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Sufficient Unto The Day
by Dr. Dennis Corle
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for
your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls
of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And
why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they
spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore,
if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much
more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we
drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly
Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
Notice the statement, “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Notice He prefaces that statement
with, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself…”
Chewing your nails down to the second knuckle worrying about what might happen tomorrow won’t keep it from
happening. The morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Worrying and destroying my usefulness today
won’t keep me from dealing with what comes tomorrow. I still have to deal with tomorrow when it arrives and I
am incapable of solving it’s problems today when it is just a possibility and not a certainty.
“But this might happen.” You don’t know the half of it. It may be a lot worse than you think, because we
live in a sin cursed world. Jesus said, “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” He said, “You have enough
problems to deal with today to absorb all your energy and strength. Use what you have to deal with what you are
facing today and quit reliving yesterday, and quit trying to live tomorrow before it arrives.” I’m not talking about
lack of preparation. Before I conclude that will be abundantly clear, but God is telling us to focus on today. I need
to live today with all my might.
Proverbs 22:7 says, “…the borrower is servant to the lender.” Now if people in Washington had any
sense, we wouldn’t be in debt up to our eyeballs to Red China, because the borrower is servant to the lender. Like
it or not, that is Bible truth. We are in a mess nationally.
Let me say to you that God does not want me to borrow from yesterday by living in bitterness, reaching
back, reliving the hurt and pain, reliving the sorrow and disappointment, because it will embitter me and if I’m bitter,
I’m not going to have a walk with God today because I’m bitter over yesterday. I can’t use my strength to serve
God today because it has taken all my strength just to live with the bitterness and pain of yesterday. I’m borrowing from the past.
On the other hand, I’m not to borrow from the future in fear and apprehension, shrinking from doing the
will of God. People won’t tithe and give to missions, because the economy may get worse. If they do, you’d better
be right with God! If things don’t change in the next election, I predict it will get much worse. We really got
what we deserve for leadership, and it’s a shame, but it is the hand of God in judgment on America for a number
of things, the way we’ve treated Israel and trying to pressure them to give away land that God deeded to them to
a bunch of Muslims who have absolutely no right to the land.
It has to do with the moral climate in America too and the coldness toward Christianity. We now have a
man in the White House who made the declaration that America is not a Christian nation. We are far backslidden
from our beginnings, but we were certainly founded upon Bible principle and the documents that still govern us,
if anybody paid attention to them, are based on Bible truth.
I don’t need to live in fear. If people worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, they’ll quit giving.
If you quit giving, you are really sunk because the Bible says, “Hoard and it shall be given to you.” Right? I didn’t
mean to quote the NIV.
The Bible says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be
measured to you again.” God said if I give, it shall be given to me. He didn’t say, “Store up and then give of the
overflow and excess.” He said, “Give, and it shall be given to you in excess,” but the giving precedes the receiving.
If you are not careful, you’ll get tight-fisted with God, worrying about the economy and what’s going to happen
and things you can’t change. You’ll disobey God in an attempt to take care of a problem today that you cannot
solve today anyway, but you’d better be right with God if problems come.
Remember now “…the borrower is servant to the lender.” Some people are enslaved by the past because
they won’t let go of the past. Some people are enslaved by tomorrow and its possibilities. When I am enslaved
by the past, I’m not at liberty to live today. I’m not free. When I’m enslaved by the future, I’m not free to live
this day for God like I’m supposed to. I need to be free of the past and free of the future and live this day to its
fullest for God.
Every day, according to the Bible, “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” There is enough trouble
in a sin-cursed world every day without you borrowing any trouble from the past or the future. Just let the past
and the future alone. You can’t change history or the future by worrying about it.
In Job 14:1 God makes a clear declaration. “Man that is born of a woman is of few days…” That’s the
good news. Soon it will all be over. “…and full of trouble.” He said that every day is full of trouble. Why is
that? Because we live in a sin-cursed world where sometimes bad things happen to good people with no logical
The good news is that our sufficiency is of God, according to II Corinthians 3:5. My sufficiency is not of
myself, but God. I love what He promises in Deuteronomy 33:25. “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” God
said, “I won’t give you more days than I give you strength. I won’t give you a day that you don’t have enough
strength to handle.” “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” You don’t need to worry about tomorrow. When
tomorrow comes, I’ll give you the strength for tomorrow. You don’t need to worry about what tomorrow holds.
Whatever it holds, “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” I’ll give you enough strength to handle what you have
to handle, but I won’t give it to you in advance. You’ll get it as you need it. “…as thy days, so shall thy strength
be.” You’ll get what you need when you need it.
Paul pleaded and besought the Lord thrice that He would remove the thorn in his flesh. In II Corinthians
12:9, God answered him. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect
in weakness…” What Paul said was, “Oh God, please remove my thorn.” God said, “No, I’m not going to
remove the thorn, but I will give you the strength to bear the thorn and give you the grace to handle it. I’m not
going to make life easy. I’m going to give you enough grace to handle what’s hard. I will let you deal with a thorn
in the flesh, and I’ll get glory because everybody is going to know it’s My grace that enables you to handle it.”
God told Paul, “I’m not going to make life easy.” We pray that way, don’t we? “Oh God, make it fun. Make it
easy. Make me prosperous. Oh God, give me, give me, give me.” His grace is sufficient every day.
In Acts 13:43, we find a key statement. The Bible says that we are to ‘continue in the grace of God.’ Did
the grace of God originate when I got saved, or was it already in existence? It was already in existence, but until
I turned to God and received His Son, I was not benefiting from the grace of God. So there had to be a time when
I tapped the grace of God initially. If I’m going to ‘continue in the grace of God,’ you understand the grace of God
was available, but there was a day and a time when I called on the Lord and first entered the grace of God and experienced the benefit. I am to continue in the grace of God. “What does that mean?” Just like I had to tap it the
first time, I have to keep tapping it. I have to keep receiving it. I have to keep applying it every day. I’m going
to have to tap the grace again because I’m going to need more grace, new grace every day.
It says in Acts 2:46 that the early church continued daily. If I am going to continue, there needs to be a consistency so that there is not more than a 24 hour gap between when I do the will of God once and when I do it again.
Continue daily. It’s not weekly or monthly or yearly. Christianity and tapping the grace of God is a daily thing.
God will not put more on us than we can bear. Job’s wife was frustrated because she knew that her husband
was a good man, and God had allowed him to suffer so much. In Job 2:9 she said, “…curse God, and die.”
“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive
good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?…” He said, “Everything that comes our way comes at
the hand of the Lord. Do you think we are going to get all good and no evil? Who do we think we are? How did
we become so privileged? How do we live in a sin-cursed world and nothing bad ever happen to us?” I’m not
talking about God judging personal sin in your life. I’m talking about the consequences in the human race as a
result of sin in general, things that have nothing to do with your personal acts, but with sin in the human race, and the curse that God pronounced on the earth.
