Flames of Truth Ministries
Monday, July 24, 2017

 

How To Be Certain the Bible is TRUE
 
Sources used for this lesson are:
            Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding, How to be certain the Bible is True
            Dr. David Jeremiah, Turning Point, A Book of Great Price – The Most Valuable Book You Own
            Answers in Genesis
            Brian Edwards – DVD Scripture Under Scrutiny
                                       Book – Nothing but the True
 
 
 
Why should I be concerned with the authenticity of the Bible?
            This is a good question but let’s question it some more. Do I believe the Bible is true because my parents and grandparents believed it was true? Do I believe the Bible is true because a preacher convinced me that it was true? You can’t really prove it to be true you just have to have faith. If that is the case, what do you do with the statements and claims that refute specific passages in the Bible? Obviously if some of the Bible is wrong then all of it could be wrong.
            Considering these statements, let’s ask one more question. Do you know your Bible well enough to defend it on intelligent fact? I pray that this Bible study will give you a beginning point to be able to defend the authenticity of the Bible.
 
Why should you be concerned with the authenticity of the Bible?
1.      Your salvation depends upon the Word of God; we are born again by the Word of God.
a.      2 Timothy 3:14-15, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
b.      Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
c.       There is no salvation apart from the transforming power of the Word of God. If we say that our salvation comes apart from the Word of God then we can make it whatever we want and whatever we want will land us in an eternal hell. God through His Word gives clear instruction on salvation. If we say that we can “hear” the Spirit apart from the Word of God, then we have to be careful that we have heard the Spirit of God and not false teachings. Everything of God, including salvation, must be filtered through His accurate and never changing Word. When we step out of the Word, we begin to believe whatever sounds good which is extremely dangerous. If we want to be sure of our salvation, then we need to study and understand the Word of God and not rely on simple, current teachings.
 
2.      Sanctification depends on the Word of God.
a.      John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth.”
b.      In simple words, the process of sanctification is daily becoming more like Christ. We are daily transforming our lives to be holy as God commands. This is a process that takes a lifetime to accomplish and is not complete until we enter heaven. We cannot become holy or become more like Christ without the Bible. Everything we are to do and we are to become is given in the Bible. I have heard the phrase, “God didn’t really mean” used way too often. God meant every single word that HE inspired to be in HIS HOLY WORD. We need to make sure that we are reading and studying His Word so that we know what HE REALLY meant in order to be sanctified and used for His glory and for our good. When we listen to others and don’t take the time to study for ourselves, we are tossed with “every wind of doctrine” and carried away from the meat of the Word of God.
 
3.      Usefulness depends upon the Word of God.
a.      Psalm 119:11, “Thy Word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.”
b.      2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”
c.       We need to know that every word of the Bible is true so that we can look at our sins through the Word. God says that we are to confess our sins and He is faithful and righteous and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.   The problem comes when we compare ourselves to others and decide that we are fairly good and then we don’t recognize our sins. When we compare ourselves to the example of Christ and the Word of God, we recognize that we are as filthy rags before a holy God and we are in serious need of forgiveness and cleansing from our sins.
d.      We need to be able to use the Word of God to speak to others in all circumstances and we need to know that what we share is true. Whether we are sharing a Word from the Bible to bring someone to salvation or we are bringing comfort to people who are going through various trials, we need to have an accurate and authentic Word from God to share with them. If we question whether the Word is true, then we aren’t offering much comfort to that person.
 
4.      Assurance depends upon the Word of God.
a.      2 Timothy 1:12, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”
b.      John 5:36, “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
c.       I John 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”
d.      Studying the Word of God will make us know that what we believe is true or it will make us realize that what we have believed all our lives because someone told us so, may not be true. If we live by the accurate truth of the Word of God, we can be assured that our faith and understanding are true.
 
5.      2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
When we know the Bible is true and accurate then we can be trained by the Words and teachings and know that the results will be righteousness imparted to us through Christ Jesus that will allow us to stand before a Holy God and be received by Him into His glory to spend eternity praising Him.
 
6.      Proverbs 2:1-12, “My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things; from those who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness..”
When we decide that we want to know God, there should be become in us a hunger for His Word and for His wisdom. When that hunger comes, He will satisfy us through His Word. Just like empty calories do not satisfy a physical hunger for very long, neither does empty teachings satisfy a spiritual hunger for the accurate truth of the Word of God.
 
