Monthly Archives: February 2019

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 8

8. The evidence of CHANGED lives supports that the Bible is true.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

No book has impacted the lives of people and the course of world events more than the Bible. The Bible has been translated into more languages, has influenced more thought, inspired more art, and motivated more discoveries than any other book. The Bible has always been at the top of the all-time best-seller list. Its power is surpassed by none:

The Bible is able to transform the sinner into a saint; the guilty into the forgiven; the hateful into the helpful; the promiscuous into the pure; the greedy into the generous. God’s Word changes lives. However, we must be careful not to defend the Bible from personal experience. For example, a Muslim could argue that the Qur’an has changed his life or a Mormon could argue that the Book of Mormon changed his life. People have false experiences all the time – drugs can cause hallucinations, dreams can seem real, and mental illness can alter a person’s perception. Experiences can be deceiving. All experiences, no matter how real they may seem, must be measured by some other criteria. Hence, we must understand that personal experience does not validate the Bible; the Bible validates personal experience. This is why Christians should question their own experiences if they do not line up with God’s Word. 

In conclusion,when quoting what Moses wrote in the Old Testament, Jesus referred to it as what “God said”in Matthew 15:4. Peter refers to the apostle Paul’s writings and then to“the other Scriptures,”indicating that Paul’s writings were authoritative Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”(2 Timothy 3:16).  The word “inspiration” means “God-breathed.” The writers of the New Testament claimed that the Bible is the very Word of God. If we insist that the Bible is not true, then we are saying that we know more than Moses, David, Peter, Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ did. 

Since the Bible is true, we must take time to read and apply it to our lives if we are to grow spiritually. The Bible says, 31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ ” (John 8:31-32). In order to be Jesus’ disciple, those of us who believe in Him must “abide” or make our home in His Word. Christ promises that as we do that, we “shall know the truth” which “shall make” us free from the lies that enslave us to sin (8:32). Daily abide in Christ’s Word, the Bible, and you will grow spiritually and become more like Christ Who is “the truth” (John 14:6).

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 7

7. The evidence of SCIENCE supports that the Bible is true. 

A literal understanding of Genesis 1-11 is supported by science. For example:

a. ANTHROPOLOGY. The Bible teaches that God made the first man from dust, and that all people are descendants of one man—thus there is only one human race (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7-25). The Bible tells us that the population that descended from Noah had one language and disobeyed God’s command to “fill the earth” (Gen. 9:1; 11:4). As a result, God confused their language, causing the population  to break up into smaller groups, which scattered over the earth (Gen. 11:8-9). Modern genetics show how, following such a break-up of a population, variations in physical appearance, such as skin color, can develop in only a few generations. Linguistic and biological evidence support the genetic closeness of all human ethnic groups, consistent with a recent origin from a small population source like that described in Genesis 1-11.  Evidence that all peoples on earth have come from Noah are found in the flood stories from many cultures around the world (see The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 1990, pp. 28, 219-236). All of these findings are consistent with biblical creation.

b. ASTRONOMY. According to a literal understanding of Genesis 1 and the genealogies of the Bible (assuming there are no gaps), the week of creation took place over 6,000 years ago. Therefore, the earth, sun, moon and stars are just a few thousand years old. The media and evolutionists contest this age by pointing to the billions of years derived from rocks by radioisotope dating which is based upon questionable assumptions. What they do not tell the general public is that there are many other dating methods which indicate that the earth is much too young for evolution to occur (e.g. earth’s magnetic field, lack of helium in atmosphere, lack of salt or sediment in the ocean, lack of erosion of the continents; too much carbon 14 in deep geologic strata; high oil deposit pressure; tree rings; galaxies wind themselves up too fast;  the small number of super nova remnants; magnetic fields on “cold” planets; young short-period comets; the sun is too big; the moon is too close; recent civilizations; and population statistics all point to a young earth and universe (see Dr. Russell Humphrey’s “The Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Young”, 1994; John Morris’ The Young Earth, 1994, pp. 93-117 & The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 1990, pp. 27, 86-88).  

c. BIOLOGY. The Bible teaches that God created distinct kinds of animals and plants to reproduce after their own kind (Gen. 1).  There are two laws of biology that support this. They state: like can only come from like, and life always gives rise to life (biogenesis). The first is obviously true – fruit flies always give rise to fruit flies and dogs always give birth to dogs and humans always have babies that are human. The Bible tells us that life always comes from pre-existing life …God is alive and from Him life was created. Each living thing reproduces after its kind, so we see that biology supports what the Bible teaches. (see The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 1990, pp. 20, 25-26; see Dr. Jason Lisle’s “Don’t Creationists Deny the Laws of Nature?”, Aug. 2007 ).

