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Friday, October 31, 2014

VARIOUS PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH VERBAL INSPIRATION - 1

THE PROBLEMS OF VERBAL INSPIRATION
 

Intellectual difficulties exist in all realms of thought. Problems of unbelief are greater than those of Christian faith. This is true because unbelief throws away an area of truth that is above and beyond men. Without it men are reduced to the darkness and groping’s of their own unaided minds.
 
Must we give up our faith if we face a problem we can't solve? No. Because we can't solve it doesn't mean it can't be solved. Because it hasn't been solved doesn't mean it never will be.

It is not essential that every difficulty be cleared away from a doctrine before we can believe it. If so, science could never proceed, and we would get nowhere. And Columbus would never have discovered America. *(Men have tried to turn Columbus into some kind of monster bringing disease and other atrocities to this continent but what he brought were Christian men and women that were attempting to escape that same kind of persecution in Europe. And God has used America. See the previous article on whether the United States is in prophecy.)

If the facts upon which a doctrine rests are well-established, we can believe it in spite of difficulties.

Illus. Darwin and the orchid with 11-inch nectary, and slender as a knitting needle. Finally a moth was discovered with a tongue 11 inches long

Verbal inspiration rests upon the facts of Christ's testimony and the testimony of his disciples.
 The Problem of The Inexact Quotation
Isa. 40:3 cf. Mt. 3:3 "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
"For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

Answer:
Doctrine of verbal inspiration does not require that New Testament writers quote word for word. Only requires that it give the truth without error.
In some instances it is clear that the New Testament writer had no idea of quoting. He is merely using the language of the Old Testament to express New Testament revelation.
See Hab. 2:3, 4 cf. Heb. 10:37-38.
"For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."
"For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."

In other instances, the New Testament writer may be giving only an interpretation of its meaning. Who has a better right to do so than these Spirit-filled men?

Any linguist knows that translation tends to produce variation.
Hebrew to Greek to English
Hebrew to English

It is a well-recognized literary principle that the author of a book may quote from his own works freely.
God is the Author of the Bible.
More problems follow.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

IS THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY

Is the United States in Prophecy?
Herman A. Hoyt

 


The United States of America has risen to the place of preeminence, prosperity, progress, power, and pollution among the nations of the world. Because of this, on the part of many there is a growing concern for the future of this nation. And its current leadership has taken our prominence away in many areas.

Within recent years, conditions within the country and criticism from without have raised the serious question of the continued greatness of this nation. Can this nation long endure with crime, lawlessness, and anarchy threatening from within, and with jealousy, hatred, and distrust threatening from without? Is this nation approaching dangerously near the point that other great nations reached before they disintegrated and disappeared?

On the part of some of God's people who are more discerning, the significant question is being raised as to the place of the United States in the prophecy of the end time. Do the prophetic Scriptures have anything to say about the United States as a world power at the time of the end? To this question the answer must be given in the affirmative. The Scriptures do have something to say, and the picture that is drawn is not bright.

In answer to this question, I would like to unfold the message of the prophetic Scriptures in four major movements of thought.

I. The Prophetic Diagram of the Age Makes No Provision for the United States as a World Power

The Scriptures clearly mark out the progress of world empire through the age, and also the pattern of World Empire at the end of the age. Let us look at these in that order.

1. The progress of World Empire through the age is clearly drawn in two important chapters of the Book of Daniel. The brilliance of empire as seen through the eyes of a man is pictured in Daniel 2. The bestiality of empire as seen through the eyes of God is set forth in Daniel 7.

The brilliance of World Empire unfolds as a result of the dream of the great oriental monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, and as recorded in the second chapter of Daniel. So amazing was this dream that when the monarch awoke, though he had forgotten its content, he could not shake off its impression. He then ordered in the wise men, the magicians, and the astrologers, and demanded of them under penalty of death that they reproduce the content of the dream and give the interpretation.

These men stalled for time, but the king, suspicious of their claims, pressed his demand and left them facing death. Unfortunately, the objects of this death penalty also included Daniel and his friends who had been deported from Jerusalem and placed in this company. But they had found favor with the superintendent of this company, and when they requested time to pray to their God who reveals secrets, the request was granted, they prayed, and God revealed the dream and its interpretation.

It was Daniel who appeared before the king and gave the revelation. He informed him that he had seen the gigantic image of a man, brilliant to behold from the head of shining gold to the feet of iron and clay. The head was made of gold. The breast and arms were of silver. The belly and thighs were of brass. The legs were of iron, and the feet were of iron and clay. As the king beheld, he saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands. It fell upon the feet and toes of iron and clay and brought the whole image toppling to the earth, so that it was pulverized into dust and the wind blew the dust away like chaff from the summer threshing floors. Then the stone cut out of the mountain without hands increased until it became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

 Then Daniel gave the interpretation. He addressed Nebuchadnezzar and declared that the head of shining gold represented him and his kingdom. After that there was to arise an inferior kingdom, Medo-Persia, represented by the breast and arms of silver. This was to be followed by another kingdom of inferior quality, Greece, as represented by the belly and thighs of brass. Following this there was to be yet a fourth kingdom, Rome, as represented by the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron and clay. The stone cut out of the mountain without hands was the Lord Jesus Christ. His coming was to mark the destruction of this final kingdom, and He Himself would establish His kingdom in earth, which kingdom would never pass away.

 Several things are clear from this prophetic dream. In the first place, this covers the progress of World Empire from Babylon to the very end of the age. The Revived Roman Empire is the final World Empire among the kingdoms of men. In the second place, it makes clear that Gentile world empire will be followed by the Mediatorial Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and it will never pass away. In the third place, a careful examination of this prophetic dream makes it clear that no provision is made for the United States as a world power over the pattern of the empires pictured in this prophecy.

