Proof that the Bible is theWord of God
A message from the author
This Bible studyis the first in a series designed to teach you the basics of the NewTestament. It is our prayer that it will accomplish its purpose.
This study is inmany senses the most important, for if the Bible is not the word ofGod, then the New Testament has no important meaning, other than beinga "mythological moralizer." I was, at one time, an atheist myself,having come to the conclusion that God was merely the creation of thehuman mind. But a thorough examination of the scriptures has convincedme that God does in fact exist, and that the Bible is His writtenrevelation to us. This booklet contains the elements of thatexamination (it will take a much larger book to cover the subject withany degree of completeness). It is a skeleton, which is the beginningplace for hanging the meat of more study. But it does contain theelements which prove that the Bible is the word of God, and I trust youwill find it interesting and challenging.
The conclusionsreached in this study are as follows:
- The Bible isaccurate in dealing with external matters. It is accurate in its recordof archeology and natural science. In order to be the word of God, theBible must be accurate in its portrayal of observable facts. The Biblemeets this requirement of accuracy in external matters, and thereforecan be the written revelation from God.
- The proofthat the Bible is the word of God comes from its internal contents. TheBible contains the following categories of internal evidence whichprove it to be the word of God:
- Fulfilledhistorical prophecies.
- Fulfilledpredictions of the Messiah.
- A Planrevealed, then carefully carried out - proof of the existence of thePlanner, and a bridge binding the Old and New Testaments together asone complete unit.
The major pointin this study is that the Old Testament is a blueprint and the NewTestament is the construction process of a spiritual building,carefully overseen by a Divine Architect.
The New AmericanStandard Version of the Bible was used in the preparation of thisstudy, and is quoted throughout.
The Bible isbeing attacked! And please do not beso naive as to believe that the attackers are a few scatteredrenegades. The big guns of this world, carried by huge warships ofevil, are zeroing in on their target, ready to level a blast that willdestroy what their admirals have labeled "Organized Religion." Missilesfrom Satan’s abode, laden with explosive warheads ofconfusion, are already zinging their way to their destination, toobliterate forever the belief that the Bible is the word of God.
For instance,here is a quote from a sociology textbook for elementary collegecourses: "Sometime between the beginning of the eighteenth century andthe end of the nineteenth, God died, though theology could not arrangea formal burial until the 1960’s" (Sociology for aNew Day, Thomas F. Hoult, Random House, 1974; p.197). Andhere is a sample quotation from the Encyclopedia Americana: "Geological,anthropological, and archeological study makes it impossible forthinking men to take seriously the Biblical view of the universe andstories of creation in Genesis" (Encyclopedia Americana, 1968Ed.; Vol.3, p.689; "The Bible"). The first quotation could be arenegade. But there is no question that the EncyclopediaAmericana is a big gun.
Unless defendersof the faith begin a vigorous counter-attack, the American public willrapidly come to believe that the Bible is not the word of God. Theproverb is true: fiction repeated often enough becomes fact in thepublic mind.
The purpose ofthis study is to present to yousimple, yet forceful and useful evidence - proof, in fact! - that theBible is indeed the absolute and immutable word of God.
2. Internal Evidences
Archeologycannot prove that the Bible is the word of God. But it certainly couldprovide evidence that either supports the contention that it is, or itcan provide evidence that it is not. The fact is that archeologyprovides evidence that does point to the authorship of the Bible asbeing Divine. There are thousands of examples that could be used toillustrate how the Bible is corroborated by archeology, but we wish toselect just two as representative, the cities of Jericho and Nineveh.
The story ofJoshua and the battle of Jericho is recorded in Joshua 6 in the OldTestament. Following the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, thepeople of Israel crossed the Jordan River under the leadership ofJoshua, who replaced Moses as the earthly captain of God’speople. Israel prepared to conquer the walled city of Jericho bymarching around the city walls once a day for six days. On the seventhday, they marched around the city seven times, and at the blast of atrumpet, the people shouted. According to the Bible account, the wallsof the city fell down flat; and the fighting men of Israel, who had thecity surrounded, went straight to the center of the city, killingeveryone (with the exception of a woman named Rahab, and her family).Then they burned the city with fire.
Here is astrange story. To the so called thinking man of the 2Oth century, suchstories belong to the realm of mythology. But what is the evidence fromarcheology?
"Dr. JohnGarstang, director of the British School of Archeology in Jerusalem andof the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine Government, excavatedthe ruins of Jericho, 1929-1936. He found pottery and scarab evidencethat the city had been destroyed about 1400 BC, coinciding withJoshua’s date; and in a number of details, dug up evidenceconfirming the Biblical account in a most remarkable way."
