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Battlefields of the Church: 1: The Word of God

By George Kulp

      Lectures to Students at God's Bible School

      By George Brubaker Kulp

      Author of
      Callused Knees
      A Voice from Eternity
      Nuggets of Gold

      God's Revivalist Press
      Cincinnati, Ohio

      Chapter 1: The Word of God

      One day a mixed company of men, of different creeds and opinions, were met together -Protestants and Romanists, philosophers and materialists were there, when this question was started: Supposing a man doomed to imprisonment for life were allowed to choose one book only as the companion of his solitude, what book should he choose? All agreed that his choice should be the Bible. The story is told by a French rationalist. What a testimony to the charm of the Bible and to its power to inspire confidence in men, as a companion whose friendship would never weary!

      It is a truth that the Bible does supply a great variety of mental and moral nutriment. In its compass one can move through scenes which display all sides of life. It reaches our various moods. As Coleridge said, "It finds us at the greatest depths of our being." Its maxims on the conduct of life, no less than its outbursts as from the depths of a human spirit; its devotional, no less than its intellectual, spirit, meets the wants of our nature.

      The Word of God is a commentary on His government, and reveals to us, by many examples, how to interpret those lessons which the varying events of life, its joys and sorrows, its temptations and trials, are calculated to teach us. There is hardly an event, hardly a character, that has not its parallel in that immense picture gallery of historic and biographic sketches which the Scriptures open up to us. The whole of life seems mirrored there; the examples range through all the ranks of social life, embrace all varieties of character, and illustrate by similar cases almost every conceivable combination of circumstances in which man can be placed. It is hardly possible to imagine ourselves in any situation in which we will not find the Word has warning, consolation or guidance.

      Milton said of the Bible: "There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach."

      We want to, and will, insist, all through these lectures, that the Word is emphatically the WORD OF GOD. We propose to bring before this class the very BEST THOUGHT of the BEST MEN of all the past, who have blessed the world and stood for the defense of the truth. "Day unto day uttereth speech," and wherever in all the days of the past men have walked with God, and studied His Word, they have had the experimental evidence, the best in all the world, that the Book of books is indeed the Word of God.

      It proves itself. The Old Testament foreshadows the New, and the New is a fulfillment of the Old. We say it is the Word and yet it is both human and divine. Here is no contradiction. "The mystery of the inspiration of the written Word is parallel to that of the incarnation of the Word in the person of Christ. In both there is the meeting of the human and the Divine; in both there is the shining out of the Divine through the human; in both there is such an outward display of the human as that men may deny, if they will, the presence of the Divine." But the Bible is God's Word. "Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." As truly and as certainly as in Jesus Christ dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily, so truly and certainly in the hearts of those who gave us the Book, dwelt the Divine Spirit of God.

      The Bible is, in a sense in which it is true of no other Book, God's Book and God's Word. God the Holy Ghost, when He inspired men to give us these books, did not speak through their lips as the oracles of old are said to have spoken through the lips of the subjects of their inspiration, as through hollow-sounding masks, but spoke just in the souls of those whom He stirred to give us these inspired words. The hearts of men were first filled with the Spirit, before they spake out these messages from God. Live coals from off the altar touched their lips before they could respond as messengers for God. Yet God, in using the human and speaking through their minds, was shining through man.

      God was manifested in the flesh. HE SPAKE through Moses, when his mind was tinctured with the learning of the Egyptians, but still it was, "Thus saith the Lord." The rough speech of the herdsman's son and the gatherer of sycamore fruit was clearly and unmistakably the Word of the Lord. The prophet loses sight of himself in the message, "Thus saith the Lord." Israel trembled and repented, not before the rough herdsman's son, but because they knew God was talking through lips of clay, to the whole house of Israel.

      We appreciate the words and argument of Bishop Wordsworth: "Holy Scripture is God's Word written. The things written are from God. ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The fresh and living waters of all heavenly truth issue from one source, and that source is DIVINE. But the water flows in various streams. Sometimes the Divine element of inspired truth rushes vehemently in torrents and cataracts in the impetuous fervor of Paul; some times it diffuses itself, and sleeps in deep, calm lakes. in the love and gentleness of John. The element is one and the same, and DIVINE; the channels are different and human; the power of one destroys not the liberty of the other. The Divine Spirit and the human intellect and will concur and act together in perfect, loving harmony and joy."

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See Also:
   1: The Word of God
   2: The Holy Spirit the Author
   3: The Old Testament and the New
   4: Verbal Inspiration
   5: Thus Saith the Lord
   6: Testimony of the Fathers
   7: Witnesses to the Truth


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