THE HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE SCRIPTURES
THE WRITTEN WORD
THE HEBREW & GREEK
THE LATIN VULGATE
THE ANOINTING THAT TEACHES
The Word of God in the written text has been Christendom’s primary foundation since the organization of the Church in the 4th century by Constantine, Augustine, Jerome, and other recognized ecclesiastical leaders of that day. The written word has always been a guiding light and an integral part of all Christian faiths. Since it is such and important factor in so many lives, it would do us all a service to look into how the Bible as we know it today came to be. Although we will not address the accuracy, or inaccuracy, of certain words or verses, we believe that knowing how the scriptures evolved over the centuries will lead us to a greater understand of why we believe many of the things we do. The following is not meant to be critical by any means, but only to inform. Therefore, let us advance our understanding as we consider a partial history of the Scriptures.
THE WRITTEN WORD
The written Word in its original form, which was Aramaic, Hebrew-Chaldee, and Greek was "given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). However, that which has filtered down to us in this present age, in some respects leaves something to be desired. It is a shame that we have been conditioned by man’s religion into believing that every word we read in our many translations (The King James being only one) is the indisputable, inspired Word of God. By some, it is even believed that the King James Version of the Bible was what Paul and the other apostles carried around and preached from, not knowing of course that the portion of the Book we commonly call The New Testament was not even written when they were called to declare Christ, much less the English King James Version which is less than 400 years old.
With respect to dedicated and honorable translators of the scriptures, let us glance quickly into the past and see how it has evolved since the time of the apostles. Even though we may find a deterioration and corruption of the pure Word, this is no reason to lay a charge against these men, for had it been us who were entrusted with such an awesome task, I venture to say that we would be at more of a loss than we presently are. I have been guilty in the past of accusing these servants of God because of their inability of being perfect, but in doing so I had only revealed my own imperfection and ignorance of the proceedings of God. Therefore, Brethren, as we scan the history of the LETTER, let us do it in the light of understanding rather than in the darkness of condemnation. In doing so, we will then come to a knowledge that will be profitable in our adventurous journey in Christ.
THE HEBREW & GREEK
All the combined books of the Bible, from Genesis through Malachi, have been given the name The Old Testament, and it is doubtful that any of the original, inspired manuscripts were in existence during the time of the Apostles. By this time the pure Hebrew manuscripts of animal skins had evolved at the hands of the scribes into the modern synagogue—scrolls and written primarily in the Aramaic and Greek characters. The Greek manuscripts are now what we call the Septuagint and are regarded by most authorities as not being a very accurate translation of the Old Testament scriptures. Evidently, however, since the Septuagint was most widely used in the synagogues, these were the manuscripts the Apostles used to confirm by the letter what they were manifesting by the Spirit. (See Smith's Bible Dictionary under appropriate headings).
When the New Testament was written (letters from the Apostles & Luke to various Christian assemblies), their letters were also penned in Greek. Unlike the Septuagint, which was a translation from other translations, most of their words were inspired by the Spirit of Christ. The reason I say most, rather than all their words were inspired, is that we must remember Paul even made it clear that some of the things that he wrote were NOT given to him by the Spirit but were only HIS OWN OPINION. This point is not brought out to undermine any of the precious truths that these holy men had written, but only to remind us that All scripture that is INSPIRED OF GOD and profitable for teaching. This is not only to be applied to the inspired word contained in the Bible, but also to any writing or spoken word, regardless of who says it. It is a must for us to know when a word is inspired and when it is not, and this goes for the words I write and declare as well. If they are inspired, then em— brace them with all your might until that truth becomes a living reality and is manifested as the Son of God in your life; but if it is not, then apply it only to your natural life that might make your walk a little easier. Or on the other hand, if you find that it is neither profitable to the Spirit, soul, or body — discard it altogether; but please, we MUST NOT build a doctrine and a kingdom upon a word just because we respect a man and his ministry or it tickles our fancy. If we do, that kingdom will surely fall with the others to the Kingdom of our Lord and of His anointed ones (Rev 11:15).
The canonizing of the Bible (the compiling of writings by religious forefathers considered to be inspired) has gone through various phases. Unfortunately,_there are many works that never found their way into the Bible, due to being lost or simply not esteemed as being worthy to be in the collection with other sacred writings. The book of Jasher is one that the prophet Samuel felt was worthy enough to quote from, "Behold, it is written in the book of Jasher..." (2 Sam 1:18). It is also mentioned in Joshua 10:15, "Is not this written in the book of Jasher?" Some of the others are "The Wars of the Lord, Samuel on the Kingdom, Chronicles of David, Acts of Solomon, etc." (Young's Analytical Concordance).
