Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
Word (40: 8). Its being God's light and truth, it cannot err (43: 3); and it is infinite in this quality (57: 3; 108: 4). This is so because He is true (Jer. 10: 10). His infallibility must be maintained, though it make every man a liar (Rom. 3: 4), just because He cannot lie (Tit. 1: 2). Hence, because He is infallible, the Bible, being His Word or Revelation, cannot err (John 10: 35; Luke 16: 17). It is because people do not know the Scriptures that they err (Matt. 22: 29). The Bible's inerrancy or infallibility keeps back the faithful from error and keeps them in the Truth (John 17: 17). Hence we can confidently rely upon the Bible's teachings as infallible. And this is indeed a great comfort to the faithful amid the confusion, strife of tongues, in human creeds, theories, hypotheses, speculations, philosophies and sciences so-called; for it keeps them steadfast amid the strife of tongues in confusion worse confounded. Yea, it makes the Bible their rest and refreshment, their pillow and comfortable bed (Is. 28: 12). Praised be God for an infallible Bible!
We now come to a discussion of the ninth attribute of the Bible—its authoritativeness. By its authoritativeness we understand the quality of the Bible to be meant by which it properly in its dignity demands and arouses the assent of the intellect, the response of the affections and the obedience of the will of God's people to its teachings. This dignity of authority is imparted to it by its coming as from its Source and Author—God, who inspired its sentiments and words. Moreover, its truthfulness and infallibility accentuate its authoritativeness and thus the propriety of its demands. That it is invested with such dignity of authority is evident from the facts that it is the Divine Revelation and that it comes to us with overpowering evidence of its truthfulness in the internal, external and internalo-external proofs of its being the Divine Revelation. This is further emphasized by its inspiration. Again, further dignity is added to it by its attributes, its uses, the relations of its parts and its effects on believers and
unbelievers, as well as on partial believers. Hence the authority and dignity and majesty of God is imparted to it as being His expressed mind, heart and will. It is therefore fitting that to its authoritativeness all bow in reverence, awe, appreciation, veneration, affection, belief and obedience; for it being God's Word, God regards that what is thought, felt and willed as to it is thought, felt and willed as to Him. Accordingly, the Bible from its source, nature, qualities, uses, relations and effects is invested with a majesty and a dignity of authority that demands and arouses compliance to it by intellect, affections and will. And such compliance is not one that is servile, but is sympathetic in the response that it makes; for it not only gives overpowering evidence to the responsive heart as to its authority to make its demands, but arouses a most sympathetic response as to the fitness and privilege of such responsiveness to its authoritativeness; for it identifies itself with God's mind, heart and will as to man. Hence God and Christ identify their Word with Themselves.
Let us see what the Bible says on its authoritativeness as to matters of faith and practice for man's intellect, heart and will. The value of the Bible as the depository of God's wisdom is well set forth in the following, often in contrast with its opposite, and in its majesty and dignity: Job 28: 12-28; Prov. 1: 5, 7, 20-33; 2: 1-20; 3: 13-26; 4: 4-13, 18-22; 7: 2-4; 8: 1-36; 9: 1-6, 9-12; 22: 17-21; 23: 12, 19, 23. These high qualities of the Bible imply its authoritativeness. It is its authoritativeness that convinces the obedient of the Bible's truthfulness (John 7: 17). Its authoritativeness convinces of the truth and emancipation of the Word (8: 32). Its authoritativeness makes it obeyed (10: 14). It gives full assurance of the truth (17: 7, 8). It makes it silence opponents (Acts 6: 10). It commends the Bible's teachings as true to believers (1 Cor. 2: 6-16). Many Scriptures show the Bible's thoughts to be God's, therefore authoritative, e.g., Ex. 4: 11, 12; Deut. 4: 5, 6, 35, 36; 1 Chron. 22: 12; Ps. 25: 8, 9, 12, 14. God's
using the Bible as His means of instruction gives it authority (32: 8). His giving life and light by it proves its authoritativeness (36: 9). Often its authoritativeness is enforced by punishments that it teaches (94: 12); and its giving light amid darkness makes its authoritativeness all the more impressive (112: 4). Its authoritativeness is seen in its giving charge as to what course should be taken when different ways to go present themselves (Is. 30: 21); and its effects on the Church and the world confirm its authoritativeness (42: 6, 7, 16). Above all does this appear from its Author (48: 17; 54: 13). Its being God's means of solving the most difficult questions proves its authoritativeness (Dan. 2: 20-23). Its hiding its thoughts from the unworthy and revealing them to the worthy manifests this quality as inhering in it (Matt. 11: 25-27). This also appears from the fact that the Bible gives irrefutable arguments against its enemies (Luke 21: 15). Its giving and withholding light proves this same quality (John 9: 5, 39; Rev. 11: 3-6). It shows this by the utterances of its mouthpieces (John 12: 46; 18: 37). Its keeping God's mystery secret before the Gospel Age and revealing it only to the saints in the Gospel Age prove its authoritativeness (Col. 1: 26-28). Its great gifts prove the same thing (2 Pet. 1: 2-5, 8). Its control over God's people evidences it (Ex. 13: 9). Its solemn recital also proves it (Deut. 31: 9-13). The blessings and curses that it announces flow from its authoritativeness (Josh. 8: 31-34). It requires the Bible to be remembered forever (1 Chron. 16: 15).
