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The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

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    Nature of the Word

    We have already observed what the word of God is and what it does as it comes in contact with human hearts and lives, but in this section let us notice more in detail something of its eternal nature.BSPC 70.1

    Emphasis will also be placed on something to which reference has already been made, namely, that the word of God is the life giving word. It is all alive; it is full of life; in fact, it is life. When God speaks, something takes place. When He created, it was by His word. The psalmist reminds us that “he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:9. As soon as His word went forth from His lips, the thing mentioned in His word came into being. The thing called for was in the word, and when that word was uttered, the thing which hitherto did not exist, came into being at the uttering of the divine word. That word is still further called “the word of power.” (Hebrews 1:1) God spoke, and immediately that which He uttered was accomplished. This was seen during the creative week over and over again. “And God said, Let there be light.” That was the divine mandate. And what happened? Immediately the light came into being, for the record says, “And there was light.” The same thing was true of every phase of creation, “God said,” and Lo! before the gaze of the angelic hosts and the inhabitants of unfallen worlds there unfolded a marvelous sight. The stately trees, the sheep and cattle, the fish of the sea, the birds of the air—all came into being at the express word of Jehovah. What a wonderful experience this must have been! Think of the command in Genesis 1:11, where God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass.” Remember that up to this time there was no grass; there were no bushes, no fragrant flowers, no stately trees beautifying the earth, but God spoke. The words echoed around the earth, and before the wondering gaze of millions of angel beings and representatives from other worlds there unrolled a beautiful carpet of green. They saw the earth dotted with exquisite flowers, with bushes, with fruit; and other trees raised their stately forms all over the earth. It seemed to the vast creation, as expressed by the prophet Isaiah, that “the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12), and as related by the sweet singer of Israel, “All the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord” (Psalm 96:12, 13).BSPC 70.2

    It might be well to list a few features of this life-giving word of the eternal God. In this listing, reference will be made to various texts of Scripture, with short quotations from those selected.BSPC 71.1

    1. It Is a Creative Word

    “We understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” Hebrews 11:1BSPC 71.2

    “By the word of God the heavens were of old.” 2 Peter 3:5.BSPC 71.3

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6.BSPC 71.4

    “He spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” Verse 9.BSPC 71.5

    “In the beginning was the Word.... All things were made by him.” John 1:1-3.BSPC 71.6

    2. It Is a Sustaining Word

    “Upholding all things by the word of his power.” Hebrews 11:3.BSPC 71.7

    “And by him [the Word] all things consist.” Colossians 1:17.BSPC 71.8

    “That same word keeps heaven and earth, as they are now.” 2 Peter 3:7, Knox’s translation.BSPC 71.9

    3. It Is a Miracle-working Word

    “Jesus ... said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into your house.” Mark 2:5, 11.BSPC 71.10

    “His word was with power.... And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him....BSPC 71.11

    “And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Luke 4:32-36.BSPC 71.12

    4. It Is a Delivering Word

    “The Lord thy God [word] is he which goes over before thee.” Deuteronomy 9:3.BSPC 71.13

    “Then will the Lord [word] drive out all these nations from before you.” Deuteronomy 11:23.BSPC 71.14

    “The Lord thy God [word] is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 20:1.BSPC 71.15

    “He sent his word.... and delivered them from their destruction.” Psalm 107:20.BSPC 71.16

    5. It Is a Healing Word

    “But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Matthew 8:8.BSPC 71.17

    “As soon as he [Jesus] had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed.” Mark 1:42.BSPC 71.18

    “He sent his word, and healed them.” Psalm 107:20.BSPC 72.1

    “I am the Lord [word] that heals thee.” Exodus 15:26.BSPC 72.2

    6. It Is a Rest-giving Word

    “And he arose and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.... And there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39.BSPC 72.3

    “He will speak peace unto his people.” Psalm 85:8.BSPC 72.4

    “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” John 14:27.BSPC 72.5

    “By returning and resting shall you be saved, in keeping quiet and trusting shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15, Rotherham’s translation.BSPC 72.6

    7. It Is a Saving Word

    “To you is the word of this salvation sent.” Acts 13:26.BSPC 72.7

    “Being born again ... by the word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23.BSPC 72.8

    “The engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21.BSPC 72.9

    “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.BSPC 72.10

    “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.BSPC 72.11

    And let it ever be remembered that “this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:25. As the apostle Paul declared at Corinth, “To you is the word of this salvation sent.” Acts 13:26. This is the word of power; this is the regenerating word of our God. This word, when received into the heart, brings new life from above, transforms the soul, imparts divine power to overcome sin and to keep us from sinning against God. This is the word spoken of by the prophet Isaiah centuries ago:BSPC 72.12

    “So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11.BSPC 72.13

    The Lord God of heaven has sent forth His word in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord; it has come to us in the gospel of His Son. We have the story of it in the Old and the New Testament. It has come to you in these sacred pages. Have you received it? Have you made this word your own? Is it effectually working in your heart?BSPC 72.14

    “The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature, and re-creates the soul in the image of God.”—Education, 126.BSPC 72.15

    “In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.BSPC 73.1

    The power of the Creator, as manifested in bringing the world into being and sustaining it in its orderly path around the sun, is available to us today in the word of God. This is the power that heals the soul as well as the body. It brings deliverance; it makes a way when, humanly speaking, there is no way. This power is ours today as we surrender our hearts to God.BSPC 73.2

    “The same power that Christ exercised when He walked visibly among men is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken to all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ....BSPC 73.3

    “So with all the promises of God’s word. In them He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His voice. It is in these promises that Christ communicates to us His grace and power.”—The Ministry of Healing, 122.BSPC 73.4

    In the original 1578 edition of the Geneva Bible will be found the following lines on the first page:BSPC 73.5

    “Here is the spring where waters flow
    To quench our heat of sin;
    Here is the tree where truth does grow,
    To lead our lives therein.
    Here is the judge that stints the strife
    When men’s devices fail;
    Here is the bread that feeds the life,
    That death cannot assail.”

    Let us remember in our witness for God, that such witness, whether spoken publicly or privately, is, as Bernard Manning remarked, “a manifestation of the Incarnate Word, from the Written Word, by the spoken word.”BSPC 73.6

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