Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Breath of the Almighty, Part 2

In my last blog, I wrote about how the Spirit of God is the called the Breath of God in the Bible. And I also covered the fact that when we are born again the Spirit 'breathes' into us the very Life and Nature of God Himself, and we become children of God. The Spirit of God is called the Spirit of Life in Romans 8:2.
The Spirit actually gives life to all living things and if the Spirit were to withdraw from any plant or animal it would immediately die. Note that when Jesus cursed the fig tree that it suddenly withered from the root, the source of its life. I believe it happened because, in response to Jesus' word, the Spirit withdrew completely from the plant.
From a careful study of the scriptures you will find that the Spirit brings to pass that which is spoken by God. In Genesis 1, the Spirit hovered over the earth and then the Lord spoke and it immediately came forth. The Spirit brings the Word into reality.

Now we will look at the Bible, the written Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:15-16 says "the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness". I really like the fact that the NIV translators chose to translate 'theo-pnuestos' as 'God breathed' instead of 'God inspired'. I think it will help us settle a very important dispute in theological circles regarding the inspiration of the scriptures.
Some very prominent Bible scholars are denying the inerrancy of the Bible. They are saying that the Bible contains the Word of God, but it is not free from all kinds of errors. They say that the Bible is 100% true theologically, but not necessarily accurate regarding historical facts. They say that God inspired the truth in the minds of the authors of scriptures, but when these men wrote them out they used their own limited knowledge when it came to historical events. Now these scholars are orthodox in their beliefs regarding the deity of Christ, the crucifixion and resurrection, the 2nd Coming and all that. However, they do not see as necessary the contention that the Bible is accurate in details irrelevant to the theological truths it conveys.
The Bible, bearing witness of itself, does not support such a conclusion. Peter wrote that the human authors of the books of the Bible were "carried along by the Holy Spirit" as they wrote. Jesus said that scripture "cannot be broken". Paul, in Timothy, says that God "breathed-out" (lit.) the scriptures. Can God breath error? Even in insignificant error. It is contrary to His character to do so.
Besides, the picture of inspiration given by the scriptures runs contrary to the view that God simply revealed the truth to some and they wrote it down the best they could. Well, if they just did the best they could, then they might have written the theological parts wrong. At this point, they might say that God kept these writers from error in regards to theology, only allowing them to write the truth. But if God did that then would He not have kept them from error in all things? Of course, He would.
These folks want us to believe that God only inspires people with ideas, He does not really inspire their words, spoken or written. It is obvious to me that these people have a very flawed view of how God inspires people prophetically. He can, and does, actually speak His Word directly through people at times. I have prophesied before and I can tell you from experience that the words themselves come from the Spirit. It is not like preaching and teaching where God inspires us to speak what we have studied and learned. You can prophesy what you do not know and what you do not understand.
This is easy to prove from the Bible. Both Daniel and John (in Revelation) write down prophecies given to them and they ask the angel what they mean. This is heavy evidence against the concept of idea inspiration versus word (verbal) inspiration. Also, Peter calls all scripture "a more sure word of prophecy".

So when God breathed out His Word, it was all truth. And it was all Life. God's Word has God's life in it. He breathed the breath of Life into His Word. "The Logos (Word) of God is a living thing." Hebrew 4:12 (Moffat) They are words like the ones we use every day. But God has breathed into them His own Life and Nature. Jesus said that His words were "spirit and life". John 6:63
The Word communicates God's very Life to us when the Spirit breathes on it as we read or hear the Word. Have you had the experience of reading along in the Bible when certain scriptures just seem to come alive to you? You suddenly understand and are blessed by those particular scriptures. That's when the Logos Word becomes a Rhema Word to you. Very often you will have the same inspiration that the author originally had when it was written. At other times, the Spirit will apply the Word to your life even if it is out of context. It is a Rhema word just to you.
I remember when I was praying about whether or not to come back to Chincoteague and work with my father. I had gone back up north to Cleveland by God's leading two years previously. I asked God to give me a scripture so that I could be sure of His guidance. He gave me Jeremiah 16:15 "The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers." What a wonderful fit to my situation. Now I know that is not what Jeremiah meant, but it is what the Spirit gave to me. God works by principle and His principles are in His Word. When a certain principle applies to me, the Spirit will breath on the appropriate scripture or scriptures and make them come alive to me. It is Jesus speaking to us, leading us into all truth. He is the Truth and the Life. So is His Word.

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