In this world full of lies and deceit it is often hard to find and determine truth from deception. One place we can be rest assured to find flawless truth is in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Sadly, not all people recognize and believe this to be so.
In fact, I find that when I am sharing the Word with people, I seem to spend an equal amount of time defending the Word as I do sharing it. This is called “apologetics” and we don’t see enough of it from believers these days and we live in a time when it is needed most.
Ever since the Bible was removed from American public schools several decades ago, young minds have been open game for every kind of false deception thinkable by Man and one of the biggest being the lie of evolution. Scientists are always changing their views and theories about evolution and the origin of mankind yet the Bible never changes. Like the old saying goes, “Lies always change but the truth stays the same.”
In a world that is fueled with prideful deception the truth is always under attack as is the case with the Bible. One of the most common convictions from skeptics and unbelievers is that the Bible was written by men therefore open for error and denied its godly inspiration. Yes, the Bible was “physically” written by men, but authored by God. The Bible is not a book that Man COULD write nor is it a book that Man WOULD write. Allow me to explain.
The Bible convicts humanity of our sins and reveals our weaknesses, that of our “fallen nature.” This failure causes us to be unable to live up to the standards of a perfect and holy God.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The Bible says that men are desperately wicked and then speaks of a coming Judgment upon ALL men and of an eternal consequence due to our sinful deeds.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
Why would any man write these words and condemn himself and all of mankind with him in this way if it were not inspired by God? Why would a man place himself in that position? It just isn’t in his prideful nature and if he wasn’t prideful then it would be too shameful to write these things anyway. No, it would have to come from the Holy Spirit.
“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).
The good news is that the Bible also reveals our way for redemption to salvation through Jesus Christ so that we do not have to die in our sins but obtain eternal life.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
This in itself is also proof that no man could have written these words without inspiration from God because Man by his own nature loves the pleasures of sin and if he had it his way he would have written a way to salvation on his own merit so that he could get away with a sinful life, but Scripture does not convey that at all.
Scripture clearly says that the only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. Personally I wouldn’t want it any other way, for it is far better that the way to salvation is achieved through our Lord Jesus Christ who was sinless and perfect rather than by the merits of sinful Man. The fact that the Bible teaches this is a firm testimony of its inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is a collection of books written by over 40 different authors of whom none were seeking profit or fame for their writings. In fact, most of them were persecuted and killed because of what they wrote. No other holy book has this kind of dedicated testimony. (The Quran is the testimony of one single man, Mohammed).
The 66 books contained in the Bible were also written hundreds of years apart from each other yet when they are put together they convey the same message of salvation and complement each other in a supernatural way that could not be achieved if it were not for the protective and enduring work of the Holy Spirit. In fact, fourteen of the Old Testament books actually begin with the word “and” (or “now” which translates as “and” in the Hebrew), as if to remind us of God’s continued story of grace and mercy.
If you were to buy a book at a bookstore today and it started out with the word “and” you would be looking for some missing pages or feel as though something had been lost.
Another testimony of the truth of the Bible is the amazing track record of fulfilled prophecy. There are over 500 prophecies in the Bible that have already been fulfilled with exact precision as to how they were prophesied, unlike secular seers like Nostradamus where words are coded or have to be read backwards so that they fit to their assumed predictions. Bible prophecy is straight forward.
Living proof of this is the current existence of the nation of Israel and the Jews. The Bible states that the Jewish people would always be preserved and that they would be back in their land and even that their language would return in the last days. We certainly have living proof of this as Israel is alive and well and stronger than they’ve ever been and as of last year there are more Jews in the state of Israel than there are in America for the first time since they’ve returned to their homeland.
The Bible also predicts and identifies the countries around Israel that are at odds with them in the last days. These are all of the Muslim countries that are Israel’s enemies today. Some of them are named by their ancient names like Persia for Iran or Philistia for the Gaza Strip but some are named by the same name they had in ancient times such as Syria and Lebanon.
Either way the Bible is right on track. How could men write of these things over two thousand years ago with such precision if it were not for the inspiration of God? There is book authored by Mark Hitchcock called The Amazing Claims Of Bible Prophecy. The book goes into more detail about the miraculous accuracy of Bible prophecy with many good hard facts of fulfilled prophecy including the amazing accuracy of the prophet Nahum and his prediction of the destruction of the massive ancient city of Nineveh and how modern archeological excavations have revealed remnants of the city buried under the sand in Iraq for centuries.
