Arhive pe categorii: Bible

WHY TORNADOES DESTROY AND KILL

WHY TORNADOES DESTROY AND KILL

Curtis Pugh

Poteau, Oklahoma

                It is unpopular in this present day to attribute natural disasters to God.  Many preachers back away from doing so for it does not fit with their one-sided view of God.  Beside this, if they are noticed by the media they shall be ridiculed – and nobody wants to suffer even a little ridicule today – especially contemporary religious leaders who enjoy such prestige in our society!  Meteorologists often speak of “mother nature” as if this pagan mythological invention of depraved minds could somehow explain away the problem of just who is responsible for storms and other natural catastrophes.              The fruit of decades of preaching a one-sided view of God is this: Many folk just cannot reconcile the idea of God-caused storms with their notion of an all-loving God.  They choose to attribute natural evil such as storms, earthquakes, etc., either to the devil or to nature.  Their “god” would not do such things.  We agree: the god they worship would not do such things, but the God of the Bible does!  We do not deny that God is love, for the Bible says so.  But there are other facets to the nature of God.  He is love, but that is not His only attribute.  God’s absolute holiness in all His attributes is stated in Habakkuk 1:13 which says: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…”  We learn that “…Our God is a consuming fire” in Hebrews 12:29.  God is also “…a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).  His justice requires that sin be punished – every sin!  God says, “…Vengeance is mine; I will repay…” (Romans 12:19).  Peter wrote: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).  God is a God of justice and judgment.  Notice that several of these passages are from the New Testament.   I point this out because some offer the unsupportable idea that the Old Testament God is a God of wrath while the New Testament God is a God of love.  The Bible does not present two Gods!  The truth of Jehovah being a holy, just and sin-punishing God is taught in both Testaments.  His sovereignty and ruler-ship over every detail of His creation is shown in both Testaments.

The last verse presented: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17) is a New Testament passage that deals with New Testament folk – those that are a part of the family of God.   The sufferings of authentic Christians for the faith in this present time are but a token and a pledge, as it were, of what shall become of those who reject Christ.  Christ-rejecters come in many shapes.  Some proclaim themselves to be atheists and claim to worship no god of any kind, but generally serve at the altar of pleasure.  Others may proclaim themselves to be believers in God and still others may identify themselves as Christians although they reject Christ.  For even in the matter of the so-called worship of God today, men have by and large rejected both the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church that He built, preferring organizations with human founders.  Is this a sin or is it not?  The old Baptist forefathers took the view that any religion newer than Christ and His apostles was too new for them.  But today most religious people prefer one started by a mere man for a variety of reasons.  One reason for preferring man-made churches is that many of these false churches with their false gospels allow men to keep their sinful pride.  Ours is a day of “feel good” religion.  If you are happy in your place of worship then that is the church which is right for you.  These mutual admiration societies and feel-good manmade churches dot the land.  And so multitudes of “worshippers” are sliding into the lake of fire from a church-pew with a “gospel song” on their lips and a Bible in their hands.  Their confidence is that they have “done something” which they think will please God and get them into heaven – even though the Bible says “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).

Specifically, with regard to storms of all sorts, the Bible says “…the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3).  The Psalmist, in an imprecatory prayer against the enemies of God wrote, “So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm” (Psalm 83:15).  For those who believe the Bible, the matter is clearly settled: God controls storms as He does all things.  He owns all things, even the storms.  All things come from His hand.  Ancient Job understood this.  He spoke to his wife after their great losses, saying: “…What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?…” (Job 2:10).  God is not responsible for moral evil, but He does make use of and controls natural evils.  If you want to “blame” anyone or natural disasters, then you must blame God – if you dare such a presumptuous sin!  This is clear also from Amos 3:6 which says, “…shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?”  Whatever natural evils befall a city or a nation, Jehovah has done it!  God has a plan and is working out every detail of it!  God spoke to King Solomon making it clear that the terrible natural events that we abhor come from God.  He said, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;” (2 Chronicles 7:13).  Drought, with the hunger, famine, high prices and suffering that often accompany it, devouring insects and other crop-destroying blights, and epidemics, diseases, etc., are all sent by God.  Do not blame the devil, fate, mother nature, politicians or coincidence unless you are willing to call God a liar!  He says that He does these things!