In I Corinthians 10:13 we read, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:…”
God said, “You are not the first one, or the only one. You are not the last one. Don’t be alarmed. “There hath
no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able
to…” enjoy it? Oh, no, He said, “…that ye may be able to bear it.” The whole idea of bearing is being squatted
beneath the load, but if I can bear it, the load doesn’t crush me. ‘Bearing’ is not about being pleasurable or enjoyable.
He said that it would be bearable. In other words, His grace is sufficient. “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” He “…will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” He is telling us that anything He permits to come to us daily is bearable. It is not what God puts on us, but what we put on ourselves that is unbearable. “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” “…My grace is sufficient for thee: …” I am to continue in that sufficient grace every day. “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Do you know what torments us? The what-ifs. “What if…?” What if it’s worse than you think? His grace
is still going to be sufficient, folks. “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Stop tormenting yourself.
In Psalm 37:1 the Bible says, “Fret not thyself…” He says, “No one else is fretting you. Why are you doing
this to yourself? Why are you troubling yourself by reliving the past? Why are you troubling yourself by rehearsing what you think might happen in the future and suffering in advance? Why would you do this to yourself?” “Fret not thyself…”
Remember now, what God puts on me is bearable, but if I borrow from yesterday and borrow from tomorrow,
all of a sudden I have an unbearable load and it is not God’s fault. I have enough grace for today. I have
enough strength for today, but I don’t have enough grace for yesterday and today. I don’t have enough grace for
today and tomorrow. I need new grace every day and I’m glad Lamentations 3:22-23 promises, “It is of the
LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning:…”
I get new grace and new compassion. I get new mercy. I get new strength every morning.
When God rained down manna, it wasn’t enough for two days, except on the sabbath. Every other time
they only got enough for today. If they tried to carry it over, it bred worms. God gives me what I need for today,
but I will make my life unbearable if I live in bitterness over the past because of an unforgiving spirit, or if I live
in fear of tomorrow and worry and apprehension.
We dare not borrow from tomorrow. You can’t live tomorrow on today’s grace. Job was a great Christian
with a lot of good qualities. I don’t find any heavy comments about sin in his life, but there was something Job
was guilty of by his own confession. In Job 3:25-26, he made a statement. “For the thing which I greatly feared
is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither
was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Let me tell you what Job said. “I knew this was going to happen. I’ve been
worried about this for years. I’ve suffered many a night without sleep, developed ulcers and bad nerves worrying
about losing it all. What I suspicioned came to pass.” Do you know what Job said? Job said, “I’ve suffered for
years in anticipation of this. Now I am having to suffer what I was worrying about.” He said in verse 26, “I was
not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” He is saying. “I had my family and my
wealth and my health, and I had everything going for me, but I couldn’t enjoy it. I had safety, but I didn’t have
safety.” He said, “I had quiet, but I didn’t have any quiet. I had rest, but I didn’t enjoy the rest when I had it. I
was troubled worrying about losing it when I had it and then I lost it anyway. I never could enjoy it when I had it
because I was too worried about losing it.” He was tormented by fear.
Let me explain something to you. First John 4:18 says, “…perfect love casteth out fear: because fear
hath torment…” Job is saying, “I have been tormented by the fear of this happening. I have emotionally lived
this out a dozen times. I have been stressed out, worried and tormented by the fear of losing everything and now
it actually happened.” “…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” But “Take therefore no thought for the
morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself…” Worrying about tomorrow won’t change
it. You still have to deal with tomorrow when it comes. So why destroy today worrying about tomorrow?
When something bad happens, my wife always says, “I knew it. I saw it coming for a long time. Why is
it I always see it coming and you are always surprised?”
I said, “I’m not that naive. Sometimes I see a potential problem, but if it hasn’t happened yet, what am I
suppose to do about it? If I have to suffer, I’m going to enjoy myself to the last minute and suffer when it’s time
to suffer.” Why do I want to suffer worrying about suffering, and then turn around and suffer, too?
Psalm 37:1 says, “Fret not thyself…” Don’t do this to yourself. Fretting won’t change yesterday or tomorrow.
It will only destroy today. Fretting won’t change history or solve tomorrow’s problems. Fretting will
just tax your resources so you can’t handle today. Since none of us know for sure what tomorrow holds, we should
neither boast of tomorrow, nor fret and fear tomorrow because of what it may hold.
James 4:13-14 is talking primarily about presumption. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we
will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what
shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” Quit worrying. You may get lucky and die.
Proverbs 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
I have no idea what tomorrow holds. Therefore, I can’t bank on something as fragile as tomorrow with something
as permanent as my eternal soul and be presumptuous, assuming I can get saved tomorrow, assuming I can just
wait till tomorrow to do the will of God. On the other hand, there is no point in me fretting over tomorrow because there is no possibility of me knowing for sure what tomorrow holds. I don’t even know if I’ll be here tomorrow.
I may be in the presence of God. There is no use fretting over it, but the good news is, if I’m here
tomorrow and things are as bad as I think they might be, He tells me, “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
He is my sufficiency. He is going to be with me. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. I just need to be a dependent Baptist, dependent upon God and His Word and His Spirit.
Fear and fretting will not only interfere with my joy and my peace, it’s going to mess up doing the will of
God too. Let me just give you a few examples.
First of all in Philippians 4:6 is a principle I want to lay out here. “Be careful for nothing; but in every
thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” It is pretty apparent that the verse is not talking about me being apathetic. You often say to your children, “Be careful.” That’s okay, but you are using the word in a different fashion. God is not saying be reckless. The Bible definition is carefull or full of care. If I am Spirit-filled or Spirit-full, what is governing me at that moment? The Spirit. If I am
careful, full of care, what is governing me at this moment? My cares. I seriously doubt that my cares taking control of my life are going to help me do right and make right decisions. As a matter of fact, you’ll have 10,000 excuses why you can’t do right because you have this, that and the other and the whole problem is that you have
allowed your cares to fill you and control you and govern your life. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing
by prayer and supplication…” I am supposed to pray about everything, commit everything unto the Lord.
In Luke 10:41, Martha had complained to Jesus, “Lord, carest Thou not that my sister hath left me to serve?
Do you have any idea what a burden it is to serve you, Jesus? I really got a bad deal here.”
“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful…” Filled with care. “…and
troubled about…” One thing? No, you are troubled about “…many things:” Everything is bothering you. Why?
You are overtaxed. You are filled with care. Your cares are governing you. They made a complainer out of you.
They’ve robbed you of your joy and peace. You can’t enjoy serving anymore. Why? Your cares have taken control
of your life.
When he feared what might happen tomorrow, Abraham lied. He told Sarah, “Tell them you are my sister,”
which was half true; she was his half sister. He was really looking out for her, wasn’t he? “So that if Pharoah
wants you, he can take you without killing me.” He worried about what might happen. I guess he forgot about
what God had done in the past. Abraham had seen God do some marvelous things up until that time and He would again, but Abraham, when he went to Egypt, left the will of God, so he was really nervous. When you leave the will of God, you are really going to let your cares control you because you know God is not going to help you outside the will of God.
