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Battlefields of the Church: 2: The Holy Spirit the Author

By George Kulp

      "An intimate acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures is a secure haven, an impregnable bulwark, an immovable tower, an imperishable glory, an impenetrable armor, an unfading joy, a perpetual delight, and whatever other excellence can be uttered." So says the quaint, old, delightful theologian of Methodism.

      Whatever tends to undermine faith in the Word of God delights the denizens of the lowest Hell, whether it springs from the rationalism of German schools or their imitators in Boston.

      Some time ago a young man who was up in the northern peninsula of Michigan, speaking of the immense tracts of forests where one can so easily lose his way, said, "When you get lost, believe your compass, do not believe yourself." So I think of the Word of God; it is our guide, our compass: trust in it, and you are safe.

      If it is not the WORD OF GOD, it is not the "HOLY BIBLE," and is not a safe guide. We would confirm and encourage every humble believer in its truths, they testify of Jesus, and in Him only do we have life. The entrance of His Word giveth light. Let us first settle in our minds that the Word came from God -- from beginning to end. The Holy Spirit is the Author. IT IS INSPIRED. This brings us to the question that will arise in the mind of the intelligent inquirer: "What do yon mean by inspiration?" and we reply, The conveying of certain extraordinary and supernatural notices or thoughts into the soul; or it denotes any spiritual influences of God upon the mind of a rational creature, whereby he is formed to a degree of intellectual improvement, to which he could not have attained in his present circumstances in a natural way.

      In the first and highest sense, the prophets, evangelists and apostles are said to have spoken and written by divine inspiration. This inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures is so expressly ATTESTED BY OUR LORD AND HIS APOSTLES, that among those who receive them as a divine revelation the only question relates to the inspiration of the New Testament.

      Before we take up the question as to the Gospels, etc., let us devote a portion of our time to the Scriptures as Jesus knew them, and to which He gave His approval, for we deny most emphatically that He would, or could, lend Himself to what He knew was a fraud; that to Him a collection of myths and legends, even though accepted by the Jews, never could be "the Scriptures" and quoted as "THUS SAITH THE LORD."

      The inspiration of the Scriptures includes the whole Book from Genesis to Revelation -history, prophecy and poetry; Pentateuch to the end. The Word says, "ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD." The historical books of the Bible are necessary to a complete Bible, and in the very first one, that gives us an account of the "beginnings," we have the bases of the doctrines that are found in the Word. In Genesis we have the principles of atonement, sacrifice, pardon of sin, covenants, coming of the Redeemer. If Genesis is needed, it needs to be inspired of God. "The doctrine of sin needs for its starting-point the record of the fall," and the record of the fall is "history." Dr. Grey says: "Could we so satisfactorily understand justification did we not have the story of God's dealings with Abraham? And what of the priesthood of Christ? Dismiss Leviticus and what use could be made of Hebrews?"

      The historical books are, in many cases, prophetical as well as historical, and the Apostle, referring to Old Testament history, says, "THESE THINGS were written for our learning, that through patience and comfort of THE SCRIPTURES we might have hope." And again he says, it was not written for his sake alone, but for us also.

      When Jesus met the arch-enemy in the conflict in the wilderness, in the very beginning of His ministry, He used Deuteronomy, to the discomfiture and defeat of the devil, for though some Doctors of Divinity today say it is a part of the collection of myths, yet the old devil knew better, knew it was the Word of God; knew "IT IS WRITTEN." He had too much devilish sense ever to be scared by a "myth," and knew it was the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. The whole life and ministry of Jesus Christ were a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, from His birth until He cried on the cross: "It is finished!'' He, while on earth, was a witness to the divine authority and infallible truth of the sacred records in which prophecies that met their fulfillment in Him are recorded.

      In my old Bible I have written on the first page: "The phrase, 'Thus saith the Lord,' occurs 2,600 times in the Old Testament." The very first chapter in the very first Gospel says, "All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord THROUGH THE PROPHETS." In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was careful to proclaim He "came not to destroy, but to fulfill THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS," and again He declared, "The SCRIPTURES cannot be broken." The Epistle to the Hebrews states that "GOD at sundry times and in divers manners SPAKE IN TIMES PAST unto the fathers BY THE PROPHETS." And we are believing with all the heart that Jesus and apostles knew more of the Word than the present-day higher critics, who, drawing there inspiration from German universities, are sadly undermining the faith of those who wait on their ministry.

      Turning now to the inspiration of the New Testament, we find first the apostles were the historians of Jesus, and for them inspiration was necessary that they might fulfill the purpose of their mission. They left in four Gospels a record of what He did and taught. Two of the four were written by Matthew and John. Mark and Luke were probably of the seventy that Jesus sent out in His lifetime, and the earliest Christian historians tell us the Gospel of Mark was revised by Peter and that of Luke by Paul, and that both were afterward approved by John, so that all four Gospels were handed down to the Church with the sanction of apostolic authority.

      The apostles were not only the historians of Jesus, their writings contain PREDICTIONS OF THINGS TO COME, and prophecy requires the highest degree of inspiration, hence it will occur to any unprejudiced mind they must have been inspired, first, in order to be accurate historians of the life of Jesus, twenty years after He ascended, and true expounders of His doctrine; and second, prophets of events yet to come.

      OUR LORD PROMISED INSPIRATION TO HIS APOSTLES, and His character gives us a security that He possessed all that He promised. We read in the Gospels that Jesus ordained twelve and sent them forth to preach, and His last commission was to preach THE GOSPEL. His constant, familiar association with them qualified them for the execution of His commission. When He sent them during Ills lifetime, He said: "It is not ye that speak, but THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER which SPEAKETH in you." (Matt. 10:19, 20.) And He repeated this promise when He said, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15.) And the fulfillment of these promises was a pledge that the measure of inspiration necessary for the carrying out of the great commission would not be lacking. When Jesus took a long farewell of His disciples after eating the Passover, He said, "The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father shall send in my name, HE SHALL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have SAID unto you. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth, for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and lie will show you things to come." (John 14:16, 17,26;16:12,13.)

      Here all the degrees of inspiration that are necessary are promised; the Spirit was to bring to their remembrance what they HAD heard, to guide them into the truth they were not then able to bear, and to show them things to come. THIS IS JUST WHAT THE SPIRIT DID FOR OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS. They searched as to "what or what manner of times the SPIRIT OF CHRIST which was in them, did signify, when it testified BEFOREHAND the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that SHOULD FOLLOW." And then the Apostle proceeds to say: "Unto us they did minister the things WHICH ARE NOW REPORTED UNTO YOU BY THEM THAT HAVE PREACHED THE GOSPEL UNTO YOU with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven." (1 Pet. 1:11, 12.)

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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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