An Enemy Of Soul Winning
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Loyal Pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)
In order to live as a child of God, I must have a perfect Bible. Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Notice the words, "every word."
If I have my prayers answered, I must have a perfect Bible. John 15:7, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." That means that somewhere in the world, there has to be a perfect Bible.
God has told us that His words are pure. Psalm 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
God has told us that these pure words would be preserved forever. Psalm 12:7, "Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them for this generation forever." Since today is a part of forever, somewhere in the world there must be pure words of God. Hence, it does not satisfy me for someone to say that only in the original do we have the pure words of God. Since there are no original manuscripts today, or for that matter, there are no manuscripts even near the original manuscripts as far as time is concerned, then what these people are saying is that we do not have anywhere today any book that contains the pure words of God. yet, I am commanded to preach the Word. II Timothy 4:2, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
Now since the words of God are pure, and since all of the so-called Bibles do not have the same words, only one can be the real Bible that contains the very words of God, the pure words of God, and the preserved words of God. The purpose of this chapter is not to enter into a discussion about the Textus-Receptus or Wescott-Hort; it is simply to say that if God commanded me to preach His Word, He would have to give me His Word to preach, and certainly His Word is pure, because the words of God are pure according to the aforementioned Scriptures and will be preserved forever. This preacher believes that those preserved words are in the Bible that I hold in my right hand at this very moment-the King James Bible!
I have more respect for the person who says that one of the false Bibles contains the very words of God than for the person who says only the original contains the very words of God. At least he believes, though wrongly, that we still have the words of God which are pure. For many, many reasons I believe that the King James Bible has been preserved in the English language word-for-word. I have to believe that. I must have the words of God, if I live, if I preach, and if I get my prayers answered.
1. There are some things that are incorruptible. The word "incorruptible" means "perfect," "cannot change," "cannot be improved." If you change something, it must go to perfection or from perfection, so if something can be changed, it must have been imperfect and been made perfect, or it must have been perfect and made imperfect. Let us notice some things that are incorruptible.
(1) God. Romans 1:23, "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, an to birds, and to fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." This means that God is perfect. He cannot be improved; He cannot change. He cannot be taken from imperfection to perfection or from perfection to imperfection.
(2) Our future crown. I Corinthians 9:25, "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." Once the crown is received, it cannot be improved; it cannot change. It will be perfect.
(3) Our glorified bodies. I Corinthians 15:52, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I John 3:2, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." Notice that our glorified body will be like His, and it will be incorruptible. His glorified body is incorruptible. You cannot improve it; you cannot change it. Then, my glorified body will be incorruptible. It cannot be improved; it cannot be changed.
(4) Our inheritance. I Peter 1:4, "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." Our inheritance will be perfect. It cannot be improved; it cannot be changed.
(5) The Word of God. I Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." Psalm 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Luke 8:11, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." You will notice the seed from which we are born again is incorruptible. It is the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. Consequently, you cannot improve it; you cannot change it. If you do, you must go from imperfection or to imperfection. Notice in I Peter 1:23 it is called "incorruptible." Just as God is incorruptible, just as our crown is incorruptible, just as our glorified body will be incorruptible, just as Jesus' body is incorruptible, just as our inheritance is incorruptible; likewise, the Word of God is incorruptible.
Notice in Psalm 126:6, it is "Precious seed." This implies that there is some seed which is not precious. Luke 8:11 teaches that this seed is the Word of God. It is perfect; it cannot be changed; it cannot be improved.
2. The words of God are the genes of regeneration. Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Actually the word "regeneration" means "to be re-gened." Just as the genes of my parents brought my old nature into existence, even so the genes of God brought my new nature into existence. Your old nature is sinful because there was sin in the genes, but the genes of the Word of God are incorruptible, meaning that which is born of God; that is, the new nature, cannot sin.
