Is The Bible Really The Word of God?

Is The Bible Really The Word of God?

“1 In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God.

2 The Bible was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through the Bible, and without the Bible nothing was made that was made.

4 In the Bible was life, and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light, the Bible, shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Bible, that all through him might believe.

8 He was not that Bible, but was sent to bear witness of that Bible.

9 That was the true Bible which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 The Bible was in the world, and the world was made through the Bible, and the world did not know the Bible.

11 The Bible came to the Bible’s own, and the Bible’s own did not receive the Bible.

12 But as many as received the Bible, to them the Bible gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in the Bible’s name:

13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Bible became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld the Bible’s glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of the Bible and cried out, saying, “This was the Bible of whom I said, ‘the Bible who comes after me is preferred before me, for the Bible was before me.’”

16 And of the Bible’s fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through the Bible.

18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten book, who is in the bosom of the Father, the Bible has declared Him.”

John 1:1-18 if you believe the Bible is The Word of God.

Is The Bible Really The Word of God?

No.

The Bible is NOT the Word of God.

Jesus is the Word of God.

The Bible is a book.

It’s not any old book though

The Bible is a record of what God has said, what God has done and what God will do.

It is to be used by Christians for teaching, instruction, guidance, and a whole host of other things.

The Bible is NOT “just a book”, it is God breathed and through the Holy Spirit it can become a living and active word in your life.

God can speak powerfully through the Bible and often uses the Bible to teach us and speak to us more than any other method!

However it’s important that we know that without a relationship with the Holy Spirit it will be “just a book” to people.

Without the Spirit at best it’s a good book about some great morals. At worst it’s extremely confusing, will put most off God and lets face it can be used to condone some terrible things!

To reiterate, the Bible is NOT the Word of God. That title is reserved for Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah.

The Bible could be called the “word of God” if we must (emphasis on the lower case “w”). However that just seems confusing so let’s just call it the Bible or the scriptures and let’s leave Jesus to be the Word of God in our lives.

We need to put the Bible in it’s rightful place.

It is an essential tool that God has given us and our authoritative source for confirming what we feel He is saying in our lives.

But it is not to be treated with a reverent fear or to be worshiped.

If you spill coffee on your Bible, you should get through the day without getting hit by a lightening bolt.

If God talks to you and it wasn’t through the Bible that’s great! He managed to do it in the early church no problem!

I love the Bible – but let’s not confuse it with God.

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72 Comments

  1. Man! Do you know how long this has been nagging me?!? For so long i have had this idea in my head that yes, God speaks through thw Bible, and yes, scripture is God breathed and true, but it juat didnt make sense when you replace “bible” with “word of god” as u so clearly demonstrated. What a release… I think the misperception developed from people’s need to have a set of rules to live by, and if the Bible could be the ‘word of God’ then it could be that set of rules. Also: as you mentioned in your podcast on faith, it’s this misperception that leads to ‘fervent’ bible reading to get more faith. Wow tx man, i needed to hear that in so many words so that i could stop feeling like a heretic for having the thoughts;-)

    • Hi Corbus – glad it spoke to you and confirmed some of the stuff you were processing with God.

      I totally agree – we love rules and if we can replace relationship with God to a simple set of rules we are sorely tempted.

      That’s what the israelites did in Exodus – God said to them “I want personal relationship with you” and they replied “Moses, go back up the mountain and tell God we’d rather He only spoke to you about what the rules are and we’ll do those”

      That’s what they got! I don’t want to fall into the same trap again.

      I think of Jesus talking to the Pharisees and how He said to them… “You know your Bibles inside and out but you have completely missed the person that the Bible is about”… God help us not fall into that trap!

      Bible knowledge is good but it can often replace our desire to know God personally… that is not good!!!

      • Phil, I’m just curious because I’ve been searching this out. What is your scripture reference for the Israelites asking God for the law?

          • That video was amazing! So much truth! I love all of that! I still just can’t find that verse! I believed that Israel asked for the law all this year until someone challenged me on it so I went back to the Scripture and I can’t find it anywhere!

    • Just to be clear, replacing the word “Bible” with “Word of God” does not actually prove that the Bible is not the word of God. Try replacing every utterance of the phrase “Word of God” with “Jesus”, especially in John 17:17. It doesn’t work. Phil, I think you are drawing a false dichotomy here between Jesus and Scripture. Jesus own life demonstrated that he believed the Scriptures to be Gods Word. This does not diminish Jesus as the Word himself.

      • Thanks for sharing Chris – I’ve said throughout the comments here I’m not trying to diminish the Bible. It’s important that we realise however that the Bible is not there to replace relationship. That’s all I’m trying to say.

        It amazes me how many people are so focused on the Bible that they miss Jesus. It happened to the Pharisee’s with Jesus. I wouldn’t be surprised if people get to Heaven and realise that their picture of God from the Bible (their interpretation at least) doesn’t look anything like the God they come face to face with… a very extreme example might be something like the Westboro Baptist Church!

        We must remember that in Heaven we aren’t going to have a Bible – yes it’s important… but it doesn’t replace relationship! When we put it above it’s station it always starts to replace relationship. I travel to 200-250 churches a year and see again and again. The churches that have an unhealthy focus on the Bible always suffer from a lack of relationship with God. Those who focus on relationship will always use the Bible as a part of that. But the Bible serves the relationship… it doesn’t replace it.

        As for your scripture reference I would say that’s a great verse to point to the Word being Jesus.

        I’ve talked in depth about the different Greek words in the Bible for “word” – Logos (Jesus – the person of the Word), Rhema (the living spoken word of God), and in some poor translations Graphe (scriptures) is translated as word.

        In John 17:17 Jesus prays “Sanctify them in your truth. Your word (logos) is truth”

        Well – we are sanctified in the truth (Heb 10:8-10). Your word (Jesus – John 1:1-18) is the truth. (Jesus – John 14:6)

        I personally think there is ZERO precedent to translate that as teh Bible. In fact I would say it is downright heresy to do so.

        To be sanctified (made holy – set apart) by the Bible absolutely refutes the work of Jesus on the cross. It is only by His grace and gift of the cross that we have been made holy. To say a Bible can take that place… well… that’s kind of making the point of my article for me.

        • Hey Phil,

          While I share your concern that many times people replace relationship with mere Bible knowledge, the opposite danger is that many others think they have a relationship with Christ but they have strayed from the truth (see 2 John 9-10). Frankly, I am concerned that you are going “too far” (2 John 9) by suggesting that the Bible (or Scriptures) are not God’s Word. That is simply out of step with Evangelical teaching. More importantly, Jesus himself clearly believed the Scriptures to be absolutely authoritative for his life, submitting to them as God’s Word.

          As far as John 17:17 goes, we clearly have a different understanding of sanctification. Jesus prayer here is that his future church would be sanctified by his Word. Though we are justified by Christs work on the cross and in one sense have been sanctified by his blood, sanctification is nonetheless also a process that begins once we are saved wherein the Holy Spirit sanctifies us continually through His Word and helps us grow in holiness. (By the way, throughout Scripture, the word of God represents the very presence and authority of God himself 1Samuel 3:21, whether his word comes through a vision or is written)

          I agree that there is no replacement for relationship with Jesus. Amen! But if we stray from truth, there is no relationship with Jesus either.

          Praying for you and wishing Gods best for you.

