X RAYS OF THE BIBLE
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful , and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” When Paul says the Word of God is living, he means it is vital, and has vitalizing power, or the power to communicate life. Professor Roentgen(Renken), of the of the Royal Univesity of Wurtsburg,, working in his laboratory, discovered something he had never detected before; something penetrating, powerful, piercing through what was supposed to be impenetrable, and revealing, bringing to light and sight what before was supposed to be invisible, penetrating flesh, bone, wood and metal! This something he called rays. If he gave them the correct name, then they m ust have come from some radiant source that had the power to produce and send them out! And they have been pouring out, unwasting, from that original creative source ever since the first radiant beam broke from this fountain, to penetrate ithe created, material world! They have been operative, with all this mysterious might, through the historical and pre-historical ages of time! And near the close of the nineteenth century, Professor Renken discovered this fact; he made nothing new nor put in action anything before inactive, he only uncovered a fact, something active, and made possible its direction, application and utility. For this he has been made famous, honored and ennobled. This is certainty not improper, but if he has discovered a fact, a beneficent power, let us, at least, acknowledge and honor God, the Originators as much as the discoverer!
Now, let us claim the utmost that is claimed for this mysterious force, yet is there not, proceeding from Divine Truth, a force analagous to, yet far superior to this? The Bible itself may represent only the vacuum tube, but the mysterious, revealing force that streams from it are rays of Divine radiancy and power that has only been discovered by men; they had nothing to do with bringing its force its force into being or activity. They only discovered a fact, that from and through this Book there comes a penetrating, revealing power that issues from no other or nor all books united on earth; that through the truth it contains come to every mind and soul that exposed to it an influence and energy more incomprehensive, mighty and resistless than comes from any other known source among men! And this vitality and energy was brought into being or activity by discovery, but had an original eternal existence flowing out through all unmeasured ages from the shining fountain of Divine light and life. But it did not penetrate and illumine human souls until it was gathered and concentrated in the truth of this Book , and souls were exposed to it, as objects are to Renken rays from a vacuum tube. We have discovered that the mysterious, matchless power comes from the eternal spirit of. our redeeming Lord , and has poured from Him through all past eternities, and reaches and operates through His revealed Word!
Second, Professor Renken called his discovery X-Rays. I suppose because X is the Unknown, in an algebraic problem, and its value cannot be known until the problem is wrought out and answered. These, Renken says, cannot be known by any of the bodily senses, eye, ear or touch, invisible, inaudible, intangible, their presence and power can be known only by results. So the X-rays of this book, you cannot know their presence and power by merely looking on the book, or touching the book, or hearing its contents. Many have denied its inner power, because by their senses and reason, by their science and philosophy, they could not discover and prove it, but like these rays, it can be known only by its effects.. When this Divine power has passed through this this truth into dthe soul, and produced this new light and life and shown the image, divine and human, never seen befdore, there remains no mo re doubt of this wondrous and joyous force , and its results. But the full effect of the unknown, immeasurable power cannot be seen until he problem is rightly wrought out and answered.. Then will appear a work of perfection, grandeur, wonder and glory, such as earth, nor heaven, has ever seen before! The Bible says, “We shall be like Him.” I shall be satisfied when I awake with your likeness. Some claim that the Renken rays are material substances streaming through intervening material substances and revealing material substances in or under them. I do not know that this was Herr Renken's opinion. It may be true, as they only come from matter, operate on matter and reveal matter, but we know the X rays of the Bible are not material. They pour forth from the eternal Spirit of life, light, and power. They penetrate the soul which is not matter, and reveal what is in th e soul which is not material. These rays or powers of this Book are spiritual t and operate upon spirit and reveal spiritual things. It is claimed for the Renken rays that they will penetrate the hardest substances, wood, metal, flesh and even bone, and reveal substances that are placed under or within flesh and bone; that they can pass through the skull and show the brain within. They may prove some persons to have brains that were never blamed for it before. It is expected their use will bring great relief to human misery and peril, in the hands of the prudent and skillful physician and surgeon.. And we sincerely hope it will effect more than all that has ever been claimed for this new and remarkable. discovery. Yet we claim for the X-rays of the Bible superior power and benefit in penetrating and binging relief to human misery and peril. Take the soul, cold and hard as iron, which the prophets describe as stone and adamant, and set before them this Bible tube; let the Divine rays flow on them, and they will pass through and through on them, unobstructed and unwasted. It has been tried with the petrified hearts of drunkards, iron-hearted tyrant, the most fiendishly cruel and stony-hearted heathen, and it not only penetrated them but melted them , as fire does the iron, and most wonderful of all, changed them into heats of flesh.. “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” said God. Such persons have become gentle, just, kind and tender. This brought more happiness to humanity, relieved more misery and peril than all substances physician or surgeion ever discover and remove from human odies. What is the suffering and peril of human bodies compared to that of the immortal soul?. The power and capacity of the soul for happiness or misery compared to the body , is like measuring the measureless eternity to a date in time. The Renken rays may penetrate the the cranium and look on the brain, but it isnot claimed that it can read the thoughts of that brain or the emotions and intents of the heart. It stops at what is matter and flesh and can reach nothing deeper. But the rays that pass through the Bible can, as my text says, “pierce even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” From these the man can see the difference, the dividing line between mere intellectual power and action, and spiritual, the difference between mere mental culture, the operation and results of human wisdom and training, and the culture, wisdom and training of the Divine Spirit, the power, influence and results of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The difference between genius and grace; the source of the life, the power of the life, the aim and end of the life of the one so different from the other. The enduring beauty and glory of the one so far above the other! No other rays have the power of rightly dividing soul and spirit, and revealing the life that rises so joyously and immortally above the animal, physical and intellefctual life. The rays that come through this Divine Book can reveal “the thoughts and intents of the heart.” If any person would know what the thought of his heart s towards God and man, right and wrong, let him put himself under the direct rays of Divine truth and can soon discern clearly their character. These rays will pierce through all sophistry, hypocrisy, apologies, and evasions, and he can read easily the sincerity or insincerity, the right and wrong of his thoughts.
