Bible Study

The Bible: God’s Perfect Word –  Psalm 12:6-7

THE PRESERVATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Last time we examined evidence for the inspiration of the Word of God.  We learned the blessed truth that God literally “breathed” His Word through human personalities to give us an inerrant, infallible and inspired record of His revelation of Himself and of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.        

  I.    SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S PROMISES

Let’s examine the internal evidence from the Bible itself.  The Bible contains several passages that affirm God’s intention to preserve His inspired Word for all generations.

      A.  Old Testament Promises Of Preservation

·        Psalm 12:6-7, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. [7] Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

·        Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

·        Psalm 89:34, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

·        Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

·        Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”

      B.  New Testament Promises Of Preservation

·        Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

·        Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

·        Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”

·        1 Peter 1:25, “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

C.  The conclusion from these verses is crystal clear: God had indeed promised to preserve His Word!  The internal evidence is overwhelming!  I have given you nine passages that explicitly state God’s intentions in this matter. 

            The question I have for you is this: How many times does God have to say anything before we can conclude that He means it?  Once!  We have the promise of God, Who cannot lie, Heb. 6:18, Who identifies Himself as the “Faithful and True Witness”, Rev. 3:14, that He will forever perfectly preserve His Word, and that is good enough for me.  However, while that may be all the evidence Bible believers need, that is not all the evidence we have!

I.    SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S PROMISES

II.        SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S POWER

A.  Jeremiah 36:1-32 tells the story of God giving Jeremiah revelation and inspiration to write a portion of the Word of God.  Jeremiah writes as he is commanded and king Jehoiakim listens to the word of God.  He receives illumination fro the Lord, but he rejects the message.  He takes the scroll Jeremiah has written and he literally cuts it to pieces and burns it in the fireplace, Jer. 36:23.  Apparently, he thinks that destroying the written word will erase what God has said.  However, God’s word is settled, not on earth, but in Heaven, Psa. 119:89.  God merely sent His word again through the prophet Jeremiah, Jer. 36:28.  Despite the actions of Jehoiakim, God preserved His Word!

            That is just one small picture of what God has always done in regard to protecting and preserving His Word down through the ages.

B.  Down through the ages, there have been several concerted efforts by pagan unbelievers to eradicate the Word of God. 

·        In A.D. 303, the Roman emperor Diocletion ordered the confiscation and destruction of all the Christian scriptures.  Thousands of early copies and possibly some original autographs were burned.  However, the Word of God was not eradicated!  Earnest believers protected the Word and hid it away in the catacombs, in caves and in graves.  The Word of God survived that attack!

·        The French humanist Voltaire once said, “Another century and there will not be a Bible on the earth.” Two centuries have gone, and the circulation of the Bible is one of the marvels of the age. After he died, his old printing press and the very house where he lived was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society and made a depot for Bibles. On December 24, 1933, the British Government bought a book called Codex Sinaiticus from the Russians for half a million dollars. On the same day, a first edition of Voltaire’s work sold for eleven cents in Paris bookshops.

·        Joseph Stalin This bloody butcher took over all of Russia upon the death of Lenin in the late twenties. From this point on until his death in the fifties, Stalin instituted a “ban the Bible” purge from the U.S.S.R. such as had never been witnessed before. The miserable man literally attempted to wipe the Word of God and the God of the Word from the Russian people’s minds. Did he succeed? A recent poll taken in Russia shows that today more people than ever believe in God and His Word.

·        For thousands of years the enemies of truth have sought to destroy the precious Word of God.  Every attempt to do so has failed miserably as the Bible continues to be read and loved by millions of people.

C.  In 1526, William Tyndale had produced the first English translation of the Bible to be printed on a printing press.  This new version was hated by the Roman Catholic Church and in particularly by the Bishop of London. A certain man named John Packington, who knew the Bishop and his hatred of the Tyndale translation, but who was also secretly a friend of Tyndale, went to the Bishop of London and told him he knew how to get all of Tyndale’s Bibles.  The Bishop told him to get them and that he would gladly pay whatever they cost.  The Bishop of London promised to buy them wit the intention of burning them a Paul’s Cross Cathedral in London.  Packington when to Tyndale and told him of the deal he had made with the Bishop.  Tyndale responded by saying that he knew the Bishop would burn his Bibles.  However, printing the Bibles had left Tyndale deeply indebted. 

