15 - How we got the Bible
Language is simply a means by which thought is transferred from one individual to another. No matter the method employed, so long as thought is conveyed accurately, it is language.
Semaphore is a method of communicating with flags. Morse code, using flashes of light or blips of sound, is another way we can talk to each other. Language is not constrained by sight or sound either, and people who are deaf or blind have sign language and braille. Hieroglyphics and runes use pictures to communicate.
Understanding that language is not exclusively restricted to written or spoken words helps us to understand that God originally wrote his word in the stars, centuries before it was ever written down in the languages of men. God originally taught man how to read the stars so we could understand what he was saying.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
The word declare is the Hebrew word caphor, which means to score with a mark as a tally or record; to inscribe, to celebrate in full communion fellowship; to rehearse. Firmament is raqia, the word we saw in Genesis which means the universe. The stars in the universe record the glory of God. God inscribed his word in the stars.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
This means exactly what it says. The knowledge of God's word is all around us in the sky, and we can see it every time we look up.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
The tabernacle for the sun refers to the twelve signs of the zodiac, the twelve constellations which the sun travels through every year. Verse four is quoted in Romans. The word of God has been declared all over the earth, to every generation since Genesis, since God first wrote his word in the stars and taught man how to read them.
But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Back in Genesis, these stars were set in the universe on the fourth day, before man was formed, made and created. Therefore, the stars were set in the heavens before the fall of man.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
If the word of God was inscribed in the stars, and the stars were put in the sky before man was formed, made and created, does this mean then that Adam and Eve knew that they would fall and need a redeemer before these events actually occurred? No, that would be ridiculous. Such logic elevates God to tyrant status and places man on earth merely as puppets with no control of their own destiny. Yes, God has foreknowledge, but Adam and Eve did not have to fall. Man could have continued in the original paradise administration without the need of ever requiring a messiah, thus making any plan of salvation written in the stars unnecessary. However, God knew man would fall and made provision ahead of time, but he did not programme the fall to take place regardless of anything Adam and Eve would or would not have done.
Adam could not have been taught the word of God written in the stars regarding the coming redeemer before the fall of man, because at that time man did not require a redeemer. Think of it this way - would God have taught Adam that he was going to fall and that the dominion of the world would be transferred to the devil and that a Christ would be required to redeem man before any of these events had taken place? No matter from which angle you view this, you can never make this fit. God is good always. If you lose that truth, your spiritual integrity has been compromised.
Yes, God knew man would fall, and he made provision ahead of time, but Adam and Eve could not possibly have known about the Christ before Genesis 3:15 when the promise of his coming was first spoken or your bible falls to pieces. Therefore, the word written in the stars could not have been known to Adam and Eve before that time because that word had not yet been written, it only existed in God's foreknowledge. And it only existed in God's foreknowledge because he knew it was going to happen. God did not make it happen.
That the stars were there in Genesis on the fourth day, before man was formed, made, and created, is without question. That the word of God regarding the fall of man and the coming redeemer is written in the stars, is also without question. That man would not have been taught the truths regarding the coming redeemer before Genesis 3:15, which is the first reference in the bible to Jesus Christ, is also without question. So how can we make sense of this?
Well, there is one fact about stars which provides an answer. The stars are set in the heavens at astronomically large distances from the Earth. Light from some stars takes hundreds of years to reach us. Does it not then logically follow that on the fourth day of creation, although all the stars were up there and doing their job, they would not yet have been visible on earth? Aside from our sun, the stars were not visible on earth at the time God put them in the heavens on the fourth day in Genesis. Consider these words, selah, for this is new light to the world.
Let's take this further. As the stars are set at differing distances from earth, which star then would have been the first star to appear in the heavens? Which of the stars would have been the first to twinkle in the night sky? Obviously, the closest, Alpha Centauri, a binary star system whose light takes just over four years to reach us.
Consider this regarding Alpha Centauri:
Alpha Centauri: A binary star, white and yellowish, on the toe of the right front hoof of the centaur, Centaurus.
