IN the latter part of our last study, we were drawing the parallel between Christ, the word, and the Scriptures, the word. We found that Christ was life, and the word was a word of life, and the words that he spoke were spirit and life. We found that he was the truth, and so the word was truth; that he was full of grace, and that so the word was a word of grace; that he was faithful, and so the word was a faithful word, and that faith cometh by the word. At the close of the study we were considering this thought, – the faithful word, – and we will proceed with that idea, especially touching the question of faithfulness. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.5}


Let us learn first in what sense the Scripture uses the word faithful by reading several scriptures in which “the word” is applied to different subjects. 1Cor.1:9: “God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 2Tim.2:1,2: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; and the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” In Titus 1:9 we have the word referred to as “the faithful word:” “Hold fast the faithful word.” In Matt.24:45, we find the word again: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant.” So we have a faithful God, faithful men, the faithful word, a faithful servant. What is the meaning of the word “faithful” as applied in these passages? It seems to me that the idea applicable to all of them would be, doing that which is expected to be done, that which belongs to the person or thing to do. Faithful men do not do what a faithful God does, but faithful men do what is expected of men in the place which they occupy. A faithful God does what belongs to a God to do; so that same idea applies to the word as a faithful word; in that it, itself, does that which belongs to it to do. But in order that this be true of the word, it is absolutely necessary that we regard it as the word of God and receive it as the word of God. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.6}


Let us read the Scripture in 1Thess.2:13:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.7}

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God, which worketh effectually also in you that believe. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.8}


They received it, not as the word of men, but as the word of God. When the word of God is received as the word of men, it becomes thus in its power, in its efficiency, – simply the word of men. Receiving it as the word of God is having genuine faith in that word. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.9}


The same thought is brought out with reference to Christ in John 1:11,12: “He came to his own, but his own received him not.” They did not receive him as the Messiah. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on his name.” Those who received him as the Messiah were those who believed on his name, and to them he gave power to become sons of God. The word, when it is received as the word of God, is a word of power, and it works effectually in those that believe, in those that receive it as the word of God. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.10}


There is an illustration in the Scriptures which brings out very clearly the difference between receiving the word as the word of man and as the word of God. It is found in the eighth chapter of Matthew, verses 5-10:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.11}


And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 285.12}


When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.1}


Now observe these circumstances: There are three parties. Here is the centurion under authority; that authority, of course, was the Roman government. We will call that Caesar. Here is the centurion under Caesar, and here is the soldier under the centurion. Now the centurion speaks to his soldier, and he says, “Go;” when the soldier hears the centurion say “go,” he receives that as the word of Caesar; and when he goes, he goes because Caesar in the person of the centurion has told him to go, and he is not receiving that word as the word of a man, but as the word of a ruler, Caesar. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.2}


Now you take it on the other side: Here is the soldier, Titus, before he enlisted, and here is the centurion, Alexander, before he became a centurion; and here is Julius before he becomes Caesar. Now we have them. Before Alexander becomes a centurion, he might say to Titus before he becomes a soldier, “Go,” and Titus might say, “Who are you, Alexander, that you tell me to go?” Then it is simply the man Alexander speaking to the man Titus, and there is no authority behind it; but Titus becomes a soldier, and Alexander becomes a centurion, and Julius becomes a Caesar. Now it is different; now it is the centurion, not Alexander, speaking to the soldier, not to Titus; and back of it all is the authority of Caesar, not of Julius. Now when the soldier hears the word of the centurion, he does not receive it as the word of Alexander, but as the word of the centurion, having in it the authority of Caesar; and so when the centurion, representing Caesar, says, “Go,” that is the Roman government saying, “Go;” and the soldier hears the voice of the Roman government speaking to him, and he goes.   {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.3}