In all these things we can only say that God is absolutely holy and that all He does is right.  We confess that we often do not know or understand why God does some things.  But we agree with God that we deserve such things and far worse!  It is man’s high estimation of man and our ideas of self-worth and human goodness that cause us to even question God on these matters.  People ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  That is an improper question.  They should ask, “Why do bad things happen to sinful people?”  That puts things in their proper perspective and light!  We need to properly evaluate ourselves.  Paul, even after his conversion to Christ wrote, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…” (Romans 7:18).  Speaking of unregenerate persons, Paul wrote, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7, 8).  People as they are naturally, those who have not experienced the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, cannot please God by any of their actions.  They are not only enemies of God, even their minds are enmity against God.  They are rebels against the law of God.  In summarizing the depravity of all human beings, Paul wrote: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).  Not one human being is righteous!  None understand!  Regardless of their interest in religion, none seek after God!  None do good, for all are sinners!  With such a damning charge against mankind, is it any wonder that the regeneration of lost persons must of necessity be a sovereign act of God?  Can you not see how it is that not only must God take the first step in saving lost sinners, He must do all?

We observe these truths in the behavior of humanity in our own society.  Murders, thefts, rapes, abuse and all sorts of horrible things are done by men against their neighbors and their own families.  Human beings are not intrinsically good, instead they are born with a sin nature and if given time, will commit acts of sin.  (We do not deny the existence of acts of human kindness, but even these acts spring from impure motives and so even such acts are tainted with sin.)  Jesus said, “…there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18).

Consider what God said against His chosen people, Israel: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.  Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.  From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isaiah 1:2-5).  The summary is this: “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it.”  The human race, like ancient Israel, is totally depraved.  That means that each individual member of the human race is totally depraved.  Every faculty of every man, viz. his intellect, emotions and will are depraved.  They are all at enmity against God.  Is it any wonder then, that “…God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).

Oh I know, the popular doctrine proclaimed far and wide is that God loves everybody and wants to save everybody, but that lie and the liars who hatched it shall be turned into hell and then cast into the lake of fire for eternity.  Consider this: the everlasting state of evil men shall be the lake of fire.  “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).  Notice the classes of men listed in that verse.  These kinds of people make up our contemporary American society.  Considering that “God is angry with the wicked every day” can we not see that God is angry with American society?  It is popular to end political speeches with “God bless America.”  But if God blesses America in her present sinful state He will only encourage the rebellion of her citizenry against Him.  I love America and I do ask God to bless America – with a godly sorrow over sin that works repentance!  Sadly, I see no repentance in the lives of most Americans!  I believe that, as one old preacher said, we are on the little end of something big – and one of those big things coming is the time of judgment which Jesus called “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21).

The Lord Jesus Christ taught a lesson regarding the sovereignty and judgment of God using two events that happened during His earthly life.  This lesson is recorded in Luke 13:1-5 as follows: “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”  The Galileans murdered by Pilate and the eighteen in Jerusalem upon whom the tower fell were not bigger sinners than others according to Jesus.  Jesus taught and believed in total hereditary depravity of all mankind.  All men are born sinners and by committing acts of sin worsen their condition.  All human beings deserve the lake of fire and unless they repent they shall spend eternity there.  God is righteous to judge sin whether He does it now or waits until eternity!  Sin results in judgment!  This is the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ!  “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish!”