 The bestiality of World Empire emerges in the vision given to Daniel 7. As Daniel looks, he sees the winds striving on the sea and lashing the water into fury. As he watches, he sees four snarling, rapacious beasts rise up out of the sea: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a fourth beast diverse from the others. The first beast represents Babylon; the second, Medo-Persia; the third, Greece; and the fourth, a composite of the preceding three, representing Rome. Even while he watches he sees the Son of Man come on the clouds of heaven, and His kingdom supplants all the kingdoms before Him, and His kingdom was never to pass away.

Again it is evident that three things emerge from this prophecy. The grand sweep of World Empire is covered from Babylon to the end. The Kingdom of our Lord and Savior is inaugurated and will never pass away. And there is no provision for the United States of America as a world power.

 2. The pattern of World Empire at the end of the age is also clearly set forth in the Book of Daniel. And now I want to direct your attention to Dan. 11:36. This passage is intended to describe the rise and final destruction of the Western Power under the direction of the Antichrist at the end of the age. Note carefully several things in this passage.

 The designation of time is clearly indicated in Dan. 11:40, "And at the time of the end." This does not leave us in doubt as to the period of time under consideration.

 The division of power follows roughly the geographical division of the earth. This is all in relation to the little land of Palestine, which in the Bible is regarded as "the middle of the earth" (Ezek. 38:12 ASV). All directions are, therefore, from this vantage-point. "The glorious land" (Dan. 11:41) and "the glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11:45) help to confirm this. The Western Power, the Revived Roman Empire and its king, is alluded to as "the king who shall do according to his will" (Dan. 11:36). The Southern Power is represented as "the king of the south" (Dan. 11:40). Through the centuries this has been Egypt, and is today, though it is very possible that it may represent all of Africa. For 2,500 years Egypt has been under foreign domination. But with the ascension of Nasser to power, at last a native Egyptian assumed direction of the land. The Northern Power is pointed out as "the king of the north" (Dan. 11:40). Through millenniums of time this has been Syria, and still is. But more recently, another power lying immediately to the north and encompassing one-sixth of the land surface of the earth has projected itself. This is Soviet Russia. Without a doubt this is that gigantic power referred to in Ezekiel, chapters 38-39. Then there is the Eastern Power referred to in Daniel 11:44, and alluded to in Revelation 16:12 as "the kings of the east." In those lands to the east of Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Japan, and Indonesia, lie two-thirds of the population of the earth. Here are the four great powers of the end time.

 The disappearance of these powers, one by one, takes place as the Western Power marches toward world dominion. The first to fall before the king of the Revived Roman Empire is the king of the south (Dan. 11:40). The second is the king of the north (Dan. 11:40), though in this case it is God who destroys this power and brings it under control of the west (Ezek. 39:1-6). The kings of the east finally suffer defeat at the hands of the Western Power, by now in control of the rest of the earth (Dan. 11:44). But even the Western Power is shortly to meet his end when the Son of Man comes riding down the meadows of heaven at the close of the tribulation period (Dan. 11:45; Rev. 19:11-21).

 In this unfolding drama at the end of the age, absolutely no provision is made for the United States as a world power. This does not mean that the United States will not exist as a national entity, or in fragmented condition. But it does mean that it will not be a world power in the sense that it is today. Because it belongs to that division of the earth called the West, and traces its origin largely to western and southern Europe, and has always been in alignment with the West, it will doubtless be in some subsidiary position in relation to the Revived Roman Empire.

 Since the Scriptures are quite as eloquent in their silence as in their statement, it would be well to conclude that absence of any clear reference to the United States in the end time as a world power is doubtless to be traced to the fact that it is no longer a world power.

 II. The Phenomenal Development Within Recent Years Does Not Guarantee the Continuation of the United States as a World Power

 1. The plan of God has already determined the distribution of power for all nations, both as to time and place. When the Apostle Paul went to Athens it was inevitable that he would come into confrontation with the intelligentsia of the city. And he did. He met them on Mars' Hill and delivered to them that great address which in substance is recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Acts. In the course of that address he made this statement: "God . . . hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation" (Acts 17:24, 26). Though there may be no recognition of this fact on the part of the leadership of our land, this does not negate the fact. The United States just like every other nation on the face of the earth, both past and present, falls within the scope of this determinate counsel of Almighty God.

 2. The program of God will be carried out for the United States just like all other nations of the world. The Psalmist said: "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another" (Ps. 75:6-7). In the good providence of God the United States of America has come to the dominant place it occupies in the world today. But one may listen in vain to the pronouncements of its leadership to discover any trace of recognition that God is the One who has brought this nation to its high place of prosperity and power. But the fact still remains, and by the same token, when God is finished with this nation He will bring it down.

 3. Moreover, the purpose of God will be accomplished for the United States as well as for all other nations. This was the lesson Nebuchadnezzar had to learn. Again he had a dream. He saw a tree grow up out of the earth. Its branches reached into the sky and spread abroad, and they were filled with the fowls of the air. Then suddenly it was cut off at the stump. The king ordered his wise men and magicians to interpret the dream, but they were incapable of performing this feat. At last Daniel came to the rescue.

 When Daniel heard the dream, he was astonished and for one long hour his thoughts troubled him. Then he summoned his courage to tell this absolute, autocratic, ruthless king the truth. "This is the interpretation, 0 king ... they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Dan. 4:24-25).

 "All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, 0 king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee" (Dan. 4:28-31).

 The king descended from his throne, and he walked out to the fields; there he got down on his hands and knees and began to eat grass like the beasts of the field. There he lived with the beasts of the earth; his body was wet with the dew of heaven at night, and for seven long years he lived like a dumb, brute beast of the field. Then at last, God restored to him his senses and Nebuchadnezzar confessed: "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all those works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase" (Dan. 4:37).

