In today’s world, we know nothing in all of God’s breathtaking universe to match the unbelievable complexity of the human brain. Probing its dimensions is a veritable trip into infinity! And if that were not complex enough, an equal to that astonishing truth is the brain’s ability to freely speak its own mind, even to the shocking extent of objectively analyzing and evaluating itself! In fact, human speech itself is an equal phenomenon, and every word of it is ultimately related to God’s pristine justice.
According to Genesis 2:19, 20, Adam knew the “languages” of all the living creatures, but more than that, he could walk and talk with God himself! (Genesis 3:8,9). Why? Because God created him in his own image for that very purpose (Genesis 1:26). In fact, the evidence is startling that when God finished creating Adam and Eve, immediately they thought perfect thoughts, talked a perfect language, with perfect words. The language of words pouring from the lips of God’s perfect couple was sweet music to him. It was a pure language of praise, adoration, and thankfulness to their holy Creator, who took infinite pleasure in hearing its beautiful strains from creatures made in his own image.
But yet another stunning phenomenon attended them: being made in God’s own image carried one of the essences of his own being straight into us: FREEDOM! Our freedom to choose became who we are in our very essence of being. We do not have the ability to lay it aside, any more than we could lay our heads aside and continue to live. But we must mention that the essence of God’s bestowed freedom within us cannot be realized unless we make a genuine choice. Therefore, God planted a tree of choice in perfect Eden with his warning not to partake of its fruit, nor even touch it. It was not the fruit itself, but God’s personal warning which forced the choice. As we all know, through Satanic allurement the first couple both touched it and ate it.
Sadly, that free choice to disobey changed the pristine course of all human existence into one of rebellion against our Creator, even one of bloodshed, alienation, and every attending evil against him. But, thankfully, humanity’s curse was followed by the magnificent story of God’s rescue of fallen humanity, of the divine Savior, and of our full restoration to himself.
That introduction brings us abruptly to our subject: WORDS. You see, words are vital to the essence of who we are. We cannot even be alive without, in one way or another, expressing ourselves in words. They are living concepts and experiences within us, and are the very framework of our conscious selves. There in the private domain of our eternal souls, God speaks to us, convicts and moves us to himself in a one-on-one free exchange of words. In that inner chamber we welcome or reject him until death itself ends that free ability, upon which we must give an account for it (Hebrews 9:27).
Pressing forward, we see that out of our mouths human language is actually driven into existence by the process of our living spirits forcing our physical brains to express our inner person. But then the curse of death and a limited lifespan forced the burning desire to relay our gained knowledge to our future generations lest, at our death, it be forgotten or lost. The answer was the graphic depiction of words, that is, writing, which very early burst on the scene of human history.
Now, with that short summation begins the vital story of God’s finger in the phenomenon of words. You see, the circumstance of sin and its consequences also forced God’s own sovereign hand in the matter. Here was the problem: the death factor demanded the perpetual divine assurance that God’s pristine plan of redemption must be present to every lost generation arising from those who had lived before them. He could never expect imperfect humanity to pass forward God’s perfect plan without contaminating its truth in some way. Imperfection in itself could never preserve God’s perfect word.
And so we come point-blank to the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture. While humanity has imperfectly attempted to pass forward the divine revelation of God’s plan of redemption, God himself sovereignly guarantees it! He states it this way, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The logic of it, and even God’s very own words, declare indelibly that his completed word will never pass away! The meaning is startling: every generation that arises through history can rest in full assurance and faith that God’s pure, uncontaminated, pristine word of absolute truth will exist and be available to every new generation! Each person must decide for themselves if they care enough about their souls to seek it. Satanic influence works overtime to contaminate and confuse it in the minds of humanity, and yes, a plethora of many and varied translations flood the landscape with a sordid list of subtractions and additions, but through it all God’s sovereign fiat of divine preservation stands as a guarantee that his pristine words all exist and are in full force and available to anyone who truly seeks them. God does not leave such a precious requirement into our imperfect hands, but has solemnly promised to oversee it himself!
Of course, this leaves us with a glaring question: “How can I know which translation is the correct one?” Here is the glaring truth of it: Look at it this way: when God himself is personally at work in the lives of fallen humanity, resulting in the obvious transformation of the human heart, none but himself can possibly take credit for it. He is, “The God that answered by fire…” (1 Kings 18:24). Therefore, God’s miraculous work in the human heart is always unmistakable! So, which translation is the correct one? It is so simple: Just look for God’s own fingerprints and footprints. It is obviously the one he has personally used the most for the longest, and is still at it. That’s the one! Flirting with anything else is extremely risky business for souls with so very much to lose. Error is afoot!