Jacob’s fears almost kept him from returning home. The last thing he heard his brother say was, “I’m
going to kill you.” He wrestled with God all night at Peniel and won the victory. Sometimes we have to wrestle
with our fears to enter the will of God. Sometimes we have wrestle with principalities and powers. Sometimes
we wrestle with the Lord, Himself, like Jacob did. We need to do our midnight wrestlings to get into the will of
God and not allow our fears to deprive us of doing what God wants us to do.
When the 12 spies were sent out, 10 of those 12 spies came back with an evil report. Joshua and Caleb
said, “We be well able. The Lord, if He delight in us, He’ll give the victory.” The other 10 discouraged the hearts
of the people because they were operating by fear.
Think about the one talent servant. The Lord gave to one servant five talents, to another two, to another
one. The five talent servant invested and doubled it. The two talent guy invested it and doubled it. When he reckoned with the one talent servant he said, “…Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou
hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in
the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant,…”
His master said, “Take the one talent from him and give it to the one that has ten.” You say, “That’s not
fair.” Yes, it is, because God ain’t in the welfare program. He is an investor.
If you are not going to do anything with what you already have, don’t think God is going to shower it
down on you. That isn’t the way He operates. If we would get back to principle, our country would be back to
what it use to be when it was great. You can’t have 10% of the people financing the rest of the country so a bunch
of liberals can get votes. I just thought I’d throw that in there in case you are worried about tomorrow. We dare
not allow ourselves to be troubled by tomorrow.
We dare not borrow from yesterday. In Ephesians 4:26 the Bible says, “Be ye angry,…” That sounds like
a command. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” There are some things that
you ought to be angry about. Anger in itself is not sin. If it were, it would be impossible for me to be angry and
sin not, if anger itself was sin. What He is telling me is there are things that will anger you, but don’t allow yourself to be governed by anger any more than you allow yourself to be governed by care. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” As far as injustices, people sinning against you, people doing you
wrong, He said, “…let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” In other words, don’t carry today’s infractions over
to tomorrow. Don’t carry a grudge.
My wife’s interpretation of that verse is a little different. She says, “If you make me angry after dark, I don’t
have to forgive you till tomorrow evening!” I always behave after sunset. Though she’s joking, we have been
instructed to leave behind the hurts and injustices with the day they occurred, and not carry a lot of baggage over
into tomorrow. “…let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
You don’t have enough grace to relive yesterday’s infractions. You have got to deal with that when it
comes. I love what He says in Luke 17:4. “And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times
in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” It’s talking about in that same day. If he
does it seven times a day and he repents seven times a day, you forgive him seven times in the same day. You say,
“This is not the first time he did this.” You’d better thank God that forgiveness is not just for first time offenders.
The Bible tells us I’m to forgive in the same day. If I don’t forgive, in time it will embitter me. Bitterness is
something I can’t get enough grace to handle. I’ve got to get rid of bitterness because you can’t control it.
It amazes me how dumb we are. Bitterness, according to the Bible, is poison. The Bible says that a star
called Wormwood falls during the Tribulation and lands in the waters, and it made the waters bitter. The men that drank of them died. Bitterness equals poison. Somebody upsets you and you say, “I’ll show you. Watch this. I’ll drink a bottle of poison.” How’s it going there, Einstein? Do you think you are going to hurt somebody by you
drinking a bottle of poison? You kiss your wife and poison her. You kiss your children and poison them. The guy
that you poisoned yourself to get back at ain’t close enough to get hurt by it.
I cannot relive yesterday’s problems and heartaches and infractions. I can’t keep carrying it forward with
me. I need to deal with it then and put it behind me. There needs to be daily forgiveness, daily putting it behind
you. You say, “That verse says, ‘If he repent…’” Let me explain something to you. If he doesn’t repent, shame
on him. If he doesn’t repent, he has to live with the guilt, but if I don’t forgive, I have to live with the bitterness.
If he wants to live with the guilt, that’s up to him, but I’m not living with the bitterness. I have an idea the bitterness will destroy me quicker than the guilt will destroy him. Some people don’t have enough conscience to even experience guilt. Friend, you don’t have enough grace today to relive yesterday’s disappointments. Don’t keep a list. Ladies, get rid of your list. You know what I’m talking about. Your husband makes you angry today and you remind him of the last 47 times he upset you. Y“You did this and this and this,” and the war is on. You’d better get a handle on that.
Watch what He said in Psalm 37:1-2. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious
against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”
He said, “Don’t destroy today because of what somebody did to you yesterday. Yes, they did you evil. They were
wrong. They sinned, but why do you want to carry that over to today? Didn’t it hurt enough yesterday? Couldn’t
you bury it and leave it there? Do you have to drag the dead carcass into every new day? Do you have to relive
the pain? Let it alone. Forgive, and put it behind you. You don’t have the capacity to forget like God does,
but you CAN let it be history instead of current events. You can bury it and leave it in the past where it happened.
Now Joseph’s brethren had done him wrong, and Potiphar’s wife had done him wrong. That chief butler
did him wrong, and forgot him. Later Joseph came to power, as second in command in all of Egypt. “Only in the
throne will I be greater than thee,” Pharoah said. If Joseph had carried over yesterday’s infractions and held on to
hurts and grudges, he had the power to make those people pay. He could easily have gotten revenge. Why didn’t
he even want to? Because it was not an issue today. “That happened yesterday. I forgave that yesterday. I put
that behind me. I feel no need to get back at anybody”.
In Genesis 50:17, Joseph’s brethren were afraid. They said, “Joseph, we just wanted you to know Dad died
today. His last words were these: “Tell Joseph not to retaliate against his brothers.” Nice story. That isn’t what
he said, I assure you, but they were scared to death. “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place
of God?” Why did he say that? Because the Bible tells us in Romans 12:19 that vengeance belongeth unto God.
Joseph said, “I’m not going to execute vengeance. That’s God’s job. You might ought to be afraid of Him, but
you don’t need to be afraid of me. We are going to let that alone. That’s past tense. It’s over with. I have forgiven
it.” If they don’t repent, they have to live with the guilt. If I don’t forgive, I have to live with the bitterness.
According to Hebrews 12:15, if I allow a root of bitterness to spring up, it will defile many.
Not only must we forgive others immediately, daily, and multiple times a day sometimes, but we have to
learn to forgive ourselves. Some of us will forgive others and won’t forgive ourselves. Let me give you a few people
in the Bible that God used, even though they had some past history that wasn’t too good. Moses had murdered
a man and hid him in the sand, but he ended up being God’s deliverer and penning a bunch of Bible, the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. I understand he didn’t write it; God gave it, but Moses was the penman.
We also find a fellow by the name of David. He looked and lusted and coveted and took another man’s
wife, committed adultery, and killed her husband to cover it up. After he repented, God used him to pen the Psalms and God used him in a marvelous way as a leader. I’m not telling you that God overlooked their sin. They did repent and get it right. I’m telling you God forgave them, but if God forgave them and they never had forgiven
themselves, they would have never done anything for God.
