The world didn’t stop when the Bible was complete. Why is that? Why are we still here? What is the Bible for? Why was it so well preserved?
In Creation, God set up his covenant between God and Adam and his descendants. Though still in effect today, it only survives through the line of Noah, as all others were killed by the Great Flood.
After the Flood, God set up His covenant between Himself and Noah and Noah’s descendants. This covenant continues to apply to all of humanity, as all people of the earth are descended from Noah.
After some time, God set up a covenant between Himself and Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) and Abraham’s descendants. Incidentally, this covenant also includes the descendants of Ishmael.
Again, God makes a second covenant between Himself and Israel at Sinai, with Moses as mediator. This becomes codified into the Law. Under this covenant too was the covenant with David, that he would always have a King seated on the throne. Though his royal line was broken with Jehoiachin (Jeremiah 22:28-30), Jehoiachin’s descendant, Joseph, became the adoptive father of Jesus, the “Son of David”, who was seated in His place at God’s right hand.
When Jesus came, God made a further covenant, a new covenant (Luke 22:20; Hebrews 9:15), between Himself, and all who believe in His Son Christ Jesus through His blood. God’s covenant is extended to all who call upon the name of Jesus.
At the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70, the covenant of Sinai was effectively broken, as there was now no place to offer sacrifice. The Bible is also effectively complete at this point, as the majority of the Apostles have been killed or have died. The witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection are all but gone.
The Church picks up where the Bible leaves off, but begins to assume it’s own authority in the process. It is the Church which proceeds with curating what is the Bible, those books and letters that speak with the authority of her Author, written by Apostles and witnesses of those early days. But those days are now nearly 2000 years in our rear-view mirror. Except for the 400-year gap between the Old Testament and the New, there had been a steady flow of God’s Word to His people, through prophets, priests, and kings. The brief revival in the first century gave us the New Testament, but that too dried up before the century was over. Now, for the last 1900 years, there has been no fresh word, no new prophet, and certainly none that the Church could point to universally and say, “This too is Scripture.” Yes there are pockets of prophecy and wonders, those who pretend to write scripture and call it true, yet these feeble attempts only pale in comparison in quality and veracity to the original. For the Christian world there has been no fresh word from God in all this time.
Perhaps everything that needed to be said has now been said. As Solomon once wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The Scripture as we have it in these 66 books now cover every conceivable life situation, whether by teaching or example. For you might remember the curse added at the end of Revelation (22), that whosever adds to the words of this prophecy will have plagues added to him, and whosoever takes away will have his name taken out of the book of life. Those are stern warnings.
As many can attest today, the Bible is just as meaningful and relevant as the day it was written, perhaps with even more importance for our own time, as the Word of God becomes scarcer and truth is harder to find. Unlike any other holy book, the Bible is the one book that is always sought after by its enemies to be burned or destroyed. This is because the Bible teaches one fundamental truth that every government of the world despises.
Government, as Romans 13 says, has the power of the sword, that is to say, government has the power of life and death over its people. The Government can determine what is legal and illegal, and can enforce penalties, up to and including capital punishment to enforce its will. But the Bible says something about death that defies this governmental authority.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate was most concerned about whether Jesus was a threat to his own authority. Of course, Jesus tells him that he would have no authority except that which was granted to him, subtly referring to Pilate status as Caesar’s representative, but also that Pilate was an authority of government, which gets its authority from God, Jesus’ Father. Pilate apparently didn’t see this as a threat. and affirmed that Jesus is innocent. In addition, Jesus told Pilate that His Kingdom was not of this world. Had Pilate been paying attention, he would have realized that this was the true threat to his authority.
You see, Pilate held the power of life and death over Jesus. This was the ultimate extent of his authority. Jesus told him that His authority extended beyond this world. While Pilate may have thought Jesus was just crazy, Jesus informs us and all who believe in Him the true power of reform and change in politics. While Christians operate in this sphere as good citizens, just as were are told to, we are not under the ultimate authority of the state, but of Christ. We do not fear death as they do. Government can only enforce its laws and policies with the threat of force (and Death). Christians have a Savior who endured this penalty, and ROSE FROM THE DEAD. The true threat to Rome and to all governments of the world is a people who do not fear death, because they don’t believe death is the worst possible penalty. This is why government cannot control Christians when it comes to worship of their God. They don’t fear the penalty that government can impose on them, and fear greater the penalty for not being Christians, that is, Hell.
This is the threat the Bible poses to all governments of the world, and why most governments of the world try to suppress the truth contained therein. Because once the Bible gets into the people, they no longer fear Government as the ultimate authority with the power of life and death. No government which stands against God can hope to last against such faith, and that’s why no government ever has.
Something to think about today as you pursue your daily walk.