THE WORD OF GOD
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE BIBLE
ByZander Dell Raines
COPYRIGHT, 1997-APOCALYPSE PRODUCTIONS
THE AUTHORIZED VERSION-1611 to Present
HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)
THE AUTHORIZED VERSION
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.-Isaiah 60:1-5
As the Reformation begins, thousands of people leave the church of Rome to gather themselves around anyone who might stand up to the catholic church and had some knowledge of the word of God. This was the official end of the Dark Ages, as foretold in the Bible.
One of the Christians who would stand up to the church was William Tyndale. He was one of the first men to translate the New Testament into English. He uses for his source texts not the corrupt Alexandrian Text, but the Received Text for his English Bible. He did this in 1524 and the pope in Rome put out a reward for Tyndale's capture. He was finally caught in 1536, and was burned at the stake for daring to get the Received Text back into the hands of God's people.
Such tactics as this did not stop those who hungered for God's word however. The Received Text is translated into many languages at this time. The French are given a translation in the Olivetan Bible in 1537. The English also are given the Received Text in the Geneva Bible in 1560. At this point, the Church of Rome realizes they must strike back, so they translate the Vatican Manuscript into English in 1582 in the Jesuit Rheims Bible. This Bible, however, does little to stem the tide.
In 1590, God has the Received Text translated into Italian in the Diodati Bible. One group, called the Puritans, escaped to England for safety from the church of Rome. While there they petitioned King James to have the entire Bible translated into English. The king agreed and chose scholars from all over England. This group of scholars, like Tyndale and others, would totally reject the Alexandrian line of Text and chose the Received Text as the basis for their Bible. It was this text that would finally become known as the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, which was finished in 1611.
By this time, the word of religious freedom in England had reached Europe. Many small, persecuted groups of Christians fled to England. However things in England soon turned against these groups. While most of Europe was controlled by the Catholic Church, in Germany the Lutherans became the official church of the state. In Scotland, it became the Presbyterian, and in England it became the church of England. All other groups soon fell victim to persecution by all of these state-approved churches.
With their backs now to the Atlantic Ocean, the people of God had only one more place to flee to and that was America. The Pilgrims and the Puritans, closely followed by the Baptists, all booked passage on ships to the New World, preferring its unknown dangers to the persecutions all around them. As the church re-located to America, it brought with it their beloved Received Text, using it as the basis for a new form of government never before seen on earth, the Bible Commonwealth.
As the church sets its roots down in America, the greatest missionary period in all history begins. This is also the fulfillment of yet another Bible prophecy (Isaiah 60:8-9). This prophecy may well be one of the most significant to church history as it relates to American history. Who are these who fly as a cloud? It is in America that the Wright Brothers would invent the airplane. In prophecy "isles" were any land other than Asia, Africa, and Europe, which today we call the Old World. Another amazing part of this prophecy is the mention of the "ships of Tarshish first". Tarshish was the old name for the south of Spain. It was indeed from this area that Columbus and his ships first set out to discover. It was also from the New World that Columbus and other explorers returned with gold, silver, and sons from afar, the natives of the New World. It also tells us here why the natives were brought back. It was so that they could come to know the name of the Lord so that they might be saved.
It is to the New World that the church did flee to escape the clutches of the Church of Rome. America becomes a truly Christian nation. One of the first things the new settlers do is to set up schools so that their children can learn to read the Scriptures. Within a few decades, great universities would spring up, such as Yale and Harvard, to train young men to become missionaries to carry the Received Text back to the Old World to win it for Christ. Great revivals sweep the young nation, as the people draw closer to their God. Satan is truly enraged, but is able to do little to stem the tide of world evangelism, at least for now.
THE LITTLE BOOK
In the fourth and fifth chapters of the book of Revelation, we are given a view of what God's throne room in heaven looks like. Here, in the midst of all the angels, seraphim, cherubim, and elders, our attention is suddenly drawn to a small object that becomes the center of all heavenly activity.
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.-Revelation 5:1
There is much sorrow in heaven because no one in the entire universe is found worthy to open this small book. At the last possible moment, however, someone does come forth. The one that steps forward is the only one in all of the universe that is worthy to open the book.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.-Revelation 5:6-7
The Lamb that we see here is none other than Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer! Jesus takes the book from His Father's hand, and proceeds to open it, one seal at a time. The opening of this book reveals to John the final stage of God's eternal plan. It also reveals to him the details of God's program from before the world began until there is a new heaven and new earth. With all this happening, the little book is left behind, but not for long. We see this book again in the hands of an angel, a few chapters later.
