Who Gives Prophets And Apostles The Words To Speak – Spiritual Reading

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Who Gives Prophets And Apostles The Words To Speak – Spiritual Reading.



The 6thing that the Bible makes clear as to the inspiration of the apostle and prophets is that, the Holy Spirit in the Prophets and Apostles gave not only the thought but also gave the words in which the thought was to be expressed. We find this very clearly stated in 1 Cor. 2:13: “Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words.” 


One of the most popular of the false theories of Inspiration in our day is that the Holy Spirit was the author of the thought, but that the Apostles were left to their own choice of words in the expression of the thought, and that therefore in studying the Bible we cannot emphasise the exact meaning of the words, but must try to find the thought of God that was back of the words, and which the writer has more or less inaccurately expressed.


There are many teachers in our theological seminaries to-day, and in our pulpits, who speak very sneeringly and superciliously of those who believe in Verbal Inspiration,—i.e., those who believe that the Holy Spirit chose the very words in which the thought he was teaching was to be expressed, but however sneeringly they may speak of those who believe in Verbal Inspiration, certainly the Bible claims that it was verbally inspired.


The passage which I have just read makes it as plain as language can possibly make it that the “words” in which the Apostle spoke were not “words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth.” Now if this is not the fact, if only the thought that was given to Paul was the thought of God, and he clothed the thought in his own words, then Paul was a thoroughly deceived man on a fundamental point, in which case no dependence at all can be placed in his teachings on any point, or else he was a deliberate fraud, in which case the quicker we burn up his books the better for us and all concerned.


There is no possibility of finding any middle ground, and the attempts to find a middle ground have landed those who have tried it in all kinds of absurdities. If you have an exact and logical mind, you must take your choice between Verbal Inspiration and bald infidelity. Paul distinctly states that the words in which he conveyed to others the truth that was revealed to him were the words which the Holy Spirit taught him. 


The Holy Spirit himself has anticipated all these modern ingenious, but wholly unbiblical and utterly illogical and entirely false theories regarding his own work in the Apostles. The theory that “the concept” was inspired but the words in which the concept was expressed were not, was anticipated by the Holy Spirit Himself and exploded 1800 years before our supposedly wise 19th century theological teachers conceived it, and attempted to foist it upon an unsuspecting public.


It was exploded eighteen centuries before it was exploited. Furthermore, the theory is absurd in itself. As the only way in which thought can be conveyed from one mind to another, from one man’s mind to another man’s mind, or from the mind of God to the mind of man is by words, therefore if the words are imperfect the thought expressed in those words is necessarily imperfect.


The theory is an absurdity on its very face, and it is difficult to see how intelligent men could have ever deceived themselves into believing such a thoroughly illogical theory. If the words are not inspired the Bible is not inspired. Let us not deceive ourselves; let us face facts.

Furthermore, the theory is absurd in itself. As the only way in which thought can be conveyed from one mind to another, from one man’s mind to another man’s mind, or from the mind of God to the mind of man is by words, therefore if the words are imperfect the thought expressed in those words is necessarily imperfect.


The theory is an absurdity on its very face, and it is difficult to see how intelligent men could have ever deceived themselves into believing such a thoroughly illogical theory. If the words are not inspired the Bible is not inspired. Let us not deceive ourselves; let us face facts.


Furthermore, the more carefully and minutely one studies the wording of the statements of this wonderful book—the Bible—the more he will become convinced of the marvelous accuracy of the very words used to express the thought. To a superficial thinker the doctrine of Verbal Inspiration may appear questionable or even absurd, but any regenerate and Spirit-taught man who ponders the words of the Scripture day by day, and year after year, will become thoroughly and immovably convinced that the wisdom of God is in the very words used as well as in the thought which is expressed in the words.


It is a significant and deeply impressive fact that our difficulties with the Bible rapidly disappear as we note the precise language used. The changing of a word or letter, or of a tense, case or number, would oftentimes land us in contradiction or untruth, but taking the words exactly as written, difficulties disappear and truth shines forth.


Countless times people have come to me with apparent difficulties and supposed contradictions in the Bible and asked a solution, and I have pointed them to the exact words used and the solution was found in taking the words exactly as written. It was because they changed in a slight degree the very words that God spoke that a difficulty had seemed to arise.


