Doctrine of the Bible
The Holy Bible is God’s written communication from Him to all mankind. Its core message is Christ Crucified, God Satisfied and the Believer Justified. The summation of the central message is predicated on God’s declaration that He exists, He created all things for Himself, and that man will find wisdom, knowledge and the hope of eternal life revealed within its words (Colossians 2:3).
The entire theme of the Holy Bible is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44, John 1:45, Acts 28:23, Romans 3:21). It is the story of a Kingdom and the Son of a Great King. When discerned by rightly-dividing the word of truth, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of truth, it presents the coherent revelation of the "Greatest Story Even Told’ (to invoke the cliché). It is the story of ancient rebellion against the Great King and the forceful seizure of the "Kingdom of Heaven" and its subjects by a powerful and jealous evil prince who desired to be worshipped as the King. It a story of the promise of hope in face deception and conquest; a story detailing struggles and suffering, warfare, heroism and betrayal, and the final victory over the evil by the sacrifice and love of a faithful Son. Poetically speaking, it is the saga of a Son’s valiant rescue of His Father’s subjects, defeating the powerful dragon and reclaiming the Kingdom from the powers of darkness. It ends with a Prince marrying His rescued princess and being anointed as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords inheriting a never-ending Kingdom as His reward of glory.
That description may sound a wee bit corny and romantic, with its ‘and they lived happily ever after’ overtones, but it is the arc of the story. Indeed, English Fairy Tales have been based on the truth and legend of this story, not the other way around. It is a warning to choose wisely whom to obey and serve in this temporal life in the flesh.
How the Bible came into Being
God communicates with man in many forms. He has spoken to them directly (Genesis 3:13). He has spoken to them through angelic intermediaries (Luke 1:19). He has spoken to man through the glory of the creation (Psalm 19), in dreams and visions of the night (Genesis 20:3, Daniel 2:19, & Matthew 2:13), and in other forms, including through the mouth of an ass (Numbers 22:28), from a flaming bush (Exodus 3:2), and through a ‘Christophany’ (see: Joshua 5:14-15 & Acts 7:45). He communicates in this age through the written and spoken words of the Holy Bible through the illumination of the Holy Spirit (John 6:63).
Our Bible was produced by individuals, chosen of God, to faithfully transcribe His words into the written medium of their time in the language of their time. This process has occurred across different times and languages. Those words, and their message to mankind, are Divinely preserved by God (Psalms 12:6-7) working through the providence and agency of man. They are living words that transcend language and speak to the heart of man, when faithfully reproduced in his respective language. In Old Testament times they were written and preserved in the Hebrew language. In New Testament times they were written and preserved in the Greek. Today, they remain faithfully and infallibly preserved in the canon of Scripture, in the English language, and can be found in the King James Authorized Version, originally translated in 1611 and commonly read today in the Oxford revision of 1769.
Inspiration is perceiving the truth of God’s word presented in a way that is perceptible to others. In other words, it acts as a bridge to convey thought from one side to another across a communication division, effectively removing the division. We have assurance that the Bible is the inspired word of God by faith in the written witness of those that were instruments of God’s facilitation. The Bible contains truth, communicated into written words, that transcend the vast divisions of time and languages and convey the original spirit of meaning from the mind of God to the heart of man.
Implications of Inspiration
The "Plenary-Verbal" concept of Bible inspiration implies that all the words are equally inspired, though all are not equally important. But they are equally a part of a full set of complete truth. Inspiration does not allow for false teaching nor is it lacking in conciseness. It does not allow for any error in historical, scientific or prophetic accuracy. The Bible is the master textbook and authority by which all historical, scientific or prophetic observations are authenticated (Colossians 2:3). Inspiration did not come through the overwhelming of the personality of the human writer, nor was it limited by the individual’s ability to consciously perceive. The individual’s physical, mental or emotional abilities in no way limited or modulated the received inspiration. It did not exclude the usage of pictorial or symbolic language in the conveyance of thought. It assures that nothing is excluded that is necessary. It excludes unnecessary and extraneous minutia.
Completion of Inspiration
If Biblical inspiration were not complete, then the Church could not reject the world’s allegations of ‘truth to be found elsewhere’ outside the Plenary-verbal inspiration of the received Holy Scriptures. This disallows appeals to such things as the "Lost Book of Enoch" (See: Jude 14), Muhammad’s "Koran", the "Book of Mormon" or the writings of Confucius, or others, ad nauseam. The completion of Inspiration also means that the Church cannot add content to, or subtract content from, the Holy Bible. Unfortunately, through acceptance of modern ‘translations’ that remove key words or substitute others, in what scholars call ‘clarifications’ or corrections that deviate from the Received Text, modern scholarship is flirting with danger (Revelation 22:18-19) and the Church is being seduced by the appeal to the same old lie (Genesis 3:1).
Illumination is communication from God to the human heart, through the Holy Spirit by the word of God. Illumination is necessary.
1. It is necessary because the natural man is blind to the things that are only spiritually discerned. Man needs light to see these things.
2. It is necessary because the ‘god of this world’ (2 Corinthians 4:4) blinds the minds of men to prevent them from seeing the light.