"‘Thewall fell down flat.’ Dr. Garstang found that the wall didactually ‘fall down flat.’ The wall was double, thetwo walls being 15 ft apart; the outer wall, 6 ft thick; the innerwall, 12 ft thick; both being about 30 ft high. They were built, notvery substantially, on faulty uneven foundations, of brick 4 inchesthick and 1 to 2 ft long, laid in mud mortar. The two walls were linkedtogether by houses built across the top, as Rahab’s‘house on the wall.’ Dr. Garstang found that theouter wall fell outwards and down the hillside, dragging the inner walland houses with it, the streak of bricks gradually getting thinner downthe slope. The foundation walls of the palace, 4 courses of stone high,remain, in situ, tilted downward. Dr. Garstang thinks there areindications that the wall was shaken down by an earthquake (of whichtraces may be seen), a method which God could have used as easily asany other.
"‘Theyburnt the city with fire.’ ... Signs of the conflagration anddestruction were very marked. Garstang found great layers of charcoaland ashes and the wall ruins reddened by fire. The outer wall sufferedmost. Houses alongside the wall were burned to the ground. The stratumgenerally was covered with a deep layer of black burnt debris, underwhich there were pockets of white ash, overlaid with a layer of fallenreddish brick" (Halley’s Bible Handbook, ZondervanPress; comments on Joshua 6).
This is solidarcheological evidence which verifies the Biblical account. The record,written in the earth 3400 years ago, tells the same story, as nearly asit is possible to determine, as is recorded in the Bible.
We come now tothe second of our cities, Nineveh. Nineveh is famous chiefly as beingthe city to which Jonah was sent after being swallowed and then vomitedup by the great fish. Nineveh is described in the Bible as "anexceedingly great city, a three days walk" (Jonah3:3),and containing "more than 120,000 persons who do not know thedifference between their right and left hands" (Jonah4:11).A city with 120,000 babies or very small children is a large city evenby today’s standards.
"So completelyhad all traces of the glory of the Assyrian Empire [of which Ninevehwas the capital] disappeared that many scholars had come to think thatthe references to it in the Bible and other ancient histories weremythical; and that in reality such a city and such an Empire neverexisted."
"In 1820 anEnglishman, Claude James Rich, spent 4 months sketching the moundsacross the Tigris from Mosul, which he suspected were the ruins ofNineveh. In 1845 Layard definitely identified the site; and he and hissuccessors uncovered the ruins of the magnificent palaces of theAssyrian kings, whose names have now become household words, andhundreds of thousands of inscriptions in which we read the history ofAssyria as the Assyrians themselves wrote it, and which to a remarkabledegree confirm the Bible" (Halley’s Bible Handbook, Zondervan Press, comments on Nahum).
The scoffers anddoubters of the early 1800’s were using the lack of secularevidence about Nineveh to try to convince many that the Bible was inerror, and that it therefore could not be the word of God. And, as hashappened time after time, after further examination, the Bible has beenshown to be completely accurate.
Even the storyof Jonah is somewhat verified by archeological finds in Nineveh.According to the Bible, Jonah had preached, "Yet forty days, andNineveh will be overthrown" (Jonah3:4).As a result of his preaching, the whole city changed its attitude andbehavior, and in consequence God did not destroy the city. If thisreally happened - if Jonah really had such an impact on such a largecity - we would expect to find some evidence of that man’sexistence. Because of the Bible’s accuracy in such matters,we are not surprised when we read, "The second largest mound in Ninevehis called ‘Yunas.’ ‘Yunas’ isthe native word for ‘Jonah.’ The mound covers 40acres and is 100 ft. high. It contains the reputed tomb of Jonah. Thiswas one of the indications to Rich that these were the ruins ofNineveh, and led to their identification" (Halley’sBible Handbook, Zondervan Press, comments on Jonah).
Another majorfind in the ruins of Nineveh was the library of Assurbanipal. "Perhapsthe most epochal discovery ever made." Uncovered by Layard, Rassam, andRawlison, 1852-1854, in the palace of Sennacherib. Originally contained100,000 volumes. About a third of it has been recovered and is in theBritish Museum. Assurbanipal was something of an archeologist; had hisscribes search and copy the libraries of ancient Babylon, of an age2000 years before his day. Thus to him we are indebted for preservingknowledge of primitive Babylonian literature"(Halley’sBible Handbook, Zondervan Press,comments on Nahum). This library is the source of thousands of detailswhich may be used to verify the Bible account of history for more than2000 years of ages past.
We have for oursection entitled Archeology selected just twocities, Jericho and Nineveh. In both of these we have seen howarcheology confirms the Bible record. And this is typical of a longlist - Memphis, Babylon, Sidon, and Megiddo, just to name a few of thecities which the Bible accurately describes. The Bible’saccuracy makes it a continuing guide to major archeological finds inthe Middle East. If the Bible were merely a collection of legendshanded down through the years, there would be numerous errors in it. Theabsence of such errors warrants the conclusion that the Bible is morethan such a collection.
