English – Chinese
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 MKJV).
In this paper you’ll hear about the meanings and manifestations of “the Word of God,” centered on Jesus Christ, His testimony and work of salvation in and through man. You will also hear about the erring, “Jesus’ Words Only” doctrine, which denies Him and His work.
We have often said that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, not the Bible, which is a record of far less than a microscopic speck of His Expression. So one is right in saying He is the Word of God and not the Bible, although we ought not to get too semantic about it, depending on who we’re talking to.
Here’s an interesting verse where we see it all come together, the Word of God incarnate, quoting the Word of God recorded, authenticating our need of Him in totality through the hearing and obedience of faith to have life:
“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written that ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God’” (Luke 4:4 MKJV).
We are strictly admonished to rightly divide His recorded Words, which we can only do by Him, the Word of God made flesh:
“Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 MKJV).
We have several passages where the Bible and/or the spoken spiritual Word are referred to as the “Word of God”, and so it should be, seeing they are His Words:
“Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have delivered. And you do many such things” (Mark 7:13 MKJV).
Can anyone make Jesus Christ “of no effect” by puny tradition?
Here we have another example of where what He said, and not He, was referred to as the Word of God:
“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on Him to hear the Word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1 ESV).
And here we have a reference to His Words and not to Him, per se:
“And the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God” (Luke 8:11 MKJV).
Undoubtedly, He is the Seed and the Source and Substance of His Word; however, there’s nothing wrong with referring to the speech He inspires as His Word, His Seed, which is a manifestation of Him, The Word of God.
Here we have an example of hearing the Word of God and doing it:
“And He answered and said to them, My mother and My brothers are those who hear the Word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21 MKJV).
Note: We don’t do Him, but we do as He says, although to obey Him is to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The point being, He is the Substance, The Word. Yet anything He speaks is also His Word. That goes not only for His own personal Words to us, but also those spoken by His messengers, vessels, His mouthpieces, as with the prophets and apostles and all saints who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.
Do we do Him or do we do His Word? Is there a difference? Yes, there is a difference. As He is the Manifestation of the Father, so His Word is the Manifestation of Him. The Father saves us through the Name of the Son, Jesus Christ, by our confessing Him as Lord, with faith in His shed blood and resurrection from the dead. The fruit of that faith is doing His will, keeping His Word, doing His Word. Do we do Him? No, we do His Word. Still, because His Word is one with Him (His substance), we do Him. If one wishes to put it that way, we have no argument with it.
“And the Twelve called near the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not pleasing to us, leaving the Word of God, to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, look out among you seven men being witnessed to, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this duty. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word [of God]” (Acts 6:2-4 MKJV).
Did those who began to wait on the widows “leave the Word of God” (Jesus) to serve tables? Among those were Stephen and Philip, men full of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, The Word of God. Stephen went on to speak the Word of God to the Sanhedrin, becoming the first martyr of the Christian assembly.
Philip brought salvation to the Samaritans by the Word of God:
“And the apostles in Jerusalem hearing that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them” (Acts 8:14 MKJV).
From there, Philip went on to convert the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the Word of God by Isaiah. Philip preached the Word of God to him and the eunuch believed, going his way rejoicing.
“And the apostles and brothers who were in Judea heard that the nations had also received the Word of God” (Acts 11:1 MKJV).
“And the Word of God was increasing. And the number of the disciples in Jerusalem was multiplying exceedingly; even a great crowd of the priests obeyed the faith” (Acts 6:7 MKJV).
“But the Word of God grew and increased” (Acts 12:24 MKJV).
“And when they were at Salamis, they announced the Word of God in the synagogues of the Jews” (Acts 13:5 MKJV).
“Who was with the proconsul of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man. He called for Barnabas and Saul and asked to hear the Word of God” (Acts 13:7 MKJV).
Did Barnabas and Saul speak the Word of God to them, or was it necessary for Jesus Christ to appear to them in His own flesh? And how can the Word of God increase, except that people receive the Gospel of Christ, His Message through His messengers?
“Therefore putting aside all filthiness and overflowing of evil, receive in meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:21-22 MKJV).
“And on the coming Sabbath day almost all the city came together to hear the Word of God” (Acts 13:44 MKJV)
And the city wasn’t disappointed. The Word of God was spoken by His servants, His human, Spirit-of-Christ-filled mouthpieces:
Acts 13:46-48 MKJV
(46) But speaking boldly, Paul and Barnabas said, It was necessary for the Word of God to be spoken to you first. But since indeed you put it far from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the nations.
