Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Bible - Prophecies, Archaeology, and Survival

The predictions of men, based on facts of the past and logical conclusions drawn from them, are sometimes right, but more often are in error. Even weather predictions, with all the sophisticated equipment and a storehouse of knowledge, often are wrong. But the difference in human predictions and Bible prophecy is that no man who spoke from God was ever wrong. These men prophesied of men - even mentioning their names and events, hundreds of years before such events came to pass, and concerning things which were obviously beyond the scope of human knowledge and wisdom at the time they were written.

The prophet Isaiah prophesied during the days of the divided kingdom of Israel that Cyrus “shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built, and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid” (Isaiah 44:28). He names Cyrus by name, yet he’s telling of an event that would happen over 200 years later. Cyrus was king of the Medo-Persian empire that allowed the children of Israel to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and temple. Isaiah prophecies this before Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity. Babylon would later be destroyed by the Medo-Persians under king Cyrus. Furthermore, how could Micah know the Savior would be born in little, insignificant Bethlehem when he wrote 700 years before Christ was even born?  And Jesus in Mark 9:1 prophesied that the kingdom would come with “power” which came about in the second chapter of Acts. The prophets could prophesy these things because God was with them. Christ could prophesy because He was God (John 1:1,14).

Besides all the 300 plus prophecies concerning Christ, there are many archaeological and other proofs that the Bible is the product of an all-powerful creator. Scientists digging into the ruins of the past, have uncovered amazing corroborative evidence to verify the Bible account of cities and events, many of which were doubted and even disputed by skeptics. The uncovering of battle records, names of kings and cities, all correspond with the Biblical account of the same events. We have old copies of Bible writing, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are known to have existed long before the fulfilment of these prophecies actually occurred and became facts of history.

Ancient Babylon is a good example. In Isaiah the 13th chapter (written about 700 years before Christ), the prediction is made that the city would become desolate, even to the point that the wild beast would not lie there. Neither would the Arab pitch his tent there. Visitors to this site verify the truthfulness of this statement.

Isaiah, in speaking of God, stated in Isaiah 40:22: “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.” The Hebrew word that Isaiah used for “circle” is the word khug. It literally means something with “roundness”, a “sphere.” But, of course, the people of Isaiah's day (and in fact, for many generations to come) thought the earth was flat. How did Isaiah know that NOT to be the case? There is scientific foreknowledge in the Bible which is years ahead of its time. How could the Bible writers have known these things and countless more - except God, who created the universe and knew every detail of it, told them! No rational, sane person would believe that such foreknowledge could have come through just men. All this had to come from only one source, and that is God almighty!

If a few uneducated men wrote a book today, what would be the odds of its being a best seller for hundreds of years? Imagine then the odds against the writings of a few uneducated fishermen and uneducated Jews in a captive Roman province surviving the persecutions of the Jewish authorities and the pagan religious leaders, to say nothing of the determined efforts of the Roman Empire to stamp them out! But such writings have not only survived, but they continue to be the best seller of all books. The Bible has not only survived in early days, but it has withstood the blows of the skeptics and the infidel’s best efforts to destroy it through the centuries. If the Bible is not from God, then how do we account for such phenomena? If it is from God, these things are easily understood - God saw to it that it did survive! The Bible (the inspired Word of God), has survived into the 21st century, and will continue to do so until the end of time. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Bible - Its Moral Standard

The Old Testament writers lived in a country surrounded by and influenced by heathen religions. New Testament writers were in the midst of the immoralities and vices of pagan Rome and Greece. Yet the moral standards which these writers set forth were far in advance of anything known at that time. This is again evidence that the Bible is from an omniscient God. The inspired apostle Paul addressed the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 when he wrote: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

One must ask, how can the skeptic account for the fact that the world’s greatest literature and the highest moral standards came, not from the geniuses of Rome or the philosophers of Greece, but from a hand-full of Jewish fishermen who never went to college nor published a book. Christianity is the one standard that admits of universal application without destroying the world. No other religion elevates all mankind as does Christianity. The Bible says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). When we practice what Jesus would have us to do as stipulated in His Word, the Bible, then our moral standard will be above reproach.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Bible is Relevant to Our Needs

The Bible's relevancy to human needs stands as mighty evidence that the Bible is from God. Man is spirit and body. Both have needs, and the Bible outlines how God supplies these needs. Every need that man has whether it is physical, mental, moral, or psychological, the need is supplied and anticipated by God in His Word, the Bible. He tells us how to care for our human body. In Romans 12:1-2 the Bible says: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." It is through the gospel of Christ, the Bible, that tells us how we are to present our body, the body that God gave us in the first place, to Him. The Bible also gives us the formula for peace of mind and peace with God, along with how to get along with others. What a wonderful book that anticipates and supplies all of our needs! This is clearly stated in Philippians 4:19 which says: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Man desires to know his origin; the Bible supplies that knowledge. Man wants to know his purpose in life; the Bible supplies that knowledge. Man wants to know his destiny; the Bible answers what will become of man. Man desires to worship; the Bible points to the true God and true worship of God. John 4:24 says; "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Can this be the product of mere man? We think not, but agree with the Psalmist, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalms 119:105). If man is to know his origin, purpose in life, destiny, and how to worship in spirit and in truth, then man must take up the Word of God, the Bible, and let it light the way for his life. I encourage everyone to think on these things because this is absolute “Bible Truth.”

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Appealing to the Spiritual Interest of Man

According to Matthew 10:28 we can read where man consists of a soul and a body. We can learn from this reading that the soul is more valuable than the body. Jesus said “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The soul is more valuable because the soul is eternal and body is mortal. The soul of man is that part which was made in the image of God, while the body was made from the dust of the earth.

In the first book of the Bible we read: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). The Word of God, or the gospel, is that which appeals to the soul, and as the soul is more important than the body, we must present to everyone the gospel, which is God’s power to save the soul from eternal condemnation. The inspired apostle Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). What is it that has the power to save souls? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Therefore, we must learn and understand that it is our soul that is to be cherished. Jesus again tried to make this very clear when Matthew wrote His Words in Matthew 16:26. Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Have you really thought about this question that Jesus asked? Could it be that you have exchanged your soul for the material wants and desires of this world?

While the Christian is taught to care for their body, the thrust of the gospel of Christ is directed toward the saving of the soul. Too many churches today overemphasize the material, the social, and even the political. But that is not the mission of the church that Jesus built, and was bought and paid for by His blood (Matthew 16:18). Jesus said that He came to “ and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). The church which belongs to Christ is to do the very same thing today; to seek, teach, and save lost souls. May God richly bless you as you nourish your soul daily with the precious words of Jesus.