|SPEAK AS THE ORACLES RADIO Program #135
THE INSPIRATION OF
Remarks on Righteousness
Lessons & Quizzes
Fundamentals of Faith
Salvation in Christ
The church of Christ
|The words of the Bible are the words of God. No more fundamental truth of the faith of Christians can be made than this.
“All scripture is given by the inspiration of God …” (2 Timothy 3:16).
This scripture, along with others, gave rise to the Reformation cry of “Sola Scriptura,” only the scriptures.
This is in essence what the apostle Peter said: “If any many speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; …” (1 Peter 4:11).
From Genesis to Revelation, all sixty-six books of the Bible (all thirty-nine books of the Old Testament in the English Bible, and all twenty-seven
books of the New Testament), whether written by prophet or apostle, are given by the inspiration of God.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
From Moses to Malachi, each of the prophets who penned the words of the books of the Old Testament wrote "the words which the LORD of
hosts has sent in His spirit..." (Zechariah 7:12).
”for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21).
Thus, by the prophet Hosea, the LORD God says, "I have written to him the great things of My law ...” (Hosea 8:12).
These prophets did not write on their own initiative, they wrote at the direction of God. They wrote not their own message, at times not even in
their own words (merely taking dictation); but, they wrote the message of God in the words which God directed.
Moses recorded, "And God spoke all these words, saying," (Exodus 20:1). The phrases "Thus saith the LORD," "the word of the LORD came to"
and "God spoke," or similar expressions, are repeated too many times throughout the books of Moses, as well as the other books of the Old
Testament, to mention.
[see also Exodus 24:4; 25:21; 34:27, 32; Leviticus 26:46; Deuteronomy 4:5; 31:19, 22]
David declared, "The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2).
[see also 2 Kings 17:13; Psalm 78:5-7; 99:7; 147:19; Isaiah 34:16; Jeremiah 1:9; 30:2; 36:1-2, 27-32; Ezekiel 11:25; Daniel 1O:21]
The Old Testament claims to be, and is, the word of God from first to last. The declarations are too many, and too clear, to be able to ignore.
THE NEW TESTAMENT
From Matthew to the apostle John, all the prophets and apostles who penned the words of the books of the New Testament wrote not "the word
of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
As Paul recorded, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might freely 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; ..." (1
Corinthians 2:12, 13).
The Holy Ghost gave the words these apostles and prophets wrote at the direction of God. It is not the wisdom of man, but the wisdom of God
which directed the composition of the books which we know as the New Testament.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things
to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:26-27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the
Father, he shall testify of me: (27) And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
John 16:12-13 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will
guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
The Holy Spirit would not only give the apostles a remembrance of the things which Jesus taught, He would also teach them things which Jesus
did not speak of while here upon the earth. Thus, when the apostles speak of things in their epistles that Jesus did not directly speak of here
upon the earth, they are still speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they are inspired of God.
[Matthew 1O:17-2O; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11, 12; 21:12-15; John 14:15-17; Acts 1:4, 5, 8; Acts 15:28; Romans 15:18, 19]
Romans 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the
revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,
according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (27) To God only wise, be glory
through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
– The prophets of the Old Testament were inspired of God, but “the revelation of the mystery” was kept secret from them. Now to the apostles
and evangelists of the New Testament this mystery is revealed. The Jews failed to understand that the gospel was to be extended to all
mankind, they restricted it to the Jews alone. But God revealed that it was to be “made known to all nations for the obedience of the faith.” There
is a revelation, there is an inspiration within the New Testament that is greater than that of the Old Testament. The Old Testament gave a
promise in shadow, but the New Testament reveals the fulfillment in full sunlight. All is scripture, but the New supersedes the Old.
1 Corinthians 2:1-16 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of
God. (2) For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness, and in
fear, and in much trembling. (4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power: (5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (6) Howbeit we speak wisdom among
them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: (7) But we speak the wisdom of God
in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for
had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the
Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) 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. (13) 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. (14) 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. (15) But he that is spiritual
judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the
mind of Christ.
– This passage, as much as any other passage in the New Testament that speaks of inspiration, is misunderstood and misapplied.
Paul declares his presence in speech is not with impressive oratory and the words of wisdom that man achieves. His purpose was not to
impress with anything other than Christ and Him crucified. His speech was “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” so that their faith would
be not in the wisdom of man’s words but in the wisdom of God, which His words supplied through the preaching of Paul.
Paul’s preaching was perfect, the perfect wisdom of God. It would not be seen that way by those of the world, because they do not perceive the
wisdom of God – to them it is a mystery. The wisdom of this world avails nothing, but the wisdom which has been hidden with God since the
beginning of time – that same wisdom which Paul preaches – the world does not know, or else it would never have crucified Jesus.
