"Draw Not Nigh Hither: Put Off Thy Shoes..."
My reader, God's first word to Moses was, "Draw not nigh hither". This was a command given to Moses, for he was approaching the very presence of God. Doubtlessly, Moses stepped forward unto God with a deep poverty of spirit and a trembling frame. As a consequence, Moses' ears were open to hear the next command of God - "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet". Why must Moses take off his shoes? God said, "the place whereon thou standest is holy ground". As Moses approached God, and suddenly, was stayed, it was with a booming caution, then a command. Moses was required by God to meet a very specific condition. If God's grace does illuminate your mind, my reader, to consider this amazing experience on Sinai's peaks, you too are made to breathe in deeply as you think - God is holy. This God - the biblical God - He is the only God, and there are certain cautions, commands, and conditions binding upon every individual who is enabled by grace to approach Him. So many haste into a fruitless conversation about Theology without any caution. Such neglected Divine cautions like...
If He is to be known, He must first know you - 1 Cor. 8:3, 1 John 2:4
If He is to be loved, He must first love you - 1 John 4:19
If He is to be approached, He must cause it, draw you, and compel you - John 6:44
If He is to be heard, He must open your ears to hear - John 12:37-41
When considering such a topic like Theology, which is "the study of God", one must consider God Himself. How is He known, revealed, approached, and heard, and are there terms and conditions whereby one is enabled to experience these spiritual realities? Also, when one is enabled to come to God, is it evident to all who would look on and watch? Are there certain Divine patterns which the scripture does specify, patterns which will become manifest in the life of those who do learn God?
If He is to be "learned", it will be done by His Divine intervention upon the natural man, an intervention which transforms the spirit of your inner man, so that, henceforth, you do not learn God after the same carnal faculties which were used to learn everything else you have learned during your lifetime. God CANNOT be learned like a chemist learned chemistry, like an engineer learned mathematics, or like a classroom of students became educated. God's ways of illumination are not as the learning of all other earthly fields of expertise.
My reader, theology is a holy enterprise, and one must be sanctified by God's Spirit to engage in its benefits. If God said to Moses, "Draw not nigh hither", as a caution, and again, "put off thy shoes from off thy feet", as a command and condition, then what would God say to us in this generation of unholy "Christians"? Seeing that we serve the same God (we profess), what is the New Testament rendition of such words given to Moses whereby we might be enabled to come near to God?
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"Draw not nigh hither"-->
Do you know that you must be called by God to approach unto Him? - 1 Cor. 1:26-31, Ps. 24:3-6, 15:1-5, 65:4
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3), and certainly also, he cannot see the theology of God.
"I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life" (John 14:6), Jesus said, and if you don't have Him, then you cannot discover "The Way" or "The Truth" found in God's Theology.
My reader, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place" (Ps. 24:3)? When approaching the study of God - namely Theology - one must behave as though he is approaching God. God does speak, but not everyone hears Him (Jer. 6:10). God does teach and elaborate doctrines, but not all are able to understand them (Isaiah 28:9). Theology can only be taught by God - "taught by Him" (Eph. 4:20-24) - even though human instrumentality is used. My reader, how will we join the companionship of those who have "learned Christ", those who "have heard Him, and have been taught by Him" (Eph. 4:20)?
"Put Off Thy Shoes" -->
"put off the old man with his deeds" (Col. 3:9)
"put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" (Eph. 4:22)
"put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" (Col. 3:8)
"cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light" (Rom. 13:12)
The grounds by which this forum of theological discussions will operate upon are holy. Because God is holy, one cannot study Him, learn of Him, be taught by Him, or hear Him unless He - The Holy Ghost - is descending upon us with enabling grace, and such grace is not obtained without certain commands, conditions, and cautions. My reader, if you participate in these website discussions which are available on this forum, you will be accepted or dejected based upon how much you cooperate with these terms of God (evidenced by the fruits of your conversation). As further forewarning whereby you might prepare your heart to hear from God, please consider the following scriptural points:
- God is unapproachable in holiness, which means, He cannot be known by those who are yet - unholy, unsanctified, and unprepared (1 John 2:4, John 17:3, 1 Cor. 8:3).
- God is a God that hides Himself, therefore whatsoever is known of Him must be Divinely revealed (Isaiah 45:15, John 7:16-17, 8:37, 43, 47, 1 Cor. 2:10-14).
- When He is revealed, it is through the drawing process which holds Divinely consistent patterns (Prov. 2:1-6, Ps. 138:6, 34:18, Isaiah 57:15, 66:2).
- One must beware of self-imaginary knowledge which is called "worldly wisdom", usurping the rightful place of God's wisdom (1 Cor. 2:4-5, Isa. 30:10-12, Jer. 17:9).
- Those who have worldly wisdom instead of God's wisdom, fellowship with the world's god instead of the true God (2 Cor. 4:4). Instead of heaven's wisdom which is in fellowship with "the Heavenly Gift" (Heb. 6:4), they commune with "earthly wisdom" which is "devilish" (James 3:15).
- Those who have God's wisdom do suffer God's reproach, according as the degeneracy of each generation does despise Him (1 Cor. 3:17, Luke 10:21, Matt. 12:27).
We live in such a time when, generally speaking, "equity cannot enter" the Church (Isa. 59:14), when Christ stands outside the door and knocks (Rev. 3:20), when "wisdom crieth without" (Prov. 1:20) because she is not allowed within...but God willing, the Lord's wisdom shall be found within these blogs of discussion and study, and if this be the case - we must open our ears to His cautions, conditions, and commands booming in front of us, that we might attend to them first of all. Let this welcome page be a forewarning to us, "in Christ's stead" (2 Cor. 5:20), as if this welcome page is "the oracles of God" to witness against us, lest we fail to be held accountable to His scriptural demands that are herein accounted. If we neglect such scriptural demands, our time spent on this website will be fruitless, vain, and Godless discussion. But if we, like Moses, take heed to God's demands so as to prepare ourselves, we will find that God is revealed in, His salvation is experienced in, and the problem of sin is solved by, true theology.
"Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour" - Isaiah 45:15