                Were the people who perished in the recent tornadoes in four states worse sinners than others?  To ask such a question is to show a lack of understanding of biblical teaching.  The plain teaching of the Bible is that all are sinners.  All are worthy of punishment and all shall suffer the just reward of their deeds in the lake of fire – unless they have a Substitute who bore their punishment for them.  God is not unjust.  If Christ bore your punishment, you have no punishment to bear for the justice of God has been satisfied.  “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:27, 28).  The question that should concern you is this: Did Christ bear your punishment when He hung upon the tree?  Do not think you are saved because of something you did!  Regenerated persons do a lot of things, but there is nothing you can do to regenerate yourself or to cause God to do so.  You can as easily birth yourself into the family of God as you can lift yourself up by your own bootstraps!  Has God done something to you and in you and for you that has resulted in godly sorrow that works repentance toward God and its twin gift, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?  If so, may God give you the assurance that He loves you with an everlasting love and that He has drawn you to Christ who bore your punishment on the tree.  Do not let anyone give you any kind of false assurance!  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

But what about genuine Christians who may suffer in tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes and the like?  What about those truly regenerated sons of God who, along with their wicked neighbors, suffer from such catastrophes?  Remember that what God does is right and what He says it truth!  If He has planned from eternity to send catastrophes upon His children, it will be for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and will be worked together for good.  As children of God we are taught to trust in Him in all things and to expect chastening.  Chastening if not punishment!  Punishment looks back to sins committed.  Christ bore the punishment of the elect.  Chastening looks to the future and rather than being retributive in nature, it is corrective.  “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:7 & 11).  Not only should we expect chastening, we should expect divine comfort – comfort that comes directly from God.  We read about this in 2 Corinthians 1:4 which speaks of God, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”  Here also we see that even the comfort God gives His saints has a future aspect.  It comes not only to comfort us, but also so that we can comfort others with the same comfort that helped us! Let us consider what Brother Peter has to say: Peter blesses God and then writes of the glory of our salvation and our safety and security in it.  Then he writes, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).  Thus, being assured of the safety of God’s salvation, the reward “reserved in heaven,” for those who are “kept by the power of God,” Peter then speaks of the transitory nature of our trials and of the glory that shall follow.  Only God’s gracious working in His children can cause them to live with eternity and eternity’s values in view.  Whatever comes our way is according to God’s wise plan – and if we could alter His plan we would only spoil it.  And so in all things – eternal and temporal – we trust Him.

 

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Inspiration of The Scriptures As Believed By Baptists by B.H. Carroll