            Tyndale decided to sell the Bibles to the Bishop of London.  He saw several advantages in doing so.  First, he could use the money to pay his way out of debt and have even more Bibles printed.  Secondly, when the people of England saw the Bishop of London burning the Word of God they would be come enraged.  So, the enemy of the Word of God actually allowed Tyndale to pay off his debts and print three times the number of Bibles that had been destroyed!

Later, when some of Tyndale’s associates were arrested and asked where they received the money to print their Bibles, they answered that the money came from the Bishop of London.  This one instance is proof that God is able to preserve His Word despite the attempts of all its enemies to destroy it.

I.    SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S PROMISES

II.        SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S POWER

III.   SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S PROVIDENCE

Despite the fact that God promised to preserve His Word and that He has exerted His divine power to preserve His Word, there still may be some doubt in a few minds about whether or not we have an accurate record of God’s inspired in our hands today.  Well, we do not have the time to examine all the evidence that exists for the preservation of the inspired Word of God, but we do have time to look at a small portion of the evidence that exists.

Let me say first of all that the Old Testament text has never really been questioned at to its authenticity.  The Jewish scribes were faithful copyists of the divine text.  You may have heard of all the extensive efforts they went to in order to ensure that their copies matched the originals in every detail.  They actually had men whose only job was to count the letters in the copies.  They counted the “jots and tittles”, Matt. 5:18, or the “little horns” that formed parts of the letters themselves. If the number of letters, of jots and tittles, did not match the number in the original, the copy was destroyed!  If there was even one error, no matter how small in the text, the copy was destroyed and the copyist started over.  These Jewish scribes were so faithful to the Word of God when they came to the name of God, they would wash themselves, and get a new pen before they wrote God’s name.  Then they would discard that pen and use another to proceed.  Due to their meticulous care of and reverence for the Old Testament Scriptures, the Hebrew text, called the Masoretic text, has never been questioned!

      The issue we face is related to the New Testament.  The question is this: can we, with confidence, really say that we have a copy of the inspired word of God?  Let’s take a moment to examine the evidence. Every English Bible in existence today came from one of two streams of Greek texts.  One stream is called the Alexandrian Text, while the other is called the Byzantine Text.  The Byzantine Text has come to be known as the Majority Text or the Textus Receptus (The Received Text).  

A.  The Perversion Of The True Text – (The Alexandrian Text) – This text family receives its name from the fact that it originated in Alexandria Egypt.  It was the work of such early church fathers and Clement and Origin.  Both of these men are held in high esteem by biblical scholars, but it should be noted that both of these men rejected a literal interpretation of the Bible, leaning instead toward an allegorical interpretation.  This simply means that they believed the Bible was a collection of spiritual stories designed to teach truth.  Much could be said about these men, but it is enough to know, for now, that they did not accept the Bible as it was literally written.  This fact alone makes the texts that they had a hand in creating suspect.

      This family of texts rests on about 45 manuscripts, many of which are very ancient, some dating back to around 330 AD.  The two primary texts in this family are called Sinaiticus (Codex Aleph) and Vaticanus (Codex B).  These are the oldest known manuscripts in existence.  Both date from the 4th Century.  Codex Aleph was discovered in the 1840’s at a monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai by a man named Count Constantin von Tischendorf. He saw several old leaves from ancient books in a pile to be used to start fires in the kitchen.  Upon inquiry, he discovered that they had an even older book in the monastery. The monks then showed him the manuscript known as Sinaiticus.  This ancient manuscript contains over 12,000 corrections and revisions by someone other that the original copyist.  It also contains several spurious books such as The Shepherd of Hermes, The Gospel of Thomas and the Didache.  All of these books have been rejected by the believing church for nearly 2,000 years.

