GOD BEING THE WORD
Speaking is surely a marvelous thing. We need to realize that not having the Word of God is equivalent to not having God Himself. By the Lord’s mercy, since the day I was saved, I have loved the Bible. For more than sixty years I have been reading the Bible every day. The more I read it, the more I sense that the Bible is lovable and precious and that what has been written in it is so marvelous and mysterious. I spent eleven and a half years to reconsider every word in the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, comparing it with the Greek text. I also made revisions to the English translation, and wherever possible I wrote footnotes for each verse. After these processes, my admiration and appreciation of the Bible have increased to the uttermost. No man could have spoken such profound and mysterious words. Only the Lord Jesus could have uttered such words to us.
The reason these words are so profound and mysterious is that the Word of God is just God Himself. We know that the words we speak are just ourselves. For instance, our voice always represents us; this is a marvelous thing. Although there are billions of people on the earth, there are not any two people who have exactly the same voice. In speaking, everyone has his own particular voice, tone, manner, and wording; even more, each is distinctly different in expression. After a person has given a message, no one else can duplicate it because the words of a person are just the person himself.
The Bible says that God is the Word (John 1:1). Apparently, the Bible does not directly say that God is the Word. However, if we study the Greek text of the Bible or the English versions, we can see that John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here, the Word was God in Greek is “God was the Word.” Whether it is “God was the Word” or “the Word was God,” they are actually the same. For example, we can either say that Mr. Chen is Brother Chen or that Brother Chen is Mr. Chen; there is no difference. Saying that your wife is Mrs. Chang and saying that Mrs. Chang is your wife are both acceptable since both refer to her as your wife.
In the Bible there is such a verse which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This is a great verse showing us that the Word and God are one. The Word is God, and God is the Word. Likewise, we can say that man is the word, and the word is man. Before this we might have never thought of ourselves as being the word. Although many animals can make certain vocal sounds, they cannot speak and do not have words. Only man has words; hence, man is the word. If someone wants to know what I am thinking within, he has to know it through my words. Therefore, when we come to the Bible, we come to God, because the Bible as the Word is God Himself.
Not only is God the Word, but He also speaks; furthermore, He created men who speak. God is the Word, but if He did not speak, He would not be the Word. Because God is the Word, He speaks. We may use a preacher as an illustration. The life of a preacher is a life of words because over the months and years he speaks unceasingly to people. The book of Hebrews tells us that our God is a speaking God; He not only spoke in old times, but He is still speaking today. Formerly, He spoke through the prophets to our forefathers; today He speaks to us in His Son, that is, in Himself, and He speaks to us from within us (Heb. 1:1-2).
The Lord Jesus said to Philip, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works” (John 14:10). This shows us that the Lord Jesus’ speaking was God’s working. In other words, the Lord’s speaking was God’s speaking; the Lord and God are one. Today our God is still speaking, and He speaks in His Son. We all are the members of the Body of His Son; thus, when we speak, it is God speaking in His Son. When we preach the gospel, it is God speaking in the Son.
Speaking can cause things, even big things, to happen. When the people of the world do business, their success or failure depends on whether or not they know how to speak. Before going out, a salesperson has to be taught and trained in speaking. Those who know how to talk will get the business, and those who talk improperly or inadequately will not get the business. Sometimes talking too much will also cause a salesperson to lose business. Therefore, all the successful salespeople are able to speak and know how to speak very well. Actually, interaction in human society depends on speaking; moreover, the speaking must be proper and suitable. Therefore, speaking causes things to happen, and it can greatly affect the outcome of a matter.
Today our working for the Lord also depends on speaking. If we speak well, people will be saved; if we speak poorly, people will not understand the gospel. If we speak well, people will be edified; if we speak poorly, our work will be futile. There is a Chinese proverb which says, “A word can cause a nation to rise; a word can cause a nation to fall.” It means that the rise or fall of a nation can depend on man’s speaking. We all acknowledge that God’s creation of the universe was a great act. Yet this great act was accomplished by speaking. Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.” Whatever God spoke came into existence. Therefore, in the Psalms the psalmist praised God, saying, “For He spoke, and it was; / He commanded, and it stood” (33:9). If God had not spoken anything, then it would have been impossible for the universe to come into existence. Even our existence depends to a great extent on God’s speaking. The Lord Jesus said, “He who hears My word and believes…has eternal life” (John 5:24). Our being saved and our receiving the eternal life are altogether dependent upon the Lord’s word.
(Speaking for God, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)