We now wish todeal with evolution and its relationship to the Bible. Evolution is awidely-believed theory which postulates that life on earth has come toits present state through millions of years of progression from lowerforms of life.
Incontrast,the Bible states that the earth and its life forms were created in sixdays some 6000 years ago. The Bible further defines one day as "morningand evening" (Genesis1:5).Those who believe that the Bible is the word of God are compelled tobelieve in a literal six days of creation. The voice of God Himselfspoke from Mt. Sinai in the giving of the fourth commandment: "For insix days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all thatis in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore God blessed theSabbath day, and made it holy" (Exodus20:11).In two specific ways the Old Testament defines a "day" of creation ascorresponding closely to our normal 24-hour day.
Not only that,but the Lord Jesus in the New Testament confirms the shortness of thetime of creation. "But from the beginning of creation, God made themmale and female" (Mark10:6).If it had taken man a long time to come into existence after creationwas initiated, then man and woman would not have been there at the timeJesus called "the beginning of creation. " A person who believes in theBible is forced to believe in a literal six days of creation.
If evolution iscorrect, the Bible obviously is not the literal word of God. And, as amatter of fact, widespread belief in evolution is one of the majorreasons why many people do not believe in the Bible.
Consider thescope of evolution (see Figure 1). Evolution is rooted in the conceptthat the earth began four to five billion yearsago when material in the universe, such as a giant dust cloud, cametogether to form a swirling, molten ball. Over a period of three tofour billion years this molten ball cooled down.
By one billionyears ago the earth was covered with a seething solution of water,ammonia, and related chemicals, bubbling with methane gas. This brew isknown as the "primeval broth." All the chemicals necessary for lifewere present in exactly the right amounts at exactly the righttemperature. Then lightning (or some other stimulus) struck themixture, the chemicals came together in exactly the right combinations,and life began as a primitive cell started to function.
From thisprimitive cell different life forms began to evolve. By 500 millionyears ago primitive plants had evolved, as well as primitive animalsrelated to clams and snails. One of the most predominant forms of theseshelled animals was the trilobite.
Trilobitesexisted from 500 million to 300 million years ago, and then they diedout (Encyclopedia Americana, 1968 Ed.; Vol.21, pp.186-194; Paleontology).
By 200 millionyears ago reptiles had replaced these earlier crustaceans as thedominant form of life. The giant reptiles, the dinosaurs, lumbered overthe earth, unchallenged as kings, for 140 million years. With the shiftin climate, reptiles such as these were unable to compete with therapidly evolving mammals, and by 60 million years ago, the age ofdinosaurs had drawn to a close as the last of the "terrible lizards"wheezed his last breath.
The Cenozoic Erais the age of mammals. This Era began 60 million years ago and haslasted up to the present. By the beginning of this era, primitivemammals had begun to evolve, and by the middle of the Era giant mammalsnearly as large as dinosaurs roamed over the earth. Step by step eachgroup of mammals gave way to a more advanced form, until one millionyears ago homo sapiens, modern man, appeared onthe scene. Today he totally dominates the earth, and will continue todo so until he gives way to a higher form of life.
The Bible, incontrast, teaches that the earth began some 6000 years ago, and thatall animals and plants were formed in the beginning. Following theflood, which occurred roughly 4500 years ago, the climate of the earthwas apparently radically changed, and many forms of life which onceexisted became extinct.
Having presentedthese two views concerning the origin of man, we want to consider somevery pertinent facts. And we want to see which view - Bible Creation orEvolution - is more consistent with these facts.
FactNumber 1:Near Glen Rose, Texas, in thebed of the Paluxy River, are fossilized dinosaur tracks. That is notsurprising, because dinosaur tracks are found in many places throughoutthe world. What is surprising is that human footprints are fossilizedin the same rock stratum, with some of the human tracks fossilized asactually stepping into the dinosaur tracks. (There is some controversycurrently concerning the human tracks in the Paluxy. Because the tracksthemselves are powerful a refutation of evolution, the controversy isnot unexpected. You will need to see them yourself.)
Accordingtoevolutionary theory, dinosaurs died out 60 million years before man,with his distinctive footprint, walked on the face of the earth. Buthere is a fact, preserved in stone for anyone to see, proving that manand dinosaur lived at the same time. Furthermore, the limestone edgewhich must be ripped away to get to some of the tracks makes it clearthat the tracks are of "normal dinosaur age."