          Blessings

          • No worries at all Chris – the site it to provoke people to think for themselves, not to indoctrinate people into agreeing with me – I don’t mind disagreement :)

            I personally can’t subscribe to a doctrine of growth in holiness. Just looking at the meaning of holiness or holy it is an either or proposition. You can either be entirely holy or you are unholy by very definition.

            If you don’t accept you are completely holy (sanctified) in Christ then you are by nature unholy.

            I’m not wanting to start a debate but I have written about that extensively here on this blog and have some podcasts about the topic too. You are welcome to check them out if you want :)

            Thanks for your comments.

  2. Phil,

    You have articulated the journey I have been on over the past 3 years. I felt like the scriptures were elevated to God status. I got to a point where I had experiences close to panic attacks reading it. Father is good though and has been deconstructing this in me and now it is in the right place I get so much life from it!

    Thanks for articulating this so well, 3 years distilled into a blog post, thanks!

    Blessings sir!
    Gary

    • Love you Gary – I had a good laugh writing out the John 1 paraphrase.

      I used to attend a church where we gathered around Father, Son and Holy Bible (not sure they’d say that out loud ;) ) But it’s a very real problem that I went through and I know many others need to go through!

      Sorry I haven’t replied to your email about Skype – will do that today! Things have been very busy with Sarah’s family in town for a few weeks.

  3. I read an article from someone(gotta see if I can find that link again). His opinion was the Bible was not the Word of God but Testified To the Word of God. It was a pretty good short article

  4. I believe the emphasis on the Bible as being the “Word of god” has done tremendous harm to the desire God has for us to be in a relationship with Him. It may be splitting hairs, but I still struggle with the use of the term “God breathed,” in reference to the Bible. As I understand it, the word used for “God breathed” in the Greek text, quite literally means “inspired by.” To me, God breathed means a very different thing than inspired by, and leads people to a belief about the Bible that the Bible makes no claim of being. The second observation is really more of a question. When Paul used the term “God breathed,” or “inspired by” regarding the scriptures, clearly, he was not speaking about the Bible, as we know it, as it did not exist at the time. Despite that, we have embraced the entire Bible as scripture. My question is; in God’s eyes, what is “scripture?”

    Thanks Phil!

    • Great points Kevin – I think Paul would have been shocked at the time to know the letter He wrote to Timothy talking about scripture would be considered scripture.

      When the Bible talks about scripture it talks of the Torah and even then it does so sparingly.

  5. I find it ironic that 2 Timothy 3:16 says “… scripture is profitable for…” We’ve changed it to “…scripture is the only source for…” I like how Philip J. Lee puts it: “The validity of the Church’s message cannot be based on an infallible Pope or an infallible Bible, but rather on the presence of the Living Christ in midst of his people.”

    • That’s a great quote Jordan – I love the scriptures, but they are not the source of life… they are an instrument by which the source of life speaks to me.

  6. While it is undeniable that the Bible is not Jesus Christ (the capital W word), you are sailing awfully close to the wind when you begin to reduce its authority for practice and doctrine. There are subjective groups that substitute a modern “word from the Holy Spirit” for something clearly taught in Scripture…we have a newer word. We are told in Scripture to “test the spirits”, and I think the Scriptures are the frame of reference for that testing. I know (second hand) of a group that crashed because the leader got a word from the Holy Spirit that he was to leave his wife and shack up with the church secretary. Perhaps that wasn’t the right kind of spirit (small s).

    • I certainly wouldn’t want to be doing that Tom and I personally don’t know many people that would do that although I’m sure it happens.

      To me the Bible is true and God does not violate the scriptures… although He frequently violates what we consider the scriptures to mean.

      We must however put the cart before the horse. That is my point in all this. If the scriptures are the sole way we communicate and hear from God we are in trouble. Because it is only through God the scriptures can speak into our lives and bring life.

      The word brings death, it is the Spirit that brings life.

      I’ve seen far to many people replace their interaction with God for Bible reading… that to me is a MUCH bigger issue in the church today than people saying they heard God say something contrary to the scriptures.

    • Tom, I suspect that this leader to which you refer initially went astray, not in how he treated scripture, but in how he treated the Christ revealed in scripture.

  7. Totally agree that scripture is not the Word of God that is spoken of in John chapter 1, but its certainly more than just another book. So although it is not the word of God, I would still say that it is the word of God!

    In the new testament, there are two different Greek words (logos and rhema) translated “word” in the KJV. Scriptures are clear that Christ is the Logos Word, but I say Bible is the rhema word of God. What’s the difference? Rhema is what a person verbally speaks or writes, while the logos is what’s actually being communicated. For example, when Christ speaks a parable, everyone is hearing his rhema. But those that understand the parable have the logos.

    The bible is the rhema word of God because it captures every physical word that was actually inspired by Him. As of such, it is a very special book. That distinction places it above all other book (in my estimation), but it is not to be compared to the Logos, whiich is Christ Himself! Said another way, God’s rhema is a pointer to His Logos!

    When one reads scripture from this point of view, certain verses will jump off the page! Acts chapter 10 is a beautiful example…

    Preaching to Cornelius’ Household (Acts 10:34-44)

    34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they[e] killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

    The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

    44 While Peter was still speaking these (rhema) words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the (logos) word.

    At first glance it appears that everyone in he house of Cornelius received the Holy Ghost, but actually only those that understood and embraced the true underlying concept or meaning of what Peter was expressing got saved! It is the Logos that heals, but we are to meditate on the rhema until it is converted into Christ. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (rhema) word of God.

    • Hi Karl.

      Unfortunately I can’t agree with what you’ve written here.

      While it is true that there are two words in the NT for “word”, logos and rhema. Your definition doesn’t really stand.

      Logos refers to the person of Christ which we are both on the same page about.

      But Rhema is not the Bible.

      It is the living word of God. Not the Bible.

      I appologise for the length but this really hammers it home… here is the Thayer’s definition of the word Rhema…

      1. properly, that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word (cf. ἔπος, also λόγος, I. 1); i. e.

      a. any sound produced by the voice and having a definite meaning: Matthew 27:14; ῤῆμα γλώσσης, Sir. 4:24; φωνή ῤημάτων, a sound of words, Hebrews 12:19; ῤήματα ἄρρητα (unspeakable words), 2 Corinthians 12:4.

      b. Plural, τά ῤήματα, speech, discourse (because it consists of words either few or many (cf. Philo, leg. alleg. 3, 61 τό δέ ῤῆμα μέρος λόγου)): Luke 7:1; Acts 2:14; words, sayings, John 8:20; John 10:21; Acts (); ; τῶν ῤημάτων τίνος, what one has said, Luke 24:8, 11, or taught, Romans 10:18; τοῖς ἐμοῖς ῥηματοις, my teachings, John 5:47; John 12:47; John 15:7; τά ῥημαψα ἅ ἐγώ λελάληκα, John 6:63; John 14:10; (ἀληθείας καί σωφροσύνης ῤήματα ἀποφθέγγομαι, Acts 26:25); ῤήματα ζωῆς αἰωνίου ἔχεις, thy teaching begets eternal life, John 6:68; τά ῤήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ, utterances in which God through someone declares his mind, John 8:47; λαλεῖ τίς τά ῤήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ, speaks what God bids him, John 3:34; λαλεῖν πάντα τά ῤήματα τῆς ζωῆς ταύτης, to deliver the whole doctrine concerning this life, i. e. the life eternal, Acts 5:20; τά ῤήματα ἅ ἔδωκας μοι, what thou hast bidden me to speak, John 17:8; ῤήματα λαλεῖν πρός τινα, ἐν οἷς etc. to teach one the things by which etc. Acts 11:14; τά ῤήματα τά προειρημενα ὑπό τίνος, what one has foretold, 2 Peter 3:2; Jude 1:17; λαλεῖν ῤήματα βλάσφημα εἰς τινα, to speak abusively in reference to one (see εἰς, B. II. 2 c. β.), Acts 6:11; κατά τίνος, against a thing, Acts 6:13 (G L T Tr WH omit βλάσφημα).