It bears the proper name Rigil Kentaurus (often shortened to Rigil Kent) derived from the Arabic phrase Al Rijl al Kentaurus, meaning 'foot of the centaur,' but is nonetheless usually referred to by its Bayer's designation Alpha Centauri. Another alternative name is Toliman from a Hebrew word meaning 'the heretofore and the hereafter'. It is also sometimes known as Bungula, possibly from the Latin word ungula meaning 'hoof'.
From Witness of the Stars by EW Bullinger: The brightest star (in the horse's fore-foot), has come down to us with the ancient name of Toliman, which means the heretofore and hereafter, marking him as the one which is, and which was, and which is to come.
The one which was to come is a reference to the coming redeemer, Jesus Christ. Regarding the constellation as a whole, Bullinger states:
It (Centaurus) is one of the lowest constellations, ie, the farthest south from the northern centre. It is situated immediately over the Cross, which bespeaks his own death; he is seen in the act of destroying the enemy.
Does any of this remind us of a verse in Genesis?
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This is the first revelation given in the bible concerning the coming of the promised seed, Jesus Christ. It foretells that he would redeem man, that he would die, and that he would crush the head of the devil. The first star that appeared in the night sky carries precisely this meaning.
Here in Genesis 3:15 is the first occurrence of the word being written in the stars and taught to man. It is most probable that Alpha Centauri first appeared in the night sky at the very moment this prophecy was spoken. Adam and Eve were probably looking up at the first and only star shining in the night sky when God spoke Genesis 3:15 to them, thus associating this truth to that star.
It is without question that the first spoken revelation regarding Jesus Christ would have also been the first written reference to Jesus Christ in the stars. Later, as other stars appeared, God would have continued to teach his word to Adam and Eve until they had the entire word written in the stars taught to them. Adam and Eve then taught their children, and so the word in the stars was passed down from generation to generation. That was how we got the word written in the stars.
Centuries later, the knowledge of how to read God's word in the stars was lost, and so God gave Moses revelation to begin writing the written word, that which we know today as the bible. How did God's people in those days lose the word in the stars? Abraham knew it, but by the time Moses went into Egypt to lead God's people out of slavery a few hundred years later, it was all gone. What we do know is that the word was to be taught by parents to their children to keep the word alive from generation to generation. Parents, therefore, were not doing their job, they were not teaching their children God's word. This isn't conjecture, that is what happened. That is the only way the word could have been lost, and that was most likely why God's people were enslaved in Egypt.
Look, God could have taught his word in the stars to Moses, and Moses could have taught it again to the children of Israel. However, God knew that parents would not teach their children and the word would just be lost again, so he had it written down so it could continue from generation to generation. It is not the government's responsibility to teach your children, it is yours. It is not any church or ministry's responsibility to teach your children, it is yours. If you ignore your responsibility to teach your children the word of God and instead allow television, the government or some church or ministry to educate them, your children will never know God's word.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
This is not a threat, this is a loving statement of fact. God went to a lot of trouble to get his word to us so we could understand spiritual matters. If we do not teach God's word to our children, they won't know him, and the world will steal from them, kill them, and destroy them. Bibles are readily available, so there are no excuses. Whenever and wherever people lose the word, they are enslaved. Moses knew this, which is why he pointedly commanded the parents in his day to teach their children, and warned them of the consequences if they did not.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
The best way to teach your family is to run a church in your home so you all enjoy a healthy, balanced, regular diet of God's word. Teach your children at bedtime, teach your family during the day as you're living life and opportunities present themselves. Without teaching, we lose the word. You may know it and enjoy the benefits of it, but if you don't teach it, then the word you know is lost when you die. We have to teach. If you don't know God's word, don't worry about it as this class will teach you how to read the bible so you can understand it well enough to teach it.
2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Regarding the written word, the bible, which was given to Moses and the other prophets, God has this to say:
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God [theopneustos], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
All scripture means all scripture. It means all scripture without exception, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. All scripture was given by inspiration of God. The five English words, given by inspiration of God, are translated from one Greek word, theopneustos - a compound word derived from theos, God, and pneustos, breathed. Literally this verse says that all scripture is God-breathed. That means all of it without exception is God-breathed. God is the author of the bible.
