A Simple Faith
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him, Proverbs 30:5.
In 36 years of salvation I have only read one commentary. That is misleading however. For four years prior to my salvation, I read them a lot. I am not proud of this, but my carnal nature has more tidbits from commentaries in it than a camel has fleas. Those tidbits are devilish little pests. They alternate between misleading me, or sometimes even worse, they tell me just enough truth that I don't feel it necessary to dig into the word of God to prove or disprove what was said. How I sorrow for my brethren who have gorged themselves on the commentaries through the years!
In the spring of 1980, I met Pastor Billy D. Randall. Eventually, he would realize that I was just a lost preacher boy, street preaching, running the Romans Road routine on everyone I could, filling pulpits. and parroting Dr. Ruckman. Bill Randall was patient enough to let me see for myself that I had no faith. Like so many men who I have met in the ministry, I was filling myself with every evidence that I could of sound biblical thinking to convince myself and others that I was saved. By the grace of God, in January of 1982, I was brought to biblical repentance and made secure in Christ Jesus.
What attracted me to Bill Randall was his depth of knowledge in the word of God. In my four years of wallowing in the writings of men, I had never come across anyone who knew the word of God like he did. My Peter Ruckman library was almost as complete as it could be at that time. I had spent my last year and a half in the military listening almost non-stop to his classroom cassette tapes on the major and minor books of the bible. Prior to discovering Peter Ruckman, I had devoured reformed writers such as AW Pink, or neo-evangelicals such as CS Lewis. Quite frankly, I had never even heard of someone who knew the bible as well as Billy Randall.
To this day, I have not met his equal. He has been dead for seven years now and left almost no written record of anything he taught. He was not a literate man in the sense that he was comfortable putting anything on paper. His legacy is best seen in the men he trained. To some extent, I hope that my writing can open people's eyes to the simple but profound truths of the word of God.
As I watched and listened to him, I often wondered what was the secret to the vast understanding that he had of scripture. In the mid 1960s, he had showed up to Dr. Sightler's school, Tabernacle in Greenville, SC functionally illiterate. He learned to read and write there. He listened as at that time, Dr. BB Caldwell and Dr. Oliver Greene took opposite sides over the issue of Calvinism. Bill Randall tried hard to keep up with the emotional debates that went back and forth among the students.
To put it mildly, Bill Randall was a pugilist. It didn't take long before the staff at Tabernacle wanted him gone. He sought with all his heart to understand the debates, and in his own biker, street fighter mentality, tried to plunge into the fray. Eventually, Dr. Sightler demanded that he apologize for remarks that he had made, and when he would not, he shepherded him out the back door. Brother Randall told me at that point he walked out into the woods, placed his bible on the ground, placed his hand upon the bible and swore to the Lord that if he would teach him that bible like no man on earth knew that bible, he would use it for God' honor and glory.
I met him 15 years later and was truly astounded at the depth of knowledge and bible understanding that a simple country preacher on a rural road in South Carolina had. One day, as I sat in the back seat while Pastor Randall talked with a preacher friend, I couldn't contain myself. I asked him, "Do you know anyone who knows the bible as well as you do?" He ignored that. I asked him again. Again, he ignored me, but I could see that he was grieved. Being a fool, I asked him again, "Do you know anyone who knows the bible as well as you do?" He pulled the car over to the side of the road. He turned around from his seat, looked squarely at me and said, "I don't know anyone who believes it like I do."
Frankly, that was his secret. I want my readers to imagine for a moment that they could read Greek and Hebrew perfectly and were able to reason and think in either language. Imagine further, that by some incredible work of God, they had the exact original manuscripts of every book of the bible bound together in one volume. Would you be able to trust every word? Would it mean a lot to you if one time a word was capitalized and the next time it wasn't. Would it mean a lot to you if in one place a word was singular, and the next time it was plural? Would you trust every little nuance of tense? Imagine having perfect understanding of the languages, and having a perfect bible.
Billy Randall had that in English. For almost every word in a King James Bible, he had spent countless hours comparing every usage of that word until he knew exactly what the translators meant when they wrote it. He would fast for days at a time and taunt the Lord as he grew weaker. "Do you really want to see me waste away here?" "Just show me why you wrote this the way you did." It never occurred to him that the translators might have got it wrong. It never occurred to him that Greek or Hebrew might enlighten him.
My friends, this is what I offer to you in this blog. I have often told my friends, "I can add nothing to you. My job is to cut chains off of you." The doubts that you have over even the smallest aspects of the Pure Cambridge Text of the King James Bible are chains that bind you. If you can look at two texts of the King James Bible and see that one capitalizes a letter and the other doesn't, and that doesn't bother you, you have chains on you. If there are aspects of this issue that you don't understand, perhaps I can help you. Please keep reading or send a question. Maybe I'll have an answer.