(47) For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have set You to be a light of the nations, for salvation to the end of the earth.”
(48) And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Continuing with more verses on the Word of God in Acts:
“And he [Paul] continued there a year and six months, teaching the Word of God among them” (Acts 18:11 MKJV).
“So the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:20 MKJV).
As we have shown, it was the Good News of Christ and the effects of His Gospel that grew, not the Lord Himself. He had already prevailed over all:
“I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 MKJV).
Was not all power already His after the resurrection?
Throughout the epistles we find the Word of Jesus Christ, The Word, spoken by those He fashioned in His image and to Whom He gave His Spirit and indwelt:
“For we are not as many, hawking the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17 MKJV).
“But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the Word of God, but by the revelation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2 MKJV).
Can Jesus Christ, the Immortal God Who has all power and authority on earth, be adulterated? Or is it the information and the testimony of the Scriptures, His testimony, that men can adulterate (which, by the way, they have done)?
Is Jesus Christ His Own sword?
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 MKJV).
In a way, He certainly is His own sword, but can anyone say we aren’t speaking of His Message, the words He gives His servants to preach as the Word of God? And doesn’t the Bible count as the Word of God? If not, what does? Who can say?
Can we say that the Scriptures aren’t the Word of God, or that all the words mentioned as preached, though not specified, aren’t the Word of God?
Does the Hebrews writer speak of Jesus Christ or the Spoken or Written Word, which would include the Scriptures?
“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”
(Hebrews 4:12 MKJV).
“Remember those leading you, who have spoken to you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conduct: Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8 MKJV).
We are exhorted to remember those who speak and have spoken the Word of God. Yes, Jesus is the Word of God and the words of the disciples speaking forth salvation through faith are the Word of God as well. And we have John’s record of these being spoken of separately, though one:
“A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to declare to His servants things which must shortly come to pass. And He signified it by sending His angel to His servant John, who bore record of the Word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ and of all the things that he saw” (Revelation 1:1-2 MKJV).
“I, John, who also am your brother and companion in the affliction, and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9 MKJV).
Now John plainly testifies that Jesus is the Word of God:
Revelation 19:11-15 MKJV
(11) And I saw Heaven opened. And behold, a white horse! And He sitting on him was called Faithful and True. And in righteousness He judges and makes war.
(12) And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns. And He had a Name written, one that no one knew except Himself.
(13) And He had been clothed in a garment dipped in blood, and His Name is called The Word of God.
(14) And the armies in Heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
(15) And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, so that with it He should strike the nations. And He will shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of Almighty God.
And we tell you that those who follow Him on white horses follow the Word of God and speak the Word of God. And those who don’t follow Him don’t know that His servants speak the Words of Jesus. His followers are His mouthpiece, from whom proceeds a sharp sword to strike the nations of earth.
“Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” Doctrine
There are those who prefer to focus primarily on Jesus’ Words spoken when He was in the flesh, in contrast to those He has spoken throughout the Scriptures (both Old and New Testaments), by any of His prophets and apostles. These “specialists” thus deny many of His Words. As Jesus declared to Satan, men are to live by every Word, not only those He spoke as recorded in the Gospels.
By denying many of the Lord’s Words, these “Words of Jesus” messengers come as Satan. Isn’t that interesting? And of course, in their error, they are Satan’s servants. Who else denies Jesus Christ coming in the flesh? Certainly not those who have His Word dwelling in them – they represent His coming.
Part of their defense for such notions is that those words spoken by His prophets and apostles aren’t as pure as Jesus’ Words, being they come through imperfect vessels. But who are they to argue with those whom the Lord sends and through whom He speaks? Isn’t He able to speak clearly by whomever He chooses?
Is not His strength greater than their weakness?
And who are they to judge just how pure or impure His servant’s messages are? These self-appointed judges have no way of rightly judging because they don’t have His Spirit to judge righteously:
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 MKJV).
Those who preach “Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” deny that the inspired words of His messengers have equal status with His personal words. That is a teaching bent on glorifying the flesh and making heroes out of its proponents. By bringing down what God has raised up, it elevates the carnal man to God’s level. What Jesus speaks through us is of no less value than what He has personally spoken as recorded in the Gospels. How do we know this? He said so, in more ways and instances than one:
“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father Who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:19-20 MKJV).
