Special Insights No. 4
Second Quarter 2007
“The Bible for Today”
(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)
The Bible Is Reliable
It is not enough merely to understand that the Bible is reliable. Neither is it enough to believe that God would preserve His written word down through the ages—as important as these concepts are! Not only did God preserve the writing of the Bible, He sent His Son to preserve the fact of His written word. (After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, isn’t it?) Jesus was, among other things, the keeper (Heb: shamar, watch, guard, cherish) of His word. He kept the law of God in utter perfection; and He did it in the same fallen sinful flesh that you and I have, thus proving His power to keep His word. God’s word has inherent within it the power to create what it says (Genesis 1). Christ Himself relied on the power of God’s word (John ).
It is not enough to believe that God preserved his written word in His own Son. If that were the case, there would be no reason for us to be on this planet today, except that had Christ’s perfect life in fallen sinful human flesh been enough, the millennium would have ended a thousand years ago, and God’s people would have already had a thousand years of inhabiting the new earth! If Jesus’ life alone were enough to complete the plan of salvation, it would have been completed at the cross. (Note that God has given a complete salvation, it is the plan of salvation that is not yet completed.)
God wants to preserve His written word and His living word in you and me—today! This is how He proves completely that it is possible to keep God’s law; and He does it in fallen sinful human flesh—ours! God is preparing a people to be ready to receive the Lord when he comes to receive His kingdom—when He comes to receive His bride at the close of His office work in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary—that work of removing the sins of the people, that the bride might be granted her clothing of fine linen clean and white—the robe of righteousness—so that she might be ready. We should not look for someone to do God’s work for is, because He will do it in us (and through us).
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (
Christ reminds us in Matthew 5:20 that we must somehow get over the hump described in Revelation chapter 3 of the pharisaical attitude of the
God’s people in the last days will be an example to the universe, for they will have received the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Remember, God’s word has inherent within it the power to create what it says—even in you! That is in the message that God sent to us in 1888:
“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Wagoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God.” (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 91, 92; emphasis supplied).
It is to be proclaimed in the persons of His believers. Let us hear what A. T. Jones, one of the 1888 messengers, had to say about it:
“Thus it was that ‘by the word of the Lord’ all things were created. He spoke the word only, and it was so: the word spoken, itself produced the thing.
“Thus it was in creation. And thus it was in redemption: he healed the sick, he cast out devils, he stilled the tempest, he cleansed the lepers, he raised the dead, he forgave sins, all by his word. In this, also, “he spake, and it was.”
“And so he is the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. Always he is the Creator. And always he does all things by his word only. And always he can do all things by his word; because it is the very characteristic of the word of God, that it is possessed of the divine power by which itself accomplishes the thing which is spoken.
“This is why it is that faith is the knowing that in the word of God there is this power, the expecting the word itself to do the thing spoken, and the depending upon that word itself to do that which the word speaks.
“The teaching of faith is the teaching that such is the nature of the word of God; the teaching of people to exercise faith is the teaching them to expect the word of God to do what it says, and to depend upon it to do the thing which is by it spoken; the cultivating of faith is by practice to cause to grow confidence in the power of the word of God itself to do what in that word is said, and dependence upon that word itself to accomplish what the word says.
“And ‘the knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired.’
“Are you cultivating faith?” (Lessons on Faith, p 18, John O. Ford ed.; emphasis original).
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. ).
God sees you now as perfect in Christ by His word. When you believe, then it begins to become real in your experience, thus proving the Bible.
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