Our Time A Scope I
This is our first lesson in building a scope of God’s Word. We will spend the next few teachings building our scope. Scope refers to the entire Bible from the book of Genesis through the book of Revelation.
Is there a flow, a continuance of thought and direction from the beginning unto the end? Is there a harmony and consistent theme throughout God’s Word or is it a collection of disjointed manuscripts from a bunch of different men?
A scope of these books will also help us build a greater integrity for the Bible which is indeed God’s Word and not simply good principles that a bunch of guys put together centuries ago.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines scope in this manner: “the range of a subject covered by a book, program, discussion, class.”
For example, when you enter a shopping mall, generally, there is a marquee. This marquee will show you a map of the different stores in the mall, but the overall map must also show you a layout of the entire mall.
To simply say, “You are here in the Bible requires a context so that you know where ‘here’ is exactly.”
When is Israel held in abeyance? Why does Israel being held in abeyance matter to us? If you cannot identify the point at which God suspends relations with Israel, then you will not understand the end of the Mosaic Covenant nor the start of the Administration of God’s Grace.
Seeing the entire outline, the scope of the Bible, helps us understand the significance of “You are here!”
The book we are studying is the Bible, THE Word of God. The entire Bible is called the logos. We will build the logos by reading the rhema.
But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Rhema is a piece or a portion of the whole. It can refer to the words spoken by a prophet or a teacher, or a statement within God’s Word, or a specific promise, either to an individual or a larger group.
And Peter remembered the word [rhema] of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly.
This concerned a specific statement made to Peter about Peter.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word [rhema]. And the angel departed from her.
The angel gave Mary not only a specific promise to her but was speaking of the fulfillment of a prophecy from the Old testament. Rhema is a part or a portion, or an aspect of God’s overall Word.
Rhema helps an individual have believing in their heart and life.
So then faith [pistis = believing] cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God.
You cannot believe God unless you know what God has said in His logos. What you need to hear and what I need to hear are probably different, therefore the rhema, the right portion of God's Word for the right time.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
You did not see rhema in that verse, did you? That is because they failed to translate it.
For no word from God will ever fail.
New International Version
Every rhema that God has had spoken will come to pass when believed, other rhema will come to pass even if man fails to believe. No rhema of God will ever fail!
The spoken Word [rhema] makes known the written Word [logos] which makes known the thoughts and intents of an otherwise invisible God.
Each administration is equipped or outfitted by rhema.
Through faith [pistis = believing] we understand that the worlds [aion – plural = ages] were framed [katartizo = outfitted, equipped] by the word [rhema] of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Katartizo means to equip or outfit each age by a portion of God’s Word, rhema. Together these ages help present to us God’s logos, His overall plan and desire. Jesus Christ is the logos in the flesh, while what he spoke is rhema.
Each age or administration has only a portion of God’s Word. Only one is addressed to you but all have information and knowledge concerning God’s plan to develop a family for eternity. What I mean by addressed to you can easily be seen in what the angel said to Mary.
And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Not every woman who becomes pregnant will conceive in this manner. It is a specific statement to Mary and Mary alone. As with Romans 10:17 the angel speaks these words to Mary so that she can believe as evidenced by her response, “be it unto me according to thy word [rhema].
We must always recognize things addressed to other individuals or other groups as for them and not us. We can learn principles from other accounts that are not addressed to us, but we dare not take something addressed to another as doctrine in our own life.
There would be a vast decrease in population if women waited for the promise to Mary as written to them personally.
God’s Word consists of rhema which make up the overall logos, THE Word of God.
When we have two words like rhema and logos that are basically defined as “a spoken word” we need to look a little deeper to see the different flavor and emphasis God has placed on these words. After all, God used two different words for a reason, we want to see the reason.
In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God.
Three times in one verse the word logos appears. Each time it is translated word.
First, this is the figure of speech polytoton to emphasize "the word."
Now let’s look in some Lexicons to see how this word logos is defined.
E.W. Bullinger’s Lexicon Concordance: “a collection or putting together of thoughts or words, in writing or speech. A word, (as manifesting these thoughts which are invisible!) A word, (as an expression of the hidden mental power which produces the result of the wisdom of the invisible thought,)”
Blue Letter Bible: “a word, uttered by a living voice, embodying a conception or idea.”
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: “collecting, a collection…those things which are put together in thought, as of those which, having been thought, i.e. gathered together in the mind, are expressed in words. Accordingly, a twofold use of the term is to be distinguished: one which relates to speaking, and one which relates to thinking.”
Strong’s Concordance: “a word (as embodying an idea) a statement, a speech.”
Helps Word-studies: “a word, being the expression of a thought, a saying”
Bible Dictionary: “Logos signifies in classical Greek both "reason" and "word." Though in Biblical Greek the term is mostly employed in the sense of "word," we cannot properly dissociate the two significations. Every word implies a thought. It is impossible to imagine a time when God was without thought. Hence, thought must be eternal as the Deity. The translation "thought" is probably the best equivalent for the Greek term, since it denotes, on the one hand, the faculty of reason, or the thought inwardly conceived in the mind; and, on the other hand, the thought outwardly expressed through the vehicle of language. The two ideas, thought and speech, are indubitably blended in the term logos; and in every employment of the word, in philosophy and Scripture, both notions of thought and its outward expression are intimately connected.”