7.      Revelation 22:18-19, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”
These are powerful words when we consider many teachings today, especially when we hear, “God didn’t really mean…”   If anyone takes away from the words of the book of prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life. Wow, I want to make sure that I handle the Word of God accurately and defend it correctly and know it so that I cannot be tricked or led astray so that my name is not removed from the tree of life. That verse alone should make us committed students of the Word of God to know it and understand it and to know that it can be proven based on facts.
 
8.       Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from Adrian Rogers. Think about them for a few minutes and let the depth of thought sink in.
a.      “If there is dust on the Bible there is drought in the heart.”
b.      “Many good “so-called Christian” people are leaving the Bible and trying to make the world a better place to go to hell from.”
I love this quote. We have churches packed with good people who are working hard to make the world a better place but are leaving out the hard truth of the Word of God and leaving out salvation. We can live in a better world for a short time but then spend eternity in hell. Helping others is great and necessary but only as an avenue to bring them to salvation through Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected.
 
Now that we have looked at why we need to be certain the Bible is true, let’s look at factual evidence that proves the Bible is true.
 
1.       Scientific Accuracy
a.      Most of us have been taught and drilled that the Bible can actually be proven false in many places. On the contrary, whenever the Bible is accurately challenged, it is proven true every time. The key to this statement is “accurately”. What we find in many of the challenges is that all the evidence is not presented but when it is, the Bible is always true.
b.      We need to remember that the God of creation and the God of salvation are one in the same. If creation is proven wrong, then the God of salvation is not true either. If anything in the Biblical account of the creation story can be proven false or even strongly suggested as being false, then we would have to question the authenticity of our salvation. Therefore it is important that we can defend every detail of the Bible and know that all is absolutely true.
c.       We are also challenged today by statements such as, “You have dumb, blind faith.” We tend to agree with people and say that we don’t have to understand anything we just have to have faith. This is completely false. Our faith should be an intelligent faith that we can not only trust be we can defend with sound doctrine. We need to remember what Paul told Titus, “in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)
d.      In 1861 the French Academy of Science published a brochure citing 51 scientific facts that showed errors in the Bible. At that point in history the people believed these learned men of science and that their facts were correct. What you have to remember is that the scientific knowledge was limited at that time. Today, NO reputable scientist believes any of the 51 facts presented then. The Bible hasn’t changed but scientific knowledge has. In many cases when we can’t make the facts fit the Bible, it is because science has not caught up with the Bible.
e.      We have proof of the earliest truth of the Bible that so called “learned men” didn’t learn until much later in time. One example is that of the earth floating in space. Ancient Egyptians, who were very wise for their day, believed that the earth was supported on 5 pillars. Greeks, with their “grand thinkers”, believed that the earth was held up by Atlas. Hindus believed the earth was being supported on the back of an elephant that was on the back of a tortoise, etc. Before all of this the book of Job was written around 1500 B.C. Job 26:7 says, “He stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing.” Long before the thoughts of the Egyptians or Greeks, God had already revealed to Job that He suspended the earth on nothing. It has always been that way we just didn’t have enough knowledge to know it then.
f.        At one time many people thought the earth was flat because they could only comprehend what they saw with their eyes. The book of Isaiah was written between 740 – 680 B. C.   Isaiah 40:22 says, “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.” Isaiah was given the wisdom of God to know that the earth was a sphere and not flat.
g.      Astronomy is another science that shows us the truth of the Bible. In 150 BC, Hipartius counted the stars at 1022. Think about that for a minute. He sat out under the stars probably for several nights and counted stars and determined that there were exactly 1022. At that time, I’m sure he impressed many people with his intelligence and diligence for counting the stars. However, in 100 AD, Ptolemy counted them again and counted 1026 so he proved that Hipartius was wrong. This calculation held true for quite a long time. As a matter of fact, it would be 1150 AD before this count would be challenged and proven wrong. At this time in history Galileo invented the telescope and he discovered that both of them were very, very wrong. He stated that there were billions of stars that we cannot even see with our eyes. Today we have the information from the Hubble Space Telescope which tells us that not only are the stars innumerable, but there are more galaxies than we can count or imagine. The farther we can go, the more we find. Jeremiah lived between 677 BC and 585 BC. In Jeremiah 33:22 we read, “As the host of heaven cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.” The host of heaven is referring to the stars of heaven. Jeremiah is stating that they are too numerous to count. This was wisdom given him by God, the creator of the universe and this was known long before the invention of a telescope.