      Codex B was discovered in the Vatican library in 1481. It too, dates from the 4th Century.  This manuscript is the one most relied on by modern Bible translators. This codex has been heavily corrected by Roman Catholic copyists.  By the way, the King James Translators knew of the existence of Codex B, but chose to avoid it.

      What is interesting is that these two manuscripts, which form the basis for most modern versions of the Bible, disagree with one another over 3,000 times in just the four Gospels alone!  There are 43 other manuscripts that support this textual family.  Remember, most new versions of the Bible, gets its footnotes from the Alexandrian line of texts, was translated from Greek texts based on these manuscripts.  A whopping total of 45 manuscripts stand behind all the new versions of the Bible.

      These texts were taken, translated, collated and come to us today in the form of the Nestles-Aland 27th Greek Text.  This text is considered the standard by most Bible scholars.  Yet, it still only rests on some 45 manuscripts!

B.  The Preservation Of The True Text – (The Traditional Text) – The other text family had its origin in the city of Antioch in Syria.  The scholars in Antioch took a more literal approach to biblical interpretation.  They considered the Bible to be more than mere allegory; they believed it to be the very Word of God. As a result, they were diligent in seeing to it that they were faithful to copy it correctly, employing many of the same techniques of their Jewish predecessors.  It is this textual line that has given the world many of the great Bible translations: The Erasmus Greek Text, 1522 (Later to become known at as The Textus Receptus, 1633); Martin Luther’s German Bible, circa 1530; Tyndales Bible, 1522; Coverdales Bible, 1535; The Geneva Bible, 1560 and the King James Bible, 1611.

      While the new versions rest on a total of 45 manuscripts, those versions that were translated from the Majority Text rest on over 5,210 manuscripts!  The overwhelming number of manuscripts agrees with the Majority Text.  By the way, when the Nestles-Aland 27th Text is compared to The Textus Receptus, you find that there are some 3,000 words omitted in the Nestles-Aland text and some 20 verses are also omitted.  Among the verses omitted are: Acts 8:37 and 1 John 5:7.

C.  This is astounding when you consider that Caesar’s Gallic Wars, which was written in 52 BC has only 9 good manuscripts supporting it and the oldest dates from some 900 years after the time of Caesar!  The Iliad by Homer was written in 900 BC. There are only 643 copies. The earliest copy was made about 400 BC. The textual tradition of the Iliad ranks a distant second to the NT tradition when you consider MSS numbers, age of documents, and quality of texts. Tacitus was a Roman who lived from about AD 55-117. His two long works are Histories and Annals. Only four and one-half of the fourteen books of Histories survive, while only ten of the sixteen books and two partial books of Annals survive. The text for both depends on one ninth century MSS and one eleventh century MSS.

D.  When you total it all up, the New Testament rests on over 86,000 fragment and manuscripts.  There is more evidence for the accuracy of the New Testament than there is for any ancient writing, period! Do we have the Word of God?  Absolutely! 

Wade’s Wednesday

Grace

Philip Yancey, in his book “What’s So Amazing about Grace” stated it this way: “Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us.”

In his book, Hope for the Troubled Heart, Billy Graham comments on the grace that God shows for sinners. He writes, “There is wonderful good news in God’s compassion, like that of Jesus speaking to the woman who was dragged before him for her adulterous acts. Jesus told her to leave her life of sin and that she would not be condemned (John 8:4).

Jesus taught that every word or action we take in this life is subject to scrutiny by God (Matthew 12:36). He also explained that how we treat others says much about how much we truly love Him (Matthew 10:40–42). Christ even tied this expectation of good works to how we treat the needy, strangers, and those in prison (Matthew 25:34–40). This passage in Hebrews touches on a very similar set of persons: fellow believers (Hebrews 13:1), strangers, and those in prison (Hebrews 13:3).