Thisfact - thatman and dinosaur lived at the same time - is a bull in the evolutionarychina closet. It wrecks everything! If man existed with dinosaurs, thenman did not evolve from dinosaurs. And if man did not evolve fromdinosaurs, then neither did the other mammals. And if mammals did notevolve from dinosaurs, this throws that "most accurate" portion of theevolutionary chart out the window. And with the "most accurate" portionof evolution gone, the "less accurate" portion of the chart, from"first life" down to dinosaurs, is extremely questionable.
Butnotice thatthe Bible model, stating that all things lived together at thebeginning, predicts that we should find evidence of both man anddinosaur living at the same time in the same place.
FactNumber 2:"George Howe in the CreationResearch Quarterly of December 1968 reports the find of William Meisterin Utah of a sandal footprint with crushed trilobites in it!" (TheChrist and the lntertestament Period, Wartick and Fields,College Press, Joplin, MO; "The Christian and Evolution," p.686).
Accordingtoevolutionary theory, trilobites died out some 300 million years ago.According to the Bible, trilobites and man lived at the same time. Thatfact that a living trilobite was crushed by a human sandal, thenfossilized, is hard to explain unless the Bible is true.
OtherQuestions: What about thefossil record,uranium dating, mutations, and other items discovered by science whichare generally accepted as verifying evolution? All of these arediscussed very completely in an excellent book written by a group ofeminent scientists, and edited by Henry M. Morris of the Institute forCreation Research, entitled Scientific Creationism (publishedby Creation-Life Publishers, San Diego, CA 92115).
Theuse ofradioactive uranium and its decay into lead as a means of dating theage of the earth at 4.5 billion years is invalid because of certainassumptions which are basic to the method (that all lead in the samplewas derived from the original uranium is one of the assumptions). Forexample, in testing the ages of some lava rocks, it was found that"most of them gave ages of over a billion years, even though the lavarocks were known to have been formed in modern times" (p.143).
Rocksareusually dated by the kinds of fossils found in them or in rock layersnear them. The age of a fossil is determined by its complexity - simplefossils are assumed to be old, and complex fossilsare assumed to be more recent. "The fossils speakof evolution because they have been made to speak of evolution" (p.96).
Mutation,themechanism upon which evolution depends for one form to evolve into ahigher form, is always harmful rather than helpful."... a trulybeneficial mutation... has yet to be documented" (p.56).
Evenasimple cell could not have been formed by the mechanics of randomaction in 30 billion years (p.62).
TheSecond Lawof Thermodynamics states that everything in the universe is tendingtoward decay, or disorder. For instance, in accordance with the SecondLaw of Thermodynamics, each year it takes the earth a small fraction ofa second longer to make its annual revolution around the sun. TheSecond Law also applies to living systems. Because the Law forces allthings toward decay or degeneration, it is impossible for there to beany long-term upgrading from lower life forms to more advanced forms."We are warranted, then, in concluding that the evolutionary process .. . is completely precluded by the Second Law of Thermodynamics"(p.45).
Itis interesting that the Bible is entirely consistent with the SecondLaw of Thermodynamics, even going so far as to make a word statement ofit: "For the creation was subjected to futility, notof its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that thecreation itself also will be set free from its slavery tocorruption..." (Romans8:20,21). The Second Law predicts no new life forms, andgeneral decay from a good beginning. So does the Bible: "And God sawall that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis1:31).
Theconclusionis apparent: evolution does not invalidate the Bible. Rather, the facts connected with the fossil record andnatural science are consistent with the Bible, and tend to verify itrather than evolution.
Inourdiscussion concerning the Bible as the word of God, we have discussedtwo subjects, archeology and evolution. The Bible can be shown to beaccurate in regard to archeology, which points to divine authorship ofits history. And the facts of natural science, rather than relegatingthe Bible to the realms of mythology as is widely assumed, tend toverify the Bible’s accuracy!
Wehave seenthat archeology and natural science tend to verify the Bible. However,the evidence from these is merely supportive, and not proof. The realevidence that the Bible is the word of God must be internal.
Whymust proofthat the Bible is the word of God be internal? It is clear, uponreflection, that it would be possible for a human being to write a bookwithout error. The test of the accuracy of such a book would be tocompare it to reality. For example, if a book states that water boilsat 212 F. at sea level, that can be tested by going to sea level andboiling water. To prove, then, that a book such as the Bible isaccurate in comparison to external considerations is not proof that thebook is authored by God. It is necessary evidence, but it is notsufficient for proof. The evidence which is sufficient will come ininternal evidences which the human mind cannot duplicate.
Ofwhat wouldthis internal proof consist? An old homesteader’s shack, nowpartially fallen down, is proof of the one-time existence of thehomesteader. The design, clearly not by chance, is proof of theexistence of the designer. In the same way, proof of the existence ofGod would be a transcendent design, carried out on a scale which chanceor human planning could not duplicate.
