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The WORD Of God Is Alive!

INTRODUCTION: Scripture gives us many dimensions of the "Word," and as I prepared this study, I found it very difficult to limit myself to a reasonable choice of selected examples from the Old and New Testaments. The very Word of God brought all that we know of our material surroundings into existence, and the written Word reveals to us both the nature of God, and the nature of mankind. That incomparable Word provides eternal life to those who accept it by faith. The Word of God is consistent and true, and it can be read by sight, read by touch (as with Braille for the blind), or read aloud to be heard by the ear. It can be metaphorically received into the heart as a sweet fragrance, and as pleasant as the taste of honey from the comb: stimulating all of our senses through relational experience because the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We may not fully understand the means the LORD God uses to fulfill His Word, because our reasoning is limited to operation within the physical framework of matter, time, and space, whereas the LORD has no such limitation. But there is much for us to gain from our study of The WORD, and the Holy Spirit can then continue an inner transformation to the soul that has been converted by the power of the Word, as we become conformed to the image of Christ.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the KJ21 (King James 21st Century Version).

A - The word at the beginning of creation

"1 in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." (Genesis 1:1-3 KJ21)

"26 And God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." (Genesis 1:26-27 KJ21)

"By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." (Psalms 33:6 KJ21)

"1 {To the chief musician: A Psalm of David.} The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. 2 Day upon day uttereth speech, and night upon night showeth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their sound has gone forth through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." (Psalms 19:1-6 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The Holy scriptures open with "In the beginning God" and by verse 3 of the very first chapter we begin to see the creative power of the LORD revealed by His Word. The Genesis account helps us to remember by repetition, "God said ... and it was so" in verses 3 through 21 (only partly quoted above). When the Word of the LORD goes forth ... there is no doubt of the outcome, for the operative phrase will be "it was so!" The LORD God established all of the physical creation by the power of His Word, with plant, animal, and human life to be perpetuated by reproducing "after their kind." Mankind was the very distinctive pinnacle of God's creation, as the Lord made man after the image of God, and gave man dominion over all the rest of creation. After that image was marred by man's sin, the LORD continued to communicate with man showing His patience and grace over many centuries before He began communicating through the written Word. The one reference above from Psalms is the first example in this study that verifies through that written word, the power of the "breath" of the LORD in the creation of all things created. And the very creation itself speaks volumes to those who will listen all around the world, about the creator and his loving provision for mankind.

B - Rejection of the Word of the Lord God finally brought about the global flood of judgment

"16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."" (Genesis 2:16-17 KJ21)

"6 And the LORD said unto Cain, "Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."" (Genesis 4:6-7 KJ21)

"And to Seth also there was born a son, and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." (Genesis 4:26 KJ21)

"22 And Enoch walked with God after he begot Methuselah three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." (Genesis 5:22-24 KJ21)

"5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagining of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him in His heart. 7 And the LORD said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing and the fowls of the air, for I repent that I have made them." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." (Genesis 6:5-8 KJ21)

"22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark, for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation." (Genesis 6:22-7:1 KJ21).

COMMENTS: After the temptation by the serpent in the garden of Eden, the first murder was committed by Cain, the very first named offspring of Adam and Eve. God had spoken words to Cain to provide a way of escape from sin, but Cain yielded to the sin instead, and committed this violent act against the Lord and against his brother. Cain's Rejection of the LORD's provision for restoration to fellowship with God, represents the type of all who continue to reject the way back to the LORD through His Word. Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, and the LORD began a line of descent to Christ Jesus that would bring ultimate blessing of grace and forgiveness to those who call upon His name. The scripture tells us that after Seth's son Enosh was born, men began to call upon the name of the LORD. There is no record of direct communication from the LORD to Enoch, but Enoch walked with God, and living that metaphor was very pleasing to the LORD. However, sin continued in generations of mankind as they rejected the Word until the corruption of sin became so widespread that the Lord brought global judgment upon the earth. But, through grace the LORD gave words of direction to Noah which he followed by faith, in the seventh generation from Enosh, saving eight people in the ark, over 1400 years after men began to call upon the name of the LORD. Another blessing from God, and perhaps further comfort to we who are yet alive, was the death of all of Noah's direct line of forefathers prior to the flood, so they were not counted among those who died as a direct result of the LORD's global judgment.