The purity of the Bible is another guarantee of its authoritativeness (Ps. 12: 6). It is its authoritativeness that demands a proper hearing of it (85: 8). It makes God's people hide it in their hearts (119: 11), arouses their respect for, and delight in it (15, 16), makes them meditate on it, despite highly placed persecutors (23), makes them honor it (30), makes them brave, even before kings (46), makes them remember it when robbed of their goods (61), and arouses their reverence
even unto hope in it (74). The Bible has this quality because of its faithfulness (86). It kindles the saints' love for it (140), makes them stand in awe at it (161), makes them speak of God's Word and character (172), calls for obedience from all who are righteous and love the Word (Is. 51: 7), calls upon God's people attentively to consider it (Ezek. 44: 5), appeals to those only who have hearing ears (Matt. 11: 15), makes the Bible eternal (Mark 13: 31), makes it full of power (Luke 1: 37), demands a hearing for it (Luke 16: 31), arouses energy in its hearers (24: 32), gives life and power to it (John 6: 63), makes it work faith and understanding (Rom. 10: 17), and makes it speak as due (16: 26). The Bible has this quality because it is God-derived (Gal. 1: 12). Its authoritativeness makes it the sword of the Spirit in spiritual battles (Eph. 6: 17), gives it potency (1 Thes. 1: 5), warrants the exhortation to hold it fast (2 Tim. 1: 13), makes it free from all bondage (2: 9), demands the most earnest heed to be given it (Heb. 2: 1-3), makes it energetic and powerful (4: 12), warrants the execution of its judgments (10: 28), calls for the Word to be received with meekness (Jas. 1: 21), makes the faithful confident of eternal life (1 John 5: 13), makes the believer contend earnestly for the Bible as the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), and gives emphasis to the prohibition to add to, or subtract from the Word (Rev. 22: 18, 19). Certainly the Bible gives and implies much on its authoritativeness; and this should make us stand in awe of the Word (Is. 66: 2).
The tenth attribute of the Bible to be here presented is its adaptability to its purposes. As we have seen, the Bible has a variety of purposes. It is to glorify God and Christ, to win and develop the four elect classes, at present to obscure the Truth to the non-elect, by and by to enlighten them as to God's various dealings and to give them witness as to sin, righteousness and the coming kingdom. That the Bible is to glorify God as its Author and the Outworker of its plan is manifest
from many standpoints. It reveals Him in His attributes of being and character in a way that certainly reflects credit upon God. This revelation is made by direct statements and by the plan that it exhibits, holding up these attributes of being and character, especially those of character. It reflects credit upon Him by showing how He is working out that plan along the lines of dispensations, ages and planes of being, each one carrying out to a completion its designed outcome. It reflects credit upon Him in that it shows Him successful in His purposes toward the four elect classes and the world in its experience with evil now and with good in the Millennium and in the final successful outcome of that plan, establishing eternal truth and righteousness and the righteous forever in complete triumph, and annihilating all evil and incorrigible evil-doers forever, with God made supreme in the minds, hearts and wills of the faithful. Thus the Bible is adaptable to secure its purposes as to God. It is likewise adaptable to glorify Christ as the Bible's Agent and Executive of its plan. It secures these results as to Christ by revealing His three successive natures as perfect in their attributes of person and character, by revealing the various high offices that He has filled in each of His three natures, and by showing that He was successful in His three prehuman offices as God's Agent in creation, providence and revelation, in His carnation as an obedient subject of the natural and Mosaic laws in His humanity, as the all-prevailing ransom-price for Adam and his fallen race in that same humanity, and as the faithful New Creature sacrificing His humanity as the ransom, developing a new-creaturely character unto perfection amid trialsome conditions and standing successfully its trials unto a completion. In the experiences of the days of His flesh He found the Bible thoroughly adaptable to every need of His humanity and New Creature. And the Bible reflects credit upon Him in His Gospel-Age ministry to its three elect classes, as it reflected credit upon His work with the elect and quasi-elect
of the pre-Gospel-Age times. It also reflects credit upon Him for His Gospel-Age ministry to the world, particularly in its relations to God's plan and people; and it holds out the thought of His successful outworking of God's plans Millennially and post-Millennially, resulting in eternal glory being reflected upon God and Christ (Rev. 5: 13).
