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PostPosted: Sun 01 Aug 2010, 07:07 

Joined: Mon 15 Jun 2009, 22:38
Posts: 218
Regarding the need for discernment and judgment[1]. (see also the article "Thou Shalt Judge")

Since someone published a particular sermon on a church web site (and also someone linked to this sermon on FB) I noticed when I listened to it (I just did) that there's reason to point out that there is a misunderstanding promoted in the sermon.

The mouth of the LORD

Towards the end of the sermon it is narrated about how Joshua, together with other leaders of the people, made a decision without asking the "mouth of the Lord", and from that moment onward things started to go bad for them. But then suddenly it is stated in the sermon that the expression "the mouth of the Lord" means the "the people", ie that Joshua and the leaders should have listened to the people's opinions before making the decision.

Whether it really can be that "the mouth of the LORD" depicts the opinions of the people can best be settled by the Bible's own words. Below are shown some verses that show what the Bible actually says about "the mouth of the LORD":

    - " And they put him in ward, that the mind ("mouth") of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp;" (Leviticus 24:12-14)
Hm. It doesn't sound very convincing thet Moses went exactly to the people to ask about the LORD's will... But let's read on:

    - "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." (Deut 8:3) (also Jesus quotes the last part of this verse)
And:
    - "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name." (Isaiah 62:2)
- "But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 1:20)

    - "And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 40:5)
And the following passage indicates that it might not be eactly the "people" which is "the mouth of the LORD"... :

    - "Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
    And the LORD saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;"
    (Jer 9:12,13)
Worth considering indeed. But let's continue:

    - "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
    Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
    (Isaiah 58:13, 14)
And finally:

    - " Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD." (Jeremiah 23:16)
Conclusion

It is quite clear from the verses above that there's no support in the Bible for the notion that the people represents "the mouth of the LORD". But this is obviously what can happen if you grow up in a socialistic democracy where you're at risk of thinking that that democracy is something that God invented for his own people.

The Kingdom of God is actually ruled by our King and Lord, Jesus Christ. Democracy means "people rule" (The original Greek word was derived from 'demos', meaning the people, and 'kratein' meaning to rule). Governance in the Kingdom of God thus would today be called more like "Kingdom" or "Monarchy". But at the time of Joshua Israel was ruled by Judges, and they also had prophets who sought guidance from God.

Jeremiah the prophet received instruction from God regarding what criteria's he as a prophet must meet in order to act as "mouth of the LORD":

    "Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them." (Jer 15:19)
One year has passed - Rest in peace

I do not give any link to the sermon, and neither am I making mention of the speaker's name. This is because he's dead. This example, however, illustrates the need to always prove all things, even what is taught from the pulpit. But also why we should let the dead rest in peace. The speaker can no longer himself correct this mistake. Therefore I hope that those who published the sermons would reconsider if it really is so the best thing to do to publish a speech by a speaker which has passed away. It is known that manna tend to decay fairly rapidly.

But the topic of democracy and the people ruling God's kingdom is, despite this misunderstanding, a current issue. This particular type of misunderstanding is fairly widespread (...) and therefore we can now sort out also current misunderstandings, including the old mistake in the sermons from 1983.

And since the speaker died almost exactly one (1) year ago (July 22nd, 2009), I would like to say, Rest In Peace dear... <speaker's name>.

// Rolf Lampa

[1] - 2 Chronicles 19:7


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