The suggestion that our behavior towards strangers might be directed at angels is not a random thought. Scripture makes reference to actual instances where people were visited by angels, seemingly unaware of to whom they were speaking (Genesis 18:1–3; 19:1–3).

As Abraham and Sarah welcomed you, Lord, in the three men who visited them, may I receive you eagerly however you reveal yourself. Amen. —Copied. Author unknown

~ ~ ~

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lam. 3:22-23

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

God Is Never Too Late

God is never too late, when He takes care of His child,

Everything He does will bring to your heart a smile;

He sees every situation, in life, taking place,

He is more than abundant with mercy & grace!

God is never too late, when He’s watching over us,

He is very worthy of our complete & total trust;

His thoughts are far above what we think or know;

Following His lead is the wise, right way to go!

God is never too late, with anything He performs,

He is always able to do what’s “out of the norm;”

Even though we worry when we don’t understand,

He’s strong enough for it to remain in His hand!

God is never too late, if circumstances get tough,

No matter what it is, His strength will be enough;

How comforting to know, in the events of our day,

His answer is on time, for God is never too late!

Passing Through

Just Passing Through

By Adrian Rogers

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
1 John 2:17

The only thing that is going to last are the things of God. Period.

The world is passing away. Our days are fleeting. One day we will all be gone from this earth as we know it. You see, we’re not citizens of earth trying to get to heaven. We are citizens of heaven sojourning here on earth. This earth is not our home.

Are you living for the pleasures of the flesh? Or for the joy of the Spirit?

Are you living for the praise of men? Or for the glory of God?

Are you living for time? Or are you living for eternity?

Are you living for the things that can be seen? Or for the things that cannot be seen?

One of these days, this old world and all of its vaulted culture, proud philosophies, egocentric intellectualism, and godless materialism is going to be forgotten. But he that “doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Take stock: What are you really living for?

From the messages of Adrian Rogers.

The Garden

To Be Found in Christ

“But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” – 1 Corinthians 1:30

Paul thought it was the greatest of blessings to be found “in Him” (see Philippians 3:9). Paul exchanged a set of rules for a friend.

Hadn’t you rather have a friend than a set of rules? Before this, Paul had the law. Now, he has the Lord. And what a difference! What a safe place—to be found in Jesus Christ.

You’re not just a church member, if you are saved, you are in Christ. You are in His body and He is in you. Talk about fellowship divine! You may be alone, but you’ll never be lonely again because the Lord Jesus Christ is in you and you are in the Lord Jesus Christ.

My favorite song that Laura sing is “In The Garden” when you listen to the words and meditate on its truth, that “He tells me I am His own.”

Counterfeits

By David Jeremiah

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.—Revelation 12:9

New York authorities recently warned people about accepting $100 bills. A group of counterfeiters figured out how to chemically strip the ink off $1 bills, which are then reprinted as $100 bills. Since the paper is genuine, it’s difficult to detect the ruse.

In the Bible, Satan is presented as a counterfeiter who specializes in imitating the Lord. He has false teachers, false doctrines, a false church, and even a false trinity. In Revelation 12 and 13, we have a trio of evil personages who try to mimic the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The anti-Father is Satan, the dragon, the serpent (Revelation 12:7-17). The anti-Christ is a beast from the sea, empowered by the dragon and seeking global worship for himself (Revelation 13:1-9). The anti-Spirit is like a beast from the earth who performs great signs (Revelation 13:11-18).

The false trinity will try to mimic God. They will never compare or measure up to the one true God, but the descriptions about them in these passages are warnings for us to beware the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

“To Christ the devil was one of the most real persons. He recognized his person, felt and acknowledged his power, abhorred his character, and warred against his person and kingdom.”—E. M. Bounds

Friday Funnies

Outsmarted

A man was stopped by a game warden recently with two ice chests full of live fish in water, leaving a river well known for its fishing.

The game warden asked the man, “Do you have a license to catch those fish?”

“Naw, my friend, I ain’t got no license. These here are my pet fish.”