 Nebuchadnezzar and succeeding kings passed off the stage of human history, until at last Belshazzar came to the throne. One night he made a banquet to a thousand of his lords and ladies. This was held within the inner citadel of the city. But outside the outer walls, a huge army of an opposing power was turning aside the river that ran beneath the wall that they might enter and besiege the citadel. A banquet at this hour demonstrated the stupidity of the king. This festive occasion was marked by debauchery, licentiousness, and at last it was crowned with sacrilege.

 Belshazzar ordered the vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the crowd of pagan revelers might quaff wine to the gods of silver and gold, and of wood and stone. As he lifted one of these goblets to his lips, he peered out over its brim and saw the great, mysterious fingers of a sleeveless hand inscribe something on the far wall. The account says that the "king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another" (Dan. 5:6). Out of sheer fear he called for the wise men, and offered them third rulership in the kingdom if they would read the writing and give the interpretation. All failed, and at last it was the queen mother who called Daniel to the attention of the king. By this time Daniel was 85 years of age, and he had long since been forgotten since the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was called in and with these words accepted the responsibility: "Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation" (Dan. 5:17).

 But before doing so, Daniel administered a rebuke to the king. Nebuchadnezzar "was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, 0 Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this (Dan. 5:21-22).

 "Though thou knewest all this." These words ought to fall on our ears with crushing force. These were addressed to a pagan monarch of long ago. If these words in truth could be addressed to him who dwelt in almost complete ignorance of the movements of God, then with what irresistible force those same words should come to the people of a nation that, with all the multiplied mediums of communication available today, has heard the Word of God like no other nation on the face of the earth. Be sure of this, God will yet fulfill His purpose in the United States of America, and this people shall know that God rules in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will.

 III. The Perilous Deterioration Now in Progress Is Preparing the Way for the Passing of the United States as a World Power

 In prophetic utterance the Psalmist declared: "The nations are sunk down in the pit that they made: In the net that they hid is their own foot taken. Jehovah hath made himself known, he hath executed judgment: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned back unto Sheol, even all the nations that forget God" (Psa. 9:15-17 ASV). This principle of declension is now in progress within the United States. Note three things:

1. The decay of the integrity of a nation always centers in its thinking. The Psalmist declares, in speaking of the wicked, ". . . God is not in all his thoughts" (Psa. 10:4). At last this has burst into the open in this nation. It would appear that this nation of people is determined to get rid of the very idea of God. There is a so-called scientific principle designed to explain the origin and movement of the universe on the human and natural level. This has so completely impregnated the thinking of men that a dictum of the Supreme Court now makes it practically impossible to carry the Biblical idea of God into the public classroom. This court is defended on the grounds that it is interpreting and enforcing the Constitution of the United States. All this may be so, but that does not remove the fact that at the grass roots levels the idea of God in the Biblical sense of that term is disappearing from the classroom. Remembering that this declaration took place almost a dozen years ago, it is possible that this may explain what we are seeing today in a generation of young people who have gone through grade school and high school, and are now the college population of the land?

 2. The descent into unbridled immorality is paving the way for final disintegration. Ideas have consequences. That is precisely what we all believe, and that is the reason we foster and finance a school system. The ideas that go into that classroom and saturate the minds of young people are bound to produce effects. Where young people are taught to believe that there is no God, and that man is the highest order of creation and therefore the measure of his own morality, there can be no other trend in sinful creatures than to justify their evil desires and with clever reasoning conceive a system of morals that makes provision for all the lusts of the flesh.

 That is the point of Psalm 10. Of the wicked God declares that "His ways are always grievous" (Ps.10:5). The wicked reasons, "in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity" (Ps.10:6). "His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.... He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it" (Ps. 10:7, 11). Out of the abundance of his heart, the mouth of the wicked speaks, and his ways are marked by a continual descent into immorality. Now that He has manufactured the code of ethics known as the new morality, with this he palliates his conscience and moves swiftly down the broad way toward disintegration and doom.

 3. The disintegration of the basic institutions of this land charts the course toward final disappearance as a great power. Direct your attention now to a portion of the prophecy recorded in Daniel 2:41-43. These words describe the constituency of nations at the end of the age.

 "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."

 Iron has always been a symbol of autocracy. It marks the strength of absolute monarchy. In the history of nations there has been demonstrated through millenniums of time the amazing strength and enduring quality of such government. Unfortunately, where kings have been wicked this has resulted in miserable conditions for the subjects. But the enduring qualities were there, for all matters of government were resolved within one person.

 The clay, however, points to the seed of men, that vast throng of people who make up the population of the world. Its qualities are brittle and evanescent, but highly cherished by the people as the ideal form of government. The Greeks declared that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Though this form of government never came into its own until the dawn of the twentieth century, it is today espoused by people all across the world. It is called democracy, a compound term from the Greek language. The first element, "demos," means people. The last element, "cracy," coming from a word which means mastery, and combined it means "mastery of the people."

 So long as this form of government operates within the controlling influences of the truth about God, it has served a relatively useful purpose. But once the idea of God was lost, the liberty it was intended to exercise has turned inward in the thinking of men, and it is now being interpreted to mean that an individual has the right to express and satisfy his desires without regard for others. It has given birth to what is called "civil disobedience," and has broken out into lawlessness and threatens the land with anarchy. With the audacity born of this conviction, there seems no level of wickedness too low for men to indulge themselves and bring justification of the Constitution to their support.

 As a result we have seen the gradual disintegration of some of the basic institutions of society. The home is the basic institution of any society. But that institution is dangerously threatened in the scourge now sweeping the world. The school is no longer a haven of refuge for the dissemination of morals that help to preserve society. The Church has also been invaded with a liberal theology made over the pattern of this type of thinking and is suffering the consequences that go with it. Local and national governments feel their very foundations trembling with wave after wave of revolution and riot, until the best thinkers of the land fear that anarchy is not far distant. All this marks the trend in which this nation is moving. How long can this continue until dire calamity overtakes the entire nation?

