When is the Bible No Longer The Word Of God?
- I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. (1 Corinthians 10:15)
Sensible, intelligent people in the Lord will quickly comprehend that the Bible is no longer God’s Word when it pleases the flesh of man.
The Bible’s purpose is to bless man by first opposing
and crucifying him. The crucifixion and rebirth process brings us into a vibrant relationship with the living God. There are two ways to please man’s sin using the Bible.
- By disobeying and applying the Bible as we see fit.
- By presenting the Bible in a worldly manner.
Disobeying and Applying The Bible as We SEE Fit
A Christian book store in our area prides itself on being the place to purchase Bibles. In fact, they have won awards for this very thing. However, not only are they open on Sundays, but also during the worship services of their church. Thus, every Bible they sell no longer becomes the Word of God, but a worldly philosophy book that may be applied as they see fit. They may claim to be a Christian bookstore, or true believers in Christ, but their actions demonstrate that clearly they are unfit for doing anything good in Jesus (Titus 1:16). They might as well sell Stephen King horror novels. Jesus clearly states that if for the sake of our way of doing things we disobey God, we nullify the word of God.
- Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that. (Mark 7:13)
The church seems to have forgotten that God only gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him, (Acts 5:32). The western world has a gluttony of Bibles and the more publishers print them, the more the church disobeys God. We will see why in a moment, but although we live in a land overflowing with Bibles, the church perishes from lack of knowledge.
- You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother– my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. (Hosea 4:5–8)
Selling ourselves to others as Christians; selling our churches as Spirit-filled; selling our doctrines and sales goals for Bible translations has brought about ignorance and stumbling into sin day and night. Everyone seems to acknowledge the sad state of the church today, but one would think that with all the Bibles available today that such conditions could not exist. It would be like having a storeroom of penicillin in a TB clinic while people languished in the final struggles of death. The answer is simple. We ignore the Bible and reject the wisdom God offers through His Holy Spirit. We read the ink on paper, but refuse to come to Jesus, pick up the painful cross He has for us, and allow the Word of God to be the Word of God. We have a false faith that believes that studying the Bible gives us the right to claim eternal life. Our printed Bibles have created a delusion that we are saved from God’s judgment.
- You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39–40)
Presenting The Bible in a Worldly Manner
The church is now loaded and overflowing with a “biblical” people who are not biblical at all. There is now a rich market for slick bibles that spiritually sick people enjoy reading in order to ignore the pangs of their con- science. Like the forbidden tree and fruit in the Garden of Eden, if it looks pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom, we quickly buy it (Genesis 3:6).
For instance, the new magazine bibles demonstrate complete and total sin. Not only do these books hide the scriptures beneath canned answers, shiny graphics, and pretty ink, but the advice and doctrines taught remove the offense
of the cross. Thus, the Bible has become no longer the Word of God.
This situation arose because for years books with men’s opinions have been sold as “bibles.” The Ryrie Study, Max Lucado, and the Scofield Study Bibles, provide just a few examples of books that are not actually Bibles, but commentaries. If these books had been marketed as commentaries on the Bible there would be no crime. Again, they are not Bibles, but man’s opinion mixed in with God’s Holy Book. A high crime indeed.
These, and other traditional commentaries sold as Bibles, have opened the door for the flood of entertain- ing and deadly books touted today as God’s Word. Our preachers teach us to disrespect God’s Word to such a degree that we can now market and trample upon it without any fear or trembling toward a Holy God.
God has exalted above all things, His Word, but the church, pastors, and publishers no longer have this in their hearts.
- I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faith- fulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. (Psalms 138:2)
From the sin of copyrights to the well-conceived marketing of Bibles, God’s Word has been fully brought into the temple and marketed like any other trinket of the world. It is high time the church put a stop to all this
“bible” printing and demand holiness on the part of those who print the ink on paper. We must no longer allow anyone to carry merchandise into our churches and the temple of our hearts.
- …and would not allow anyone to carry merchan- dise through the temple courts. (Mark 11:16)
I have written many books, but they must never be confused with God’s Word, the Bible. I keep a full separation between what I have written and what is written in the Bible.
In short, I have too much fear and trembling at God’s word to even contemplate placing my comments in a Bible and marketing it as the “Williams Study Bible.” Goodness, if I published such a book every enemy of the message of the cross would label me a heretic who only preached myself—and rightly so. After all, God only esteems those who tremble, from a humble and contrite spirit, before they open the Bible to read it.
- This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2b)
What sin occurs when publishers have no fear and trembling, but dress up God’s Word and promote it like a product of this world. Our preachers should teach us, with a humble and contrite heart, how to tremble before we open the pages of the Bible (Acts 9:31). Instead we teach our children that cartoon characters make it fun to read the Bible and accept eternal life. Long gone is the narrow gate and road that must be walked until the end. In an effort to become relevant, we have become irreverent, so much so that now the vilest comic books are promoted as Bibles. We must understand clearly that when the Bible stops offending our sin, when instead of creating repentant sinners we only reform worldliness, we become enemies of God. Publishers make themselves enemies of God when they trivialize, demean, and rob God of the chance to convict and awaken sinners.
- You adulterous people, don’t you know that friend- ship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
We have made it so easy to understand the Bible that we remain completely ignorant of what it really teaches. We explain so much away that we no longer need God. Instead, men’s minds and opinions, like the world’s, are worshipped as god. Opinion has replaced the Omnipo- tent God.
A True Bible
A plain Bible is the Word of God. A pure Bible has the following:
Few, if any footnotes.
The clearest, most offensive Greek/Hebrew equivalent words.
No dictionary, maps, or commentaries.
We need to accept humbly in our hearts. God’s people and the Lord’s disciples must crave the Bible’s pure begin- nings. Every new Christian should be told that they are mere babies who need to “crave pure spiritual milk.” Let me say it again, “pure milk.” Again, I speak to a sensible people. A clean, straight forward Bible is one of the first steps to understanding and applying this passage.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Peter 2:2)
Anything more should be written as a separate book, with a different title. We should take this solid founda- tional beginning into the prayer closet and eagerly ask Jesus to make it real. Then we need to expect from God’s hand a painful cross that will conform us into the image of His Son (1 Peter 4:1), the true Word of God, (John 1:1–2). After all, ink will not inherit eternal life; nor those who study the most, or read the most correct translation,
but only believers who allow God to crucify them will be resurrected with Jesus Christ.
Finally, consider that if the church rejected all the fancy bibles presented today how much effort could then be applied to translating the Bible for others. Thou- sands of language translations that have not even begun could happen. But we Christians in the West remain so selfish that we must have a Bible personalized just for us. Whether it be one of a multitude of idol bibles on the market today like the urban, Army, Navy, teenager, disaster, evangelism, messianic, woman’s, or prison bible, we are selfish in the name of Jesus that calls us to deny self.
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