Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from you. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: (Mat 12:38-39 KJ2000)
For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Heb 13:11-14 KJ2000)
I was on the phone today with a brother from Arizona and God had been talking to him about signposts and how men who have revelation of the truths of God are like signposts. Then he said, “The trouble is that when we find one of these “signpost” that are clearly pointing to God we want to sit on the signpost and we refuse to go on!” He is right!
We in our fallen human natures tend to be both idolaters and campers. The first thing that Cain did when going out from the presence of God was to go into the world and build encampments or cities. Finally, in few generations later men in rebellion against God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply”and spread through and take dominion over the whole earth (an early type of the great commission… they all gathered together in Babel around a leader named Nimrod and he convinced them to build a city “least we be scattered across the face of the earth” and to raise up a tower unto the heavens that they might “make a name” for themselves. Ancient history goes on to show that Nimrod and his wife Semiramis became the very first idols of men and down from them came the other cultural pagan gods of Baal, Moloch (Molok), Jupiter, Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Diana, etc.
Nimrod was the first king in the Bible narrative. It is interesting that melek is the Hebrew word for king! When Israel demanded of God a human king to rule over them instead of Him (see 1 Samuel 8), they became worshippers of Moloch instead of God. No wonder He was so offended with them! His chosen people preferred a man to watch over them and go before them in battle whereas God had been doing that all through their history for them and they never needed a human king before. This was the beginning of the end for Israel. Most of their kings were human despots who led them away from God and only David (their second king) was “a man after God’s own heart.”
So, after many failed kings and kingdoms in the land of Israel and many “keepers” of God’s own vineyard – His chosen people — God send forth His Son to take possession of His vineyard for Him and what happens? “But when the tenants [of the vineyard] saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize his inheritance” (Read Matthew 21:33-43KJ2000).
You see the tenants of God’s vineyard, the leaders of the Jews, rejected His Son, Jesus, when He came to them. They required a “sign” instead of Him! So they plotted to kill Jesus…
Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. (Joh 11:47-48 KJ2000)
Who’s place and who’s nation??? The chief priests and Pharisees claimed God’s people as their own! They were lords over the flock of God. The temple was theirs, it was their place, their center of power. and they guarded it against God’s chosen and sent ones with great jealousy. How often have we heard a pastor or other minister use the terms, “my church” or “my ministry”? This is s symptom of a terrible disease.
God had sent the Jews other holy men and prophets ahead of Christ and their fathers persecuted and killed these men for the same reason they killed Christ! Jerusalem had become a city of blood. Is it any different to day? Aren’t we who call ourselves “Christians” doing the same thing? God gives us a man or a woman with a vision, a revelation, spiritual understanding or spiritual power to proclaim Christ and point the way to Him and His kingdom and what do we do? We idolize their wisdom and knowledge and rally around their vision and teachings. They were only meant to be a signpost pointing the way down the path to God’s eternal city, the New Jerusalem, His holy Zion where Christ rules supreme, but we create our own Babel and camp around the signpost, our new king, and another Christian cult or denomination is born.
In the Matthew twelve passage above, Jesus equates this seeking after a sign as adultery. Why? Because the love and devotion and the preferring of HIS voice (yes, His sheep HEAR His voice – see John ch. 10) that should be in us for Jesus is given to a mere human signpost. Instead of moving on and obeying the upward call of Christ, we camp around them and their teachings. This is spiritual adultery! Jesus is our Husband, not gifted men and women!
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1Co 1:22-24 KJ2000)
Christ crucified, not a sign! HE is the very substance of God, not a shadow. Paul later wrote in chapter three that the Corinthians were “yet carnal” because they were devoted and attached to high profile leaders in the church including him! In Hebrews we read that the scriptures themselves all point to Christ and that they are only a shadow of Christ who is our substance. Yet in our carnal ways, we even make this book our idol and refuse to listen to God’s voice via His Holy Spirit. Yes, God can and does speak through the Bible, but it is nothing but a book without the Spirit of God opening its words up to us. Reading it on our own without His revelation, we will invariably turn its teachings into false doctrines, even doctrines of demons. When the Spirit uses it words to speak to us it is still HIM speaking. The Book is only a sign pointing to Jesus and only He is to be our All in all. Christ is our power and wisdom. He is our knowledge and our very source of all things pertaining to God and godliness. It is “in HIM that we live and move and have our beings.” “All things are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.” It is time that we start living in the fullness of the Son. http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001837.html