1. WHERE THE BIBLE CAME FROM
The Bible is a Revelation of GOD to man consisting of sixty-six books bound together and forming one book. Twenty-two of the books are mainly historical, twenty-one are largely books of prophecy, twenty-one are forms of letters, and two are primarily poetic.
Even though written by at least thirty-six different authors who were kings, farmers, lawyers, generals, fishermen, ministers, and priests, a tax collector, a doctor, some rich and some poor, stretching over a period 1,600 years, yet the Bible is one book because GOD was its true author.
Who gave the prophecies of the Bible by means of the Holy Spirit?
“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.”
2 Peter 1:21. Read 1 Peter 1:10, 11.
How much of the Bible is inspired by GOD?
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
2 Timothy 3:16, first part.
Who revealed the future to the prophets through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
Did the prophets recognize that their messages were from GOD?
Yes. Here are a few examples.
David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.”
2 Samuel 23:2.
Jeremiah said, “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.”
Jeremiah 1:9, last part. Read Jeremiah 1:4-9
GOD told Ezekiel, “And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.”
Ezekiel 2:7, first part.
When Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, “was filled with the Holy Ghost” he said that GOD had spoken “by the mouth of his holy prophets” which have been since the world began. Luke 1:70.
By what means does John say the Book of Revelation was given.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.”
Revelation 1:1, 2.
Note: In this example of the steps in God’s messages to the prophets we see that GOD is the fountainhead of truth. Christ received truth from the Father. Jesus then gave it to the chosen angel. The angel communicated the message to the prophet, who in turn passed it to the people either orally, or by writing, or both.
It is evident that it was “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” Hebrews 1:1. The Bible is God’s book. Because it is His Word it will stand forever. Read Isaiah 40:8. It would be well for us to place the same value on God’s Word as did Job. “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job .
2. FULFILLED PROPHECIES –
ILLUSTRATIONS OF INSPIRATION
GOD claims to be able to reveal the future. He says, “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:9 GOD is able to declare “the end from the beginning.” Isaiah 46:9, 10 Therefore fulfilled prophecy becomes a mighty testimony to the inspiration of the Bible.
did GOD predict concerning ancient
Isaiah 13:19, 20.
51:26, 37. Go to the site of ancient
did the prophet say GOD would do to the great city of
will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy
Zephaniah 2:13, 15.
accurately predict the downfall of
“It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.”
Note: Read also Ezekiel 30:4, 12, 13.
was God’s prediction concerning ancient
“And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.”
did GOD predict about the nations of modern
“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
In the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, GOD revealed the future of certain
nations to the end of time. Read Daniel 2:31-45. The King was shown
an image, and the various parts of the image represented great world powers.
The head of gold represented
We are living in the last days of earth. We must take heed to the Bible counsel, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11. “And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20, last part.
3. THE CREATION OF ALL THINGS
Who made the world? How did man arrive upon the earth? From where did the flowers, the trees, the birds, the animals, and the fish come? For the correct answer to these questions we must turn to the Bible. God’s Book contains a record of creation.
What is the origin of the material universe?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
How were the heavens made?
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth… For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”
Psalm 33:6, 9.
How long was the earth to endure?
“Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.”
Who has created all things?
“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth… Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding.”
Isaiah 40:26, 28.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets… Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”
Hebrews 1:1, 2.
How was man brought into existence?
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
How is it possible to understand the creation story?
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
Can we be sure that each day of creation week was a twenty-four hour day?
The first chapter of Genesis gives a definite record of each day’s work and there is a positive marking of the exact duration of each day. At the close of the first day’s work the Bible says, “The evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5, last part. And in the very same way each of the remaining days of the week are marked off. Each day consists of two parts, the light and the dark. In God’s plan the setting of the sun marks the close of the day. Read Genesis 1:14-18. Each day of creation week began and ended with the setting of the sun, and was thus twenty-four hours long.
Note: Sometimes the idea is advanced that a day, in some instances, may be an indefinite period of time. However, a study of the Hebrew manuscripts reveals that whenever the word day is used with a definite number as an adjective a day of twenty-four hours is always indicated.
Why was the world created?
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Note: Read Job 38:1 through Job 42:6. In theses verses you will read evidences of God’s creative might and Job’s final confession as he comes to see God’s power and wisdom.
What are the basic elements of nature presented in Genesis, chapter one?
In chapter one each of these laws is preceded by the phrase “And God said.”
1. God created light. Read Genesis 1:3.
2. He created the atmosphere.
3. In Genesis 1:9 God set the bounds for the land and the sea.
4. God fixed the species into the vegetable kingdom. Each would produce after its kind. Read Genesis 1:11.
5. God divided the time into days, months, seasons by the rotation of the sun, moon, earth in their several paths.
Read Genesis 1:14.