The Bible proves its adaptability to secure its purposes as to the four elect and the two quasi-elect classes. That it was in its Old-Testament-unfolding form adaptable to develop the Ancient Worthies is evident, not only from the fact that it worked in them repentance and faith unto tentative justification and thereafter wrought in them consecration and the faithful carrying out of it, but also from the fact that it actually secured them as the first of the elect classes to be won. That the Bible in its Old Testament part secured its purpose of winning as one of the quasi-elect classes the Jews who held to the Abrahamic promises and sought to keep the Mosaic Covenant during the Jewish Age and the Gospel Age, is evident from the fact that they have been so won. And that during the Gospel Age it secured its purpose of winning the second of the quasi-elect classes, those faith-justified ones who, while not consecrating, maintained their hold on the ransom and practice of righteousness, is evident from the fact that such a class has been secured. Hence it must have been adaptable to winning these two classes. But the Bible in its Old and New Testaments has the adaptability to win its three Gospel-Age elect classes: the Little Flock, the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. Let us first see its adaptability to winning the Little Flock. These have been selected by the Bible in its teachings from among the Gospel-Age faith-justified, except those of their number who in the Jewish Harvest were of the Jewish-Age faith-justified. Both of these were by the Bible in its teachings enabled to consecrate themselves to follow in Jesus' footsteps along the narrow way. By it they were enabled
to keep their wills dead to self and the world and alive to God, while laying down their human all in sacrifice unto and until death. At the same time the Bible in its teachings enabled them to overcome their weaknesses, faults and lacks, and to develop unto growth, strengthening, balancing and crystallizing their characters in Christlikeness. And the fact that this has been done unto a completeness in the vast majority of this class and is being done in the remainder of them proves that it is adapted to work this effect. It has been accomplishing its purpose as to the crown-losers for Great Companyship. This it has been and is accomplishing by arranging for them to undergo the resistance of their revolutionism, by their commitment to the fit man and Azazel by the World's High Priest, in that the bulk of them have already washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb and in the water of the Word, and in that this is beginning with the rest of them, which proves that the Bible is adaptable for the complete winning of the Great Company. That it is adaptable to winning unto consecration and cleansing the Youthful Worthies, and their full carrying out of their consecration, is evident from the fact that ever since Oct., 1881, this has been going on with ever-increasing numbers of them. Thus the Bible is proven to be adapted to winning the elect and quasi-elect.
It is also adapted to carry out to a successful completion its purposes toward the world of mankind. That it is adapted to letting them have their experience with evil is evident from palpable and undeniable facts existing ever since the fall. This we see to be true of the Old Testament period and of the Gospel-Age period; and we ourselves are witnesses by observation of that experience as going on. Moreover, there is another feature of the Bible plan that during the Gospel Age is being worked out: the world during the Gospel Age has by the Church been given a testimony as to its sinfulness, as to its lack of righteousness and as to the coming judgment [trial of life] in the Kingdom (John 16: 8-11).