 History tells its own story of the rise and fall of nations. After the dissolution of the Roman Empire, 1,500 years of history tell their own story. On a far smaller scale the Holy Roman Empire appeared on the scene, but finally disappeared. The great Ottoman Empire followed this. Then there came the rise of the Spanish domain. It soon gave way before the French Colonial Empire and the British Empire, of which it could be said that on its shores the sun never sets. But as any high school student knows, these great nations are no more. Are we to imagine that this cannot take place with the United States of America? Such would be sheer fantasy. And the terrifying fact is that nations disintegrate from within before they crumble from without.

 IV. The Possible Disappearance of the United States as a World Power Will Not Take Place Until God Has Fulfilled His Purpose in This Nation

 The Apostle Paul asserted by divine guidance that God "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11). With this as a guiding principle, it would be well to take a look at what God has been doing and is now doing through the United States of America. This could give some indication as to the times in which we live and point the direction in which the child of God should move. Three things seem quite evident:

 1. The evanglization of the world for the formation of the Church is largely promoted from within the United States of America. Through James at the Jerusalem conference, it was stated that "God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name" (Acts 15:14). Those people are the chosen of God to constitute the bride of Christ. In order to reach them, God has mounted a worldwide evangelistic movement. When these people hear the Gospel they will believe. When the last chosen one has heard the Gospel and accepted it, the bride will be complete and the Lord Jesus will come for His Church. God's purpose in this age will then be finished.

A knowledgeable missionary, familiar with missions on a worldwide scale, several years ago at the time the dollar was trembling, called for earnest prayer. His reason was that any calamity to that dollar could conceivably have a global effect on missions, due to the fact that by far the greater proportion of missionary effort in men and money comes from the United States. If God is using this nation as the instrument to carry out His purpose in these days, it would seem likely that He will sustain this nation until that purpose is fulfilled. But let us take heed. The completion of the Church could be very near, in which the fortunes of this nation (moving as they are) are already heralding the end of the age and the disappearance of the United States as a world power.

 2. The preservation of the chosen people of God for that program which God will renew after the rapture of the Church, proceeds largely from the United States of America. In the same prophecy at the Jerusalem conference, James went on to say, "And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up" (Acts 15:15-16). This can only mean that once God is finished with the Church, He will turn again to Israel and will restore and rebuild that nation as He has promised in the Old Testament prophets. This further means that the people of Israel must be preserved, or there would be no people with which God could fulfill His promises.

 The place of the United States in the preservation of this people is little realized, even by the average Christian. Almost 200 years ago, this nation came into being. It provided for the citizenship of Jews on the same level and with equal rights and privileges, along with all other people. As a result Jews have prospered in this land. No place of privilege or position has been denied to them because of their nationality. When central Europe turned into a holocaust for this people, it was the United States of America that aided in the subjugation of Hitler. When this people sought a homeland, it was pressure from the United States on the United Nations that brought the partition of the Mid-east to provide for the present state of Israel. Even though World War 11 had ended, there still was no haven of refuge for the Jew in central Europe. Hundreds set sail in the Mediterranean, hoping to find a friendly harbor. But there was none. It looked as though that shipload of refugees would perish on the high seas. At last they cast anchor in the harbor of Haifa. Today, the rusting hulk of that ship can be seen protruding just above the waters.

 It must also be said that the presence of divisions of the United States Army and contingents of the U.S. Navy within the Mid-east helps to preserve the balance of power in that area, and to sustain this nation scarcely 25 years of age. Were it not for the presence of military contingents from the United States, this little nation could easily be overwhelmed by Arab and Russian hordes. The appearance of the state of Israel, though small, after these 1,900 years, and the apparent determination to preserve this people, suggest that God's long-promised purpose for Israel is about to be fulfilled. Since the United States is serving as the instrument in God's hands to carry this to completion, there is reason to believe that this nation will continue until God's purpose is finished. But let us take heed, for the time may be fast approaching when this purpose will be completed and God will be through with this nation as a national entity.

 3. The alignment of nations into that international arrangement for the end of the age is being promoted by the United States of America. Again, the movement of thought set forth in Daniel 11:36-45 should be carefully studied. There the four great powers of the end time appear. There is a great western power, a great southern power, a great northern power, and a great eastern power. These constitute great blocks of nations bound together by political, social, and material interests. The United States appears to be acting as a sort of catalyst. Probably no nation is having such a wide effect on the rest of the world to move nations one way or another. From 300 to 400 military camps of some size are planted across the world. In all, both large and small in size, there are no less than 3,000 such camps around the world. The monetary and fiscal policies of this nation have their widening effect on other nations. This does not mean that these things evoke goodwill, but they do produce movement one way and another into national and international alignments. When the arrangement finally approximates the prophetic pictures, God will be through with this nation as a world power.

As one views the developing scene, in the light of prophecy, it makes him wonder how long it may be before the arrangements are finally complete. Since the promise of Christ's coming for the Church has always been held out to His people as an event that could take place at any moment, surely the events of the present hour in relation to the United States ought to give new stimulus to watch momentarily for His coming. In these days of crisis, our trust should not rest in a nation that may shortly disappear, but in Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VERBAL INSPIRATION DOES NOT DENY THE HUMAN ASPECT

Verbal Inspiration Does Not Deny the Human Element (Aspect) in Scrip­ture

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

 
Every book in the New Testament bears the imprint of its human writer

Bible is the most human book in the world.
Human things are not necessarily sinful and false. (We get this idea from observation of fallen, sinful humanity.)
But the Bible is also a Divine Book, Infallible.

Difficulties
To be expected. If we give up because of difficulties, we must give up Christianity (trinity, incarnation, etc.)
All other theories of inspiration have difficulties also.
One great advantage of this theory: Based  squarely on the testimony of Christ and the book itself.

The Greatest Difficulty is not Mental but Moral
  1. Either men do not want to believe, or
  2. They do not want to believe because it would incriminate them.

