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THESE are eventful times. With history-making changes passing rapidly before men's eyes, the questions press upon thoughtful minds in all lands, What do these things mean? What next in the program of world-shaping events?
Like a great searchlight shining across the centuries, the sure Word of Prophecy focuses its bright beams upon Our Day. In this light we see clearly the trend of events, and may understand what comes next in the program of history fulfilling prophecy.
In the Volume of the Book the living God speaks to Our Day of events of the past that have a lesson for the present, and of things to come. Divine prophecy fulfilled before men's eyes is God's challenge to unbelief. The Word of Holy Writ has been the guiding light through all the ages. It is the lamp to our feet today.
THE BOOK THAT SPEAKS TO OUR DAY
MAN may write a true book, but only God, the source of life, can write a living book. "The word of God . . . liveth and abideth forever." 1 Peter 1:23. The Bible is the living word of God. We look at the volume; we hold it in our hands. It is like other books in form and printer's art. But the voice of God speaks from these pages, and the word spoken is alive. It is able to do in the heart that receives it what can be done only by divine power.
The Book That Talks
Far in the heart of Africa a missionary read to the people in their own language from the translated Word of God. "See!" they cried; "see! the book talks! The white man has a book that talks!" With that simplicity of speech so common to children of nature, they had exactly described it. This is a book that talks. What the wise man says of its counsels through parents to children, is true of all the book:
"When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee." Prov. 6:22.
Here is companionship, faithful and true, a blessed guide and guardian and friend.
"Holy Bible! book divine!
Precious treasure, thou art mine!"
God Its Author
The sixty-six books of Holy Scripture were written by many penmen, over a space of fifteen centuries; yet it is one book, and one voice speaks through all its pages. Spurgeon once said of his experience with this book:
"When I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, I am God's writing; open my 'I am the book of God; man, read me. leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for He is my author.""
This book declares of itself: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Tim. 3:16. "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. As the rugged verse of the old hymn puts it:
"Let all the heathen writers join
To form one perfect book:
Great God, if once compared with Thine
"Not the most perfect rules they gave
Nor lead a step beyond the grave;
It is the voice of the Almighty. Very different it is from the sacred books of the non-Christian religions. In those writings it is man speaking about God; in the Holy Scriptures it is God speaking to man. The difference is as great as heaven is higher than earth. Here it is not man groping in the darkness after God. In this book of God's revelation we see the divine arm reaching down to save the lost,
and hear the voice of the loving Father calling to His children, every one and everywhere. "Incline your ear," He calls; "hear, and your soul shall live." Isa. 55: 3.
The Word That Creates
We must have something more than instruction; we must have a word of power that is able to tell of sins forgiven, and to conduct us beyond the grave to heaven. One of the greatest of China's sages, Mencius, said, "Instruction can impart information, but not the power to execute." That touches the crucial point. We must have instruction that can come with power divine to execute. We have it only in God's words. Christ said: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63.
The words of God are living words. When God spoke in the beginning, "Let there be light," lo, the light sprang out of the darkness. There was power in the word spoken to bring forth. "Let the earth bring forth grass," was the word of the Lord: and the earth was carpeted with its first rich greensward. So through all the work of creation, the creative power was in the word spoken.
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." "He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." Ps. 33:6, 9.
Even so, when this word speaks instruction to man, there is creative power in the word, if received, to work mightily in the soul that is dead in trespasses and sins. Man must be born again, be re-created. That we know; for Christ says, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again ["from above," margin], he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.
And the word of God - the Bible from heaven received by faith, is the agency by which this new birth "from