ROBERT >> We all have a Bible. Where does the Bible come from? Is it a book written by men just like any other book, or is the Bible from God? And how can we know? Stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.
SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> Let’s begin this morning looking at the claim that the Bible makes for itself. Look what the Bible says about itself in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Here the Bible says, “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.”
Here we see that all scripture, all the way from Genesis through the book of Revelation, all 66 books of the Bible, are inspired by God. That is, that they came literally from God’s mouth, they were God-breathed. He is the source of this writing that we have in our hands called the Bible. Yes, the Bible claims to be from God. But somebody says, Well, what does that prove?
Anybody can make a claim.
That’s true. But think about it. Did evil men write the Bible? Why would evil men write a book condemning Satan and evil men? Certainly evil men did not write the Bible.
Well, did good men write the Bible?
Why would a good man write a book and lie and say that it’s really from God if it wasn’t from God?
He’d be a liar, not a good man. So the only thing that really makes sense is that God guided, he directed the writers of this book to put down these words that came from his mouth. The Bible is from God. But somebody says, How can I really know the Bible is from God?
I want to give us some evidences of that, look at some characteristics of this book to help us to see that truly it must have come from God and not simply from man.
You know, if you want to know what something is, you want to dig into it and investigate it, examine it, put it under a microscope, see what it is that makes up whatever it is you’re trying to discover.
What is the Bible?
How can we know the Bible is from God?
Let’s take a close look at it. Let’s see what the Bible has to say for itself and look at some of the internal evidences that are there that show truly where it came from.
Let’s notice first of all this morning that the Bible is from God because of its unity. I’ve already mentioned that the Bible is a book of books. It’s 66 books from Genesis to Revelation. A lot of books. But they’re written by a lot of different people. They were written by some 40 different writers. And they were written over a period of some 1500, 1600 years. And remember, these writers came from different backgrounds, from different times. Some of them were shepherds. One was a king. We have one that was a tax collector, another that was a Pharisee. We have all of these people from various backgrounds, from different countries. Some of them spoke different languages.
In fact, the Bible was written in three different languages, in Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek. And yet you take all of these writings from these different writers through all of this time and these different languages, and you put them all together side by side, and you see they form one great harmonious and complete book from beginning to end.
There’s a story here in this book. It all fits together. As we open up our Bibles, we see very quickly that there is a messiah, there is a deliverer that is coming to save men from their sins. And as we come into the New Testament, we see how that that messiah has come and what he did to provide for our forgiveness. And before the book is over, we learn that he’s coming again, that he’s going to return. And so you see this grand story of redemption, of salvation through that messiah, Jesus the Christ, running throughout this Bible. If you could imagine a 40-piece orchestra, all of these different musicians playing their different instruments, all playing in perfect melody and perfect harmony, you would understand that they were all directed by one mind. And so it is with the Bible. As we look at the many parts of the Bible, all of these different books, and we see them work together in a perfect harmony, telling a complete and a wonderful story of salvation, it’s evidence of the fact that all of these writers were directed by a single mind, that the Bible is in fact from God. But not only do we see that from the amazing unity of the Bible, but we also see it because of its fulfilled prophecy.
The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies concerning things that would happen in the future. Many of these prophecies are very specific, and yet we see them fulfilled exactly as they were spoken years before the fulfillment took place. For example, in Deuteronomy chapter 28, Moses long ago prophesied, outlined the history of Israel before it ever happened. He was able to look ahead by God’s help to see what was going to happen in the next 1400 years in the nation of Israel. He foresaw how they would forsake God, how they would fall away from God, and how that this people would be scattered, the northern kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians. And we also see how they would be taken captive, they would be brought into exile, that there would be a tremendous siege upon their cities. And we also see how that these people one day would be restored and that there would be a new and a greater day for Israel. All of this the prophets also spoke of.
In fact, as you think about the Assyrians scattering the northern kingdom, as you think about Babylon taking captive Jerusalem, destroying the country of Judah and taking all of these people captive for 70 years, and their return back into their land to rebuild the temple, to rebuild the city, and how that that return was ordered by Cyrus, the king of Medo-Persia, all of those names and those places and those things were laid out specifically by the Old Testament prophets before they ever happened. If you continue to look at fulfilled prophecy, they also spoke of that day when the deliverer, the messiah, the savior would come. And they give us very specific prophecies concerning the coming of that one. For example, you remember Micah 5:2, where it tells us that this great ruler would actually been born in the city of Bethlehem? And we know how Jesus fulfilled that prophecy, though his parents, that is, Mary, his mother, and his legal father, Joseph, lived in Nazareth, at just the right time they made their way down to the city of Bethlehem, where he was born into this world, just as Micah the prophet had said hundreds of years before he ever arrived.
