III. THE BIBLE BEING GOD’S BREATH
The Bible is also God’s breath. It is the breathing out of God Himself. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God. “Inspired” in the original Greek means “breathed.” Hence, some have translated this word as “breathed” in English.
The Bible is the breathing out of God, in the same way that my speaking here this morning is the breathing out of myself. Please excuse me for saying something about myself. Since five-thirty this morning, when I got up, I have been full of matter within me. I wished that eight-thirty would come sooner, so that I could breathe this matter out. What was in me? It was the word. How could I let out my feeling, the things within me, and the word in me? It is by breathing. What I am speaking is the breathing out of myself. In a similar way, the Bible is God’s word. It is also God’s breathing out.
A. Having God’s Element
As the Bible is the breathing out of God, it has the element of God. I dare not say that the Bible is God. However, I dare say that if you touch the spirit in the Bible, you touch God Himself. This is something we cannot imagine or fully comprehend with our mind. But it is a reality in our spirit. Do you not feel many times when you read the Bible that you are touching God? We cannot say that the Bible is God. If we say this, we are almost superstitious. But we must admit that in spirit we surely touch God Himself when we touch the spirit of the Bible. It is not only a matter of being in God’s presence, but a matter of touching God Himself. When you touch the spirit of the Bible, you touch God Himself. Why is this so? Because the Bible is the breathing out of God Himself. It is God breathing Himself out through the words. Therefore, we have to admit that within this breathing there is the element of God.
The Bible is the breathing out of God. This means that the Bible is not only the words breathed out by God, but is God Himself breathed out in His word. Hence, within the word there is the element of God. This is the difference between the Bible and any other word. There is no element of God in any other word, whereas there is the element of God in the word of the Bible.
The Bible is the word of God. It is not only the breathing out of God, but is God Himself breathed into the word. Thus, there is the element of God in this breathing out. Once you touch this breathing, you touch the element of God. For this reason, many times when we read the Bible, not only do we feel the presence of God, but we feel that we contact and touch God within.
B. Having God’s Taste
Within this breath, there is the taste of God. Since there is the element of God, there is the taste of God. It is hard to describe taste. Who can describe what sweetness tastes like? Although no one can do this, there is such a taste. In a similar way, in the Bible there is the taste of God. When we read the Bible and touch God in our spirit, we do sense the taste of God. You may ask me what this taste of God is. I would say that I cannot describe it. All I know is that I have touched the sweetness of God and have experienced His taste.
This is the reason that many times when we read the Bible we have the joy. When we read worldly books and newspapers, sometimes there may be things that make us happy. But it is not the same kind of joy, nor the same intensity of joy, as when we read the Bible. When we read the Bible and touch God in the spirit, we have the realization deep within that we have absorbed God. We have the sense that we have eaten God, drunk God, and enjoyed God.
If you never have this kind of realization in reading the Bible, you must be reading the Bible in a dead way. You are reading only the letters and have not touched God’s breathing out in the letters. This is not the proper way to read the Bible. If you read the Bible properly, not only will you feel that you have touched God, but you will feel that you have tasted God. If you read the Bible in the proper way, not only will you feel the presence of God, but you will have the feeling that you are touching God. You will also have the sweet sensation that you have tasted God Himself.
Brothers and sisters, the Bible is the breathing out of God. God breathes Himself out so that we can breathe Him in. When we breathe Him into us as our enjoyment, we sense a special taste. It is more than a sense of rest, or peace, or joy, or sweetness. It is beyond the description of human words. The greatest joy or blessing of being a Christian is to touch and taste God Himself through the God-breathed word. This is to eat the spiritual meal. By this, one will be fed and satisfied.
We do not read the Bible only for enlightenment, teaching, or instruction. There is something higher and deeper than all these. It is to touch God Himself in our inward parts. The Bible is not merely God’s thought, doctrine, truth, or teaching. The word in the Bible is the breathing out of God. It is God who breathes Himself out. God Himself is in the word. He Himself is in the breath. Therefore, we cannot understand the word only with our mind. This is not enough. We must learn to use our spirit to contact these words; we must touch God’s breathing out in the words and must touch His element in the words. When we have such a contact, not only will we feel that we are in the presence of God, and not only will we have touched God, but we also will feel that we have tasted God; God will become our enjoyment within. Whenever we have a good Bible reading, we have a good eating and drinking. It will satisfy us within, and we will truly have tasted the sweetness of God Himself.
Since the Bible is the breathing out of God, it contains God’s element and God’s taste. Hence, whoever touches it will feel that he has touched God Himself.
(On Knowing the Bible, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)