3. It is necessary because of carnal blindness, the lusts of the mind and flesh that are contrary to the things of the Spirit (Galatians 5:17).
Implications of Illumination
By Illumination, sinners are saved, saved sinners are strengthened, and strengthened sinners are sanctified and made fit for the Lord to use them to illuminate others. From the witness of the Apostils, men were saved. From the increase of the saved, Churches were established. From that establishment, missionaries went forth to the world, publishing the illumination of the word in oral and written form. As the workers went to the fields, they sewed the word, cultivated the growth and through illumination the harvest grows.
The Supreme Authority of the Bible
The Holy Bible is profitable for Doctrine, Reproof, Correction and Instruction in righteousness. It is the written final authority for the believer and the Church. Each verse in the Scriptures has a hierarchy of importance. The first is Doctrinal. It concisely guides into the knowledge of truth by comparing Scripture with Scripture. That truth is always in the context of rightly-divided time and dispensation. The second is Historical. It provides a context in time when events took place or will take place. The third is Inspirational. A spiritual message can be delivered to men today in the present dispensation of faith, that my have its roots in the doctrinal setting of an earlier dispensation. For example, a preacher can proclaim a message of righteousness to Gentiles in this present dispensation of Grace, even though it is taken from Jesus’s preaching to the Hebrews under the dispensation of the Law in the book of Matthew.
Faith in God and the need for righteousness are universal concepts across the Scriptures, but the preacher must qualify to the hearer the differences in salvation under the Old Testament and New testament dispensations and make clear that Christians are not Jews and that the Church has not replaced the Jews. It is from the failure to rightly-divide the Bible and discern the full truth that heresy and confusion arise in today’s Churches. The books of Matthew, Acts and Hebrews are transitional books. That is, they contain truths revealed as God’s dealings with mankind are in flux between the Hebrew people, then out to the Gentiles and the called-out Church, and lastly returning to the Hebrew people again in the last days (see: Romans 11). The greatest percentage of all doctrinal errors in today’s Churches and Christian ‘Cults’ arise from a failure to rightly-divide Matthew, Acts and Hebrews. The main body of doctrine for the called-out Church is found in the books of Romans through Philemon.
The Holy Bible has Authority:
1. Over Human Reason: The imagination and creativity of the carnal human mind cannot be underestimated for resourcefulness in the justification of self. Through the hearing of the word, God’s Spirit probes the conscience, and even into the subconscious of the human mind, shining light into the deep recesses of the heart, revealing hidden darkness and motivations of our very being; why we do the things we do, why we think the way we do, and the errors of our reasoning. The human heart stands naked before the light of God. His light exposes our need and the consuming fire of God’s holy truth cleanses us as we trust His admonishments, bringing us under authority by faith in His holy truth. This guides us to correctly reason within our minds, to reflect on our need and allow the reason and illumination of the Scriptures to bring forth thinking aligned with the truths of Biblical revelation and righteousness of spirit.
2. Over the Church: The Bible proscribes the proper roll of the Church and authoritative guidance for conducting service in the Lord’s work. The Bible establishes the local Church’s mission and direction for correctly fulfilling its commission. The Bible sets the bylaws for conducting local Church business, managing resources and governance of its membership. The necessity for the local Church exists only within the established framework of New Testament doctrine for the express purpose of accomplishing the Lord’s work; to win souls and cultivate righteousness within the community where it is established. It may support and send forth missionaries and ordain individuals to oversee selected tasks within the framework of its commission. The local Church has no Biblical authority for involvement in worldly secular causes or matters of political partisanship. The local Church’s only allegiance should be to the Lord and His service. The local Church is a form of Embassy to this fallen world and its members are individual Ambassadors of Christ to the subjects of world (2 Corinthians 5:20).
3. Over Tradition: The traditional positions and practices of a local Church are not authoritative when they are contrary to the sound doctrine revealed by the Holy Bible and the Spirit of Truth.
4. Over Popes and Preachers: The Bible is the authority of God. No Preacher or Pope has authority over the word of God. Neither in the Church a political authority in the affairs of the State. The history of the Dark Ages of Europe reveals the horrible fallacy of such assumptions.
5. Over Feeling and Experiences: Our feelings and experiences are not authoritative, as they can be deceptive. The Bible, and what it says, is the written authority by which me must judge what is truth.
The Holy Bible has Purpose:
1. It Upholds: The word of God can uphold the individual above the flood of sin that engulfs the world. It encourages and draws us in love and trust upon which our faith is built. It enables us to approach the presence of God’s in confidence.
2. It Orders Steps: It illuminates our path in darkness and leads us in the ways of righteousness.
3. It Produces Joy: The word of the Lord brings joy to a sorrowful heart and refreshes the soul.
4. It Strengthens: It strengthens us when we are weak, enables us to stand when we have little strength and learn that, in our weakness, the strength of God can be found.
5. It Gives Hope: It brings the hope of salvation from sin and rescue from death. In times of trouble, it gives hope of deliverance from temptations and sorrow.
6. It Gives Light: It shines light on the darkness and sin of this world and guides us in paths of righteousness. It educates the heart and the mind in the ways of truth.