Is it only before persecuting councils that we shall speak His Word?
“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him Who sent Me” (Matthew 10:40 MKJV).
“Therefore go and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20 MKJV).
“Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you” (John 20:21 MKJV).
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17 KJV).
Why would He command us to shout from the rooftops that which He speaks in our ears (Matthew 10:27)? If we are His sons, speaking His message, the words we speak are no less His Word.
Therefore, those who think to diminish the value of what Peter, James, Paul, John, Jude, Luke, Mark, and Matthew have to say are foolish and ignorant – they have never known The Word of God, Who has spoken by His chosen vessels created in His image. Silly people, dedicated to glory apart from Him, while pretending to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
These are the amazing mysteries of iniquity, ever at work to maintain the flesh, denying the One Who bought them.
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31 MKJV).
What do the proponents of “Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” have to say about that passage? Would they say Luke (who wrote the Book of Acts) lies or is mistaken because Jesus wasn’t in the flesh speaking those words or because He only is the Word of God and not the Word His saints spoke? They prefer to contain Him in His flesh, from which He declared with great desire and anticipation He could break out and “multiply Himself” in His Body members, speaking through many:
“But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50 KJV)
This He accomplished by going to the cross and raising Himself from the dead, consequently pouring Himself out upon “all flesh” and sending fire on the earth:
Acts 2:16-21 MKJV
(16) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:
(17) “And it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
(18) And in those days I will pour out My Spirit upon My slaves and My slave women, and they shall prophesy.
(19) And I will give wonders in the heaven above, and miracles on the earth below, blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
(20) The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord.
(21) And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Proponents of the “Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” will argue that they don’t altogether discard the Bible, they just emphasize the superiority of those words Jesus spoke while in the flesh. But what does Paul say about that (not that the “Jesus’ Gospel Words” people seem to have a lot of respect, relatively speaking, for what Paul has to say):
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV).]
There is no differentiation between the words Jesus spoke in His flesh and the rest of the Scriptures because they are all His, all “God-breathed.” Peter agrees with Paul’s words, and also confirms that God was Source of his and Paul’s teachings:
2 Peter 1:19-21 MKJV
(19) We also have a more sure Word of prophecy, to which you do well to take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Daystar arises in your hearts,
(20) knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture came into being of its own private interpretation.
(21) For prophecy was not borne at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke being borne along by the Holy Spirit.
“And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation (as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction)” (2 Peter 3:15-16 MKJV).
Peter wasn’t distinguishing between Jesus’ words in the flesh and the rest of the testimony of the saints in Christ, because it’s ALL inspired by Him – “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10 MKJV).
We can agree with the “Words of Jesus Only or Primarily” people that we ought not believe any words spoken by those who contradict the Lord’s Words. We also readily acknowledge that believers can also speak words in the flesh; however, we declare that these “Jesus Words Only” teachers err in suggesting we will endanger ourselves by paying solemn attention to the words of His ministers, whether as recorded in the Scriptures or anywhere else.
An argument these people give is that there is often conflict between what Moses and Paul have said and what Jesus said, which is entirely untrue. If these “Jesus Only Words” folk knew the Lord and understood His Word by His Spirit, they would find no conflict at all. Little do they realize it was Jesus Christ Who spoke by Moses and Paul. Little do they realize that in rejecting their words, they reject Him Who sends them. Are these “Jesus Only Words” people not like the Pharisees of old?
A Felipe Gonzalez argues, “No, it wasn’t Jesus who gave EVERY word to Moses, though he gave some [my emphasis]. Jesus himself said that Moses taught some things of his own accord.”
Did Jesus say that? Gonzalez refers to where Moses gave a bill of divorcement to those who determined to put away their wives:
Matthew 19:7-9 MKJV
(7) They said to Him, Why did Moses then command to give a bill of divorce and to put her away?
(8) He said to them, Because of your hard-heartedness Moses allowed you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so.
(9) And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is put away commits adultery.
But who says Moses wasn’t led of the Spirit of the Lord to give them what they were asking in the hardness of their hearts? Would Gonzalez also accuse Samuel of independently giving Israel a king because they demanded one, contrary to God’s will (1 Samuel 8:4-8)? There is no evidence that Moses taught anything of his own accord. Indeed, of Moses, the “Word of God” says:
“And Moses truly was faithful in all His house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken afterward” (Hebrews 3:5 MKJV).