“Pet fish?”

“Yep. Every night I take these fish down to the river and let ’em swim’ round for a while. Then I whistle and they jump right back into this ice chest and I take ’em home.”

“That’s a bunch of bunk! Fish can’t do that!”

The man looked at the game warden for a moment and then said, It’s the truth. I’ll show you. It really works.”

“Okay, I’ve GOT to see this!”

The man poured the fish into the river and stood and waited. After several minutes, the game warden turned to him and said, “Well?”

“Well, what?” said the man.

“When are you going to call them back?”

“Call who back?”

“The FISH!”

“What fish?”

Natural Childbirth

A boy was assigned a paper on childbirth and asked his parents, “How was I born?”

“Well, Honey…” said the boy’s mom, “the stork brought you to us.”

“Oh,” said the boy. “Well, how did you and daddy get born?” he asked.

“Oh, the stork brought us too,” chimed in the dad.

“Well how were grandpa and grandma born?” he persisted.

“Well darling, the stork brought them too!” said the mom, by now starting to squirm a little in her recliner.

Several days later, the boy handed in his paper to the teacher who read with confusion the opening sentence: “This report has been very difficult to write because there hasn’t been a natural childbirth in my family for three generations.”

Bible Study

The Bible: God’s Perfect Word  2 Timothy 3:14-17

THE PERFECTION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We have met here tonight because we believe the Bible.  We believe in the God of the Bible; the Christ of the Bible; the plan of salvation revealed in the Bible; and everything else written in the Bible.   

       A good word that describes the Bible is the word “unique”.  The dictionary defines the word “unique” as follows, “1. only one: being the only one of its kind 2. better than others: superior to all others 3. unusual: different from others in a way that makes something worthy of note.”  It is the only book of its kind in existence!  Several features point out its uniqueness, and by way of introduction, I want to share those features with you today.

·        The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years

·        The Bible was written by over 40 different authors (Among them were kings, military leaders, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, tax collectors, poets, statesmen, musicians, scholars and shepherds.)

·        The Bible was written in many different places, at  different times and by people experiencing different moods.

·        The Bible was written on three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe.

·        The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.

·        The Bible is written with many different literary styles: Prose, poetry, historical narrative, romance, law, biography, parable, allegory and prophecy.

·        The Bible addresses hundreds of difficult issues without a single contradiction.

·        The Bible is a book of great diversity, yet, in spite of this, it unfolds a single continuous story, and it does so without ever contradicting itself.

·        The Bible has for its main character God Himself, made known through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

      The Bible is a unique book!  But, this uniqueness was not accidental, it was purposeful.  How can this be?  The Bible achieves its uniqueness through a process known as Inspiration.  It is that process that we will investigate together today.  Our text, verse 16, says that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”.  The word “inspiration” literally means “God breathed”. 

      If God has given His Word, delivered by His very breath, then it stands to reason that the scripture He has given us is absolutely perfect.  

  I.                    THE PROCESS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION

There are three terms that must be addressed as we deal with this matter of Inspiration.

A.  Revelation – The first step in getting the word of God on paper is the process known as revelation.  This is the process whereby a man hears from the Lord just what the Lord wants written down.  At varying times, God used varying means to give His revelation to men.

·        He spoke through angels – Gen. 18; 19; Luke 1-2; Matt. 28; etc.

·        He spoke through an audible voice – Gen. 3:9-19; 6:13-21; 12:1-3; Ex. 20:1-17; Josh. 1:1-9; 1 Kings 17:2-4.

·        He spoke in a still, small voice – 1 Kings 19:11-12

·        He spoke through nature – Psalm 19

·        He spoke through animals – Num. 22:28

·        He spoke in dreams – Gen. 28:12; Matt. 1-2; Matt. 2:19-22

·        He spoke through visions – Isaiah 6:1-6; Daniel 7; 8; 10; Acts 16, 19

·        He spoke through Christophany- an appearance of Christ in a visible form – Gen. 18:1-33; Ex. 3:2; Dan. 3:25; 

1 Kings 19:7

We do not know the exact process by which God spoke to the original authors, but we have God’s Word on the fact that He did, 2 Pet. 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  So, revelation is God telling a man what He wants written down.

