|Vol. 16 No. 1 January 2014||
After Christ ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), the eleven apostles returned to Jerusalem to await the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). Others convened as well, and during these days, Peter stood up and said: “Brethren, it was needful that the scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus” (Acts 1:16). The apostle then proceeded to quote Psalm 69:25 as an inspired prophecy of this circumstance. Subsequently, Matthias was selected to replace the fallen Judas.
There is a very important point within this context which relates to the concept of the inspiration of the Scriptures. First, Peter affirmed that David’s prophecy regarding the apostasy of Judas, and his subsequent replacement, was spoken by the Holy Spirit. The statement declares the divine origin of the message. It also indicates that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person.
Second, it asserts that David was the medium through which the Spirit operated in the conveyance of the message (cf. 2 Samuel 23:2). [Note: this also refutes the theory, advocated by some, that Psalm 69 was composed during the period of the Babylonian Captivity.]
Finally, the passage observes that the end result of this process was the production of “scripture.” Thus, underline these phrases or terms: “scripture fulfilled,” “Holy Spirit spake,” and “mouth of David,” and then, in the margin of your Bible, note these points: Holy Spirit – Ultimate Source; Mouth of David – Medium Employed; Scripture – Final Result. This is a marvelous commentary on what was involved in the process of Bible inspiration.
The Bible is the final authority. Many want to appeal to uninspired creeds, church tradition, prophets or the purported voice of God Himself. Once again, the Bible is the final authority. The problem with uninspired creeds is the very fact that they are uninspired. It does not matter how old they are, they hold no authority when it comes to matters of faith. Many hold to the church’s traditional interpretation to the Bible over what the Bible actually says; this is simply an invitation for eisegesis (making the Bible say what you want it to say). Some hold to prophets, but the problem is that there are no more prophets, and there have not been any since, at the very latest, the very beginning of the second century. What about those who hear God speaking to them? I’ve learned that you can’t tell people they don’t hear something, so the real question is, “How can you be sure that it is really God speaking?” The only way to know is to verify it with what is written. If God is really speaking to you, He won’t contradict Himself; otherwise that would make Him a liar and the author of confusion. Also, once the Bible is read to verify what is ‘heard,’ you’ll find that God no longer communicates to us in that fashion, but only through the Bible. Let us rest on the authority of the Bible, and not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6).