Accordingly, we see from the fact that these two purposes have been fulfilling that the Bible is carrying out its two purposes as to the world now due to operate. Its secretiveness makes it adaptable to keep the non-elect unenlightened while they undergo their experience with evil. But the Bible has a third purpose as to the world: through the Kingdom, the four elect classes, to give it an experience of righteousness, to cure it from the effects of the experience of evil and to grant it restitution to the original perfection. While this is a thing that lies in the future, yet we may have the assurance of faith that it will be realized; for not only God's Oath-bound Covenant and the ransom guarantee it, but God has hitherto prepared the agents who will be used in administering that future experience with righteousness, even the four elect classes, assisted by the two quasi-elect classes. Moreover, God has made all the necessary arrangements and prepared all the needed means for operating that experience. Hence we have the assurance of faith that it will come to pass; and the Bible's truths, supplemented by the new Millennial truths, will prove as effective to secure this result as its truths have been adapted to secure the results of God's plan already due to operate. And it will be as completely adapted for the final trial of the restitutionists, for rewarding with everlasting life and blessedness the faithful and for punishing with eternal annihilation the unfaithful as it has been adapted to accomplish its pre-Millennial purposes. Thus adaptability to its purposes is the Bible's tenth attribute.
Its eleventh attribute is dueness in the progressive unfolding of its truths. God caused the Bible to be written in general for the benefit of all His saints and for the special benefit of each one of their generations, each of which generations He intended to have the special message due in and for its times, experiences and needs. He, of course, knew the times, experiences and needs of each generation of His people. Therefore He caused to be put into the Bible not only things
that covered their general needs as a whole, but also things that the special times, experiences and needs of every generation of them called for. We doubt that we go too far, if we say that He caused to be inserted there everything that the special experiences and needs of every one of His consecrated people required. He could so do, because He foreknew such times, experiences and needs. Hence He adapted its teachings to such times, experiences and needs. And He so arranged the Bible that it was silent on such special times, experiences and needs until they came to pass; and then He made it speak out to those special times, experiences and needs. Passages like the following prove this: "The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect [full] day" (Prov. 4: 18); "My times are in thy hand" (Ps. 31: 15); "to give them meat [their portion of meat] in due season" (Matt. 24: 45; Luke 12: 42); "the testimony for due times" (1 Tim. 2: 6); "the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to his saints" (Col. 1: 26); "the very hairs of your head are numbered" (Matt. 10: 30); "there shall not a hair of your head perish [without the Father's will]" (Luke 21: 18); "a book written … sealed with seven seals … Lamb … worthy … to open the seals" (Rev. 5: 1, 6, 9). This is seen in the messages to the seven churches of Rev. 2 and Rev. 3.
The Bible having special messages adapted to each generation, especially to each movement of God's people, differing according to their different times, experiences and needs, it keeps the particular messages secret until such special times, experiences and needs come. Before that due time comes nobody can understand that part of the message. An illustration will help to clarify this: During the reaping time it was not yet due to see the truth on what would reveal membership in the Great Company, a truth that became due during the time of the Harvest following its reaping time. That truth is given as revolutionism against the Lord's teachings
or arrangements, or both, in Ps. 107: 10, 11. The writer lectured on that Psalm at least 25 times during the reaping time and never then saw that it gave the clue whereby membership in the Great Company is to be recognized; but after the reaping time was over; and the other harvest processes became due to be enacted, particularly its threshing, sifting and winnowing processes for separating the Little Flock and Great Company and the Great Company into its various groups, that passage, becoming due, spoke out its secret. Note the vast amounts of truth that, not understood during the preceding times, became due and thus opened. At the opening of each one of the seven seals advancing truth became clear, but only as due in those times. Please note the many new truths that became due during, e.g., the Philadelphia Epoch of the Church, truths not seen before since shortly after the Apostles fell asleep. Above all other sunbursts of Truth note the great abundance of advancing truths that became due during the reaping time. Apart from matters related to the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies, almost everything in the Bible became due to be understood clearly during that reaping time; and since the reaping time ended and by the time that the other six harvest processes as to the separation of the Little Flock and Great Company and the Great Company into its groups are completed, everything else in the Bible will have become due. All of this is due to the fact that the Bible is so constructed in its various teachings as to be ununderstandable until those teachings become meat in due season, and then and only then do they speak out their pertinent message. It is for this reason that the Bible is an ever new book speaking up-to-date messages to God's people; or to put the matter in its own words: "The path of the just [God's people] is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect [full] day." And this kind of an unfolding will continue until ere long everything in the Bible will
be clear. Yes, dueness, or the progressive unfolding, of Bible truth as needed is one of the Bible's attributes.
