Mark 7:13 Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing. (Quick Amplified Bible)
In Mark 7:13, the Lord Jesus Christ made an absolute earth shaking statement when He said, “Making the Word of God of no Effect.” Why did He say this to these very religious men? Surely, these men knew the Word of God. What is the effect that the Word of God must produce? I will attempt to answer these two (2) questions with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Now let us look at the first question and give some insight as to why the Lord Jesus said this to these very “Religious People” then and how it applies to this generation today.
The Lord Jesus chastised the religious rulers for substituting man made traditions for His eternal word. This is the reason the Lord denounced the religious rulers in Mark 7:13 because they had become so attached to their man made traditions that they had foolishly made them as important or equal to the revealed Word of God. How utterly foolish and deceived had they become and they were not even aware that the Word had lost its purpose in their nation and in their individual lives.
Not only then did this occur but also today, people are substituting a myriad of things, ideas, concepts, practices, methods, and theories in place of the Word of God. Whenever you see a denomination, local church, or an individual person accepting the ideas and philosophies of men or of this world, you know without question that they have turned away from the truth revealed in the Scriptures.
Very likeable men and women are speaking today to the masses of people (and even to professing Christians) giving all sorts of things that will help us, change us, satisfy us, etc., the only problem with those things is they are minus the Word of God.
The true children of God must refute these voices. Let us expose those who come to us in sheep’s clothing, but are only ravenous wolves internally. President Ronald Regan (the “Great Communicator”), he was, and this is what made him so popular with so many people. The same needs saying of President Elect Obama, but if he sends a bill to congress espousing same sex marriage to be legal in all 50 states, then he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and not a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Going along with popular opinion is not the duty of a true child of God. Just because many say something is right does not make it so when it contradicts or out right opposes the Word of God. We true children of God must not and I trust we will refute any man or woman who speaks great swelling words promising all liberty when they themselves are slaves of corruption.
The Lord Jesus Christ (as recorded for us in the Gospels) warned us repeatedly to be on guard, to watch and pray, and never let our steadfastness from Him and His words leave us for one second. The enemy (the devil) of God is the one behind all these men and women. Hidden underneath the words of these people are lies, deception, corruption, greed, and the thirst for power. This nation says it is a God fearing country, but this is simply not true. Everything that God condemns in His word, this country is now embracing.
God through Abraham established the nation Israel. They were and still are God's special hidden treasure over all the other nations of the world. Nevertheless, with the favor of God when obedient also in contrast comes the indignation of God when disobedient. No nation on this earth has gone through what the nation of Israel (the Jews) has experienced.
The hand of Almighty God allowed all of the tragedies (including the Holocaust). God did preserve and protect them from utter destruction, but it was and is His hand that allowed and is allowing the hardship that Israel has and is experiencing because of the disobedience of their fathers. Their making the Word of God of no effect caused a downward spiral for the nation Israel. However, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob their enemies no matter how great the threat appears will never destroy them.
This nation America is not equal to that (in the sight of God) of the nation Israel, but it did begin by professing faith in God and founding its principles in the constitution declaring that it would honor God. This nation has risen in a short period (less than 500 years) to be one of the richest and most powerful nations on earth all because of the hand of Almighty God. God has judged and is judging this nation right now for making His word of no effect. Taking it out of school and replacing it with the idea that He (God) does not even exist (teaching evolution). God is not pleased and He will show His displeasure with His right hand of judgment.
God's word is so clear about many issues that professing Christians today seemingly want to change, as did the religious Jews Christ spoke to in Mark 7:13. For example, How could a man of God preach the gospel of Christ and deny that the Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin?
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Is it possible to study every Hebrew letter of this verse also studied in its proper context and misunderstand what the Lord means here. I submit to you that it is impossible. The Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born. When you deny the absolute truth (revealed in Scripture), you completely make the word of God of no effect to you. You render this Bible powerless in your possession.
In addition, how could one claim to know the Lord Jesus Christ and deny that He rose physically and bodily from His tomb and showed Himself to His disciples and to 500 other witnesses chosen of God? Many say His resurrection was a spiritual one and not literal.
Luke 24:36-43 Now while they were talking about this, Jesus Himself took His stand among them and said to them, Peace (freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin) be to you! Nevertheless, they were so startled and terrified that they thought they saw a spirit. Moreover, He said to them, Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts. See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while [since] they still could not believe it for sheer joy and marveled, He said to them; Have you anything here to eat? They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, And He took [it] and ate [it] before them. (Quick Amplified Bible)
John 20:27-28 Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe! Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God! (Quick Amplified Bible)
Now what more could our Lord and Savior say or do to convince them and those today that are still in deep dark deception. In my opinion (and I trust that Scripture bears this out), that those who right now believe not that Christ was virgin born, bodily resurrected must be devoid of the Spirit of God. There is no other answer or explanation for someone denying the words of our Lord as He so clearly gave them to us.
The Lord Jesus told us that the words that He speaks are spirit and life. Well, if you do not believe His words then you must not have His life in you. The Lord Jesus also told us that He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. How in the world could you have His life in you and you be in disagreement or opposition to His Divine Eternal Word.