The Divine origin of nature shines forth more and more clearly the more closely we examine it under the microscope. As by the use of a powerful microscope we see the perfection of form and the adaptation of means to end in the minutest particles of matter, we are overwhelmingly convinced that God, a God of infinite wisdom and power, a wisdom extending down to the minutest parts of matter, is the author of the material universe: so likewise the divine origin of the Bible shines forth more and more clearly under the microscope.


The more minutely we study the Bible the more we note the perfection with which the turn of a word reveals the absolute thought of God. It was because they changed in a slight degree the very words that God spoke that a difficulty had seemed to arise. The Divine origin of nature shines forth more and more clearly the more closely we examine it under the microscope.


As by the use of a powerful microscope we see the perfection of form and the adaptation of means to end in the minutest particles of matter, we are overwhelmingly convinced that God, a God of infinite wisdom and power, a wisdom extending down to the minutest parts of matter, is the author of the material universe: so likewise the divine origin of [the Bible shines forth more and more clearly under the microscope. The more minutely we study the Bible the more we note the perfection with which the turn of a word reveals the absolute thought of God.


An important question, and a question that has puzzled many writers at this point, is: If the Holy Spirit is the author of the very words of Scripture how do we account for the variations in style and diction? How is it, for example, that Paul always used Pauline language, and John used Johannean language, and Peter used language that was characteristic of himself?


The answer to this question is very simple and is two-fold: First, even though we could not account at all for this fact, it would have little weight against the explicit statement of God’s Word with any one who is humble enough and wise enough to recognise that there are a great many things which he cannot account for at all which could be easily accounted for if he knew a little more.


It is only the man who has such amazing and stupendous conceit that he thinks he knows as much as God, in other words, that he is infinite in wisdom, who will give up an explicit statement of God’s Word simply because he sees a difficulty in the way of the acceptance of that statement, which he in his limited knowledge cannot solve. But there is a second answer, and an all-sufficient one, and that is this: these variations in style and diction are easily accounted for.


The Holy Spirit is infinitely wise. He Himself is the Creator of Man, and of man’s power of speech, and therefore he is quite wise enough and has quite enough facility in the use of language in revealing truth to and through any individual to use words, phrases and forms of expression that are in that person’s ordinary vocabulary and forms of thought, and He is also quite wise enough to make use of that person’s peculiar individuality in revealing the truth through him. It is one of the marks of the Divine wisdom of this book that the same Divine truth is expressed with absolute accuracy in such widely variant forms of expression.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



Tikva



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The thing that the Bible teaches regarding the Inspiration of the Prophets and the Apostles and their utterances, is that the Holy Spirit was the real speaker in the prophetic utterances, that what was said or written was the Holy Spirit’s Word that was upon the Apostle’s tongue, and not the word of the Prophet or Apostle.


This is said in the Bible in so many words, over and over again. For example, in Heb. 3:7 we read: “Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts, etc.” The author of the epistle to the Hebrews is quoting Ps. 95:7, 8 and says that what the Psalmist is recorded as saying “the Holy Spirit saith.”


Again in Heb. 10:15, 16, we read: “And the Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us; for after He had said, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws on their heart, and upon their mind also will I write them.” Now the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews is quoting Jer. 31:33, and he does not hesitate to say that the testimony that Jeremiah there bore is the testimony of the Holy Ghost, that the Holy Ghost was the real speaker.


Again we read in Acts 28:25, 26 that Paul said, “Well spake the Holy Spirit through Isaiah the prophet, unto your fathers, (26) saying, Go thou unto this people and say, By hearing ye shall hear [and shall in no wise understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive, etc.” Here Paul is quoting Isaiah’s words as recorded in the 6th chapter of Isaiah, the 9th and 10th verses, and he distinctly says that the real speaker was not Isaiah, but “the Holy Spirit” who spoke “through Isaiah the prophet.”


Turning now to the old Testament we read in 2 Sam. 23:2 this assertion by David regarding the things that he said and wrote: “The Spirit of Jehovah spake by me, and his word was upon my tongue.” There can be no mistaking the meaning of these words on the part of any one who goes to the Bible to find out what it really claims and teaches. The Holy Spirit was the real speaker in the prophetic utterance.


