THE BIBLE I HOLD IN MY HAND

I read something the other day that truly caused me to stop and seek guidance from the Spirit of God that lives within me. It all started as I was seeking to write something about this verse: ( 2 Corinthians 2:11 ) Lest Satan should get an advantage over us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

As I began to look and ponder that thought I wondered about how God’s word has changed over the years and, just how often. For years I’ve known that there were books that use to be in scripture had been taken out of the Bible that I use. I actually use the ( King James Version ) of the Bible. I don’t know but, I assume that the same books are left out of other versions as well.

Did you know that those fourteen books that have now been deleted were still in our English version of the Bible until around the 1880’s? That is a fact that I didn’t know, I got to thinking; who, in the 1880’s was wise and spiritual enough to make that decision? We could take that a step farther and ask another question. Who was it that decided in the beginning; what was and was not God’s word? We see this verse in scripture: ( 2 Peter 1:21 ) For 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.

According to that verse: ( holy men of God ) were ( moved by the Holy Ghost ). If we take that verse for what it says; just how many men had that specific gift? If we count the books in the Bible, including to fourteen that are now gone and, figure out just how many different men it was that wrote those books, would that be all of the ( Holy men of God )? Can we assume that no one else wrote anything worth putting in God’s word?

One more thing; since there were men in the 1880’s that were spiritual enough to make the decision to remove books from God’s word; was there then and, could it be now, men that could add books to the Bible? I wondered why that has never been attempted? or, has it? As we look at the verse I began with: ( Lest Satan should get an advantage over us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. When the Apostle Paul penned down that verse; he was speaking to people that had the Spirit of God living within them or, at least he was speaking with that power within him. Another way to look at it would be to say, ( if the Spirit of God is ( living within you ) then you can see what he is saying and, you, because of that Spirit ( are not ignorant ) of his devices.

I make the statement I’m about to make with all due respect and, I am not a judge by any means. However, we must realize that the majority of the people of this world are lost without God. They do not believe or, trust in Jesus Christ and, know nothing about the Spirit of God. This includes the average member of the average Church, even the leaders of those Churches. When we began to believe we can trust men or, our own flesh then; Satan can take advantage of us. Are we so naive to we believe that ( Just Because ) a person stands behind a pulpit or, teaches in a university, he or she is filled with God’s Spirit or, has your best interest in mind?

Satan has attempted to change the truth of God’s word every since the very beginning. He sought to change it in ( Genesis 3:1 ) HATH GOD SAID. Then in ( Acts 4:18 ) And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus. This is right after the Church was born. If any person is born again then, the Holy Ghost within them will help them ( not to be ignorant ) of the devices of Satan.

Now, I want to share some things with you, just as a layman, someone that is not educated by men, other than I can read and write. Most people that use another version of scripture other than ( King James ) will agree with me that ( King James ) is an inspired version. The Spirit of God can reveal things to us from this version just as he can other versions. Notice that scripture says that ( Holy men of God ). It was not said that these men wre ( educated men ) but rather that they were ( Holy men ). Why do I say that? In most cases today, if simple people sought to change something in scripture they’d be laughed at as not knowing anything. In most cases, those are not the people that desire to change scripture, they take it as it is. However, it’s ( educated people ) that see a need to change things and, that not ( Holy men of God ). Do you think that in the ( 1880’s ) a group of farmers got together and decided that some books needed to be deleted from our Bible? Not likely! If you go back to the original twelve Apostles and see what they were doing when Jesus called each of them, do you think they would even be considered as spiritual leaders in our religious world today? I think not!

Just as a lay person. Someone that you have no reason to believe anything I say, this is what ( I believe ). Since the beginning, its always been the responsibility of man to put forth the truth about God and how he works, who he is. That has never changed. With that being said, it has always been those that sought to change that truth and, it always will be as long as this world is as it is. God always used men to speak his word, as well as pen it down. In almost, and we might even say ( every case ) the majority of people did not heed to what was being taught at any time in history. God the Father came down in the body of Jesus Christ, even at that, most did not believe that Jesus Christ was God in flesh. Today, God the Spirit lives within the people that believe on Christ. That Spirit within each believer reveals truth to those that believe.

The Bible I hold in my hand has 66 books within its covers. Will I live long enought to understand all that is in that book? Let’s say that the people that wrote my Bible would have chose to leave out ( Psalm 24 ). Would I have known that or missed it? If they added a whole chapter, another psalm to it, would I have know it?

The point I’m making is that the book I hold in my hand and, I call God’s word is inspired by the Holy Ghost of God. God can use it to transforn the heart of man. Either something is inspired by the Holy Spirit or, it is not. Let’s say you found a writing that was written two thousand years ago. However, it’s not found in scripture but, as you read it: God’s Spirit speaks to your heart, it teaches you something you didn’t know. Does that mean it now needs to be part of God’s word? I read things in scripture often that is not inspiring, at that time to me, does that mean it needs to be taken out?

Look at it another way. Before Jesus Christ was, before the New Testament was written, people believed that Jesus Christ would come and be the Savior of the world. That fact was revealed to them by the Holy Ghost. The Bible says in ( John 21:25 ) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the 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.

The Bible is not all that God knows. It is however, all we need to know to meet him by the power of the Holy Ghost and, to know him on a personal level. I would say that the ( Holy Men of God ) that penned down the word of God were not perfect men but, they had a perfect desire to share the truth of God and, reveal him to men.