Gonzalez says: “You cannot follow ‘an eye for an eye’ at the same time as ‘turn the other cheek’. They are mutually exclusive teachings. And Jesus’ teaching must be followed in preference to any other.”
In appearance to the carnal man there seems to be contradiction and it’s true that Jesus did expand on the essence of the Law He gave Moses to speak, but He didn’t contradict what Moses spoke. There is deadly error with Felipe’s reasoning. He gives the impression that Moses wasn’t speaking by God’s inspiration. He is wrong. Indeed, the psalmist said of the Law:
Psalms 19:7-9 ESV
(7) The Law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
(8) the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
(9) the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken—’” (John 10:34-35 ESV).
He also said: “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18 ESV).
Paul said: “So the Law is holy, and the Commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12 ESV).
Moses gave nothing holy but what he was given to give by the Holy One of Israel, having no holiness of his own, as is the case with all men.
So what is the interpretation of the “eye for an eye” truth? Here it is. God was teaching by Moses that we get away with nothing. As we sow, so we reap, which is what Paul said, and which is what Jesus basically taught, though not quite as literally as “Jesus’ Words Primarily” proponents would expect, indeed demand. The Law of God by Moses was a tutor, an instructor, and a true one. “You take an eye, you’ll lose an eye. That’s how it works, like the laws of nature.”
Moses was not teaching revenge, nor did the Law of God, being holy and good (Romans 7:12), ever advocate such, as Gonzalez seems to imply. Neither did Jesus contradict what He formerly spoke by Moses. In advocating “turning the other cheek,” He was addressing the carnal nature of men to be foolishly “over-righteous” according to the letter of the Law, and to miss the Essence and Spirit of the Law that He was and is.
“But if you had known what this is, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned those who are not guilty’” (Matthew 12:7 MKJV).
Therefore, these are not “mutually exclusive teachings,” as Gonzalez surmises. Jesus explained the holy Law and came to provide the fulfillment of His (not Moses’) Law by giving His Spirit to empower us to keep it according to the Spirit and not the letter. The letter always kills, and the Spirit always gives life. Only to the unlearned and unstable is there contradiction.
It seems Gonzalez denies the presence of the Gospel in the Old Testament. But how does he explain Paul’s words here as he spoke of some events before Christ in the flesh?
Romans 10:16-21 ESV
(16) But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
(17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.
(18) But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
(19) But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
(20) Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek Me; I have shown Myself to those who did not ask for Me.”
(21) But of Israel He says, “All day long I have held out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
If we can’t believe that God spoke those words by Isaiah, Moses, and Paul, what shall we believe?
I was saved by hearing the following words, among others, and I find them nowhere verbatim spoken by Jesus in the Gospels, but they were spoken by Paul:
“Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes indeed, their voice went out into all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Romans 10:17-18 MKJV).}
Romans 10:9-11 MKJV
(9) Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
(10) For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses unto salvation.
(11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone believing on Him shall not be put to shame.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 MKJV
(8) For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,
(9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
(10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
Where else did Paul get the Word of God he spoke, except from The Word?
“Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my Gospel, in which I suffer ill as an evildoer, even to bonds. But the Word of God is not chained” (2 Timothy 2:8-9 MKJV).
Was Paul speaking of Jesus Christ as not chained, or of the Message Christ sent forth into the world by Paul? And if Paul spoke only the Words of Jesus, then how is it he claims to be preaching his own Gospel? Is Paul an adversary of Christ, having come up with his own gospel, or did he preach the Gospel Jesus Christ gave him, which saves by the Word made flesh, and glorifies Him as Lord?
“Or did the Word of God go out from you? Or did it reach only to you? If anyone thinks to be a prophet, or a spiritual one, let him recognize the things I write to you, that they are a commandment of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:36-37 KJV).
Paul plainly declared he was speaking the Word of God, His commandment. Who are these “Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” people that they should diminish the importance of the Words of the Spirit of God by Paul?
“But when the Jews from Thessalonica knew that the Word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the people”
(Acts 17:13 MKJV).
Tell us, “Jesus Gospel Words Only or Primarily” people: Was Paul persistently persecuted for words of men or for the Word of God? What reasonable man will argue? But as Paul then said to foolish dissenters, so I say to them:
“But if any is ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:38 MKJV).