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,-Revelation 10:1-2
The angel here, most likely Michael the archangel, has the little book, now open for all to see. John proceeds to take the book and do something very strange with it in Revelation 10:9-10. This is a very unusual book indeed. John, at first taste, finds it sweet and receives it with gladness in his heart. Later however, his flesh finds it very bitter to deal with. What could this little book that is so much a part of the book of Revelation be?
The Holy Bible is a complete book. All terms that are used in it are also explained somewhere within its pages. So the little book which has passed from the Father, to Jesus, to an angel, and finally to John the Apostle is explained herein also. This explanation is given in the very first of John's message.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.-Revelation 1:1-2
Here in verse one, we are told of something that is passed from God, the Father; to Jesus, the Son; to an angel; and finally to John. In verse two, John bares record to the fact that this book is the word of God. So here we have what the little book of Revelation is. It is the Holy Scriptures, within the pages of which, this entire Revelation is given to man! What a wonder God gave us when He gave us His Holy Bible!
THE MIGHTY SWORD
Just what is the word of God anyway? The answer to this question is vitally important to the discussion before us. Paul, the Apostle describes the word of God to us.
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:-Ephesians 6:16-17
Here Paul is speaking of the armor that God gives us with which to fight our enemy, the devil. Out of all of this armor, we only have one offensive weapon with which to battle Satan. This weapon is our sword, which is the word of God. Paul also tells us just how powerful that this sword is.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.-Hebrews 4:12
This is a mighty weapon indeed, but we must know how to properly use it. The proper way to use our sword is also described by Paul
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.-I Thessalonians 2:13
Paul, speaking here, tells us to treat the word of God with the deepest of respect. He also tells us that it will only work for those who really believe it is the word of God and act appropriately. Also only a Christian can use this weapon, no one else. Still we must know exactly what the word of God actually is, that Paul gave to the Thessalonians, which they used to fight the devil with. The answer to this is given in the account of Paul's trip to Thessalonica.
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,-Acts 17:1-2
So here, at long last, we have our answer. What is the little book of Revelation? the sword of the Spirit? the word of God? It is the book that today we call the Holy Scriptures. Yet we still face a problem. The Bible scholars of today tell us that the Holy Scriptures were only contained in what they call the "original autographs" of the Bible. They further say that as the original writings were copied and re-copied, first by the Jews, and later by the church, that errors have crept into the writings, and so the true word of God has become polluted and some feel that they have now become lost altogether. The words of many of these textual critics have been compiled by Dr. Peter Ruckman.
"Rendall Harris said that the New Testament is more unsettled after Westcott and Hort than before. Kirsopp Lake said that it is quite unlikely we shall ever know the original forms of the Gospels. K.W. Clark said that even the editing of the original manuscripts is extremely elusive and obscure. H. Greeven said that the nature of the original New Testament text is and always will be hypotheses. R.M. Grant said that the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote is well nigh impossible."
Would the God that created the Holy Scriptures have allowed them to become lost to men forever? Let's see what the Bible says about the opinions of these modern-day textual critics.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.- II Timothy 3:14-15
Here Paul says that Timothy has studied from his youth the Holy Scriptures. At this point in time, the New Testament was not yet written. Paul could not have meant the original autographs as the New Testament was not yet written when Timothy was a youth. The only scriptures that Timothy could have had was the Old Testament. Now the Old Testament was completed over 400 years before Timothy's time. The original autographs of the Old Testament had long since been destroyed. All the scriptures that Timothy could have had to study when growing up were faithful copies of copies and translations of these autographs. Yet Paul, the top Biblical scholar of his day, called these copies and translations the Holy Scriptures.
If the Old Testament copies that Timothy studied were still considered Holy by God, and thus inerrant, does it not make sense that God has still preserved these same Holy Scriptures to this day? In fact the one who would want us to not believe that God's Holy Scriptures are with us today would be the devil. Would it not be wise, from Satan's point of view, to make us lose faith in our sword, the one weapon that he cannot stand up against? Yes, make no doubt about it, God's word is still with us today!
With that problem laid aside, we still face quite a puzzle. There is a vast multitude of different Bibles all around us today. Satan has done a beautiful job of confusing the issue of Bible authority by flooding the market with a great variety of versions, not only contradicting each other but, in many cases, contradicting themselves. So which one, out of all these Bibles, is the true word of God? Rather than going to the counsel of man, let's look at what the Holy Scriptures have to say about themselves!
