“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
Points to ponder…
- The phrase “given by inspiration of God” comes from the original word theopneustos, which literally means “God-breathed.”
- The root meaning of the word “inspire” is “to draw air into the lungs.”
- Air drawn into the lungs is breath.
- One of the Bible words for breath is pneuma, which also means “wind” and “spirit.”
- “Inspire” means to motivate or arouse to action by a spirit that is inside.
The Word of God is “given by inspiration of God” – that is, it is spoken by God or breathed out of the mouth of God. When the Spirit of God moves in a man and compels him to speak, whatever he says will be in perfect agreement with the Word of God that has already been written. Anything else admits of confusion, and we know by divine proclamation that God is not the source of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
It is very disconcerting to hear men, inspired by a spirit other than the Holy Spirit, setting forth as truth things that are not consistent with the Word of God. According to the words of Jesus Christ, he whom God has sent speaks the words of God (John 3:34).
In Luke 9:51-56 a very interesting story unfolds for our consideration and learning.
“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
Someone once observed that ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE IS LIKE A SWORD IN THE HANDS OF A FOOL. Here, two disciples zealously but foolishly wanted Jesus to call fire down from heaven and destroy people whose only crime was a lack of enthusiasm concerning Jesus’ travel itinerary. What revealing words our Master used in response to the clamor of His two disciples: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. In other words, you don’t realize what is the source of your inspiration. How true this is even today. It is alarming to consider the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 concerning the day in which we now live:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
It doesn’t matter in the least how much zeal you have for what you say or what you believe, my friend; indeed, you may even rightly claim to be inspired. The question is–What manner of spirit are you of? Or, what is inspiring you?
Some men speak out of envy and strife, others speak for contention, not sincerely (Philippians 1:15-16). You may jump and holler, and scream until your face is red; you may shout, threaten, curse and kick–but if what you are proclaiming is not solidly and unequivocally based and founded in the Word of God, you are not inspired by God! Instead, your source of inspiration is either carnal or satanic, with the former being merely the threshold to the latter.
There has been a great deal of squawking lately over music and worship, but we are only hurting ourselves if we do not wake up and acknowledge that most contemporary music is inspired by the devil himself. And when we get carried away with something the devil created, we are opening ourselves up for demonic oppression and potentially even possession.
Historically, there is an observable phenomenon of human nature that is known as the “lynch mob” mentality. When people get caught up in the spirit of the crowd, they tend to abandon their principles and moral values and let themselves be carried along with the prevailing attitude of their contemporaries. Little regard is given to the due process of law, and matters of right and wrong are held in contempt, because the “lynch mob” mentality is driven by the crazed quest for a victim to sacrifice, and anyone who doesn’t go along with the flow immediately is in peril of being targeted by the bloodthirsty mob. A dissenting voice then becomes but another enemy of the self-appointed and self-anointed mob that must be destroyed. Meanwhile, civil law is ignored, overlooked and forgotten by the stampeding herd that has become a law unto itself. Regrettably, many an innocent soul was destroyed by men who were driven by the spirit of a mob–men who individually would never have thought to have done such a thing.
How can we stay right if we do not remain resolutely faithful to the Word of God? May God help us not to be carried about by every wind (“spirit”) of doctrine, but to speak as the oracles of God–
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7-11.)
Rev. Tim D. Cormier
Reprinted from the October/November, 2001 issue of the Apostolic Standard.
(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.