A CRITIQUE OF THE SCRIPTURES
REGARDING DIVINE HEALING
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D
Does God still heal the sick in answer to the prayer of faith, as promised in the Holy Bible? Do signs, wonders and miracles still follow the preaching of God's Word as they did following Pentecost? Are the heathen still awakened to belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour when they behold miracles of divine deliverance in His name, as happened in St. Paul's ministry?
Do unclean spirits still cry out in fear when driven from their captives as the blood of Jesus Christ is applied, as happened in the ministry of Philip at Samaria? Do sinners still weep their way into the Kingdom of God as the Word of God is proclaimed with unction and power, as under the preaching of St. Peter?
Is the Holy Spirit still alive and operating in the Body of Christ today, as is promised in First Corinthians 12: 1-11? Does the blessed Holy Spirit still lead, guide and direct the activities of the Church as He did at Ephesus?
Is Jesus Christ still obeyed and worshipped as the Head of the Church as He was by St. John on the Isle of Patmos? Does His Church obey Him and worship Him as did Thomas after seeing the resurrected Christ?
SCRIPTURES ARE STILL VIABLE!
In this apologetic, I will prove that the Holy Scriptures are reliable and viable today! And that God is unchanged and His Word immutable as always! He is eternal, the same yesterday, today and forever! He is still approachable and always keeps His Word, regardless of what detractors and enemies of the Gospel might say!
The Holy Scripture is the only reliable and trustworthy source we have because they are the lively oracles of God, written with His finger and spoken by His mouth, given through His Son Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit to His Prophets and Apostles!
The BIBLE states: "God, who a sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.
"Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His Power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High." (Heb.1: 1-3)
St. Peter said: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)
St. Paul stated: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good work." (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17).
THE LAW OF THE LORD IS PERFECT!
King David stated: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." (Psalms 19: 7-9)
God’s CREATION praises the Almighty and testifies to His amazing, magnanimous work. The heavenly bodies shout out His might, power and Creative GENIUS:
"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters SPEECH, and night unto night shows Knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their VOICE is not heard." (Psalms 19: 1-3)
Presenting Christ to the Pagan, St. Paul stated: "Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from Heaven, and fruitful season, filling our hearts with food and gladness." (Acts 14:17)
The Bible declares: "For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: Thou hast established the earth and it abides. They continue this day according to Thy ordinances: for all are Thy servants." (Psalms 119: 89-91)
GOD CANNOT CHANGE, LIE OR FAIL!
It is impossible for God to change, lie or fail! He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Eternal and Immutable, meaning that our Heavenly Father is all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present at once, everlasting and unchangeable!
God's Word, therefore, cannot change, mislead or fail: “God is not a man that He should LIE; neither the son of man, that He should repent (CHANGE): Hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? (Num.23:19).
“For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it; He created it not in vain; He formed it to be inhabited:
“…Have not I the Lord? And there is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; and there is none beside Me. Look unto Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else.
“I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isa.45: 18, 21-23)
His Word is TRUE: “Every Word of God is PURE: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add NOT thou unto His Words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a LIAR.” (Prov.30:5,6); Our Lord declared: "Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth." (John 17: 17); “In hope of Eternal Life, which God, that cannot lie promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2)
IMMUTABILITY OF HIS COUNSEL!
“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the IMMUTABILITY of His Counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things in which it was IMPOSSIBLE for God to LIE, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” (Heb.6:17, 18)
The Holy BIBLE says: "The grass withers, the flower fades: but the Word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40: 8). "But the Word of the Lord abides forever. And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1: 25)
Moses said: "Know therefore, that the Lord Thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations." (Deut.7: 9)
St. Paul stated: “…If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself. Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands SURE, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are His, and let everyone that names the name of Christ, depart from iniquity." (2 Tim.2:12,13).
God's Word is steadfast and true! He promised: “So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11)
JESUS CHRIST said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall NOT pass away.” (Matt. 24:35)
JESUS BELIEVED THE SCRIPTURES!
There are hundreds of reasons why I believe the Bible to be the inspired, authoritative and infallible Word of God but the premier reason I know the Bible is God’s holy and inerrant Word is that Jesus of Nazareth believed the Old Testament Scriptures and lived by them. And He died and rose again according to the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms!
Our Lord declared: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt.5: 17, 18)
In His discussions with the scribes and Pharisees He referred back to the Holy Scriptures: “Have you not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female…” (Matt.19: 4); “Have ye not read so much as this, what David did when himself as an hungered, and they which were with him…” (Luke 6: 3); “He said unto them, What is written in the law? How readest thou?” (Luke 10: 26); “Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods….” (John 10: 34)
JESUS also used the Scriptures in defeating Satan during His Wilderness Temptation: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt.4: 4); “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matt.4: 7); “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt.4: 10)
OUR LORD referred to Adam and Eve (Mark 10: 6-9), Moses (John 5: 46), Jonah (Matt.12: 40), Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt.10: 15); Noah (Matt.24: 37) and David (Matt.22: 43).
Jesus of Nazareth believed that the Old Testament Scriptures are inspired (Matt.22: 43), authoritative (Matt.4: 4, 7, 10) and infallible (John 10: 35).
I HAVE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!
I have total faith in Jesus Christ, True God from Eternity and True Man through His Virgin Birth! The writer to the Hebrews (Most likely St. Paul or Apollos) gave us this great commentary on our Saviour:
“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the Express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His Power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the
Majesty on High.
“Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by INHERITANCE obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, THOU ART MY SON, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son?
“And again, when He bringeth the first begotten into the world, He sayeth: And let ALL THE ANGELS WORSHIP HIM. But of the Son He sayeth, Thy Throne O God is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom.
“And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: They shall perish: but Thou remainest; and they all wax old as doth a garment;
“And as a vesture shall Thou fold the up, and they shall be changed, but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.” (Heb.1: 3-12).
Note: This is the first installment in this paper. MS