Now the centurion seemed to see those ideas in the word of Christ; that it was not Jesus of Nazareth only who spoke the word, but it was God in Jesus of Nazareth; and when the word was spoken, he understood that that was the word of God, not the word of a man, Jesus; and that Jesus Christ, being God in the flesh, spoke as from God; and that all the authority of the heavenly government, all the authority of God, was in that word when he spoke it; and therefore he had confidence that that word simply spoken would accomplish the thing. And when he had made that statement, Jesus, who saw all that in it, said, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” That was entire dependence upon the word itself, as the word of God, to accomplish what he would desire to have accomplished, and that the word itself would do it, and that it was not necessary for Jesus of Nazareth in the flesh to be there at all.   {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.4}


Now when we receive the word as the word of God, and not as the word of men, with entire confidence that that word itself is sufficient; that we need no outward demonstration, no outward, visible presence; that the word itself is living, is powerful, and will accomplish that to which it is sent; that is faith in God; that is taking God at his word, and that is taking his word as the word of God. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.5}


I like to think of the word of God as an entity in itself. It is spoken of as living: “The word of God is living and powerful,” and the Scripture speaks of sending the word of God. The scripture that is especially suggested by this record in Matthew is Psalms 107:17-20:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.6}


Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat: and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.7}


How does he do it? – “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” He sent his word to accomplish that. This thought is also suggested in Isa.55:8-11:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.8}


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.9}


So that is the measure of difference, but that measure is an infinite measure; therefore there is an infinite difference between the word of God and the word of man. There is the same difference between the words of God and the words of man as there is between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of men. It therefore makes an infinite difference whether we receive it as the word of God or as the word of men. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.10}


For as the rain [that is something real] cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goeth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.11}


And when he sends his word to heal some one, whether it be of a physical or a spiritual trouble, it is all the same. When he sends his word it will heal, it will not return void, it will accomplish the thing whereto it is sent. But he has sent us his word for this very purpose. We read in Acts 13:26; “Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.12}


It is a word of salvation, and it is sent to those that fear God, and he says it will prosper in the thing whereto he sent it. So we read in 2Tim.3:15; “And that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Now when he sends the snow and the rain, it makes the earth bring forth and bud. So, “Thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 286.13}


So in the epistle of James, first chapter, twenty-first verse: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” The point is this, that everything depends upon the word of God. All our knowledge that there is such a thing as the plan of salvation is in the word of God; all our knowledge of the way to relate ourselves to it, is in the word of God; and it is not simply that the word of God is that which contains the instruction concerning salvation, but the word of God is itself salvation – itself. It is not that we can there learn about salvation and then go somewhere else and find it, but it, itself, is a word of salvation. “To you is this word of salvation sent.”   {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.1}


In Luke, 2:25-30, we have a record of the event when Christ was presented in the temple according to the law:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.2}


And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.3}


“Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” That was Jesus Christ in the flesh. But he saw the salvation of God, but he was the word of God. And just as when the eye of Simeon rested upon him, he saw the salvation of God, just so, when our eyes rest upon the Scriptures, there we may see the salvation of God. It, itself, is salvation sent unto us. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.4}


Now further: This voice that is in the word is what distinguishes this word when used in this way from the same form of speech used by man. It is because God has put himself into the words, and put his own voice into the words. That makes it the living and powerful word of God; and because that Spirit is a spirit of might, this word becomes a word of might, and the voice is a mighty voice, because this word is given by the Spirit and the Spirit dwells in the word. Let us notice that thought in 1Peter 1:10,11:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.5}


Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.6}


But in 2Peter 1:21 we read: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” But that Holy Ghost that moved these holy men to speak, it says in the first epistle, was the Spirit of Christ. As they were moved by the Holy Spirit in all that they testified and spoke; and that Spirit, I may add, is the actual representation of Jesus Christ. Notice in Romans 8:9,10:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.7}


But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.8}


Note those three expressions, – the “Spirit of God,” the “Spirit of Christ,” and “Christ.” “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,” – same thing, – “he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” That is, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and Christ, are used right there together synonymously. That is to say, it was Christ by his Spirit that gave the word. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.9}