      c. a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one's mind made in words); α. universally, an utterance, declaration (German eine Aeusserung).: Matthew 26:75; Mark 9:32; Mark 14:72; Luke 2:50; Luke 9:45; Luke 18:34; Luke 20:26; Acts 11:16; Acts 28:25; with adjectives, ῤῆμα ἀργόν, Matthew 12:36; εἰπεῖν πονηρόν ῤῆμα κατά τίνος, to assail one with abuse, Matthew 5:11 (R G; others omit ῤῆμα). β. a saying of any sort, as a message, a narrative: concerning some occurrence, λαλεῖν τό ῤῆμα περί τίνος, Luke 2:17; ῤῆμα τῆς πίστεως, the word of faith, i. e. concerning the necessity of putting faith in Christ, Romans 10:8; a promise, Luke 1:38; Luke 2:29; καλόν Θεοῦ ῤῆμα, God's gracious, comforting promise (of salvation), Hebrews 6:5 (see καλός, c.); καθαρίσας ... ἐν ῤήματι, according to promise (properly, on the ground of his word of promise, viz. the promise of the pardon of sins; cf. Mark 16:16), Ephesians 5:26 (others take ῤήματι here as equivalent to 'the gospel,' cf. Ephesians 6:17, Romans 10:8; (see Meyer at the passage)); the word by which something is commanded, directed, enjoined: Matthew 4:4 (cf. Winer's Grammar, 389 (364) n.); Luke 4:4 R G L Tr in brackets; Hebrews 11:3; a command, Luke 5:5; ἐγένετο ῤῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπί τινα, Luke 3:2 (Jeremiah 1:1; πρός τινα, Genesis 15:1; 1 Kings 18:1); plural ῤήματα παρά σου, words from thee, i. e. to be spoken by time, Acts 10:22; ῤῆμα τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, his omnipotent command, Hebrews 1:3. doctrine, instruction (cf. Winer's Grammar, 123 (117)): (τό) ῤῆμα (τοῦ) Θεοῦ, divine instruction by the preachers of the gospel, Romans 10:17 (R G; but L T Tr WH ῤήματος Χριστοῦ; others give ῤήματος here the sense of command, commission; (cf. Meyer)); saving truth which has God for its author, Ephesians 6:17; also τοῦ κυρίου, 1 Peter 1:25; words of prophecy, prophetic announcement, τά ῤήματα τοῦ Θεοῦ, Revelation 17:17, Rec. (others, οἱ λόγοι τοῦ Θεοῦ).

      2. In imitation of the Hebrew דָּבָר, the subject matter of speech, thing spoken of, thing; and that a. so far forth as it is a matter of narration: Luke 2:15; Acts 10:37; plural, Luke 1:65; Luke 2:19, 51; Acts 5:32; Acts 13:42.

      b. in so far as it is matter of command: Luke 1:37 (see ἀδυνατέω, b.) (Genesis 18:14; Deuteronomy 17:8).

      c. a matter of dispute, case at law: Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1 (A. V. retains 'word' here and in the preceding passage) (Deuteronomy 19:15).

      The word Rhema never describes the Bible. It is a spoken, living word from God. Now I’m sure it can come through the Bible but it is still God actively speaking to us through His Spirit through the Bible.

      The Bible is completely incapable of being Rhema without the Spirit of the God… because it is the Spirit of God speaking to us that is the Rhema word.

      I love the Bible – I’m not trying to diminish the Bible as an authoritative book and something that God will use in our lives… He uses that more than anything for me most of the time. But it cannot replace either Jesus or the spoken, living word of God.

      • Hey Phil. I don’t think you and I are that far away from each other on this. Your Thayer’s definition c. indicates rhema is not just spoken, but can also be written or even a narration. Study of the Greek independent of bible will also bear witness to this point.

        Furthermore, you must remember that the words of the bible were given directly to men from God himself. When he spoke to them it was his rhema word that came forth, which was later recorded as scripture. Said another way, the concept of biblical inspiration implies the words came from God, so how can it not be his rhema?

        But I agree with your point that we must leverage the holy spirit to fully understand that which God had spoken. When we understand his rhema, that is the logos. Said more directly, the full manifestation and realization of what God says is Christ!

        Finally, if you think God didn’t breathe these words (bible), why read them and ask for clarification as to what he meant? Bible is important is because God articulated the words they men

  8. Yo so i believe the word is Jesus and that words have power. For it is the breath that God breathed into us at creation. breathing outward moving our mouth forming words become spoken. And thought the Bible is written word its also got hectic power because was not the Law also written. Although yes though Law is law and we no longer fall under the covenant of the Law and all. It was still by God and is perfect so perfect that only the perfect one could fulfil it.

    So is the Bible a perfect

  9. .. continued (my finger accidently touched post button)
    The Bible is the perfect word of God. And to me another form of Jesus, the Word being with us on earth…

    so i dunno if it makes sense but that kinda how i see it lol..
    ^_^ just wanted to add my 5cents

    • Hey Mack – I kinda see what your saying. I just would want to be really careful in blurring the lines between Jesus and the Bible.

      The Bible points to Jesus – it reveals (and often conceals) Him in all it’s pages. But it is not Jesus. We would be in a very sorry state if Jesus could be summed up and contained in a book.

  10. I have thought, many times of late, that Adam was also God-breathed. He was very good! And very capable of being corrupted and distorted if distanced from active, present-tense relationship with God? Not infallible in and of himself? Not perfect on his own?

    Thanks for writing this Phil. It’s a super important conversation.

    • That’s an interesting connection I hadn’t thought of Ethan. Totally agree – God breathed does not mean it can’t be abused or misinterpreted!

      Let’s do that Skype sometime! Would love to hear how you are doing :)

  11. Phil I found the article. I originally found this on Charisma Ministries(Cornell Marais) where he reprinted the article from Steve Hill at Harvest Now!
    Here is the link to the article on Harvest Now from 2011:
    http://www.harvest-now.org/harvest-news/n/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=323&tx_ttnews%5Byear%5D=2011&tx_ttnews%5Bmonth%5D=03&tx_ttnews%5Bday%5D=03&cHash=6a1d2184de10a1f79f030f13a1417f17

    Or you can find the reprint of the article on Cornells site:
    http://www.charismaministries.org/the-scriptures-vs-the-word-of-god/

    • Thanks so much Felix – couldn’t get the harvest-now page to load properly but read the article on Cornell’s site… thanks for sharing!

