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Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone

Man Shall Not live By Bread Alone

Man’s basic spiritual problem is not believing the
integrity of the Word of God. Very few people believe
that the Word of God is accurate, that it means
what it says and that it says what it means. Thus man
is in a constant dilemma in his quest for truth; he has
no touchstone for truth because he will not go to The
Word and study its integrity and accuracy.

In Matthew 4:4 the Word of God declares,

...It is written, Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of
the mouth of God.

Notice the words “out of the mouth of God.”
God has been attributed a human characteristic, but
God does not have a mouth. Again the figure of
speech is condescensio, the Holy Spirit’s marking
for emphasis.

Man cannot sustain himself solely on a diet of
physical food; he needs his food supplemented by
every word that comes from God. Man cannot live
by words that come from men, from different wri-
ters, from different theologians or from different
church groups, but by words that come from God.

Man does need physical food for the maintenance
of his physical body. But a man has more
than just his physical body to care for. A man’s soul
needs nourishment also. Man’s soul cannot be
sustained by mashed potatoes, gravy and steak.
Matthew 4:4 declares that man shall live not only
by bread “but by every word....” He needs not just a
word here and a word there; not one verse here and
another verse there; “but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The Word of
God is that food required by man so that he may
renew his mind and thereby manifest the more
abundant life.

Spiritual weakness and spiritual inability can be
due only to an improper diet, that is, the neglect of
the Word of God. For the most part, spiritual
anemia caused by the neglect of the Word of God
may today be attributed to the fact that the Bible is
not understood when read. The Bible is not
understood because we have never been taught how
to understand it. Who has taught us figures of
speech? Who has taught us what revelation is? Who
has shown us the accuracy of The Word? That is
why we have stories about the dust-covered Bible.
One cannot really blame people for this. The blame
should lay with those of us who have been
preachers and teachers because we have not
communicated The Word to today’s man.

But what about the people whose Bibles are not
dust covered and neglected, and yet they are still
spiritually weak? Their spiritual malady must be
caused by wrong usage of God’s Word. The improper
usage means that the Word of God is not
being rightly divided. Some of us have been
instructed to read the Bible at least once a day; but
when we are through reading our daily Scripture,
what do we know? We have not learned anything
because we have not understood it. What happens
when people fail to understand The Word? They
succumb to all the doctrines and theories of man.
These spiritually-hungry people are blown around
from pillar to post with each new philosopher or
new idea. The fleeting shadows of a few great
names rather than the Word of God hold people
spellbound. Far too many people believe what they
have received from man and then endeavor to have
their beliefs corroborated by going to the Bible and
selecting Scriptures to substantiate their ideas.

A woman once wrote to me regarding one of our
broadcasts. She had appreciated my preaching
because it agreed with what she thought Suppose
the teaching had been The Word and that it had
disagreed with what she thought. Would her beliefs
have changed the Word of God? Whether or not we
believe, it is still God’s Word.

Several years ago I was teaching a class in a
Southern state. After the second session a man
came to me and said, “I think that this is the most
logical Biblical teaching I have ever heard, but,” he
said, “it is upsetting me because I have always held
other opinions and I do not want to change my
mind. You are confusing me.” This gentleman did
not finish the class because he already had his mind
closed. That was his privilege, but God’s Word is
still Truth whether or not we believe it.

When two parts of hydrogen and one part of
oxygen are sparked together, water is going to
result. I do not care whether you pray or do not
pray, whether you are Christian or non-Christian,
whether you believe or you do not believe; it does
not make any difference because the law is that two
parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen is water.
God’s Word is as infallible as that. This is why we
should honestly come to the point that we allow the
Word of God to take pre-eminence in our lives no
matter what ideas, no matter what theories, no
matter what opinions we may have held. We must
come to The Word, let The Word speak, and then
adjust our thinking according to the integrity and
the accuracy of The Word. After we have let The
Word speak, we must accordingly harmonize our
beliefs, our actions and our living.

II Peter 1:3 says about The Word,
According as his [God’s] divine power hath
given unto us all things that pertain unto life
and godliness, through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue.

God by His divine power has given unto us all
things that pertain unto life and godliness. If we
want the things that pertain to life and godliness, we
have to go to God’s Word. If one plays football, he
must go by the rules of the game of football. So
logically, if we want to know God’s will, where do
we go? To the commentary, to the theologians, to
the encyclopedia, or to last Sunday’s sermon? No.
We go to the Word of God.

I Thessalonians 2:13:
For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when ye received the word of
God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as
the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word
of God, which effectually worketh also in you
that believe.

They received the Word of God which they
heard of Paul. People could have said, “That is just
Paul talking,” but they did not. Paul says that the
Thessalonians “received the Word of God which ye
have heard of us...not as the word of men, but as it
is in truth, the word of God, which effectually
worketh also in you that believe.”

The Word declares of itself in Psalms 12:6,

The words of the Lord are pure words: as
silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven

If the Bible has the words of the Lord then these
words must be undefiled and absolutely pure. They
are “ silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified
seven times.”

Psalms 119:162:
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great

Do you rejoice at The Word as one who finds
great spoil? Would you rejoice at The Word as
much as you would if you found a thousand

I Corinthians contains another testimony from
the Word of God regarding the integrity of God’s

I Corinthians 2:13:
Which things also we speak, not in the words
which man’s wisdom teacheth, but [words]
which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing
spiritual things with spiritual.

If these are words which the Holy Spirit teaches,
then we ought to wash out our ears, get the cobwebs
out of our minds, and begin to study The Word for
its inherent accuracy.

Jeremiah 15:16:
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and
thy word [The Word, not what people said
about it, not what some theologian wrote about
it] was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine

This does not mean that they found the Bible or
The Word and chewed it or physically ate it. When
The Word was found, they digested it; they lived on
it; it was their life, their heartbeat.

The Word is almost unbelievable because it is so
true. Too many ministers like to talk around The
Word by taking one verse of Scripture, reading that
verse as the text for the day, giving illustrations
from Shakespeare and Newsweek, coming back and
quoting the verse of Scripture, pronouncing the
benediction and going home. How much of The
Word then has the congregation learned? None!
When the people ate The Word as recorded in
Jeremiah, they ate the pure Word. We must preach
the pure Word.

All God’s creation is marvelous; but of all God’s
works, the greatest of His works is His Word.

Psalms 138:2:
...for thou has magnified thy word above all thy

God has magnified His Word above His Name. It
does not say that about the stars or the planets. He
set His Word above His name for He underwrote it;
He put His name underneath it, He guaranteed it. It
is just like a check. When I write a check for a
thousand dollars, I put my name underneath it. The
check is only as good as the signature. How good is
The Word? The Word of God declares that it is as
good as God for God signed His Name to it. The
Word is as much God as God is God. What God
said was, was; what God has said is, is; what God
says will be, will be. Do you see why we must
come back to the integrity and accuracy of God’s
wonderful Word? We cannot trust man’s word
because man blows about being here today and
gone tomorrow; but the Word of God “liveth and
abideth for ever.” That Word endures.