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Why Words Are So Powerful

by Tom Brown

You may think that the teaching about the power of words sounds superstitious. Many people think like this when they first hear about the power of words. They think that anyone who believes this is superstitious. If that's the case, then the Bible was written by superstitious people. It is the Bible which declares that people receive what they say. This teaching is not about superstition, but about spiritual reality.


            I'm one of those kinds of people who love to reason things out. I want to know why something is true. I'm not satisfied to simply believe that it's true. I want to know why it's true.


            Some are content to know that God said it, and that's good enough for them. God said that life and death are in the power of the tongue, yet I wanted to know why the tongue is so powerful.


            So I asked God, "Lord, I know that you know everything. You know how everything works, so I'm asking you to explain why words are so powerful." God answered. He showed me why words are so powerful. He revealed this to me by taking me back to the beginning.




              Then God said, "Let us make man in OUR IMAGE, in OUR LIKENESS, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in HIS OWN IMAGE, in the IMAGE OF GOD he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).


Who is God speaking to when He said, "Let US"? The pronoun "us" is plural. This implies that there is more to God than "one." Yet the Bible says that there is only "one" God. So how could God refer to Himself as "Us?"


            The answer is simple. The Trinity is talking. The Father and Son and Holy Spirit—in choir-like voices—sing, "Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness." The entire Trinity was involved in creation, especially in the creation of mankind. This makes Their statement about the creation of mankind extremely important.


            And what did the Trinity say regarding the creation of mankind? They said, "Let Us make man in Our image and Our likeness." God made man in His image and likeness by breathing into him the breath of life. “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being [spirit]” (Genesis 2:7, brackets added). Our bodies are made of the same stuff that the animal bodies are made of, but we are also different than the animals because God personally breathed His own life into us, thereby, making us into His image.


            People erroneously think that man is created out of dust, but this is not true. To create something is to make something out of nothing; however man's body is formed from dust. To form something implies taking something that already exists and then gradually shaping it into something, much like a potter does to a lump of clay. Dust already existed. Man's body is from something that already existed. Our bodies come from the same stuff of the animals—dust.


            Unfortunately, this is the only thing scientists study. They simply study what can be seen, like our bodies. They also study the animals and discover that we are not too different than the animals. Some scientist even calls us animals—just highly evolved species. They arrive at their conclusion by physical evidence only.


            Now, the Bible tells us something else about mankind. It does say that the body is made from the same stuff of the animals, but it also says that mankind has something else that the animals do not have—and that is a spirit. Man's spirit is the creation of God. Creation is to take something that does not exist and cause it to exist. Mankind is created from God's breath—His Spirit. That took place instantly. Man's body was formed first, afterward his spirit was created.


            God did not create the body; instead he formed it. He created the human spirit, though. So creation is not the body, but the human spirit. Man was made in God's image the moment God breathed into him His own life and nature. Man is like God!




            You might say to me, "Tom, what does all this have to do with the power of words?" The moment that God breathed into man His own life, the man was able to speak. Intelligent communication is what separates us from the animals and it is also what unites us to God.


            If you look at the story in Genesis, you will notice that the first job which God gave man was to name the animals. To name the animals requires speech. Man's first job was to talk. We have the ability to speak because we have a spirit. Actually, man is a spirit. The human spirit is what enables us to speak. It is not the shape of the jaw or any other natural phenomenon that makes us talk. It is our spirit that gives us the power to speak.


            The reason our words are so powerful is because our words are spiritual forces. They are not simply sound waves. Sound waves are not powerful. Spirit is powerful. Jesus said, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). Words are spirit, and that is what makes them powerful.


            Jesus said, "God is spirit" (John 4:24). Since man is in the image of God, this means that man is a spirit. Man can act like God, because he, too, is a spirit. How does God act? Look at how God created the universe. He created everything with words. In Genesis chapter one and verses 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24, and 26 we find the same phrase used over and over again:


            "And God said!"


            "And God said!"


            "And God said!"


and so on. God created everything by speaking it into existence.