B.  Inspiration – The second step in the process is inspiration.  This is man writing on paper what God has told him to say.  As we have already seen this process is said to be “God breathed”. 

·        The Bible clearly claims inspiration for itself, 2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Heb. 1:1.

·        Paul believed his writings were inspired, 1 Cor. 4:2; 15:3; 1 Thes. 2:13; 4:15.

·        Peter believed his writings were inspired, 2 Pet. 3:2.

·        Peter believed the writings of Paul to be inspired, 2 Pet. 3:15-16.

Somehow God superintended the process of getting His word into a man and then through that man onto paper.  Inspiration has been defined as, “God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs”, Charles C. Ryrie.

But, the question comes, how did He do this?  Well, of course, there are many different views, but only one correct view.  Let me share a few of those with you.

·        Natural Inspiration – This theory holds that there was nothing supernatural involved in the writing of the Bible.  Men we inspired in the same fashion as Shakespeare, Milton; Dante; etc.

·        Spiritual Illumination – People who hold this view believe that the people and the words were inspired.  They believe that any devout Christian can be inspired to write more Scripture.

·        Partial Inspiration – This view says that only the elements in the Bible related to faith are inspired.  There may be scientific or historical error, but God has preserved the massage of salvation.  The problems with this view are clear!  If you cannot believe even a part of the Bible, how can you believe any of the Bible?

·        Conceptual Inspiration – The concepts of scripture and not the words are inspired.  God just gave a man an idea and he wrote what he thought about that topic.

·        Divine Dictation – The biblical writers were merely automatons in the hand of God.  He came upon them and overrode them.  He moved the pen and merely used their body as a vehicle to write His Own Words.  If this is true, then why do John, Paul, Peter, James, Matthew, Moses, etc all reveal differing styles?

All of these, among others, are false views of inspiration.   Most fundamentalists believe in what is called the “Verbal, Plenary Inspiration of the Bible.” 

This simple means that we believe that “all” (plenary) the very “words” (verbal) of the Bible are inspired.  This is the claim of the Bible, 2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 4:4; John 6:63, and it is the position we gladly affirm. 

What this means is that God gave His Word to human authors.  But, He did not override their personalities.  He did, however, guide their choice of words.  When they had written down all that God had given them in His revelation, they had produced a perfectly inspired record of God’s revelation.  God breathed His Word through human vessels giving the world a perfectly inspired statement of His Word to men!

 II.                   THE PROOFS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION

Now that we have something of an idea of what inspiration is, how can we be sure that our Bibles are genuinely inspired by God?  Well, the bottom line is that it does come down to faith, but faith is never a blind leap into the dark.  Our faith can rest not just in the fact that God personally breathed His Word through men, but that His Word will stand up to several important tests as to its perfection. 

A.  It Passes The Historical Archeological Test – For many years people laughed at Bible believers because the Bible referred to places, people and events that had no basis in recorded history.  However, through the good grace of God, He has allowed the archeologists’ spade to uncover many items from the ancient past that confirm the factual nature of the Word of God.  Not a single piece of evidence had ever surfaced that contradicts the Bible at only point of its history. 

Note: Consider these important discoveries:

·        For years men said that a place called Ur of the Chaldees never existed.  Then proof was discovered that proved it did. (In 1927, Leonard Woolley excavated the site.)

·        The historicity of Joseph’s rule in Egypt confirmed by a tablet found in Yemen.  It seems that a clay tablet was found in the tomb of a rich woman who record here efforts to buy grain from a man named Joseph in a land called Egypt. (Vergote (1959: 98ff) and Ward (1960:146-47) that Joseph was Chief Steward of the King.)

