The Words of “The Word of God”

“MY DOCTRINE is not mine, but his that sent me.” (John 7:16) These are the words of Jesus Christ our Lord. “As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28) “Why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words.” (John 8:46,47) “The Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say and what I should speak.” (John 12:49) “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself.” (John 14:10) “The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:24) “I have given unto them the words which thou gayest me.” (John 17:8) These are the words of “the Word of God.”

The Logos—the Word of God—is to us the name of our Lord Jesus before his birth as a babe in Bethlehem. John 1:1-5 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [the almighty One], and the Word was God [a mighty One]. The same was in the beginning with God [the almighty One]. All things were made by him [this mighty One]; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

As the “Word of God” Jesus was present when the foundations of the earth were laid. In Psalm 33:6 we read, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made.” As the “Word of God” the pre-human Jesus was God’s spokesman, “the divine expression” to carry out the work of creation, so “all things were made by him.” But the Word was later made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus was born. If this event had never taken place, there never would have been salvation through the blood of Christ.

In our opening Scripture reading Jesus told us that the words which he spoke he spoke not of himself. Time and again he repeated this lesson, “The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

When he began his ministry, as he was tempted of the Devil, his first words were, “It is written.” And in his final prayer, speaking of his church, he said to the Father, “I have given unto them the words which thou gayest to me.” (John 17:8) So now it is in this spirit that we humbly approach the “words” of our Master, knowing that the words which he spoke were the Father’s words to us. We know our Father through his Word as he has spoken to us through his Son. We are confident that we all are interested in these words of the Father given to us by his Son. We want to study them. We want to understand them as they apply to us, to enjoy them, and to benefit from the lessons which they teach.


But first, here is a familiar text in the Bible. II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This sets forth our responsibility to the Master’s words; yes, and to all the words of the Bible, the Word of God. The exhortation is to “rightly divide” the Word. If we do not study, if we do not analyze correctly the message of the Word, we will miss that which we seek—the truth. But more important, such a course would lead to our shame—ashamed, disgraced, confused, perplexed—as one of God’s workmen “that needeth not to be ashamed.” Let us not permit tradition or self-interest or any other thing to stand in the path of viewing the Word of God without distortion.

Certainly as truth people, as we rightly divide his words and the times and seasons in which we live, we grow in our enjoyment and appreciation of his words. Our prayer is that the same Holy Spirit that gave the Master “words to speak” may also abide in our hearts and cause each one of us to say, as recorded in Psalm 119:162, “I rejoice at thy word as one that findeth great wealth.” And also exclaim with Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” May the few verses which we will touch upon here be a guide to the further study of this most entrancing subject.

Jesus, in his wilderness temptation, answered Satan, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4) In this verse we are told what constitutes our spiritual food—the “words” of God. As in the natural, so also in the spiritual, appetite for food is a sign of health. It is spiritually healthy to hunger and thirst for spiritual understanding. So let us feed upon, let us digest and assimilate, the words of God. May we never lose our appetite for spiritual understanding of every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

But to understand God’s Word we do need helps. The question Philip addressed to the eunuch is still a good one: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30) And the answer is still a good answer: “How can I, except some man should guide me?” And so the Lord has given us guides, helps. “The Studies in the Scriptures” are among these. But let us use our guides as helps, not as substitutions for the Word, for nothing can replace the Word of God.

The nominal church has been overreached in this matter. Creeds, confessions of faith and catechisms have taken the place of the open Bible. The Jews have replaced the Torah of Moses with the Talmud of the rabbis. The Book of Morman, the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Watchtower, have all been placed on at least a par with the Bible in the minds and hearts of many people. No wonder we find it necessary to fall back again on Jesus’ words which he says were the words of his Father: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” The Word of God has been made of none effect by the traditions of men.—Matt. 15:9

We enjoy our helps. We thank God for our Pastor, and he taught us that we must rely on our only authority, the Word of God. Let us rejoice because we have been drawn away from the stagnant pools of tradition to the very fountainhead of truth by these helping hands for Bible Students. And there we will remain, proving all things, holding fast that which is good.—I Thess. 5:31

The Father’s Doctrine

In John 7:16,17 Jesus said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Here is a principle of immense importance. This text proves that those who do his will, by consecration, will have opened to them the grand inlet of light so that they can see the doctrines and the teachings of his Word.