Are the Scriptures inspired by Jesus Christ the Word or are they not?
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 MKJV).
You may ask what the “Jesus’ Words Only or Primarily” people have to say of those words, but I have seen the carnal man, the sluggard of the things of God and His Word, come up with an answer one way or another. As the Word of God says, or as Jesus was accustomed to saying, “It is written”:
“The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a reason” (Proverbs 26:16 MKJV).
Are the words of Paul the words of men or the Word of God? He tells us (though those with their own agenda won’t believe him):
“And for this cause we thank God without ceasing, that when you received the Word of hearing, of God, you welcomed it as the Word of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also effectually works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 MKJV).
Notice, Paul says the Thessalonians “received the Word of hearing, of God….”
“For every creation of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5 MKJV).
In Paul’s day, they preached the Word of God from the Old Testament, for they had no New. In that Old Testament was recorded the sanctification of what was good and clean to eat. Paul calls it the “Word of God.”
Felipe Gonzalez, teaching the “Jesus’ Gospel Words Primarily” message, says, “While the Bible is inspired by God, it is not God Himself.”
We will certainly say the same, but there is a difference between us nonetheless. Though they say the Scriptures are inspired, they deny that the words God speaks are the same or of equal value to the words Jesus spoke in the flesh as recorded in the Gospels. They fail to realize that Jesus was the Inspirer of the Scriptures, those being His words as well, though spoken through ordinary men.
And are only those portions of the Bible Jesus quoted of great value and not the rest of the Bible that He didn’t quote? Wouldn’t sound reason force us to that conclusion? Do these people assume that all Jesus quoted from the Tanakh (Old Testament) was recorded in the Gospels? Of course they would be wrong!
Reader, do you see how idolaters of “Jesus’ Words First and Foremost” contradict themselves so? They stand ready with their tongues to deny, even crucify, Him at every turn. Jesus called such, “vipers.”
Gonzalez says, “I can’t call the Bible ‘the Word of God’ because the Bible itself doesn’t call itself that, and only uses that title for Jesus.”
I think we have well proven otherwise. Felipe Gonzalez has also said: “but neither do I believe that every word in the Bible is the infallible Word of God (since that is not what the Bible teaches about itself).”
“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken—’” (John 10:34-35 ESV).
But it is quite clear Felipe refers to the entire Bible.
Ironic that he questions the authority of the words of the Bible other than those Jesus spoke in the Gospels, yet refers to the Bible as the authority to back his doctrine!
How is it that Jesus quoted from the Bible as authoritative from Heaven if it isn’t His “Infallible Word of God”? Let such as Gonzalez answer that.
No, these false teachers would do well to heed Jesus’ words they presume to serve so faithfully:
John 5:37-40 MKJV
(37) And He sending Me, the Father Himself, has borne witness of Me. Neither have you heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape.
(38) And you do not have His Word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him Whom He has sent.
(39) You search the Scriptures [the Gospels primarily], for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me,
(40) and you will not come to Me that you might have life.
John speaks again of The Word and the Word:
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4 MKJV).
For those who believe that the Old and New Testaments aren’t the Word of God, except perhaps for Jesus’ words in the Gospels, how is it that time and again we hear of the prophets before Christ’s day in the flesh speaking forth “the Word of the Lord”? “Thus says the Lord,” they would begin, and then speak the Word of God, the Word Jesus Christ would give them to speak. Or don’t they believe it was Jesus Who gave them their words?
Jesus Christ is the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God. All prophecies, interpretations of tongues, visions, dreams, words of faith and knowledge inspired by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, are the Word of God. Our writings, as here and now, are the Word of God. God is not limited to the Bible, except by fornicators and idolaters, who worship the creature and not the Creator they profess to worship. For them is this solemn warning:
“And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:19 ESV).
It seems to us that if a body represents the whole life, and the proponents of “Jesus’ Gospel Words Only or Primarily” lessen the value of all other words in the Scriptures, these people have not only amputated a limb or two, they have decapitated themselves.
Yes, Johann, a long letter, and we hope it serves well. Let those who hunger for the Word of God not be dismayed or discouraged. Indeed, may the Word of God be a feast for them.
