Sluice Box Adventures

Believing Bible Study in the 21st century


It should be noted that seven times in the King James Bible, the capitalized Word of God is a direct reference to the second member of the Godhead (cf John 1:1,14; 1John 1:1; 5:7; Rev 19;13).

1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."


Cowden International © 2013 John Cowden

Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away . . .

John CowdenCertainly no two individuals have been afforded exactly the same opportunities, physical advantages, and mental capability. Accepting that premise, only a fool would claim that every person in every age has had equal access to the written text of Scripture. This by no means implies that God is unfair. It does, however, point to the dispensational plan so apparent in God's dealings with mankind throughout history. Make no mistake; the Lord will hold every person accountable for the light available to him. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. (Luke 12:48)

For the first 2500 years of human history day unto day uttered speech and night unto night shewed forth knowledge. There was no speech nor language where their voice was not heard. Their line went out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. Before the Flood, the magnificence of the heavens declared the glory of God; and the firmament shewed his handiwork. Psalm 19:1-6 describes the daily sermon preached by God's creation to an antediluvian world for which written scripture was not provided. The firmament itself (cf Gen 1:14-19) was so marvelous that it is difficult for us to imagine a world perhaps surrounded by a thin super-conductive canopy of frozen hydrogen and oxygen which blocked harmful radiation, modulated light waves from the universe, and created perfect atmospheric conditions around the globe. These things were so evident to the men of that age, that practically the entire Book of Job centers around the advanced knowledge that was still available from that marvelous era. In fact the only thing upon which Job, Elihu, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar agreed throughout is that God's greatness and power are most apparent through the visible evidence of his creation.

The consequences of failure to heed the message of the creation are set forth by Paul in Rom 1:18-20 where we read, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

The last half of the Nineteenth Psalm presents the heavens as an allegory wherein the sun serves as a type of the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. While the sun's going forth is from the end of heaven, the true Bridegroom's going forth is from everlasting. The illustration progresses to the Lord's Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandments, Fear, and Judgments. But weren't those the things Abraham kept before God called him out of Ur? Surely these are among the invisible things of God which are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made. Understood by Abraham, but not by the Chaldeans about him. They were the educated fools who professed themselves to be wise. But is not the wisdom of this world foolishness with God (1Cor 3:19)?

Abraham's descendants, through the promised seed Isaac, became the people of a Book. From Moses on Mt Sinai to John on the isle of Patmos spanned more than fifteen centuries. Israel (and their Levitical priests) became the sole repository of revealed Truth and divine Light in a world darkened by men's rejection of God's Truth unveiled to their consciences by the universe above them. What advantage then hath the Jew? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God (Rom 3:1-2). The thing which distinguished Israel from the gentile nations around them was the fact that they received a written revelation from God. The dispensation of Law was initiated only after the LORD wrote it on tables of stone, and delivered it to Moses with ceremony commensurate with the occasion.

The Book molded the ethnic character of this unique race, and the nation's destiny has been inseparably bound to the history of that Book. In fact all distinctively Jewish art and literature are unmistakably characterized by the indelible influence of the Torah. It is unfortunate, but entirely consistent with human nature, that as surely as the nations rejected the goodness and power of God as set forth in his creation, so the nation of Israel turned their backs on the Truth of the Scriptures which the Lord had placed in their custody. The result of the gentiles' sinful pride was their worshipping and serving the creature more than the creator. They became their own god. Paul attests to the same situation regarding Israel when he says in Romans 10:3, For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

The term the righteousness of God as found in the Bible often has a direct connection to the Lord Jesus Christ in much the same way as the appellation, the word of God. And at times it may be difficult to distinguish which is intended. [It should be noted that seven times in the King James Bible, the capitalized Word of God is a direct reference to the second member of the Godhead (cf John 1:1,14; 1John 1:1; 5:7; Rev 19;13). That last reference (his name is called the Word of God) shows us why the AV translators wrote Word instead of word. It not only distinguishes between the written word of God and the Incarnate Word of God, but it is also God’s name – and names are always capitalized in English.]

The reader may have likewise observed that faith in the Scriptures, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ also become a little difficult to separate. Continuing in Romans chapter 10 we read, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But the very next verse (v18) takes us back to Psalm 19! Paul's practical application of the "hearing of faith" is not solely dependent on the preacher of vv 14-15; the celestial sermons of Psalm 19:4 are just as binding on the hearer as well. Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Within hours of his crucifixion, the Incarnate Word of God looked ahead to the time of his return. The 24th chapter of Matthew's Gospel records his words regarding the end of the terrible sorrows awaiting Israel. That chosen nation had turned its back on God's righteousness as described in his Book, and fulfilled in his Son, and gone about to establish their own righteousness. At the climax (v35) of that oft quoted but seldom understood description of Daniel’s 70th week stands this solemn statement, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. In essence, he told his disciples that the marvelously orchestrated universe, whose sermons had fallen on deaf ears for four millennia, would one day cease to exist. Yet his words, those seemingly transitory utterances, imperiled by the imminence of his own approaching demise, would in no wise meet the same fate. This should hardly seem strange, for had he not told them already, The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life? (John 6:63)

In order to put the whole picture in perspective, consider the following: Which should endure longer, a Creation or its Creator?

Now think about this: Aren't a Creator's words merely part of his creation? Before answering, reflect on the words of our Creator as found in Psalm 33:6&8, By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and the host of them by the breath of his mouth ... Let all the earth fear the LORD: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast. And lest someone attempt to relegate the text to the realm of poetic exaggeration, Paul says in Heb 11:3 with scientific logic and calculated precision, We understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.

1. Where Were God's Words In The Past?
2. Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away . . .
3. Unto the Pure All Things Are Pure
4. The Word Is Nigh Thee
5. Sevenfold Purification Requires Blood
6. Seven Times Through A Furnace of Earth
7. Pure Silver

Next: 3. Unto the Pure All Things Are Pure


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