Saul flattered himseif he was righteous, until bef2re the gates of Damascus he stood beneath these rays; then he exclaimed, “I am carnal, sold under sin; 0 wretched man that I am !“ Job had thoughts that were pleasing as to his perfection, and God approved his sincerity and uprightness; but when the searchlight of these rays fell into his soul, he exclaimed: “If I wash my hands in snow water, and make them never so clean, yet “You will plunge me in the ditch, and my own clothes would abhor me.” David had perhaps heard it said he was a man after God's own heart, but under the focus of these rays he exclaimed: “I was conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity; create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me!” In the same position, Isaiah exclaimed: “Woe is me. I am unclean!” There are no such rays as these that search in every nook and corner of the soul, make all darkness light, and all hidden things visible. No niind-reader like this; here no mistakes are made, but the most secret thoughts of the heart . If you would test the thoughts of your fellow-men, get yourself and them into the focus of these Divine rays; and they will shine through and through the soul, and you can read the character, in heart thoughts, of God and men, law an justice, purity and impurity, and you can say this is the truth of this person–a correct spiritual photograph that cannot be mistaken. Let the business man employer and...emp1oyee, politician and ruler , rich and poor, put them themselves in these Divine rays, and they may soon know what are the intents, the purposes of their hearts, whether to do right or wrong, to do justice or injustice, purposes of mercy or wrath, humanity or inhumanity, robbery or righteousness! And no screen they may put between can resist their penetrating power. They can shine through a mountain pile of the merchant's goods, through all the evasions, lies, subterfuges and iron-clad policy of partisan or statesman, through all the gold-bags, bonds and mortgages of magnates and millionaires, and all the obscurity and cunning of servant or employee! When we wish to test the hearts of our fellow-men,we try to put them under the searchlight of these Divine rays and judge their purposes by this revelation, and when these show the wrong that in their purposes , we decide this must be removed before they can be healthy and trusted. “All things are naked and opened” before the brightness of this radiance.
There is one other analogy I wish to notice. It is said the Renken rays show any foreign and hurtful substance inside hand, foot, head or body, and guide the hand of physician or surgeon to remove it. So these Bible rays show the foreign and hurtful in the heart and soul , sinful thoughts and feelings , evil intents and purposes , and these must be removed for the soul's health and life; and these Bible rays guide the skillful, gracious hand of the Divine Physician and Surgeon to remove these and bring rest, health, life; and happiness to the soul that shall never fail it! Let us rightly recognize honor, and, if you please, ennoble the scientific discoverer, but let us not forget or refuse to honor God, the author of beneficent facts discovered, more than the discoverer. And let us. In conclusion has the gracious rays and powerful influences of the Bible pierced you to the very dephths your soul and spirit? Has it penetrated your inner man as no word from man has ever penetrated your inmost thoughts. Has it exposed the inner working of your mind, so as to bring you face to face with the truth? Has it shown you to be true or false to yourself and God.? Has it brought you face to face with Christ and the claims of Christ on your soul? You may be able to avoid the use and work of Renken's rays, but the rays of the Bible in this land you cannot escape. They fill the whole atmosphere and horizon to give judgment for or against you. If by faith, repentance and baptism you stand before the Divine X ray tube of the Bible and let its rays fall on your soul, you will be able to see life, God and glory. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Some day God will place every human being in front of the Bible, the Divine X Ray machine, and it will produce a perfect photograph of the character of their soul and spirit which will determine our fitness to live with God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit forever.*
*This message is a reproduction of a sermon by an unknown author of many yesteryears ago.