d. GEOLOGY. The Bible informs us that death entered the world after sin (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12). This has a bearing on geology and paleontology, as the Earth is covered with rocks full of fossils—dead things. Thus, the fossil-containing rocks could not have formed before sin. The Bible records the event of a global Flood (Gen. 6-8) —this has a great bearing on correctly interpreting the surface of the Earth and the massive quantity of sedimentary rocks, as well as explaining the formation of most fossils. Evidence for rapid deposition of geological strata as in the biblical global flood includes the lack of erosion between rock layers “supposedly” separated in layers by many millions of years; lack of disturbance of rock strata by biological activity (worms, roots, fish, plants, etc.); lack of soil layers; preservation of surface features (i.e. ripple marks, rain drop impressions, animal tracks); polystrate fossils (which traverse several rock layers vertically – these could not have stood vertically for thousands of years while they slowly got buried); soft sediment deformation whereby thick layers of “rock” are bent and folded into hairpin shapes without fracturing, indicating that the rock was all soft when bent. Evidence from Mount St. Helens tells us that canyons can be formed in a short period of time by catastrophic events (see John Morris’ The Young Earth, 1994, pp. 93-117). 

e. PALEONTOLOGY. The order and distribution of fossils in the geological record is best explained by the global flood of Noah’s day (Gen. 7-8; see The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 1990, pg. 196; John Morris’ The Young Earth, 1994, Transparency Master). 

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 6

6. The evidence of SELF-TESTIMONY supports that the Bible is true. 

Self-testimony is valid evidence in a court of law. The Old Testament authors often made claims like, “And the Lord spoke to me, saying…”or “The word of the Lord came to me, saying…” Henry Morris in his book Many Infallible Proofs(San Diego: Creation Life, 1974, pp. 156-7) claims there are 2,600 such claims of divine inspiration in the Old Testament. The New Testament also claims to be inspired word-for-word by God. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18). According to Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus says the Bible is accurate down to each letter of a word and each stroke of a pen. 

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 5

5. The evidence of INDESTRUCTIBILITY supports that the Bible is true.

“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.”Psalm 12:6-7 

Jesus said,“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matthew 24:35 

Skeptics have tried for centuries to destroy the authority of the Bible. For example, in the 18thcentury, the noted French infidel Voltaire forecast that within a century there would be no Bibles left on earth. Ironically, 50 years after he died, the Geneva Bible Society used his old printing press and his house to produce stacks of Bibles (The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 1990, pg. 17). The Bible has been banned, burned, and outlawed, yet it has outlasted all of its opponents. It remains the all-time best-seller in history. The Bible continues to be scrutinized today by archaeology, science, psychology, political movements, Hollywood, and computers, etc. Yet the Bible remains undaunted. It proves Itself to be true over and over again despite these many attacks. 

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 4

4. The evidence of MANUSCRIPT comparisons supports that the Bible is true.

The historical reliability of an ancient document is determined by the number of manuscripts and the time interval between the original and earliest copy. The more manuscripts and the shorter the time gap between the original and earliest copy, the greater the historical reliability of the document. When comparing the New Testament with other famous writings, the New Testament has far more manuscript authority than any other ancient literature (see above chart), showing that it is historically reliable.

How do I know the Bible is True? Part 3

3. The evidence of Bible PROPHECY supports that the Bible is true. 

The Old Testament predicted what would happen to certain nations, cities, and people, all of which happened or are happening just the way the Bible said. The book of Genesis records God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would never be wiped out (Gen. 17:7-8, 19-21; 21:12-13, 17-18; 22:15-18); today the Jews and Arabs, descendants of Abraham’s first two children, Isaac and Ishmael, are still with us as distinct peoples. Yet there are no more Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites or Babylonians, Medes or Persians. Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome all rose and fell just the way the book of Daniel said they would (Daniel 2:19-45; 7:1-8:27). There are many predictions about the coming of the Messiah that were perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ. For example, Psalm 22 describes the crucifixion of Jesus in vivid detail. The amazing deal…Psalm 22 was written hundreds of years before Roman crucifixion was even established. A glimpse at a few of these prophecies (see above chart) shows that they were given and fulfilled in great detail. 

How do I Know the Bible is True? Part 2

2. The Evidence of ARCHAEOLOGY supports that the Bible is true.

Over and over again archaeology demonstrates that the people and places in the Bible actually existed when and where the Bible says they did. For example, a Time magazine article reported that two Italian scientists at Ebla in Northern Syria discovered documents that demonstrate that people like Abraham’s ancestors and places like Jerusalem actually existed around 2400 B.C. The article states, “Their discovery does more than provide documentary evidence of a little-known kingdom that existed between 2400 and 2250 B.C.; it also provides the best evidence to date that some of the people described in the Old Testament actually existed” (Hedley Donovan, ed., “A New ‘Third World,’ ” Time, 18 October 1976, p. 63). 

A more recent archaeological find took place in 2017 by archaeologists from Tel Aviv University that substantiates a Timna Copper Mine was dated to the time of Kings David and Solomon around 1,000 B.C. They announced that tests of donkey dung discovered at Timna, a site of ancient copper mines along the Rift Valley in southern Israel, showed the animal waste was 3,000 years old. The tests also showed that the donkeys’ diet indicated that their feed came from near Jerusalem—another example of a centralized power at the time of David and Solomon (https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/december/biblical-archaeology-top-10-discoveries-2017-israel.html). 

