Jesus prayed to the Father saying: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). In our day it is common to hear some insisting that Jesus is the only infallible Word of God. But if Jesus is the only infallible Word of God, then what did the word “Word” here mean to Jesus? Can the Father’s Word be truth and at the same time fallible? Some would respond saying that the Bible is not “the” Word of God – it only “contains” the Word of God. To them the Bible itself is a mixture of truth and error and it is the task of the theologian or even the individual reader to discern between that which is the true Word of God and the portions which are merely the words of fallible men.
This, however, is not the way in which the Scriptures were viewed by the Jews of Jesus’ time. This conviction was founded upon the Old Testament Scriptures themselves. For example, the Psalmist says: “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever” (Ps 119:160). Rather than Jesus diminishing this high view of Scripture held by the Jews of His time, He affirmed the declaration: “The entirety of Your word is truth,” by saying, “Your word is truth.” Furthermore, Jesus equated “the word of God” with “the Scriptures,” saying that they cannot be broken:
“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, 'I said, ‘You are gods’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)...” (John 10:34,35)
Here we see that the expression, “Word of God” is equivalent to the Scriptures themselves, and does not simply refer to certain words of God contained within the Scriptures. If any part of the original Scriptures could be demonstrated to be erroneous, then the Scripture could be broken, and His Word would not be truth. Jesus didn’t simply consider the Scriptures to be generally true and trustworthy but verbally and plenarily infallible and true, right down to the last jot and tittle of the Hebrew language (Matt 5:17-18). Jesus repeatedly said that the Scriptures must be fulfilled. Citing Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus said: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4). In saying this, Jesus makes it clear that every word of Scripture proceeds from the mouth of God, being inspired or “God-breathed” (cf. 2Tim 3:16, “all Scripture is God-breathed,” Gr. theopneustos).
In contrast to this clear declaration made by Jesus, Steve McVey, a prominent grace teacher says: “Jesus is the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.”  Likewise, Brian Zahnd, in answer to the question of whether or not he believed that the Word of God was inspired, said: “I do believe in the inspired, infallible, Word of God and His name is Jesus.”  My question to them would be, “how can you believe in the Jesus of the Bible and not receive His own testimony concerning the Scriptures as being the very words of God?”
While to many they may appear to be exalting Jesus, they are actually depreciating the Scriptures, creating a false tension between Christ the incarnate Word of God and the Scriptures, which they refer to as “the little w word of God.” McVey says:
“If you want to say the Bible is the word with a lower-case w, that it is a way that God speaks to us, I have full agreement with that.”  “Literally speaking, the Bible is not the Word of God – Jesus is.” 
The truth is that if God’s Word, the Scripture, proceeds from His mouth, then it is as inseparable from God as is Christ the incarnate Word Himself, and therefore also infallible. As the Early Church Father Irenaeus (130 – 202 AD) said in Against Heresies: “We should leave things of that nature (unrevealed mysteries) to God who created us, being most properly assured that the Scriptures are indeed perfect, since they were spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit…”  If they were spoken by the infallible living Word of God and His Spirit, then they must likewise be received as infallible and living. The only motivation behind such a denial of the supremacy of God’s written Word is to justify setting aside portions of Scripture which they cannot accommodate to cultural norms or their own unbiblical doctrines. To say that only Christ is the infallible authoritative Word of God is tantamount to a denial of Christ’s own testimony concerning the infallibility of the Scriptures. Strangely, Brian even goes so far as to say that Jesus had to save the Bible from itself. He says, “Jesus is the Savior of all that is to be saved…including the Bible. Jesus saves the Bible from itself!” 
In Hebrews, after quoting from Scripture fifteen times in rapid succession, the author characterizes the Scriptures in the following manner:
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb 4:12)
Historically, this reference to the Word of God in this context in Hebrews has been understood to be referring to the Scriptures. However, those unwilling to accept the entirety of Scripture as written, must present “the word” here as referring to Christ the incarnate Word rather than to the Scriptures as the Word, which to them is somehow inferior and independent of Christ Himself. However, while it is possible to argue that these characteristics could be descriptive of Christ - the Word, it is obviously referring specifically to the Bible - the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, whose words quickened by the Spirit reveal the thoughts and intentions of the heart and enable us to discern when we are acting in our soul rather than in our spirit (Eph 6:17).
Sadly, Steve McVey seems to show contempt for the Scriptures when commenting on Hebrews 4:12. He says: “The Bible is alive. Really? What part of it? Is it the leather? Is it the ink? Is it the paper?”  I say “sadly” because by his own confession he once had a high view of the Scriptures, but his journey has brought him to the place where he decided he could no longer accept what he perceives to be distorted perceptions of God as depicted in the Bible by its human authors. It is not my intention to demean McVey nor any of those I quote. I personally have greatly benefitted from some of his earlier books such as “Grace Walk” and “Helping Others Overcome Addictions.”