A Response to Felipe Gonzalez’s “Jesus’ Words Only” Writing, “God or Money”
Summary: Quoting Jesus’ words as authoritative doesn’t mean one understands them. “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: ‘Hearing you shall hear and by no means understand, and seeing you shall see and by no means perceive. For the heart of this people has become dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes have closed….” (Matthew 13:14-15 EMTV).
Just recently a subject we touched on in our correspondence from earlier this year, the Word of God, came up and resulted in a writing that also answers your teaching on “Jesus’ words only.” (I have included the writing following this letter.)
You also told us that you would appreciate feedback on any of your writings. I have a few things to say about “God or Money.”
Though you may concentrate on Jesus’ words above all others, while you don’t have His Spirit or understand what He says, you interpret His words according to your carnal mind and pervert His meaning, leading others astray with you.
For example, in the writing you say:
“Jesus commands his followers not to work for the food that perishes (John 6:27), but to take his yoke and work for him instead. (Matthew 11:29-30)”
You’ve set up a false dichotomy, making it sound as if Jesus said you couldn’t hold down a job or have an occupation if you took up His yoke. He didn’t say that and never justified such a conclusion by any of His words. Here’s what He did say in Matthew 11:29-30:
“Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Nothing at all there about leaving your job or not working for pay. You are the one putting a burden on people by adding to His words, the very thing the Lord indicates He came to remove!
Neither did the Lord imply one couldn’t “work for food” in the previous verse you cite. I quote John 6:27, along with the rest of the Lord’s words that explain what He is saying (for those who have ears to hear):
John 6:26-37 MKJV
(26) Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
(27) Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God the Father sealed Him.
(28) Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God?
(29) Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him Whom He has sent.
(30) Therefore they said to Him, What sign do you show then, so that we may see and believe you? What do you work?
(31) Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written, “He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.”
(32) Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you that bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.
(33) For the bread of God is He Who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world.
(34) Then they said to him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
(35) And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst.
(36) But I said to you that you also have seen Me and do not believe.
(37) All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will in no way cast out.
If one goes by your interpretation, Felipe, then quitting work and foregoing an income to pay for physical bread isn’t going far enough. You shouldn’t eat physical bread in the first place, even manna from Heaven, but only the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Bread from Heaven.
But of course, the Lord isn’t saying to abstain from all food or earthly activities, such as gainful employment. You are only making Him say so through your twisted interpretation. He was rather telling those who came after Him that they did so for the wrong reason, to feed their bellies. Seeking the earthly bread in the presence of the Heavenly, they were missing the will of God and denying themselves everlasting life.
You derail so easily because you deny yourself the full counsel of God as contained in His Holy Scriptures. The apostle Paul gives the Lord’s perspective on work, which Paul taught by His Spirit to all the assemblies of God:
“For even when we were with you, we commanded you this, that if anyone would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 MKJV).
The Lord never said not to work for food; what He was saying was don’t put food (representative of all physical things) above God and His Gospel of salvation through Christ. He also summed it up this way: “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing” (Luke 12:23 MKJV).
We are to serve one Master only, but that doesn’t mean we no longer must deal with the physical realities and responsibilities our Master requires of us. Your teaching leads people into confusion and lives of total contradiction, because founded on abhorrent self-righteousness, just like your own. You are dead and empty, Felipe, expressing a manmade depiction of piety that hides a sack of rotting, putrefying flesh. You are in process and practice of manufacturing parasites.
Yes, Jesus called the twelve to drop their earthly employment to follow Him. But that was God’s specific commandment and will for those men, whom He called out of the multitudes to work with Him. He didn’t call the rest of Israel to leave their earthly jobs to follow Him, though all were called to repentance.
This is confirmed by John the Immerser, who prepared the way of the Lord by calling the people to repentance. (Again, we see the need for the whole testimony of God that confirms His teachings with many witnesses.)
Luke 3:12-14 EMTV
(12) Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
(13) And he said to them, “Collect nothing more than the amount which has been commanded to you.”
(14) Likewise the soldiers also were asking him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
And don’t tell us the Lord superseded John’s instructions, because He never said anything different, nor through the commandments delivered by His apostles.
With the rich young ruler, whom the Lord told to sell all his goods and give to the poor, He was addressing the idolatry of that individual’s heart, not giving a blanket commandment to all men. To conclude such is certainly adding to the Lord’s words, and thereby you add the plagues of God to yourself and to all who follow your corrupt reasoning and ways.
