The Dead Letter 


This is a warning to the beloved bride of Christ. I’ve recently heard this phrase that reminded me what righteous indignation feels like. Perhaps you’ve heard it?
“You look at the dead letter, I search for the living word.”

This is to say that those of us who rely on the Bible are going by the ‘dead letter’ and those who receive extra-biblical ‘words’ supposedly from God are getting living words.


The warning I want to give you all is to run, don’t walk, run from any teacher or preacher who teaches this blasphemous phrase. The reproaches that are falling on Him, fall on me and I’m grieved to hear such falsehoods spoken of Gods Holy Word. As some have spoken, the very dust on the Bible is gold! Friends, understand that we do not worship a book, we worship the living God who inspired the book. However, every false teaching, or cult, has begun by someone supposedly receiving a word from God that should be held above Gods Word.

Beloved, if we are true followers of Jesus Christ we need to look to Him as our example. To what did He look to, point to, refer to while on Earth? The Word of God. How often did he ask is it not written? If the sovereignty of God in His written Word was good enough for our Lord, it should be good enough for us.

That Word specifically tells us that, though in past times God chose to speak to His people in different ways, in these last days He spoke to us through His Son.


We need to test every spirit, we need to be watchful, sober-minded, and spiritually discerning. This is why I exhort you always, friends, study and pray! Be good Bereans, study to show yourselves approved. Grievous wolves have crept in unawares.


Author: lnhereford

I am a Christian, wife, mother, and homeschooler currently traveling the United States with my loving husband and darling daughter!

13 thoughts on “The Dead Letter ”

  1. This is so true and a great reminder or warning. Jesus is the final word. Anything that tries to supersede Him or replace Him should have no place in our lives. I had not heard this particular quotation, but I have heard people claiming to have “a new word from God.” Personally, the depth of Jesus Himself makes a new word unnecessary because I’m still learning the “old word” of all that Jesus is! Great post! Thanks!

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    1. I had heard this when I was in a WoF church before being saved, but had forgotten about it until recently. I couldn’t agree with you more, brother, Jesus’ spoken word is so deep who needs anything more? I have a feeling eternity won’t be long enough for me to fully understand everything in the Bible. Thank you for your encouragement!

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      1. I did a little search on ““You look at the dead letter, I search for the living word” and came up with the name Neville Goddard (not sure this was a quote of his or of someone who admired him. I came across this too…”Who was Neville Goddard? Why is he so greatly respected? Neville Goddard was one of the pioneers of the concept of The Law: ‘imagining creates reality’ and is the man I regard to be my greatest teacher.” That’s scary stuff right there! So what I imagine can supersede God’s will and providence…hmm. So we should listen to someone who was a greater teacher than Jesus…hmm! Just thought I’d add this to back up your post. Having what you imagine is a huge but dangerous lure. I know from experience! Thanks!

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      2. That is scary stuff, I have relatives who still hold to that teaching. I was right there in it for a decade, naming it and claiming it. God, in His great grace, saw fit to save me. Once saved I knew that the religion I had been in was incompatible with the Word. It’s very cultish, very dominating, the way they use their ‘words from God’ to control what others can and can not do. I suppose it could be called the ultimate bate and switch! Like you said the lure is huge, once your hooked you’ve got to tow the line. Even expressing concern for a loved ones health was rebuked. I’m so thankful that we have the better witness of Gods Word! God is not unkind, when I come before His mighty throne in prayer over my husbands recent back injury God never scolds me for a lack of faith. He comforts me, reassuring me with His Word. Now that I can see the tremendous difference between true conversion and the WoF movement I have a heavy burden on my heart for others deceived by these false teachers. There are so many that have no idea they’re listening to heresy, it’s just what they’ve been raised in. Thank you for looking into it, and backing up my post!

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  2. Good post! In addition to those who blatantly call God’s Word a “dead letter,” there are many more who insinuate as much by their new “revelation.” Sarah Young has made a fortune misleading people with her alleged direct revelation from God and she’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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    1. Thank you Tom! You’re right, the insulation I think is even more sinister. Those like Sarah Young are blatantly claiming to speak for God, yet when you point out that the canon is closed they’ll act as though they’re just innocently writing encouraging words. It’s always disturbing to me when we see those who will make merchandise out of the brethren doing so under false pretenses. Sarah Young is an excellent example, since her books are always written from first person. I’m afraid what’s not being brought to light often enough are those who are deeply mislead by these false revelations. Those who read the so called living words of false teachers could be taught any type of heresy without ever being corrected. It’s hard, I’m sure, for leaders to keep up with all the false teachers, but I think it would be helpful for more to speak out against the ones they’re aware of. Like you said, it’s certainly an iceberg!

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      1. RE: I think it would be helpful for more (leaders) to speak out against the (false teachers) they’re aware of.

        Yes, there’s a very great reluctance among many solid pastors and para-church leaders to reference false teachers by name or even to point out dangerous movements within the church, which is why we have members of otherwise solid chuches scurrying out to buy books by Young and the rest of the TBN crowd. Does this reluctance stem from the impact of our “post-modern” era with its heavy emphasis on tolerance and plurality? The Lord, Jesus Christ, and apostle Paul did not hesitate to point out false teachers. I uphold the pastors who continue to defend the pure Gospel of grace and point out the wolves. They’re a minority these days.

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      2. I give a whole hearted amen to that, brother! It’s spiritually deadly, many are coming to church on Sunday as a social meeting place without any clue that they’re tares among the wheat. I was able to do so for a decade, and recently a very close friend told me she had also been living the same double life. Thank God He rescued her, but not through her local leadership. She stumbled onto John MacArthur’s ministry and was pricked in her heart. She was raised in a Pentecostal church, she was taught that she was saved by a prayer she said when she was a small child. Now, she says, everything is new! But we’ve had conversations of how thankful we are that we didn’t go further into the movement. There are many opening themselves up to some spirit, claiming it’s the Holy Spirit. I praise God we were saved from that. Many more are completely unaware of doctrinal truth. I didn’t receive a very warm reception from my previous church friends after my conversion. There were a small few who were going through the same thing. Truth is breaking through, but many simply don’t want to hear it.

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      3. Praise the Lord that He led you out of error and into eternal salvation in Jesus Christ! Yes, MacArthur was one I had in mind when I wrote about the faithful minority. As an ex-Catholic, I’m not aware of any other pastors with a national platform who still take a strong stand against Roman works salvation besides MacArthur and R.C. Sproul.

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      4. I agree, they both do so in love as well. I’ve even heard MacArthur say that Catholics are the biggest harvest because they are already hungry for God they just need to hear the Gospel. Is that what you find as well?

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      5. A good number of Catholics have at least a basic understanding about God and man’s sinfulness. I don’t have much of anything positive to say about the Catholic church but they do have an orthodox Christology, unlike all of the smaller cults. Catholics only need to give up their reliance on their church and their works for salvation and trust in Christ by faith alone, but of course that discernment comes from the Holy Spirit.

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