Peter cursed and swore and denied the Lord, and then preached on Pentecost. In between there he went
out and wept bitterly and got it right with God. Paul held the garments of those that stoned Stephen and gave accusation against him and then got saved and was raised up by God as the apostle to the Gentiles and penned 100 chapters of your New Testament.
Philippians 3:13 says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Not worrying
about what’s behind you, but taking it one day at a time. Quit reliving the past. Did you ever notice you can’t
change history? You can repent of your failure, but you cannot change history. It’s done. Quit reliving it. Handle
today’s business today. Live this day to its fullest for the glory of God. The Bible says, “…Sufficient unto the
day is the evil thereof.”
In Psalm 118:24 the Psalmist said, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad
in it.” Every day of your life is the day which the Lord hath made. It would be okay if you just learned to rejoice
and be glad in it, knowing that God is always good and His grace is always sufficient and as thy days, so shall thy
strength be and He is your sufficiency, knowing He will not allow you to have more put on you than you can bear,
but He’ll make the way of escape.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them
who are the called according to his purpose.” Are you one of them that loves God? If not, I’d be worried. If
you love Him, then you are included in this promise.
“What are you talking about?” I’m talking about practicing daily forgiveness. Luke 17:4 instructs us,
“And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent;
thou shalt forgive him.” Many of the commands that God gives us are to be obeyed daily. Daily prayer.
Psalm 86:3 says, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.” Daily searching the Scriptures. Acts
17:11 tells us about those at Berea, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received
the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Daily
searching the Scripture. Psalm 61:8 talks about me daily performing my vows. “So will I sing praise unto thy
name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.” I made some vows at an altar as a married man. I can’t take
a day off or an hour off. If I only perform my vows 364 days a year or 23 hours a day, I don’t keep my vows at
all. On the other hand, if I obey God in these areas daily, then there is never more than 24 hours that passes before I serve and obey the Lord in that area again.
In I Corinthians 15:31, He talks about daily crucifixion of the flesh. Paul said, “I die daily.” In Luke 9:23,
He talks about daily taking up your cross and following Him. Daily. In Exodus 32:29, the Bible says, “…Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD,…” Daily consecration to God, daily filling the hand of God, putting ourselves at His disposal to be used by Him. Because of the problems and hardships of life, we need some daily
renewal. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed
day by day.” (II Corinthians 4:16) Let me explain that word faint. If you walk in the back door and I hit you in
the head with a ball bat, you did not faint, but if you walk in and see the sight of blood or experience something
that you do not enjoy and you go, “Ahhh!” You fainted. You gave up consciousness to keep from dealing with
“…but though our outward man perish,” Have you noticed that is happening? You ain’t what you were
20 years ago, bud. Maybe between your ears, but nowhere else. “…yet the inward man is renewed…” Year by
year, right? Month by month? Week by week? No, “…day by day.” If I need daily renewal and I am getting renewed for this day, I can’t drag yesterday up and deal with it, too. I need all that God is going to give me in new
strength and new grace, to deal with new circumstances and new problems and new heartaches that are facing me
today. If I drag up yesterday, I am going to overtax my resources. If I drag back tomorrow in fear and apprehension, I’m going to overtax my resources. I’m going to conclude that it is just not fair what God has allowed me to have to deal with.
“You don’t know what has happened to me.” Yes, I do. You’ve become a slave to yesterday and tomorrow
and can’t live today. I’m not talking about your problems of yesterday not being real, and I’m not talking about
the possibilities of tomorrow not being real. I’m just telling you God said to live it one day at a time. Worrying
about it won’t change it. Reliving it won’t erase it. All it will do is make it worse and deepen the wound. What
I need is to do right today and not worry about the consequences as long as I have done right. There is a law of
sowing and reaping. I need to sow the right stuff because I have a promise from God that I am going to reap what
I sow. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
You and I need to do right today instead of worrying about what doing right may cause us. If you worry
too much you won’t do right. There are guys who are scared to death to preach on First and Second Amendment
rights, scared to preach against sodomites, abortion, and crooked politicians because they are afraid they’ll lose
their tax status. I’m not in this to get a tax break. I’d rather pay the taxes and be a free man who can say what I
believe, but if you check the history of this country, there never was anything in the Constitution that limited
preachers from saying what they believed or condemning sin in a candidate or speaking of the virtues of another
one. There is nothing illegal about that. We’ve got a bunch of bureaucrats trying to tell you what you are allowed
to say. I thought we had freedom of speech — unless you are a preacher.
In Daniel 3:16-18, we have Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They said, “…we are not careful to answer
thee in this matter. If it be so,…” The king was threatening them with the fiery furnace. He said, “When
you hear the rock music, you have to bow down to the golden image.” Their answer was, “If it be so, our God
whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O
king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image
which thou hast set up.” We are not going to make our decision based on what might happen. Our God whom
we serve is able to deliver us, and we believe that He will deliver us, but if not, we still are going to do right. We
are not doing this for deliverance, but because it is right. The best preparation against trouble is do right. Quit
worrying about, “Well, if I do right, it might…” If you do right, God can bless you anyway. You can do right. God
is able. He just may be willing, but if not, it’s still going to be okay.
Daniel prayed knowing that the decree was signed and knowing the consequences. Paul went to Jerusalem
knowing that he would be apprehended and taken to Rome. John the Baptist preached about Herodias knowing
that she was a vicious woman and what may come to pass. Esther went into the courtyard of the king unsolicited
and she said, “If I perish, I perish.” That sounds like, “But if not…” She did the right thing. It turned out pretty
good too, by the way.
In Psalm 84:10, God makes an interesting statement through the Psalmist. “For a day in thy courts is better
than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Instead of worrying about the last thousand days or the next thousand, maybe I ought to just live this one
in His courts. This day will be better than a thousand anywhere else. Maybe tomorrow morning I ought to just
go ahead and get in His courts again. “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand…” Every day of your
life can be better than a thousand days if you live it in His courts, in His presence. You are not going to be in His
courts enjoying His presence while you are reliving disappointments from yesterday, while you are worrying about the possibilities of tomorrow. Because you are so preoccupied, so enslaved by yesterday and tomorrow, you are not at liberty to function the way you are supposed to today.
Remember that passage in Psalm 37? I’m just going to give you four or five statements in the order they
are listed. “Fret not thyself because of evildoers,…” Even when someone does you wrong, don’t fret yourself.
People can’t destroy you. They can only lead you to self-destruction. How do you keep from fretting?
The next thing he said is, “Trust in the LORD,…” which means to be dependent. It would be good if we
had some dependent Baptists, instead of us operating on our own strength.
Then he said, “Delight thyself also in the LORD:…” He didn’t say delight in the circumstances. If I delight
in Him, He is the same all the time. Nothing ever changes in Him. I can delight in Him all the time. If my
delight is in Him, not in the circumstances, I can delight every day.
