Code Talkers


Gene H. Miller

The Navajo Code-Talkers. During World War II, Japanese cryptologists were able to break every radio code the US Army and Marines used. Philip Johnston, son of a missionary and raised with the Navajos, knew that Choctaw Indians had been used as code-talkers in World War I. He also knew that the Navajo language was unwritten and so complex that only another Navajo could understand. So, he suggested a code using the Navajo language be developed by Navajos. As a result, a code was developed that the Japanese couldn't break. After Iwo Jima, Maj. Howard Connor of the 5th Marine Division said, "Were it not for the Navahos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." The irony of the situation was that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had long sought to eliminate tribal traditions. If a Navajo child spoke the tribal language, his or her mouth was to be washed out with soap.

The Importance of Words. This speaks of the importance of words. In a code, every word has design and significance. In the Bible, every word of God has purpose and meaning. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt 4:4). He also said, "... the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63). Shortly thereafter, Peter responded, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:68). Eternal life comes not by phrases, principles, thoughts, or ideas, but by words. Every word of God is important, because words express thoughts and principles.

Code Words In The Bible. God often spoke in code (figurative language). The word die means separation from God (Gen 2:17). Serpent is a code word for Satan and seed of woman code for Christ (Gen 3:15) The mountain of the Lord's house stands for the kingdom or the church (Isa. 2:22), and the Lamb brought to the slaughter is code for Jesus Christ (Isa. 53:7).

Jesus often used code language. The temple He would raise up was His body (John 2:19-21). The living water He offered the woman at the well stood for spiritual blessings (John 4:10-14). Sleep is a code word for death (John 11:11). The parables were stories in code. The Revelation was sent and signified (in code).

Deciphering Code. For centuries men were not able to decipher the code. Jesus said, "That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them ..." (Matt 13:17). And Peter wrote, "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you ..." (1 Pet 1:10). Apparently, even the angels couldn't always decipher the code. Concerning the things of Christ the prophets wrote about, Peter said, "... which things the angels desire to look into. (1 Pet 1:12).

Why In Code? Messages sent in code are meant to be understood only by those who know the code. When asked why He spoke in parables, Jesus replied, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." (Matt 13:11). Only those who know the code will understand. Paul spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery, which the princes of this world didn't understand, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit ..." (1 Cor 2:7-10). The spirit enables the Christian to understand the code. The natural man does not receive the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14).

The Importance Of Study. The Navajo Code-Talkers had to learn the meaning of over 600 terms in order to understand the message. We must learn the meaning of the code words to understand the message of The Bible. That's why the Christian is admonished to study (2 Tim 2:15).

Many code words have been mis-deciphered. Many do not understand that kingdom is a code word for the church (Matt 26:29), that a pastor is an elder (Acts 20:28), that tongues are languages (Acts 2:6), that baptism is a burial (Rom 6:4), that bound means limited (Rom 7:2), that the heart is the mind (2 Cor 9:7). These are just a few of many code words misunderstood. We must learn to "speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent, call Bible things Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways." "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Pet 4:11). - HC 84 Box 80, Shock WV 26638-9502. 304 462-0384


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