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How Much of the Bible Should You Reject?
Tomorrow's World Magazine
March 1971
Volume: Vol III, No. 03
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How Much of the Bible Should You Reject?
Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

Did God allow blunders, errors, or PRIVATE OPINIONS to creep into the Bible? Is any part of Scripture UNinspired? Here, straight from your own Bible, is the real truth!

   VAST SEGMENTS of organized "churchianity" claim the entirety of the Old Testament is done away. Other large organizations claim to receive "only the writings of St. Paul." Still others cling only to the Gospels, while others still buy "red-letter Bibles" and will believe only those words directly spoken by Jesus Christ, and reproduced in their Bibles in red letters!
   But in the midst of all this confusion, WHO is the ultimate authority? Apparently, each individual believes he is allowed to become his OWN SUPREME AUTHORITY as to which portions of Scripture are, or are not, inspired!
   But God never GAVE this authority into the hands of man! Almighty God is Supreme Authority. It is HE WHO HAS directly INSPIRED Scripture, and He has never left it up to man to decide which writings are to be included as sacred Scripture!

What Is the New Testament?

   Unless God, the SUPREME AUTHORITY, has directly CAUSED His Scripture to be inspired, and has carefully kept and guarded those writings which He wanted to be contained in Scripture, then there remains no authority whatsoever for deciding what IS Scripture, and what is not!
   For example, the New Testament is a collection of brief journals, short historical treatises, private correspondence, and circular letters intended to be read by local congregations! Notice, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach" (Acts 1:1). Luke was writing to the same Theophilus that is mentioned in his first chapter of the Gospel bearing his name! Both of these works of Luke which now form a part of inspired Scripture were nevertheless written to a PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL! Does this mean all these writings were merely Luke's private opinions?
   Think for a moment! If this line of reasoning is followed there remains not one shred of evidence for the authenticity of ANY of Scripture!
   Paul wrote to TIMOTHY. Does this mean that none of the instructions found in the letters to Timothy is applicable to us today since Paul was writing personally to him?
   John wrote to the "elect lady" (II John 1), and to Gaius (III John 1), just as Paul wrote to Titus and Philemon!
   Luke wrote to Theophilus, while Paul continually insisted upon writing to mere local congregations!
   But regardless as to the original character of various of the Bible books, letters and journals ALMIGHTY GOD selected them as part of His inspired Scripture! He said, inspiring the Apostle Paul to tell us, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Tim. 3:16).
   What self-willed, false prophets who wish to have their own way do not seem to grasp is that if there is one single word of the original inspired Scriptures which is NOT valid, and which is UNinspired, then there remains no authority whatsoever for saying that ANY of the Scriptures are inspired!
   Either the Bible is ALL inspired or you can have confidence in NONE of it!
   Is there, then, one single place in all the Bible where Almighty God allowed an individual to merely express his own "opinion"? Are there only one or two small "exceptions" to this great and authoritative principle of Scripture?
   Did God allow Ezekiel to make only one or two small slips? Did Isaiah only contradict himself once or twice? Did Peter just make one or two small mistakes in chronology? Could John have misread what he saw in vision? Surely Moses must have FORGOTTEN a great many of the necessary details of history? Did Paul merely express his "opinion" to members of the Corinthian congregation?
   These questions must be answered and must be answered from the AUTHORITY of the unbreakable Scriptures!

The Bible Is Sacred, Inviolate, and Is TOTALLY INSPIRED

   Jesus said, "The scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN"! (John 10:35.)
   Think for a moment! Christ is the WORD (John 1:1 ):He is the Scripture Personified!
   Can feeble man ascend up to heaven, to pull Christ off His throne? Can feeble, conniving, carnal man in his desires to justify himself and have his own way nullify the authority of the Living Christ?
   But Christ is the Word! He is at the controls of the entirety of the universe. He lives!
   What you need to realize is, just as Jesus Christ is absolutely SUPREME, untouched and inviolate by the puny presumptuousness of man, so is the written Word the Holy Scriptures!
   Paul also was inspired to say to Timothy, concerning some individuals who were guilty of "vain babblings," that they, "concerning the truth [Jesus said, 'Thy word is truth'! (John 17:17)] have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless THE FOUNDATION OF GOD standeth SURE, having this seal..." (II Tim. 2:18-19).
   Yes, REGARDLESS as to the petty bickerings, differences and disagreements of men, the foundation of God, the SCRIPTURE, the TRUTH, stands SURE!
   Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill"! (Matt. 5:17.) Here, Jesus was speaking of two of the major portions of SCRIPTURE. He was not merely talking of the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. Jesus expressly included "the Prophets." Also, in the context of this verse part of the very focal point of the whole meaning of Christianity Jesus referred to "the Law." Actually, Jesus meant the first five books of the Bible, together with all the prophetic writings! He went on to speak of these sections of inviolate Scripture, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"! (Matt. 5:18.)
   Yes, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Living Christ of today, stated that until the heavens and the earth were utterly destroyed and passed away, not one single little punctuation mark or shading of meaning would be changed, altered, or in anywise dropped from the Law.

Did Paul Give His "Opinion"?

   Let's turn now to one particular section of Scripture the INSPIRED SCRIPTURE which has given no end of trouble to "scholars" who have never recognized the absolute AUTHORITY of the Bible.
   It is found in I Corinthians, the seventh chapter. In this section of inspired Scripture, the Apostle Paul was led of God to instruct the Corinthian Church concerning marriages.
   He said, "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment" (I Cor. 7:5-6).
   Later, Paul said, "Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful" (verse 25).
   But what is this? Is Paul trying to show the Corinthian Church they may DO AS THEY PLEASE concerning these vital principles of marriage? Is he saying since he has no commandment from Christ, that he's just giving his own PRIVATE OPINION, for whatever it's worth and that they may make up their own minds what to do about it?

