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    December 31, 1896

    “Living by the Word” The Present Truth 12, 53, pp. 837, 838.

    ATJ

    “MAN shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Even physically, man cannot live on what has no life in it. Dead air is death to him who breathes it. Dead water or dead food likewise. Whatever we take in the way of food or drink must have in it the element of life, or else we cannot live on it. So also in order that men may live by the word of God, in the nature of things that word has in it the element of life. Therefore this word is called “the word of life.”PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.1

    It being the word of God, and being imbued with life, the life that is in it is necessarily the life of God; and this is eternal life. Therefore it is truly said that the words of the Lord are “the words of eternal life.” Whenever the word of God comes to any man, at that very time and in that word, eternal life comes to that man. And when the man refuses to receive the word, he is rejecting eternal life. Jesus Himself has said it: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.” He “is passed from death unto life.”PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.2

    Jesus used the example of our living by bread as an illustration of our living by the word of God. This thing was not chosen at random. In all the words of the Lord, whatever was brought into them was definitely to teach an all-important lesson. Physically, we do live by bread—using the term “bread” as embracing all proper victuals. But in order that we shall live by bread, it is essential that it be inside of us. And in order to live by the word of God, it is just as essential that it shall be inside of us.PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.3

    No one supposes that he could live by buying the very best of bread and looking at it occasionally, or by analysing it, and endeavoring to solve the mysteries of its composition and how it could sustain life. Yet thousands of people really seem to suppose that they can live by the word of God that way. Many people buy a Bible of eight or ten times the proper size, with a lot of notes of darkening counsels in it, lay it on the center-table, and pride themselves that they “believe the Bible;” and they really seem to think that by this in some mysterious way they will live. But it would be just as sensible and just as beneficial for them to buy a beautifully decorated loaf of several times the usual size, and lay it on the center-table, but not eat any, and then proclaim that they “believe in good living.”PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.4

    Men do not expect to live by bread in any such way as that: and they cannot live by the word of God in any such way. In order to live by bread, everybody knows it must be taken into the mouth, and be properly masticated and prepared for the digestive process, and then by swallowing be committed to the digestive process, that the life that is in it may be conveyed to all parts of the system. So with the word of God; it must be received as it is in truth the word of God; it must be given a place in the heart as the word of life; then it will be found to be indeed the word of life.PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.5

    In fact, in the Bible, this very idea of living b bread by eating it, is carried over and applied to the word of God. Look at Ezekiel 2:8 to 3:4, 10: “But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them.” “Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.”PTUK December 31, 1896, page 837.6

    Before the prophet could speak the word of God to others, he must find it to be the word of God to himself. Before he could convey it as the word of life to others, he must know it as the word of life to himself. And in order that this should be so to him, he was commanded to eat it, swallow it, and fill himself to the innermost parts with it. He was to hear it and receive it in the heart. And this instruction is to every one who would live by the life of God. Every one who has taken upon him the name of Christ, is directed to “hold forth the word of life;” but it must be life to him in the innermost parts before he can hold it forth as the word of life to others. A. T. JONES.PTUK December 31, 1896, page 838.1

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