6. God fixed the species of aerial and marine life. Each would also produce after its kind. Read Genesis 1:20, 21.
7. In Genesis God fixed the species of cattle and beasts. Each would produce after its kind.
8. Man’s creation was a separate and distinct act of creation.
Read Genesis 1:26.
9. God then gave the law of man’s generation. Read Genesis 1:28.
10. Finally God gave man’s diet. Read Genesis 1:29, 30.
What principles having to do with man’s conduct are revealed in Genesis, chapter 2?
1. God mentioned the Sabbath. He made the seventh day holy.
Read Genesis 2:1-3.
2. He gave labor. Read Genesis 2:15.
3. God placed restraint on man. Man was to manifest self-control. He was to acknowledge God’s ownership. The tree of knowledge of good and evil became the test of man’s obedience. Read Genesis 2:18, 24.
Everything God did was “very good.” “Man was made perfect. There is no God like the Creator. Let us worship him.” Read Isaiah 43:10, 13.
4. CAN THE BIBLE BE UNDERSTOOD?
There was a time when the Christian Church did not permit the laity to read the Bible. Only the clergy had access to God’s word. It was thought that only the learned and better educated could rightly understand the Bible. However, this reasoning is not in accord with the Bible.
What is the first basic rule for the knowledge of truth?
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
Note: To understand the Bible one must study the Scriptures. Read 2 Timothy 2:15. Ask God for help as David did in Psalm 119:18.
Rule 1: Study the Bible reverently with a sincere desire to know and to practice truth.
What is truth?
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Rule 2: Accept the Bible as God’s voice to you.
Read John , 28 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
How can one find the truth on a particular subject?
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
Isaiah 28:9, 10.
Read also 1 Corinthians 2:13, 14.
Remember that the evidence of truth is in the Bible itself. One scripture can be the key to unlock the meaning of other scriptures.
Note: When one studies the Scriptures he discovers various Bible writers touch on similar subjects. This is much like a puzzle – to find the Bible’s full teaching on a given subject one gathers together all the various authors have written on a given topic.
What was the method Jesus used when endeavoring to find the truth?
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself… And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.”
Luke 24:27, 44, 45.
Rule 3: The Bible is its own best commentary.
In what were the Bereans more noble than the people at Thessalonica?
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts . Read also John 5:39.
Rule 4: There should be perseverance in research.
What warning about the Book of Revelations helps us to see how serious it is to add to subtract from God’s Word?
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Revelation 22:18, 19.
Rule 5: There is to be no adding or taking away from what the Bible says.
Read Proverbs 30:5, 6 and Deuteronomy 4:2.
Note: The text refers not only to cutting out or writing in material but also to making the Bible say what it does not say or denying that it truly affirms by false interpretation. Therefore we must let the total Bible speak and from the weight of evidence conclude what it teaches.
Remember that “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29. There are some things that are hard to understand (2 Peter , 17) However the essential truths can be understood.
5. THE FOUNDATION OF TRUTH
At one point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about false prophets. He pointed out also the folly of profession unless the life measures up to the profession. He concluded his sermon by comparing those who heard His Word and did it to a wise man who built his house on a rock. His house withstood the rain, the floods, and the winds. On the other hand a man who built onto the sand He likened to a person heard His Word but was unwilling to obey. That house did not stand. The moral – both hear and do Christ’s Word.
What was the reaction of the people to Jesus’ doctrine?
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
Mathew 7:28, 29.
What does Paul declare to be the true foundation upon which we are to build?
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:11.
Can a person be saved without believing truth?
“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13.
Note: Paul reminds his readers that “from the beginning” God has chosen them. This is not an arbitrary choice. The choice is contingent upon the sanctification of the chosen ones. The sanctification is accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
According to Paul’s counsel to Titus what kind of doctrine should preachers proclaim?
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine… In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity.”
Titus 2:1, 7.
Note: “Sound doctrine” must be the exhortation and it will bring conviction (Titus 1:9) When instructing Timothy to preach God’s Word Paul cautioned him that there would come a time when people would not want to hear “sound doctrine”. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
If a person should reject the truth what would be the result?
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
Note: If a person refuses to hear truth that person’s prayer becomes an abomination
(Proverbs 28:9) Paul instructed Timothy that obeying doctrine is important.
Read 1 Timothy 4:16.
We should never close our eyes to truth. Read John 12:35, 36. Jesus showed the folly of this (Mathew ) False doctrine overthrows the faith of some (2 Timothy ) Therefore we ought to determine to test what we believe by the law (the books of Moses) and the testimony of all the prophets as we are instructed in Isaiah . Let us turn down traditions of men as a foundation of truth. Jesus points out that all worship is in vain while teaching man’s commandments as God’s doctrines (Mathew 15:3-9).