Implications of the Word
Study Guide, June 4, 2017
Pastor Clay Olsen
When you hear the phrase ‘dot to dot’ what comes to mind? Right, a picture that comes together as a result of connecting the dots. At one time or another most of us have had a ‘been there done that’ experience with ‘dot to dot’. I found out that this past-time is not just for kids anymore, as I saw a project where a guy from Australia set out to produce the world record dot to dot picture. It’s made up of 6,239 dots. It’s a dot to dot picture of the Mona Lisa, by Thomas Pavitte.
One of the things that’s fascinating about the Scriptures is that they, too, were meant to be connected, from Genesis to Revelation, in order for people to see the complete picture of life as it really is and life as God intended it to be. But since very few people in our world, in our country, and even in our communities actually do this…connect the teachings of the whole counsel of God, they never see the picture of life as it really is or as God intended it to be or as life is going to be when God determines that it’s time to establish His Kingdom on Earth. Remember, all that mankind has been experiencing from the time of the Fall of Man has been preparation for the coming Kingdom of God on Earth. In fact, the focus of each of our lives is to be on preparing for life in the coming Kingdom of God on Earth. (Some might be thinking, “But what about Heaven?” Remember in Revelation 21 the Apostle John told us that Heaven is coming down to Earth. The New Earth is part of the New Heavens.)
We are going to go on a journey of connecting some passages and teachings of the Word and then exploring their implications; of seeing just what these things mean and should mean for everyone. Of course, an implication is a logical or reasonable connection between two or more things. And the first one we’re going to examine is the revelation that, over and over throughout the Bible, God reminds us creatures of the Earth that He is the Creator of the Earth. And since He is the Creator of the Earth, people need to realize that there are several crucial implications of that fact for their lives.
First, let’s look at a few statements and then we’ll look at some implications of them.
Gen 1:1- “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Isa 42:5- “Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it…”
Col 1:16-17- “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Rev 4:11- Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” NASU
It’s is completely clear that one thing that all people of planet Earth ought to be completely clear about is the fact that the only reason anyone or any life at all exists on planet Earth is because there is a Creator that created all life. In fact, people ought to also be completely clear about the fact that even their very breath is being supplied by the Creator of their lives. You can connect that picture from the teachings in the first book in the Bible to the teachings in the last book of the Bible. The fact that God is the Creator of the world and of all who dwell within is an all consuming picture of reality.
So that’s the big picture. Let’s look at some big implications of that. Most people are concerned about their rights. What would most Americans say are our fundamental rights? One of the great things about being an American is that Americans can look to the words of our Declaration of Independence which states our fundamental rights as: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And the word ‘unalienable’ means that these rights can’t be taken back or taken away.
Many people have this part down pretty solidly about these ‘human rights’. But what if you were to then ask them this: “Since we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, then what rights are our Creator endowed with, or what are our Creator’s unalienable rights?” No doubt, many people would be pretty shaky about answering that. In fact, many people have never even considered what our Creator’s rights are, even though He is ‘our Creator’! But right away, one implication of being the ‘Creator’ is that when you are the ‘Creator’, you in fact have all the rights to everything and over everything that you have created. The fact that we have been given certain fundamental rights by our Creator directly implies that our Creator has the fundamental right to now determine what the right use these rights are, as well as what the wrong use of these rights are.
Let’s break it down. Through the prophet Isaiah God said this: Isa. 45:9, 11-12- “How horrible it will be for the one who quarrels with his Maker. He is pottery among other earthenware pots. Does the clay ask the one who shapes it, “What are you making?” Does your work say to you, “There are no handles”?….Are you going to give Me orders concerning My handiwork? I made the earth and created humans on it. I stretched out the heavens with My own hands. I commanded all the stars to shine.” God’s Word Version
What a picture of what people who are not surrendered to and serving the Creator and Lord are doing day by day…they are ‘quarreling with their Maker’. What does it mean to ‘quarrel with your Maker’? For one thing, it means to resist or deny the Maker’s right to do what is rightfully His to do and to rule what is rightfully His to rule. Mark it down: Divine rights supercede human rights. The fundamental right of God, as our Creator, is the right to rule and reign over all the creatures He has made. In other words, our right to life is connected not only to our God given right to have life and to live life, but it’s also connected to our Creator’s right to rule and reign as Lord of our life. The Apostle Peter even had to remind believers of this when he instructed them: “…Dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord.”1 Peter 3:15 God’s Word Version
And Nehemiah has a great statement about God’s right to rule. Neh 9:6- “You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.” NASU The Angels get it. They are surrendered to their Creator and they completely understand that He alone has the right to rule and reign over their lives…and they love it! And so will all who discover the peace and joy of living under the Lordship of Christ.