C- The Word of the Lord to his chosen men

"1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, "Fear not, Abram. I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward." 2 And Abram said, "Lord GOD, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "Behold, to me Thou hast given no seed; and lo, one born in my house is mine heir." 4 And behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, "This shall not be thine heir, but he that shall come forth out of thine own loins shall be thine heir."" (Genesis 15:1-4 KJ21)

"27 And he said unto him, "What is thy name?" And he said, "Jacob." 28 And he said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name." And he said, "Why is it that thou dost ask after my name?" And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [that is, The face of God]: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."" (Genesis 32:27-30 KJ21)

"And the LORD said unto Moses, "Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first, and I will write upon these tablets the words that were in the first tablets which thou brokest." (Exodus 34:1 KJ21)

"1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2 "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I give to them, even to the children of Israel." (Joshua 1:1-2 KJ21)

"10 And the LORD came and stood, and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel." Then Samuel answered, "Speak, for Thy servant heareth." 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of every one who heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house. When I begin, I will also make an end; 13 for I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering, for ever." (1Samuel 3:10-14 KJ21)

"4 And it came to pass that night that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, 5 "Go and tell My servant David, ‘Thus saith the LORD: Shalt thou build Me a house for Me to dwell in?" (2Samuel 7:4-5 KJ21)

"LAMED. Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven." (Psalms 119:89 KJ21)

"NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalms 119:105 KJ21)

"Thy word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it." (Psalms 119:140 KJ21)

"Thy word is true from the beginning, and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." (Psalms 119:160 KJ21).

COMMENTS: Ten generations after Noah, through the line of Shem while Shem was still alive, the Lord called out Abraham to establish a new covenant with him to prepare a people for His name about 360 years after the global flood. Abraham's grandson Jacob had more than one encounter with the LORD, and as he returned to the land promised to Abraham and his seed, after spending twenty years with his uncle Laban, the LORD changed his name to Israel. Jacob died in Egypt, but because of the LORD's provision through Joseph, he was buried alongside his wife Leah in the burial plot in the promised land where Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebeccah had been buried. Jacob died almost 600 years after the global flood, but it was another 400 plus years (or over a thousand years after the global flood) before the LORD began to give us the written word through his servant Moses. After Moses led Israel out of Egypt, he died but Joshua was commanded by the LORD, and he led the children of Israel west over the Jordan river through a miraculously dry river bed. At this point, Joshua apparently had the "book of the law" for scriptural guidance, but he also had direct communication with the LORD. After several hundred years during a period when judges ruled in Israel, they became characterized by the phrase "everyone did what was right in their own eyes." By grace, the LORD began to speak to a young man named Samuel. The prophet and judge, Samuel, anointed Saul to be the first king of Israel, and then anointed David to be the second one. The LORD spoke to David through Nathan the prophet, disallowing David to build the temple, but making a promise that would have a two-fold fulfillment: in Solomon, and later in Christ Jesus. In the early period of the kings of Israel, many beautiful Psalms were written, and the four verses from Psalm 119 speak incomparable truths to our hearts, about the Word of God.

D - The Word of God is living and powerful

"30 And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. 31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. 32 He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, 33 and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end." 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:30-35 KJ21)

"18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this way: When His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for He shall save His people from their sins." 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel" (which being interpreted is, "God with us")." (Matthew 1:18-23 KJ21)

"2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the Word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." (Luke 3:2-4 KJ21)

"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:1-3 KJ21)

"14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried, saying, "This was He of whom I spoke, `He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"" (John 1:14-15 KJ21)

"The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof. But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." (Matthew 8:8 KJ21)

"And He arose, and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, "Peace, be still." And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." (Mark 4:39 KJ21)

"43 And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said unto them, "Loose him, and let him go."" (John 11:43-44 KJ21)

"14 And He came and touched the bier, and those who bore him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say unto thee, arise." 15 And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet is risen up among us"; and, "God hath visited His people."" (Luke 7:14-16 KJ21)

"5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me."" (Matthew 11:5-6 KJ21)

"63 But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, "I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said unto him, "Thou hast said; nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, "He hath spoken blasphemy! What further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy!" (Matthew 26:63-65 KJ21).

COMMENTS: After the promise to King David of that special son, the Lord spoke through prophets down through many generations of kings, until He finally had to remove disobedient Israel from the land and make them subject to other peoples who did not serve the Living God. Israel was dispersed into lands all around Israel, but the faithful and merciful LORD brought a remnant back to the land, and at the proper time, the long awaited descendent of king David was born, to fulfill "that which was spoken by the prophet." Mary and Joseph became direct recipients of the Word of God as they were both reassured about the birth of Christ Jesus. John the baptist spoke more words from the LORD as he prepared the way for the ministry of the LORD. Recorded for us are many examples of the power and control in the words of Jesus, with just a few listed above. Then when Jesus spoke the truth before the leaders of Israel, their rejection caused them to judge his words as blasphemy, that the purpose of the LORD might be fulfilled in his death. But our LORD has the power over death!