We look at the Old Testament prophets, and we see how they spoke of not only when and where and how Jesus would be born, but they spoke of his ministry, of his death, of his resurrection, of his ascension, of his kingdom, all of these things, some 300 prophecies and more of the life of this deliverer, this Messiah who was coming. How that he would come from the nation of Israel, he would come from the seed of Abraham, that he would come out of the tribe of Judah, that he would come from the family of David, how that he would be born of a virgin, and how that this one would grow up and he would have a ministry in which he would speak parables and perform great miracles and bring healing and help to the poor and to the afflicted and to those that were in need, how that this one would bring salvation for all men. And if you look at just two chapters of the Old Testament, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, we see much about the last part of this one’s life upon the earth and how he provided for our salvation at the cross. For example, they speak of his rejection by the people and how that he would be betrayed and also how that this one would suffer much for our sins, how that he would be wounded and bruised and stripes would be put upon his body, how that he would go to the cross in silence, without making defense for himself, and how that there upon the cross, the very words of those who mocked him were given a thousand years earlier there in Psalm 22, He trusts in God, let God rescue Him.
We read how that even the very words of Jesus upon the cross begin that Psalm, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
And those final words of Jesus as he gave up his last breath, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit, were also a part of Old Testament prophecy.
In Psalm 22 we read about how the soldiers were there at the foot of the cross and casting lots for his garments.
In Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53, both of these chapters speak of that death and that suffering, that payment for our sins.
In Isaiah 53 he mentions how that he would die with those that were transgressors, like the two thieves, one on each side. And we also see how that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is pointed to in both of those chapters. And of course his ascension into heaven and his ruling in a kingdom throughout this world is something that is elaborated upon in Psalm 22. And so there are many, many prophecies there concerning Jesus coming into this world and the ministry of Jesus Christ upon the earth, the establishment of his kingdom here; all of those prophecies, hundreds of prophecies now, fulfilled precisely in this one man, Jesus the Christ, telling us that not only is there a God and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, our Lord and our savior, but also that the Bible is the word of God. And so we know that this book is not just from men.
It was written by men guided by God, and that’s the only way we can explain this amazing unity. This is the only way we can explain these hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament precisely and specifically fulfilled in the future. And not only that, but there are many other evidences of inspiration in the Bible.
I want you to consider for just a moment the scientific foreknowledge of this book. And we could speak upon this for many hours, but I want you to just notice a few passages that bring this out. For example, in the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, we see a very scientific statement describing the beginning of this universe. Herbert Spencer, in the 18th century, a British philosopher, was one who actually laid down the five fundamentals of science when he spoke of time and of force and of action and space and matter. And yet we see those things had been in the Bible all along there in Genesis 1:1, when he said, In the beginning, time; God, force; created, action; the heavens, space; and the earth, matter.
It’s that kind of scientific foreknowledge that we see scattered throughout the Bible. It’s not a scientific book, but these writers were kept from writing things that were not scientific, that is, that were not true. They were based upon a knowledge that the ancients did not have, but God inspired them with that knowledge. In Genesis the 17th chapter, you remember God’s command concerning circumcision of the child upon the eighth day.
Why the eighth day?
Could it be, as we have now discovered, that days five through seven after a child’s birth is when they produce vitamin K, which also produces prothrombin in the body, which both are necessary for blood clotting?
And on the eighth day, the prothrombin is at its highest percentage, the very best day for a surgical procedure?
You see, the Bible writers did not know that from some ancient knowledge that had been given to them, but God knew that. And so no doubt that’s why he chose the eighth day for that surgical procedure.
In Leviticus chapter 17 we find how that life is in the blood. But president George Washington died because of blood letting because we didn’t understand that scientific fact. But now we know, and that’s why we have blood transfusions.
We understand the red blood cells will bring oxygen to give life to the body, just as the Bible said long ago, Life is in the blood. In Job 26:7, Job says, He hangs the earth upon nothing. Isn’t that a good description of exactly the truth concerning the earth as it is suspended in the heavens by gravity? As you look up and you see out into the stars and the planets, you wonder what it is that keeps them there. And as we have taken off in our spaceships and we look back and you see the earth, the globe there, it’s though as it hangs upon nothing.
The writers of the Bible did not follow the ideas and the knowledge of the day that maybe the earth sat upon the neck of Atlas or that it was set upon some great pillars, no. They spoke the truth as they were inspired of God, that it hangs upon nothing.