Archeology and science do more to prove the Bible true then not. The modern day archeological findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls are a stark testimony to the truth and accuracy of the Bible. Ancient fragments of every book of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) were found, excluding the book of Esther, and when translated the text is identical to the text we read in our Bibles today.
The famous Isaiah scroll that was discovered was found nearly fully intact and is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah we have today and again the text is identical to our Bibles as if to confirm what we’ve been reading all of these years. Once more, “the truth never changes.”
In the apostle Peter’s second epistle he testifies to the divine inspiration of the words of the prophets:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Not only does Peter confirm that prophecy does not come from the will of man and that it comes from God, he also confirms that Scripture is of no private interpretation. This is another excuse that Bible skeptics like to use when denying the Bible’s inspiration. They often claim that the Bible can be interpreted in many ways or that it is open for interpretation. The simple answer to that is, no it is not.
There is a divine message in every verse in the Bible and it is not whether it is “interpreted” correctly, it is a matter of whether it is understood correctly. A true Bible student doesn’t try to interpret the Bible, he seeks its understanding. There are times when we come across sections of Scripture that may seem controversial. When this happens there is only two conclusions. Either there is an error or we don’t understand it.
Since the Word of God must be infallible in order for it to be God’s Word then we should always choose the latter. For the understanding doesn’t always come immediately and usually there is somewhere else in the Bible that provides the answer or understanding for the verse in question. The Bible always confirms itself.
Of all of these things the biggest and most important testimony to Bible truth is from Jesus Christ himself. There are those out there that pick and choose what they consider to be inspired from the Bible and what they think isn’t. The reason they do this is because they want the blessings of salvation without having to be accountable for themselves but it doesn’t work that way.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
There is a famous quote from Augustine in regards to the “pick and choose” group of people. “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”
The apostle Paul testified that ALL Scripture is God-breathed in his second letter to Timothy:
“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” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
What the “pick and choosers” often fail to realize is that our Lord Jesus Christ consistently quoted from the Old Testament and acknowledged it as being inspired. One example is in Mark 12:36 when Jesus was speaking with the scribes:
Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:
‘ The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
Jesus said that David spoke by the Spirit. Then He quoted David’s Psalm 110:1. In other words David could not have said those words on his own human understanding. David had acknowledged the Son sitting to the right of the Father through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. David himself had also declared that he spoke by the Spirit in 2 Samuel 23:2 in his last words:
“The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue.”
The prophets are also testimonial of God’s Word being on their tongues as we read in Jeremiah 1:9:
“Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.’”
A careful and observant study of the prophets reveals that these men were not out to write fictional stories of amusement. These men were called by God to declare and write words of forthcoming judgment that would put them in harm’s way and cause them to be outcasts in their own cities and countries. In fact, most of the prophets tried to run from God when they were first called, (see Jonah). So then, why would these men endure what they had to endure if they were not under the inspiration of God?
Furthermore, when Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the desert He used Scripture to combat Satan’s temptations all three times. Jesus replied “It is written” and quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, Psalm 91:11-12 and Deuteronomy 6:16. But it is His quote of Deuteronomy 8:3 that is most significant to this study:
“But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
There is only one place where we can find the words that proceed from God’s mouth—the Bible. God doesn’t appear to everyone individually and speak with them. No, instead God has preserved His Word in the Scriptures and He has used His children to do it for Him. If He can stretch out the universe and all of its splendor He can surely preserve His own Word. The beautiful thing is that it is all for us.
The Bible is our manual for living this life and obtaining eternal life afterward. Without it we are lost. We wouldn’t recognize our sinful nature nor would we know the way to salvation. We would be hopeless beings without a known destiny but the Bible informs us of all of these things and with an abundance of reliable testimonies.
To trust in God is to trust in the truth of His Word. In John 17:17 Jesus is praying to the Father on our behalf and He says this: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
That there, is about the greatest testimony we can have. When we put our trust in God’s Word and accept the Bible for the truth that it is, He will “sanctify” us with His truth. To be sanctified is to be set apart or made holy, to be consecrated. Next time you are holding a Bible in your hands know that the truth is in your hands, but more importantly be sure that the truth is in your heart.