Perhaps no other individual has had as great of a worldwide influence promoting this shift away from Christ’s affirmation of Scripture as infallible and inerrant than Wm. Paul Young, the author of the international bestseller “The Shack.” I personally read the book several times, first by myself, then to my wife and later to my children. When we saw the movie “The Shack” we all cried because we identified so much with the story. However, the great popularity of the novel and movie “The Shack” has emboldened him to give open expression to his denial of the Scripture’s inerrancy. He quotes the words of the prominent Neo-Orthodox theologian Thomas F. Torrance when he said: “We came up with the idea of inerrancy because we needed another mediator between God and man other than Jesus.”  In response to this statement I would ask: “How can one even know with certainty that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man without believing that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God?” If we don’t believe in Christ’s own validation of Scripture as being infallible and inerrant, how can we know that it is reliable in its revelation concerning God, sin, redemption, the consummation or any other biblical theme, for that matter?
After denying the inerrancy of Scripture, Wm. Paul Young concludes: “So now you’ve got to trust the Holy Spirit to be your teacher and say, ‘Okay, what are we putting our certainty in, the nature of this God that we are in relationship with, or in this kind of certainty of hermeneutical extrapolation that is without encounter?”  So, apart from implying here that those who stand upon the Scriptures lack a personal relationship with God, he is saying that, since the Scriptures contain errors, we must learn to trust the Holy Spirit rather than relying upon the veracity of the Scriptures.
However, the Scriptures present no such tension between what the Bible says and what the Holy Spirit says. The Scriptures are repeatedly referred to by Jesus and the Apostles as being that which the Holy Spirit has spoken (Matt 22:43; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Heb 3:7). Although the Spirit spoke through the human authors, the words which were spoken and written down were given through the Holy Spirit. As Peter says: “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2Peter 1:21).
This full confidence in the Scriptures as the infallible, inerrant Word of God was almost universally held to by the Church up until the rise of Liberal Modernism when Higher Criticism of the biblical text set out to discredit the Bible in the early 19th Century. Just a couple of quotes from the Early Church Fathers demonstrates their full confidence that the words of Scripture were inseparable from the Holy Spirit Himself and therefore inerrant. Clement of Rome (35 – 99 AD) said: “Look carefully into the Scriptures which are the true utterances of the Holy Spirit.” In like manner Gregory of Nyssa, (330 – 394 AD) said: “Whatever the Divine Scripture says is the voice of the Holy Spirit.” Is it possible that the voice of the Holy Spirit should utter erroneous falsehoods, as modern Progressives and Liberals seek to attribute to portions of the Holy Scriptures? Lastly, Origen (184 – 254 AD) referred to the Scriptures as the writings of the Holy Spirit, saying, “We cannot say of the writings of the Holy Spirit that anything in them is useless or superfluous, even if they seem to some obscure.” (For a more extensive list of quotes from the Fathers, see my blog: Biblical Inerrancy throughout Church History.
I believe that this widespread departure from the full confidence in the Scriptures as the very Word of God which is occurring in our day, is that which was revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit. He said to Timothy:
“preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” (2Tim 4:2-4 ASV)
It should be pointed out that Paul never refers to Christ as the Word, as does the Apostle John. Whenever Paul speaks of “the word” he is referring to the Scriptures. This is very clear in this context, since it involves teaching, reproof, rebukes and exhortations. Paul says that the time will come when men will no longer tolerate sound teaching from the Bible because the truth of God’s Word confronts their ungodly lifestyle. So, they will seek out teachers who affirm them in their lusts. They will turn away from the truth, preferring instead myths, fables and false doctrine which resonate with them just as they are, without feeling the need for true repentance. There couldn’t be a more apt description of what we are witnessing in our day.
Another detail revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit is even more descriptive of what we are now witnessing within Postmodern Christianity. He says the following:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1Tim 4:1)
I realize that another modern trend is Preterism which teaches that Christ already came at a 70 AD end of the age. If this were true, it would make this warning inapplicable to our present generation. I present my reasons for not embracing Preterism in my book entitled “Last Days – Past or Present?” Let’s just assume for the moment that we are now living in the last days and Christ’s return is in our near future. How descriptive of our own generation are Paul’s words here concerning the latter times? He says that many will depart from the faith. “The faith” is an expression which, in this context, refers to what Jude calls “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” This clearly has reference to what we now have contained in our Bible - that body of truth upon which we base all faith and doctrine. Just as Paul says that we should persist in the preaching of the Word, Jude likewise emphasizes the need for us to earnestly contend for it. He says:
“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4)
Jude speaks to the need to insist upon the sound teaching of the Word, since some in his time were departing from the faith, turning the grace of God into a license to live in sin and lewdness. This is even more necessary in our day.
