Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 17, 1955
NUMBER 44, PAGE 8-10a

The Most Wonderful Book

Cecil B. Douthitt, Brownwood, Texas

I. It Is Wonderful In Its Source

The Bible originated in the mind of God. It cannot be intelligently assigned to any other source. When its theme, harmony, and perfection are considered with the same degree of reason by which men reach conclusions in other matters, we must attribute it to the wisdom of God.

Some years ago a mechanical contrivance known now as the ferris wheel was wanted on the fair grounds in San Francisco. This structure required 4300 tons of steel, and no single mill in all the country could prepare so much steel in the short time given. So contracts were made with many mills, throughout the country. Each of these mills went to work cutting, molding, and shaping certain pieces of given weight and dimensions. At last the products of these different mills were assembled in the place designated, and the ferris wheel was complete. There was not a single piece of steel left over, not a single piece lacking.

How could these mills, working in different sections of the country, each not knowing what the others were doing, thus prepare the exact number of pieces of steel of correct size and shape? There is only one rational explanation: The ferris wheel first existed in the mind of one man, and all these mills were merely working under the direction of that one mind.

The fifth and sixth chapters of First Kings contains an account of the building of Solomon's Temple. Timber of cedar, fir, and olivewood was prepared by the servants of Hiram in Lebanon. Men in the quarries hewed out and chiseled great stones, costly stones for the foundation of that house. All this timber of cedar, fir, and olivewood, and all these stones and metals of many shapes and sizes were brought to Mount Moriah. The carpenters assembled all this material, and that imposing structure, Solomon's Temple, stood out in all its magnificence; yet "there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."

How could these things be? How could all this material of stone and wood be so prepared by men working at different places that it could be assembled into such a wonderful building without the sound of any tool of iron? There is only one answer in the bounds of reason: This building first existed in the mind of one architect, and all this material was prepared and the building erected under the direction of that one mind.

This explanation of the origin of the ferris wheel and Solomon's Temple is accepted upon every hand as being plausible and reasonable.

The sixty-six books of the Bible were written during a period of approximately 1500 years. About forty persons were engaged in writing these books, representing almost every type of humanity. Among its writers are found Moses, the statesman, and Peter, the fisherman; David, the warrior, poet and musician, and Matthew, the publican; Amos, the shepherd, and Paul, the scholar; Solomon, the wise king, and Luke, the physician. These sixty-six books by these forty writers compose one volume called the Bible. It is one perfect whole, without a single contradiction, and with one principal theme running throughout it, Again the question arises: How could these men of different types and temperament so write these books as to make one harmonious volume to be admired by millions through the ages? There can be but one rational explanation: The Bible first existed in one mind — the mind of God — and these forty persons wrote as that supreme mind dictated to them. "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21.)

This wonderful book is a letter from God to us; and all men ought to consider it so. The facts recorded therein are facts written by Almighty God. The commandments of of the Bible are God's commandments. The promises are promises of God. It is perfect. Nothing can be added to it; nor can anything be taken therefrom. To esteem it more highly than the word of men, and to accept it as it is in truth the word of God, is to receive a divine approbation. Paul thanked God for such an attitude on the part of the Thessalonians toward God's word. He said (1 Thess. 2:13), "And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, even the word of God, ye accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe." Since God is its author, the Bible is final in all religious matters; and he who will not respect its precepts would not respect them if one should rise from the dead and restate them.

II. It Is Wonderful In Its Contents

The Bible contains truths unfathomed and unfathomable. Some of the world's greatest intellects were never able to reach to their depths, though years were spent in the study of them. Yet the truths that pertain to our duty are so simple that the mind of a little child can grasp them. There is, in this wonderful book, meat for the man in Christ, and milk for the babe.

Subjects of the most profound magnitude and of the gravest importance are discussed in the Bible.

In that one volume alone one can find a tangible and plausible account of man's origin. When we turn to some other source of information, we hear: "In the beginning one cell." And the origin of that one cell is as mysterious as the process of its evolution through the ages is ridiculous. Or we hear: "In the beginning chaos." But how that chaotic conditions came to be is shrouded in mystery and becomes the guesswork of faulty reason. But the Bible says, "In the beginning God." Beginning with the Almighty God as the Creator, the inspired account of creation is rational. Man's origin is one of the subjects of this wonderful book.

Sin with its terrible consequences is another subject of the Bible. No man knows what sin is, except as it is revealed in the Bible. An apostle said (Rom. 7:7), "I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." What seems right to man may not be right with God; what seems wrong and sinful to man may not be so considered by the Father of our spirits. Then for dependable information regarding this curse of humankind we must search the scriptures.

This most wonderful book reveals to us all we know about the means employed by our Creator in the redemption of man. We know nothing about the blood of Christ, the atonement, and the church that Jesus built, except as we learn of them from the Bible. These are Bible themes; they are wonderful.