Now if the very words of God must be pure, and if in fact the King James Bible contains the preserved words of God, then any other words are not the words of God. This means that the Revised Version is not precious seed because it is not incorruptible. This means that the Good News for Modern Man is not precious seed, because it is not incorruptible. This means that the Living Bible is not precious seed because it is not incorruptible. This means that the Reader's Digest Bible is not precious seed, because it is not incorruptible. This means that the New King James Bible is not precious seed because it is not incorruptible. This means that the New Scofield Bible is not precious seed, because it is not incorruptible. This means that the New international version (NIV) is not precious seed, and it is not incorruptible. This means that the American Standard Version is not precious seed because it is not incorruptible. If the versions do not agree, then all of them cannot be the very words of God that have been preserved for us.
3. The genes of the new birth must be incorruptible. I Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." These words were penned in the first century, but it says that the incorruptible seed "liveth and abideth for ever." Since today is a part of "for ever," we must have the incorruptible seed in order to be re-gened, or regenerated, or born again.
4. Suppose corruptible seed is used. Can a person then be born again from it? You answer that question. According to I Peter 1:23 we read, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed..." Then, if corruptible seed is used, one cannot be born again. I have a conviction as deep as my soul that every English-speaking person who has ever been born again was born of incorruptible seed; that is, the King James Bible. Does that mean that if someone goes soul winning and takes a false Bible that the person who receives Christ is not saved? I believe with all of my soul that the incorruptible seed must have been used somewhere in that person's life. If all a person has ever read is the Revised Standard Version, he cannot be born again, because corruptible seed is used, and I Peter 1:23 is very plain to tell us that a person cannot be born again of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, and it explains that that incorruptible seed is the Word of God, and it explains that it liveth and abideth forever.
This is also borne out in Psalm 19:7, "The law of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." Notice the words, "the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." It is the law of the Lord that converts. It is the Word of God that regenerates. The Word is the seed, and the seed must be incorruptible.
5. The perfect Word of God must be used if a person grows in grace. I Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." Notice that it is the "sincere" Word of God by which we grow in grace. So, to grow in grace, we must have the sincere (pure) Word of God.
This same thing is taught in Deuteronomy 4:10, 36, "Specially the day that the stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire."
Notice the words of God are what teach us, and from the words of God we are to be instructed. If they are in fact words of God, they must be pure, because a pure God could not give impure words, and an incorruptible God could not give corruptible words.
6. These words of God are perfect. There are several things in the Bible that are called perfect.
(1) His work is perfect. Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
(2) His way is perfect. Psalm 18:30, "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."
(3) The Heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
(4) The glorified body will be perfect. I Corinthians 13:10, "but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
(5) The law of the Lord is perfect. Psalm 19:7, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple."
So we must have an incorruptible, perfect Word of God. To say that this could be found only in the original manuscripts is to say we have no words of God today that are perfect, which means we have no perfect Book to preach, we have no perfect Book to read, we have no perfect Book by which to grow, and we have no perfect Seed by which we can be born again or re-gened or regenerated.
7. There are several ways that the words of God are made into impure words by translators and theologians (self-styled).
(1) They add to the Word of God. "Proverbs 30:5, 6, "Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Notice several things in these verses. First, every word of God is pure. Psalm 119:140, "Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it." Psalm 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Psalm 19:8, "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Second, in Proverbs 30:6, we are told not to add to these words. Third, in verse 6 the Bible says that He reproves those who do add to His words.
Then in verse 6 also, the Bible says that those who do add to His words are liars.
Now notice Deuteronomy 4:2a, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you...." We are commanded not to add to His Word.
(2) They take away from the words of God. Deuteronomy 4:2, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." God plainly commands that we not diminish His Word.
Now notice Revelation 22:19, "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in the book." A stern rebuke and warning is given to anyone who takes away from the words of God. This means that God's judgment will rest upon those who try to give us a condensed Bible.
(3) They will try to change the Word of God. Jeremiah 26:2, "Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word." Here we have a command not to diminish one word. it is not talking here necessarily about taking words away but changing a word or diminishing a word. Let the translators of the many versions take heed and take warning.
In conclusion, one may ask, "What does this have to do with soul winning?" Beloved, it has everything to do with soul winning. If the words of God are the incorruptible seed, and if seed must be incorruptible, if someone is born again, then the soul winner must have a perfect Bible. Thank God, we do!
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"I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years." -Billy SUNDAY.