So it is spoken of in Col.3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” In the margin of the Revised Version it says, “Some ancient authorities render it ‘of the Lord,’ others read ‘of God.'” Well, it is all the same. You see it is the word of Christ, of the Spirit of Christ, and the word of God. There is no distinction; but when we come to the manner in which the word was given, it was given by Christ, and by the Spirit of Christ through the prophets, and so may properly be called the word of Christ. And notice this idea: First, Christ by the Spirit gave the word through the prophets. Then he came in the flesh, and became that same word in the flesh. Or putting it another way, What he spoke back there he became here. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.10}


Do you see that idea? What he said back there by his Spirit through the prophets, he, who was made flesh and dwelt among us, was. That is the gospel that was preached back there; and in type and in symbol it became personality in Christ Jesus, and what the word described and the word called for, back there, he actually was in the flesh, and so you see again he was very properly the word of God. He was the Word in the flesh. All that the word calls for, all that the word describes, all that the word exhorts us to be, all that the word provides power that we may be, he was; and then we want to add the clause that we were all that in him, and this is the word of God. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 287.11}


Now let me say further, that, as then, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, so now God is carrying forward that same work, that the word may be flesh in us. When that is accomplished, the Lord will come; just as soon as the word is made flesh in us, the Lord will come. You see, that word must be transformed into flesh again, and when that word says that we are to be actually in the flesh, just as Jesus Christ was, and when that word is made flesh again, the Lord will come, and then that word will endure forever, because it will put the stamp of immortality upon every one. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.1}


But of this Spirit by which the word was given, we learn in Isa.11:2: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” Now these are the characteristics of that spirit, – wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord. Then the word in which the spirit dwells will be the same thing; it will be a word of wisdom, and a word of knowledge; it will be a word of might, a powerful word. The word itself, given by that spirit, and in which that spirit dwells, will have the same characteristics as that spirit had; but that spirit rested upon Christ, and so there appeared in him the very characteristics spoken of here. So when the word is received as the word of God, and becomes personality in the flesh, those same characteristics will appear again. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.2}


Notice how that is brought out in describing the characteristics of the Spirit in 1Cor.12:8 and onward: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom [of course it will be a word of wisdom, when given by the spirit of wisdom]; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit [it is a spirit of knowledge]; to another faith by the same Spirit,” and you observe in 2Cor.4:13 that this spirit is a spirit of faith: “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” Then in 1Cor.12:9: “To another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;” but that spirit was in the word, and when he sent his word, and healed them, that same spirit worked. So when the gifts of the Spirit are poured out (and it will be through the word that all this comes), these same characteristics of the Spirit that are spoken of in the twelfth chapter will appear in the church, as the word is made flesh, and dwells among us. As the word becomes personality, those gifts will certainly appear in the church. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.3}


Now this word was given by the Spirit, and in it dwells the Spirit. See that in two or three scriptures. First in John’s gospel, third chapter, fifth verse, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” But in James 1:18 we read: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” And in 1Peter 1:23 it says: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” It is plain, therefore, that the Spirit of God dwells in the word of God; and so when one is born of the word, he is indeed born of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit begets in your heart a new being in the image of God; but it is all by the word, through the word, wholly the word. Outside of the word we know nothing, we can receive nothing; and this word being a word of faith, a faithful word, and faith coming by the word, it follows at once that it is impossible to have any faith, in the Scripture sense, in anything which the word itself does not say. We may desire a thing ever so much, we may long for it with all our hearts, and see no reason why we should not have it; but unless the word says so, we cannot have any faith that it will be so. But what the word says, receive that word as itself the faithful word, which will itself accomplish the thing spoken. This is faith; but we must have the word of God upon which to rest it; it must always be to us anything the Lord says; and whatever the Scripture says, is what the Lord says. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.4}


Have you ever noticed how in the New Testament it will say, “the Scripture saith,” and you look to the place from which it quotes it, and it will say “God says?” Notice that first in Rom.9:17: “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up,” etc. But now you go to the record in Ex.9:16: This is the direct word of the Lord speaking to Moses, and telling him what to say to Pharaoh. The thirteenth verse says: “And the Lord said unto Moses” – and then he gave a message to Pharaoh, and the message says, sixteenth verse: “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” In quoting it in the New Testament under the inspiration of that Spirit, the apostle says, “The Scripture saith.” So that that is God speaking in his word. It is the voice of God in his word. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.5}


