“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” II Tim. 1:13
In the beginning there was only God’s Word.
He spoke everything into existence by His Word. The universe and all that was ever created was formed by His Word. In the beginning, He spoke to His creation very personally. He spoke to Adam, giving explicit instructions with His first words spoken to mankind in Genesis 2:16. In the beginning, God spoke to Cain, Adam’s son, with His words of legal and binding judgment. In the beginning, God spoke to Noah, giving an exact blueprint, in words, how to fabricate a giant boat to save all humanity from themselves; and to Abram, whom God called His friend, sending him away to a place with faith and obedience as his only guide. You see, He chose to impart His instructions to His creation using words and continues with the same voice as in the beginning. He does this, in wisdom, because He loves his creation and He knows we need it – we need His help and guidance while occupying this earth. We need His words. His exact words.
Because, God loves us and gave each of us the inherent will to choose to love Him. He gave us each a will to choose, because He wanted us to choose to love Him voluntarily. We could not love Him voluntarily if he did not allow us to choose and He wanted the choice to be honest, not forced. It would not do if someone had to force another to love them, that is not true love. So, since we were not made as mere robots, and had choices to make of our own free will, He knew He would have to guide us by giving us commands, steering us as a ship through the storms of life. And so, every single step we take in obedience is ordained of the Lord through His words. We need to stop right here and grasp the depth of that truth. His words are the key to life.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17
And, so it is today. Nothing has changed for His creation since the time of Adam in the beginning. We are still His creation and, although we may not like to think so, we are no greater now than we were in the beginning; and He is still The Only Omnipotent God and Creator of all.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“For I am the LORD, I change not;” Malachi 3:6a
We may have changed, but nothing has ever changed for God.
However, as God saw fit, he decided to meet us today with a different form of communication than in the beginning. Firstly, He spoke to us through audible words, then through His prophet’s words and finally, today, through the written Word; altogether, the form of sound words. They are all His words. Although His words are not imparted the same way as in the beginning, they are certainly no less important. They are still His words and God never changed His mind. His Word is the vehicle He uses to impart His wisdom to us, His instructions; the “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”, if I may borrow a term. And, God does not revere His words less now than He did in the beginning. In the beginning, in the “old time”, God spoke verbally, orally, through speech. He actually spoke out loud. From Adam to Moses, Abraham to Samuel as well, these ones in old time heard God audibly and those words were sanctified and immutable.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:” Gen. 12:1
Then, God chose to speak through His men, His prophets, and they were held to an extremely high standard: 100% right, 100% of the time. If it were ever not so with one man, that one would be sentenced to pay the ultimate sacrifice, death. This pinnacle of exactness is described in the Bible as this:
“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Deut. 18:20-22
One wrong word and they were dead. That is a standard only God could attain to. So, we see God’s value of His Word – the form of sound words.
The Written Word
Now, if God never changes and His Word is forever settled in heaven, and if the written word actually says not to add or remove one word (or else!), why would we accept a counterfeit book that claims to be the Holy Bible with many conflicting verses and doctrines as compared to His original? Yes, I said, conflicting doctrines. Is not the Bible all about doctrine? About God’s teachings, commands and instructions? If God only spoke ONCE, would there not be only ONE Holy Bible; ONE written Word? So, what about it if God used mere men to translate the Bible? Did He not use mere men as His own prophets to speak for Him?
“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.” II Pet. 1:21
Would He not preserve His perfectly inspired Words? Do you really think God would leave us with many conflicting instructions now, at such a crucial time in history as the end of times? Or, is there someone behind all this confusion, one who would rather have the Word changed to appear similar enough, but not quite the same? Who would have such a character but to desire such problems? Could that one have a desire to be like God Himself? Someone like, Lucifer? Maybe he really is behind all of this confusion. If so, this really is war! If God never changes and someone with such a character did not exist, this problem would not exist either. But, we are too smart to fall for Lucifer’s lies, are we not? No. We are not. Evidently, there is division and character assassination and strife and wrath all over as a result of this issue. The churches are crumbling under the weight of the division on this matter. What if we were to simply choose one English Bible instead of the flavour of the week? One that is reliable and can be translated into many other languages? One that everyone sitting in a congregation can read together in unison? One that follows a pure stream of underlying manuscripts and not corrupted ones? One that teaches God is big and men are small, instead of men are big and God is small? One that everyone used for hundreds of years before the new ones crept in after c.1881? How about one that is preserved by God, Himself from the very beginning? This IS a matter of faith versus doubt!
“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.” Psm. 12:6-7
Finally, we need to grasp the depth of the truth of this invaluable treasure, the immutable treasure of His Words. Hold on to the, “form of sound words”. This does mean much more in greater depth than a single word, though it means that as well, but, please note: even the sentence structure was protected to preserve clarity, because God is not the author of confusion. Even the order of the words and the grammar and punctuation, the decency and orderliness from God’s own mouth, ought to be preserved and handled with great care to the exclusion of all else.
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” Prov. 30:5
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4
Would you like to hear God speak to you today? Have you found such a Bible, translated and preserved though millennia with God’s tender loving care? Remember, there is only one trustworthy Bible, not merely preferred, but sure, as spoken by God’s mouth audibly to you. It is a matter of faith versus doubt. ~R.
© Remi Fernhout, 2018