Even with a Bible that could have contained more books, we still have ample information to point us in the right direction. However, with the awful cloud of the Dark-Ages and its future influence upon Christianity, it is a wonder that any truth survived. From A.D. 400, after Constantine had formed a one-world church by incorporating the pagan religions of the known world, along with Christianity , to the late 10th century, there was hardly any learning at all. Knowledge from the ancient Romans survived only in a few monastery, cathedral, and palace schools. Knowledge acquired from ancient Greece almost disappeared, and the people, in their ignorance, accepted popular stories and rumors as truth.
The difficulty of anyone outside of the State-established church in being able to read the scriptures was compounded by the use of the Vulgate, which is a Latin translation of the Bible
The Latin version of the Bible was birthed first in the 2nd century by the Latin speaking churches of North Africa, and it erred greatly from the Greek and Hebrew texts. Nevertheless, they used this inferior translation until the 4th century. A critical ecclesiastical revision appears to have been made in Northern Italy, which was by then also using the Latin Vulgate. This was of little help, however, for it was very poorly translated too, and by the end of the 4th century the Latin texts of the Bible current in the Western Church had fallen into the greatest corruption.
Jerome (329—420 A.D.) was responsible for a more accurate, but still lacking, translations of the scriptures to the Latin. His several versions were adopted by the church as well as the ~ other Latin versions that were now available, and by the 8th century the corruption had arrived at such a height, that Charlemagne instructed Alcuin to revise the Latin text, which was considered one of the more accurate Vulgates. However, by the 15th century many others were being used as well, and the invention of the printing press increased the flood of unreliable texts. When the Council of Trent declared the Vulgate to be the authoritative text of scripture, the want of a standard text became more urgent than ever. An edition was then published in 1590 under the superintendence of the Pope Sixtus V., with the famous constitution prefixed, in which Sixtus affirmed the total authority of the edition for all future time. It was, however, soon found that this edition also was defective; and accordingly another edition was prepared under papal authority. It appeared in 1592 in the Pontificate of Clement VIII. This version helped some but not a great deal. All in all, the Old Testament has suffered the most at the hands of the Latin translators. In the New Testament far more has been done for the correction of the Vulgate, though even here no critical edition has yet been published. Nonetheless, the vast power which the Vulgate has had in determining the theological terms of Western Christendom can hardly be overrated. By far the greater part of the current doctrinal terminology is based on the Vulgate. It was also the Vulgate that Martin Luther used in translating his German version of the Bible, and from Luther the influence of the Latin passed on to our own King James or Authorized Version. (Above information compiled from Smith's Bible Dictionary, pages 732—735).
Even with the increase of education and knowledge after the 10th century, it was not until the 14th century that the first spark of light was seen, and it was made manifest in the life of John Wycliffe. He was the pride of Oxford University — the foremost scholar of his day and the most influential preacher in England. In his preaching and many writings he openly denounced the papacy and declared that the Pope was antichrist, meaning that he was working in opposition to Christ. This boldness normally would have merited one to be burned at the stake, but some royal families befriended him and hindered the desires of the church.
Wycliffe had seen that there were four primary ways that Satan had used antichrist and his worldly clerks of the religious system to destroy Holy writ along with true doctrine. These four accursed ways or false reasons, as he stated are:
1) The church is of more authority, and more to be believed than any gospel.
2) As Augustine said, the gospel cannot be believed unless the church teaches it.
3) No man alive knows what the gospel is, unless the church approves it.
4) There is no cause to believe any gospel unless the church confirms and teaches it. (Great Voices of The Reformation, H.E. Fosdick, pg. 18).
Wycliffe recognized that men had taken over the affairs of God and had made God's written word of none effect by preaching the above mentioned points. They had taken doctrinal truths of pure Gold and twisted them into iron—clad shackles of death; and from what we see today, Christendom is still bowing obediently to many of these erroneous doctrines and ideas of old.