Doesthe Bibleoffer such a transcendent design? We will find the Bible clearly showsthat its authorship is something beyond human in its predictions ofhistory, its predictions of the Messiah, and itssetting forth and carrying out a grand design. Wewill find that the Bible reveals a Plan carried out without waveringover thousands of years - proof which binds the Bible together as onecomplete unit.
Historicalprophecy begins very early in the Bible. In Genesis 15, according tothe Bible record, God foretold that Abraham’s descendantswould be enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years, but that they wouldcome out of that land with many possessions - a prophecy ofIsrael’s enslavement and delivery from Egypt.
Otherprophecieswere given as the Bible account continued its journey through history.For example, before Moses’ ascension of Mt. Nebo to die, hepronounced a blessing upon the people of Israel if the people kept theLaw; but if they broke the Law, he promised that the Lord would cursethe people. In the promised curses recorded in Deuteronomy, he foretoldthe coming of a time when they would have a king (Deuteronomy28:36), and their destruction at the hands of themerciless Assyrians and Babylonians (Deuteronomy28:49-68). Such prophecies were fulfilled hundreds of yearslater.
We have chosento consider three historical prophecies from the Old Testament asrepresentative and instructive of the authorship of God.
Our firstexample is from Daniel 2. Daniel as a young man was brought captivefrom Jerusalem to Babylon when his homeland was conquered by theBabylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. Because of the wisdom and knowledgewhich Daniel possessed, he with three other youths was assigned officewith the soothsayers and magicians of Babylon (Daniel1:1-21).
Inthe secondyear of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign over Jerusalem, the king had adream which troubled him, and he anxiously desired to know the meaningof the dream. Calling his master astrologers (the Chaldeans) together,he issued a command: "…if you do not make known to me thedream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb..." (Daniel2:5).
TheChaldeans,of course, having no idea at all what the dream was, begged the king totell them the contents of the dream. If the king would only do that,they would tell him the meaning of the dream. But Nebuchadnezzar, oneof the craftiest, most able kings of all time, did not trust theastrologers and sorcerers. He told them, "For you have agreed togetherto speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation ischanged; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you candeclare to me the interpretation" (Daniel2:9).
Asexpected,none of the magicians or Chaldeans could tell the king what the dreamwas. Orders went forth to kill all the so-called wise men, includingDaniel and his three friends. When Daniel found out what was going on,he asked the king for a little time, and prayed to God that He wouldmake known to Daniel the dream and its interpretation, so that his lifewould be spared. The Lord, according to the Bible, granted his request.
Wenext findDaniel in the presence of the king. After giving God all the credit forthe dream and its interpretation, Daniel first told the king what thedream was, so that the king would know that Daniel was telling thetruth about the interpretation. The central figure in the dream was astatue, described as having a head of gold, breast and arms of silver,belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay.Then a stone, cut out of a mountain without hands, struck the statue onthe feet and smashed it to smithereens. Following this, a wind came upand blew the pieces of the statue away; but the stone which struck thestatue became a great mountain which filled the whole earth (Daniel2:31-35).
InDaniel 2:36-45, Daniel gives the king the interpretation. Thehead of gold is Babylon, with Nebuchadnezzar as king. Then came asilver kingdom, followed by a bronze kingdom. Finally came a fourthkingdom, described as strong as iron, but divided. In the days of theseiron kings, God is described as setting up His kingdom, which wouldnever be destroyed. And Daniel makes it clear that God’skingdom is represented by the stone, which destroyed the other kingdoms.
It is easy totrace the path of Daniel’s prophecy through time. TheBabylonians lasted until 536 BC; then came the Medes and Persians, whowere partners. The Medes and Persians dominated until 333 BC, when theGreeks, represented by the bronze, replaced them. The Greeks wereprogressively overthrown by the iron of Rome, with Roman dominationbeing complete by 200 BC.
Liberal andconservative theologians alike both usually stumble over the fact thatthe kingdom of God, as viewed by the Bible, is the church (seethe study on "The Church as the Kingdom of God" in the booklet Christ’sChurch), and are unable tounravel the meaning ofthis prophecy of Daniel’s. But it is clear that the churchwas begun by God, and not man, just as the stone in the vision (whichrepresented the kingdom of God, Daniel2:44,45) was cut out without humanhands. It is clear that the church, which began on the day ofPentecost, 30 AD, was set up in the days of the Roman, or iron, kings.And it is clear that, just as the stone became a mountain which filledthe whole earth, so the church will increase and will go to the ends ofthe earth. And someday the kingdom of this world will "become thekingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever andever" (Revelation11:15), and the prophecy of Daniel will finally becompletely fulfilled.
