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Vol.  9  No. 8 August 2007  Page 2
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Louis Rushmore

It Is Written?

By Louis Rushmore, Editor

    The phrase, “It is written” appears 80 times in the English Bible. “It is written” appears 17 times in the Old Testament (Joshua 8:31; 2 Samuel 1:18; 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 23:21; 2 Chronicles 23:18; 25:4; 31:3; 35:12; Ezra 3:2, 4; 6:18; Nehemiah 8:15; 10:34, 36; Psalm 40:7; Isaiah 65:6; Daniel 9:13). “It is written” appears 63 times in the New Testament (Matthew 2:5; 4:4, 6-7, 10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24, 31; Mark 1:2; 7:6; 9:12-13; 14:21, 27; Luke 2:23; 3:4; 4:4, 8, 10; 7:27; 19:46; 24:46; John 6:31, 45; 12:14; Acts 1:20; 7:42; 15:15; 23:5; Romans 1:17; 2:24; 3:4, 10; 4:17; 8:36; 9:13, 33; 10:15; 11:8, 26; 12:19; 14:11; 15:3, 9, 21; 1 Corinthians 1:19, 31; 2:9; 3:19; 9:9; 10:7; Galatians 3:10, 13; 4:22, 27; Hebrews 10:7; 1 Peter 1:16). Perhaps the most remembered occurrences of the phrase, “It is written,” are from the lips of Jesus Christ at his Special Temptation (Matthew 4; Luke 4). J.W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton made an outstanding observation regarding our Lord’s statement: “Jesus used the Scripture as final, argument-ending authority.” The significance of the words, “It is written,” is that God’s Word is the final authority in religion: (1) To which mankind needs to appeal for instruction, and (2) By which mankind will be judged at the Final Judgment.

    God has chosen writing prophets to record his will for mankind. God employed 40 human penman over a period of 1,600 years to communicate the mind of God to mankind in written form. God used the vehicle of divine inspiration to direct humans to write down the Word of God. The apostle Paul wrote to the young evangelist, Timothy, that the Old Testament Scripture was inspired of God. “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, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The apostle Peter wrote about the method God used to communicate his will to mankind in written form. “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 1:21). The 80 occasions of the phrase, “It is written,” appearing in the Bible clearly emphasize that God’s Word is the only authority in religion to which anyone should appeal.

    There is no other religious authority to which mankind can turn for accurate religious instruction. Anything less than, more than or purportedly equal to the Bible is either deficient or not needed. First century Christians already had everything necessary to be all God wants Christians to be. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). The Gospel or “common faith” had already been given “once for all” (Jude 3 ASV). Alteration of the Gospel was strictly forbidden (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19).

    The Bible is full of expressions similar to the phrase, “It is written,” that underscore that the Bible alone is the Word of God. “Thus saith the Lord” appears 414 times in the English Bible. “The Lord said” occurs 219 times. “The word of the Lord came to me saying” occurs 7 times, plus several other instances with slightly varying order of words.

    God, through the Bible, attests to the fact that he has provided mankind with divine revelation. Old Testament people were expected to understand that by God’s revealed Word they would stand in Final Judgment. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). New Testament people are expected to understand that by God’s Word they will stand in Final Judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). No other source of religious instruction will prevail with God in Final Judgment (Matthew 7:21-23; 15:9).

    In conclusion, the final, absolute standard of authority in religion is the Word of God—nothing else! The doctrines of men are an affront to God and will avail nothing in Final Judgment (Matthew 15:13). We can only learn about salvation, true Christian worship, Christian doctrine, Christian living and Christian service from the Bible.

    Have you turned exclusively to the Word of God respecting forgiveness from sin? The words of Jesus, summarizing God’s redemptive plan, appear in Mark 16:16. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Further divine instruction regarding the forgiveness of sins committed by Christians also appears in the New Testament (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).

Works Cited

McGarvey, J.W. and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Four-Fold Gospel. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1914. CD-ROM. Austin: Wordsearch, 2004.

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