Inspiration of The Scriptures As Believed By Baptists
by B.H. Carroll

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.”
This is the first Article of Faith of a great many Baptist churches in our Southland. The first statement is, „We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired.” This brings us at once to the subject of the inspiration of the Scriptures. The word inspiration is derived from the Latin word inspiro, which means to breathe on or to breathe into. That is the literal meaning of the word.
The theological meaning is to breathe on or to breathe into for the purpose of conveying the Holy Spirit, in order that those inspired may speak or write what God would have spoken or written. That is inspiration.
A Scriptural example of this is found in John 20:22: „And when he said this he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit.” That gives us the true conception of inspiration. Following that, verse 23 gives the result: „Whosesoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” That is, an inspired man can declare exactly the terms of remission of sins, and the terms upon which sins cannot be remitted, because he is speaking for God.
The book that a man, so breathed on, writes is called theopneustos, a Greek word meaning „God-inspired.”
Example:
„From a babe thou hast known the sacred writings, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. Every scripture is inspired of God . .” II Tim. 3:15, 16.
After God breathed into man the Holy Spirit in order that he should accurately write the things which God wanted written, then the book that he wrote was called theopneustos. So that this second passage is a very important one in discussing inspiration, probably the most important in the whole Bible.
If the book is God-inspired, then it is God’s book and not man’s book.
Another illustration is found in the second chapter of Genesis:
„And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”
The body was present, but it was dead. It had no vitality. The distinction between a body that is in-breathed and a body that is not in-breathed is the distinction between death and life. Therefore, a man’s book is a dead book. I don’t care how lofty its thought, how fine its argument, or how perfect its rhetoric, the book will pass away. It has not the principle of eternal life. But books that are God-breathed are called „living oracles” (Acts 7:38). It is impossible for a God-book to die.
The oldest book that was ever God-inspired is as much living as the latest one, and it will be unto the end of time a living oracle.
But what is an oracle? In Greece there were certain shrines – certain deities – such as the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. There was a priestess that ministered at that shrine. Men would stand before her and ask a question and the priestess would fall into an ecstasy, and while in that ecstasy her answers were called oracles. Heathen oracles are all dumb, but these God-inspired oracles are living.
They are not only called living oracles, but they are called the oracles of God, as we see from Romans 3:2:
„What advantage hath the Jew? Much every way, for first of all they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”
The advantage is that these Old Testament books were entrusted to them, not as man’s books, but as containing the speeches of God, as well as the works of God.
Now, I will briefly set forth the inspiration of both the Old and the New Testament. II Timothy 3:15, 16, covers all the Old Testament. Paul says to Timothy: „From a babe thou hast known the sacred writings.” Any other writing is what is called profane writing, not in our modem sense of profanity, but means not divine, but rather human or secular. „Thou hast known the sacred writings, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation. Every scripture is inspired of God,” etc. He first speaks of the books of the Old Testament in groups, ta hiera grammata, the sacred writings. Then he speaks of them distributively, pasa graphe.
Every one of these sacred writings is God-inspired. We may stand on that one declaration to affirm the inspiration of every one of the Old Testament books.
Another passage bearing on Old Testament inspiration is Peter 1:20:
„No prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Here again is the idea of inspiration. An inspired man, when he speaks, does not speak his will; when he writes, he does not write his will, but he speaks and writes for God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
Now let us take up the New Testament. In John 14:26 we find that a promise was made, before inspiration was given, that they should be inspired:
„But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.”
Again in 16:12, 13:
„I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come he shall guide you into all the truth; for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak; and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.”
That is, Christ in His lifetime did not complete the revealed truth. They were not prepared to receive it all. But He made provision for the revealing of the truth by promising the Holy Spirit who would teach them all that it was necessary for them to know. What Christ said in His life time, which they had forgotten, the Holy Spirit enabled them to remember and guided them into the completion of the truth. So, after His resurrection Christ breathed on them and said unto them, „Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). This is inspiration and fulfills His promise to them. This same thought is emphasized in I John 2:27:
„The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing teacheth you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, even as it taught you, ye abide in him.”
One other passage, a very important one, is I Corinthians 2:6-13:
„We speak wisdom, however, among them that are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to naught: but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory: which none of the rulers of the world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory: but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him. But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words.”