This same idea is brought out in Gal.3:8: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” But you remember the record in the twelfth chapter of Genesis; the Lord called Abraham out of his tent, and said: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” and it was a direct conversation between God and Abraham; but in Galatians it says, “The Scripture foreseeing,” etc. The Scripture says it; that is, God, Christ, the Scriptures are used as meaning the same, because it is the word of God, the word of Christ, given by the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit dwells in the word, and makes that word what it is, – the living word of God, and the voice in the word is the voice of that spirit, which is a spirit of might. And so the Scripture says, “He sent forth his voice, a mighty voice.” It is the voice of the Spirit; it does not follow necessarily that that voice coming that way makes a mighty noise. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 288.6}


Read that in 1Kings 19:9 and onward:-


And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with a sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went, out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.2}


It was a still small voice, but it was the voice of that mighty Spirit, and therefore it was a mighty voice, and it is because it is the voice of the Spirit and because it is the Spirit in the word, that it becomes a personality, a living thing. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.3}


When God created man, the record says (Gen.2:7): “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” It was the breathing into him of the breath of life that made man a living soul. The same idea with reference to the Scriptures is brought out in 2Tim.3:16: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” or, as Dr. Young translates it, “is God-breathed.” Now as God breathed into man the breath of life, and so he became a living soul, so God breathed into human speech, and it became a living word; and the Spirit of God put into it the breath of life, and the word of God is a living thing, a living power. The Spirit of God was breathed into it just as Christ met his disciples, and breathed on them, and said; “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” And so the Spirit dwells in the word, and it is the same creative spirit that was manifested at the beginning. We read in the very first of the record:- {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.4}


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.5}


That was that creative spirit; but that same creative spirit dwells in God’s word, and it becomes a creative power. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.6}


I dwell with emphasis and at considerable length upon this idea from one stand-point and another, because it is of utmost importance that we should realize it for our own experience. When we come to the word of God, it should be received as the living word of God, with creative power dwelling in the word, – a living thing that is able, itself, to make one wise unto salvation. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.7}


Notice the difference between depending upon the word and something outside of the word. Look at it this way: Here is a man who gives another a promise to pay him $10,000, and there he has the promise, and he reads it over. It is in due form, all properly executed. He lays it away; it is due in one year; at the end of one year that promise is to be fulfilled. Which will he watch the more closely during the year, that promise, or the prosperity of the man, and the probability of his being able to meet the promise? Why, if that man in the meantime should fail in business, what does this promise amount to? That piece of paper cannot pay him the money; it is simply an evidence that the man has said that he would do it. But in the meantime the man loses the ability to do it; but he had promised to do it, and so the other man might say, though he had failed, “I still have the promise all right;” but that promise of itself cannot pay the bill. But when God gives a promise, the word itself will do what it has promised; for it, itself, is living and powerful, and it does what it talks about. So when we cling to the word of God, we know it is sure, and it cannot fail. He upholds all things by the word of his power; we are born by the word, we live by the word; it is all by the word of God, and it is by eating and drinking the word that we live. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.8}


Read that thought in John 6:53 and onward:-


Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 289.10}


Now he explains the thought himself. They murmured about it and said, “It is a hard saying.” Sixty-third verse: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Well, many of them went back and followed him no more. “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (Revised Version, margin.) So Christ said, as recorded in the twelfth chapter of John, fiftieth verse: “And I know that this commandment is life everlasting.” And “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 290.1}


Then when we receive the words as the word of God, when we drink in the words, we receive life, God’s life. Then no Christian can possibly live without the word, and the weakness among Christians is due to the fact of not eating and drinking the word. When we receive the word of God in this way, it becomes a part of our being; and in receiving the word, we receive Christ, and this is life, which is “Christ in you the hope of glory.” {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 290.2}


Does not the lesson of the hour show that everything depends upon the word? The word should be dwelt upon, received, live in the flesh, in us again. {February 22, 1895 N/A, GCB 290.3}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *