The Lasting Word of God
From the very beginning, God has always been in communication with His creation. Way back in Psalm 12:6, 7 we read, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” God had always intended for us to have His Word, and man has never been without the Word of God in one form or another.
Today we are blessed to have the entire and complete Word of God. There is nothing we can add to it. We certainly better not take anything away from it. We are warned in Revelation 22:18, 19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that 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 out of the book of life . . . .”
Before the Bible . . .
Let us take some time and examine how God gave His message to man before the completion of the Book of Revelation. The first chapter of Hebrews verse one says, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom he also made the worlds .” What God is saying is that He gave His Word at various times in various ways in times past. Keep in mind also Christ, the Living Word cannot be separated from the written Word. He speaks today by and through His written revelation to man that we call the Bible. However many different methods were used before the completion of the Bible to speak to the messengers of God, the prophets.
God Spoke Face to Face
In the very beginning, God revealed Himself directly to man. He gave commandments to man in Genesis 2:16. He brought Eve to Adam (Genesis 2:22). He walked with them in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). He conversed with Adam in Genesis 3:9, 10. God spoke directly to Cain in Genesis 4:6, and we are told that Enoch walked with God. God spoke mouth to mouth with Moses on Mount Sinai. God gave His Word at these times.
God Spoke Through Chrsitophanies
God also appeared to men in the form of Theophanies. These were pre-Bethlehem appearances of Christ also known as Christophanies. Genesis 18:1 and 2 mentions an account of a theophany. “And the LORD appeared unto him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them, from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.” Notice that the LORD appeared to Abraham as three men—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Joshua met the pre-incarnate Christ in Joshua 5:13, 14. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay: but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?” In both of these cases, God again is communicating His Word to man.
Please Baalam . . . Stop it already!
God Spoke Through a Donkey
Perhaps the most unusual way that God spoke in times past is found in Numbers 22:21-30. God even used the mouth of a donkey to get Balaam’s attention. “And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay” (Numbers 22:30). Then a theophany appears in verse 31. “Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell on his face.” In all these ways God was giving His Word in Sundry (various times) and divers manners (various ways).
God Spoke through Dreams and Visions
Another way God communicated in times past was through dreams and visions. Joseph dreamed prophetic dreams and was also given the gift of interpreting dreams (See Genesis 37:6-10; 41:14-32). Daniel also spoke the Word of God through dreams and interpretations (See Daniel 2:27-45; chapter 7) Daniel experienced visions as well (Daniel 10:7). Here again, God’s Word is given forth.
Visions were used by God in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament. Paul saw many visions. Consider these: 1. Paul’s sight restored (Acts 9:12); 2. Paul’s Macedonian vision (Acts 16:9); 3. In II Corinthians 12:2 we read, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago,(Whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (Whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth.) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which is not lawful for a man to utter.”
God spoke to Peter through visions. Read the account of Cornelius in Acts 10. The Book of the Revelation is a vision that the Apostle John received from the Lord.
God also spoke through a still, small voice (I Kings 19:11, 12; Psalm 32:8) and, through nature (Psalm 19:1-3; Romans 1:18-20).
Today, though, God speaks through His Son and His Word. We have all we need in the pages of the Bible..
God Speaks Through His Word
Today God speaks only through His Word and Holy Spirit. He has put His Word in a most remarkable book, a book like no other, a Book that is alive and changes lives. From beginning to end, the Book was in writing for more than 1,500 years. Please note that the Bible is not in chronological order. Job was the first book written about 1,500 B. C. Revelation was the last book written about 95 A. D. Think how things have changed even in the past century. What was true in 1910 may not be true today. Time changes things. But real Truth never changes. The things that were written in the Book 3,500 years ago are still true today and very applicable for everyday life in the 21st Century.
God used at least 40 different men to write His Word. 40 different men writing in their own personalities yet without contradiction shows that God was behind the writing of the Bible. These 40 men came from all walks of life. Some were farmers. Some were kings. Some were tax collectors or doctors. Some were prophets. Some were shepherds. All wrote without contradiction. The various backgrounds they brought into their writing still lines up with the Truth.
These men with their different backgrounds were also from three different continents. Cultural differences do not matter where Truth is concerned. Paul wrote from Europe. Daniel wrote from Asia. Moses wrote from Egypt – all without contradiction.
The historical accuracy of the Bible shows the Bible is the Word of God. Even though the Bible is not a history book, where it speaks of historical events, it is accurate. The Biblical history of the early Israelites in Egypt can not be refuted. The man, Moses has been shown to be a real, living man as also the events surrounding his ministry. Every culture has a flood account that stands in history.
God’s seal of approval is there because man wrote the Book at God’s bidding. II Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness.” II Peter 1:20, 21 says, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
There are many theories given to explain inspiration. We have the “Natural Theory,” the “Concept Theory,” the “Partial Theory” and others. You can investigate them on your own. The only correct “theory” however, is known as the Plenary-Verbal Theory. That is, that all (Plenary) the very words (verbal) of the Bible are inspired by God Himself. The word “inspired” in II Timothy 3:16 is the Greek word “Theopneustos” which literally means God-breathed.
Every word of your King James Bible was breathed into the writers. Every word comes from God Himself. Although He allowed the writers to use their own personalities, every word was still God-guided, God-directed, and God-breathed.
Archaeology shows that the Bible is the Word of God. Most likely the tower of Babel has been discovered, and archaeology has long since proved that the human race began in Mesopotamia, the place the Bible declares. Science shows that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:22 that the earth is spherical. Generally, the earth was thought to be flat until the time of Columbus’s voyage. Isaiah knew the fact at least a century before. Job 26:7 informs us that the earth is suspended upon nothing. Science did not discover this until the time of Sir Isaac Newton in 1687A. D.
Think of it – a Book containing 66 separate books written by 40 different authors who came from all walks of life over a period of 1,500 years on three different continents. Only God could orchestrate that! The Bible is a miraculously written book, thus God’s seal of approval is “written” all over it.