THE POWERFUL SCRIPTURES
Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, who lived 800 years before Jesus Christ, said that the earth was round in Isaiah 40:21-22. The unbelievers of Isaiah's day believed that the world was flat. It was not until 1492, almost 2,300 years later, that a man named Christopher Columbus would believe this verse. Because he believed it, he discovered the New World. This verse is only the beginning. King Solomon, 1,000 years before Jesus Christ, wrote the following words.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.-Ecclesiastes 1:6-7
It was not until the 20th century AD that men began to learn of weather patterns such as the water cycle and the jet stream, or as Solomon called them "his circuits". So if man had just listened to what God had told Solomon, they would have know of these things almost 3,000 years ago. Let's not stop here though. During the 19th century AD, babies were dying at a terrible rate in the hospitals all over Europe. A young doctor, who was also a Bible believer, was trying to solve this problem when he read the following verse.
And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean.-Leviticus 15:13
Doctors up until that time would wash their hands in a pan of water between seeing patients. In this way, germs would be spread from one baby to another as the water was used over and over again. The young doctor in question began washing in running water instead of using the wash pans and began advising others to do the same and guess what happened? The death rate of the babies dropped miraculously. How many babies might have been saved from death over the years, if doctors had listened to what Moses had written around 3,500 years earlier.
He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.-Job 37:7
The book of Job was written nearly 2,000 years before Jesus Christ. In this book we find this fascinating verse. It was not until the 20th century AD that fingerprinting began to be used in crime detection. How many crimes might have been solved, if only men had heeded Job's advice. This advice was given almost 4,000 years ago!
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken. The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.-Nahum 2:3-4
The prophet Nahum lived about 650 years before Jesus Christ. God gives Nahum this most unusual prophecy. Here the prophet Nahum speaks of a time, just before the LORD's return, when there would be an army dressed in red and chariots that would run like lightning. In Nahum's day no one could begin to understand what these words meant, but today who hasn't seen a car or heard of the Red Army of Russia? While communism may seen dead, the prophet Ezekiel also confirms that Russia is a major player in the end times scenario.
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.-Isaiah 9:5
The prophet Isaiah was also given insight into this last days war. How could Isaiah know that, during the last great war, fuel would play such an essential part. Yet today no plane, tank, or ship could move without it. This is not the only glimpses of the future in the Authorized King James Bible, not by far! Job also knew other secrets that man would not uncover until the last days.
Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?-Job 38:35
No one in Job's day could understand how someone could send lightning and make it talk. No one, 2,000 years later in Jesus' day, could possibly have known. Not until nearly 4,000 years after the fact was this mystery solved, when Samuel Morse developed the telegraph and later still, when Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone. These men discovered that lightning could be made to speak. Morse's first words over the telegraph showed that he knew the true source of this miracle. His first message over the telegraph was short and to the point. It was, "What hath God wrought?".
We could go on forever, showing the great and wondrous knowledge in the word of God, but I feel I have made my point here. God's word is the most wondrous book ever written, especially as it is revealed to us in the Authorized King James Bible.
ISAIAH-AN OUTLINE OF THE BIBLE
Jesus called the Hebrew Old Testament "the law and the prophets" (Luke 16:16). The first book of the Old Testament that is totally given to prophecy is the book of Isaiah. We have already seen how miraculous some of Isaiah's prophecies were.
Dr. Peter Ruckman, dean of the Pensacola Bible Institute, has done some fascinating research in this area. Thanks to him, we can now see how that even the way that the book of Isaiah is laid out in the Holy Scriptures shows the divine hand of God at work.
There are 66 books in the Authorized King James Bible. Isaiah has 66 chapters. While this in itself could just be called an odd coincidence, it is really only the beginning of a pattern. The first book of the Bible speaks of the creation of the heavens and the earth.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.-Genesis 1:1
The first chapter of Isaiah speaks of the heavens and the earth.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.-Isaiah 1:2
The last book of the Bible speaks of the new heavens and the new earth.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.-Revelation 21:1
The last chapter of Isaiah speaks of the new heavens and the new earth.
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.-Isaiah 66:22
While all of this is amazing in itself there's something even more miraculous to consider. The book of Isaiah is divided into two parts. The first 39 chapters are written in a certain style, while the last 27 chapters are written in a totally different style. Among Biblical scholars this phenomena is called deutero-Isaiah.
Because of this division, many textual critics believe that the book of Isaiah was actually written by two different men. This belief has always seemed strange to me when you consider the fact that the Old Testament books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, and Song of Solomon are probably the three most different writing styles of the Old Testament, and yet no one has any trouble believing that all three of these books were written by the same man, King Solomon of Israel.