Regardless of the gross darkness that had covered the souls of men for so many ages, this did not hinder God from manifesting His light_ in this chosen vessel of honor, and He did not let it go out when Wycliffe's remains were deposited into the earth. In 1572, a picture was published in a Bohemian psalter representing Wycliffe striking a spark, John Huss kindling the coals, and Martin Luther brandishing the flaming torch. This is a perfect picture of how God had used these three men to begin the enlightenment of His people out of the apostasy of the Dark—Ages. Not only has that torch been carried by other members of His body, but today we look to the hour when His ministers are seen as flaming fire. (Ps. 104:4).
William Tyndale (1492-1536) was another Lively stone that God used to lift His Chosen people out of the awful pit of the Dark—Ages. He, being a pious man of Cod and well accomplished in the Greek and Hebrew languages, spent many hours studying the few manuscripts that were available at that time. Despite his handicap of not having reliable texts of the ancient languages, seeing the error of the Church's many doctrines and the pitiful condition of the people's souls, he set out to translate the New Testament into the English of his day, hoping to print and distribute them to the common people of England. However, he was not able to get the support of the Bishop of London while translating it, and getting it printed was even a greater obstacle. The Church and State alike, they both declared that the laity had no business with Bibles — that it would only add confusion and disorder to the Church. Therefore, the printing of his translation of the New Testament was prevented in England.
He continued to pursue this great quest however, and by crossing the Channel to Wittenberg, Germany, he met Martin Luther. In 1525, with Luther's aid and encouragement, they were able to get prints made of his English manuscripts. They then smuggled these manuscripts into England, but not without the endeavor costing Tyndale his life. Although he did not personally go back to England at that time with his illegal contraband, the Church was so outraged by the Truth-bearing Light that his translation had brought to England, they sent a friend to betray him. He was deceitfully persuaded to come back to England, where he was imprisoned and martyred on October 6, 1536.
In the face of adversity and strong opposition, Myles Coverdale was another shining Light who was carried the torch of Truth one step further. Just before Tyndale died, Coverdale translated the first complete Bible into English, which was based on the Latin Vulgate, Tyndale's New Testament, and Luther's German Bible. He was also the first to separate the Apocrypha from the Old Testament and place it as an appendix. King Henry VIII was very much opposed to Tyndale's book, declaring quite severely that: "...It is not necessary that the scripture should be in the English tongue, and placed in the hands of the common people; but that the distribution of the scripture, and the believing or DENYING OF THEM, depends only upon the DISCRETION OF THE SUPERIORS, AS THEY THINK IT CONVENIENT. And that the translation of the New Testament and the Old into the vulgar tongue of English would cause the people to be inclined to erroneous opinions, and would increase the errors among the said people, without any benefit or commodity toward the good of their souls. And that it shall now be more convenient that the same people should have the holy scripture expounded to them, by preachers in their sermons, according as it has been of old time accustomed before this time."
Although the written word was coming to be more common, and certainly not perfect, there was always something hindering its evolution. Renowned men who were steeped in tradition and fearing loss of control would undermine these works; but they continued, nevertheless.
In 1537, John Rogers, an associate of Tyndale, translated his version of the Bible, which was later recognized as the Matthew Bible and then as the Cranmer Bible. He did not have an understanding of Hebrew, so it is acclaimed that two— thirds of his Bible was from Tyndale and one—third from Coverdale. Rogers was martyred in 1555, and two years later Thomas Cranmer the Archbishop of Canterbury was also burned at the stake following his conversion to Christ and True doctrine. However, it is to Cranmer that England is indebted for the legacy of an open Bible, and for this enlightenment, it is certain that he did not die in vain.
The Great Bible was printed in 1539, and Coverdale played a major part in its processing. For the most part however, this Bible was translated from the Tyndale and Coverdale's own Bible and although King Henry VIII gave royal approval of The Great Bible, he issued an order that Tyndale's and Coverdale's could not be received or owned by anyone. (Ignorance breeds this type of logic).
During the reign of Queen Mary (1553—1558), no Bible was printed in England. However, in 1560 a group of scholars in Geneva produced an English version called The Geneva Bible, followed by a second edition in 1652. This was the first English version to use numbered verses as separate paragraphs. It was designated as The People's Book and was the Bible that was brought over on the Mayflower. The Puritans used it, and it held preeminence over all other English versions for seventy— five years. During that time there were one hundred forty editions of The Geneva Bible to appear.