“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please him. As he spake these words may believed on him.” Here the Master was speaking to those who would lift him up and put him on the cross to die. He knew that as “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”—John 8:28-30; 3:14

Jesus knew the manner of his death, and he knew who would be used to bring it about. The Father in Old Testament Scripture had told him. He makes a statement that gives us great strength. To those who saw no beauty in him that they might desire him, to those who gnashed on him with their teeth, to those who would lift him up to die, he says, “I am not alone.” I have a support transcending all human acclaim or persecution. I am here to do my Father’s will. I am doing the things he has told me to do, and thus I am pleasing to God.

You may frown upon me, but my Father smiles upon me, and because of this I am strong; and as he spoke many believed on him. We feel that as he spoke those words, so full of consecration, that his face may have been even more beautiful than was Stephen’s when it was said of him, they “saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15) May we learn this simple truth, that as we are doing God’s will at those times when it requires courage to do that will, even though some may gnash their teeth and some may frown, that like him we know that we are not alone. We have God’s smile and his rod and his staff to comfort us.

Jesus said, “Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God.” In order to fully appreciate this text, let us read the verses immediately preceding. Verses 43,44: “Why do you not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the Devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”—John 8:43-47

Here the Master tells his detractors that had he been less truthful they would have accepted him. Had he dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s of tradition, he would have been more acceptable. But he would not do that. He chose rather to tell them the truth, even though he knew they would not believe him. But he also knew that those who were seeking would accept his words, for his words had come from God.

The nominal house has accepted Satan’s lie. We do not. We have heard the words of truth. We have proven them. We will hold them fast. In simple words, this is the difference between the nominal church and truth people. This is the difference between ritualism and consecration, so let us not forget that in our fellowship there are those who have strong convictions. That is as it should be. But some have the idea that opinions are classified into two kinds. One: that which is their own. Two: any opinion that differs from their own is erroneous, and more than that, dangerous, and should not be expressed. We are not here speaking of fundamentals.

The Father’s Commandment

John 12:49,50 reads: “I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” These words are a summary of Jesus’ desire to emphasize that his words came from the Father, and that keeping his words leads to everlasting life. It makes one think of the statement, “Error does not sanctify, only the truth does that.” The Master said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” And surely it is the desire of us all, in our daily life, to speak the words of God. And thus we will walk in the way of life everlasting. By reason of Adam’s disobedience to God’s command we were born under condemnation to death. By virtue of our Lord’s obedience to God’s command we are now walking in the way of life everlasting.

In John 14:23,24 we read Jesus’ words, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” Love is the root. Obedience is the fruit. If we love God’s Word we will be obedient to its precepts. Love and obedience flow from the principle of gratitude, and the result of love and obedience is, “I will manifest myself to him” “and my Father will love him.” Jesus added, “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Not “I will” but “we will”—the Father and Jesus will. Not a short running visit as a guest, but we will make a permanent abode in your heart.

“The words which you hear are not mine, but his that sent me,” said Jesus. Why did he repeat this expression so often? Why do we repeat it so often? That we may properly value his words, the truths established by the words that say, “It is written,” which were the first words Jesus spoke after Jordan, and in his last prayer he observed happenings that the scripture might be fulfilled.—John 17:12

In John 17:6-9 the Master said, while in prayer, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gayest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gayest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gayest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”

And speaking of his disciples then and since, Jesus said, “Thou gayest them to me.” As sheep to a shepherd, as children to a tutor, “Thou gayest them to me” that we may be instructed in the teaching of God’s Word. “And they have kept thy word.” Is this true of us, and do we obey what “the Holy Spirit teaches” as we are exhorted to do in I Corinthians 2:13? Others can preach the Word of God to us, but only the Holy Spirit can open our minds and reveal the truth to our hearts. Thank God our hearts have been opened! As the ground receives the seed; as the earth drinks in the rain; as pants the hart for the waterbrook, so we have accepted the truth as found in the unadulterated Word of God. And these “words of God” given us by our Lord Jesus Christ have enriched our lives. But these riches can be retained only as we study carefully and enthusiastically to rightly divide the Word of truth.

“Howbeit when it, the spirit of truth, is come, it will guide you into all truth; for it shall not speak of itself; but whatsoever it shall hear, that shall it speak; and it will show you things to come.” (John 16:13) Our Father never forces truth upon anyone. But he gives it to those who hunger and seek for it. Let his truth, his words, enrich our lives and make us wise unto salvation. They are words of life. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.” Understanding is more precious than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. (Prov. 3:15) It is this spirit that will give us victory, and with these words we close: “That I may know Him.” Not know him merely in name or theory, for this brings no power to stand amid the strife. Nay, we would know him as the living Savior, the very strength and center of our lives.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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