7. It Gives Understanding: It illuminates our understanding, giving us wisdom and wise counsel and sure direction.
8. It Shows God’s Will: The words of the Bible accomplish God’s intended will in the world and prosper the things to which they are sent. It accomplishes His intentions, without fail.
9. It Builds Up: It builds the faith of the believer and reinforces the sure foundations upon which we stand by faith.
10. It Produces Fruit: It brings forth fruit towards salvation and works of righteousness, increasing the bounty of the harvest where it is sown in the hearts of men.
11. It Convicts of Sin: It shows the heart its wickedness and commands repentance.
12. It Converts the Soul: It transforms the soul from the spirit of darkness to the spirit of light. It empowers us over the weakness of the flesh.
13. It Cleanses the Conscience: It cleanses the guilty from sin and provides a source of remission and forgiveness.
14. It Consecrates Life: It sanctifies the believing soul and makes our ways clean before the Lord.
15. It Corrects the Wrong: It teaches us to depart from sin and lust and to order our paths in the better way.
16. It Confirms the Right: It affirms that which is right and rewards those that follow the ways that are true and just.
17. It Comforts the Heart: It bounds up the wounded heart and heals it.
The Writing Materials of the Bible
Where the printed word is published in written form, others can read and receive illumination. While various media were employed in ancient times, like inscriptions carved in clay, stone or into metal; or in later times when ink or pigments were used to write on surfaces of papyrus, vellum or paper, today we have other forms of media by which to publish and proclaim God’s word. By voice, it is done over radio and TV channels. It can be transmitted digitally through Internet webpages on home computers and into people’s smartphones and can be visually presented through video and film media instantly and globally. There is no place the word of God cannot be transmitted in today’s world.
The Language of the Bible
The first was in the Hebrew language because it enabled expression of thought in pictorial and metaphorical symbology. The second was Greek which better enabled precision of concepts and processes. In the combined Holy Bible of today, in the language of English, the best qualities of both the primary languages can be translated and harmonized into a single whole within the combined 66 books of the Holy Bible.
Proofs that the Bible is the Word of God
1. Its Amazing Unity: Although the physical writing of the Bible was performed by forty different authors, of varying occupations and stations in life, over a period in excess of 1,500 years and within multiple localities and environment across the Middle East and Europe, there is complete agreement in the harmony and theme of their collective work. Within this work there is an undeniable collaboration in the eternal Spirit, under whose guidance and illumination the authors penned their writings.
2. Its Indestructability: Across the ages, the Scriptures have survived intact, in spite of political persecutions, religious persecution, and Satanic attacks against those that believed and those that preserved, translated and published it. Today, despite Satan’s best efforts to dilute it and bury it in a flood of over 450 English-language ‘translations’, one single translation, made over 400 years ago, is still the world’s best-selling Bible and the recognized standard that the promoters of all other translations must compare themselves to in hopes of gaining any kind of legitimacy of recognition. Today, the word of God is preserved infallible and without error, in the English language, in the King James Version. No other Bible has a track-record of bringing revival and saved souls. The Holy Spirit witnesses to the authority of this text. It is also the most hated Bible on the planet and even more so in many ‘Churches’ of this Laodicean age (Revelation 3:14).
3. Its Historical Accuracy: With each passing year, as new discoveries are uncovered by archaeologists; as artifacts and ancient dwellings of man are probed and unearthed by the shovel; as historians and linguists piece together anthropological data across the Middle East, Europe and Northern Africa, the historical accuracy of the Bible is being verified time and time again, in spite of the continuing skepticism of critics.
4. Its Scientific Accuracy: Although the Bible is not a scientific text-book, the major observations of scientific progress over the past three centuries have found nothing new that was not already spoken of in the Holy Bible. By way of a familiar example: The fact that the Bible already stated that water was present on the Earth in its ancient antiquity (see: Job 38:4-11), was scientifically verified only a couple of decades ago by the discovery of a tiny zircon crystal that analysis verified was formed in liquid water 4.38 billion years ago. This discovery falsified numerous leading theories about the Hadean period of the Earth’s natural history near its theoretical time of formation.
5. Its Prophetic Accuracy: In addition to its 100% track-record of accuracy concerning prophesies about the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago, the prophecies that the Hebrew race of people would return to their ancient homeland happened in 1948. They have returned to the holy city of ancient Jerusalem, as prophesied, and there is a plethora of end-time prophesies in the Holy Bible yet to be fulfilled.
The Holy Bible is a supernatural and living book. Its words echo the eternal Spirit across time and human history, across languages, times and cultures. It is the settled collection of the Holy Scriptures of God, given from the hand of God and preserved by the providence of God (Psalms 12:6-7) for the instruction of man in this present world upon the face of the Earth (Galatians 1:4). It is a book that has historically shaped our humanity, our justice systems, the institutions of marriage and family and personal and community life. Within its pages, it testifies of the Lord Jesus Christ and reveals the unsearchable love of God and presents man’s only true hope of redemption. It is a message of love and a warning given in love.
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by the The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry.
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Gaines R. Johnson, D.D., D.Th.
The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry
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