Then it says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD;…” That’s pretty good advice. Instead of you trying to control
it, commit it to the Lord. Next he says, “Rest in the LORD,…” Don’t find your rest in good times. Find your
rest in the person of God, in God Himself.
God is going to rain down fresh manna every morning. It’s your job to gather it, so you have what you need
for that day. If you try to use one day’s manna for two day’s problems and needs, it’s going to breed worms. It
Do you remember the widow of Zarephath? When the brook dried up, God sent the prophet of God to the
widow at Zarephath who is out gathering a couple of sticks. The prophet walks up and says, “What are you doing?”
She says, “Well, I’m gathering a couple of sticks and I’m going to make a little cake and feed my child and
myself our last meal, and we are going to eat it and then starve to death.”
The audacity of this preacher! He said, “Make me a little cake first.” Can you believe that? The woman
made him a little cake first. The next day when she woke up, the barrel was full of meal, right? And the cruse
was full and running over with oil. Is that how it was? No, the next day she got up and she scraped the bottom of
the barrel, and lo, and behold, there was just enough meal for another day. She shook the cruse and there was just
enough oil for another day. She and her son ate another day and the next morning she got up and scraped again,
There was never any abundance, but every time she scraped the bottom of the barrel, there was enough meal for
that day and enough oil in the cruse for that day, and the meal wasted not and the oil failed not for many days.
“What are you trying to say preacher?” If you do what God wants you to do, you may be scraping the bottom
of the barrel every single day, but there will be enough for today. There wasn’t enough there for today and
tomorrow, but every time she scraped the bottom, there was enough for today. “I can’t live tomorrow.” So — you
may not have one!
I am not promoting lack of preparation, because in Matthew 24:44 He said, “Therefore be ye also ready:
for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” I’m supposed to be ready. Preparation is what takes
the fear out of tomorrow. It’s appointed unto men once to die. I know I have an appointment. It could be tonight.
It could be tomorrow. I don’t know when it is, but I’m not worried about it. Because on January 15, 1975, I made
preparation. I am ready. I’m not trying to get killed, but I ain’t worried about when it comes to pass. Death is
going to come. That’s reality. That happens to be the ultimate in statistics, that one out of every one dies.
Proverbs 14:32 says, “…the righteous hath hope in his death.” Hope is confident anticipation. Some people
don’t have any confidence in life and the righteous have hope in their death. Why? Because they have made
preparation. Preparation takes the fear out of tomorrow. I am saved and ready to face tomorrow, no matter what
tomorrow holds. I am on my way to Heaven. God is my Father and Jesus is my elder Brother and the Holy Ghost
is my Comforter. The Bible is my Book. Heaven is my home. I have the peace of God that passeth all understanding, joy unspeakable and full of glory. His grace will be sufficient tomorrow like it was today. I’m not going to ruin today worrying about tomorrow. If I have to suffer tomorrow, I’m going to enjoy myself to the last minute and suffer when it is time to suffer.
In Numbers 11:18, Moses told the people, “…Sanctify yourselves against to morrow,…” He says to sanctify
yourself today and it is preparation against tomorrow, whatever it holds. If you are sanctified, you sanctify
against tomorrow. Preparation takes the fear out of tomorrow. Worrying doesn’t take the fear out of tomorrow or
stop tomorrow’s trouble from coming. I’m supposed to commit it to prayer and sanctify myself to God today. If
I do, I’m sanctified against tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, I’ll have enough grace to do what I need to do.
You don’t get enough grace deposited in your account on the first of the month for the whole month. His
mercies are new every morning. He rained down fresh manna every day. His grace is sufficient for today. There
are people that live in frustration and failure because they are either occupied by what they cannot control tomorrow, or occupied by what they cannot change yesterday. You can’t stop tomorrow from coming and you can’t change history. The only thing you can do is put that behind you and wait till this comes and enjoy right now, live this to the fullest. God wants me to live this day for Him and live it with all my might for the glory of God. There is no way I’ll do that if I’m preoccupied with yesterday or tomorrow. I need to keep my mind on doing something for God today.
There are folks who desperately need to forgive somebody so you can move on. Everybody in this room
has been done wrong, some more severely than others, but everybody here could choose to hang onto the past and destroy today, tomorrow and the rest of your life. On the other hand, some of you worry warts need to let tomorrow alone and sanctify yourself against it. Prepare against it. Go ahead and scrape the bottom today and get what you need for today and tomorrow is a new day and you may have to scrape the bottom every day, but there will be enough.
“…Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Sufficient unto the day is the grace thereof. As thy days,
so shall thy strength be. God will not put more on you today than you can bear, but He will make a way to escape
that ye may be able to bear it, but you have to continue in the grace of God. The biggest problem we have is taking
thought for tomorrow, or reliving the past. Either of those is going to rob us of the capacity to serve and honor
Comments Off on The Inspiration and Preservation of the King James Bible
“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. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:15 -16)
There are several things in the text that we will highlight by way of introduction to the subject of “The Inspiration and Preservation of the King James Bible.”
First of all, the Holy Scriptures mentioned in verse 15 were not the Originals but rather copies of copies of copies, and they were still able to make Timothy ‘wise unto salvation’ by producing faith in Christ.
Then in verse 16 it’s important to note that ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The word ‘inspiration’ has to do with God not only breathing the words, but breathing His Spirit and His Life into the words, as clarified by the Lord Jesus in John 6:63 where He declared that “… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
It is also important to note that in verse 15 the Scriptures are called ‘holy,’ which implies something that is set apart by God and to God, which makes them unique, one-of-a-kind, and complete. What is holy is not to be touched or tampered with by man. When Uzzah touched the ark of God, he died because it was holy, and because he had overstepped his bounds. His good intentions were no excuse.
To tamper with the Holy Scriptures is to overstep one’s bounds and tread dangerous ground, as is indicated in Revelation 22:18-19. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Although the primary application of these verses is the book of Revelation, the whole Bible is holy and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will judge those who tamper with any portion of the Holy Scriptures.
When God speaks of the Scriptures, it not only makes reference to the body of Scripture as a whole, or even to the words only. According to the Lord Jesus, it also deals with the letters. In Matthew chapter 5 verse 18, we read, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” A jot was the smallest Hebrew letter, and the tittle was the smallest projection on a letter.
It’s important to note that when Jesus made this statement, He was not referring to the Originals, but rather to copies, and His promise was that it would remain intact until Heaven and earth pass. Since Heaven and earth have not yet passed, I must assume that there is still an inspired, preserved Bible with every jot and tittle, or I must assume that Jesus lied. When we carry this concept over to the English Bible, it implies that He will preserve it in such a way so that not even a dot on an ‘i’ or a cross on a ‘t’ is missing.
Another important truth found in our text is the fact that this inspired Bible has a purpose. “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:17) Without the inspired Bible this purpose cannot be fulfilled, and the original reason for inspiration is defeated. Therefore, since all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, if it is Scripture, it is inspired. If it is not inspired, it is not Scripture. Do we have Scripture or not?