Here is the promise again clearly stated; that what is to be communicated through this inspiration is something that eye could not see, ear could not hear, nor the heart of man conceive. It is a revelation, and it comes through the Spirit that knoweth the things of God. As your spirit alone can know you (your neighbour does not know you as well as you know yourself), so the Holy Spirit alone knows the will of God, and that Spirit has communicated it to inspired men in man’s words. Mark this verbal inspiration: „combining spiritual things with spiritual words.”
It has always been a matter of profound surprise to me that anybody should ever question the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
The whole thing had to be written in words. Words are signs of ideas, and if the words are not inspired, then there is no way of getting at anything in connection with inspiration. If I am free to pick up the Bible and read something and say, „That is inspired,” then read something else and say, ” That is not inspired,” and someone else does not agree with me as to which is and which is not inspired, it leaves the whole thing unsettled as to whether any of it is inspired.
What is the object of inspiration? It is to put accurately, in human words, ideas from God. If the words are not inspired, how am I to know how much to reject, and how to find out whether anything is from God? When you hear the silly talk that the Bible „contains” the word of God and is not the word of God, you hear a fool’s talk. I don’t care if he is a Doctor of Divinity, a President of a University covered with medals from universities of Europe and the United States, it is fool-talk. There can be no inspiration of the book without the inspiration of the words of the book.
Very briefly I have summed up proof of the inspiration of the Old Testament and of the inspiration of the New Testament, and now I will give you some scriptures on both Testaments together. Hebrews 1:1, 2:
„God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son.”
In old times there were inspired men; but the culmination or completion is in the Son. That covers both. Hebrews 5:12 also covers both:
„When by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God.”
Here the New Testament is called „oracles” as well as the Old Testament. Those were Christian people who had learned the first principles of the oracles of God and stopped. Another passage is I Peter 4:11: „If any man speaketh, speaking as it were oracles of God.” Peter is here talking about the Old and New Testaments. If a man gets up to speak, let him remember that there is a standard, and that that standard is fixed. He must speak according to the oracles of God. These Scriptures cover both.
Now let us consider some observations:
First, the books of the Bible are not by the will of man. Not one of the books of either the Old or the New Testaments would ever have come into being except by the inspiration of God. I want to give you a searching proof on that, found in I Peter 1:10, 11:
„Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories which should follow them.”
Here are men moved by the Spirit of God to record certain things about the future, and they themselves did not understand it. They studied their own prophecies just as we study them. They knew that God had inspired them to say these things, but they did not understand, e.g., God instructed a prophet to say that the Messiah should come forth out of Bethlehem of Judea. God inspired each and every item concerning the Messiah. To show that these things did not come from the will of man, the man himself could not explain them. It was a matter of study and investigation to find out what these signified. They found out that their prophecies were meant for the future, that is, for us.
The second observation is that the propelling power in the speaking or writing was an impulse from the Holy Spirit. They, the inspired men, became instruments by which the Holy Spirit spoke or wrote. Take, for instance, that declaration in II Samuel 23:2, where David said:
„The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was upon my tongue.”
In Acts 1:16 we find that the utterances of David were being studied. We have a declaration that the Holy Spirit spake by the mouth of David concerning Judas; and in the third chapter of Acts we have another declaration of the same kind. Always the speaker or writer was an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
The third observation is that this influence of the Holy Spirit guided the men in the selection of material, even where that material came from some other book, even an uninspired book, the Spirit guiding in selecting and omitting material.
From such declarations as John 20:30, 31 and 21:25, we learn that Christ did many things, that if all were written it would make a book as big as the world; that what has been written was written for a certain purpose. The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to select from the deeds and words of 3esus that which God wanted written; not to take everything He said, but only that which was necessary to accomplish the purpose.
The fourth observation is that inspiration is absolutely necessary in order to awaken the power of remembrance. John 2:22 says that after His resurrection they remembered what He had said, that is, the Spirit called it to remembrance.
To illustrate, take the speeches of Christ, viz.: that address delivered at Capernaum on the Bread of Life, the Sermon on the Mount and, particularly, the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of John.
There were no shorthand reporters in those days, and there is not a man on earth who could, after a lapse of fifty years, recall verbatim et literatim what Christ said, and yet John, without a shadow of hesitancy, goes on and gives page after page of what Christ said just after the institution of the Lord’s Supper. Inspiration in that case was exercised in awakening the memory so that John could reproduce these great orations of Christ.
Of the orations of Paul, take that speech recorded in Acts 13, an exceedingly remarkable speech, or the one recorded in Acts 26, or the one on Mars’ Hill, in chapter 17, one of the most finished productions that the world has ever seen. Inspiration enabled Luke to report exactly what Paul said. Luke never could have done that unassisted. Luke, as a man, might have given the substance, but that is not the substance, it is an elaborate report, the sense depending upon the words used.
