Prophecy Series-Message #1

by Gary "Gabe" Hulin

"Why Should We Believe Bible Prophecy?"

Hear the Word of God

Is The Bible True?

Hundreds of books have been written concerning evidences of the Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. It has become popular in our apostate society, however, to go along with the delusion that the Bible is full of mistakes and no longer relevant to our modern world. How incredibly deceived the world has become!

Nevertheless, the Bible writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative. To make such a claim is incredible in itself, for any writer to say; and, if the forty or so men who were inspired to write the scriptures are wrong in their assertions, then I dare say that mankind has, indeed, no hope at all. Moreover, if the greatest and most influential book of the ages, containing the most beautiful literature and the most perfect moral code ever devised, was written by any other than by perfect guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, then it is hopeless to look elsewhere for meaning and purpose in this world.

Evidences of Divine Inspiration

If one will seriously investigate these Biblical evidences, he or she will find that their claims that the bible was borne of "divine inspiration" are truly justified (over 3,000 times in the scriptures the various writers stated in one way or another that their messages transmitted God's Word to man. The remarkable evidence of "fulfilled prophecy" is a study in point. Hundreds of bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, most often long after the specific Prophet had died.

Look to God for Guidance

Fulfilled Prophecy

As one example of fulfilled prophecy, Daniel predicted (Dan. 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel's promised Savior and Prince exactly 483 years after the Persian Emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild their temple, which was, at that time, in ruins. History has revealed that Artaxerxes, the king of Persia, gave the decree to rebuild the Temple in 445 B.C. and exactly 483 years later, to the very day, Jesus Christ fulfilled this prophecy! (Please refer to Message #6-Daniel's Vision of the Worlds Empires)

Another great historical fulfillment of prophecy concerns the restoration of Israel as a nation in these latter days. For more than 1500 years, Israel was dispersed literally into every corner of the earth. Yet, by the miraculous power of God, they have been rejoined, the bones have been reconnected, and they now are a nation again. We have witnessed a miracle of stupendous proportions in our own generation. (Please refer to Message #2:"Re-establishment of Israel as a Nation")

The Bible contains extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations, great cities and empires, individuals, and, with the course of History in general, Many prophecies have been literally fulfilled- a great many will soon find their fulfillment in God's time. More than 300 prophecies dealt with the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Others reveal a currently forming one world goverment, false religious systems, limited nuclear war, environmental disasters, cellestial signs, a one world economic system, a final world dictator, and a false peace that will deceive the nations of the world, for example. Only the Holy Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.

Historic and Scientific Evidences

The historical accuracy of the scriptures is also in a class by itself, far superior to the written records of Egypt, Assyria and other early nations. Archaeological confirmations of the Biblical record have been almost innumerable in this past century. R. Nelson Glueck, perhaps the greatest living authority on Israeli archaeology said: "No archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline, or in exact detail, historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries."

Another striking evidence of the divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature long before scientists confirmed them experimentally. For example: the roundness of the earth (Isa. 40:22), the almost infinite extent of the universe (Isa. 55:9), the law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7), the hydrological cycle (Eccl. 1:7), the vast number of stars ( Jer. 33:22), the equivalence of matter and energy (Heb. 1:3), the Law of Increasing Entropy Ps. 102:25-27), the paramount importance of blood in the life processes (Lev. 17:11), the atmospheric circulation (Eccl. 1:6), the gravitational field (Job 26:7). These concepts are not stated in the technical jargon of modern science, of course, but rather, in terms of the basic world of man's everyday experience. Nevertheless, they are in complete accord with the most modern scientific facts.

Divine Structure and Content

The Word was God

The remarkable structure of the Bible should be stressed. Although, it is a collection of 66 books written by 40 different men over a period of nearly 2,000 years, it is clearly one book, having perfect unity and consistent throughout. The individual writers of the time had no idea that their messages were to be eventually incorporated into such a book. But, each book, nevertheless, fits perfectly into place and serves it's own unique purpose as a component of the whole. Anyone who diligently studies the bible with an open mind and a right heart, will find remarkable structural and mathematical patterns woven throughout it's fabric, as well as intricacy and symmetry incapable of explanation by chance or collusion. The one consistent theme which transcends the pages of scripture throughout, is God's great Work in the creation and redemption of all things, through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Bible is also unique in terms of it's effects on individual men and women as well as on nations. It is the all-time best seller, appealing to both hearts and minds, beloved by at least some in every race, nation or tribe to which it has gone, rich or poor, scholar or simple, king or commoner, men of literally every background and walk of life. No other book has ever held such universal appeal nor produced such lasting effects.