Thedescriptionof the iron kingdom as being divided, partly of iron and partly ofclay, is a good description of the Roman Empire in New Testament times.For example, when Jesus was born, Augustus Caesar was Emperor, Herodthe Great was king, and there were various governors scatteredthroughout. These men were always jockeying for position, and the localrulers did not mix well with the Romans, as pottery does not mix withiron. But everywhere was the toughness of iron, the Roman army.
Ifwe acceptBiblical dating for this writing in Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar saw thisvision sometime between 605 BC and 585 BC. Some 600 years before Godset up His kingdom, Daniel, in a prophetic panorama, predicted thecoming of three empires following the Babylonians, culminating inGod’s kingdom. Furthermore, he predicted that God’skingdom would spread throughout the whole earth, and that it would lastforever. If the Bible date for this writing is correct, there is onlyone explanation - God knew what was going to happen ahead of time, andHe wrote it down for us scoffers and doubters, and those of us oflittle faith.
TheRam and the Goat
Let’sconsider another prophetic vision of Daniel, given in Daniel8:1-8.Daniel, again according to Bible dating, received this vision near 545BC, as Belshazzar was in his third year as king of Babylon (probably asco-regent). In this vision Daniel himself was placed in a differentlocation; he was removed to Persia. He saw a ram with two horns (thesecond horn coming up longer) butting north, west, and south. Then fromthe west came a male goat, with one big horn between its eyes, and hesmashed the ram and trampled him into the dirt. Then the big horn wasbroken off, and in its place came four horns.
Thispart ofDaniel’s vision is interpreted in Daniel8:20-22. We are told that the shaggy goat representedGreece, and the ram represented the kingdom of Media-Persia. The largehorn in the middle of the goat’s head was the GreekEmpire’s first king, and the four horns which arose after thelarger horn was broken off represented the four kingdoms which aroseout of the first king’s power.
It is amazinghow descriptive Daniel’s vision is. The Medes and thePersians were partners. The Medes dominated at first, but the Persianseventually came to dominate, and they were stronger than the Medes hadever been. This was pictured by the two horns on the ram; the secondone, representing the Persians, came up longer (stronger). The PersianEmpire was spreading in all directions but east, as foretold by theram’s butting north, west, and south. Then in 333 BC, morethan 200 years following Daniel’s prophecy, Greece (picturedby the male goat) smashed Persia’s power. In ten short years,Alexander the Great, portrayed as the large horn, extended Greek domainto the Indus River in what is now Pakistan. No wonder the billy-goat isvisualized as moving so fast his feet were not touching the ground; hewas flying!
FollowingAlexander’s death in 322 BC, his kingdom was eventuallydivided among four generals: Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, andLysimachus. This was prophesied by Daniel in the description of thelarge horn between the goat’s eyes being broken off, andbeing replaced by four horns.
If we accept theBible’s date for this vision, there is only one explanationfor the accuracy and detail which were written down more than 200 yearsbefore the events occurred: God knew what was going to happen ahead oftime, and He wrote it down for us scoffers and doubters, and those ofus of little faith.
TheComing of Cyrus
Our thirdexample of historical prophecy is taken from the book of Isaiah. Isaiahlived and prophesied from 740 to 700 BC. In 605 BC the Babylonians cameand conquered his beloved country, Judah, and its capital, Jerusalem(you need this history to understand this prophecy of Isaiah). In 585 BC, because of an extremely rebelliousattitude on the part of the Jews, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem,wrecked the temple of Solomon, and killed nearly all ofJudah’s inhabitants. 50 years later the Medes and thePersians, under King Cyrus of Persia and General Darius the Mede,captured Babylon. It was the policy of Cyrus to allow captive peoples,such as the Jews, to return to their homelands.
More than 175years before the capture of Babylon, Isaiah wrote: "It is I [the Lord]who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will performall My desire. And he declares of Jerusalem, "She shall be built." Andof the temple, "Your foundation will be laid."‘ Thus says theLord to Cyrus His anointed" (Isaiah44:28-45:1).
BeforeCyrus wasborn, according to the Bible, God (through Isaiah) named him by name,and foretold what he was going to do. As the Lord had declared, Cyrusallowed the city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and the foundation of theTemple to be re-laid, following their destruction by the Babylonians.Again, if Bible dating is true, there is only one explanation: God,knowing 200 years ahead of time what was going to happen, wrote it downfor us scoffers and doubters, and those of us of little faith.
Daniel’sprediction of the four coming kingdoms in the first vision, hisdescription of the Medo-Persian Empire and the coming of Alexander theGreat in the second vision, and Isaiah’s prophecy about Cyrusof Persia, are very accurate and descriptive. Such accuracy isrecognized by all who examine the work, liberal and conservative alike.Those who deny that the Bible is the word of God make such statementsas this about the book of Daniel, for example: "The impression that thepredictions made in the distant past had been fulfilled so accuratelywas made possible by the fact that the apocalypses were written afterthe events had taken place, but they are presented as though they hadbeen made prior to these events" (Cliffs Notes,"Old Testament"; Charles H. Patterson, p.86).
