By Brother R. Michel Lankford
God’s Word, as He originally transmitted it, is 100% perfect because YHWH Almighty God is 100% perfect, (Deuteronomy 32:3–4;.Psalm 18:30–36; Psalm 19:7–14; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Deuteronomy 8:2–3). Of course, some people refuse to believe God, because they do not want to believe that all of their words and deeds will come under His Righteous Judgement, (Psalm 9:7–8, Matthew 12:36–37; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The reality does not change, regardless of people’s comforts or preferences about the situation, (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).
I believe that The Whole Testament (Genesis 1-Revelation 22), is all Scripture and completely sufficient for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the people of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Moreover, we must not forget that Messiah used rightly applied Scripture to defeat and protect Himself from the temptations of the devil, (Matthew 4; Luke 4). So, since God’s Word and Scripture is sufficient for God to create the universe, (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:1–4), and powerful enough for Messiah to defeat the temptations of the devil, then Scripture, is certainly sufficient to transform our lives and circumstances, as we cooperate with Him.
All of that being the case, there is a factor that passionate believers do often forget:
While we are guaranteed that God’s Word and everything, He says is Perfect, people often forget that there are some things that we are NOT guaranteed:
We are NOT guaranteed that every translation of God’s Word will be perfect inerrant and infallible. We must come as close as we can, and deal with the best that we have in our language.
We are NOT guaranteed that every person will Read God’s Word correctly.
We are NOT guaranteed that every single understanding or that every conclusion that people will choose to draw out or extract from God’s Word will be perfect inerrant and infallible.
We are NOT guaranteed that every single application and use of God’s Word will be perfect inerrant and infallible.
The Bible only remains Scripture when it is read, divided, interpreted and applied correctly. That is because whenever it is misread, improperly divided, misinterpreted, abused, or misapplied, it ceases to be Scripture at that point. In such a case it becomes merely a poor commentary on Scripture, because when it is misread or abused, then it is no longer true to what (יהוה YAHWEH), Almighty God actually said, therefore it is no longer Scripture at that point.
I believe that when it is rightly divided and obediently applied in the context of being in right relationship with God and Jesus Christ the Messiah, Scripture is completely sufficient to give us true wisdom in every situation, guidance and comfort through every hardship, and ultimate victory in every battle.
I believe that it is the refusal to rightly divide and obey God’s word that is at the root cause of every human ill and character defect we will ever encounter. Restoration only begins and continues when we hear and believe the truth, when we repent from disobeying God’s truth, and when we turn to God, and we begin and continue to walk in agreement with God. That’s biblical repentance.
Again, I believe that rightly read Scripture will NEVER contradict rightly divided Scripture. If there appears to be a contradiction, then it is our translation or our understanding or our application of the Scripture that is at fault. All Scripture is guaranteed to be breathed out by YHWH, but NOT every reading, NOT every understanding, NOT every interpretation, and NOT every application is guaranteed to be infallible.
For example, Scripture clearly tells us that it is possible to use the Name of (יהוה YAHWEH) in vain, (Exodus 20:7). It is possible to worship (יהוה YAHWEH) in vain, (Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13). It is possible for our religion to become vain and empty, (James 1:26). It is possible for us to pray in vain or amiss, (Matthew 6:7; James 4:3). Therefore, we should be on our guard, because it is ALSO possible to STUDY in VAIN as well. If I study 1 Timothy 4, and it leads me to neglect, to reject, or to disobey Leviticus 11, then I have clearly STUDIED in VAIN, or studied amiss. Likewise, if I study the book of Deuteronomy, but I draw conclusions which leads me to reject, to neglect or to disregard the book of Isaiah, then I have also STUDIED in VAIN, or studied amiss. Likewise, if I study the Scriptures and it leads me to reject, to neglect or to deny the gospel and the testimony of (ֵישׁוּעַ Yahshua/Jesus) the Messiah, then here again, I have studied amiss, and my studying has become a WORTHLESS VANITY.
Also, if in all of my studying, I gained some aspect of knowledge, but it does not empower me to love (יהוה YAHWEH) better; if it does not lead me to believe and follow Messiah’s example more closely; if it does not lead me to better love my neighbor as I follow the Instructions, and if it does not lead me to overcome my weaknesses and my shortcomings and help me to successfully walk in the victory that Messiah has purchased, then all of my studying and midrashes have become a worthless vanity.
Therefore, it is every believer’s duty and obligation to diligently study and to RIGHTLY divide and apply Scriptures, (2 Timothy 2:15); relying on the help of the (רוחקודש Holy Spirit), to guide us into all truth, (John 16:13; James 1:5-8), in such a way that would NOT invalidate or seek to nullify any other part of Scripture.
This is why people get their wires crossed and confusion and some disagreements occur. This is why we NEED to regularly ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and to grant us Grace to correctly read, to correctly understand, to correctly interpret, to correctly believe, and to correctly and faithfully obey the Scriptures, (John 16:13–15; Luke 24:45–53; Psalm 119:18; Acts 16:14–16). This is WHY we must be DILIGENT to correctly learn, to rightly divide, and to correctly apply the Word of Truth, (see 2 Timothy 2:15).
I believe that YHWH Almighty God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them by speaking His Word (Genesis 1:1-3, 31; Hebrews 11:1-4). Therefore, I believe that God said what He meant and means what He says. I believe that all Scripture (Old Testament and New Testament) is God breathed, anointed and appointed by God. I believe that it is all completely sufficient for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the people of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is the refusal to rightly divide and obey God’s Word that is at the root cause of every human ill and character defect we will ever encounter.
I believe that when it is rightly divided and obediently applied in the context of being in right relationship with God and Jesus Christ, His Word is completely sufficient to give us true wisdom in every situation, guidance and comfort through every hardship, and victory in every battle. If you too believe these things, then you are ready to study. If you don’t have these crucial foundational beliefs, then your topmost urgent priority should be praying and cooperating with YHWH until these beliefs are firmly established in you. That’s because until we have this all-important foundation, any move of faith or obedience we attempt to make will be so much more difficult than necessary.