Kingdom of Abundance 2
By Ivan Ho 5 Jan 2019
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Bread, in another word, food, represents the basic necessity of life that man cannot do without in order to survive. However, Jesus says: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
- 1. Jesus is the Word.
First of all, before we go any further, we need to realise, when Jesus quoted the abovementioned scriptures, He is referring not so much to some ancient written documents, but the active and living Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. In fact, the living Word is Jesus himself, as explained by John the apostle:
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.
Jesus himself is the Word, and the Word is Jesus who is God eternal with no beginning and no end. In other words, “In the beginning (or from eternity) was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God”.
About 2000 years ago, “the Word became flesh” when the Son of God came in the form of a human person, having flesh and blood, and dwelt amongst man.
And the Word became 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.
Jesus came from heaven to earth as a divine human being. Like all of us, Jesus had a physical body as well as human feelings and emotions. After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus was hungry and His body was extremely weak. It was when his body was most vulnerable and weakest that satan came to tempt Jesus with these words: “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” Jesus quoted from the written word and replied: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:1-4
- 2. Man shall not live by bread alone.
Bread, meaning food, is the basic physical need of life. Unfortunately, many people are only concerned about pursuing their physical need for food day in day out, neglecting their most important inner spiritual needs that only regular input of the Word of God can satisfy.
When God created Adam from the dust of the earth, He breathed into him the breadth of life, and the spirit from God was upon him. The presence of the spirit within allows man to commune with his Creator and sets him apart from other creatures.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
The human spirit resides inside the human body. When the spirit leaves his body, the man has no more life and he dies. Our physical body needs food to give us nutrition. Similarly, our spirit needs the Word of God to nourish our spiritual man. That’s why Jesus says “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.“
- 3. The Word is living and active.
The Word is not any normal written letters and words, but more so writings inpired by the Holy Spirit through God’s chosen vessels. When we read the bible, we must allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten and teach us what God is saying. The letters are dead but the Spirit is life. Some people don’t understand the word because they are not hearing what the Spirit is speaking when they read the bible. But when we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us while we read, we will come to know the true and living God.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
II Timothy 3:16-17
If we want to hear from God, we need to first and foremost read all His words written in the Bible. Not only that, before we open the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher who leads us to revelation of the Son Jesus, the One who brings us to relationship with our heavenly Father.
Because Jesus Christ was resurrected, He is alive today to speak to us in real time. Furthermore, He desires us to communicate with Him as sons.
- 4. The word that proceeds from the mouth of God is a two-way communication.
Unlike religions when man try to speak to some manmade idols which don’t speak back, the God of the bible not only speaks to us, He expects us to communicate with Him. When we worship, pray, listen to sermons or read the bible, we engage ourselves with the Living Word in a two-way communication involving our human spirits and emotions, instead of being a single-directional monologue.
Just like how various bible characters often communicate with God both ways, unless we respond accurately with the living Word, we can hardly develop a healthy relationship with God. II Timothy 3:16-17
- 5. EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.
This highlights a very important principle in that God expects us to hear and follow every, not just some, word that God speaks to us.
Some people only want to read and follow those scriptures that they like, and bypass those scriptures that they don’t. For example, they would embrace the words regarding God’s love, grace, provision etc., but ignore those words regarding judgement, hell, obedience, sacrifice and so on.
Such attitude is likened to how the serpent, instead of deleting the entire commandment given to Adam and Eve, distorted God’s words by adding to and subtracting from God’s original words, something that the devil has been doing from the beginning.
If we want to experience the abundant life in Jesus to its fullness, we must be willing to receive and follow every word, that proceeds from His mouth, rather than partial obedience to God if it suits us.
- 6. God who speaks the word is the same God who provides bread.
According to many, if they spend more time with God including reading the bible, they would have less time working for a living. In other words, time spent in hearing God’s words would be at the expense of time used in making money.
The truth is: God who speaks to us is the same God who feeds us. God is responsible for supplying us with His proceeding word as well as providing for our physical needs and beyond. People of God who frequently spend time communicating with the living God will not have lack in life.
By contrast, those whose hearts have no God in their lives would often find themselves spending most of their daily life hunting for food, whereas others who serve the god of this world would be enslaved by daily struggles for survival in a system controlled by satan.
- 7. Christ delivers us from the curse of toiling for food by His proceeding word.
If we recall, as a consequence of man’s disobedience to God, sin entered into our world and as a result, mankind was cursed to toil and labour for food until death.
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
Many people find themselves struggling to make a living because they are still under the curse of sin and death.
Thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ who took the punishment of sin upon Himself by dying on the cross, those of us who are in Christ are no longer under the curse, but subject to a new reality of life in which God becomes our Provider, so that we no longer have to struggle in order to meet our basic physical needs. When we engage ourselves with and follow the proceeding word of God, we will have abundant supply from God both spiritually and physically!
Christ has redeemed us from the
curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
To be continued ….
作者: Ivan Ho 2019年1月5日
耶穌卻回答說：「 經上 記着說： 人活着，不是單靠食物， 乃是靠神口裏所出的一切話。」
耶稣的「神口裏所出的ㄧ切話」就是指 出自祂囗中所説的ㄧ切話語。因為耶穌本身就是道(Word)， 道就是神。
太初有道，道與神同在，道就是神。 這道太初與神同在。 萬物是藉着他造的；凡被造的，沒有一樣不是藉着他造的。
神是永遠存在，没有開始的。太初有道，這個 「道」 (英文 Word) 就是指耶穌。
耶穌降生為人，和我們每個人ㄧ樣，有人的感情，身體也和我們ㄧ樣，40天禁食後，覺得疲倦，饑餓。就在祂的身體精神最軟弱的時候，魔鬼來試探耶穌，對祂説: 「你若是神的兒子，可以吩咐這些石頭變成食物。」 耶穌卻回答說：「 經上 記着說： 人活着，不是單靠食物， 乃是靠神口裏所出的一切話。」 馬太福音 4章1-4節
「ˊ = 生命」+ 「土 = 塵土」+ 「口 = 神的靈或神的氣息 」 + 「⻌ = 會走動有生命的人」= 造
耶和華神用地上的塵土造人，將生氣吹在他鼻孔裏，他就成了有靈的活人， 名叫 亞當 。
聖經都是神所默示的 ，於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義都是有益的， 叫屬神的人得以完全，預備行各樣的善事。
「神口裡所出的話」， 表明ㄧ個和所有宗教不同之處，就是我們敬拜的耶穌，是會説話願意和我們溝通的神，而不是對著ㄧ個人造石頭。敬拜，祈禱, 讀經，聽道，是有感情，相向的活動，而不是單向的，正如聖經記戴人與神的溝通ㄧ樣。若人不向神作適當回應，就不能與神建立良好的關係。 提摩太後書 3章16-17節
又對 亞當 說： 你既聽從妻子的話， 吃了我所吩咐你不可吃的那樹上的果子， 地必為你的緣故受咒詛； 你必終身勞苦才能從地裏得吃的。 地必給你長出荊棘和蒺藜來； 你也要吃田間的菜蔬。 你必汗流滿面才得糊口， 直到你歸了土， 因為你是從土而出的。 你本是塵土，仍要歸於塵土。
基督既為我們受了咒詛，就贖出我們脫離律法的咒詛；因為 經上 記着：「凡掛在木頭上都是被咒詛的。」 這便叫 亞伯拉罕 的福，因基督耶穌可以臨到外邦人，使我們因信得着所應許的 聖靈。