The Bishops' Bible was next in line to be printed in English. The popularity of The Geneva Bible persuaded the Anglican authorities that they should produce a Bible which could bear the authority of the Church of England. Therefore, Archbishop Parker appointed a committee to accomplish this task. They were to use The Great Bible as their basis and were also to check with the Greek and Hebrew texts. The reason for using another translation as their foundation, rather than adhering strictly to the Greek and Hebrew, was that the scholarship of these Bishops was lacking greatly in these two languages. By using The Great Bible as a guide, they were in essence compiling The Bishops' translation from Tyndale's translation of Coverdale's translation from Cranmer's translation. Therefore, this translation was far inferior to the Geneva Bible, but nonetheless, it is The Bishops' Bible that the King James Version is so closely related to.
The last two Bibles to be considered before the King James Version are those known as the Rheims New Testament (1582) and the Douay Old Testament (1609), both Roman Catholic volumes. Until the recent translation by the late Monsignor Ronald A. Knox, these two, combined as one complete Bible and called the Douay Bible, was the only Bible approved by the Roman Catholic Church. THE NEW TESTAMENT PART OF THIS BIBLE WAS EXTENSIVELY USED BY THE KING JAMES REVISERS, but the Douay Old Testament was published too late for any such influence.
It is now time to consider the most important English version of the Bible ever to be produced, sometimes called the Authorized Version, but is usually referred to as The King James Version.
When James the 1st ascended the throne of England in 1605, he found himself heir to a religious turmoil and confusion that had characterized the entire 16th Century. In the hope of bringing order out of chaos, he called a meeting of churchmen early the following year. The only fruitful suggestion brought forth was a proposal that a new translation, ACCEPTABLE and useful to THE ENTIRE CHURCH SYSTEM be made of holy writ. Most of those present were against this thought, but the King ordered it to be done nevertheless. Forty-seven clergymen and lay-scholars were chosen for this task. The group was divided into six companies, each taking a part of the text. Each man worked independently, then as a company. They considered their individual efforts until ALL WERE IN AGREEMENT. As sections were completed, they were handed to other companies for criticism. Finally, a committee of two members from each company harmonized the entire undertaking.
Fifteen rules were to bind this large number of revisers. The first reads as follows: "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the BISHOPS’ BIBLE, is to be followed, and as little altered as the truth of the original will permit."The Bishops' Bible is the one that was compiled from the Tyndale, Coverdale, and Cranmer translations.
The Old Testament rested upon the same Masoretic Hebrew text as did all subsequent versions — but inasmuch as no ancient manuscripts of the Greek New Testament arrived in England until 1628, those responsible for this "greatest of all versions", did not have the advantage of the best Greek text. It is of no wonder therefore, that as early as 1769 thirty thousand four hundred and ninety-five new marginal references were added to these editions. http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/anstey/5a0n.0106_04b.htm.
If all the original errors of the King James Version of the Bible were corrected with the Authorized marginal references, we would not be able to recognize it as the King James Bible. And then, if we corrected all the errors that this new translation would still have, we might not be able to recognize the new translation either.
Nonetheless, the poetry and prose of the King James Version was a literary marvel, and it crowded out all preceding translations. For the first time, England was reading one Bible at home and hearing the same one read in church. "It thus became bound up with the life of the nation. Since it stilled the controversy over the best rendering, it gradually came to be accepted as absolute truth, and in the minds of myriads there was no distinction between this version and the ancient texts, and they may almost be said to have believed in the literal inspiration of the very words which composed it" (Albert S. Cook). It is too bad that the masses of today’s Christian religions still feel the same way.
We can understand why people would take the written word and mold their lives by it, that is, if the word was the original manuscripts in its pure form or even an exact translation. However, after knowing the transformations that the letter has gone through and having understanding of the present condition of our modern versions of the Bible, we are simply amazed to see the reverence and worship given to every jot and tittle of something that was never meant to be worshiped, much less that which has gone into such aberration and change.