Those nations which have honored the scriptures in their national life have been rewarded and blessed. This has been true of the British Empire and the United States who have been instrumental in the dispersal of stockpiles of bibles, as well as preachers and missionaries in modern times. Tragically, England's rapid decline in recent years has followed her decent into spiritual apostasy and unbelief. The United States, too, is quickly traversing the same route.

Testimonies of Truth

One final, but certainly not the last, evidence that the Bible is true is found in the testimonies of those who have believed it. Multitudes of people, past and present, have found from personal experience that it's promises are true, it's counsel is sound, it's commands and restrictions are wise, and it's wonderful message of salvation meets every need for time and eternity.

Can a person know how to interpret the Bible?

The proper way to interpret the Bible is to not interpret it at all! The Bible was written to be understood and to instruct; and, therefore, should be read like any other book of information and instruction. If God is the Author of the Bible as Christians believe, then it certainly is reasonable to assume that He could say what He means!

The Bible was written as God's revelation (not a mystery book, in some secret code). It was written to all men, of all times and places It, therefore is meant to be understood by all people. He used ordinary men, from many backgrounds (soldiers, shepherds, fishermen, carpenters, and tax collectors- as well as kings and priests) to write the different books of the Bible. Just so, it is significant that people of all backgrounds- rich and poor, educated or not, old and young, of every nationality and race- have read and loved, believed, and understood the Bible more than any other book ever written.

Bible Symbolism

This does not mean that the Bible does not use figurative speech or poetic language. There are parables, allegories, visions and symbols used throughout the scripture. This is also true of secular books, but, it does not keep us from understanding these books. Various authors use such devices for emphasis, for illustration and to enhance the meaning, not to confuse. The Bible interprets itself as history unfolds.

Whenever a Biblical writer uses figurative speech or poetic language, he makes this evident in the context, and, the truth that is intended to be conveyed is likewise evident in the context. When symbols are used, they also are defined and explained, either in the immediate context, or, in related passages found elsewhere in the scripture. The best rule to follow is this: take the Bible literally unless the context clearly requires a symbolic meaning. If the latter is true, then the meaning of the symbol can be found somewhere within the scriptures themselves- the Bible interprets itself. This meaning then arises from God's own source rather than from science, one's own imagination, some specially gifted seer or other source apart from God. "If common sense makes sense, we need no other sense".

Now the above explanation should not be taken to mean that a thorough understanding of the Bible can be gained by a quick, superficial scanning of it's pages. As the unique and infallible Word of God, it is inexhaustible- a treasure of rich truth and perfect counsel- of which perhaps no man can completely exhaust. Although the basic message of a given passage can be understood by anyone who will study and believe it, that same passage may continue to reveal new treasures of blessing and guidance over and over again.

Prerequisites to Understanding

It is true, of course, that many do find the scripture difficult to understand. There are probably three main reasons for this, or, to put it another way, there are three main prerequisites to a good understanding of scripture: faith, prayer, and study (communication with God).

One must first approach the Bible as, indeed, the Word of God. It is not man's prerogative to pass judgement on the Bible's validity or veracity. The Bible is to judge man, not the other way around. "Without faith it is impossible to please him; for He that cometh to God must believe that He is. And that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him " (Heb. 11:6).

The Armour of God

There is an abundance of evidence for the divine inspiration of the scriptures, more than enough to satisfy anyone with an open heart and mind. But, before any man can receive the message intended, he must be at least willing to believe it, otherwise, even though he may read a scripture a thousand times, it may remain a closed book to him. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14) They remain blinded to the truth even in the face of it.

Secondly, one must obey those parts of the Bible that he does understand, before he can expect to gain further understanding. "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves." (James 1:22) The first and foremost of obedience to God is to turn in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving him as his Savior and Lord. "Search the scripture" He said "For in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they that testify of me. And ye will not come to me that ye may have life." (John 5:39, 49)

Study the Whole Bible

Study God's Word

Finally, One should begin to study the whole Bible, and continue daily, year after year, all of His life. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." (2 Tim 2:15) The more a christian studies (and , of course, believes and obeys) the more he will gain understanding, and the more precious and certain the Bible will continue to grow. "All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God might be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2Tim 3:13, 17) The Bible is a marvelous unit in all it's diversity, perfectly divine in all of it's common humanity. Every part throws light on every other part, so that all must be understood in some measure if any would be understood in full measure. Thus, there is no end to study for complete understanding; yet, every momment of sincere Bible study will bring some understanding, and is time properly invested, with eternal dividends.

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