The twelfth attribute of the Bible that we will study is its efficiency. By its efficiency is meant that one of its qualities whereby it has the ability to effect the Divine designs in giving it. The Divine designs in giving the Bible are to glorify God and Christ, to give the faith classes the opportunity of gaining rescue from the curse and the salvations of the elect—the Little Flock, the Great Company and the Ancient and Youthful Worthies—with the bestowal of the same upon those of them who prove faithful; and to give the unbelief classes—all unbelieving Jews and Gentiles—the opportunity of gaining rescue from the curse and the salvation of restitution, with the bestowal of the same upon those of them who prove faithful. The Bible, through its Truth and Spirit, effects these purposes as due, and therein exercises its quality of efficiency (Is. 53: 10, 11; Luke 1: 37 [A.R.V.]). It is not efficient to effect purposes other than these, unless they are implied in these. Nor is it efficient in seeming to effect these purposes through other truths, e.g., secular truths, like those of history, science, philosophy, etc., nor through another spirit than its own, nor by errors, nor by methods, means and manners other than its own, e.g., irresistible grace or physical force. But it is efficient to attain these ends by its own truths, spirit, methods, means and manners. It has this quality because of its present appealing force to the faith classes, to enable them to become amenable to every feature of the processes through which they must pass to gain deliverance from the curse and the salvation peculiar to each of their respective classes; and it will exercise a future, a Millennial, appealing force to the unbelief classes, to enable them to become amenable to every feature of the processes through which they must pass to gain deliverance from the curse and the salvation of restitution. In addition to such appealing force it has a second elemental quality— practicability. Unlike many an alleged
revelation, which cannot fit the needs of the lost race, it is so adjusted to human and new-creaturely needs as to supply every one of them along salvation lines. Above we showed that the needs of the race were 21, due to the 21 evil effects of the curse; and these Christ by His 21 offices supplies through the Bible's teachings, the Bible thereby being practical to remove these evil effects and implement their opposites. The third element of this quality is its efficacy, i.e., it actually has and uses its ability, and thus works out the pertinent Divine purposes in giving the Bible. It effects the glory of God and Christ by outworking the aforesaid blessings, as well as implements the destruction of all evil and incorrigibly evil ones. Accordingly, we see from these facts that the Bible has the attribute of efficiency.
Let us see how the Bible through its teachings exercises this quality of efficiency by rescuing the faith classes from the curse and by enabling the faithful of these to gain their respective salvations. It effects these two things by operating four processes upon them: instruction, justification, sanctification and deliverance. At the present time the Bible through its teachings efficiently works on the faith classes in these four processes. It is a Bible teaching confirmed by experience that all men do not have the faith quality (2 Thes. 3: 2); hence mankind from the standpoint of faith is divided into two classes: the faith class and the unbelief class. Because the unbelief class could not successfully stand a trial for life amid faith-exacting conditions, like those now prevailing, God does not in this life put them on such a trial; and since the knowledge and understanding of the Bible's teachings are essential for such a trial, God for their good does not now give them such knowledge and understanding, by having made the Bible's teachings unclear to them (Mark 4: 11, 12; Rom. 11: 32), but will give it to them under non-faith-exacting conditions, in the Millennium (Is. 29: 18, 24; 40: 5; 52: 10; John 1: 9; 1 Tim. 2: 4). Hence in faith dispensations God has so conditioned
the Bible's teachings as to make them enlightening only to the faith class (Mark 4: 11; Matt. 13: 10-17). The Bible's teachings, therefore, through Jesus' ministry (1 Cor. 1: 30), give light to the faith classes from the time that it finds them dead in trespasses and sins, until they make their calling and election sure to the salvations respectively pertinent to the four elect groups. Thus it enlightens their eyes of understanding (Ps. 19: 7, 8; 119: 18, 104, 105, 130; Prov. 4: 18; 6: 23; Is. 8: 20; Hos. 6: 5). This quality of the Bible is inherent in itself, and operates through Jesus Christ in His office of being the sole Interpreter of the Bible (Rev. 5: 5). He exercises His teaching office through special and ordinary servants of the Truth, the former kind of servants being the seven stars of Rev. 1—3, each star consisting of a plurality of individuals, and the latter kind of servants being all the rest, official and unofficial members, of Christ's Body. He exercises this teaching office in connection with the process of justification, sanctification and deliverance; and in each one of them the efficiency of the Bible manifests itself.