Many of us, and perhaps all of us, have been guilty or are presently guilty of esteeming God's written word above Him. This, I believe, is attributed to not knowing Him, and the less we know Him the more we are prone to substitute Knowing about Him for the reality of his person, which is found in Christ Jesus. Everything that is real, all the life and mysteries of God, are found only IN Christ Jesus (Col 2:2-3) — not in a book, even if the book is the Bible. Have you ever noticed, when the Lord does speak a truth to us by a revelation from His Spirit within our very being, that before we will believe it, we run to one of our favorite translations, which is usually the King James Version, to make sure what we heard is true (as if the Holy Spirit might lie to us). HOWEVER, if we do not KNOW OUR LORD well enough to be able to distinguish His voice from our own or some other's, then let it be our confirming source, but not without the use of some good Greek and Hebrew concordances, lexicons, and Greek-English interlinear New Testaments. (List will be sent upon request). The Strong's Exhaustive Concordance is good, but even Dr. Strong did not have the final say on every Greek and Hebrew word contained in the original manuscripts; therefore, a variety of study aids is very essential if we want to get a more accurate rendering of the Scriptures.
I pray that I am not misunderstood in what is being related concerning the written word. To set the record straight, I am not saying that we do not need the Bible, and I am not saying we should discard it and stop reading and comparing scripture with scripture; but I am saying that we should put the letter in its proper perspective and use it as the tool that it has been designed for — and stop worshiping it.
Jesus spoke of the scriptures as being the instrument God had intended them to be in John 5:59, but because of the omission of one word by the King James translators, it has led us to believe that we can find Life in something else other than Jesus Christ. They have rendered it in this fashion, "Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). Doesn’t this sound like He is GIVING THEM A COMMAND TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES? Evidently, it is read this way by some, for I have heard more than one sermon exhorting us of the necessity of "SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES, FOR IN THEM...YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE," they have declared. If this verse was really examined, even as it is in the KJV, we could see that this is not what Jesus was saying. For clarity, however, we will notice how it is worded according to Dr. J.J. Griesbach (Emphatic Diaglott). "You search the scriptures, because you think by them to obtain aionian Life; and they are those testifying of Me; and yet you are not willing to come TO ME that you may obtain LIFE." (John 5:39-40, Greek). By supplying the pronoun you where it belongs and not forgetting the two words you think (which is very often overlooked), enables us to see what it was that He was actually saying to the religious leaders of that day. Rather than Jesus ENCOURAGING or COMMANDING them to read the LETTER OF THE WORD so that they could have Life, He was making a statement about something that they were already doing, i.e. searching the scriptures and thinking that this is where God's life was found. They were tearing the letter apart, seeking Life, seeking more knowledge that puffs up, seeking more revelation; but to the only One that could give them that wonderful Life — JESUS — they refused. And I do not hesitate to say that WE are not so much unlike those that He spoke with that day.
We have prided ourselves in not only being able to search and dig out knowledgeable truths, or facts, from the Bible, but we have also congratulated ourselves for memorizing the scriptures. Brethren, it matters not if we know every verse in the entire Bible, if we do not know Jesus in the reality of Himself and become the word that we have learned by rote, then we have gained nothing in the realm of His Life and are as a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. A lot of clamor and clatter have been gushing from our lips of clay, but where has the essence of THE WORD (CHRIST JESUS) been? If He has not been in that SHOUT, in that WAR CRY, in that WORD (1 Thes 4:16), of which we have been speaking, then we are DEAD, and the words that we have been declaring have also been dead. Some of us may have had a more accurate word because of our understanding of the Hebrew and Greek, but without the Life of Christ being IN our word, we are not much better off than those who can quote thousands of scriptures from the KJV or some other not so accurate translation.
Paul gave us some insight concerning the LETTER in these words, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the NEW TESTAMENT (Jesus); NOT OF THE LETTER, but of the SPIRIT: for THE LETTER KILLETH, but the SPIRIT GIVETH LIFE" (2 Cor 3:6). Like it or not, Brethren, we are going to have to come to the place in Christ where we can see what the letter IS and what the letter IS NOT. It is good to apply the written word to our lives as it was intended, as a guide to the greater glory which is Christ; however, when we dogmatically and religiously follow every jot recorded, because WE have decided to do so, and then call ourselves holy and righteous — THIS IS DEATH. When we are looking at the printed word as our Life, our whole life is then caught up in reading, in searching, in studying, and we have no time for Christ our Lord (?). When DEATH IS OUR LIFE, then how DEAD IS THAT LIFE.