The fifth observation is that inspiration was to make additions to the Scriptures until they were completed, in order that the standard may be a perfect treasure, incapable of being added to, unsusceptible of diminution; we want what is there, all that is there, and no more than is there; therefore, when we come to the last book of the Bible, this is said which, in a sense, applies to the whole Bible:
„I testify that every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.” Rev.22:18,19.
It was the design of inspiration to give us a perfect system of revealed truth, whose words are inspired. As an example of verbal inspiration, take Paul’s argument, based on the „seed” in the singular number. Everything in the interpretation depends upon the number of that noun. Apart from verbal inspiration, how on earth would Paul hinge an argument on whether a word is singular or plural?
The next observation is that inspiration was to give different views of the same person or thing by different writers, each perfect according to its viewpoint, but incomplete so far as the whole is concerned, all views being necessary in order to complete the view. There is a Gospel by Mark, written for the Romans, beginning with the public ministry of Christ. Then there are the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, and a Gospel by Paul. Each of them is perfect according to the plan which the Spirit put in the mind of the writer. They are perfect so far as the viewpoint of each is concerned, but incomplete so far as the whole thing is concerned. We have to put them side by side in order to get a complete view of the life of our Lord. That is what we mean by harmonical study. Each is infallibly correct, but it takes the blended view of all to make the whole thing.
Apart from inspiration, no man on earth can account for Genesis. Just see in what small space there is given the history of the world up to chapter 11 – how much is left out. We see the same plan all through the book. It first takes up the wicked descendants, gives their genealogy a little way, then sidetracks them and takes up the true line. Then of their descendants it follows the wicked first a short way and eliminates them and goes back and takes up the true line and elaborates that. That principle goes all through the Bible.
For instance, the first missionary period of Paul’s life covered a greater period of time than any other, and there is no record of it, just a single reference to it in Acts. So with his fifth missionary journey. There are only a few references to it in Timothy and Titus. But the intervening three journeys are elaborately given.
Now we come to an important point. When these inspired declarations were written, they were absolutely infallible. Take these Scriptures: John 10:35, „The scripture cannot be broken;” Matthew 5:18, „Till heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished;” Acts 1:16, „It was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled.”
That is one of the most important points in connection with inspiration, viz.: that the inspired word is irrefragable, infallible; that all the powers of the world cannot break one „thus saith the Lord.”
Another observation is the power that comes upon the inspired word. Hebrews 4:12:
„For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
Yet another observation is the object of the word. There are two objects. John sets forth the first one when he says that they are written that we might believe, and, believing, have life, or, as Paul says to Timothy, „which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” They are both expressed in the nineteenth Psalm:
„The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
The last observation is on the sufficiency of the word: that the inspired record is complete; that it is all-sufficient. That is presented in two Scriptures, Luke 16:29: Abraham said to the rich man in hell who wanted a special messenger sent to his brothers:
„They have Moses and the prophets, and if they cannot be moved by Moses and the prophets, neither could they be moved even though one from the dead went to them.”
The other is II Timothy 3:17:
„That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”
Let me say further that only the original text of the books of the Bible is inspired, not the copy or the translation.
Second, the inspiration of the Bible does not mean that God said and did all that is said and done in the Bible; some of it the devil did and said. Much of it wicked men did and said.
The inspiration means that the record of what is said and done is correct. It does not mean that everything that God did and said is recorded It does not mean that everything recorded is of equal importance, but every part of it is necessary to the purpose of the record, and no part is unimportant. One part is no more inspired than any other part.
It is perfectly foolish to talk about degrees of inspiration. What Jesus said in the flesh, as we find it in the four Gospels, is no more His word than what the inspired prophet or apostle said.
That is the folly of the Jefferson Bible. He proposes to take out of the four Gospels everything that Jesus said and put it together as a Bible.
What Jesus said after He ascended to heaven, through Paul or any other apostle, is just as much Jesus’ word as anything He said in the flesh.
Here are some objections:
First, „only the originals are inspired, and we have only copies.” The answer to that is that God would not inspire a book and take no care of the book. His providence has preserved the Bible in a way that no other book has been preserved.
The second objection is, „We are dependent upon scholars to determine what is the real text of the Bible.” The answer is that only an infinitesimal part of it is dependent upon scholars for the ascertainment of the true text, and if every bit of that were blotted out it would not destroy the Holy Scriptures.

BIBLE – The Supreme and Final Authority

Bible Hold Fast the Form of Sound Words

Bible King James Version Logsdon Essay

Bible Proof the New King James Version

BIBLE Reading the Bible Will Make You a Baptist

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