The human aspect in Scripture is not ignored in verbal inspiration. Every book bears clearly the imprint of the human author. 2 Tim. 4. (The cloak, books, parchments). Vs. 13, 14
"The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:"

The Bible is the most human book in the world. The Koran is inhuman, though human in origin. To admit that it is human does not mean that any part is false or wrong. Christ was human, but he was also Divine, sinless, perfect.
 
Denials of Verbal Inspiration Grow Out of Ignorance
Some men are the kind who like to throw things away.
Some men become the victim of the atmosphere in which they grew up-­to question, deny, and be uncertain.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PAUL AND MOSES WORDS ARE INSPIRED

By Verbal Inspiration We Mean That the Words of Paul or Moses, etc. Are Inspired
 
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
1 Cor. 2:12-14

As the above verses teach, some men have trouble with verbal inspiration and the words of the men who were used to give us these words. The problem they possess is He Whom they do not possess.

God communicates to us through the medium of words to our minds from His mind through the Holy Spirit's guidance. He has made sure we have the words we need to hear from Him through men He chose with varying personalities who gave us His words so that we can have His mind through Christ. He left nothing out in this process.
Many copies have been made since the originals were given and wrote by Moses as well as Paul.  This is correct. Then the critics say we do not have these autographs, therefore, why contend for verbal inspiration.

Answer:
We can ask the same question of those who hold any form of inspira­tion theory. Even ideas are conserved in the form and sound of words.

Granted that the original documents are lost, the words are still with us in copies which were made.

Insofar as we have the words of the original documents, we have a verbally inspired Bible. No religion has ever been so meticulous. And He left the Holy Spirit with His Bride to superintend His words and teach them to us.
"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." Mark 13:11

The science of Textual Criticism is based on the assumption of a verbally inspired original. You can't begin to imagine the extent that the scholars have done to make sure of the correct texts. All this having to do with words.

Monday, October 27, 2014

AN INSPIRED BIBLE APART FROM INSPIRED WORDS IS AN ABSURDITY

An Inspired Bible Apart From Inspired Words is an Absurdity

"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Cor 2:13
 
Take away the words, and nothing is left except blank paper and a cover. Any sort of inspiration must have to do with words.


Observations:
The doctrine of verbal inspiration has been criticized on the ground that it is mechanical, reducing the writers to mere machines, and leaves no room for free agency.
Answer:
Unfair - Reveals ignorance of the thing criticized, and of free agency. But even if true, the accuracy of God's revelation is worth more than the free agency of a few men.
The doctrine of a verbally inspired Bible does not take away the free agency of its writers.
Illus. Goal of Christian is to be completely controlled by the Holy Spirit. (This control covers thoughts, words, deeds.) If this means loss of free agency, then we are striving to be mere machines.
  • A free agent is a man who acts as he pleases.
  • A Spirit-controlled man pleases to act in accordance with the Spirit. cf. Phil. 2:12-13
The critics think it is all right for God to control the thoughts without violating free agency, but not the words. Is it in his mind or mouth?
A. J. Gordon: "To deny that the Holy Spirit speaks in Scripture is an intelligible proposition; but to admit that He speaks, but deny that we have His words (is unsound?). It is impossible for us to know what He says except as we have His words."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

BIBLE CLAIMS IT'S VERY WORDS ARE INSPIRED

The Bible Claims that its very Words are Inspired
As Far as the Extent of Bible Inspiration

The only kind of inspiration is verbal inspiration. It all has to do with words. The theories, but they all have to do with words.
 
"The word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak." "Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth." "And the Lord met Balaam...and put a word in his mouth."
Num. 22:38, 23:12, 16
 
 
Exod. 4:12 "with thy mouth...what to speak" (not mind, think) This has to do with words and the working of the mouth.
2 Sam. 23:2 "His word was upon my tongue" David here.

Jer. 1:6, 9 (6) "I cannot speak." (9) "I have put my words in thy mouth."
Ezek. 3:4 The Lord commanded “To speak with My word.”
 
New Testament
1 Cor. 2:13 — "words which the Holy Spirit teachest" (Paul gave us most books of the New Testament)--most important in New Testament.
Gal. 3:16 - "seed...seeds" Singular from the plural differentiated.
Matt. 10:19 "Take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you."
      cf. Mark 13:11 "For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit." Instructions given to His apostles to combat the Israelic hierarchy. They were alerted to it and conscious of it. Peter spoke the right WORDS in Acts 4.
Matt. 22:23-33 "I am the God of Abraham..."
      cf. Ex. 3:6 - verb understood "I am" is understood, though it is not present in the original text. When Moses received this from the Lord he must have understood what God meant for Moses wrote down what was understood.
Matt. 22:42-45 "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord?"
     cf. Psa. 110:1 "The Lord said unto my Lord"  "Jehovah said unto my Adonai."
Matt. 20:28 - "ransom for many" "Ransom" (  Lutron ) for (anti) instead of        
      cf. 1 Tim. 2:6
Ransom for all in general sense.
Ransom of a substitutionary character.
Narrows it down to a specific word and Matthew recorded it.
1 Pet. 1:10-11 "The Spirit of Christ which was in them." Includes all the OT prophets who did not understand what they wrote. They had hard time disentangling passages which not only contained the 1st but also the 2nd coming.
Matt. 5:18 "one jot or one tittle" cf. Lev. 18:21
1 Tim. 4:6 "Put the brethren in remembrance...good minister...nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

THE METHOD OF INSPIRATION

THE METHOD OF INSPIPATION

"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."
 
What was the process by which the inspired Bible has been given to us by God?
2 Pet. 1:21 (R.V.):
“The Spirit of God moved” in the presence of the primeval waters of the newly created cosmos, and it became vibrant with pulsating energy and activity. In somewhat analogous fashion, the Spirit of God moved the hearts, minds and pens of the holy (that is, called and set apart) men of God, and the Scriptures were formed, proceeding from the eternal mind of God to be revealed to His creatures.

