I. THE BIBLE BEING THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible is words, yet it is not man’s words, but the words of God. In the universe, besides God, the greatest thing is the word. The Bible tells us even the universe was created by God’s word (Heb. 11:3).
The word is above everything and greater than everything. It is also before everything. Before all things, there was the Word. Even among men, words are a great matter. Almost one hundred percent of a person and his activities have to do with his words. Just imagine where a person would be if he could not speak or write or use any kind of language to express what is within him. It would seem like such a person did not exist. If you are one who cannot speak and can never use language to express yourself, then even if you are here, it will be as if you are not here. At least, you will not be expressed. Therefore, the expression of a person’s life, character, and entire history depends fully on words.
How did words come about? Were they created by God? I dare not say, nor do I know how words came about. I think if I were to ask scientists this question, they would also find it difficult to answer. How did words come about? This is a very interesting matter. How did Adam learn to speak at the beginning? No doubt the ability to speak was created by God, but where did the words he spoke come from? What language did he use in Eden? I believe no one knows the answer. However, if in the universe there were not the existence of words, then there would be nothing for us to do here today; everything would be over. All of mankind, society, and the world would be over. Therefore, words are truly a great matter.
The Bible is the word of God. This is an even greater matter. It is impossible for man to research the universe, mankind, and the existence of God today without coming to the Bible. The entire story of the universe is contained in the words of the Bible. If you want to know God, the story of the universe, and mankind, you must read the Bible. These things all exist and are all contained in the words of the Bible. Moreover, this word is not the word of man, but the word of God.
Second Peter 1:21 says that the prophecy in the Bible, that is, the words of the Bible, is spoken “from God, being borne by the Holy Spirit.” There are two important points worth noticing. One is that it is borne by the Holy Spirit, and the second is that it was spoken from God. To be borne by the Holy Spirit, in Greek, means to be carried along. This is like a sailing boat being carried along by the wind. A sailing boat moves in the water through the propelling of the wind. Here it says that the words in the Bible were spoken by men borne by the Holy Spirit. This bearing is just like the carrying along of the wind. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, coming upon those speaking for God, to carry them along, bearing them in their speaking. The five books of Moses were written by Moses, but the Holy Spirit was there bearing Moses up as he wrote. It is true that many Psalms are the words of David. However, the Holy Spirit was in and upon David, bearing him to speak.
In addition, we must also realize that the Bible is the word spoken “from God.” Regarding this phrase, Bible translators and the authorities on the manuscripts have differing opinions. Some say the two words “from God” should refer to the persons speaking, meaning that these were “men of God,” speaking while being borne by the Holy Spirit. Others say that the two words “from God” should not refer to the people who spoke but to the things spoken, meaning that their speaking came from God. The better translations, such as the Revised Standard Version, agree with the second concept. It tells us that the word in the Bible was not only spoken by those being borne by the Holy Spirit, but also by man speaking from God. It is the Spirit of God that carries man along to speak. It is also man speaking from God. In other words, God spoke forth His own word from within man and through man’s mouth. This is the Bible. What is the Bible? The Bible is God’s Spirit coming upon man and carrying man along to speak forth God’s word in him. When God declares His word in the universe from and through man, we have the Bible.
Second Samuel 23:2 says, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” This was spoken by David. David was not only a psalmist, but also a prophet (Acts 2:30). He told us that what he spoke was through the Spirit of God and that the word of God was in his mouth. Please notice that not only did the Spirit of God speak through him, but God’s word was in his very mouth and was spoken through his mouth. This is the Bible. This is truly an amazing thing.
Today, not only do we have to admit that the Bible is God’s inspiration, but we must also realize that the Bible is God’s Spirit bringing man into God, and is from God, speaking forth God’s word. It is also the Holy Spirit speaking the word of God through man’s mouth. This is the Bible. What is the Bible? The Bible is the word of God spoken through man being carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:16 says that the Holy Spirit prophesied in the Scripture through the mouth of David. This shows us that not only did the Holy Spirit speak through the mouth of man, but also that the word thus spoken is the Bible. So here the Bible and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit are put together. The Bible is simply the Holy Spirit’s speaking of God’s word through the mouth of man.
Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” The word that proceeds out through the mouth of God is every word of the Bible. Hence, the Bible is nothing but the word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.
Therefore, we can draw a very clear, simple, and accurate conclusion: the Bible is the word of God spoken by His Holy Spirit through the mouth of man.
(On Knowing the Bible, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)