  12. I appreciate your courage here. As you imply the Bible can become the golden calf for some. I have understood that only Jesus Christ is The Word of God Himself through all space and time while The Bible contains the words of God. The Bible, in essence, is Gods wisdom for mankind and its aim is always life giving Christ centricity..It is our glorious and beautiful Saviour whom we have an intimate relationship with.! We have the ultimate privilege to minister unto our High Priest in the inner court of Gods Temple. The word of God without The Spirit of God is not the word of God….
    Thanks so much Phil for great teaching.

  13. The bible gives us a place to test our thoughts and feelings from God against what we know His Word to be. Too often I hear so called prophets speaking “from the Holy Spirit” and presenting it as something new; set apart from scripture. We have one tangible source to compare a flood of ideas and thoughts … and that source is the bible. Im one of the minority who can appreciate Spirit filled teaching and still understand that God reveals Himself more and more through the ages… with our current revelation of Christ being through Jesus until Jesus returns in a final revelation as written by John. I can judge the differnce between heretical teaching and good teaching by the Holy Spirit guiding me to compare it to the bible. So if some whack job tries to preach that “fat meat aint greasy” or “waters aint wet” I have my bible to show otherwise. Phil, I look to this truth as I struggle with your teachings from time to time. I see you choosing passages to support your ideas and even passages to combat rebuttals, but i feel you are often times working hard to have faith in your views instead of hard to have faith in Christ. At the end of it all… we still need a daily Savior to right our thinking and straighten our daily path. Our eternal work is finished for us but we must never feel we have arrived to point where the testing of our thoughts lies in an intangible thought…. and should always be able to judge our desires and vision against this book you seek to diminish. Its just paper… true enough… but we are still just flesh. My flesh needs this paper.

    • I totally agree Steve. That’s one of the great uses for the Bible as a benchmark through which we test if we are hearing the voice of the Lord.

      The problem is that God does talk about things that aren’t in the Bible. He might tell us to apply for a certain job… that’s not one we can confirm using the scriptures.

      The Bible is a great benchmark but unfortunately does not cover every topic God will ever talk about. Well actually I’m glad it doesn’t… it would be a pretty poor God we serve if it did.

      As you know I love the Bible anyone who has listened to me preach knows I usually read at least a couple of chapters worth of scriptures in my messages.

      However again – the things God says will not contradict the scriptures… even if He’s talking about a job for example – if “god” tells you to apply for the position as a stripper then you might want to question that as it might not line up with the scriptures! haha – you get the point.

      I think we’d be on the same page with this. I don’t think my article downplayed what the scripture was – it just downplayed what people sometimes think the scriptures are. I’m pretty happy that your views of the scriptures are pretty accurate :)

      Love you bro!

  14. Study the scriptures Phil means ALL the scriptures, the whole OT, not just the first 5 books.
    I like some of your teachings Phil but like all new “revelations”….”rhemas” :) that the Lord gives the church they go over the top & a few years on they level off leaving a few hangers on.
    King david lived in OT…law, & was a man after God’s own heart. Saul, later Paul was rebuked by the Lord ….”how can you escape the condemnation of hell”
    . They both studied the law. David loved it, it was his daily & nightly meditation. Read the Psalms & see what a relationship he had with God.
    What was the difference ?
    The Lord said to Saul “you wouldn’t come to me that I might give you life. You & others have explained it well above.
    This whole issue of the Law & grace has resulted in the dumping of one in favor of the other.
    It’s like the old debate of calvinism & arminiumism. People choose the one & dump the other..Let me tell you the Bible teaches both. It’s a paradox. If I had 50 pages I could explain it but we are trying to make “common sense” out of everything God says & He says as high as the heavens above are my ways compared to your & there are things that belong to God we willl never understand.
    Don’t drop any part of the Bible Phil. There are too many scriptures that embrace ALL the bible. Obviously excluding the sacrificial stuff.
    I am not in disagreement with your fundamental teaching on grace as long as you see grace as a verb, God doing something & not confuse it with mercy.
    He saved me by His grace (an action on His part) thru faith & He will perfect me the same way. Believe…faith….grace. but thats not the end of it Phil. Obedience, die to self, take up your cross, works (for which there are rewards) & a host of other stuff make up the life of walking in the Spirit.You’re right we must believe, get thinking right, but then I need faith & faith is action & thats what pleases God, as grace is an action on Gods part in me.
    It’s not what you say I have a problem with Phil, it’s what you don’t say, & thats the source of deception.
    You say the source of overcoming is believing, thats true but it not alone.
    I am not discussing salvation here, we agree on that. Salvation is a spiritual thing….dead spirit given life by Holy Spirit, but living here in bodies has another side of the same coin. You leave out faith & faith IS works. Faith is doing what I believe with absolute confidence in God. Thats how i got saved. I know all work is not faith, & maybe this is your problem with works, mine also. It’s a paradox we will never understand, but we need to live it all with faith by grace (Gods ability).
    It’s not just a mind game as you posts sometimes SEEM to say.
    This is not an easy thing to clearly define. See what a discussion your post made, bbut everyone basically agrees.
    The only things that are clearly defined is the Law. You can explain it. The things of the Spirit are life, words cannot define them & thats why there is Rhema & Logos.
    King David got it, Saul didn’t
    Be Blessed

    If you have time I would like to know briefly what should our response to the sermon on the mount be.

    • Ian,

      I infer from your comment that we should meditate on the Torah as David did. This brought a few questions to my mind for which I don’t necessarily have answers.

      Was David a man after God’s heart because of his love of the law or because of his love of God?

      To what law is David referring? We know he violated the Torah. We assume he was referring to the Torah, but Jesus revealed a higher law, a higher reality. Isn’t it likely that David had a revelation of this law, one that transcended and even, at times, violated the Torah?

      Were there men after God’s heart in other cultures throughout the world at the time of David’s reign?

      Wasn’t God active in all cultures throughout history? What was law to them? It wasn’t the Torah.

    • I think it’s interesting Peter, Paul, John, all the disciples, Enoch, Abraham, David, and a host of others had a relationship with God apart from the Bible. i want what they had and it seems to me they depended more on Christ than anything. I want God to visit like he did Abraham and have dinner or talk to him plainly like Moses, dance in the fire like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo, or get caught up in the 3rd heaven like Paul or be on the mount of transfiguration with Elijah Moses, and God himself. I mean I use to wonder how he could just plainly talk to all of them. How could it just be so easy to see miraculous things. I want my faith in Christ as Paul said to live is Christ. Thank God for the Bible but my faith is in Christ

  15. Amen Phil!

    Thank you for such a great clarification and contextualisation of the Text.

    To quote Bruce Lee in ‘Enter the Dragon’.
    “It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory”.

    For me the deification of the Bible (that I had grown up with), particularly fell over when I discovered Derrida and realised the flawed nature of the text and language. As a human system it can only go a little way to expressing the Divine, without falling incurably short.

    Making the Bible essentially the same as Jesus through dubious word play (semantic gymnastics) doesn’t work. It still falls prey to attempting to express and justify the Sacred through the clumsy human system of language. It ain’t gonna happen. (I strongly suspect we are still suffering the confusion of our languages from time of the Tower of Babel).

    Yes we fundamentally need the Holy Spirit to rescue us, inspire us and elevate us above our flawed conscious and unconscious conceptual systems.

    This is something I have recently been chewing on for a while as an artist, which has manifested in a body of work called ‘Corruption Of The Text’, if your interested in seeing it Phil I’ll PM you.

