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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
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