This efficiency is seen in its work in justification by faith, both in the latter's antecedents and in its aftermath. To attain justification one must exercise "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus." To exercise repentance one must submit himself to the teachings of the Bible along the lines of its law or justice; for the law gives a knowledge of sin (Rom. 3: 20; 7: 7). Through this knowledge one recognizes that he is a sinner by motive, thought, word and act, and therefore is worthy of death, and also recognizes that he is justly condemned in Adam; and this knowledge stirs up in his heart sorrow for (Ps. 34: 18; 51: 17; Acts 2: 37; 2 Cor. 7: 9, 10), hatred of (Rom. 7: 13-15; Ezek. 20: 43), and giving up of, and longing for deliverance from sin (Is. 55: 7; Prov. 28: 13; Rom. 7: 24). These five things: knowledge of, heart's sorrow for, hatred of, giving up of, and longing for deliverance from sin, constitute the first part of repentance, which
in its fullness means everything that belongs to reformation (Jer. 26: 3, 13). Its second part is love for, and practice of righteousness (Matt. 3: 8; Rom. 7: 15-22), which two things constitute a return unto the Lord (Is. 55: 7). Thus we see that there are seven elements in repentance. As we see in Acts 2 from Peter's accusing the Jews of murdering Jesus, with Biblical proofs of it, that they were influenced to go through the two steps of repentance, we recognize that it was the Bible teachings that moved them to repentance. But in addition to repentance there is another antecedent of justification: faith in the promise that God for the merit of Jesus will forgive the repentant and believing sinner. Such a faith consists, first, of a mental appreciation of this promise, i.e., a knowledge (Rom. 10: 14), understanding (Rom. 10: 17; Col. 2: 2) and belief of it (John 3: 36; Heb. 11: 6), and, second, of a heart's reliance upon it, i.e., full persuasion or full assurance as to (Rom. 4: 21; Heb. 10: 22), appropriation of (Heb. 11: 13), and responsiveness in living according to that promise's implications, i.e., living a righteous life (Jas. 2: 17, 26; 2 Tim. 2: 19). Since, as just shown, the teachings of the Bible work repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus unto justification by faith, it is efficient to accomplish this result, and to enable the justified to overcome some of their depravity and to lead a righteous life.
The Bible in its teachings is also efficient to work sanctification in the responsive (Ps. 119: 9, 11; John 15: 3; 17: 17; Eph. 4: 13, 15; 5: 26; 2 Pet. 1: 2-4). There are especially three things implied in sanctification, which primarily means (1) a separation from sin, error, selfishness and worldliness and (2) a dedication of oneself to God. These three are: (1) a sanctification of will, (2) of body and (3) of spirit, which includes cleansing oneself from filthiness of flesh and spirit. By the sanctification of the will the giving up of self-will and the world's will and the acceptance of God's will for one's own will are meant (Prov. 23: 26).
By the sanctification of the body are meant giving one's human all for, and using it up in, the Lord's service in fruitful ministry: all that one is and has and hopes to be and to have by virtue of his being a human being, which is represented in one's body, humanity, i.e., his time, strength, health, talents, means, influence, position, reputation, education, associations, etc., in a word, all that he has by virtue of his having humanity (Rom. 12: 1). By the sanctification of spirit are meant primarily one's cultivating his disposition in good, by setting his affections on the higher things and developing the primary, secondary and tertiary graces unto perfection (Acts 20: 32; Rom. 12: 2; Gal. 5: 22, 23; Col. 2: 1-3; 3: 12, 13) and secondarily one's cleansing himself from filthiness of flesh and spirit, i.e., purging oneself from the disgraces that root in the body and mind (Rom. 6: 17; 1 Cor. 10: 6-11; 2 Cor. 7: 1). This feature of sanctification's third part has its beginnings in justification as a condition, but works mainly in sanctification. The Bible in its teachings is efficient to work out in one every one of these three features of sanctification. Not only does the Bible in the passages cited in this paragraph, as well as in numerous others not here cited, teach these three features of sanctification as effected by its teachings, but the experiences of all of God's children who have been even a little while in the way prove this thought to be true.