Consider this: perfection itself does not get better nor worse. It just is. You cannot modernize its truth, add to it, subtract from it, improve it, nor alter it in any way. If we will only humbly and sincerely exposed ourselves to it, his truth will always break the human mold we may have cast around it, and leap into our deep convictions. There lies the truth. We might clothe a king in dirty rags and tatters, but under it all is royalty in the flesh. Pity the deceiver who cloaks it with error to the destruction of those who follow them. Such did the followers of Jim Jones.
We come, then, to the point of this article. If it is truly God’s word, it is verbally pure even down to every “jot and tittle,” (Punctuation marks, Matthew 5:18), of the original manuscripts, which in different form become part of future inspired translations. Theologians call it “Plenary Inspiration,” meaning full in all respects, entire and absolute, embracing all parts thereof. As such, the Holy Bible is not just another book one uses to argue one’s pride of doctrinal position. No, this book has its own life! As one minister put it, “You don’t read this book, it reads you!” The message bound up in every word of it is infinitely important to every soul, because it is literally God speaking to each of us. Every word counts! There is no excess or lack in God’s inspired word.
An incident occurred in my own life which literally transformed my approach to God’s holy Word. I am a retired tax examiner for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Early in my employment there, I struggled with how to solve some of the more complicated tax returns. Frustrated, one day I asked my young manager, Mark, for help on a particular case. His very first question was, “What does the IRS tax code say about it?” Embarrassed, I said I hadn’t consulted it. He reached past me, took my tax code book, and turned quickly to the subject at hand. He asked me to read it back to him, which I did. Then he asked, “What do you think it says about your case?” I looked it over again and told him how I thought it applied. He responded, “But that isn’t what the tax code says. Read it again.” I did, but still didn’t make the connection. Then he carefully pointed to the little word “and” in the middle of the code and said, “You are overlooking the meaning in that one little word.” With that, he picked up the code book, showed it to me, and said, “This is the law as legislated by the United States Congress and signed by the President. You have to read every word and understand it because, being American law, every word counts! That tax return must agree with this law, or else it is wrong and that taxpayer must pay more tax than he has claimed, including any applicable penalties and interest that apply, even if he had his tax figured by the most trusted professional tax preparer in the country. Always remember, every word of the tax code counts!”
Boing! From then on that tax code book was always at my elbow, and I paid very special attention to every word of it. But more than that, I was so jolted by the incident that the very next time I picked up my Bible,….BOING! I began reading God’s word the same way. I paid special attention to every word because this is God’s word, his law, and every single word of it counts in my search for God’s truth. I had better be dead certain about it, or else I, myself, must give an answer to him personally when I meet him after death. Nothing else matters in my life if I fail in this one thing because of the “penalty and interest” that go with it. The question will not be if my parents were right, if my teacher or preacher was right, if my husband or wife was right, or anyone else. None of those! Rather, am I myself dead right about it? That is the question on which my soul — and every soul — hangs in God’s balances of eternal justice. Literally billions of souls are on that balance, but only individuals are weighed, just one at a time. It is a very personal matter between one’s own soul and God himself. Seeking final confirmation and assurance from any other source for what one believes other than from God himself, is a dead-end street! God alone confirms his own word of truth, so if we would know the truth of his word, then the pursuit of God himself is the path of personal assurance. There, and there alone, is a deep confidence, a peace of mind in the midst of storms, and especially when we must finally go through the valley of the shadow of death.
Every word! Every responsible individual should be sobered by that sterling truth! Readers be warned! Even though every dispenser of truth, be they parent, preacher, or teacher, must themselves stand in God’s presence and be fairly judged for every word they conveyed to others — hear me! — Regardless of them all, every individual hearer of the word will be held personally accountable for every word of God’s eternal message to every soul. Other than the story of redemption itself, this truth is most important to every single human soul created by the finger of God. Look in the mirror. There stands the one and only person in your life that will stand alone before God in judgment and be held eternally accountable for every word he sent your way. Of all we have heard and read in the years of our life, there at God’s personal judgment is the moment of truth. That is not the time nor place for guessing or hoping we were right. There is the final occasion when we fully realize that, sure enough, every word counts. Every word!