There are those who discount the supernatural oversight of God, and tell us that 3% to 5% was lost during translation. If this were true, how would I know that the error is not in John 3:16 or Romans 10:13, verses on which my salvation rests?
Why bother to preserve what has already been corrupted? I often preserve deer meat by canning it. A few years ago I had meat stored in a refrigerator. The refrigerator quit working, and by the time I realized it, some of the meat had already spoiled. I did not bother to can any of it because I didn’t know what was spoiled and what was not. I didn’t trust any of it. And after listening to some preachers, I understand why some people don’t trust any of the Bible. They throw the whole thing out like I did with the spoiled meat. In this manuscript I am not going to talk about the translators, but rather the promises of God Who cannot lie and cannot change. Let God be true and every man a liar.
In Matthew 4:4 God says that, “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” If God requires me to live by every word, and He is a just God, would it be logical for me to assume that He made sure that I had all of the words? Anything less than that would be injustice on His part, because He is demanding that I live by what I don’t have, and He is the only one Who could have provided it.
It is important to note that when God speaks of inspiration, He is not implying that a man was inspired, and gave his inspired opinion, but rather that God spoke through that man and saw to it that what He dictated was accurately recorded and alive.
In Psalm 45:1 the Psalmist said, “…my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” The implication here is that God is the Ready Writer and He is using the tongue of the Psalmist. The following illustration adds insight, but does not completely explain the inspiration of Scripture. For instance, if I dictate a letter to my secretary word-for-word and she types it exactly as it was dictated, the final draft is not the work of an inspired secretary, but it is the breath, the wording, and the spirit of the one dictating it. It also carries the authority of the one who breathed it. There is a vast difference between a mere invitation and a court order or a summons to appear. The first is a request, but the second is a demand with all of the authority of the judge who issued it.
To question inspiration is to question the Authorship and the Authority, as well as the spirit and life of the Scriptures. Let me again emphasize that Acts 17:11 tells us that the Bereans searched the Scriptures daily, and they did not have the Originals. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.” They were looking at copies, and those copies are referred to as Scripture. Only what is inspired is Scripture.
In II Peter 1:16-21, Peter declared that the scriptures were a more sure word of prophecy than an eye-witness account or hearing the voice of God directly. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 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.” Peter declares that the prophecy of Scripture is more sure than what he saw as any eye-witness and what he heard with his ears. How can this be? I have seen Gospel magicians do things with my own eyes, but it was an illusion. My eyes deceived me. I have heard things with my own ears and misunderstood what was said. But the prophecy of Scripture is inspired by God, and preserved by God, and more sure than my sight or my hearing.
To question inspiration is blasphemous, and those who do so do it in the name of education. It is important to remember that ‘higher education’ has never been the friend of true Christianity, primarily because of the principle found in I Corinthians 8:1 where it says, “…Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” To be ‘puffed up’ is to be filled with pride, and pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)
In reality, to question inspiration is an expression of intellectual arrogance rather than education. Those who do so have been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ, and have begun to scrutinize the Infallible Book on the basis of information found in fallible books that are definitely not inspired, such as lexicons, dictionaries, and history books.
To do so is as foolish as trying to find the exact dimensions of an object while using an inaccurate ruler. Suppose I had a yardstick that was only 28 inches long instead of 36 inches, and I was measuring something that had already been measured by a perfect yardstick, and after I measure it by my imperfect standard, I then question its perfection, because I did not come up with the same number of yards.
These folks scoff at those of us who are simple enough to operate by faith. Faith is dependency upon God and expectancy from God to the point that the Word of God is enough. Those of us who walk by faith and not by sight believe that if God can keep the soul of a sinner saved, He can keep His Book intact, including the inspiration, which is the life of the Book. Because of the simplicity of our faith, they call us ‘ignorant and unlearned men,’ but fail to acknowledge that we have been with Jesus. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13) Who was it that had the truth, these called unlearned and ignorant men, or the doctors of the law with all of their education?
Faith is simple, but not blind. It is based on Biblical principle. Higher education complicates simple matters, and to complicate what God made simple is a form of corruption and will lead to utter apostasy in time.
In Psalm 138:2, it says, “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” If God’s Word is no good, then His name is no good, therefore He has elevated His Word above His name.
In Exodus 20:7 we are warned, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” My question is this: If God will not hold them guiltless who take His name in vain, and He has elevated His Word above His name, can those who question the inspiration and preservation of His Word be found guiltless?
To cast doubt on the Word of God is to destroy the foundations. This is exactly what the lawyers were guilty of in Luke 11:52, where Jesus said, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” The key of knowledge is an inspired, preserved Bible that can be trusted. First John 5:13 is proof of this statement. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” The Scriptures that have been written are how I know that I have eternal life. They are the key to this knowledge. Since people enter by faith, you hinder them by raising doubts.
The Scriptures are the foundation of my faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” They are also the foundation of my salvation. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Jesus talks about the seed being sown. In verse 19, when giving the explanation of the parable to His disciples, He tied the seed and the Word of the kingdom together, and made them understand that, to sow the seed is to communicate the Gospel which produces various responses, one of which is the salvation of the soul.
The Scriptures are also the foundation of my moral values, my ethics, my religious practice, my doctrine, and my hope. To cast doubt on the King James Bible is like building a house on a firm foundation and then, after completion, taking a jackhammer and beginning to chip away at the very foundation your house rests upon.
In Psalm 11:3 the danger of the foundations being destroyed is pointed out. The verse says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” It’s important to note that the word ‘foundations’ is a plural word, which implies there is more than one. According to I Corinthians 3:11, Jesus is the foundation of salvation. But the Scriptures are the foundation on which we build our lives.
If the foundations be destroyed, the righteous will be swept away, as was the foolish man who built his life upon the sand in Matthew 7:24-27. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
This is happening before our eyes as the old-time religion is being swept away and replaced with contemporary religion, as Bible standards are being swept away and replaced with worldliness. Soulwinning is being swept away and replaced by marketing. Biblical marriage is being swept away and replaced by immorality and sodomy. These things are happening as a result of the foundation of the Word of God being removed from society and now from our churches, or at least being questioned by some of our preachers.
Through the ages there have been a number of theological battles over the authority of the Scriptures. Several years ago the Southern Baptists battled over inspiration. The most liberal group did not believe that there ever was an inspired Bible, and the most conservative group of them believed that there was an inspired Bible in the Originals, but none of them believed that one presently existed.
My question is: What good is inspiration without preservation? Who cares if there ever was an inspired Bible if we don’t have it today? The whole point of inspiration is defeated without God supernaturally preserving the Book.
During the same time period that the Southern Baptists were battling over inspiration, independent fundamental Baptists were arguing over preservation. In other words, which English Bible is the inspired, preserved, every-word Bible that God promised would exist until the world passed away? It can’t be the Originals, because they do not exist. It can’t be every Bible, because they do not agree. As my good friend, Dr. Mickey Carter pointed out, “Things that are different are not the same.”
