A Voice in the
Wilderness

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" That's What it Says "
    "For they are impudent and hardhearted children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, THUS SAYS THE LORD JEHOVAH." (Ezk2:4)
As readers at this ministry, who have been around for any length of time will know, I am self-employed; making signs and banners. It is a simple little one-person shop. While some logo and graphics work is involved from time to time, for the most part, signage involves -words-. Text. People are wishing to -communicate- something: Their business name, hours of operation, warning signs, invitations to Open House, directional signs, etc.etc.

As a sign maker it is my job to convey accurately what the customer orders. It is -their- message they want to convey; not mine. Often, while composing the text when placing their order, they might look to me for guidance, since I am the "professional", and presumed to -know- certain things. But in the end, the words are the customer's. Most customers 'trust' that I did the banner (or whatever) correctly; but once in awhile, the customer wants to unroll it, and look, to make sure I got it right...the way they ordered it. It is important for me to take care to -detail-, not only as to the words, but correct spelling, and all that sort of thing.

Thus, my work involves a lot of 'proofing'. Did I type it correctly into the computer? Most errors I catch while sitting at the computer. But every once in awhile an error slips past that stage; the plotter has cut the vinyl and I am weeding at the table, and as the excess vinyl gets peeled away, revealing the letters as they are going to appear once applied to the substrate....Uh oh! How did I -THAT- happen??!! So... back to the computer and re-cut, to correct the error.

The other day I was working on a menu sign for an espresso stand. Menus are probably the most tedious of anything I do, because there are sooo many numbers in columns and rows, and prices sitting next to each other can fool the eyes, and from one item to the next can be similar, and this and that.

Well, as I was weeding away the lower section with all the "added" items, cookies, bagels, sodas, etc.; as the vinyl comes up off the end, there is this word, "Blast".

"Blast"? What's that???

Please understand... I know nothing about the espresso industry, except that I've made menu signs for several local espresso companies, and I drive -by- a lot of them. A lot of the flavors sound like Greek to me, and if the customer didn't specifically spell them out, I wouldn't be any-the-wiser. A lot of it seems like 'yuppy-speak'.

But there it was, "Blast" I sure didn't remember -that- from a bit earlier when I had been sitting at the computer, and the plotter is sitting there, whining and chirping away, cutting the next panel.

So... What should I do? I've never seen "Blast" before on espresso menus. Even the ones I had done previously for this particular same customer.

I could -reason- within myself: "Blast". Hmmm. That sounds more like a rocket engine. Or perhaps a racing motorcycle as it "blasts" past. "Blast" can't be right. TO ME IT -SEEMS- LIKE it 'ought' to be.... So, let's make it....??

Well...that's not what I did. I went to the work order where the customer had written it all down. And sure enough: "Blast -- 3.00"

My own comment to myself: "Grunt! That's what it says!"

Thus the conclusion: It must be 'correct'.

The customer's writing was clear and legible (something my writing is not always!); NO QUESTION or DOUBT as to what it says.

I don't know what "Blast" is (in this context), but since that is what the order specifies, that is how the sign was made.

But when it comes to God's Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, people come to something they are unfamiliar with, or don't like, and what do they do? God is sending unrepentant sinners to hell? Ooooh, that just can't be right! If God is 'loving', a place of 'fiery judgment' couldn't possibly exist! Society consists of lasciviousness and continual sexual innuendo at every turn, and it is fun; but what's this? The Bible says we are to be pure before God and shun the world's ways? Oh, that's gotta be wrong. The world says, "If it feels good, do it" but the Bible says "Do not commit adultery" Well... let's look at the "gray areas" a moment; this is all just too "black and white". The Bible lists various lists of sins and evils... Well, what do you suppose these different items mean? Hey, Joe, what does it mean to you? And Suzie, your thoughts on this passage?

John, who loves the Lord, responds: But the passage -SAYS- SO-N-SO.

Joe & Suzie to John: Oh, you're so "judgmental"

If, as a sign maker, I adopted such a stance, I would likely not stay in business very long; which I've now been doing for about 18 years. The customer is not being "judgmental" because they want their signs to say -what- they specified. That is -what- they specified. They want -what- they ordered.

But God, the Maker of the heavens and earth (Ex31:17) expects less??? The Potter is happy for the clay to 'talk-back' to Him? (Rom9:20)

The only "judgmentalism" that exists is because the Bible commands NOT to engage in sinful behavior, and promises punishment for disobedience, but our lusts 'want' to sin; thus we know that the promised judgment is due us for our sin; but we don't want to give up the sin. So, since we don't want to say that God is unjust, we instead look at the person who repeats God's Word, what it says, and cast a judgmental eye at them.