There was a time when the letter had some glory, as Paul continued in Second Corinthians 3:7-18; stating that even though it was "THE MINISTRATION OF DEATH...it was GLORIOUS, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; WHICH GLORY WAS TO BE DONE AWAY. But their minds were. blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away IN CHRIST. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory (of the law) to glory (of Christ), even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (parentheses inserted). Is the veil still over our eyes? If we are looking to the GLORY OF THE LETTER for our source of Life, then YES, our eyes are veiled from the reality of the Truth; however, when THE SPIRIT is LORD, as Paul mentioned again, the veil of the law is removed and we begin to FULFILL IT BY NATURE rather than by WORKS. There is a difference, Brethren, whether we fulfill the scriptures because it is our nature to do so, or we do them out of the resources of our own strength. We can teach a chimpanzee to sit and display perfect manners at the dinner table, but even so, this does not make it a human being, it remains a chimpanzee. The same principle can be applied to us; we can act religious and quote scriptures until they are running out of our ears, but that avails nothing in the economy of God; for we must be BORE OF THE SPIRIT or we cannot even SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD (John 3:3). This is one kingdom that we are not going to talk or impress our way into. Again, we are not saying that we must discard our Bibles or to stop studying, but since JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY WAY unto True Life, then let us not try to use the letter as a vehicle to ride into the glory of God with, especially a letter that has become so inaccurate.
THE ANOINTING THAT TEACHES
Although THE WRITTEN WORD, regardless of how accurate it is to the ancient manuscripts, IS DEAD, it was not written as a dead word, and it does not have to remain dead. When the prophets and apostles received and wrote the Word of God, it was very much ALIVE because of the ANOINTING that it was received and written in. However, when we read those same scriptures, and they are not read by the same anointing that they were written in, then they are dead, and death is worked in us.
It may be hard to imagine how such a holy word could possibly produce death, but let us explain. In Romans 14:23 it is stated, "...whatsoever is not of faith is sin," and of course we know that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23); therefore, when we apply a dead word to our lives, in essence we are receiving death rather than life. How then, we might ask, are we to read the word without it being more of a danger to us than a help?
One thing that is very important to remember concerning this: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Rom 10:17). The Diaglott renders God as Christ, i.e. Anointing, in the footnotes; therefore, we could read it as such: "Faith cometh by hearing, and it is hearing by the word of the anointing." Some people call this an inspiration, and some call it a revelation, while others simply say, "I know that I know that I know." It matters not what we call it, for it all boils down to the same thing — it is hearing a word by the anointing of Christ that abides in us, and this is what produces the faith that enables us to do or be whatever it is that He quickens to us. We can also remember that we are saved (delivered) "...through FAITH: and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD." (Eph 2:8). When He gives us this gift that comes from Him, it is true then, it is our faith that will makes us whole (Mat. 9:22), and give us the power to remove mountains (Mat. 17:20); for what He gives to us is OURS, but those "positive" thoughts that are formed in our minds as a result of our OWN desires IS NOT FAITH — IT IS PRESUMPTION! And according to the record, when a prophet was guilty of presumption, saying that God had said something when He had not, they were put to death. This is what is happening to so many of us today. We are saying, "Thus SAITH the Lord" when we sometimes should be saying, "Thus the Lord HATH SAID, for it is WRITTEN..." Therefore, when we have assumed that God has spoken but has not, we pass the sentence of death upon ourselves. On the other hand, however, if we have been speaking words that we have received by the anointing, then we Live and those who hear by THE Spirit Live also. The Beloved John related this in reference to the Anointing and its function in our lives: The Anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and it is this Anointing which will teach you all things (1John 2:27). Here is where the hope lays, Brethren, it makes no difference whether it is the written word from the Bible or from some other writings or the spoken words from man's lips, if the Anointing that abides within quickens it to us; then that word will produce the gift of faith and strength enough to slay the dragon that's in the sea. This is the Word, the Anointed, Living Word that we can hold to and not be ashamed of or found guilty of moving in presumption rather than true faith.
There is nothing wrong with Christians being positive thinkers, and it is a good thing to live a positive life in Christ, knowing that "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." But we should never confuse our natural positive thinking as being that thing which will solve all of our earthly problems and set us in the seat of a new Cadillac...every year.
In closing, let us say, it is good to read, study, and rightly divide the scriptures, the letter of the word, but it is not good to try to inject our own natural reasoning and carnal concepts into them. Therefore, in all of our reading, let us store it in our minds until the time of watering comes to that seed, and then Christ’s Life will spring forth unto a working, effectual faith unto a total salvation.
Elwin R. Roach
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