1. Denies that Scripture originated from human initiative. "....no prophecy ever came by the will of man"
2. Affirms that its real source is from God. "but men spake from God"
3. Explains how men could speak, and yet not speak from themselves. "being moved by the Holy Spirit"
"moved"  This word is somewhat inadequate in conveying the idea of the Greek word (jeromenoi). The thought is that these men were caught up and borne along, so that they were enabled to interpret the past and the present and the future from the Divine standpoint in order to get men into right ways before God. Even here they were not machines, but through human personality were Divinely illuminated and instructed.
A revelation which is unintelligible is no revelation.
As the revelation is made in oral communication and in written words, in articulate words and intelligible language-language intelligible to its first hearers and readers-it follows that the words in this revelation must have been used according to the rules of language then prevalent, the users logiuondi  of that day, according to the meaning or sense of the words to those to whom the language was vernacular. Otherwise the communication could not have been understood by them. If so, the Bible would no longer be a revelation, but a concealment of God's will. But the Bible was authored by human inspired authors. They wrote or spoke so as to be understood, using words, whether literally or figuratively, in the sense in which general usage employs them. For if this principle of interpretation were not correct, there could be no duty of private interpretation.

Question: Were the men who wrote Scripture always conscious that they were being "borne along"?
No, But contra. Jer. 20:9, Ezek. 3:4, 12, 14, 16, 22, 24-27
Jer. 20:9 "His word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones."
Ezek. 3:4, 12, 14, 16, 22, 24-27 "And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. "
"Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place."
"And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"
"And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee."
"Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house."

Friday, October 24, 2014

CERTAIN CONCLUSIONS DRAWN ON INSPIRATION

ON THE BASIS OF 2 Tim. 3:16, CERTAIN CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN
 
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
 


Inspiration is not merely a heightened form of spiritual illumination. The latter is
(1) Common to all Christians;
(2) Subject to degrees;
(3) Always continuous to some extent (over 1900 years).
But inspira­tion is not common to all Christians, not subject to degrees, and certainly not continuous. If it were, the writing of Scripture ought not be too rare or difficult! For those who hold this view, let them sit down and write some scripture now. And some at this point think they can.

Inspiration is more than revelation in the strict sense of the term.

Revelation is God's activity in communicating truth to the human mind. Inspiration is God's activity in producing a record of the Revelation. 
Dr. Chalmers put the distinction thus: Revelation is the inflow to the agent. Inspiration is the outflow to others in a record.

Failure to distinguish properly between these two has been a fertile source of wrong theories of inspiration. They argue, for instance, that the Ten Commandments are more inspired than the story of the Exodus, because God gave the former directly, while the latter was a visible event in history requiring no special revelation. But the method of revelation is never the measure of its inspiration. God has various ways of revelation (See former articles). Here is a great mass of revelation. The problem was to select the right material, and record it accurately and in permanent form. This necessitates a Divine activity in so influencing and controlling certain selected men that they would select the right material and record it with infallible accuracy. This activity on the part of God has given us an inspired Bible.

The object of Inspiration is not the man, but the book.
--not the writer, but his writings.

Purpose of inspiration was not to give the world a few infallible men who would soon pass away, but an infallible book which would never pass away.

2 Tim. 3:16 "All Scripture...inspiration of God" (not the process, but the product).

Inspiration describes a result rather than a process.
2 Tim. 3:16 tells what the scripture is, not how it was given.
--what God has done, not how He did it.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God...."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A DEFINITION OF INSPIRATION

A DEFINITION OF INSPIRATION
AS USED IN 2 Tim. 3:16
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
 
To say that all Scripture is inspired of God is to say that all Scripture is the direct product of the creative breath of God. This is exactly what we might expect if the Bible can be said to be God's word. God's word is that which He has spoken, that is, breathed out. Yet we must not forget that what is God-breathed is graphe, i.e., the sacred writing, not the spoken word.
Whatever God breaths on becomes alive.
God gives breath to man for the express purpose of worship. He says in Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." God places scripture in the same category as the heavens and the spirit of man. All are God-breathed that is the direct product of God.
Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."
2 Tim 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
Psa. 33:6 "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth."
Gen. 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

KJV translation gives the impression of process rather than the result.
 
<pasa graphe Theopneustos> God-out-breathed writings thus declaring the character of the writings, not the writers. Luke claimed to be Divinely guided by using the Greek word anothen (from above) in Luke 1:3, while Peter claimed to be God-driven in 2 Peter 1:20-21. Today no Spirit-filled man is inspired in the sense in which the Apostles and others who wrote the Scriptures were inspired. All messages delivered today must be tested by the teachings of the inspired writings.
"It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,"
"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."
See John 5:46-47- Moses wrote of Jesus; if men won't believe Moses, how would they believe Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, or for that matter Paul, Peter, Timothy or any of the other writers of Scripture that God breathed through those men. All they will do is find fault with their words.
"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"
i.e. Adam and Jesus Christ stand or fall together, for Jesus said: "For if you believed Moses, you would believe me....  Moses wrote historically of Adam at the beginning of creation. If Genesis is not historically dependable, then Jesus is not a dependable guide to all truth, and we are without a Savior for He quoted Moses and his books as accurate.
Men have to take inspiration out of the picture for evolutionary thought to take precedence.
 
Luke 24:44 where 3/4 of what Jesus explained has not even happened yet.
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."
"must be fulfilled" Every promise of God concerning the person and work of Christ must be fulfilled, either at His first coming or His second coming. “The Scripture cannot be broken,” Jesus has assured us (John 10:35).
"the psalms" This threefold division actually embraces the entire Old Testament canon. Another way of expressing this would be the historical writings, the poetical writings, and the prophetical writings. All are divinely inspired and inerrant in their very words.
 