  16. David found God thru the bible as he meditated on Gods commands. Just read his psalms & see for yourself, it’s very plain who he loved & why & how he got to know God. Of course he sinned, thats why there were sacrifices, to get them covered, but he had a relationship with God.
    “blessed is the man to whom God doesn’t impute sin” “take not thy Holy Spirit from me” Check out these statements of Davids. Pss32:1 Rom 4:7
    All he had because he loved Gods commands, meditated on them & found God.
    The commands of God are a revelation of his grace. They come out of the grace of God.
    A sign on a cliff says dont pass. If you don’t obey it, you will find out the hard way one of the eternal laws of God, gravity. Don’t be decieved, God is not mocked, what a man sows so shall he reap (NT verse).
    Gods commands were NEVER EVER meant to save anyone. They are there for our protection that we may live in the land & not devour one another.
    Want to live where there is no law? Go NOW to Sudan or C.A.R. wher there is no Govt. Hitler, Genghis Khan & Atilla the Huns rule is a million tiimes better than no law.
    Law never is or was a problem. man is the problem. The law never harmed a soul. f folk got misled, don’t blame the law, it has been your protection & still is here on earth. It hasn’t ever saved a soul & never will.
    Nearly all the refrences to the law are to do with the sacrificial stuff & circumcision..we just don’t appreciate how big all the sacrificial stuff ws in judaism. God given things, not man made ones.
    The new Covenant is:
    I will remove your heart of stone, put in a heart of flesh & i WILL WRITE MY COMMANDS on your heart & CAUSE YOU (that “cause you” is the grace (Gods ability/power) working in you) to walk in them.
    Done away with????? NEVER, but placed right on our hearts…..IT’S THE NEW COVENANT.
    Understand Paul problem with the law. he says it caused him to want to sin, Rom 7:8 that was Pauls problem, not everyones. People think the law does it to everyone. not so, very few i would say. Paul, then Saul was not a very nice guy. all the stuff following in Rom 8 was his problem, not necessarily everyones. Saul had a real issue with the law….see lord jesus & John Baptists response to him, snakes.
    We need to read the issues of Law, obedience, works, grace etc in the light of the whole bible, not just one section.
    Law/commands etc NEVER will or did save a soul, but obedience to them saves lives & causes us to live with each other in harmony, saved or not, ensures we sow good rather than evil.
    I know Love does that but please show me real love on earth!!! Yeah there is some, what do we do in the mean time.
    As I said before, this is not simple straight forward 1 2 3 4 ducks in a row & settled. It’s spirit & life. Love God & all His commands, theyre all beneficial to this life, BUT YOU WILL ONLY EVER BE SAVED BY FAITH IN HIM & THE FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS.
    REMEMBER FAITH, LIKE GRACE IS ACTION, NEITHER ARE PASSIVE. BELIEVE IS PASSIVE, THE DEVIL ALSO BELIEVES. FAITH IS DOING WHAT YOU BELIEVE….SUBSTANCE & EVIDENCE…..WORKS!!!!

    LOL BE BLESSED

  17. Phil, what is the literal translation of that verse? My understanding is it is not speaking about the Bible at all, but instead about the spoken word. God spoke and the earth was created. Human beings are the only species with the spoken word and as such it can breathe life or death, and most often it breathes death. Isn’t it true that the verse referenced above, in it’s original translation, was speaking simply about spoken word?

    • Hi Cheresa – the word in this verse is to speak directly of Jesus the Son of God becoming flesh.

  18. I have always been a little unsettled at how much we over-emphasize the Bible. I agree it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is very important, but as far as Christians, the first century church didnt have a New Testament. So the things you see being held over people were not even recognized by the first group of Christians. Disclaimer: I do believe in meditating on God’s word and using the Bible to help facilitate the renewing of our minds, but I do question a lot of teaching that holds reading the Bible to the same standard as prayer. Requiring all believers to continuously read the same stories over and over saying it will mature them. Only if we participate with the Holy Spirit, will we be matured and grow. I just dont like it when people keep over emphasizing the written Word. As you stated, it is not God. He is our hope :)

    • Great thoughts Brock – the Bible is an amazing tool but unless God (a very different entity to the Bible!) speaks to us through it it remains a book simply recording what God has done. It fails to become anything of active use to us other than a moral book.

    • Brock – There are two extremes that one could take concerning bible… 1) Is to assume that it is the Logos word that became flesh (it’s certainly not); 2) Is to assume that its not the word of God (it certainly is). When we say the bible is “inspired” that means the words on the page are exactly what God wanted to be canonized. They are HIS WORDS!!! Said another way, the Bible is the rhema word of God.

      The rhema word differs from the Logos word in that the former reflects what God said (rhema), while latter expresess what God meant (logos). Christ is the true revelation or manifestation of what God said. It is for this reason that the rhema (bible) always points to the Logos (spiritual understanding of bible), which is Christ.

      Given that we need the Holy Spirit to bring the Logos understanding of God’s rhema, I do get your point about over emphasis, but I don’t believe is possible to study the bible too much. The key point is that we study the rhema seeking to get the Logos. Anybody with a strong desire to study scripture in order to know the Christ will be rewarded by our Father in heaven. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened. These concepts speak to the condition of the heart, which are often times manifested in the natural through bible study.

      Don’t let the enemy or anyone else undermine the importance of Bible. And although I agree the 1st century church and all who lived during the old testament was able to know God w/o bible, you must realize the revelation of Jesus Christ is progressive. This means that in no other time in history can we know more about God than right now! The bible was CLEARLY a significant milestone in history, just as was the printing press (bibles widely available) and the internet (Phil’s blog). The word of God (both the rhema and logos versions) are spreading much faster now than ever before. You do not want to go backwards to a time before God’s written rhema word was available, that is, not if you really want to grow in the knowledge of Christ.

      Remember faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (rhema) word of God!!! Studying the rhema will ultimately allow you to grow in logos understanding. And with the logos comprehension, comes with it faith in Christ.

      • Hi Karl, I think it’s important we remember that the word we translate as “word” in the English comes from three different words.

        I would want to be very clear in which is which – I think I talked about this with you elsewhere on this site.

        The “logos” IS Jesus.

        The “rhema” is God actively speaking to us.

        The “graphe” is the Bible – the recored word of what the rhema and logos have done in the past and will do in the future.

        Knowing that we can hold each as very important but must be careful not to put the “graphe” on par with the rhema or the logos.

        In fact without the logos or rhema word the Bible is completely useless.

        But I can burn every Bible in the world and the rhema and logos would remain completely unflinching. God is not bound to the Bible in any way shape or form… it is merely a tool for Him to Rhema through (that is to speak in a living way through) – that Rhema is never the Bible itself but is often spoken through the Bible.

        This is what I’m trying to help people understand.

        The graphe (the Bible) is extremely important. But if we don’t recognise that it itself is not logos or rhema we run the risk of being very confused.

        Thanks so much for sharing.