There was a battle, and somewhat of a split in our ranks over this issue, and Bible believers concluded that the King James Bible is the very inspired, preserved Word of God. Some are now calling that battle “The King James Controversy” and condemning those who fought the battle for the foundation of our faith, implying that they hindered the growth of our churches by their stand. Let me remind you that in Nehemiah’s day, they had a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. They were building and battling.
After these accusations were made, I asked many Bible-believing preachers this question. “How many people have you lost because you believe that the King James Bible is the inspired, preserved Word of God?” Most of them told me they could not remember losing anyone over that issue. Then I asked them, “How many have you lost over standards?” They all said, “Too many to count!” My point is this: If you are not willing to take a stand and make waves over inspiration, you certainly can’t justify losing ten times as many people over standards. The next thing to go will be standards. If you won’t fight for the foundations of faith, you certainly won’t fight for the garnishings of faith. By garnishings I’m not minimizing the importance of standards of separation, but implying that it has to do with the outward expression of our faith, which testifies to a lost and dying world. This ‘growth at all cost’ mentality is dangerously close to that of Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. I am to ‘contend for the faith’ once delivered and forever preserved.
As we already learned in Matthew 4:4 and 5:18, somewhere there must be an every word and every jot and tittle Bible. If it is not in the King James Bible, where is it? Put a copy in my hand. Even common sense would lead one to believe that the King James Bible is the Scripture spoken of by Jesus and Paul, since every great revival that the English-speaking world has ever experienced was in conjunction with the use of a King James Bible. There has been no NIV revival, no ASV revival, no Living Bible revival, no Revised Standard Version revival, no Good News for Modern Man revival, but rather since the Bible-a-month club has started, apostasy has become more rampant both in society and in our churches.
Recently a new theological discussion has surfaced. It is based on the false idea that the King James Bible is preserved but it is not inspired. My question is very simple. If we begin with something inspired, and we preserve it, how do we lose inspiration in the process of preservation? This is theological double-talk. Furthermore, it is important to note that both inspiration and preservation are supernatural acts of God. Everyone involved in this debate believes that the Bible was inspired by God in the Originals, but some believe that inspiration was lost in translation.
My good friend, Dr. Rick Sowell, asked a very probing question while preaching out of Jeremiah 36. The question was this: Where does inspiration end? Does it end when God speaks to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 36:2? Or does it end with Jeremiah repeating it verbatim to Baruch in Jeremiah 36:4? Or does it end with Baruch writing it in Jeremiah 36:4? Or does it continue to the second manuscript that Jeremiah dictated at the command of God after the king had cut the first manuscript and cast it into the fire in Jeremiah 36:32? Verse 32 declares that the second roll had all the words of the first roll that the king had thrown into the fire, and there were added many like words.
Brother Sowell made the statement that, “Inspiration is more of a process than a singular act.” I tend to agree because both inspiration and preservation are the work of God and do not depend on the translating ability of man. And if God did not supernaturally preserve His Word and it’s life, there would have been no point in Him breathing it or inspiring it to start with. Regardless of whether it is a process singular in nature or two separate supernatural acts, the outcome is the same. We have the inspired, preserved Word of God.
Please pay close attention to the wording of Jeremiah 36:32, where it says, “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.” I want to remind you that Jeremiah was not copying from the Originals which had been burned in the fire, and it does not tell us that God spoke the words a second time to Jeremiah, but rather that Jeremiah once again spoke the words and Baruch penned them. It certainly was not of Jeremiah alone that ‘all the words’ that had been in the first roll were in the second. God both inspired it and preserved it, and used Jeremiah as the instrument or tool to accomplish it.
Remember that II Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. Inspiration is not only to breathe the words, but to infuse them with life. The breath of God is equivalent to the Spirit of God, according to John 20:22, where it says, “…he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”
The breath of God is the breath of life. This is clearly pointed out in Genesis 2:7 where it says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Let me point out a couple of things. First of all, God formed man, and I am certain that if he formed man, it was a perfect form. But there was no life in that form until God breathed life into it. The breath of God is the breath of life. Whatever He breathes into has life. If you take the breath away from man he dies, according to Psalm 104:29 which says, “…thou takest away their breath; they die…”
It is equally true that if you take the breath or the inspiration out of the Scriptures, it is a dead book. If our Bible is not inspired, then it is equivalent to an embalmed Bible. The form is still there, but the life is gone. Second Timothy 3:5 speaks of those who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. To have a preserved Bible and deny its inspiration is to have the form or the shell of the Bible, but to deny the power thereof. A sea shell is the outward form of a sea creature, but the life is gone. Adam, when formed, had all of his fingers and toes, but without the spirit being breathed into him, he was lifeless.
I don’t need an embalmed Bible. I need one that is alive, as well as complete. If I go to the hospital, I want them to preserve more than my form. The mortician can do that. I want them to preserve my life. God promised to preserve an inspired Bible. As already stated, the Lord Jesus declared, “… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) which means that they were inspired.
When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, he became a living soul. Is that soul still alive? Absolutely! For those of you who might argue that Adam was the ‘original’ human being and God breathed life directly into him only, I agree that only Adam and Eve were formed by direct creation. Since I am not the original, God did not breathe life into me by direct creation. However, I too am a living soul. That same life that was breathed into Adam directly has been transmitted from one generation to another for over 6,000 years by way of reproduction, not by way of direct creation. I am a descendent and a copy of Adam, over 6,000 years removed from his direct creation, and yet I have the same spirit of life in me that God breathed into Adam.
My point is this: God did not need to re-inspire the translators. He breathed the Originals and breathed His spirit and life into them, and He has seen to it that the life is carried on to every generation by way of reproduction, not re-inspiration. So if I have a preserved copy of the Bible, I also have an inspired copy of the Bible, because it is impossible to start with something inspired and to preserve it, without it continuing to be inspired. A little later in this manuscript I will define preservation which will make this statement abundantly clear.
The fact that God breathed the Bible is clearly stated in the Bible itself. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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;” (Hebrews 1:1-2) “As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:” (Luke 1:70) “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.” (II Peter 1:21) In each of these passages the declaration is made that ‘God spake’ or moved them to speak through them. The words of the Bible are God’s words.
God is a Spirit, (John 4:24). His words are spirit, (John 6:63). And according to I Corinthians 2:13-14, the Bible is a spiritual Book written in a language that the natural man, who is spiritually dead, cannot discern. “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:13-14)
According to Ephesians 2:1, before we were born of the Spirit and infused with Spirit-life, we were described as ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ We were physically alive, but spiritually dead. This is the condition of the ‘natural man’ mentioned in I Corinthians 2:14.