Returning to that which was revealed to Paul concerning the latter days in 1Timothy 4:1, we see that many professing Christians will depart from the Word of God, listening instead to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. Many who despise the written Word of God in this generation are being led away from the faith once and for all delivered unto us by spirits under the guise of the Holy Spirit. This would have never been possible without first undermining their confidence in the Scriptures as the only infallible authoritative rule of faith and doctrine. The Apostle Paul is very clear as to the high view we must have of Scripture in order to avoid being led away from the faith. He said to Timothy:
“from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Tim 3:15-17)
Satan’s primary objective from the very beginning has been to cause us to doubt God’s Word. To this very day he poses the same question: “Did God really say?” What makes it much more subtle in our day than it was with Eve in the garden is that he is no longer using the serpent’s mouth to tempt us to doubt God’s Word. He has enlisted an entire army of theologians, pastors, prophets, authors and producers who use their great influence to cause us to doubt God’s Word and depart from the faith.
The deception is much more subtle in this Postmodern Age than it was in the previous Modern Age. The Liberal Modernists denied outright that God ever spoke through the Scriptures. They, like the Sadducees of old, also denied the reality of miracles, the existence of angels and the resurrection. They even denied the existence of Satan, the Deceiver. However, the emerging Postmodernists do not deny the supernatural. On the contrary, they often seek after it. They tell us that, although the Bible “contains” the word of God, it isn’t itself the Word of God, and therefore we need to shed the shackles of the written Word, allowing the Spirit to lead us. Since they do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, they cannot tell us that the Holy Spirit is one with His Word and therefore would never lead us contrary to His Word.
The Apostle John said: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1John 4:1) But if we abandon the Word of God as the absolute standard of truth, how can we test the spirits in order to determine whether it is the Holy Spirit leading us or some other spirit masquerading as Him in order to draw us away from the faith? The Holy Spirit is truth (1John 5:6), and Jesus likewise said that His Word is truth (John 17:17). The Spirit and the Word work together. We cannot afford to neglect the truth of God’s Word, saying that we are just going to trust the Spirit to lead us, because, unless we have the Word as a lamp for our path, we will easily fall prey to deceiving spirits who will lead us into doctrines of demons.
I would challenge those teachers who have come to depreciate the inspired Word of God to meditate upon Psalm 119. It is the longest chapter in the Bible and throughout the entire chapter he extols the virtues of God’s Word as being the very words of God, inseparable from Himself. The psalmist says:
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.” (Ps 119:9)
“Your word is very pure; therefore Your servant loves it.” (Ps 119:140)
“I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.” (Ps 119:162)
“I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” (Ps 119:14-16)
“My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” (Ps 119:148)
Does your heart resonate with the psalmist, or have you allowed seducing spirits to rob you of a treasure which the psalmist says is more precious than much fine gold and sweeter to the soul than honey? If you have lost your love for God’s Word, repent before God and ask Him to restore a passion for His Word as a priceless treasure in your heart. The Word of God has been given to us for correction and reproof in order to avoid the many pitfalls in life. David, a man after God’s own heart, said of God’s Word: “Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Ps 19:11).
The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul warns concerning the great falling away which will take place prior to and during the time of the manifestation of the “man of sin” or “the lawless one.” Only those who receive the love of the truth will escape the strong delusion coming upon the earth:
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess 2:9-12, cf. 2:3)
The deluding influence will be so subtle and pervasive that only those who receive the love of the truth will be saved from it. Jesus said that the deception will be so great that, if possible, it would deceive even the elect (Mark 13:22). This final deception will be reinforced with power, signs and wonders, in order to deceive all those who ignore the warnings given in the Word of God. Many, having bought into the lie that Nero was the lawless one, are not even aware that this deception could come upon us, thinking that the last days ended in 70 AD and we are now in the millennial new age. The undiscerning emphasis upon supernatural manifestations, combined with a neglect of God’s truth, has made the Church of this generation more vulnerable than any other to fall prey to the final supernatural deception leading up to the manifestation of the man of sin. The Spirit says to us through Paul:
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (1Thess 5:4-6)
Jesus said to His disciples: “What I say unto you I say unto all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37). It has been the will of God that every generation live in the expectation of His Second Coming, watching and taking heed to the signs and warnings given to us in the Holy Scriptures. But if we, the Church, ignore the Bible, considering it to be, at best, something peripheral and secondary in our lives, how are we going to discern the times we are living in, in order to avoid the deception which will come over the whole planet? (Rev 13:8). I believe that the words spoken by the Spirit through Paul in Romans 13:11 are specifically applicable to this generation of believers. He said, “it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” When the Lord comes to receive His Bride, may He not find us sleeping as others, but watchful and sober.
 Steve McVey: The Word of God is. Video 21:14
 2015 Word of Grace Annual Conference - Brian Zahnd - Session 1 video 11:47 min.
 Steve McVey: The Word of God is. Video 17:50
 Steve McVey: The Word of God is. Video 22:00
 Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1, Irenaeus Against Heresies, book 2, chapter 28 section 2.
 Zahnd, Brian. Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News (p. 57). The Crown Publishing Group.
 Steve McVey: The Word of God is. Video 24:00
 Q & A Session (FGC 2016) Video 27:00
 Q & A Session (FGC 2016) Video 28:43