Modernscholarscharge that the Bible has been "doctored" to make its prophecies cometrue. Many believe that the original writings of such books as Genesisand Exodus were from a source labeled "J". Sometime later writings fromanother source labeled "E" were added, followed by "D" writings.Finally, the whole work was re-edited by the priesthood, and additionslabeled "P" made the first five books complete. Later writings from theprophets were added, and the much altered, compacted, deleted, andexpanded work (according to modern liberal scholars) is our OldTestament (Cliffs Notes, "Old Testament"; CharlesH. Patterson, pp.58,59).
Anexaminationof such charges will reveal that such statements as "the fact that theapocalypses [of Daniel] were written after these events had takenplace" are not fact at all! All such charges, although clothed inlanguage designed to convince you that they are based on bedrock truth,are nothing more than conjecture at best, and outright lies at worse.Here is another example: "Now there is almost universal agreement among Biblicalscholars that the Pentateuch [the first five books of the OldTestament] is composed of at least four separate and distinctnarratives, written by different persons who were widely separated inpoint of time (Ibid., p.56) [emphasis added]. Whothese "Biblical scholars" are, and what overwhelming evidence there isfor conclusion is never stated.
Whatis thepoint we are trying to make? Simply this: the historical prophecies inthe Old Testament are so accurate that those who wish to deny that theywere written by God are forced to say that they were written after theevents prophesied occurred, without evidence for such conjectures. Thissort of speculation may temporarily get them out of a jam, but we willsee shortly that these foundationless guesses will smash under theweight of Messianic prophecy.
Ofcourse, ifthese visions and prophecies were really received at the Biblical datesassigned to them, there is only one possible explanation: they weregiven by God, and recorded for eternity by His prophets, as proof ofHis divine authorship.
Forcenturiesthe Jews had awaited the coming of the Messiah to save them. The word Messiah is the Hebrew word meaning "the anointedone." Its Greek equivalent is christos, which iswhere our word Christ comes from. Its meaning isderived from the practice of anointing kings. For example, when Godchose David to be king of Israel (the David who killed Goliath), Hesent the prophet Samuel down to the house of Jesse. "Fill your hornwith oil and go... you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate" (ISamuel 16:1,3). So Samuel filled his horn with oil, andanointedDavid as king of Israel by pouring the oil on David’s head -the anointing - as God instructed. The Messiah, then, was to be theking who was to sit on David’s throne, ruling over the houseof Jacob.
TheJewsexpected a Messiah to come because of a large number of propheciesconcerning Him. Let’s look at some of these prophecies.
Thecompletetext of Isaiah was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, and thattext is dated at 100 BC (Encyclopedia Americana; Vol.3,p.659; "Bible"; 1968 Ed.). The find has proven to be very significantin that it shows that our present Old Testament, translated fromMassoretic texts dated at 800 AD, has essentially no differences fromtexts dated 900 years earlier. In other words, the large number of"copy errors and inclusion of notes into the body of the text" expectedby liberal scholars simply were not there. This is strong evidence thatthe Bible has come to us unchanged through the centuries. Secondly, thebook of Isaiah was clearly written in its entirety before the man Jesuscame into existence on earth, which provides some interesting dilemmasfor those who do not believe that the Bible is the word of God.
InIsaiah 53,the following predictions, written before Christ, are made of a man:
- He would notbe outstanding in appearance (vs.2).
- He would be aman of sorrow (vs.3).
- He would bearour griefs and sorrows (vs.4).
- He would bepierced through for our sins (vs.5).
- All of ushave gone astray, but God caused the iniquity of us all to fall on thisman (vs.6).
- He would nottry to defend Himself against His accusers (vs.7).
- He would becut off out of the land of the living (He would be killed) for the sinsof God’s people (vs.8).
- Althoughinnocent, His grave would be assigned to be with the wicked, yet Hewould be with a rich man in His death (vs.9).
- He would beoffered as a guilt offering, yet somehow would see His offspring, andHis days would be prolonged (vs.10).
- He, therighteous One, would justify many (vs.11).
- He would begreatly rewarded for being poured out to death, and for being numberedwith the transgressors (vs.12).
Suchpropheciesare a remarkable foreshadow of the Jesus of the New Testament. The NewTestament claims for this Jesus are that He came, as the Lamb of God (John1:29),to be offered for the sins of all men. The New Testament claims that Hedid not try to defend Himself against His accusers (like a sheep beforeits shearers). The New Testament claims that He was hung on a crossbetween two thieves (with the wicked in His death). The New Testamentclaims that He was pierced through, with a Roman spear, for thetransgressions of all men. The New Testament claims that He was buriedin the tomb of rich Joseph of Arimathea (with a rich man in His death).The New Testament claims that He was raised from the dead to liveforever (that His days would be prolonged), and that He is seated atthe right hand of God as King Jesus (greatly rewarded for being pouredout to death), watching over His spiritual offspring.