h.      We can also prove the validity of the Bible through biology. In 1615, William Henry discovered that blood circulates throughout the body. At that time, most learned men believed that if a person was sick, their blood must be bad. Therefore, if a person was sick you had to “let” some of the bad blood out. The people they went to for this procedure were barbers because they had the sharpest instruments. Leviticus 17:14 states, “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ And when any person eats an animal which dies or is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or an alien, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and remain unclean until evening; then he will become clean.” Leviticus was written between1450 – 1410 BC. Not only does it tell us that blood is what gives us life it further explains that blood contains pathogens that are unclean. It tells us that we must wash and stay away from others so that we do not spread illnesses if we have been in contact with the blood of an animal.
i.        During the Black Plague of the 14th century, one in every three people died. The scientist did not discover the way to stop this; the church did by reading Leviticus 13:46, “He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection, he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” Isolation was nothing new to God. He had already thought of that and provided the insight for us.
j.        Semalvice was a physician at a hospital in Vienna where 1 in 6 expectant mothers were dying from infections after visiting the hospital. He discovered that doctors were coming from the morgue and doing exams without washing their hands. He made them start washing their hands before doing exams and the death rate dropped to 1 in 89. If he had read Numbers 19:14 he would have known that already. “This is the law when a man dies in a tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be unclean for seven days.” Numbers was written between 1450-1410 BC. Isn’t it amazing that God gave us all of this important information in His word long before the learned men of this world “discovered” the information?
2.      Let’s look at some historical information that proves the accuracy of the Bible.
a.      It is widely accepted that Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy). Some scholars say that is impossible because there was no written language at that time. Archaeologist discovered a clay tablet with written language on it that dated prior to the time of Moses.   Therefore it wasn’t impossible we just didn’t have accurate records to know what could and could not be done during that time period.
b.      In the book of Daniel, Belshazzar was named as king of Assyria. Scholars state that Nabonidus was the king of Assyria during that time. Documents were discovered that determined that Nabonidus was the father of Belshazzar and they were co-regents, reigning at the same time with Belshazzar staying home and Nabonidus traveling. This discovery made Daniel 5:16 make more sense when Belshazzar told Daniel that he would make him the third ruler. When we read Daniel 5:16 prior to this study, it didn’t mean that it was wrong; it meant that we didn’t have enough knowledge to understand what it really meant.
c.       In Isaiah 20:1, Sargon is mentioned as king of Assyria. He was not mentioned at any other time in the Bible and scholars said there were no historical accounts of a king named Sargon so that had to be false. However, an archaeological dig discovered a vast library of a king of Assyria named “Sargon”. Today many relics from this dig are on display at a museum in England.
d.      Many scholars were sure that the census called for in Luke 2 never took place. There was no evidence of that ever happening before. However, in an archaeological dig, a paper was found with the exact same type of census issued by Trajan in AD 104.
e.      Another interesting fact about the historical writings of the Bible is that they told about the failures of the main characters. This was unheard of in historical writings as they wanted their leaders and kings to appear as perfect – as gods. The stories and events were not presented falsely in the Bible so we see the characters with their faults and with their dependence upon God. I’m thankful that God gave me the examples in the Bible of people who tried and failed, were forgiven and received mercy, and who returned to God to do what God expected them to do. That is encouraging to me when I fail, that God will forgive me and will draw me back to Him and allow me to continue working for Him and for His glory. 
f.        Robert Dick Wilson (1856-1936) was brought up as a Christian believer. He became the Professor of Semitic Philology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He decided that he was going to divide his life into 3 sections of study time. The first 15 years were going to be spent learning every language that was needed to thoroughly study the Old Testament. He ended up learning 26 languages and dialects during those 15 years. During the second 15 years he used those languages to study all the historical documents that related in any way to the Old Testament writings. During the last 15 years he published his findings.
                                                              i.      “I try to give my students such an intelligent faith in the Old Testament scriptures that they will never doubt them as long as they live.”
