"Inscribed in the Book of Truth"
by Tim Haile
December 31, 2000
In our modern times of magnetic media and digital communication, we seldom find a use for the word "inscribe." However, there was a time when this word carried a great deal of force. Whereas writing is generally done on the surface of the material, inscriptions generally reach beyond the surface and are actually etched into the writing material. These inscriptions are usually carved into a durable substance such as stone, wood or metal, which allows them to withstand erosive and destructive forces. Inscriptions often suggest that the author felt very strongly about his thoughts and that he intended for them to be permanently expressed. Genesis 4:15 tells us that God put some kind of permanent mark upon Cain so that people would always be able to easily recognize him. This was probably some type of "tattoo." Tattoos are indelibly made, by puncturing the skin with needles and inserting pigment. Under the Law of Moses the practice of tattooing was forbidden. Leviticus 19:28 says, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD" (NIV). However, tattoos are quite common today. And even with their popularity, because of the difficulty of their removal, most people have skin engravings made only after careful consideration has been given to the content. Many of these tattooers have painfully regretted their former lack of wisdom and foresight!
After announcing His intentions to fight against the princes of Persia and Greece, the Lord told the prophet Daniel:
"But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince" (Dan. 10:21)(RSV).
Instead of "inscribed," some translations use the word "noted" and others have "written." These translations are acceptable in stating the fact of the writing, but they fall short of emphasizing the permanent, unchangeable and binding nature of that writing. The force of this Hebrew word (ketah) is especially seen where the word is used as a verb (katah). For example, Exodus 31:18 says, "When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God." God "inscribed" or engraved the words of the Ten Commandments into the two tablets of stone. The Jewish people would later honor God by somewhat imitating His actions. After crossing the Jordan River, the Jewish people were told to set up "great stones, and plaster them with plaster: and write upon them all the words of this law..." (Deut 27:2-3). Some believe these words were to be etched into the plaster.
God's Unchangeable Word
David wrote, "Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in Heaven" (Ps. 119:89). Jesus tells us that "heaven and earth shall pass away" and Peter adds that this "passing away" will occur "with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (Matt. 24:35; 2 Pet. 3:10). Both spoke of the disintegration of the universe, and both contrasted that which is transient and changeable with that which is eternal and unchangeable. After telling us that heaven and earth shall pass away, Jesus said, "but my words shall not pass away." And after reminding us of the transitory nature of physical life, Peter said, "But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:24-25). God's word will remain standing even while this universe is melting. More than just being inscribed in stones and written in books, God's words are inscribed into eternity itself.
How is it then, that men so lightly regard it? So easily dismiss it? So often ignore it? It is because they do not respect it. Notice that when the Lord spoke to Daniel he said, "I will tell you what is inscribed in the Book of Truth" (Dan. 10:21). Is this what you tell people when they ask you religious questions? Do you limit your comments to things that are noted in the scripture of truth? I assure you that this is not the standard policy of the Denominationalists, Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. This is precisely why these last two groups "preach another Jesus" whom Paul never preached, and why they all preach "another gospel" that Paul never preached (2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:8-9). They have no loyalty to what is inscribed in the Book of Truth!
Those who "Chirp and Mutter"
In Isaiah's day, there were those who urged others to go to the mediums and wizards with their questions. These witches were described as those who "chirped and muttered." God asked what sense it made to seek the dead on behalf of the living! Can the living find out the future from the dead? Wouldn't it make more sense for a people to ask God about the future! Isaiah's answer was pertinent and concise. He said, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20). This passage has a New Testament counterpart in 1 Peter 4:11 - the basis of the restoration plea. Peter said, "Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." These utterances are not to be trifled with. Men and women will lose their souls to eternal misery for failing to honor God's words. It is sinful to modify God's word (Gal. 1:7-9). This is done by either supplementing or subtracting from those words (Rev. 22:18-19; Deut. 12:32). Let us staunchly refuse to run ahead of the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn. 9). Let us tell people only what is inscribed in the Book of Truth.
God's Word Inscribed on the Heart
To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" (2 Cor. 3:3). Through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord promised a "New Covenant" (Jer. 31:31-34). According to Hebrews chapters 8 and 9, this promise was fulfilled in the ratification of the New Testament. In one particular aspect of the promise God said, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer. 31:33). Thus, under the New Covenant, God's word would be inscribed in the hearts of His servants. These servants would in fact be characterized and distinguished by that indwelling and inscribed word (Col. 3:16). Just as God once, with His finger, inscribed words of truth onto physical tablets of stone, He now inscribes those words into the hearts and minds of His followers. This is accomplished by our giving diligence to that word, to study it and apply it (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:16). True disciples feed upon God's word (Jn. 6:53,63), and they continue in that word (Jn. 8:31).
God's word has been providentially preserved, being inscribed in rocks and books. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We have access to those scriptures in our reliable translations of the Bible. Through study, meditation and application of those scriptures, God's word becomes a part of us, being inscribed in our hearts and minds. Have you fully committed yourself to knowing these truths? "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Rev. 1:3).
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