We know not how to appropriate that Blood, except as stated in the Bible. The wisdom of man never could have discovered that the blood of Jesus Christ is applied to the sin stained souls of aliens, by faith, repentance, and baptism, if the Bible had not so revealed. For if the words of Christ, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved," and the words of Peter, "Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins," were not found in the contents of that most wonderful book, no man would know that faith, repentance and baptism are thus connected with the salvation of the soul. So the great question: What must I do to be saved or how is the blood of Christ applied in saving from sin? is answered in the Bible. All answers to this question are wrong in so far as they differ from the answer given in the Bible.

How to worship God acceptably is another subject of the Bible. This most wonderful book contains all the information we have as to what constitutes true and acceptable worship. And if we forsake it, and look elsewhere for an order of worship, we shall find nothing but a system compiled by the wisdom of men; and it would be impossible to prove that such a system is not as ignorant in the sight of God as the worship of the philosophers of Athens (Acts 17); as vain as that of the hypocrites (Matt. 15:7); and as far from the truth as that of the heathen who has never seen the Bible. All that is credible or authoritative on the subject of worship is found in the Bible. Therefore no commandment of man concerning the worship should have any more weight with us than the commandment of the Athenian philosophers, the hypocrites, or the heathen.

Without this wonderful book men are in total ignorance of the life beyond. The valley of death is covered by a shadow too dense for penetration by the human eye. Paul said (2 Tim. 1:10): "Our Savior Jesus Christ, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." The gospel, which is a part of the contents of the Bible, reveals all that is possible for man to know concerning that eternal home of the soul.

III. It Is Wonderful In Its Statement Of Facts

A prophecy of Ezekiel (Chapter 26) shows that the Bible is wonderful in its statement of facts. Because the city of Tyre had spoken against the city of Jerusalem God said of Tyre: "Behold, I am against thee, 0 Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up." He said He would (1) destroy the walls of Tyre, (2) break down her towers, (3) scrape her dust from her, (4) make her a bare rock for the spreading of nets, and (5) destroy her inhabitants. A few years after these statements were made, Nebuchadnezzar came from Babylon and made an attack upon Tyre. He destroyed the city and left it in ruins. But the inhabitants fled to an island for refuge, and there built another city, another Tyre. The people of Tyre might have thought, after Nebuchadnezzar's raid, that the word of God had failed, in part at least; for the people were not all killed as God had said, nor was the dust of that city cast into the sea, leaving the original site a bare rock for the spreading of fishermen's nets. But about 250 years after this, Alexander came from the east to make another attack upon this city. He came to the ruins of the city destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and looked upon the new city built on an island some distance from the mainland. Not having boats sufficient to move his men and munitions to the island, he commanded his men to build a road from the mainland to the island with the debris of the city destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. After all the material of the ancient city had been thrown into the sea, the levee still did not reach the island and the new city. Then Alexander commanded his men to scrape the dust from the site of the ancient city, and complete this road. This was done and old Tyre became a bare rock for the spreading of nets. Alexander then marched to the island, set his engines against the walls of the new city, pulled them down, and killed the inhabitants of Tyre. So the word of God was fulfilled to the letter.

After the destruction of Jericho, "Joshua charged them with an oath at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before Jehovah, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: with the loss of his first born shall he lay the foundation thereof, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." (Joshua 6:26.)

Five hundred and twenty-five years came and went. Some might have thought that since so many years had passed, the city could be rebuilt without the loss of two sons. But the Bible is wonderful in its statement of facts, and the word of God never fails. So the days of that wicked king Ahab came. "In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof with the loss of Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun." (1 Kings 16:34.) And so it is with all the statements of the Bible; things happened just as God has said.

IV. It Is Wonderful In Its Influence

Somewhere I remember reading of an atheist who visited the Fiji Islands, soon after the Bible had been introduced in that once heathen land. This atheist asked some of the natives why they had accepted that book. One of them replied: "Do you see that rock yonder?" The atheist answered that he did.

"Well," said the native. "That is where we beheaded such foreigners as you, before the Bible was introduced to us. And that kettle over yonder is where we boiled their flesh for our food. So it is better for you that we have accepted that book."

We live surrounded by Christian influences; we breathe an atmosphere saturated by Christianity. It is exceedingly difficult to imagine what the state of affairs would be if it were not for the word of God which is the seed of the kingdom of heaven — the seed of Christianity. Without this most wonderful book the debasing effects of polygamy would soon supplant the enjoyment of domestic purity; the blighting power of slavery would take the place of political and religious liberty; mental stagnation would arrest all scientific progress, and back to the gloom of barbarism the human family would inevitably drift.

A casual survey of the history of nations will be sufficient to convince any unprejudiced mind of the educational value of the Bible. There is not an educated, aggressive, prosperous nation on earth where the Bible is a closed or forbidden book to the masses of the people. Ignorance, poverty, degradation, superstition, and crime prevail in those countries where it has been taken out of the hands of the masses. In this country, with an open Bible, the poorest child need not be ignorant of the existence of other countries and other civilizations and of a great past stretching back to the oldest nations of the world. From no other book can a child gather so much information, and be so much humanized and spiritualized and made to feel that he is a part of the great system of Jehovah stretching from the beginning to the unexplored future.