraud by not proclaiming what the Bible really says (Rom. 1:18)! There lies the Bible in chains! God hates the false doctrine of preachers who preach from their own spirit, desires and thoughts! He loathes when men hold the party line, being political and he ridicules the pastors who reinterpret his Word in order to pander to people.
Many preachers on the television, radio, and Internet are so misleading by making the word either ambiguous or uncertain or they preach only what they deem to be practical and positive. The focus on the agenda issues and negelct the weightier matters of the Word of God. In some cases, domestic abuse, perversion, adultery, malfeasance is the poison fruit of these ministries because they have chosen another god with another message because they have discarded the scripture and its proper interpretation (Hosea 7:4). It is high definition heresy. The issue is clear: to abandon God’s Word is to abandon God. To not preach the scripture is abandoning his covenant (Deut 29:25) and despising his Word by breaking his commandments (Num 15:31; 2 Sam 12:9).
All the religious experts want you to buy what they are selling: knowledge of God without embracing the teaching of scripture. God has called men who preach to be charitable not marketable. We must in love freely give what the Lord says not wholesale the fashionable ideas of our day. These diabolical hunters of the souls of men are becoming worse “deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:13) and they are regarded as the experts on church growth and about God. Yet the Bible seems chained up, relegated to a small corner and back room for those who “want to go deeper.” The Bible is peripheral, the scripture is marginalized any way you look at it-it cannot be central when the agenda of flesh is in the center.
A bone chilling verdict has been pronounced many times against those people who profess to serve the one true God in any time period who become backslidden and even apostatize from the faith. This judgment begins “the house of God first” (1 Peter 4:17) and the pastors and churches that refuse to obey will be robbed of the most precious gift God has ever given his people: the Word of God. Imagine that! God will no longer speak to his people. Evangelicals may have the Bible, our wonderful confessions and creeds, but could it be possible, could it be they do not have the testimony of Christ because a shroud blinds their eyes, a cold mist covers their heart because of their unbelief (John 5:39; 2 Cor. 4:3-4)?
If Christianity chained the scriptures to an altar for one thousand years and the Jews of Christ day rejected the Messiah even with the scriptures and the voice of the prophets read in their synagogues every day (Acts 13:27) can we no longer be suspect? Have we provoked the Lord to jealousy are we greater than him (1 Cor. 10:22)? This unbelief is the notion of being relevant without being prophetic. It charges God with lying by saying that his Word is not enough. I insist that God can, will and may have begun already a deep sleep upon their hearts, blindness to his truth and muffled their voice (Isaiah 29). The unintelligible spittle that I have seen lately in the media from the pulpit is not the word of God but it the useless wisdom of man. The prophecy of the scriptures lies dormant because we have made it irrelevant fine print.
The United States has entered into another era which comes in history from time to time where it is said, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.” (Amos 8:11-13). Even today we have to reach back many years to the commentary of the reformers and a few men of like precious faith.
There is a lot of “sharing” of religious thoughts and ideas going on today in many different ways, shapes and forms but it is not the word of God. Why shoul we complain then when we see that God sends this famine. He is the source of it. People have serious problems with such a statement. In the church today we defend God as if he was flawed somehow and that when tragedy happens we use some other excuse saying that this is not God and even attributing it to the devil, global warming and the like. But God is Sovereign and he issues a guilty sentence on apostasy and he does it by removing the gift of his Word and his servants who preach it and the signs that accompany it in God ordained, God anointed preaching (Ps. 74:9; Mk. 16:20).
Arthur Pink commenting on the witness protection program of Elijah the prophet says about God. “The most valuable gift He grants any people is the sending of His own qualified servants among them, and that the greatest possible calamity which can befall any land is God’s withdrawal of those whom He appoints to minister unto the soul, then no uncertainty should remain. The removal of the ministers of His truth is a sure sign of God’s displeasure, a token that He is dealing in judgment with a people who have provoked Him to anger.”
In the Gospel of Luke there is a lesson in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man is sent to eternal hell and is tormented. His family saw him die. They had his funeral. The sent the flowers. They mourned and dispersed his inheritance. The buried him. He was dead. But they are unaware of where he is after he is dead. He is in a burning hell. This man sees Abraham and suddenly he is gripped with the condition of his family. He knows they are not ready to die and they will end up in where is he is. Even in his own pain a sense of unselfish desire grips him. He must tell his family about this place!
He begins a heart rending dialogue with Abraham and asks for the chance to be sent from hell back to the world of the living and to his family. This man would have been the greatest evangelist that ever lived. A man, who dies, buried and sent to hell and then resurrected to tell others to repent so they won’t go to hell. But Abraham does not say it is impossible, (Christ holds this title of Great Evangelist) but Abraham it is quite unnecessary. Notice what Jesus reports in Luke 16:29-31:
“Abraham saith unto him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”
And he said, “Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.”
And he said unto him, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Jesus Christ the resurrected Prince of Life teaches us that if people do not believe the scriptures, they will not believe the miraculous and, “though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” (John 12:37). If they cannot believe the Bible they will not believe in the testimony of one who has come back and has witnessed what is on the other side of eternity.
Oh that we had people that would turn to Christ just because the Bible says to do it and because men of God challenge them by the preached Word! The Bible says that John the Baptizer “did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man (Christ) were true.” (John 10:41). I pray that once again we would base the worth of a man’s preaching ministry on his love for God in the accuracy of his testimony about Jesus Christ.
When a man steps behind the pulpit and really preaches the Word as intended he must leave the consequences to God Almighty. When the barrel of the Bible gun is pointed at the world in its politics, sexual orientation, abortion and evolutionistic beliefs there is no problem. But when the bullets fly in the church-that is a different story and you will see plenty of elbows and heels. Many times when a preacher begins to compare the scripture with the way the church is being run I am sure that they will be seen as a threat. Many man pleasers end up in leadership in this structure with their sycophantic brown noses and spread the odious gospel of flesh without harm. But anyone who desires to preach the Word will be berated as unspiritual, unteachable, and unaccountable and bullied verbally or shunned stealthily. The Bible does never, ever agrees with sinful man, it does not compromise with rulers and it does not change for the law breaker. It brings comprehensive and total change.
God is calling men today to speak his unfettered, uncontrolled and undomesticated Word. To preach the Bible with fire of the Holy Ghost burning in their belly, with lips touched by the finger of God, with heads anointed with the oil God’s presence who do not trust in their own words but in the scriptures testimony about itself that it is God speaking to the people.
How long will the Bible be in chains? How long will it be shackled to the altars of denominational, religious and political rhetoric? When will we allow the same book that released an entire continent from religious slavery as in the Protestant Reformation to liberate the United States from it sins? How long will we cower from the message of the scripture because we are afraid of the power it carries and the sword that it wields to overthrow everything we hold dear and replace it with God’s glory and life? It shakes all that can be shaken until only it the living Word of God remains which cannot be toppled.
How long will we shun the same word that brought sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, mobility to the paralyzed and life to the dead? How long will we limit the Holy One and resist the Holy Ghost because of uncircumcised hearts and ears! The word of the Lord is near us, it need not be brought down from heaven or lifted up from the depths and that word is come to test us and everything we are to see if we will speak it for God and his glory. Oh dear brother, preacher, pastor unchain the Book of books, let his words fill your tongue and God will give you his authority, power and Word as he speaks in his Divine Right, “Let My people go!”