How Is God’s Word Given

Illustration-text on light grey and red background-open Bible-verse

Welcome to How is the Word of God given lessons

Questions on 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

  1. How is the Scripture given?
  2. How much of the Scripture is given in this way?
  3. For what is it profitable?
  4. What is it intended to do for the children of God?
  5. For what will she/he be prepared?

Questions on 2 Peter 1:21

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

  1. How much is included in the prophecy?
  2. Through whom was the speaking done?
  3. What moved them to speak?
  4. Could they thus speak at will?

Questions on Hebrews 1:1, 2

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

  1. Who has spoken in time past?
  2. Has He spoken frequently?
  3. Through whom has He spoken?
  4. Who speaks in the last days?
  5. Through whom?
  6. Who, then, is the speaker, both in time past and in the last days?
  7. Have we, then, any authority for discriminating between the Old and New Testament, and saying that one is more important than the other?


Illustration-Bible verse on Dark and light blue background

The Holy Scriptures which Timothy had known from a child:

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15;

were no doubt those writings now collected under the general name of the Old Testament.

Furthermore, the New Testament books are by their own statements put on an equal footing with them.

Thus we learn:

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:15, 16.

Paul writes to Corinthians:

If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14:37.

Moreover, be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour; 2 Peter 3:2.

Therefore, the words spoken by the prophets and the commandment of the Lord through the apostle are to have equal authority.

Thus all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God (God-breathed). Moreover, there can be no such thing as different degrees of inspiration.

Such a view destroys the authority of God’s Word and gives to people a Bible made by themselves.

Having been tried at the bar of their own reason, it contains only that authority which they have allowed.

Historical and prophetic books

Illustration-text-Bible verse on dark blue and grey background

They both are inspired. A prophet is one who speaks for God:

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said by the prophet Esaias. John 1:23.

For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: 

but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. Luke 7:28.

Besides, it makes no.difference whether one is dealing with the past or future.

This inspired history is full of comfort for us:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4.

These things happened to them, but are written for us:

Now all these things happened unto them for example: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Thus we have the lessons from their experiences rather than from similar ones of our own.

Moreover, Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets. Amos 3:7.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Prophecy covers the same ground as Scripture

Illustration-text-Bible verse on blue background-John 3 verse 34

What was called the Scripture was known under three general divisions.

And He (Jesus) said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the:

  • law of Moses
  • prophets
  • psalms

concerning me.

Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. Luke 24:44, 45.

Furthermore, those who wrote each division are designated as prophets.

Moses was a prophet: And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. Deuteronomy 34:10.

David was a prophet:

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.

Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. Acts 2:29, 30.

The same is true of all through whom God has spoken.

As He spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began. Luke 1:70.

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Acts 3:18.

As no person can be converted simply by one’s own will, so one who speaks for God cannot do so at will. 

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12, 13.

God’s instruments

Illustration-Bible text on blue background-Jeremiah 42 verse 4

People are the instruments. They must be moved by the Holy Ghost.

Sometimes the Holy Ghost is represented as speaking:

And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

Saying, Go unto these people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive. Acts 28:25, 26.

Nevertheless, someone is the mouthpiece. That this is so, and yet each writer preserves his individuality in a style of his own.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but how much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.

This appears in many phases and can always be understood by faith.

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14.

We need to shun everything that would encourage pride and self-sufficiency.

Christ alone is to be exalted.

Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5, 6.

Speaking to prophets

Illustration-Bible text on blue and grey background-Joshua 3 verse 9

God has promised to speak to prophets:

Hear now My Words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. Numbers 12:6.

that they might act as His spokesmen to the people:

But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Jeremiah 1:7.

They were to speak the words as His words:

Moreover He said unto me, son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.

And go, get thee to them of captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, 

Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. Ezekiel 3:10, 11.

The prophet was to be very careful not to change God’s message:

Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, 

all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word. Jeremiah 26:2.

Moreover, one was held responsible to God for the faithful proclamation of what had

been said to him:

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Ezekiel 33:7-9

Christ was also a prophet

Illustration-Bible text on dark blue and grey background-John 8 verse 47

And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. Luke 24:19.

God had promised to speak through Him:

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; 

and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him. Deuteronomy 18:18.

God did speak through Jesus:

For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, 

and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. John 17:8.

It was necessary that the prophets should study their own writings in order to know what had been revealed through them.

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:10, 11.

Keep on learning:


  1. Lessons on the Word – 1892
  2. COL 160 – The Ellen G. White Estate
  3. King James Bible Version

Find out more

Illustration-background-text-Articles Categories-button Illustration-background-text-Tools And Resources-button Illustration-background-text-Inspired Lifesavers-button

Receive new content


Read our Privacy Policy