The King James Bible is both a spiritual Book and a living Book, and I might add, it is the only such Book in English in the universe. This is why the natural man, who is dead spiritually, cannot discern its contents. In Job 32:8 he declares, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” This spirit was put into man by the inspiration of the Almighty and is taught by the same breath of inspiration, now contained in the Scriptures.. To understand the Book, I must have the same breath of life in me that the Bible has in it. Otherwise, I cannot get on the same wavelength. The words are spirit, and therefore spiritual. To those who are dead spiritually there can be no communion nor witness with the spirit or spiritual, thus the statement, “…neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” It is not possible for the lost man to know them.
This is also declared in Romans 8:16 where it says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” It is not mere accuracy that makes the Bible undiscernible to the lost man, but its inspiration — its Spirit-life. To read the inspired words of God as a lost man is like someone trying to understand a book written in Chinese when they can only read English, or like a dead man trying to communicate with the living.
If the Bible is not the very Word of God, then it cannot be a good Book, because it would be filled with lies. Four hundred thirteen times we find the expression, “Thus saith the Lord.” Two hundred thirty-five times the Bible describes itself as “the Word of the Lord.” Forty-eight times it describes itself as “the Word of God.” Eight times, speaking of its contents, it says, “the Spirit saith.”
Inspiration is what sets the Bible apart from all other religious books, such as the Koran or the Book of Mormon. A preserved Koran has no life in it, even if it is a perfect copy of the original, because there was no inspiration of God in it to start with. If you take the inspiration out of the Bible and have a perfect copy of the words, you have reduced it to just another religious book, rather than ‘the power of God unto salvation.’
In Hebrews 4:12 it says, “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.” In this verse there are attributed to the Bible certain qualities that could only be attributed to something or someone that is alive.
First it says that the Word of God is quick. The very word ‘quick’ speaks of life. The ink and paper cannot be alive, but God has infused the words with His breath, and made them spirit. If the King James Bible is not alive, it is not the Word of God, because the Word of God is quick, or alive.
In I Peter 1:23 it says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” Both the Lord Jesus and the Bible are called the Word of God, and both live forever and abide forever. If the Lord Jesus had died at Calvary and never risen, He would have no power to save, because only what has life has power. It is equally true that if we have a Book that is perfect in content, but has lost its inspiration and life in translation, it has no power to produce life. Only what is alive can beget life.
Not only is the Word of God declared to be quick, but to be powerful. Power speaks of authority, and the wise man taught us that ‘where the word of the king is, there is power.’ Power also speaks of ability to perform. In II Timothy 3:15 we learned that the scriptures are ‘able’ to make thee wise unto salvation. In Romans 1:16 we learn that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Also attributed to the Word of God is the ability to pierce by way of conviction, to divide by establishing a holy standard, and to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. Discernment has to do with probing and searching, which could only be done by a living Book. And the life of the Book is its inspiration. God’s Word is alive and has power to produce life, as is indicated in Genesis 1:24 which says, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind… and it was so.”
My question is, “Do we have a copy of the Word of God which is alive and powerful in the King James Bible?” If not, show me where to get a copy, since God promised that it would both live and abide forever. I do not believe in what some would call ‘dual inspiration’, but I do believe in divine preservation, as it is promised in Scripture. Psalm 100:6 says, “…his truth endureth to all generations.” This would imply that no generation is skipped over or left out.
Psalm 12:6-7 declares that, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Please note that in verse seven it is declared that God would preserve His words from that generation for ever. It is God’s job to preserve His Word, in spite of man. Do you think He is up to the task? If God cannot keep or preserve His own words, how can He keep the soul of a saved sinner such as you or me, as He promised to do in I Peter 1:5, where it declares that we are ‘kept by the power of God’. This is apart from any human work, and the preservation of the Bible is apart from any human work. Let me remind you that the things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27)
Question #1 If God could inspire His Word through one man, could He preserve it through another, or in another language? Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” Would that include King James, who authorized the translation? Would it also include the translators?
Question #2 If God could overrule in the affairs of Joseph concerning his brothers’ evil intentions toward him and turn their evil intentions into something good as He did in Genesis 50:20, could He also overrule in the good intentions of these fallible translators? Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
Let me remind you that God has always used fallible man to achieve His infallible goals. Much of the Bible was originally penned by three murderers: Moses, who killed and Egyptian and buried him, David who killed Uriah, and Saul of Tarsus, who gave consent to the stoning of Stephen. All of these men were forgiven and cleansed before they were used, but my point is this: It was originally inspired through these frail, fallible human beings, and everyone involved in the debate believes that. Does God have any less power to preserve than He had to inspire? Is preservation any more dependent upon man than inspiration was?
Question #3 If God could see to it that all the words were re-written by Jeremiah that had been written in the previous scroll destroyed by Jehoiakim, could He oversee the translation of an existing document? Jeremiah 36:28 “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.”
I believe that God preserved all the words. (Matthew 4:4) I also believe that He preserved the inspiration, which is the spirit and life of the words. As already stated, anything less than this would be the equivalent of an embalmed Bible. A corpse has all the body parts, but the breath and life is gone. It has no power to pierce, to divide, to discern, nor to save.
Remember, everybody involved in the discussion believes that we started with something inspired in its original form. If we preserve what is inspired, how can we possibly lose inspiration in the process of preservation?
Let me define the word ‘preservation’ from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. It means a) to keep or save from injury, decay, or destruction. b) to uphold or sustain c) to keep in a sound state, d) to defend from corruption and to make last e) to prevent what is preserved from changing. If we begin with something that is inspired and keep it from decay, sustain it, keep it in a sound state, defend it from corruption, make it last, and prevent it from changing, is it still inspired?
If I preserve peaches by canning them, after they are preserved, are they still peaches, or have they now become generic fruit? We do not need a good translation. Nor do we need the best translation. We need the inspired, preserved Word of God that was promised to us by God Himself. Because preservation without inspiration is equivalent to no inspiration to start with.
It is inspiration that gives the Bible life. (Hebrews 4:12) It is inspiration that gives it power. (II Timothy 3:5) It is inspiration that makes it holy. (II Timothy 3:15) It is inspiration which makes it able. (II Timothy 3:15) It is inspiration that makes it Scripture. (II Timothy 3:16) It is inspiration that guarantees its authenticity as the Word of God. To question inspiration is to question the Source and authenticity of the document, as well as to remove any force and power that it had in its origin. We have an inspired and preserved King James Bible. It is perfect, it is complete, and it is alive. It has as much life and as much force to transform the lives of people as it had in its original form.
Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the black race from slavery, was destroyed in the Chicago fire. When the Originals were destroyed, and only exact copies remained, did the power and force of the document disappear and the black race get plunged back into slavery? Absolutely not!
The fact that we do not have the Original Autographs does not reduce or eliminate the breath and power of the Word of God. There are those today who speak of re-writing the King James Bible. Several years ago they put out a New King James in an attempt to improve what was already perfect. It was a disaster, as you might imagine.
I like what was said in an article in the Wall Street Journal, which I’m sure you’re aware is not a Christian newspaper. The writer of the article said, “To try to re-write the King James Bible would be like turning an amateur watchmaker loose on Big Ben.” Amen!