Rev 19:10 All scripture testifies of Him (Jesus).
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
This verse is the only place where the phrase “the testimony of Jesus” (i.e., about Jesus) appears in the Bible, and also the only place where the phrase “the Spirit of prophecy” appears. Thus a true prophet, inspired by the Holy Spirit, will testify that God was indeed incarnate in the man Jesus (1 John 2:22; 4:1-3). Therefore Jesus is God, and is to be worshipped, but He alone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

THE PROBLEM OF TRANSLATING

THE PROBLEM OF TRANSLATING
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profit­able."


2 Tim. 3:16  A.V. renders "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable."
A.S.V. renders "Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable." The A.V. makes the direct assertion that all Scripture is inspired of God, while A.S.V. seems to suggest that if a Scripture is inspired of God, it is also profitable, thus intimating that some Scripture may not be inspired. And some run with that ball down the court. Thus God's word is at their discretion concerning profitability.

One reason for this is the fact that these men did not know that pasa grajh qeopneustoV kai wjelimoV had technical meaning as used in the Bible.

             The Greek grammatical construction seems fairly simple - "pasa graphe theopneusto  kai ophelimas." What we have here are two adjectives joined by the conjunc­tions "inspired and profitable." And these adjectives both either belong to the subject or to the predicate. But the revisers violently sunder them and turn the conjunction into an "also."

Dr. S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875) has declared that there is not a solitary instance in any classic author, or in the New Testament, where two adjectives as "inspired and profitable," connected by a conjunctions kai as these are, and either both belonging to the subject or both belonging to the predicate, are violently sundered, and the conjunction manipulated into a senseless "also."
The same great scholar said of the attempts in his day to set aside the com­mon rendering of this verse, "In the year 1839 I called it much misspent labor and false criticism, and so advisedly I call it still."

Bishops Moverly and Wordsworth and Trench; as members of the revision committee expressly disclaimed any responsibility for revised rendering.

 Dean Burgon called it "the most astonishing, as well as calamitous literary blunder of the age." Burgon was the most learned critic of the.English Revised Version and the American Standard Version.

Dr. Scrivener, the great critic, said: "It is a blunder such as makes itself hopelessly condemned."

It is claimed that the A.S.V. New Testament contains at least eight instances of similar Greek construction, yet this is the only text where the revisers adopted such a rendering, cf. Heb. 4:12 for an instance.
"For the word of God is living, and active, and 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." ASV

Lawyers call the above procedure "confession and avoidance."

But even if we should adopt the A.S.V., the text does not mean what the critics would like. Warfield explains it as follows: "Every Scripture, seeing it is God-breathed, is also profitable." But the average reader does not get this impression.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

THE GREEK WORD FOR INSPIRATION

THE GREEK WORD FOR INSPIRATION
qeopneustoV
The actions of God leading to the writing, preservation, and collection of His words to His people into the Bible. The English word inspiration comes from the Latin word in spiro which mean "to breath in." Inspiration, then, is the influence of the Holy Spirit upon individuals for the purpose of producing an authoritative record of persons, teaching and events. "Breathed in" words that were "breathed out" by God.
 
"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." 2 Pet. 1:21
 
 
2 Tim. 3:16 - Theopneustos from Theos plus pneo.

Therefore, "God-breathed" would be a literal rendering.

Probably no Greek term could have more strongly asserted Scripture to be the direct product of God. For the "Breath" of God in the Bible is a symbol of His almighty creative word cf. Psa. 33:6; Gen. 2:7. "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." Ps. 33:6 "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." Therefore His word is living.

Hence when Paul asserts that Scriptures is "God-breathed," he is placing Scripture in the same category as the "heavens" and the "spirit" of man. All three are in a real sense "God-breathed," that is, the direct product  of Almighty God.

Viewed etymologically, "inspired" is a poor English term for the Pauline idea. "Out-spired" would be more accurate if there were such a word. For the idea is not that Scripture was something written by men into which God breathed some divine property, but rather Scripture is something that God "breathed-out" as the very word of God.

However, the term "Inspiration" is so firmly entrenched in our theological language that it cannot be set aside. The better course is to adopt the term and then define it in accordance with the Greek word in its Biblical context.

Monday, October 20, 2014

THE NATURE OF INSPIRATION

THE NATURE OF INSPIRATION
Introduction: 2 Tim. 3:16
 
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"


We have been using "Inspiration" thus far as roughly equivalent to "trustworthy." Let us now ask more precisely, "What is this that we call Inspiration?"

THE ENGLISH WORD "INSPIRATION"

"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." (Job 32:8).
In the A.V. it occurs only in Job 32:8 and 2 Tim.3:16.
"Given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16).

The A.S.V. changes Job 32:8 to "breath" (properly), and 2 Tim. 3:16 to "inspired of God." Thus the noun disappears from the English Bible.
The first sentence, "There is a spirit in man," reveals man's capacity for receiving communications from God. The second sentence, "The breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding" shows how God makes use of that capacity. In man's essential nature there is spirit, and that is a Divine creation, and of the Divine nature. That makes it possible for man to have direct and intelligent dealing with God. The breath of God reaches that spirit life of man, and gives understanding; that is, communicates to man the thoughts of God. That God should speak to man is not supernatural, but natural. The deepest truth about man is that he was created with the capacity for fellowship with God. This capacity is destroyed by sin, but it is restored by Grace.

The A.V. "given by inspiration" is from Wycliff, "Inspired of God" from Tyndale. Both are misleading.

The RSV restores the translation of the KJV.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

TESTIMONY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS

TESTIMONY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS
"from above."
 
 
Matthew 1:1 "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham."

Mark 1:1 "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

Luke 1:1-4 All his facts are verified, and in 1:3 he uses the word 8 out of 11 times in N.T. it is rendered "from above."

