From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 1- Continued
Let us bear these truths in mind, therefore, as we study the various types and prophecies of the Old Testament–for unless we understand that the Bible, the whole Bible, was written for us, we are bound to deny ourselves the glory which God intended we should derive from the Word. “Unto us,” the prophets ministered (1 Pet. 1:12). The history of Israel constituted them as “ensamples (or types)” for us, and the records “are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Cor. 10:11). The Law, we are told, expressed “a shadow of (the) good things to come, and not the very image of the things.” (Heb. 10:1). And the saints of the New Testament are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people… which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God…” (1 Pet. 2:9, 10). Here again a simple reference to the Old Testament shows us clearly that the apostle was referring to the true Israel. (See Ex. 19:6; Hos. 2:23).
That God will yet restore the natural Israel that was cast off, and graft back into the Olive Tree the branches which were cut off in unbelief–that is true, and the glory which shall accompany such a transformation is beyond words to express. The apostle simply describes this revival in four brief words: “Life from the dead…” (Rom. 11:15). When and in what manner this shall be fulfilled, God shall manifest in His own good time, and it does not concern us so far as this study is concerned. But the fact remains, Israel never was completely cast off, for “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” (Rom. 11:2). Only the disobedient were cast off; the believing Gentiles in turn were grafted into the same Olive Tree, and became “with them” partakers “of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” (Rom. 11:17).
Let us glory in our heritage, therefore, and in the fact that we who once had no share in the covenants of promise, and were without God and without hope in the world, are now “fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” (Eph. 2:12, 19, 20).
In the following pages, therefore we have no hesitancy what-so-ever in quoting profusely from the Old Testament and New, by way of establishing these glorious Church truths. If the apostle Paul was “rightly dividing the Word of truth” when he made some eighty-five references to the Old Testament in the one letter he wrote to the Romans, by way of establishing the Gospel of the Grace of God and the doctrines of the Church; and at least eighteen such references in the short letter he wrote to the Galatians; and well over one hundred such references in the epistle to the Hebrews; and if Peter would dare make some thirty references or quotations from the Old Testament in his first epistle; and if the beloved John should make direct quotations from, or references to, practically four hundred Old Testament Scriptures in the Book of Revelation: then we care not in the least if orthodox theology forbids us to take Old Testament type and prophecy and apply them to the Church. The apostles have already done so under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and that is sufficient for men who believe in the verbal inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. GHW
I am going to comment on this section of chapter 1 by sharing an article by Dr. Sidney W.K. Yuan, Pastor of Cantonese Congregation at Community Christian Alliance Church, Northridge, CA, concerning the Bible as the inspired word of God. You can find this article at www.yutopian.com. Here is what Dr. Yuan has to say:
Biblical inspiration is defined as the work of the Holy Spirit by which, without setting aside their personalities and literary or human faculties, God so guided the authors of Scripture as to enable them to write exactly the words which convey His truth to men, and in doing so preserved their judgements from error in the original manuscripts. The Word of God as given to us in the Bible is a product of two free agents, human and divine. Through (fallible) human authors, God manifested the infallible and errorless writings, which convey His messages. A natural question is, why God chooses to have humans write the Bible; couldn’t He write the Bible Himself much like what He did in inscribing the Ten Commandments on the tablets? Won’t this be an easier way in preserving the accuracy of the Bible, instead of through the hands of fallible men? Although God is sovereign and can do anything by Himself, He chooses to have humans interact in His plan. This is one of the biggest differences between Christianity and other religions; with God reaching down to man, instead of man reaching up to Him. We have seen many examples in the Bible, which God chooses to have human interaction. The creation of the Written Word (Bible), the Living Word (Jesus), and Promised Word (Salvation) all share this characteristic.
After discussing why God chooses to have human involvement in the writing of the Bible, lets look at how inspiration is done. First of all, we learn from 2 Timothy 3:16 that the entire Bible is inspired by God, not just partially. It is an important concept, for if we choose and pick some parts of the Bible as inspired and others are not, then the entire Bible soon falls apart. Who has the authority to decide the extent of inspiration, but God Himself. And God made it very clear that all Scripture, is inspired by Him. Therefore those who preach partial and degrees of inspiration are playing God. Since God is truth (John 3:33, Romans 3:4), what’s breathed out by God, must also be true (John 17:17) and infallible. The process of inspiration is described in 2Peter 1:21, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. All Scripture was regarded by the Jews as prophecies, that it did not originate from man, but came from God. The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets or apostles to mouth the truths, which was then recorded and superintended (or moved) by God to ensure that the messages were not diverted, misdirected or erred by the fallible author. The word moved in 2 Peter 1:21 is the same word used in Acts 27:15-17, meaning that the boat was ‘moved’ or ‘borne’ by the wind. While the crews (human authors) on the boat have full freedom of steering the boat, the motion of the boat is entirely borne by the wind (God) in a storm. The use of this word indicates that the Holy Spirit completely superintended the human author in the process of recording His words. It is important to point out that inspiration was not a mechanical dictation of the Scripture to the authors. The authors are free to express their emotions and style in the writing. It is also important to mention that only the Autographs (the original written documents by the biblical authors) are inspired.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about itself. Throughout the Old Testament it was mentioned repeated that the Scripture is the word of God (Jer 1:9, 31:2; 2 Sam 23:2; 1 Kings 20:13). God also instructed His spokesmen to write the message down (Ex 17:14; Jer 30:2). Another strong proof for the inspiration of the Bible is the fulfillment of the prophecies, particularly those relating to Jesus (His birth- Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2; His crucifixion- Psalm 22:16-17, Isaiah 53:12; and His resurrection- Psalm 16:10, 22:22). Because of the fulfillment of these prophecies, Jesus proved that He is the Son of God, giving Him the infallible authority to claim the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. Jesus taught that the entire Bible, both the Old Testament (Matt 21:13, 26:31, 5:18 and Luke 4:27) and the New Testament (John 14:24, 16:12-13) is the infallible and inerrant word of God. Since the gospels give an accurate and reliable record of what He taught, it has been established that the entire Bible is really the errorless and authoritative word of God. Not only can we believe everything in it, but it demands our obedience.
The apostles also attested the inspiration of the Scripture, in both the Old Testament (Rom 3:2) and the New Testament (2 Peter 3:15,16). Moreover, they proclaimed their own writings as God’s words (1 Cor. 14:37), and their messages as God’s words (Gal 1:12; 1 Thess. 2:13).
The entire Scripture is the inspired word of God because the Bible says so (2 Timothy 3:16). This is probably the strongest argument from a presuppositional point of view. However, most believers would rebuke that the authority of the Bible is what one tries to prove in the first place, so how can one use quotes from the Bible to sustain such a claim. In this case, the fulfillment of prophecies about Jesus, his birth, death and resurrection, proves the accuracy of the Bible and that Jesus is the Son of God, giving Him the authority to claim the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible (Matthew 21:13, Luke 4:27, John 14:24, 16:12,13). Both Jesus and the apostles proclaimed that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It is important to keep in mind that the Scripture is of Divine origin, written through man. Although the authors were free to use their own style and expression in the writing, God superintended so that the final product is inerrant. The entire Scripture is inspired by God, not just partially or in degree. Although most of the Scripture were verbally conveyed to God’s people through the prophets and apostles, only the Autographs are inspired. And because the Bible is inspired, it alone has the final authority.