Again and again the Bible has shown itself to be rooted in history. We count our history by it. Every time you write down a date, you write down the date from Jesus’ First Coming to earth. So it is a book that’s rooted in history.

How Do I know the Bible is True? Part 1

There are several different kinds of evidences behind the truth of the Bible that support our faith. The first is:

1. The Evidence of UNITY supports that the Bible is true.

The Bible has 66 books written by about 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years. These authors ranged from kings to peasants…shepherds to tent makers…tax collectors to fishermen…rabbis to cupbearers. Yet all these authors who wrote on three different continents using three different languages (Hebrew, Greek and a little Aramaic) wrote with agreement on what are some of the most controversial subjects in our world today. For example, the first book of the Bible talks about “Paradise Lost” (Genesis 1-3) and the last book of the Bible talks about “Paradise Restored” (Revelation 21-22). How do you get forty people in a room to agree on anything? Yet they agreed on these things. How can this be?

The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 1:16-21: 16For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

These verses teach five important facts:

a. The Bible is a reliable collection of historical documents (1:16a).

b. The Bible was written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses (1:16b).

c. The Bible reports supernatural events (1:17-18) that took place to fulfill specific prophecies (1:19).

d. The Bible did not originate from men (1:21a). 

e. The Holy Spirit directed these different authors to write each word down without error (1:21b).

Look and Live

“So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” Numbers 21:9

As the people of Israel were on their way to the Promised Land, they complained against God and Moses because they were dissatisfied with the manna He sent them to eat (21:4-5). To discipline them, God sent poisonous snakes among the people, resulting in many physical deaths (21:6). Moses then prayed to the Lord (21:7) and God told Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten when he looks at it, shall live” (21:8). This invitation to look at the bronze serpent was given to “everyone.” How did the people respond? We then read, “So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived” (21:9). One look of faith at this bronze serpent delivered the bitten person from physical death.

Jesus refers to this passage when He talked with Nicodemus (John 3:14). In a similar fashion, all of humanity has been struck down by sin (Rom. 3:23). Sin has sunk its fangs into our spiritual souls and the venom has made its way to our hearts and we are dying in our sins. But God saw our hopelessness and lifted up His Son on the cross to die for our sins (Rom. 5:8). To be born again and experience eternal life, Nicodemus needed simply to “look and live,” just as in Numbers 21 a bitten person had to “look and live.” Jesus explained their “look” as simply believing in Him:

14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). 

Just as the dying Israelites had to look at the bronze serpent lifted up on a pole, so all people who are dying in their sins must look in faith to Jesus who was lifted up on a cross to die for their sins. To Nicodemus, the admonition to look and live would have been both personal and effective. Having fasted, prayed, faithfully attended the synagogue, observed the feasts, and honored the Sabbaths, he was tempted to look at what he had done to give a him a right standing with God. Instead, now he discovered he must simply look to Christ alone for eternal life. He must believe in Him.

Have you been born again by believing in Jesus for His gift of eternal life? It doesn’t matter if you are a child who is nine or an adult who is ninety. It matters not if you are a morally good person or if you have spent more time inside a jail than outside, you must believe or trust in Christ alone to save you. Perhaps you can identify with Nicodemus – you have always believed the way to heaven was by living a good life or by believing in Christ plus something else. But now you understand you were mistaken, and you want to trust Christ alone as your only way to heaven. Again, the promise is “Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:15).  “Look” to Jesus alone in faith and you will “live” forever with Him in heaven when you die.

Urgency in Evangelism

“And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.” Numbers 16:48

After God judged Korah and his followers for rebelling against Moses and Aaron (16:1-40), the children of Israel still refused to submit to God’s will by complaining against Moses and Aaron, accusing them of killing the Lord’s people (16:41). Then the Lord sent a plague which began to kill the Israelites (16:42-45). As the plague spread, Moses instructed Aaron to take a censer and put fire and incense in it and go to the congregation to make atonement for them (16:46). So Aaron “ran into the midst of the assembly” and  “put in the incense and made atonement for the people” (16:47). Aaron loved his people so much that he “stood between” those who were already “dead” because of the plague and those still “living” to protect the living from the plague and make atonement for them (16:48a). Because of Aaron’s intercession for the people, “the plague was stopped” (16:48b). 

All of us have rebelled against God and deserve death (Rom. 3:23; 6:23a), but Jesus Christ loved us so much that He stood between us and death when He made atonement for our sins on the cross so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Christ has saved us from eternal death! 

We can thank Jesus by living for Him now (2 Cor. 5:15) and telling others about His great love for them. Like Aaron, we are to have a sense of urgency (“Aaron ran…”) and take the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to unsaved people so Christ can save them from eternal death the moment they believe in Him! If we do not go to the lost people in our lives with Jesus’ message of everlasting hope, then who will go to them!?! Let’s be passionate and intentional about rescuing people from an eternity separated from God.