2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios - one's own] interpretation.
The word private in verse 20 is the Greek word idios, which means his own or one's own. No prophecy of the scripture, none of it, from Genesis to Revelation, is of any private, personal, one's own interpretation. Why? Because it is God-breathed. God gave the sense and the meaning to his words, and we are to understand them in light of what God intended, not according to what we think they mean.
2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
This is how we got the God-breathed word. Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, God. What does this mean?
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
There is a law stating that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. As all these scriptures refer to the same thing, how we got the word, it is axiomatic then that God-breathed equals moved by the Holy Spirit equals revelation. That is how we got the word of God - by revelation.
Moses did not sit down one day under a tree with his iPad and decide to write Genesis. That is not how we got the bible. We saw in Genesis 3:15 that it was God who wrote his word in the stars and taught it to Adam and Eve. Similarly, God told Moses to get his pen, sit down and start writing, and Moses did what he was told and wrote down precisely what he was told to write down. The word was given by spiritual dictation, if you please. The first occurrence of God giving written revelation to man tells us just that.
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Being first occurrence of the written word mentioned in the bible, this verse holds special meaning and importance. The truth that the word was written with the finger of God holds true for every single word in the original texts which comprised the original God-breathed word, that which we know today as the bible. Every word in the original bible was God-breathed, every word in the original bible was written with the finger of God.
There is an account in the old testament of God dictating his word to a man by revelation, who with the help of a scribe wrote it down. However, God's word didn't particularly please the politicians of that day and they attempted to destroy that original scroll by chucking it in a fire.
And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.
It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
God's intent, the heart behind his words is clearly indicated here. As we learn in the book of Job, the first book of the bible ever written, God is always good. He was confronting people with their evil so they could turn back to him and once again enjoy protection from the god of this world who was on the verge of destroying them. God did not want these people destroyed, so he was giving them yet another chance to change. If God had wanted these people destroyed, he would not have sent a prophet to them to try to help them.
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.
God spoke to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah spoke to Baruch who wrote it all down. God is the author of his word. When news of this revelation reached the ears of the politicians, they called for Baruch to hear what God had to say.
Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.
And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read it in their ears.
Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.
And they asked Baruch, saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth?
Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book.
See, God spoke to Jeremiah, and Jeremiah spoke to Baruch, and Baruch wrote down the word of God in a scroll. That is how we got the word of God, the original bible.
Then said the princes unto Baruch, Go, hide thee, thou and Jeremiah; and let no man know where ye be.
And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.
So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.
And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.
That king did not have much respect for God and his word. Did he destroy God's word by chucking it in the fire? Perhaps he thought so, but he was wrong. God simply had his word rewritten, only this time he included a few extra words regarding that king.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.
And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast?
Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.
And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.
Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.
Did God punish the king? No, God simply proclaimed by revelation what was going to happen to him for walking away from his protection. The protection was there, it was available, but the king walked away into the darkness. It was his choice, his decision.
Understanding how we got the bible helps us to have confidence in it. Knowing that it is God's word, not the words of men, helps us to trust those words and live by them knowing that we will enjoy the benefits guaranteed therein.
What about today then? Is there any more bible to be written? Do we need new bibles given by revelation? Do we need new books written, like the book of Mormon? That's a good question, and the bible answers it.
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
All the revelation given to Paul fulfilled the word of God. This word fulfilled is from the Greek word pleroō, which means to fill to capacity. To emphasise the point, God employs a rare fourth conjugation here. In Aramaic and Hebrew there are four conjugations to intensify a verb. In our English language there are only three. In this case, the verb fulfilled is what we could call an extra-extensive form of the verb. A good translation of Colossians 1:25 would be:
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to completely, utterly, absolutely fill to capacity the word of God.
Rest assured, the bible, the God-breathed word written with the finger of God, is entire, complete and fulfilled.
Chapter 16 - The Renewed Mind