        • Hey Phil – You have determined how the logos, rhema and graphe are used in bible, but did not provide proof to support. I would have to respectfully disagree with your opinion, but its good to discuss openly. The rhema, per the definition you provided prevously, does indicate it can be a written word. Greek scholars, whose opinion can be sought on the internet, would also indicate the same. Furthermore, the Greek word “logos” does not literally mean Christ, except when put into the context of bible. Said another way, there are many non-bible books that use the word “logos” to represent the understanding of a concept. My point is that God is using rhema and logos in the same way as non bible authors, which is to distinguish between that which is literal said and the concept behind what’s really being communicated. Romans 10:17 specifically says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The term “word of God” in this verse does NOT MEAN the logos word of God (or Christ) as you so postulate in the initial post. Thus if “word of God” does not mean Christ (in this verse), how am I to understand your logic that the “word of God” always means Christ (and not bible)?! You use John 1 to bolster your position, but John 1 specifically says the Logos word of God (not rhema).

          My point from the beginning is that scripture distinguishes between the logos and rhema word of God, thus we must do as well. There are at least 2 “word of God” phrases in bible, but you only explain one. Others less experienced are now confused and I’m simply saying they shouldn’t be confused — there is a rhema and logos, both have their role, neither of which should be undermined.

          • You seem to be misunderstanding me Karl – I’ve never once said or thought that Rom 10:17 talks about the logos… It’s very clear it’s the rhema… it is still not the graphe though.

            There are 3 “words” in the Bible and my point is that the only one that refers to the Bible is graphe – 2 Tim 3:16-17 would be a great example.

            Rom 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures (graphe) might have hope.”

            2 Tim 3:16 “All Scripture (graphe) is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”

            John 5:39 “Search the scriptures (graphe); for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

            etc etc.

            That is all I’m trying to say… lets not call the Bible the Rhema word of God… it has recorded the past Rhema word of God… but it is no longer Rhema without a present Rhema…

            Rhema word requires an active voice of God – it can come through the Bible but lets not kid ourselves by saying everyone that reads the Bible is experiencing the Rhema word of God.

            That’s the only point I’m making… I’m not trying to belittle the Rhema word, the reason you think I am is because you are confusing the graphe (scriptures) with the Rhema (present word of God). I have a very high value for both the scriptures and the rhema word – and one of the most common ways God speaks His rhema word is through the scriptures… but that doesn’t make them Rhema…

            He speaks through youtube videos too … they don’t become Rhema – the Rhema word is what breaths life onto something.

            It is the Spirit that brings life while the scriptures alone (graphe) brings death.

          • Thanks Phil for the clarification. I do see your logos point (excuse the pun) more clearly. What threw me for a loop was your suggestion that Christ (Logos) is the only word of God, where clearly He is not. Furthermore, I still contend the point of rhema (what God says) and logos (what God means) is very valid and important.

            It is the distinction between rhema and logos that I believe causes much of the confusion. Acts 10:44 demonstrates the difference… What’s being said and what’s understood are two different concepts that scripture goes out of its way to establish.

            When Peter was talking in Acts 10:44, he was speaking by inspiration of God. His words were clearly established as the rhema word (bible states the same) and were captured for our perusal (scripture). Since they were rhema back then, I say they are rhema right now. Perhaps we can agree to disagree on this point, but God cleary gave them to us and as preserved them over the years. Jesus read them and I would say Matthew 4:4 speaks to the written rhema word (if you look at the dialogue between him and the devil).

            In my view, the bible falls into the category of what God said (rhema). But we both fully agree that its not what God said, but what God means that’s important. And as you’ve stated unequivocally, the Holy Spirit is required for all spiritual understanding, because He is the logos Truth (not bible)

            You distinguish the rhema by what was said versus written, but I do not. The Thayers definition you cited indicates rhema can be written — I’d be curious to hear you give an example of a rhema written word that aligns with both Thayer and your limited use of the term.

            And yes, the scriptures (as well as Phil) are very clear that scripture is called “graphe” in the Greek. This clearly defines what has been canonized (at least at the time when the term was used). We have absolutely no disagreement here, but I would say that scripture is also God’s rhema word. Rhema is a much broader category of God’s word, thus it can be commonuicaed orally, in writing, over You Tube, in a dream, etc. etc. But the graphe is a very special revelation from God that has been canonized as bible for our perusal.

            If one speaks bible verses, that is God’s rhema word coming forth. That does not mean people will understand it or even that the author means well, but nevertheless the word is being spoken. In Philipians 1:15-18, the apostle Paul talks about Christ being preached in pretense and in truth, just as long as he is being preached!

            Just a few random thoughts and hopefully the audience can read and judge for themselves. We are still growing, thus I will continue to meditate as well. Thanks for your time Phil.

          • Great points Karl – since Rhema (in my opinion) is what God is actively speaking right now it can most certainly be written – but it requires a living active thing to bring it to light. As I said the bible can become Rhema as God speaks through it, but so can a book or a friends email of encouragement.

            For me a past Rhema word doesn’t necessarily stay Rhema ( a present active spoken word to you)

            That again points to my concern… The Bible is full of the recorded Rhema of God… But that doesn’t make it Rhema to us.

            The Rhema word of a God for a lady on her period is not to leave her home for a week every month to be alone as she is unclean.

            The Rhema word of God is not to kill people and collect their foreskins.

            Do you see where my concern is? I’m not against the Bible being a recording of Rhema words that were spoken. Nor am I against it becoming Rhema when God actively speaks through it to us.

            But it cannot be considered the Rhema word of God at all times out with an active participation of God (and ultimately it is God that makes it Rhema and his Rhema is not tied to the scripture it merely chooses to use it)

            Thanks for chatting mate! Appreciate you being willing to go back and forth with me on this :)

  19. I just have one question, if indeed now we learn that the Bible is NOT the word of God. My question is, if the Bible is not the word of God-“How did you discover that Jesus was?” If it is really just a good book about some good morals then why would I have to believe that Jesus is the Word of God?

    Maybe someone can help me out with this??

    Signed,
    SO CONFUSED-NOW!

    • Hi Don…

      Again I want to clarify – I’m not saying the Bible is incorrect… it’s true and something we should measure all truth through… it just isn’t the living breathing Word of God – it points to the living breathing Word of God and reveals Him to us.

      • Hey Phil – Not to play a play on words… but when you say the bible is true, what exactly do you mean? Christ is the truth, so I would not say bible is true. The bible simply reflects what God wanted to say, which He did through several men. As I’ve said above, the scriptures use 2 different greek words to distinguish between what God said and what He meant. The rhema word is anything that God said which has not been made clear to the hearer. But once it becomes clear, the hearer has the logos. Acts 10:44 is a perfect example of my point. Peter spoke the rhema word of God to everyone in the house, but the Holy Ghost only fell on those that understood the logos. Similiarly in Romans 10:17, you’ll see that faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing the word of God. If you study the Greek, you’ll see this verse uses rhema instead of Logos. Its clear there is a rhema word of God that is NOT the logos, so the question then becomes what is the rhema that we need to meditate on (if not the bible)? We know the end game is Christ. Bible is the conduit. It is the rhema word of God.

        • My problem Karl is that the Greek does not support breaking the “word” up in the way you put it. At least not as I can see it.

          There are three very clear representations:

          1) The Bible – Always referred to as “graphe”… UNLESS there is a presence of God speaking through it.

          2) Christ – Referred to as the “logos” in the context of “the word”

          3) God’s present spoken word – Referred to as “rhema” this is what God speaks to us in the moment… it might be through the person of Christ in person, it might be through the Bible, it could also be through a billboard or a youtube video.

