THE POWER OF THE WORD
Words have meaning. We are the only creatures on earth that use words in a unique, complex system that not only conveys meaning but also expresses ideas, emotions, and the depths of who we really are. Words have power to move people. Adolph Hitler, a brilliant orator, was one of many evil despots who understood the power of words. He wrote the Mein Kampf in 1925 which says, “I know that men are won over less by the written than by the spoken word, that every great movement on this earth owes its growth to great orators and not to great writers."
Hitler is considered one of the world’s most influential leaders. He was skilled in using his words to motivate masses of people in the most educated and advanced industrial state. He did not have an advanced education or any personally significant experiences or accomplishments that raised him to be the leader of Germany. He was a man filled with rage and racial hatred that led to the Holocaust – the murder of over 11 million people. He was responsible for starting World War II which took many more millions of lives. There are many more examples in addition to this one that clearly demonstrate how the spoken word has so much power that it can even influence man to commit terrible atrocities to his own kind.
We also cannot forget that the power of the word was never intended for evil but for the good of mankind. The great preachers that brought a revival throughout Europe and America were used by God to change lives in great waves by turning people to the gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ. God used preachers like Charles Spurgeon (1834—1892) in the second half of the 19th century who addressed audiences of more than 10,000 in England. It has been estimated that 10,000,000 people heard Spurgeon’s message during his lifetime. John Wesley (1703—1791), the founder of the Methodist Church, preached over 40,000 sermons and it is said he rode on horseback over 250,000 miles to spread the Gospel.
In America, one of the most influential preachers and evangelists was Billy Graham (1918—2018). He is considered one of the most influential evangelists in history and preached the Gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries. The number increased to hundreds of millions through the advancement of other forms of media such as video, film, television and the web.It was evident that Billy Graham was responsible for changing millions of lives, always using the Bible as he lived his life following the great commission, “And He said to them, ‘Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Graham knew the power of the word and used it under the control of the Holy Spirit to save lives.
Words are used in so many ways as we use them to praise God, encourage others, and express love and kindness. We sing with words and rhyme them to make hymns and poems. They are used to carry romantic sentiments and can also have the power to make us cry. We use them to evoke laughter, describe beauty, and transform us to another imaginary world. Words can lead us to the dark side of man. They have the capacity to tear people apart, insult, and degrade another soul. Words can bully and put one so far down that one will be emotionally scarred for a lifetime. At worst they become vile, used to curse God and express anger and hatred between people. We are reminded of the power of words in James 3:7-8,
“For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”
THE WORD IS GOD
The beloved apostle John understood the significance of words that he defined the Word as the incarnate Godhead in the form of Christ our Savior. The Gospel of John begins, “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) There should be no question that the Son of God is the Word. Christ is God as John clarifies this in verse 14 stating, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Word is the Son of God who became flesh so that the amazing gospel of salvation would be consummated and man would be freed from the bondage of sin. In Greek, theos is translated as God and the Word means logos, therefore one can conclude that the theos is the logos who came down from his Godly throne to save the world.
The Word, the logos in verse 3, is the Son of God who is the Creator of everything in the universe without exception. There is nothing we can point to, whether visible or invisible, that has its being and essence other than “created by him, and for him” as Colossians 1:16 states. The Son of God is defined as the Creator and Savior of the world. He is the one that the righteous will see in Heaven and whose presence we will live in for eternity.
It is through God’s Word that we are given our meaning, purpose, and hope and it all began at the beginning of time.
The phrase in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word” is also the connector of the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s Word will always prevail and will never go away. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) God’s Word is a guiding force that gave everything its origins as it repeats itself 10 times with the expression “God said” in Genesis 1, the creation account. Just as He spoke everything into existence in Genesis by His Word, He also prophesied and prepared the message of salvation in the Old Testament. Christ, the Son of God, is the fulfillment of that message in the New Testament. It is through God’s Word that all truth is spoken, all history was made, and all future will be made reality.
When God walked this earth as an itinerant preacher, He joined the past and the future with His teachings. He changed the world forever with His teaching that faith and trust in Him with the power of the Holy Spirit would free man of the bondage of sin. It is through God’s Word that we are saved, not of our works, but by God’s grace as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9. Christ in the present is the bridge that unites the past and the future as the sacrificial lamb for all sin throughout all time. We not only have His Words, but we can also personally relate to Him as he became man and took our place at Calvary for our sins. His Words are all-powerful but also all-forgiving. He loved us first and then He commanded us to love Him with every part of our being and told us to love others as we love ourselves. This love is summarized in the two great commandments he gave in Matthew 22:36-40. All of the commandments can be summarized as stated in verse 40, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
THE WORD IS UNIQUELY HUMAN
Of all creation, humans are the only creatures that use words to speak and to record their thoughts through writing. We are social creatures that have a need to communicate abstract ideas and feelings face to face with the gift of language. Many secular linguists today have theorized that language is extremely complex with varied and numerous grammatical structures and syntax that only humans have the capacity to communicate through speech. It requires a specially designed neural center, the brain, and the correct anatomical structures like the larynx to produce subtle sounds with fluidity and its own intricacy to express the thoughts at work.