The Bible through its teachings is also effective to accomplish the various features of deliverance. In deliverance victory is given one over his enemies: the devil, the world and the flesh, as these seek to manipulate our sinfulness, erroneousness, selfishness and worldliness in all the varied forms of these against us. That the devil is an enemy of ours is evident from the meaning of his names: Satan and devil, both of which mean enemy, and from Matt. 13: 39; 1 Pet. 5: 8, etc.; that the world, those in harmony with the present evil order of affairs, is an enemy of ours is evident from John 15: 18-21; Jas. 4: 4; and that the flesh
is such we know (Rom. 7: 15-24: Gal. 5: 16, 17, 19-21). Hence there is a constant war between us and them. In this war the Word of God, taken into a responsive mind, heart and will, is so powerfully effective in its efficiency as to enable us to overcome, and gain the victory over them. Thus, like Jesus (Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10), we are enabled to be victorious over Satan by steadfast resistance in the faith, i.e., the Truth of the Bible (1 Pet. 1: 9), by the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6: 11-17); for steadfast resistance of him by guarding ourselves through the Word will put him to flight (Jas. 4: 7; 1 John 5: 18), which will make us victors (1 John 2: 13, 14; Rev. 12: 11). That same Word enables us to overcome the world (Rom. 12: 2; Tit. 2: 12; 1 John 2: 15-17). It also gives us victory over our flesh (Ps. 119: 11, 28, 50, 92, 104, 133; Luke 1: 37 [A.R.V.]; Rom. 8: 12, 13; 2 Cor. 10: 4; Gal. 5: 16, 17, 24; 1 Pet. 2: 11-16; 4: 1, 2). In some of the citations just given no express mention of the Word is made, but it is implied in the expressions: spirit, mind, etc. It gives the responsive victory over the fear of death and the grave, which they by it are able calmly to regard. Accordingly, our discussion proves that one of the attributes of the Bible is efficiency. In the next Age toward the unbelief classes it will show the same efficiency; and this now effects and then will effect God's and Christ's glory.
The next Bible attribute to engage our attention is its holiness. We indicate it in the name that we usually apply to the Bible: the Holy Bible, a quality that it gives itself, using the word, Scripture, or Scriptures, instead of the word, Bible (Rom. 1: 2; 2 Tim. 3: 15). It is holy, because it is the product of God's holy wisdom, because it expounds and enforces God's holy justice, because it reveals, applies and is in harmony with God's holy love, and because it exercises God's holy power in all its works; hence in its having God as its Source, Enforcer, Motivator and Activator it is holy. It is holy in its nature; for it is holy in what it Is. It is holy in
its purposes, which are to glorify God and Christ, enlighten, sanctify and deliver the faith class now and the unbelief class in the next Age. It is holy in its effects so far due to be wrought; for it has in this Age been executing its purpose in enlightening, justifying, sanctifying and delivering God's saints, and thus reflecting honor upon God as its Author and Christ as its Executor. It is holy in its teachings; for its doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types are all holy in themselves, in their Author, in their Expounder and Executor and in their effects. It is holy in its products: saints, who are by it enlightened, justified, sanctified and delivered. It is holy in its present works toward the unbelief class; for it reproves them for the sins that they commit, for the righteousness that they lack and for their condition and characters in relation to the coming judgment in the Kingdom. It is holy in its reformatory effects on fallen human society; for through its faithful practicers it has been the salt of the earth, nourishing, seasoning and preserving society from utter corruption.
Some claim that the Bible is not holy, because it narrates sinful acts, like the dishonoring of parents, murders, adulteries, rapes, incests, wars, thefts, slanders, covetousness, as sins against man, and irreligiousness, idolatries, blasphemies, unbeliefs, etc., as sins against God. Yea, some go further and accuse it of wrong, because it has charged people to wage wars of extermination, has justified great calamities, like the flood, the overthrow of the cities of the plains, Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, the 185,000 men belonging to Sennacherib's army, etc. On these charges the following should be said: In its narrating sinful acts against God and man it does so in a way that does not incite its readers to commit such sins, but gives them as warning examples of the terrible nature and bad effects of sin, and thus incites its readers to hate, avoid and denounce such sins; and thus in these matters, instead of its being unholy in narrating these acts, it is certainly
holy therein; and as an actual matter of fact, by these narratives it has incited people against sin in favor of righteousness, and thus in such narratives is holy in its nature, purpose and effects. Innumerable people have been kept back from such sins by its examples of their perpetrators' bad acts and exemplary punishments, which proves the Bible's holiness. In regard to the calamities cited above that the Bible sanctions, the following may be said: All who suffered these calamities were already under the death sentence and had to die in due course. In every case they were especially wicked, and therefore deserved exemplary punishment, which did them no wrong, since they were already under sentence to death and their great sins deserved to hasten its execution. Moreover, in all these cases their great wickedness called for their exemplary punishment, to shield others from their evils, e.g., both the Bible and archeological discoveries prove that the seven nations of Canaan whose extermination was Biblically charged were so corrupt with venereal diseases that their continued existence was a danger to other nations by way of contamination. The weak resistance that they offered to Israel proves their great physical weakness. Their extirpation was a blessing to others, shielding them from contamination. The destruction of Pharaoh's and Sennacherib's hosts was necessary to protect the innocent from their base intentions. The fact that they met sudden death while in the full bloom of life spared them the long-drawn-out sufferings that a so-called natural death usually brings in its wake. Moreover, these calamities proved a deterrent from wrong on the part of others. And, finally, they form types prophetical of punishments to be meted out upon future wrongdoers. These facts show that such calamities sanctioned by the Bible are in harmony with its holiness.