Isaiah 40:22 speaks of the circle of the earth, or more literally, the roundness of the earth, its sphericity. And so we see that it was in fact a globe, something that the ancients did not know, but God knew. And there are of course many other evidences of scientific foreknowledge in the Bible. But let’s move on this morning. We could know that the Bible is from God because of its indestructibility. I look at this book, and I realize it’s survived hundreds, thousands of years. How is that possible?
Well, because it’s being preserved by God. Let me read to you something from Psalm 12:6-7. And I want you to notice what the psalmist said long ago about this book.
Psalm 12:6-7, “The words of the Lord are pure words like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O Lord; You shall preserve them from this generation forever.”
Indeed, God has preserved this great book, though many through the years have tried to destroy it and great war has been waged against the Bible. Its indestructible nature can be seen way back in the time of the days of King Jehoiakim, when Jeremiah was prophesying and he cut up the words of his prophecy and burned them. But that did not keep God from continuing to bring his word and to preserve his word and to restore those words that had been burned. And we see this from Antiochus the 4th in the century before Christ, when he sought to burn all the Bibles, or Diocletian, who had the power of the entire Roman world behind him as he tried to send out an order in 303 AD that all Bibles would be confiscated, and if you had a Bible and you refused to give it up, you’d be put to death. But we still have the Bible with us today. The soldiers of Mohammed who have through the years tried to destroy the Bible, we still have the Bible today. I think of some of those skeptics of the past like Voltaire, the French skeptic in the 18th century, who claimed that there wouldn’t be a Bible in existence after about a hundred years. His printing press, his own printing press was used to print this book, and the American International Bible Society actually set up shop in his house. But let’s look at something else, and that’s the amazing accuracy of the Bible. You know, there are many who have questioned the Bible’s accuracy through the years, but every time they dig a spade in the earth, they find new evidences that actually confirm what the Bible said.
For a long time, people denied that the Hittites really existed, that nation that was mentioned so often in the book of Genesis. But they were discovered in the country of Turkey not too long back, and volumes have been written about these peoples that the Bible said existed long ago.
Do you remember the story of Jericho and how Jericho fell?
In about 1929, doctor John Garstang actually did excavations of the site of the ruins of Jericho, and he found in fact that it was a great city with great walls around it, thick walls with houses upon the walls, and that those walls were destroyed by some great convulsion, and the walls fell out flat, just as the Bible said long ago. Sir William Ramsey doubted the authenticity of the book of Acts, so he wanted to check it out for himself. As a skeptic, he went to great pains and found that all of the details that he could possibly check were exactly accurate, just as Luke had recorded for us in the Bible, and that skeptic then became a believer in the Bible. But let me chose with this point today, and that is the tremendous influence of the Bible.
Everywhere it’s gone it has lifted the plane, the moral plane, the spiritual plane of people around the world. It’s a book of love and peace and hope and joy. It’s a book of righteousness and justice. It’s a good book. And people recognize that. And they have seen and they have experienced, as many of us have, the transforming power of this book, how it can change a man’s heart, how it can change one’s life, and how it can bring salvation and eternal life to each and every one of us who would believe it and who would obey it.
Imagine someone, and I’m sure you’ve never heard anybody do this, but somebody say, I used to be a liar, a cheat, I used to beat my wife, I used to gamble and get drunk, I used to live an awful life and do all these terrible things, but then I read a book on infidelity or atheism and skepticism, and now I’m a new man, I’ve changed my life, I’m a good person now, and I’m better than I ever used to be. No, you’re not going to hear that. But there are thousands of those who could testify to how the Bible has changed their life for the better and has prepared their hearts and their souls for eternity.
Do you know the Bible is from God?
If so, what will you do?
James says, Receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls; and be not hearers of the word only, but doers of the word. The blessing is in the doing. And after looking at all these evidences and seeing that indeed this book does have the characteristics of a book that could only have come from God, it’s only believing and obeying it, putting it to the test, trying it in your life and seeing what it can do for you that you really, truly come to know that the Bible is from God. I hope that you’ll want to come to God, that you’ll put your trust and your faith in him, and that you’ll let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven today.
SINGING>> All hail the power of Jesus’ name,
let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.
Oh, that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song and crown him Lord of all.
SINGING>> All to Jesus I surrender,
all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender.
Lord, I give myself to thee.
Fill me with thy love and power,
let thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.
ROBERT >> I want to thank you so much for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.
And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember that all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.