|Volume 17 Number 7 July 2015||
In ancient times, kings sat on thrones in the main room of their palaces. It was there that those wishing to speak to the king came. The king made major decisions and judgments from his throne. When the king had a son, and the son became old enough, it was not uncommon for the son to sit on a chair on the right side of the king. In some instances the son was allowed to make rulings and judgments from his chair. There were times when the king would stand when making a ruling or judgment. After he made such he would sit. That meant there was no more to be said about the matter. The issue was closed, and the king had completed his actions.
In Mark 16:14-18, Jesus gave the Great Commission to His apostles. In verse 19, we read, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Notice that Jesus went to heaven and sat on the right hand of God. He had finished all that he would do on earth for man’s salvation. He had come to earth and lived as a man. He had given His life on the cross, and he was raised from the dead to never die a physical death again. What a wonderful thought that Jesus is sitting on right hand of God.
In Acts 7, we read the sermon that Stephen gave to the Sanhedrin. He made them extremely angry, and they started to abuse him. Stephen told them in verses 55 and 56 that he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Jesus was not sitting. He was ready for action. The message was that Stephen was not alone. Jesus was very aware of what was happening to Stephen. Jesus was active in supporting Stephen in his words, and Jesus was ready to welcome Stephen to Abraham’s bosom.
I am so thankful that Jesus sits and stands at the right hand of God. Both of those give comfort to all who are His disciples. Study your Bible. Learn all you can about Jesus. Obey him. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
The Last Word
Is the Bible the Word of God, and if so, is it the final authority in all matters? To ask this another way, “Does God have the last word?”
The Bible claims to be inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible says these words from God never came by the will of man (2 Peter 1:21). Throughout Scripture, the Bible identifies God as the source (Exodus 20:1, 24:4, 34:27, etc.). New Testament writers acknowledged God as the Author of the Jewish Scriptures (Hebrews 1:1). Divine authorship of the whole Bible is declared by sacred writers such as the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Though God is the Author, the Bible was penned by men as they were guided by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). In fact God used approximately 40 men over a period of about 1,600 years to write the Bible. Luke wrote as a physician would write; Paul wrote as an educated man, and John wrote as a beloved friend of his Lord. Even when inspired of God, these men wrote in their own way as individuals. Yet, just because God used men to write the Bible does not negate the divine authorship. The very words they wrote came from God (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Many characteristics of the Bible support the claim of divine authorship, not the least of which is the fulfillment of many prophecies down to the last detail. One of my favorites is Joshua’s prophecy regarding the man that would later rise up and build (rebuild) Jericho (Joshua 6:26). It was fulfilled “to the letter” 536 years later as recorded in 1 Kings 16:34 during the reign of Ahab. Joshua could have known to say this only by the inspiration of God. Such accurate, detailed prophecy being fulfilled exactly as the prophecy was given is powerful evidence of divine authorship. There are many other marks of inspiration such as historic and scientific accuracy which confirm that, in truth, the Bible is from God.
As to the finality of God’s Word, the inspired Bible says the sacred Scripture is all the man of God needs to be “furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The old adage that “anything more than the Bible is too much, and anything less than the Bible is not enough” is still true. Those who might question or deny the finality of the authority of the Bible are said to be “handling the word of God deceitfully” instead of “rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Corinthians 4:2-4; 2 Timothy 2:15). They are working for “the god of this world” to blind the minds of unbelievers and prevent them from understanding the Gospel truth (2 Corinthians 4:2-4).
What is authority? It is simply the right to rule. Authority belongs to God. Because God created man, He has the right to rule or govern man. Because God is holy and perfect in every way, He has lawful and moral supremacy. God is the standard. His Word is the standard. He has the prerogative to set the rules and regulations in the affairs of men.
How does God make known His will for man? Today God speaks through His Son though in time past He spoke through the prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2). Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18-20). While He was on earth, Jesus communicated His message by spoken word. He revealed God’s will to men (Galatians 1:11-12) by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21). So the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) is the authoritative document in force today. It came into force at the death of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17).
If the Bible is God’s Word and it is inerrant, and if it is able to furnish us completely unto every good work, then it should be the rule of life for mankind. God should have the last word. If man is not willing to be governed by God in His Word, then by what authority do we do anything in religion? Do we follow the teachings of men? Should we obey the doctrines of men? This is not a good idea seeing “it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Let me encourage all to submit to the will of God and allow Him to have the last word.