I want to show something here. There is a book, one of the fourteen that was taken out of scripture in the 1880’s. It’s the book of Macabees. Let’s say you went to a church and a man, filled with the Holy Spirit of God preached a message from that book and, a few people in that service asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior. Would those people be saved? Could we not say that about anything that is inspired by God? We often get very caught up in the ( opinions of men ) and forget about the true power of the Spirit of God.

I’ll share a true story with you. This actually happened to me and a friend of mine one night out on visitation. The two of us went to visit a young couple by the request of the young man’s mother. She was a member of the same Church that we were members of. When we went into the house; I carried my Bible like every other time I went out on visitation. As we sit and talked about out families, occupations and, began to speak about religion, the young man stopped me and asked; what make you think I should believe anything in the book you carry? Why would it be any different than any other book? It’s just words.

This caught me off guard and, I didn’t know how to respond to that. Here I am, my whole life revolves around the word of God but, that doesn’t mean that every person sees things like I see them does it? As I sit their,looking at him, I whispered a prayer and asked the Lord to help me. The Lord quickly answered my prayer. I replied; O.K., and pitched my Bible over on the coffee table in front of me. I said, you doubt that the Bible has anything to do with God or, that it has any special powers, am I correct? He replied; yes, I don’t see anything special about that book.

At that point, I asked him if he, and his wife would allow me to simply tell them a story? He said that would be fine. Basically, I simply began to share a story obout how God the Father, God the Son and, God the Holy Spirit was in heaven at one time and, God the Father spoke and said he was going to destroy all of mankind because all men were ungodly and unworthy of his love. At that, God the Son; being Jesus Christ spoke and said that he didn’t want that to happen. He told the Father, you tell me what I must do that you will except mankind and, I will willingly do that because of my love for them.

I went on to share how God the Father said he must be perfect, never sin and allow himself to be crucified on tha Cross. You, my Son must meet my highest exspectations, you must satisfy my will, if so I’ll raise you from the dead and, by your life and shed blood, all men shall be justified by simply believing in your finished work on that Cross.

I share with that couple that all men were sinners, no exception, that includes me as I sit here and speak to you. Both of you are sinners, just like I am and in need of the grace that God the Father offers you by the blood that Christ Jesus shed on his Cross.

I asked both, that man and his wife. Do you see yourself as a sinner? They both replied; yes. The next thing is what is so special to me. I said to them; do you remember when I first came in, we talked about you family and mine, where we both worked and then began to speak about if you went to Church? They both replied, yes. I said; then I shared this story with you about how God works. Now, I want to ased you a question. All I asked you to do is be honest with me, can you do that? They replied , yes. I said, do you feel something inside of you, a feeling that you didn’t have when we were talking about our families and Jobs, is there something different? They both replied almost instantly, yes, it’s something different within my heart, I feel and know what you are saying.

At that answer, I reached and picked my Bible back up and said. What you feel within you is the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. God sent him to draw conviction on sinners when truth was revealed to them and, all I did was put this book I hold in my hand in a story form.

That night, both that young man and his wife asked Jesus Christ to come into their hearts and save them. Some years later, I seen him at work one day, he remembered me but, I had to be reminded, by him who he was. What he said was this, you are the man that told me about Jesus that night at my house. Then I remebered.

Why do I share that story. I share it to make the point that it takes more than just scripture to bring about salvation of any person. That is, whether the Bible has 1000 books or only one. It must be powered by God’s Spirit one way or the other. ( I believe ) a person can read only one verse and, salvation by the convicting power of the Holy Ghost can come to that person. On the other hand there are people that study the Bible their whole life but, refuse to believe and, die lost without Jesus Christ.

If and, when salvation does come then, we must be willing to study to know God as revealed by his Spirit. We cannot only trust men to teach us, we must learn to listen to God’s Spirit, the Spirit within us. If you choose to study something other than what we call the Bible then, Just be sure you are led by the Spirit of God as you study.

In closing, God the Father spoke to Moses one day and said: ( WHAT IS THAT IN THINE HAND )?( Exodus 4:2 ) And the Lord said unto him, what is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. We simply need to learn to use what we have for God’s glory. That’s what the Lord was saying to Moses. I can’t use what I don’t have.

I’m very content with the ( King James Bible ) I hold in my hand. As long as this world stands as we know it; man will alway attempt to weaken the word and, power of God. He, man , will do all he can to stop God’s will from being done. That is a known fact. I’ve said this from the beginning of my journey with Christ. Just as the Holy Spirit of God needs a body to work through by design, so does Satan. He also needs a body to work through. It’s my choice to the best of my ability to seek all the knowledge I can from God the Father and, to allow him to use my body for his will.

If men want to add words, books or chapters to God’s word or, if they choose to take some away, that’s their choice. I’ll stick with what I have and will gladly stand before God with the book in my hand. After almost fifty years of studying that one book; I still don’t know all it is to know about it. Therefore, if man chooses to add more to it, I don’t have time to study it all anyway.

If you, as an individual will allow God’s Spirit to teach you; there is a well of knowledge in any one book that is inspired by God’s Spirit. God; has no top, bottom or sides. We as humans can not learn all he is and, what he knows. To God be the Glory.

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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