Paul Was Inspired!

   Let's come to really understand these portions of the inspired Scripture! Peter said of Paul's writings, "... Even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction" (II Pet. 3:15-16).
   Peter called Paul's letters SCRIPTURES! Here was the spokesman of the twelve, one of the leading apostles of God's Church, the one Christ had FIRST told, "Feed my sheep," stating Paul's epistles had the authority of SCRIPTURE!
   Did Paul, then, temporarily DEPART from writing actual Scripture when he said, "Yet I give my judgment"? Certainly NOT!
   Notice! Paul had said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth IN ME"! (Gal. 2:20.) Jesus Christ was living His life over again within the Apostle Paul, just as He promises to do in every Christian. If we do not have the Spirit of Christ we do not belong to Him! (Rom. 8:9.)
   Paul said, in the same chapter of I Corinthians containing the "judgments" he gave, ". ,. And I think also that I have the Spirit of God" (I Cor. 7:40).
   Now, let's notice the real meaning of these vital portions of SCRIPTURE!
   Remember, we have proved them to be JUST AS MUCH a part of the SACRED SCRIPTURES as any other part!
   "But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment..." (I Cor. 7:6). Paul is dealing with the problems of marriage and divorce! He is instructing the Corinthian Church, and God, through His direct inspiration of these verses, IS INSTRUCTING us TODAY, concerning chastity, concerning whether or not to marry, and concerning believing and unbelieving mates.
   Paul did NOT say he was here departing from divine AUTHORITY and was speaking his own ideas, since HE, PAUL, had been given permission to do so! Rather, he is saying, "I am telling you this by way of allowing you permission to either marry or remain single, and I am not directly COMMANDING you to do ONE or the OTHER!"
   Notice the PROOF! In the very next verse, he said, "For I would that all men were even as I myself. (That is, without a need to be married.) But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that" (verse 7).
   Notice further, Paul clarified what he meant in the 10th verse! "And unto the married I command, YET NOT I, but the LORD." Paul, by stating his own divinely commissioned Apostolic authority to command the members of God's Church, began this thought by saying HE was commanding them to do a certain thing. Then, interrupting his own command (but that command was AUTHORITATIVE), he said, "yet not I, but the LORD."
   He then gave them the meaning of a direct quotation from the words of Jesus Christ Himself!
   "Let not the wife depart from her husband!" The marginal reference takes you to Matthew 19:6, where you read the words of Christ, "What therefore God hath joined together, LET NOT
   Do you see? Paul, speaking to the Corinthians directly, and also being inspired to WRITE HOLY Scripture, was either instructing from his Apostolic AUTHORITY, based directly on the teachings of Christ, or else quoting commands of Christ HIMSELF!
   In verse 12, we read, "But to the rest SPEAK I, NOT the Lord...." Or, "To those in OTHER circumstances, I have no direct command from Jesus Christ no written 'Thus saith the Lord' for this particular case but HERE IS MY AUTHORITATIVE COMMAND, which CHRIST WILL BACK UP!"
   Again in verse 25, Paul stated, "NOW concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful...."
   Paul gave his judgment! Was he AUTHORIZED to do this? He certainly was!
   Notice! "I will build MY CHURCH; and the gates of hell [hades, the GRAVE] shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:18-19).
   Christ had given His apostles, a part of the very foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20), POWER and AUTHORITY to either permit or forbid certain things. That is, they could, within the framework of God's laws and Christ's teachings, have the power to make BINDING and LOOSING DECISIONS!
   CHRIST HONORED those decisions! When Christ, who is the LIVING HEAD of His Church (Col. 1:18), directly INSPIRED the decisions, directly GUIDED His ministers to render them, and then gave them the stamp of INSPIRED SCRIPTURES, SURELY HE MEANT TO HONOR THEM AS COMING FROM HIS OWN SEAT OF AUTHORITY!


   Let's never forget the great principle that God works THROUGH HIS HUMAN INSTRUMENTS!
   Remember! You COULD NOT KNOW about church government, about TONGUES, about the gifts of the Spirit, about pastoral administration, about the qualifications for elders, about Christ's divine PRIESTHOOD, and about DOZENS OF BASIC NEW TESTAMENT doctrines, if it were not for the inspired writings of the Apostle Paul!
   If PAUL were giving his UNINSPIRED OPINION anywhere in the 14 books God inspired him to write, then how could you be sure THE ENTIRETY OF ALL FOURTEEN BOOKS is not just his personal, uninspired opinions?
   This same reasoning could then be applied to all the Bible rendering it nothing more than the scholars CLAIM it to be an UNinspired collection of histories, narratives, poems, private letters and apocalyptic writings!
   But it is INSPIRED! ALL of it! (Read our FREE booklet, The Proof Of The Bible.) When Christ used Paul to APPLY the spiritual principles of Cod's Law to particular problems involving marriage, He intended these to become LAWS! They now have divine AUTHORITY of SCRIPTURE! They constitute a "THUS SAITH THE LORD!"
   There has been a GREAT CONSPIRACY against the Word of God! For centuries, "scholars," "critics," or just well-intentioned theologians have questioned, doubted, scoffed at, or else twisted and perverted the pages of Scripture. Mankind has tried to burn it, lose it, destroy it, misinterpret it, mistranslate it, or, failing these methods, has simply chosen to ignore it altogether.
   But through it all the real TRUTH of God is still available still INVIOLATE! How thankful we can be God so carefully guarded His Holy Word so that NO UNINSPIRED PERSONAL OPINIONS WERE EVER ALLOWED to creep into it! How THANKFUL you can be that "ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION! OF GOD"! (II Tim. 3:16.)

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Tomorrow's World MagazineMarch 1971Vol III, No. 03
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