Paul quotes Isaiah, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside
thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isaiah 64:4 KJV) Through the Spirit which the apostles have obtained, they have been
given things which no man has heard nor seen before, it is a revelation that was kept from the eyes of the prophets of old.
The apostles know these things because they have the Spirit of God. No one knows what another man is thinking. Only the man himself, knows
what is on and in his mind. In the same way, no man knows what is on and in the mind of God, except God. They know what God is thinking,
what He has revealed, because they have the Spirit of God – that is, God has told them. That is what they have revealed unto us in their words –
words that are really not their own, but are the words which the Holy Spirit teaches, they are the word of God.
But this knowledge is not gathered naturally, it is a result of the spiritual gift which they received in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is not
discovered by microscope or telescope, it is not discovered by philosophical meditation, it is not discovered by archaeological discovery, it is
derived only by the impartation of the Spirit. It is only discovered, and thus revealed by those who have the gift of the Spirit, the baptism of the
Spirit, therefore the apostles of our Lord. They do not judge anyone, they merely deliver the word.
They are not intelligent enough to instruct the Lord, indeed no one is. But, they have access to the mind of Christ to reveal His will.
1 Corinthians 14:37 – Thus, the words of the apostles, their judgments, are not merely the words of the apostles, they are the commandments of
the Lord. If anyone claims to be a prophet, or claims to be guided by the Spirit, they must acknowledge that what the apostles write are the
commandments of the Lord, or they are neither a prophet nor spiritual.
[Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-7; 1 Peter 1:1O-12; 2 Peter 1:1-4; 3:15, 16]
The promises of Jesus were fulfilled in the apostles, and those whom they laid their hands upon. The inspiration of the disciples of Jesus was
not a continuous promise; but, found its fulfillment and ends with those of the first century. Inspiration was necessary until the revelation of the
complete will of God in the new covenant. However, with the completion of "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25) the gift of inspiration (along
with the other miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit) ceased. "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come,
then that which is in part shall be done away" (1 Corinthians 13:10, 11). The twenty-seven books of the New Testament close the canon of
Scripture, being the only works that are given by the inspiration of God (along with the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament).
These books comprise "the faith once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
The New Testament claims to be and is the Word of God from first to last.
THE WORDS OF INSPIRATION
The inspiration of the Bible is an inspiration of words. Time and time again in the quotations above, it is the words of God that are synonymous
with the Bible, or the Scriptures. Moses and the prophets of the Old Testament were guided by the Spirit of God to select the proper words. The
apostles and prophets of the new Testament were guided by the Holy Spirit to select the proper words, not the words of man's wisdom, but the
words of the Holy Spirit. Thoughts are conveyed by words. Words are signs and symbols to relay the ideas which reside within our mind and
soul. The selection of the proper words is necessary to reproduce that same thought, idea or feeling within the mind and heart of another.
Precise expression creates precise understanding.
Communication is the process of transferring the thoughts and feelings within the mind, heart and soul of one individual into the mind, heart and
soul of another individual. The process will allow the second individual to fully understand the thought, idea or feeling in the same manner that it
is understood by the first. Thus, men reveal their inner self to others.
This is the same process which God utilizes to reveal himself to man. By words, either upon the printed page, or spoken, is how God revealed
his message unto the people by Moses, the apostles, and the prophets of both the Old and new Testaments. God gave the words to the
prophets and apostles. He guided them by his Spirit so that the precise word to communicate his thoughts, ideas and feelings would be used.
The inspiration of the prophets and apostles was super¬natural; but, the revelation of that message to others was, and is, natural. The words of
the message are heard and understood. But, as with any message, the willingness of the listen¬er to listen pays a major role in how well the
message is understood. Any message which a person refuses to hear (no matter how precisely or properly stated) will not be under¬stood. Any
parent who has instructed their child to do particularly unpleasant tasks can understand this; as can any child who has been instructed by their
parents. Messages can be shut off.
However, the Bible was written by the inspiration of God, that reading its words, the message of God might be understood.
The idea that God revealed himself in the Bible by a means other than a word-for-word guidance of the prophets and apostles (verbal plenary
inspiration is the fancy term) does not make sense. The subject of man's salvation, which is the ultimate message of the Bible, is far too
important to leave to the wisdom of man to express. Only the wisdom of God could adequately describe and choose the proper words to convey
the grace and mercy God wishes to bestow upon all of mankind.
The folly of allowing man to express that message himself without guidance from the Holy Spirit is seen in a game called "Telephone." The
message that begins at one point in the circle is not the same message by the time it completes the circuit around the room. Only the guidance
of the Holy Spirit would allow the message to come from God to man, so that it is an inspired revelation of God. The message and its
consequences are far too important to leave to human devices.