Let me assure you. The book of Isaiah has only one writer, but God did have a reason to have Isaiah change his writing style at exactly the place that he did. You see, the first half of Isaiah has 39 chapters and the first half of the Authorized King James Bible also has 39 books. The second half of Isaiah has 27 chapters and the second half of the Bible has 27 books. The most fascinating fact concerning Isaiah though concerns a major prophecy given in the 40th chapter.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.-Isaiah 40:3
This is a prophecy concerning John the Baptist. This prophecy is fulfilled in the 40th book of the Bible, Matthew!
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.-Matthew 3:1-3
Keep in mind that Isaiah wrote his book and died 800 years before the book of Matthew was even written. All of this is not a coincidence! It is the outline of the Holy Scriptures, given nearly 1,000 years before the Bible was completed. This phenomena will not work with just a Hebrew Old Testament. It will not work with just a Greek New Testament. It will not even work with a catholic Bible. It will only work with the one complete Bible laid out by God's hand. In the English today we call this the Authorized King James Bible!
THE CENTER VERSE
There is one last nail to put in the coffin of all false copies of the true word of God. With this in mind, let us turn to the book of Psalms. There are 31,101 verses in the Authorized King James Bible. The center verse is....
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in men.-Psalms 118:8
Right here, in the middle of the Holy Scriptures, is God's advice concerning the men of our day. Is this just an accident?
There are 14 words in this verse. If you split this verse in half, you will find the two center words of the Bible, "the LORD". This will only work with an Authorized King James Bible.
It will not work with any other English translation currently on the market anywhere. These versions have all removed some verses, destroying the delicate balance needed for this to work!
Many godly men are out there today that still stand for the Holy Scriptures as first given to the saints in the Received Text of the Bible. One of them, Dr. Peter Ruckman, makes a strong statement for the concerns we all have as each year more Bible versions are being introduced to the body of Christ.
"The Originals have never been found. The variations in how to say a thing differ from one language to another. The Text of the King James Bible can be found in some manuscripts clear back to AD 90. It is only the conceit of the scholars to assume that the Textus Receptus is a late text. Tatian's Diatesseron (AD 190) contains reading in the King James' Greek Text that are not found in the Westcott and Hort text (which was taken from manuscripts written in AD 330-350). All the new versions have an anti-Christian and pro-catholic prejudice against the Greek text of the Reformation. The motive of the Revisers-bar none-is not for greater accuracy, clearer language, or a better rendering. it is to replace the Greek Received Text of the early New Testament Church with the Vatican text of the 4th century, North African Church. The King James 1611 Authorized Bible outshines every Bible. Could it be that it is God's infallible, eternal world within the covers of one book? No competitor has yet appeared able to create a standard comparable to the text which has held sway for 1800 years in the original tongues, and for 300 years in its English translation, the King James 1611 Authorized Version!"
THE SUMMARY OF THE MATTER
In closing this discussion, I wish to give a brief summary of the history of the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament was written and completed by the nation of Israel in Jerusalem around 400 BC. Around 200 BC the religious scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, under the pretense of making an accurate translation of the word of God, made a corrupt copy, changing the Bible in thousands of places and adding several false books to the Old Testament.
The New Testament was written by New Testament Christians and compiled by the Apostle John in Antioch, Syria around AD 100. Around AD 250, the religious scholars at Alexandria, Egypt, made a corrupt copy of the New Testament under the direction of Adamantius Origen.
When the Catholic Church was officially begun around AD 350, they chose for their Bible, the Old and New Testaments of Alexandria, Egypt. This became the Latin Vulgate Bible. The church throughout the rest of the world used the Hebrew Old Testament of Jerusalem, Israel, and the Greek New Testament of Antioch, Syria. This became the Received Text of the church. The conflict became so pronounced between these two bodies that, by 1229, the Catholic Church actually outlawed the Bible, and instituted the Inquisition.
In 1601, King James I of England authorized an English Bible based on the Received Text. The Authorized King James Bible of 1611 came out of this work. In 1881, the religious scholars of England created the Revised Version of the Bible, based on the Vatican Manuscripts of the Roman Catholic Church. Nearly all English versions of the Bible since that time have been based on these same Vatican Manuscripts.
For now, I wish to say this. We have presented here dozens of verses that show the power of the word of God. It is only time that limits me from giving more. There are hundreds more! Surely even the toughest critics of God's word now have reason to at least consider these facts. We that already believe now have greater reason to rejoice. Take up your sword! The enemy already knows he is beaten! Be deceived no longer! We do have the true word of God today! As Jesus Christ Himself said, ages ago...
Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.