The fact that the fundamental right of God is to rule and reign over the people He has created also means that no person has the right to reject or resist God’s right to rule and reign as Lord of their life. And to the degree that the Lord Jesus Christ is not actively being given His right to rule and reign as Lord in a person’s life is the degree that this person is quarreling against, sinning against, his or her Creator. And of course, that is the fundamental problem of mankind throughout history, as well as the source of all that is, as Isaiah put it – ‘horrible’.
Then we know that God created and endowed people with the right of ‘liberty’…liberty to do what, we should ask? Well, how does God define and describe ‘liberty’ for those He has made? Deut 10:12-13- “…what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good…” NASU Is that how most people in our culture would describe ‘liberty’? Not so much. Most people think of ‘liberty’ as the right to do what they want, when true ‘liberty’ is the freedom to do what is right. And when we do what is right, we’ll discover that is what we really wanted all along, but didn’t realize it.
But the point is, as mankind’s Creator, God has the fundamental right to define both what is ‘right’ and what this ‘right to liberty’ actually is. And He clearly has revealed that He created people with the right to have the liberty to fear, love, serve, and obey their Creator. Which also means that no one on Earth has the right to not fear, or not love, or not serve, or not obey their Creator. In fact, there is a name for that kind of response to the Creator; it’s called ‘slavery’! Think about it: Any life activity or lifestyle that excludes fearing, loving, serving, and living in an obedient relationship with God is not liberty at all. No, that is ‘slavery’. And for the unbeliever, it is slavery not only to the sin nature that indwells mankind, it’s also slavery to mankind’s enemy – the Devil. 2 Tim 2:24-26- “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” NASU
Every unbeliever is in fact a hostage of the devil. Strangely enough, since they have not yet repented of their sin, they are a willing hostage. But they are enslaved nonetheless. And no one who is enslaved to the Devil can hardly be described as one who is living in liberty and freedom. That’s just living in total deception. No, true liberty is the freedom to live under the Lordship of Christ. And that freedom comes from repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Christ then sets you free from the bondage of sin and the captivity of Satan. And that person is then free to worship and serve and enjoy his or her Creator and Redeemer forever and ever.
And now, what about this right to the pursuit of happiness? Has that one ever been distorted or what? Now, certainly, who doesn’t want to be happy? Who would ever say: “My goal in life is that I don’t want to be happy”? No, that desire to be happy is one that is universal. And ‘happiness’ is a noble desire. God even designed us to be happy.
Did you notice that God told us that all of His commandments are for our good? Another way to say that is that all of God’s commandments are for our happiness. How odd that man’s distorted human reasoning tends to think of God’s commandments more in terms of them being like roadblocks to their happiness rather than being the actual pathways to their happiness. How about we get a little insight from the Psalmist on this? Ps 119:33-35- “Lord, teach me Your laws, and I will always follow them. Help me understand Your teachings, and I will follow them. Obeying them will be my greatest desire. Help me follow Your commands, because that makes me happy.” ERV That is the secret to happiness. It never really has been a secret, but since human reasoning is so rebellious and stubborn about learning these truths, it seems like a secret.
Think about it: People tend to think about happiness as a result of getting their own way about something they want. But actually, the worse thing a person can get is their own way, if it’s not also God’s way. Because if what they want is not what God also wants for them, then they have just chosen the curse – not the blessing.
Think about what the Psalmist revealed to us. Happiness is the result of certain things that have been set into motion. You and I were created to be happiest when we are being and doing what God created us to be and do. Remember, we are not just human beings…we are ‘Designer human beings’. We were designed by the Creator to experience ‘happiness’ when certain things are functioning in our lives. It’s learning what King David learned: “Help me understand your teachings, and I will follow them. Obeying them will be my greatest desire. Help me follow your commands, because that makes me happy.” Happiness is the result of finding that what you ought to be doing and what you are doing is the same thing.
In fact, Jesus laid out the very pathway to walk that set into motion the very things that produce ‘happiness’ in our lives, and with continued results and rewards. We know them as ‘The Beatitudes’ from Matthew 5. God set out the pathway to happiness for us to walk and to experience. And how like our God to do that for us because He wants us to understand that what makes God happy are the same things that will make us happy.
That’s just how the Creator designed us. And then He endowed us with these unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…that are to be subject to and to be guided by our Creator’s ‘divine rights’ over all His creation.