Again, it’s not just that you diminish or overlook the whole counsel of God and His complete testimony, but by not knowing the Lord or having His mind, you don’t even get His words right, let alone understand them. You say:
“To the religious leaders of his day, Jesus said, ‘Give everything you have to the poor, and everything else will be clean for you.’ (Luke 11:41)”
That’s not what He said – far from it. A few words make a world of difference. Here’s what He said:
“But give alms of such things as you have, and behold, all things are clean to you” (Luke 11:41 MKJV).
The Lord wasn’t commanding the Pharisees to give “everything” they had to make things clean; God forbid! You add the word “everything” to fit your self-glorifying doctrine, but whether giving all or part, their sacrifices (and yours) weren’t acceptable to God. The Lord goes on to say that their giving wasn’t acceptable in any fashion, because their motives were selfish – they were dead and unclean on the inside:
Luke 11:42-44 MKJV
(42) But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and pass over judgment and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to leave the other undone.
(43) Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets.
(44) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like unseen tombs and the men walking above are not aware of them.
So how could their giving, even if it was all they had, bring them to life and make them clean? “Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37 MKJV)
Of their tithes, He said they shouldn’t leave them undone, but how would they do that if they didn’t labor for them in the first place?
And right before the Lord spoke of the Pharisees giving alms, He was lambasting their works, which He said they did to make themselves look good while utterly corrupt within:
Luke 11:39-40 MKJV
(39) And the Lord said to him, Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and the platter clean, but your inward part is full of plunder and wickedness.
(40) Fools! Did not He Who made the outside also make the inside?
So why would the Lord direct them to increase their wretched works, as if doing so would change anything within? Will a greater quantity of what is wrong please Him? Your interpretation goes against everything He ever said or taught, including through His apostles:
“And though I give away all my possessions to feed the poor, and though I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 EMTV).
What the Lord was saying in the portion you manhandle (and man contaminates everything he handles):
“You religious hypocrites give of the things you have in your corrupt state, and voila! – you and your works are clean! That doesn’t work, and woe to you because you believe it does!”
In another place, the Lord addressed the almsgiving of the hypocritical Pharisees and the reward of their giving:
“Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in Heaven will not reward you. So when you give to the poor, don’t announce it with trumpet fanfare. This is what hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets in order to be praised by people. I can guarantee this truth: That will be their only reward” (Matthew 6:1-2 GW).
And that’s your only reward, Felipe, even if you’ve given all your goods to the poor. You have no reward from God, because you don’t know Him or walk in His ways. You have the opposite, a curse is on you, because you contradict His ways and teach against them.
Your doctrine and its logical implications reminds me of Amway, the preeminent multilevel company of its day (and maybe still is, I don’t know), wherein there are members whose philosophy implied that you were a loser to have a regular job or occupation other than selling Amway. If everyone were to follow that philosophy, who would grow the food or provide the services and goods Amway marketers needed to keep their lives and businesses going?
In the same way, if everyone followed your teaching (in order not to be a spiritual loser, but a “giant” like you), leaving behind their jobs and the work that provides the necessities of life for mankind, society would collapse into a multitude of mini-colonies of spiritual airheads, who go naked and starve to death while thinking they are going to Heaven. How pathetic!
But the counsel of God brings peace, balance, and wisdom in all things:
“Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called. Were you called as a slave [and there are “wage” slaves today]? It does not matter to you, but if you are able to become free, use it rather” (1 Corinthians 7:20-21 MKJV).
God has a place for each, and each in his place. Not all are called to be teachers, for example: “My brothers, let not many become teachers, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment” (James 3:1 EMTV). It’s only men who come up with the idea of mono-cropping, making all the same, “Christians by cookie cutter.”
And even those called to a high calling, as that of an apostle, do not offend when they work for money. Do you find fault with Paul for that when he worked to support his spiritual duty? You say:
“Jesus did not say that the choice was between working for God or working for the devil. He said it was between working for God or working for money. He says that, in our attempts to serve one ‘master’ we are going to end up cheating the other. He says we will either learn to despise God or to despise money. (Luke 16:13-15 ) Which one do you despise?”
But what does the WORD of GOD say?
Acts 20:33-35 MKJV
(33) I have coveted no man’s silver or gold or apparel.
(34) Yea, you yourselves know that these hands have ministered to my needs, and to those who were with me.
(35) I have shown you all things, that working in this way we ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 18:1-4 MKJV
(1) And after these things Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth.