Language originates in the human brain, which by definition is the most complex arrangement of matter in the universe. The human brain weighs about three pounds and is composed of 100 billion brain cells, specially designed cells called neurons. The basic function of the neuron is to process information through electrical pulses to other neurons to sustain life. Each neuron is in contact with ten thousand other neurons for a total of 100 trillion connections in the brain. If we were to straighten out all these neurological connections in one single line they would stretch 100,000 miles long.
In the human brain’s complex maze of interactions of neurological connections there is much to discover, but two areas have been identified that produce language. One of these areas is the Wernicke’s area, which is involved in comprehension and processing both the written and spoken word. In most people, it is located on the left hemisphere of the brain. Another important section on the left side of the brain is the Broca’s area that directs the detailed sequencing of the finest muscle movement to form speech. In addition to these two areas, because of the complexity of language, there are estimated to be at least fifty other regions of the brain involved in the production of words with meaning.
The human brain uses an anatomical arrangement of lungs, throat, voice box, tongue, and lips to make sounds. While the physical components are similar to chimps, it comes down to the vast differences in the details of these components that goes from grunts to complex language. The human voice box is also known as the larynx, or as some refer to it, the Adam’s Apple. It is the size of a walnut and is mostly made up of cartilage and muscles attached to elastic tissue and vocal cords that regulate pitch when vibrated as air passes through them from the lungs. The human voice box is uniquely designed to produce complex sounds for language. No other creature on earth possesses such a detailed instrument that not only has the capacity for speech but also produces such melodious sounds as singing. The long throat (longer than a chimp’s) controlled by a mouth with fine muscles, a mobile tongue, and high degree of flexibility in the lips works in concert with the voice box to form a wide range of precise sounds in the production of language as well as the harmonious sounds of an opera singer.
In conclusion, the brain is capable of thinking 800 words per minute. As adults we can use 10,000 words and recognize at least 30-40,000 words in a lifetime. The Webster’s 3rd edition New International Dictionary (1993) contained 470,000 entries. The capacity for language is a distinctly precious gift from God.
There is no creature that can even approach such complexity and depth on earth. Animals have the ability to communicate with various forms of vocalization and gestures, but there are no observable translational steps found in animal communication that approach human language. It leaves an inexplicable gap for evolutionists, a void that can only be explained by an all-intelligent Creator who spoke everything into existence in Genesis.
THE WORD AND THE GENESIS CONTROVERSY
Did Moses write the book of Genesis including the other books of the Pentateuch? Was written language around at the time of Moses? Is the first chapter of Genesis allegorical or was it a real narrative? There are a significant number of theologians who wrestle with these questions. It exemplifies the question presented by the serpent (Satan) to Eve before her and Adam’s first transgression which would bring the curse of death and bondage upon the whole creation. The crafty serpent challenged the unchangeable and infallible Word of God with, "Did God really say?” It is the mark of the impeccable deceiver to cause doubt in man’s heart.
Such doubt in God’s Word makes man weak because He has lost the foundation of truth on which he stands. The more he questions God’s Word, the further he moves away from the logos, the divine reason and creative order of all reality. Without any foundation, he is lost and a fool as Paul states, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” When Jesus was challenged by Pharisees, He said, “If you had believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47)
It was Christ with His Word who unequivocally speaks of Moses being the true author. God’s Word is eternal and we know that God gave us a language with an alphabet to communicate as humans. The Genesis account is foundational to the truth of the gospel, especially in its first eleven chapters. We need to know who the author is and the basic language in which God’s people spoke and wrote.
PATTERNS OF EVIDENCE: THE MOSES CONTROVERSY
Did Moses write the first books of the Bible? Many mainstream scholars say NO! But the Bible states YES! Award-winning filmmaker Timothy Mahoney (Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus) is back again, bringing new evidence to light in the latest documentary: Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy.
What Mahoney's investigation lead to is the groundbreaking discovery that the world's first alphabet actually originated in Egypt. Did the Israelites invent this alphabet in time for Moses to write the Bible?
This thought-provoking and controversial film asks hard questions of some of the world's leading experts in Egyptology, ancient Hebrew and early languages. Filmed in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Europe and the USA with stunning cinematography and life-like Biblical recreations, Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy will captivate audiences of all ages.
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