It was the Holy Spirit’s utterance that was upon the prophet’s tongue. The prophet was simply the mouth by which the Holy Spirit spoke. Merely as a man, except as the Holy Spirit taught him and used him, the prophet was fallible as other men are fallible, but when the Spirit was upon him, when he was taken up and borne along by the Holy Spirit, then he became infallible in his teachings; for his teachings were not his, but the teachings of the Holy Spirit.


It was God who was then speaking, not the Prophet. For example, Paul merely as a man, even as a Christian man, doubtless had many mistaken notions on many things, and was more or less subject to the ideas and opinions of his time, but when he taught as an Apostle, under the power of the Holy Spirit he was infallible, or rather the Spirit who taught through him was infallible, and the teachings that resulted from the Spirit’s teaching through him, were infallible, as infallible as God.


Common sense demands of us that we carefully distinguish between what Paul may have thought as a man, and what he actually taught as an apostle. In the Bible we have the record of what he taught as an Apostle. Some one may cite as a possible exception to this statement 1 Cor. 7:6, 25, where he says: “But this I say by way of concession, not of commandment. . . . Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord, but I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy.” 


There are those who think that Paul does not seem to have been sure here that he had the word of the Lord in this particular matter, but that is not the meaning of the passage. The meaning of v. 6 is that his teaching which he had just given was by way of concession to their weakness, and not a commandment as to what they must do.


And the teaching of v. 25 is that the Lord, during His earthly life, had given no commandment on this subject, but that Paul was giving his judgment; but he says distinctly that he was giving it as one who had obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy and furthermore, in the 40th verse of the chapter he distinctly says that in his judgment he had the Spirit of God.


But even allowing that the other interpretation of this passage is the correct one, and that Paul was not absolutely sure in this case that he had the Word of the Lord and the mind of the Lord, that would only show that where Paul was not absolutely sure that he was teaching in the Holy Ghost he was careful to note the fact, and this would only give additional certainty to all other passages that he wrote.


It is sometimes said that Paul taught in his earlier epistles that the Lord would return during his lifetime, and that in this matter he certainly was mistaken. But Paul never taught in his earlier epistles, or any other epistles, he never taught anywhere, that the Lord would return during his lifetime.


This assertion is contrary to fact. He does say in 1 Thess. which was his first epistle, the 4th chapter and 17th verse: “Then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them (i.e., the believers who had already fallen asleep) be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 


He does here put himself in the same class with those who were still alive when he wrote the words. He naturally and necessarily did not include himself with those who had already fallen asleep. In speaking of the Lord’s return he does not say nor hint that he will be still alive when the Lord returns. It is quite probable that Paul did believe at this time that he might be alive when the Lord returned but he never taught that he would be alive.


The attitude of expectancy is the true attitude in all ages for every believer. This was the attitude that Paul took until it was distinctly revealed to him that he would depart before the Lord came. I think it very probable that Paul in the earlier part of his ministry was inclined to believe that he would live until the coming of the Lord, but the Holy Ghost kept him from so teaching, and also kept him from all other errors in his teachings.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



Tikva



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The thing that the Bible makes perfectly clear is, that not one single prophetic utterance was of the prophet’s own will (i.e., it was not in any sense merely what he wished to say), but in every instance the Prophet spoke from God, and the Prophet was carried along in the prophetic utterance by the Holy Spirit, regardless of his own will or thought.


We find this stated practically in so many words in 2 Pet. 1:21 where we read: “For no prophecy (literally, not a prophecy) ever came (literally, was brought) by the will of man; but men spake from God being moved (literally, carried along, or borne) by the Holy Spirit.” 


And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:19-21

There can be no honest mistaking of the meaning of this language. The Prophet never thought that there was something that needed to be said and therefore said it, but God took possession of the prophet, carried him along in his utterance, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and he spake, not from his own consciousness, and not from his own reasoning, nor from his own intuition, but “from God.” As God’s messenger he spoke what God told him to say.


Excerpt From – The Fundamental Doctrines Of The Christian Faith By Reuben Archer Torrey.



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