The Bible: Part Two
When God took the veil from things that man could not know by himself, He began to tell man about it. Adam knew some things about God, about salvation, about eternal life, long before there was a Bible. Abel knew about the blood sacrifice and Enoch knew about the second coming of Christ (Jude 14). Yet none of these things had been written down in the Bible yet.
About the time of Moses, God began to choose men to write down all that He wanted them to know about themselves and about Himself. They had to write about things of which they never could have known the answers by themselves.
If we asked you to write a composition about what you did on the fifth of August, 1939, you might make a mistake in remembering and confuse it with something you did on the 30th of July! And if God had asked Moses to write down something that he had done forty years before, Moses might have made a mistake. But God breathed upon Moses with a special power that is called Inspiration, and kept Moses from making any mistakes when he wrote about things he had done himself, years before.
Then, of course, you could never write about something that you knew nothing about. If we told you that there was a boy named John Smith who lived in Australia in 1870, and that he had never been heard of from the time he got off the boat from England when he was eight years old, and asked you to write a true story of his life from then on, you would not be able to do it. But if you could have God whisper in your ear and give you the very words to write, you would not have any difficulty in writing correctly. So when God told Moses to write about the creation, and about the coming of sin into the world, God had to reveal the truth to Moses and then inspire him to write it down without error.
Again, if we asked you to write a story about a trip to Mars in the year 2500, you could not do it, except as a tale of imagination. There will be new words in use then that we do not know. What would your great-great-grandfather say if he came into your house as you have it today? He might watch you at the radio and say, "He took a button on the end of a string and put it into a hole in the wall and then turned a knob and music came out of a box.” That is a pretty good description of the radio, though it does not use the technical words which every boy knows today. We would say that we plugged into a socket, then dialed for the broadcasting station we wanted until we got the right wavelength, and listened to a radio program. So, in the Bible, God took some of the prophets forward, through visions, and told them of things that are still in the future, and made them describe it in the simple language of their time. We already understand some of these things in the language of our day, and we will understand still more as time goes on. For example, the prophet Ezekiel tells us about some angel beings in language that is hard for us to understand now, and John describes Heaven in a way that will be simple to us when we see it.
All of these men who wrote the Bible did so because God chose them for it and inspired them so that they would make no mistakes at all whether they wrote of facts they knew about, or of things in the past and the future that He had to reveal to them especially. The Holy Spirit tells us through Peter that "the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). The word for moved really means carried along, like a boat is carried by a wind. That is the way the breath of God carried the men who wrote the Bible. Sometimes they did not know the meaning of what they had written. Daniel wrote his prophecy and then asked the Lord what it meant (Daniel 12:8), and all of the men who wrote the Bible studied it to find out what it meant. Even angels would like to know all that is in the Bible (1 Peter 1:10-12).
- How did Adam know God's revelation apart from the Bible?
- How does the doctrine of Inspiration teach?
- In what way does God use human language to fulfill his purpose of revelation.
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