(2) And finding a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome) Paul came to them.
(3) And because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation.
(4) And he reasoned in the synagogue on every sabbath, persuading both Jews and Greeks.
In your naïve and perverse treatise, you also say this:
“There was a dramatic difference between what Jesus taught about money and what the Old Testament taught. Jews gave 10% of their money and 1/7 of their time to God and more or less kept the rest for themselves. But Jesus taught 100% living by faith (i.e. forsaking all and living and witnessing together seven days a week), and that is what made the early church so powerful. (See Acts 2:44-45 and Acts 4:32-35.)”
How could there be a “dramatic difference” between what Jesus taught and the “Old Testament” taught when the Lord said that He came to fulfill the Old Testament – the prophets and the Law? There is no difference at all. The just have always lived by faith, fulfilling the Law, and never by the Law to fulfill the faith, as you do.
“But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is clear, for, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Galatians 3:11 MKJV).
That goes for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Daniel, Job, and all the prophets and true Jews in Spirit, to this day. If the fathers lived by faith, they lived by the grace of God 24/7, for Him and not for themselves.
They weren’t allowed by the Law to live for themselves six out of seven days of the week, as you suggest. That would make them reprobates, without the faith of God. That would also mean they were in sin, whether keeping the Sabbath or giving away all their goods, because “whatever is not of faith is sin.”
“But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6 HNV).
Those who have believed God have always lived by faith and not by the Law. They fulfilled the Law to the degree possible, and now the saints (those who believe) do so in complete perfection through God’s Spirit. He has been doing a progressive work: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise, for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us” (Hebrews 11:39-40 MKJV).
As God did a different thing with each of the ancients in faith, He did a different thing with the apostles in their day, after the Lord ascended on high and gave them His Spirit. We can’t try to recreate any of His former works, even those days, but can only walk with Him today, going where He goes and doing what He does through us, which is a new thing.
If the work reported in the Book of Acts was perfect, it would still be here today. But that work was also in part, because it remained for the Lord to finish His work in righteousness, establishing His Kingdom over all the earth:
Acts 1:6-8 MKJV
(6) Then, indeed, these coming together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, do You at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?
(7) And He said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His Own authority.
(8) But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Felipe, you know nothing about the work that comes by faith, His faith. You walk by sight, in the confidence of your wretched self-righteousness and legalistic interpretations, offering up putrid sacrifices of the flesh, which God hates with a passion.
God wants obedience, not sacrifice. And He wants it according to His definition and standard, not yours.
By the way, lest you think we speak from non-experience and denial of the unity of the saints: We do have that unity. By the grace of God we have forsaken all and live by the faith that is Him, in His service, our lives joined together as one. That is His work of grace in all of His saints:
Ephesians 4:11-13 MKJV
(11) And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
(12) for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
(13) And this until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
We are built up on that holy foundation, which is Christ, and the work of those who went before us – the apostles and servants of God from the beginning. You are building an imitation model of what you perceive of His former works, missing the mark of what was, and entirely outside of what is. God Is, and He is doing a new thing, while you try to cobble something together outside the gates of the City of God, the Jerusalem from above.
We flow with the Lord and His commandments, but you have substituted your own version of His commandments, a lie in which you deceive yourself and all those who follow you.
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie” (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV).
You tell your hearers, “Here is the way to Heaven,” as you lead them into Hell, the pit of despair where the unclean dwell.
“But he does not know that the dead are there; her guests are in the depths of Hell” (Proverbs 9:18 MKJV).
The only way to the heavenly unity of the saints is through the cross of Christ and the fires of God. That’s the only way to know the Lord Jesus Christ and to enter the fellowship of His Body. You think we lack focus on the teachings of Jesus because you don’t know Him or have the fellowship that is in Him. Just as the Pharisees of old didn’t recognize their Lord and Savior as He stood before them, neither do you.
You preach a false Christ and Gospel, which the True Lord and God now exposes to deliver all those for deliverance from Hell and from Satan’s phony “Christian” works that burden and destroy many in their self-righteousness.
Praise God; this is His Day, hallelujah!
And here is the writing on the Word of God, which is food for the hungry, but fire for the rebellious, a letter naming you and exposing your pernicious error:
“For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains” (Deuteronomy 32:22 MKJV).
“But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7 MKJV).
June 21, 2017