The last Bible attribute that we will discuss is its indestructibility. In many passages the Bible sets forth this as one of its attributes (Deut. 29: 29; Ps. 111: 7, 8; Is. 40: 8; Mark 13: 31; Luke 16: 17; 1 Pet. 1: 23, 25).
Accordingly, no power can destroy God's Word. Satan has tried it in various ways, but has failed in his attempts. Repeatedly he sought to do so in times of Israel's apostacies; but it always came back indestructible. He used copyists' carelessness to destroy parts of it, but failed. Among ancient infidels he raised up Celsus, Porphyry, Julian the Apostate and other neo-Platonic philosophers to encompass its ruin, but could not accomplish it. By the papacy he produced a gigantic, complete and accurate counterfeit of it, by which for centuries he perverted it and kept it in the background. By the papacy's course of keeping the common people in dense ignorance and illiteracy it kept them from reading it. It kept the Bible locked up in the sackcloth of dead languages, to hide it from the common people. Despite these efforts, it came forth by force of its inherent power into the utmost prominence, and is spread more widely than the totality of any 100 other books. Through Protestant sectarianism, especially through palming off as its teachings the doctrines of eternal torment, human immortality, creedal trinity and the absolute predestination of a few individuals unto eternal life and of the rest of the race to eternal torment, Satan sought to make the Bible odious to serious thinkers, but in this he made a great blunder. Through modern infidelity in the forms of atheism, agnosticism, materialism, pantheism, deism, higher criticism, evolutionism, modernism and secularism, Satan has made the most desperate attacks upon the Bible. In these attacks it has indeed been put into a fiery crucible; but it has come out therefrom in its perennial strength, beauty, harmony, utility and efficiency unscathed and steadfast.
At no other book have such violent and subtle attacks been launched with such devilish ingenuity, cunning, persistence, hatred and deceivableness. Against no other book have so many keen and subtle human minds, backed by devils' support, set forth such virulent attacks as have been made against the Bible. External and internal foes of great talent and speculative ability
have concentrated into these attacks every weapon that they could forge. A Baur, a Strauss, a Renan, a Kuenen, a Wellhausen, a Cheyne, a Driver, a Briggs have, one and all, as alleged friends, made the sharpest attacks upon it, but all in vain; their attacks have rebounded upon them destructively, with all the greater credibility becoming the Bible's as a result of their attacks. From without a Spinoza, a Herbert, a Hobbes, a Hume, a Voltaire, a Diderot, a Darwin, a Haeckel, a Spencer, a Huxley have attacked the Bible with utmost vigor and adroitness; but it still continues to be the grand old imperishable book of the Ages. As to God's servants as they apply the promises to God's people, so do the words of Is. 54: 17 apply to it: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that arises against thee in judgment shalt thou condemn." As wind and wave strike a Leviathan of the deep in vain effort to cause it to capsize, so do the winds of error and the waves of infidelity strike that grand old book in vain effort to overturn it. And as the waves of the ocean dash themselves into harmless spray as they surge against a great rock that rears its crest far into and above the clouds and that remains unmoved and immovable under their vain poundings, so the tide of time, the might of empires, the ragings of false teachers, the ravings of infidels, the hostile speculations of unbelieving philosophers, the attacks of materialistic scientists and the cunning and hatred of devils, all combined and multiplied a millionfold, beat against "the impregnable rock of Scripture" in vain, since it emerges from every encounter with them unsullied, perennial, immovable, indestructible and victorious, backed as it is by the power, wisdom, justice and love of God "shining in the face of Jesus Christ," "the same yesterday, today and forever"!
A very important passage as to the Bible's theory on itself is 2 Tim. 3: 15-17. In v. 15 Paul tells us that one of the Bible's attributes is to make one wise, i.e., give him the proper education as to the salvation