1 John 2:27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The anointing from the Holy Spirit of God enables us to understand our Lord’s words. This is how to know Christ. Also, how to know what He requires from each of us. How can the Lord Jesus ever save any of us if we never learn who He is directly from Him? When Christ saved Saul of Tarsus (who later became the Apostle Paul) on the Damascus Road, it was only when He revealed Himself to Saul that Saul was able to respond and He asked, “Who are you Lord?” and the Lord Jesus answered “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.”
Saul of Tarsus at this time in his life was well versed in the Torah having studied under Gamaliel, but he did not know the Lord Jesus. The very God that Saul thought he was serving by imprisoning and killing Christians was the very same God he was persecuting. Now imagine the utter shock this was to Saul when he finally learned the truth. Now his first response was to go to all those other Jews (like him) who were zealous for God but in ignorance not having the truth. He desperately wanted their spiritual eyes of understanding opened as the Lord Jesus had done for him. He now knew that they had crucified and killed God Himself on the cross.
Now let us look at the second question:
Now in the Gospel of John, John tells us that the Word of God is God. He also tells us that the Word of God became a man and lived with us here on earth. This man is the Lord Jesus Christ. If the Lord Jesus Christ is the manifested Word of God, and He is, then why do some seemingly very religious people not see Him revealed throughout Scripture? This was the problem with the people in Mark 7:13.
The very simple answer then and now is that many have made the Word of God powerless in their possession. They do not handle it with the reverence, awe, respect, and fear it demands. You see Christ said, “all power has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” Well, if He is the manifested Word of God, then the Bible that you and I have is a manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ and it too has all power in Heaven and on earth.
We must never think of the Bible as just some book, which gives us good principles on how we should live. It does that, but it is far deeper than just surface living. This book is Christ Himself speaking to us (His eternal words) with all authority everywhere in His Universe.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage. (Quick Amplified Bible)
When the Lord Jesus Christ speaks, His words produce exactly what He says and action is the result. How did the earth and everything in it come into existence? Well, we know from Genesis 1 that God spoke and His words produced the earth and all that we see today in our midst.
Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (KJV)
When He spoke, what He said came into being. Well, God is still speaking except now it is only through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and we have already discovered that Christ is the Word of God made into flesh. Therefore, just as His words produced this earth and the entire universe, the words in the Bible will emphatically produce what it says throughout the pages for every one of His children.
1 Peter 1:23 “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible by the word of God which lives and abides forever.” (NKJV)
Without the Word of God no man, woman, or child can ever become a child of God (or be born again). Once we are birthed into the family of God, it is by the Word that we grow up from an infant into a full grown son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. The words of the Bible are food to be eaten and digested daily into ones mind, body, and soul just as we eat our earthly food to grow and give our physical body strength to carry out our work and the taking care of our earthly families. We cannot grow spiritually apart from the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Today there is no hearing from the Lord Jesus Christ except through His revealed eternal word. We are to get all of our direction from the Lord Jesus Christ by listening to Him speak daily from the Bible. This is why we must always read the entire Bible and not just pick out favorite passages of Scripture only to read repeatedly.
It is fine to isolate when studying a particular passage, chapter, or book of Scripture for a sermon, teaching purposes, or for something in seminary school. However, when it comes to each of our own personal spiritual growth, we must let the entire Bible speak to us. Although the Lord is never limited, He can even speak to each of us what is appropriate and necessary for us from only one passage of Scripture. But we must listen to His whole counsel and that requires going through the entire Bible continually.
How does the Lord Jesus change our desires from that which is wrong or evil to that which is good or holy? Well, He does it by washing, bathing, and cleaning us with His word. What is our role in receiving this cleansing? We must be willing vessels for change and cleaning. He does not work with vessels unwilling to be cleansed.
2 Tim 2:19-21 But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.
We all should earnestly desire to be vessels of honor, gold and silver. This does not mean that the Lord Jesus will lavish each of us with vast earthly wealth, but on the contrary that we will be a vessel that He can depend on to do the right thing and not succumb to the lies we see all around us in this sin cursed earth.
Go back to your conversion to Christ, He did not force you to come to Him for salvation, but drew and wooed you through the Holy Spirit until you willingly said yes I would have you Lord Jesus to rule over me. Now this was a one time occurrence, which can never be revoked, but now we are in the school of sanctification and we require daily washing of our spirit/soul just as we require the same with our physical bodies.
You see it is the Word our Lord uses to make us holy as He is Holy. This is the only way this can ever be true. Holiness is not some foreign impossibility. It is a daily walk with the Lord of Glory allowing His word to wash us clean and remove spots and blemishes that are unlike Him. When you watch television commercials advertising these various products that are supposed to remove acne, the ones that are popular and sell today are those that have proven to work.
Well, the Word of God is guaranteed to work in each of us, if we allow it to cleanse us. It is the only way those spots and blemishes can be removed. No classes, programs, services, or any other man made methods will ever do. What on earth or anywhere else in the universe is more important than the Word of God? The answer is obvious, nothing.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)