          I believe that the Bible is “true” in the sense that it is what God has said in the past and pertains to us in the past/present/future. But ONLY when the Rhema of God is behind it… when God speaks through His Spirit the Bible is life… otherwise it is simply a book full of truths open to gross misinterpretation.

          Again I can’t stress how strongly I’m not trying to downplay the Bible’s import. But I cannot bring myself to say that the Bible is THE rhema word of God… that takes extreme liberties with the Greek and requires us to elevate the Bible WAY above it’s place.

          In my opinion at least.

          I think however since we have gone back and forward on this several times we will have to leave it at a “agree to disagree” which I’m happy enough doing. Just wanted to share my thoughts :)

          Thanks for sharing Karl! Appreciate the way you think and how you contribute to the discussions here on the website.

          • Phil – I’ve been studying and meditating on your comments about rhema and think there’s some validity to your logic. I do hope that you can address one specific concern though…

            Acts 10:44, Peter speaks the rhema word, but the holy ghost fell on those that heard the Logos. How do you explain this difference? Why did people not hear the rhema, but instead the Logos?

          • Hi Karl – good question.

            I’ve not studied this passage in depth but here is one possible interpretation…

            The word for “heard” is the word akouō which is a hearing with understanding that brings learning.

            I think the point here is Peter spoke the word that God gave Him – a specific scripture – and the Holy Spirit fell upon those who “heard and learned of the Christ (logos)” – this to me would be a conversion experience – hearing God’s rhema word and it causing a revelation of the logos – Christ.

            Again I’ve not studied this in anyway shape or form :)

          • Phil – Your off the cuff assessment aligns with what I’m seeing as well. Peter spoke the Rhema word, but the Holy Ghost fell on those that received Logos understanding. You’ve stated several times that the Logos is Christ, which is the ONLY person the Holy Spirit has to come to reveal. In my mind, rhema is what is being spoken, but the Logos is who God aims to reveal. For this reason I conclude it is not the Rhema that we seek, but the Logos (rhema being a means to the end). In other words, you need Holy Spirit revelation before the Rhema becomes the Logos. How is this different than bible?

            When I consider the bible, I realize that its God breathed, but the Logos still remains the endgame. For this reason I conclude the bible is in fact the rhema. Christ himself says that scripture is a pointer to Him, but nobody can write a book that points 100% to the Son but the Father. I do not see how this is not His rhema word.

            Phil – I would ask you to do an exhaustive study on rhema and logos and ask God why sometimes one word is used in lieu of the other. I think you will find comprehension (logos) is the key. But we know God wants us to know His Logos Son. Rhema can’t get the job done without the Holy Spirit bringing revelation.

      • Saying that God has spoken to us today, and that we have heard God tell us something is what every major cult is founded on since the time of Christ. I feel we must be extremely careful to say that God has spoken to us something other than what scripture tells us. I know God can speak to our hearts His word, however that word must be confirmed with the written word we have today for our guidance and that we call the Bible. Truth is found in scripture and no where else. We walk a very dangerous road to claim hearing things from God that cannot be confirmed in scripture. I have based my life on scripture. Of course it has first of all a cultural relevance first and foremost, but for me to say that God has spoken truth to me that contradicts the scripture is what many men and women have done in the past and established false doctrines and religions upon it. I know God through scripture, I know the character and attributes of God through scripture, I know that Christ is the Son of God through scripture, I know truth through scripture and none of these things can be known by what a person claims they have heard from God themselves. I’m sorry but it sounds like to me that you are giving people the freedom to think they can somehow know God and His ways independent of scripture. If that is the case, well, we are in serious trouble! The basis of our Christian faith has its foundation in scripture and not what any individual may claim independent of scripture. If God is still breathing living words in the hearts of people, independent of scripture, then all of us can start writing our own Bibles for everyone to read. As for me the scripture seems to have done a fantastic work in people for the past couple thousand years, I think it might be wise for us to stick with it and not think we can come up with our own individual, independent words from God to be our guide. Maybe I am just “out of date” a bit “old fashion” in my thinking, but the God I have come to know and love I have come to know Him through scripture and not a mans words of what God has supposedly said to Him outside and independent of scripture.

        Don

        • Hi Don,

          I certainly am not saying that God will contradict the Bible – in fact I hold the Bible as a high standard by which to run everything we hear from God – I mentioned this in a post recently – http://phildrysdale.com/2014/05/know-hearing-gods-voice/

          However – if God can only speak to us through the Bible we find ourselves extremely limited.

          While the scripture might speak specifically to many situations there are billions of situations man will find themselves in that the scripture will not address specifically.

          That is why we need to be ready to hear what God is saying and, of course, run that by the scriptures to ensure it doesn’t contradict that.

          The argument that “hearing God” is the foundation of all cults to say we shouldn’t hear from God directly is a real shame though. I mean history is full of people hearing Him correctly – it would be a disaster to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          We do the same with countless things… A charlatan has a healing ministry – God doesn’t heal today. A charlatan has a prophetic word – man can’t prophecy any more. A charlatan “hears God’s voice” – man can’t hear God’s voice anymore.

          It’s a bad idea to react to error rather than live in truth. Reacting to error rarely creates truth – it only causes us to swing the pendulum the other way.

          That’s a few thoughts anyway.

          • Well I have to respond to your comments! I hope you understand that my comments are from almost 40 years of studying the scripture. I do not speak out of ignorance or a lack of understanding as to the vital importance of the place of scripture in our lives today.
            First of all when you say that the scripture is “a high standard by which to run everything by from which a person may hear from God” is where we have a huge difference! It is not merely ” A STANDARD, IT IS THE STANDARD”. The difference between what you are trying to propagate and teach is that for many of us we believe that the scripture is not just another book, it is the revelation of God to man. There is no other standard to evaluate what a person says is God saying something to them except the scripture. To be very honest with you I am really taken back at the way you seem to portray the scripture as a book to be taken lightly instead of esteeming it and it’s powerful value. I have a firm foundation and many years of studying this wonderful book and I will never be convinced to take its truths lightly or worse yet to teach that to other people. I don’t mean to sound harsh but I have to many years of experience in the study of this book to think it is just another book. There is no other book, nor has there ever been another one that can compare to it. Its value is beyond measure and should be esteemed accordingly.
            I in no way limit myself, as you say, by believing that God cannot speak other than what He has spoken already through scripture. In all my time serving the Lord I have never had anyone tell me anything that supersedes what God has already said. And for that matter I do not need anyone telling me of some new revelation from God that they have received, He has revealed Himself beyond measure and comprehension through the scripture. In fact Jesus Himself said that if I want to know the Father I only need to look at the Son. Jesus came to this earth to give to us a “new revelation of God” if we want to know the character and nature of God we only need to be willing to see it through the scripture.
            And then your comment,”While the scripture might speak specifically to many situations there are billions of situations man will find themselves in that the scripture will not address specifically.” I’m sorry but in my 40 years of teaching, preaching, counseling from this book, I have yet to see a problem, difficulty, situation, crisis, that is not addressed in the scripture! “BILLIONS OF SITUATIONS!” There is nothing new under the sun! It might take on different forms and reveal itself differently but the heart issues of man have been this way since the fall of man. We only need to be willing to take the time to diligently search and we will find the wisdom, the answer for any and all difficulties people face in their lives. I have personally witnessed the LIVING POWER OF THIS WORD as it has dramatically transformed the lives of hundreds of people, all they needed to do was to believe and act upon that belief. I have studied psychology, the human mind, emotions, temperaments, addictions, family issues, marital issues and have never found the Word of God lacked in any way to address those issues and not only address them but offer life giving power to change people into what they could only dream of before and become healthy, fruitful, joyful, peaceful, free people!