·        The seal of Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe has been found. (In 1975, a clay bulla purportedly containing Baruch’s seal and name appeared on the antiquities market.) 

·        Jezebel’s makeup saucers have been found. (Dr Marjo Korpel has discovered that a seal found in 1964 and dating from the 9th century BCE belonged to the biblical figure Queen Jezebel. )

·        Brick in Egypt have been found that were made without straw.

·       The death of Jesus has been proven to be a historical fact. (The Dead Sea Scrolls, documents found 1940s)

·        The list could go on, but suffice it to say that the Bible has been and continues to be proven accurate in every detail it records! 

B.  It Passes The Scientific Test – Others have mocked the Bible and claimed that it was woefully inaccurate in matters of science.  However, time has once again vindicated the accuracy of the message of the Bible. 

·        The Bible says the earth is a sphere, Isa. 40:22.  Man discovered this in the 15th century. 

·        The Bible says the earth is suspended in space – Job 26:7.  Sir Isaac Newton discovered this in 1687. 

·        The Bible claims the number of the stars is innumerable, Gen. 15:5.  Abraham could only see about 1,200 stars in his day.  Now, we know that there are trillions of stars in the heavens. 

·        The Bible contains rules regarding medicine and sanitation that where thousands of years ahead of their time. (Washing and quarantine, Leviticus 14-15)

·        Many, many more specific items could be mentioned here, but these should suffice to show the superiority of the message of the Bible.   The Bible can be trusted!

C.  It Passes The Prophecy Test – There are literally thousands of prophetic predictions made in the Bible.  Some of these prophecies are quite dramatic in nature.  For instance, Isaiah mentions Cyrus the Persian King, by name, 125 years before he was born.

            Not a single one prophecy made in the Bible has ever failed, or will ever fail, to come to pass!  Some of the most remarkable prophecies are those related to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

For instance, if you were to take just a few of the most specific prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus and His birth and earthly life, you can see how astonishing the accuracy of the Bible truly is.  Consider just these seventeen prophecies:

1.     He would be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2

2.     He would be preceded by a forerunner, Isa. 40:3

3.     He would enter Jerusalem on a colt, Zech. 9:9 (By the way, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the exact day Daniel had prophesied hundreds of years earlier, Dan. 9:25-27.)

4.     He would be betrayed by a friend, Psa. 41:9

5.     His hands and His feet would be pierced, Psa. 22:16

6.     He would be wounded by His enemies, Isa. 53:5

7.     He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, Zech. 11:12

8.     He would be spit upon and beaten, Isa. 50:6

9.     The betrayal money would be cast down in temple and would be used to buy a potter’s field, Zech. 11:13

10.  He would be silent before His accusers, Isa. 53:7

11.  He would be crucified with thieves, Isa. 53:12

12.  People would gamble for His garments, Psa. 22:8

13.  His side would be pierced, Zech. 12:10

14.  No a bone in His body would be broken, Psa. 34:20

15.  His body would not decay, Psa. 16:10

16.  He would be burial in the tomb of a rich man, Isa. 53:9

17.  Darkness would cover the earth, Amos 8:9. 

     The Bible can be trusted!

D.  It Passes The Unity Test – What God begins in Genesis, He ends in Revelation. ( Gen. 1:1; Rev. 21:1; Gen. 1:27-28; Rev. 21:9, etc.)  This is in spite of the fact that it took 1,500 years to write the Bible.  It is the unfolding of a single story from beginning to end.  This could never be duplicated by any human work!

      The Bible can be trusted!

E.  It Passes The Honesty Test – If this were merely a human book, it would gloss over the failures of the people found within its pages.  However, the Bible does not hide Noah’s drunkenness, Samson’s lust, David’s adultery, Elijah’s depression or Peter’s denial.  It tells the truth from cover to cover!

      The Bible can be trusted!

There are many other areas in which the Bible could be put to the test, but I just want you to know that it passes them all with flying colors!  No human book could accomplish this!  Just what I have mentioned this evening is proof positive that we have in our hands a divinely inspired Bible!