John 20:31; 21:24-25; Rev. 1:10; 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22

John wrote five books of N.T. In Rev. 1:10 he says he was "in spirit."
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,"

James 1:1 "Servant"
"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;"

Jude 1:1-4 ASV "I was constrained."

Peter 2 Pet. 3:1-2 ASV "Commandment of the Lord through the Apostles."

Paul 1 Cor. 2:13; 14:37; 1 Thess. 2:13; 5:27; 2 Thess. 3:14
 
Question: Did any of the New Testament writers recognize writings of others as Scripture?
2 Pet. 3:15-16 Peter recognized Paul's and others.
1Tim. 5:18 with Luke 10:7 Paul probably referred to Luke.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

TESTIMONY OF O.T. WRITERS CONCERNING INSPIRATION

THE TESTIMONY OF THE BIBLE WRITERS
Introduction
"Thus said the Lord" - "The Lord spake"

Did other men display any consciouness of special divine authority in what they wrote?
This question covers all the men who wrote the Bible.

 

 
THE OLD TESTAMENT WRITERS
Note the use of certain authoritative formulas
"Thus said the Lord" - "The Lord spake" - over 2,000 times
Ordinary writers do not make such claims, not even the most audacious.
cf. Exodus 5-14, first verses in each chapter.
Ex. 5:1; 6:1, 2, 10, 13.
"Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness."
"Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land."
"And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:"
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,"
"And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt."

Isaiah 20 times declares his writings are "the word of the Lord" cf. Isa. 1:10
"Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah."

Jeremiah almost 100 times says, "The word of the Lord came unto me." cf. Jer. 1:2, 4
"To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign."
"Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"
Ezekiel makes same claim 60 times. cf. Ezek. 3:16
"And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

Daniel claims his writings are an inspired record of words and visions from God. cf. Dan. 9:21-23; 10:10-11
"Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."
"And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling."

Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Micah, Zephaniah, Haggai, and Zechariah, all begin with an inspired statement.
"...came the word of the LORD unto..."
Malachi, small book of only four chapters, uses phrase "saith the Lord" 25 times, cf. Mal. 1:1-2
"The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,"

Friday, October 17, 2014

THE ACCOMMODATION AND THE KENOSIS THEORY ATTEMPTS TO INVALIDATE SCRIPTURES AUTHORITY

2nd - THE ACCOMMODATION THEORY:
"Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures" Matt. 22:29
 

-  Some think that our Lord thought the Scriptures contained many errors, but because the people to whom He spoke believed otherwise, He accommodated His teaching to their mistaken ideas in order not to offend. This makes Christ a sinner and not a Savior.

-  Answer:
1. Such a theory destroys the moral character of Christ. This reduces Him to the level of a fourth rate politician. This being true, one could not trust Him on any subject.
2. He corrected errors of His hearers instead of acquiescing in them. "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures" (Matt. 22:29). He condemned this very practice (Mark 7:9-13) "You nicely set aside the commandment of God to keep your own tradition." No  concern to care for their own father and mother who needed help.
3. Consider His attitude toward Scripture in the Temptation! There were no crowds there to impress. But He used Scripture to thwart the accommodation method of the Devil.

3rd - THE KENOSIS THEORY:
- Explanation:
Takes name from Greek verb in Phil. 2:7.
"Made himself of no reputation" (KJV). "He emptied himself"
Contends that by this act Christ emptied self of omniscience, thus becoming liable to error during days of flesh.
Alleges support in such texts as Luke 2:52; Mark 13:32
Luke 2:52 "grew in wisdom."
Mark 13:32 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father."
They say He must have given up His omniscience, but if you know something, then try to unknow it. But He limited Himself at this point and only God can do that.

- Answer:
We must admit a real Kenosis involving some kind of self-imposed limitation. But not Docetism.
Limited knowledge does not necessarily involve the teaching of error. And since He did not know the day of His coming, He did not try to set the date of it.

Christ claimed infallibility for all His own utterances while here on earth.
John 8:26-29, 45-46 "I do nothing of myself." This is the proof of Deity. We can do things against God.

He was infallible because the Father taught Him. Vs. 45-46 "Convicteth me of sin." Context shows the sin would be untruth.
Luke 9:26 "Ashamed of me and my words."

The Kenosis, rightly understood, becomes a guarantee of His infallibility while on earth. (Read Moule on Phil. 2:5-8. This is a great discussion.)

John 12:48-49 A perfect Servant must render a perfect service.
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak."
Christ's Testimony Remains Unchanged after Kenosis is Past.
He Speaks with the Same Certain Voice.
Luke 24:25-27, 44-45
"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."
"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,"
Rev. 2:14, 20, 27, 3:7, 22:16
"But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."
"Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols."
"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father."
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;"
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."This claim would not mean anything if the Old Testament were not true.

Conclusion To Christ's Testimony to the Scriptures
Christ's testimony supports the most absolute doctrine of Inspiration.
This testimony cannot be invalidated without logically putting a question mark after all recorded history.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

VALUE OF CHRIST'S TESTIMONY CONCERNING THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES

VALUE OF CHRIST'S TESTIMONY
CONCERNING INSPIRATION
 
Introduction
1. No scholar has ever denied successfully that the recorded testi­mony of Christ supports the most absolute and sweeping doctrine of Biblical Inspiration.
2. The only alternative, therefore, left to dissenters was to advance certain theories which were intended to invalidate the force of His testimony. We shall consider three differing theories of these.
3. Historical knowledge is different from mathematical knowledge. The agnostic needs to understand that premise.

1st - THE AGNOSTIC THEORY:
-           How do we know Christ said what is recorded of His words?
-           Answer:
1. How do we know anything in history? Same theory would apply to all historical knowledge.
Investigation, comparison, verification, confirmation is the method to follow. And this has been done over and over again. And continues today.
2. Even merely human testimony is worth something. The basic assumption of all historians. Otherwise, history would be an impossibility.

To follow the Accomadation theory and finally the Kenosis theory.