            It seems rather redundant for Moses, the author of Genesis, to keep saying, "And God said," before every aspect of creation. If Moses would have had to send the book of Genesis to an editor, the editor would have changed the wording to, "And God said, Let there be light, sky, land, water, plants, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals and man." The editor would have condensed the creation account, but by doing that, he would have ruined the impact which God intended to make.


            By repetition God was emphasizing how He made everything, not simply that He did make everything. How He made everything is very important. How did God make everything? By Words! The Hebrew writer emphasizes this point: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). We see from this scripture that words—God’s words—created the entire universe. God said it, and it came to be. This planet is here because of God's Word. The sun is here because of God's Word. The moon is here because of God's Word. The stars are here because of God's Word. He spoke the entire universe into being!


            Since God is able to create things by words, we can create things by words, because we are in His image. This is how God intended it to be.


            Now you understand why Solomon said in the Book of Proverbs, "Man if filled with good things by the fruit of his tongue. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Man will live by the fruit of his mouth!"


            God creates by words, so man creates by words.




You can now understand the significance of the story of the tower of Babel. You probably have been taught this story in Sunday School or Catechism, yet you may never have really understood the importance of this story. The story of Babel begins by revealing that the whole world spoke the same thing.


“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech” (Genesis 11:1).And what did the whole world declare? “They said to each other, "Come, LET US make bricks...Come, LET US build ourselves a city" (Genesis 11:3-4).


They used the same phrase that God used to create the mankind: "Let us!" That's exactly the phrase God used when He created mankind. The people of Babel were imitating God. And God believed that their words had the power to come to pass. Listen to what God said: “The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then NOTHING THEY PLAN TO DO WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM" (Genesis 11:6).


God knows the power of words. He declared that "nothing was impossible for them" because they were speaking in unity. Jesus said, "Nothing is impossible for him who believes." This is true even for people who did not consider God. Even the words of sinners are powerful. How much more powerful should our words be as saints of God!?


            The real power of the people of Babel lay in their words. Their words created within them the power, wisdom and organization necessary to build a city. Without their words, they were powerless. This is why God confused their languages. Without a common language, God knew that they would never have the power to complete their goal. God confused their language by His own Word. “Come, LET US go down and confuse their language” (Genesis 11:7). God used the same phrase that the people copied from Him: "Let Us." God's Word is ultimately much more powerful than the words of people. God's words overruled their words.




            Man's words can produce much power, such as the story of Babel proves; however, this story also illustrates that man's words have lost some of the original power that they once had before the Fall.


            Before Adam sinned, whatever name he gave to every living creature that was its name. That's perfected power. "And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name" (Genesis 2:19). Whatever he said to each creature was so. His words to the animals never failed to produce. His words stuck to every animal. Everything Adam ever said came to pass. The reason for this was because his spirit was completely alive.


            However, when Adam sinned, he died spiritually. His spirit was no longer alive. Consequently, his words lost the original power they had, because words come from the human spirit. Since Adam was dead spiritually, he would now produce thorns and thistles, instead of perfect fruit.


            What part of the body ate the forbidden fruit? The mouth. This is important, because the forbidden fruit poisoned Adam's tongue when he ate it. His tongue was no longer going to speak life and blessings. He was now going to curse; and, as a result, he would reap the curses of his mouth. However, if he would have eaten of the tree of life, his words would have brought him blessings forever.


            This is what Solomon meant in Proverbs 15:4, "The tongue that brings healing is a TREE OF LIFE." The tree of life was the other tree in the Garden of Eden. Solomon shows that this tree of life heals the tongue and causes the tongue only to bring health—not sickness, not death, not curses.


            The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, sickens the tongue. It causes the tongue to speak both good and evil. This is why people can use the tongue for good and evil; it has to do with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


            We are called upon to eat of the tree of life. Jesus is the tree of life. When we receive Jesus, we get saved and our spirits become alive. So our words become even more powerful.


            As a sinner your words were somewhat powerful, but now as a recreated child of God, your words become ultra powerful.





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