III.                   THE PRODUCT OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION

We know what inspiration is and we can see the God’s fingerprints all over His Word.  If we accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God, what does that teach us?  What can we take away from such an examination?  We are left with three precious truths that must never be taken for granted.)

A.  The Bible Is Infallible – This word means that the Scriptures are incapable of failing!  Everything the Bible says is truth and all everything it promises will come to pass! The Scriptures are in every sense perfect and they are a perfect revelation of the mind of God to man!

B.  The Bible Is Inerrant – E.J. Young defines inerrancy this way, “By this word, we mean that the Scriptures possess the quality of freedom from all error.  They are exempt from the liability to mistake, incapable of error.  In all their teachings they are in perfect accord with the truth.” 

            When people say that the Bible contains mistakes and errors, they are calling the very character of God into question!  We are told that God simply cannot tell a lie, Heb. 6:18.  If He claimed inspiration for His Word, then that Word must be inerrant.  If it isn’t then God lied when He claimed to have inspired the original text.

C.  The Bible Is Complete – When the Apostle John laid down his pen at the close of the book of Revelation, the revelation in the Scriptures was perfect and fully complete.  There has not been a single inspired word since that time and there never will be.  God has finished His Scriptures and we hold in our hands the perfect and complete record of that revelation. If you lived 10,000 life times and read every book ever written and that would ever be written, you would never again encounter another book like the Bible.  In fact, you would never again encounter any other Scripture.  The Bible is complete!

The final analysis is this: when you read your Bible, you are reading the very words of God!  You can base your faith upon it!  You can trust your eternity to it.  You can embrace its message knowing that it reveals the very mind of God to man!  It cannot fail!  It cannot err!  It will never be corrected, updated or amended!  It is complete and it is perfect!

Victory Baptist Church 05 August 2020 victorypalmetto.com 

Wade’s Wednesday

A Life Well Lived

By Max Lucado

A friend of the late American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes asked him why he had taken up the study of Greek at the age of 94. Holmes replied, “Well, my good sir, it’s now or never.”

When J. C. Penney was 95 years old, he affirmed, “My eyesight may be getting weaker, but my vision is increasing.”

Growing old can be dangerous. The trail is treacherous, and the pitfalls are many. One is wise to be prepared. You know it’s coming. It’s not like God kept the process a secret. It’s not like you are blazing a trail as you grow older. It’s not as if no one has ever done it before. Look around you. You have ample opportunity to prepare and ample case studies to consider. If growing old catches you by surprise, don’t blame God. He gave you plenty of warning. He also gave you plenty of advice.

“And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you..” Isaiah 46:4

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39).

“There are two ways to view life,” Jesus is saying, “as something to protect or something to pursue. The wisest people are not the ones with the most years in their lives, but the most life in their years.”

Your goal is not to live long—it’s to live. Time slips. Days pass. Years fade. And life ends. And what we came to do must be done while there is time. For us, age is no enemy. Age is a mile marker—a gentle reminder that home has never been so near.

You can take the safe route, or you can hear the voice of God’s adventure. Follow God’s impulses. Your last chapters can be your best. Your final song can be your greatest. It could be that all of your life has prepared you for a grand exit. God’s oldest have always been among his choicest.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

Just Talk To The Lord

When others forsake you, just talk to the Lord,

He’s been betrayed by His friends before;

He’ll give wisdom in how to become like Him,

Even help you turn the other cheek with friends!

When disappointment comes, just talk to the Lord,

His love will bring comfort, peace & much more;

Jesus will help us when our heart has hurt,

As long as we have this sinful nature on earth!

When you need a listener, just talk to the Lord,

Anything you’re feeling, He has felt before;

He has compassion on things, great or small,

Whatever you are facing, His heart knows it all!

Just talk to the Lord, in all things taking place,

Nothing ever happens when He won’t give grace;

 When problems come, making things go wrong,

Talk to Him who hears, & gives your heart a song!