By Deolu Akinyemi
How we read the Bible determines if we’ll be informed or transformed.
There is No Place for Liars in God’s Kingdom.
Rev 22: 14-15
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”
How can someone love and practice lies? Is this the normal lying that people do different colors of? White, red or black lies? Or is something else going on? The love of lies and the practice of lies is anything that misses the mark of truth – Christ. Jesus is the truth, anything that takes your eyes off him, wants you to believe in a lie. In John 8, Jesus looked the pharisees, who claimed that God was their father, in the eye and declared – “you are of your father the devil… a murder and lying is his native language.” The Pharisees did not know that they needed a paternity test, Jesus made it clear, that while men can claim God as their father and heritage as Abraham’s seed, they may be sons of the evil liar. The paternity test is a test of fruits. Lying is everything that takes away from Christ, or tries to add to Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life. There are many amazing principles in scriptures, if it does not pass through the lens of Christ, it will lead to a practice of lies. Jesus is the gate to the sheep pen, he’s also the good shepherd. Anyone who tries to access the sheep without going through the gate is a thief. Eternal destinies are robbed on the altar of principles that have no connection to Christ.
Here are a few examples.
1. Joseph offers an amazing narrative for rags to riches, from zero to hero. There are many principles one can learn from this story, but if you look through the lens of Jesus, you realize that the real lessons have nothing to do with prison or palace, but what God was doing for Judah through Joseph. God was preserving Jesus in Judah, as foretold. Joseph was also foreshadowing Jesus, and laying down the parameters of salvation by a rejected brother. Are the principles now invalid because they are not pointing to Christ? Yes! Because if you rejoice that Joseph makes it from slave to palace by faith, how will you value the fact that Moses moved from palace to exile by the same faith? Our message is Christ, no addition, no subtraction – even from the old testament. The entire Bible has a context – that context is Christ. We must avoid the natural inclination of quoting or using outside context. Christ came to give heading and meaning to scriptures, it’s not what man is doing that should ever catch our eyes, the question is what was God doing?
2. Abraham also offers exciting narratives. His childlessness is an exploited reality for children promising false prophets – “the God that did it for Abraham and Sarah at a ripe old age, will do it for you or Abraham’s blessings are yours! Anyone that curses you will be cursed! Through you, nations will be blessed.”Are these really the lessons? Where is Christ in this wish or prayer point? What God promised Abraham was blessing not blessings. We understand by reading scripture in context that the blessing was going to be executed in Christ. (Gal 3). We realize the the promise of a seed was Christ, and except we are a part of that seed, we have no part in the promise made to Abraham. The Blessing every nation receives from blessing Abraham is Jesus Christ, and the curse is the rejection for everyone who rejects Him. While God was doing something eternal in the Abraham narration, we easily get distracted by what Abraham is doing. Abraham didn’t make himself right with God, God set Abraham right, because Abraham believed God. All the narrations point to Christ, we must not miss the forest for the trees (John 5:39 MSG).
3. Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Cain, Babel, Noah, Hannah, Samuel, Saul, David e.t.c. all have amazing Christ narrations. They make exciting children Bible stories if Jesus does not open our eyes. My prayer is that what Jesus did with His disciples in Luke 24 will be done to us all. May God open our eyes to understand scriptures. The fundamental understanding of which is realizing the interconnection of all things to Christ. Did you observe that after Jesus’ resurrection, overtime any of the disciples of Jesus got up to speak, they took the story from anywhere in the Bible the narration was and connected it all the way to Christ? Read Peter, Stephen, Paul and all – the disciples found something that is lost on this generation of part time Christ followers.
Not only is all scriptures about Jesus, all things find their rightful places in Him.