Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living by the Word - Scripture and Revelation

[M]an doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3, see also Matthew 4:4; Doctrine & Covenants 98:11)
How do we take this scripture?

Many people know that it is talking about the Bible. But the Bible had to come from somewhere. People had to write it, word by word, line by line, page by page. Those ideas had to come from somewhere. We know it came from God. People had to be inspired of God to receive those ideas. People had to have revelation. Many people had to have revelation to make the Bible.

Do you see that verse as literal or figurative? Do you live your life by what is in the Bible? Or do you just think that it means that hearing the words gives an enlivening feeling inside?

The Bible has many answers, but it doesn’t have all of them. And our problems today can be very complex. (Like the economic crisis, for example.) What we need today is not just the Bible, but more revelation. We need specific help about what to do in our lives when we have difficult problems. The apostle Paul had the Old Testament when he was preaching to the Saints, and he used those scriptures to the best of his ability, and he also wrote about those scriptures to the Saints, explaining them and exhorting them, and giving counsel, and telling them of the revelations that he received on their behalf. And his writings were so valuable that they were collected together and added to the scriptures.

This scripture isn’t just for giving us warm and fuzzy feelings, it is guidance for us, telling us to live and act by those words. Christ lived by them, to the extent that he used this very scripture as a shield of faith against Satan when tempted to change stones into bread after a 40 day fast.

The scriptures themselves speak often about revelation. They tell us the ground rules about it: how revelation comes and how to tell it is true revelation from God and what we can learn through it and so on. Over the next few blog posts I do I am going to examine some of the things the scriptures teach us about revelation.