Today we live in a time prophesied in the Bible...

    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN LUSTS, desiring to hear pleasant things, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and be turned aside to myths. ..." (2Tim4:3-4)
This was prophesied even way back in the OT...
    "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but rather a famine for hearing the Words of Jehovah." (Am8:11)
There is a malignant sore in christendom today, it has been festering for the past many decades, where because people don't want to hear God's Word in its unvarnished clarity, preachers have been softening, cooing, pandering, catering, and speaking "pleasant things". (1Ki22:13) But just as was the case with Ahab's prophets, they are speaking lies. It is no longer: "thus says the Lord Jehovah". With such preaching going on, when one visits churches, it is like a "famine" for God's Word. One can sit in a church pew, and come away not having been fed God's Word. They are not giving "food in due season" (Mt24:45)

Who do these preachers think they are? Greater than God? Greater than Jesus Christ? Even Jesus, our Lord and Savior who died on the cross, shedding His blood to wash us of our sins, who is "worthy" of all praise (Re1:5, 5:12) did not create His own agenda and message.

    "For I do not speak from Myself; but the Father who sent Me gives Me orders, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has said unto Me, so I speak." (Jn12:49-50)
And how did He introduce these words?
    "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him; the Word that I speak will judge him in the Last Day." (vs48)
What it -says- is what is "judgmental".

Because, you see...

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (Jn1:1-4)
God and God's -Word- are one-and-the-same. When a person sets about to change the Word, what they are really doing is seeking to change God and His holy character.

Oh, but, the archaic words are so hard to understand! If we make adjustments here and there, making it easier to read, people will follow God.

That argument was already tried. When Lazarus died, the rich man wanted to have Lazarus sent back to warn his family so they wouldn't come to the place of the "flame". Abraham said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets (Scripture), neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead." (Lk16:31) And when Lazarus -was- raised, what did people want to do?

    "But the chief priests took counsel to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and continued to believe into Jesus." (Jn12:10-11)
And what do we see today? Proliferations of "easy" translations. But how many Godly Christians do we see as a result? They are hard to find! Few and far between. (Mt7:14)
    "The Words of Jehovah are pure Words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Jehovah, You shall preserve them from this generation forever." (Ps12:6-7)
Why would God take care to -preserve- His Words? Because what He has said, is what He meant; and it didn't change. God "declares" the end from the beginning. He "speaks" and brings it to pass. (Is46:10-11)
    "Forever, O Jehovah, Your Word stands firm in the heavens." (Ps119:89)
One of the characteristics of one of Revelation's "beasts" is that he will "intend to change times and law" (Dan7:25) Law: that which is based on words. God's Law: God's Words. John speaks of how "the antichrist" is coming, but how the "spirit of antichrist...is -already- in the world" (1Jn4:3)

You see, all these modern perverted translations of the Bible are a product, not for "better understanding", but of antichrist's lie, to "lead astray, if possible, even the elect" (Mt24:24) While that verse speaks specifically of Israel, its truth applies even now to those who know and love the Lord.

    "Do not add to His Words, that He not judge you and you be found a liar." (Pr30:6)
That's what it says.
    "You shall not add to the Word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, to keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I am commanding you... Whatever I am commanding you, take heed to do it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." (De4:2, 12:32)
That's what it says.
    "For I testify to everyone who hears the Words of the Prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add upon him the plagues that are written in this Book..." (Re22:18)
That's what it says.
    "...and if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this Prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this Book." (Re22:19)
That's what it says.
    "Whoever therefore RELAXES one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven." (Mt5:19)
That's what it says.


SO... FOR THE ONE PROCLAIMING GOD'S WORD, WHAT IS THE CHARGE?
    "Thus says Jehovah: Stand in the court of Jehovah’s house and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to bow down in Jehovah’s house, [today: the Church and all those attending who call themselves "christians"] -ALL- THE WORDS that I command you to speak to them; DO NOT DIMINISH A WORD." (Jer26:2)
That's what it says.

Notice that God... -NOWHERE- ...gives instruction in how to create an 'easier' Word to hear and follow... if you will: a "paraphrase". God's Word is not something that "means to me" something-or-other.

It is to be OBEYED!

    "For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you to understand, nor is it far off... But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, THAT YOU MAY -DO- IT." (De30:11,14)
AND WHAT IF THE HEARERS OBJECT?
    "As for them, whether they hear or whether they forbear; for they are a rebellious house; yet they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My Words to them, whether they will hear or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you.

    DO NOT BE REBELLIOUS LIKE THAT REBELLIOUS HOUSE..." (Ezk2:5-8)

-- THAT'S WHAT IT SAYS --

Amen!


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