Although logos is often defined as “a spoken word” a simple look at the deeper definition gives us tremendous insight. Consider the first words of John 1:1 for immediate context, “In the beginning…”
When was the beginning?
That is a question no human can answer.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place…
God inhabits eternity. That means with God there is no concept of time, God lives outside of the confines of time. God always has been and always will be. Before there was anything, there was God. We only have the term "beginning" because of man's finite mind and limited ability to understand, not because there was a starting point for God.
This is a point that is often overlooked or simply not understood. God inhabits eternity. When I say God desired a family, that family is a spiritual family, a family not of physical men and women but rather a family that could inhabit eternity with their Heavenly Father.
The physical Paradise of Adam and Eve was not God’s plan for a family, it was a steppingstone with the ultimate goal of a spiritual family that could inhabit eternity.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Nicodemus only heard the words of Jesus from a physical point of view, he did not see the spiritual aspect of what Jesus was saying. God inhabits eternity, it does Him no good to have a family that cannot be with Him where He is.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Jesus is not speaking of water baptism here as many have supposed. Was Abraham baptized? Was David baptized? Jesus is speaking of our first birth which happens after the embryonic sack, a woman’s water, breaks, then comes the physical birth. To inhabit eternity a person needs a physical birth and a spiritual birth.
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
This verse in Romans shows both births of Jesus Christ, his physical birth by Mary through the line of David and his spiritual birth through the resurrection from the dead. Jesus Christ began as a living soul, as did Adam. But due to his obedience Jesus Christ also received a spiritual birth. Adam never made it to the spiritual aspect because he chose to stand with God’s enemy rather than obey God.
1 Corinthians 15:45
And so, it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
The last Adam, Jesus, was made a quickening spirit because he always obeyed, Jesus always did the will of the Father. Had Adam obeyed he too could have become a “quickening spirit.”
God’s plan from the beginning was to have man begin as a living soul. The purpose was to allow man to make the choice to be with God. Adam made the wrong choice. Jesus made the correct choice, as did Abraham, David, and many others.
This was the plan from the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
"In the beginning was the Word..." and this teaches us that logos means more than something spoken for there was no one for God to speak to or with in the beginning.
Now go back and re-read those definitions given in the different Lexicons concerning logos. First, it is a plan, a thought, a reasoning that does not become a “word” until it is spoken. In Genesis chapter 1 God spoke many things into being. Before Genesis chapter 1 these things were the plan of God, the thoughts of God.
A perfect example of a plan not being spoken for many millennia is the Word of God the Apostle Paul received.
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
First, the words “by Jesus Christ” have been added to the text as these words are missing from the oldest manuscripts. Next the word “fellowship” is the Greek word oikonomia which is the Greek word for administration. Finally, the Greek word aion is translated “world” but is more accurately translated age. In this case it is in the plural and should have been translated “ages.” (We will study administrations and ages more fully in a later teaching in this series.)
So that the verse actually reads as follows: “And to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages had been hid in God, who created all things.”
Notice it was hidden in God, not in the scriptures, not in the stars, not in any other form of revelation, but strictly in God. It was a part of His thoughts, His reasonings, His desire for a spiritual family.
My point is simply this administration was hidden in God as part of God’s logos, His plan, but it was not spoken until it was given to the Apostle Paul.
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages [genea = generations] was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Now consider John 1:1 again.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In the beginning (a time unknowable by mankind) was God’s plan (because there was no one to speak to or of His plan) and this plan was with God, and this plan was God. Consider what God says in Proverbs about something in a man’s heart.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
John 1:1 says the logos “was God.” It is how God thought in His heart.
The English word “was” also appears in this verse three times. Each time it is the Greek preposition en. This preposition means, “being or remaining within, with the primary idea of rest and continuance.” The logos was in and remained within God until He began speaking it or inspired others to speak it.
What does this add to our understanding?
Although “word” or “saying” is a wonderful general translation for the Greek word logos, it is not the best translation every time God used the word logos. Remember 2 Timothy 3:16, “all scripture is God breathed…” You need to breath when you speak.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
God’s plan does not become a word until it is spoken. When we see this Greek word logos, we need to remember the greater depth, that being, it is first God’s plan or reasoning.
"I might have all kinds of ideas, thoughts, suggestions in my mind, all kinds of emotions in my heart, but unless there was some way, some means by which I could convey them to others, they would not know them. This is where words derive their value. Words are vehicles for conveying thoughts to others, and if it is true that "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he" then my words will be vehicles for conveying to others what I am. The Lord Jesus is the Word, the conveyor to men not only of the thoughts of God and the wisdom of God, but the conveyor of what God is."
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Earlier I said, the spoken Word [rhema] makes known the written Word [logos] which makes known the thoughts and intents of an otherwise invisible God. God’s Word [logos] in the flesh [Jesus] made known the invisible God in character and action. Between the written Word of God and the Word of God in the flesh the invisible God is manifest and declared.
Who [Jesus] being the brightness of his [God’s – added by ellipsis] glory, and the express image [charakter – exact imprint, character] of his [God’s] person, and upholding all things by the word [rhema] of his power, when he had (by himself not in the text) purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
The love, the grace, the mercy, the forgiveness, the compassion, the wisdom, the understanding, and so many other qualities were the expressed image, the character imprint of God that Jesus, as the logos in the flesh revealed about the heart of an invisible God.
What does God desire for every man? Examine the life of Jesus who always did the will, the desire, of his Heavenly Father.
© Auxano Ministry 2020