Cambridge Dictionary online defines Specificity as follows:
“specificity” in American English
See all translations
specificity noun [U] (BEING EXACT)
› /ˌspes·əˈfɪs·ɪ·t̬i/ the quality of being clear and exact:
(EXAMPLE) – There was a dramatic lack of specificity in his answer.
What does this have to do with the Kingdom of God? Everything.
What does this have to do with the Word of God? Everything.
If/when we receive the revelation that God means what He says and says what He means, the Word becomes a whole lot clearer. Yes there are mysteries in the scripture, but much of what folks are often inclined to write off as a “mystery” sometimes would more easily be understood were they to embrace the divine specificity of the Word.
Although our great God is extravagant in His love for us, it would be beneficial for us to understand how economical He is when He speaks through the prophets. The Word of God is specific, accurate, sharper, in fact, than a two-edged sword.
Several years ago I was stopped by the amazing specificity of the portion of scripture where Jesus was responding to a question about resurrection from the Sadducees. They had posed a hypothetical question regarding which brother would have a particular woman as wife in the next age, since she had been married to a lot of brothers.
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “ You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,
32 “ I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Are you kidding me? Jesus, in citing God’s proclamation: “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” felt THAT was sufficient proof-text of resurrection? Was that the best He could do?
Jesus, Himself the living Word, was teaching the Sadducees (and us) more than just about life after death. He was also teaching us that the very TENSE of a portion of scripture has specific purpose.
Had Exodus 3:6 (which Jesus quoted) instead have said: “I WAS the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” He could not have used that statement to confirm resurrection (and He would have instead used one of many other portions of scripture). But “I AM….” was sufficient for the Lord’s instructional purposes. Jesus was declaring that God, subsequent to the natural death of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, continued to be their God.
Our Lord’s desire was and is not only for us to accumulate solid facts-of-faith, but also to learn how to understand, appreciate, and revere the specificity of the entire Word of God. When we get there, it blows away a lot of the smoke of confusion that can cloud our understanding of what the Lord desires to reveal to those with ears to hear.
The apostle Paul got it. And thank God he did, because he was the one called upon by God to receive the primary revelation of the New Testament age. An example of divine specificity is again demonstrated in Galatians, where, instead of revelation by way of TENSE, Paul understood the plan of God by way of differentiating PLURAL from SINGULAR:
16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “ And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “ And to your Seed,” who is Christ.
Does this rock your boat just a little? Quite frankly, it does mine. Suddenly Jesus saying things like Matthew 5:18 weighs more heavily upon my interpretation of end-times events and what has yet to happen in order for this kind (every jot and tittle) of completeness to be fulfilled.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
NOTE: The word Jesus utilized – that has rightly been translated into English as LAW is “NOMOS”.
For those would who contend that “LAW” (and therefore its fulfillment) meant (merely) the law of Moses, I would remind you that Paul used the same Greek word NOMOS when citing a quote from Isaiah 28:11 in 1 Cor 14:21. Isaiah clearly is not the law of Moses:
1 Corinthians 14:21
21 In the law (NOMOS) it is written:
“ With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord.
The point to all this is not to get intellectually picky, but rather to get as specific as our Lord is. It is on that plane of understanding and reverential respect that the Word will open to us on new levels. The jeopardy of casual dining at the table of the Word can be summed up as follows (pardon my barging into Peter’s writing, sort of mid-thought) – but it should be noted that Peter had been specifically speaking about end-times events and brings forth this warning and admonition to diligence:
2 Peter 3:16-18
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Further to the concept of divine specificity, it would be worthy for us to now return to Isaiah 28 just for a moment to perhaps more accurately recognize the fullness of the work that has yet to be accomplished prior to the end of this age:
21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon —
That He may do His work, His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers,
Lest your bonds be made strong;
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,
A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.
That was written to ones who would be reading these scriptures, and those readers were being warned not to be mockers. One might be inclined to think their mocking could be a result of failing to take the Word of God as meaning what it says.
Our great God has given us the complete Word of truth, so that we might be equipped for every good work.
That Word is able to sustain us, keep us from stumbling, and also keep us from getting offended when our Lord does the work that He has told us He will surely do. Every jot and tittle, says our Lord. I am inclined to believe that every jot and tittle means every jot and tittle. All of it. And if it hasn’t happened yet in its completeness, stay tuned.
Bless God. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
All scripture NKJV