            I apologize if I seem to be a bit enthusiastic about my belief in this book we call the Bible, but my experience in it, and what I have seen its words do in the lives of people cannot be compared to anything else on this planet! It by far is the treasure of my heart, and its value to me is beyond the value of any other book I have studied at any time in my life.

            Your seemingly, devaluing it hurts my heart, because I have read much of your writings and for the most part you seem to have a keen insight into the things of God. However, in this point I have to disagree with you.

            As far as me reacting to error instead of not living in the truth, well let me just say my entire life is lived in the most powerful life changing truth to ever appear to man, the revelation of our God through scripture!

            Just a few thoughts!
            Blessings!

          • Sorry Don – you seem to be taking what I’m saying out of context.

            I do not consider the Bible to be on par with any other book as you seem to think. I hold it in the highest regard.

            My point is this.

            The Bible is the penultimate source in our lives to measure what we hear from the Lord.

            But this is also my point…

            CHRIST IS ULTIMATE.

            The Bible serves Christ, points to Christ and reveals Christ.

            It does not replace relationship with Christ and is in no way as important as Christ.

            I could burn every Bible in the world (of course I wouldn’t want to) and Christ wouldn’t even flinch… He would still be perfect in every way – and you bet He’d still be more than capable of speaking to His people.

            Throughout the world there are at least a billion people that have no access to a Bible. God still speaks to many of them.

            Many are saved with no Bible at all – Many live their whole Christian lives never even seeing a Bible.

            That is my point! That if we are holding the Bible so highly we are missing the point.

            The Bible is a huge blessing. As you say it’s the ultimate source we have to go to as an authoritative word God has given to us on all (depending on how you would define all) situations in life. But it is not God’s voice. It is a tool through which we can hear God’s voice.

            God’s voice speaks through the Bible and without God’s voice speaking (as He does consistently through the Bible when we turn to it) the Bible does become something much much less.

            The Bible in the hands of someone outside of relationship to God is not a good thing… it rarely does anything but become fuel for something anti-God.

            This is evidenced by the fact that most atheists know the Bible better than most Christians!

            Jesus said Himself to the Pharisees – “You know the Bible better than anyone and you can’t even recognise that God is standing in front of you in the flesh” (my paraphrase)

            Regarding the Billions of situations I think the point I was making was completely misheard:

            Yes the Bible gives us wisdom and can help us make decisions in all situations of life. But at the end of the day the Bible doesn’t tell you:

            To fire employee A over employee B.
            To send your kid to school A over school B.
            Which gift to get your wife for valentines day.
            What way you should walk to work today so you can speak to a specific person and encourage them.
            What type of pain the person has in front of you so you can speak into their life and give them supernatural faith for healing.

            There are thousands of things that God has spoken to me about just this year that are not unbiblical… that is they line up with the principles of the Bible. But they most certainly aren’t in the Bible… and I and many other people in my life are extremely glad that God can speak through something other than the Bible.

            That is the point I’m trying to make.

            I’m not trying to diminish the importance of the Bible… I’m trying to elevate hearing GOD’S VOICE which is infinitely more important.

            If we can’t hear and distinguish God’s voice for ourself then we become no better than the Pharisee’s doing Bible studies instead of growing in relationship.

            That’s all I’m trying to say.

            I think if we sat down over coffee you’d probably find we agree on 9/10 of the stuff we’d have to say about this topic (if not more).

            Thanks for sharing though – it’s definitely helped me hear more of what you are saying, I hope this has helped you see what I’m trying to say… and hopefully it’s helped anyone else that reads :)

          • I understand what Don is saying. That’s basically the way I’d thought about it for the longest but I also understand what you’re saying Phil. However you’re both saying we can test everything through the Bible. But to quote Mel Wild “a revelation from God will never contradict His Word. But be aware, it may violate your current understanding of Scripture.” Here’s a link where I got the above: http://melwild.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/how-to-know-if-revelation-is-from-god/ . Thus how do we know when we’re in error?

            Thanks for responding
            Peace

          • Hi Gahigi,

            Ultimately we have 4 options as I see it:

            1) Our own moral compass – which is redeemed and pure but still filtered by our old mindsets etc so prone to steering us wrong occasionally (or frequently depending on our mindsets haha)

            2) The Bible – perfect in every way but as you said… very easy to misinterpret so again – easy to get wrong

            3) Others – God’s gift to us to help guide us and help us… but again they themselves can misinterpret the Bible and their own moral compass can be led astray by bad beliefs… so they are far from perfect.

            4) The Holy Spirit – it’s His job to lead us into all Truth – that seems to me to be a winner! Sure we can mishear Him but in an ongoing relationship misunderstandings get smoothed out and made clear.

            I think 1, 2 & 3 are very helpful but ultimately we can only trust in one thing – 4. The Holy Spirit will lead us all into Truth.

            Hope that helps.

          • I use many different translations while studying the scripture, I have some that I enjoy reading more than others and some that I use more for doctrinal study than others. I LOVE GOD’S WORD! I have been concerned over what I have been reading in this section of “Is the Bible the Word of God” because it leaves an enormous place for error to say that it isn’t God’s Word. Either it is or it isn’t God’s Word. I really don’t need to hear God’s voice to the same degree I need to hear Him speak to me through the scripture. Phil mentions some things that we won’t find in the scripture God telling us, like what school to send our child to, what employee to fire etc.. Listen, God gives to us a mind to think with, I don’t need to ask Him what to put on for clothes when I get up in the morning! And as I serve Him, study the scripture, wisdom is established in my life for the daily issues and decisions that I have to make. I have no need of an individual telling me what God wants to say to me when I have scripture to lead and guide me.
            The scripture is where we find the revelation of Christ, we would never have come to know Christ without the historic documents we have compiled together that we call the Bible. And He, Christ, came to be a further revelation of God the Father, but all of this we learn through scripture! Of course my relationship with Christ is where it’s at, but if I never heard God say anything to me for the rest of my life I would still know the nature and basis of what that relationship is suppose to be and should be BASED ON SCRIPTURE! That relationship is enhanced, developed, and brings fulfillment to my life from what I find the scripture saying about the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words I would never have this relationship if it were not for scripture! How else would I know Christ and His work of salvation accept through scripture? Nothing is to be elevated above scripture because it is the very FOUNDATION AND BASIS of all my experience and relationship with Christ. In the book of Hebrews it clearly tells us that it is LIVING, AND POWERFUL! Thank God for it!

            Blessings

  20. Jesus told the pharisees you search the scriptures and in them you think you have eternal life but you won’t come to me to have life. The letter killeth the spirit giveth life. There are people that preached for 39 years and finally got born again. THEY Never HEAR THE Word Until THEY Got Born again. Usually people that mock the message you wtote. Deny the power of god thereof. They say tongues are not for today prophecy is not for today. They certainly do not covet to prophecy. There are people all over the world that know jesus without a bible. The churches that thrive most in China . They are mainly without bibles at all. Satan knows the bible and also religious people. That foes not mean ypu know god at all.

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