                                                            ii.      “No man will ever know enough to assail the truthfulness of the Old Testament.”
g.      Sir William Ramsay (1851-1935) was raised as an unbeliever. He became a professor at Oxford and Aberdeen universities in England. He was knighted for his work in archaeology. One of his greatest works was to dig up the lands of Asia Minor to discredit the writings of Luke and Paul. As God would have it he proved them true instead of false.
                            i.      “You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.”
                            ii.      “Christianity did not originate in a lie and we can and ought to demonstrate this as well as believe it.”
                           iii.      These statements should take us back to what we began with. When scientific and historical accounts are reported accurately we find that they will always prove the Bible true. The problem of today is that most reports are not reported accurately.
3.      The unity of the Bible adds to the accuracy of the Bible. Let’s consider some of the facts.
a.      There are 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. There were 40 different writers writing over a time period of 1600 years. They were written in 13 different countries and on 3 different continents. The writers came from a variety of backgrounds – kings, shepherds, fishermen, doctors, priests, etc. There were 3 different languages used in the writings. YET – there is ONE story and ONE author (God) – the Bible was written entirely by divine inspiration. Think about this for a minute. Have you ever played the game of gossip? In this game the first player whispers a statement in the next player’s ear and then they whisper in the next person’s ear and so on and so forth and when you get to the end the last person has to say the statement out loud. It is a rare occasion that the statement even comes close to being what the first person said. Even with all the modern technology that we have today; we have a hard time repeating exactly what we see or hear. When you consider that 40 different people contributed to the Bible but it has one central message that NEVER contradicts itself that is amazing. It could only be accomplished by the divine leadership and intervention of our all-knowing, all powerful, all present God.
b.      Something to think about – In the Bible salvation is the theme – Jesus is the hero – Satan is the villain and Glorifying God is the purpose. This is true for every book of the Bible.
4.      Let’s consider the argument that Jesus is not the Son of God and that He was just a person who manipulated the prophecies of the Old Testament so that people would believe He was the Messiah.
a.      There are 300 precise prophecies about Jesus Christ, the Messiah in the Old Testament. Some scholars say that Jesus, the man, arranged for the fulfilling of the prophecies saying that He knew the prophecies so well that He could easily manipulate His circumstances to cause them to fulfill prophecy.
b.      He could arrange for some of the travels that He took and the regions He covered.
c.       He could arrange the time in which he entered Jerusalem and how he entered Jerusalem.
d.      He could NOT however arrange how and to whom he would be born. He had no control over His mother and father.
e.      He could NOT arrange how his parents would travel during the first couple of years of His life. He could not arrange for their movements or from their running from Herod.
f.        He could NOT arrange for the soldiers gambling at the foot of the cross.
g.      He could NOT arrange for His burial and resurrection.
h.      He could NOT have convinced His enemies to help Him fulfill prophecy and many of the prophecies were fulfilled through His enemies.
i.        ALTHOUGH – as God incarnate – He did arrange to be born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, to die on a cross for your sins and mine, and to rise again defeating death and the grave and to ascend into heaven to sit at the right hand of the father to intercede for each of us with groanings too deep for words. God loved you enough to plan all of that before the foundations of the world were ever established.
5.      Ever living qualities of the Bible
a.      The Bible has survived longer and sold more copies than any other book in history. The Bible is the book that caused the printing press to be developed and was the first book printed.
b.      The Word of the Lord endureth forever. It has stood the test of time and remains forever the same and forever faithful.
c.       The Bible has life changing power – no one is ever the same when they totally and completely study the Word of God.
                            i.      The power of God is in the book.
                           ii.      The Bible is the sword that cuts through the sin and evil
                          iii.      The Bible is the seed which allows love to grow in us and in others.
                          iv.      The Bible is the hammer that breaks the hardest of stone hearts.
d.      We must KNOW the Word and not depend on a feeling. Feelings are not dependable but the Word of God stands strong through any circumstances from the beginning of time to the end of time.
e.      The Bible is sufficient for the suffering.
f.        The Bible is satisfying to the scholar.
g.      “With the living Word filling our heart and the written Word filling our mind, we become thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
 
 
Last thought to think about when considering the Bible:
 
The Bible must be obeyed or destroyed!