E - The Word is alive

"29 And He said unto them, "But whom say ye that I am?" And Peter answered and said unto Him, "Thou art the Christ." 30 And He charged them that they should tell no man of Him. 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and by the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." (Mark 8:29-31 KJ21)

"6 He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you."" (Matthew 28:6-7 KJ21)

"19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in their midst and said unto them, "Peace be unto you." 20 And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be unto you. As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." (John 20:19-22 KJ21)

"1 In the former treatise, O Theophilus, I have given an account of all that Jesus began both to do and teach 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He had given commandments through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles, whom He had chosen." (Acts 1:1-2 KJ21)

"And the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south unto the road that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza, which is desert."" (Acts 8:26 KJ21)

"47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, ‘I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest bring salvation unto the ends of the earth.'" 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the Word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 49 And the Word of the Lord was spread abroad throughout all the region." (Acts 13:47-49 KJ21)

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17 KJ21)

"for ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but in fleshy tablets of the heart." (2Corinthians 3:3 KJ21)

"1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. 3 He is the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power. When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Hebrews 1:1-3 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The Lord Jesus told his disciples in person, about his coming death, burial, and resurrection as described in the passage from Mark. Then the Matthew passage shows the fact of the resurrection as Jesus had said, and in the passage from John, the risen Christ appeared and again spoke direct instructions to the assembled apostles. In Acts, we have another account of the Lord's direct conversation with the apostles. The author of Acts was the conduit for more of God's written Word, and he makes reference in that Acts passage to his former treatise of God's written Word, the gospel of Luke. It was after the resurrection of Christ that the New Testament began to be written to complement God's written Word as available in the Old Testament. So in the time of the apostles, God continued to speak to chosen men for direction, to act or to write, and Philip presents an example of specific direction from the Lord. The Words in the Bible are like those of no other book as they change the hearts of men, and produce in those who receive the Word by faith, new life in Christ. The remaining passages from Acts, Romans, and 1st Corinthians give strong emphasis to the saving power of the Word. All of this is to the glory of GOD, as the passage from Hebrews makes it clear that God spoke to us in various manners and through prophets, but in these last times He has spoken through His Son Jesus. Jesus is God's appointed Heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds. Jesus is the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power. When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Glory to the LORD Jesus in the highest, who has removed our sin and provides for us an eternal home with Him!

F - The Word of the Lord stands firm forever

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever."" (Isaiah 40:8 KJ21)

"I have sworn by Myself; the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Isaiah 45:23 KJ21)

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My Words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35 KJ21)

"Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed in Him, "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed." (John 8:31 KJ21)

"He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the Last Day." (John 12:48 KJ21)

"23 being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever; 24 for "all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; 25 but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever." And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you." (1Peter 1:23-25 KJ21)

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25 KJ21)

"But the heavens and the earth which now are, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men." (2Peter 3:7 KJ21)

"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2Peter 3:13 KJ21)

"16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works." (2Timothy 3:16-17 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The Word of God endures forever, and if we truly believe and receive His Word into our hearts by grace through faith, we will be secure forever. As John said, the world could not contain the books to record all that Jesus has said and done, but we have more than enough to live by, and God's Word is profitable to make us complete until the day of redemption to eternal life. Paul gave Timothy, and us, a summary of the value of the Word that should be reviewed and applied in our lives to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.

--- Reflections in prayer ---

O Lord, how can I adequately pray about the richness of your Word and the impact it continues to have in my life because of your great love. As Paul has said, I want to know you and the power of your resurrection; and I want to offer my life as a living sacrifice. Thank you Lord that I need not depend on my intellectual understanding or even my strength of will, for you have supplied your Holy Spirit to conform me to the image of Christ. Your Word has shown me that I am like all of mankind in my flesh: if my heart is not changed by the many sources of your Word, it is because I have rejected your love extended to me. I want to abandon the sin that desires to have me as with Cain, and instead humble myself before you that you will lift me up. I am among those living in the last days, and I believe that you have spoken directly to those created in your own image from the beginning of creation, guided others by your Spirit to write your Words, came in the flesh to present your Word as the son of man and Son of God, then sent your Holy Spirit to work within the heart of the believer as you have done for me personally. I confess to you my weakness and inadequacy in the flesh, and ask that you empower me for your purpose in my life until my time in this present world has expired. I want to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love my neighbor as myself. As the psalmist said, bless the LORD O my soul, and forget not his benefits. Hallelujah to the risen lamb!

Published 23 January 2010