Thosewho denythat the Bible is the word of God are forced to long wordy explanationsin order to try to modify rather clear scripture. The central questionobviously in the back of their minds is: "How can I make people thinkthat Isaiah is not talking about Jesus?" Forexample, in Cliffs Notes, the author tries todiffuse the suffering of the Messiah described in Isaiah 53 by applyingthe suffering to a whole group of people: "In a series of poems called‘Songs of the Suffering Servant,’ the prophet setsforth his greatest contribution to Israel’s religious ideals.It is here that he points out the purpose and opportunity that liebehind the unmerited suffering on the part of comparativelyinnocent persons" (Cliffs Notes’. "Old Testament";Charles H. Patterson, p.50) [emphasis added].
Theobjectivemind realizes that such specific predictions as Isaiah made are notpossible in the realm of the natural; such predictions belong in therealm of the supernatural. Here is strong evidence that the Bible waswritten by a clearly Supreme Mind.
InPsalm 22:16-18, the crucifixion of someone is very clearlyportrayed. "For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers hasencompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet." This crucifixion isespecially interesting since crucifying people was not a Jewishpractice. The Jewish way was death by stoning.
"I can count allmy bones." Whoever this is happening to does not have any broken bones.They did not break Jesus’ bones; they did break the bones ofthe thieves with which He was hanging. But He was dead when the Romansoldiers arrived, and it was not necessary for them to kill Him on thecross.
"They look, theystare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothingthey cast lots." This is a perfect description of what the Romansoldiers did with Jesus’ belongings as He hung in agonyoverhead (Matthew27:33-54).
Davidwrote thisPsalm 1000 years before Jesus was born. And David was not crucified.Whoever this Psalm is about died a Roman death. Whoever this Psalm isabout cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Psalm22:1; Matthew27:36).
IfJesus werejust pretending to be the Messiah, you would think that He would stopshort of being crucified. After all, life is short enough without thatsort of thing. Unless He knew ahead of time that He was going to beraised from the dead - in which case He would not have to pretend thatHe was the Messiah.
Detailsof Christ’s Life Foretold
Wehave lookedat prophecies concerning the Christ from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 in somedetail. We now want to list some the prophecies about the life of theMessiah:
Hisbirth- Micah5:2-5 - predicts that the ruler of Israel would bebornin Bethlehem. "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah [Ephrathah is theold name for Bethlehem, and describes that area], too little to beamong the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be rulerin Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days ofeternity." Further more, this ruler in Israel had existed from the daysof eternity, and He had appeared a number of times prior to His birth.This passage of scripture goes on to describe the lost condition ofIsrael prior to the coming of the Messiah, and how the "shepherd king"would eventually be great throughout the whole earth. "Therefore He[God] will give them up until the time when she who is in labor hasborn a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to thesons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in thestrength of the Lord, and the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the endsof the earth."
Isaiah9:6,7 - tellsus that a son would be born to sit on the throne of David. "For a childwill be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government willrest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor[the Holy Spirit], Mighty God, eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Therewill be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on thethrone of David and over his kingdom…." The Old Testamentpredicts that all of God would be Christ, and in Christ. Suchcharacteristics are precisely what Jesus claimed for Himself, and whatthe apostles attributed to Him after His resurrection (John 14:6,7 -Jesus is the Father; John 8:58 - Jesus is the Mighty God; John 14:16,17- Jesus is the Holy Spirit; Colossians 2:9 - All the fullness of Deitydwells in Jesus bodily).
Isaiah7:14 - prophesiesthat "God with us" would be born of a virgin.
Hisministry- Isaiah9:1,2 - promises that Jesus would spend most of Histimenear the Sea of Galilee, the region belonging to the tribes of Zebulunand Naphtali in the original apportionment of the promised land amongthe twelve tribes of Israel. This area by Isaiah’s time hadlong since lapsed into idolatry, hence described as being in darkness.Of the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, God says through Isaiah, "Thepeople who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in adark land, the light will shine on them."
Hiskingdom -We have already seen how, from Daniel 2:44,45, Godwould set up His kingdom in the days of the Roman kings. Isaiah 9:7shows that the child born would be the One sitting on the throne inthat kingdom.
Hisdeath - Wehave already seen from Isaiah 53:5-9 how the Redeemer would be piercedthrough for the people’s sins, and that He would be cut offout of the land of the living for their transgressions.
Hisresurrection- Psalm16 - contains a prophecy of the Christ’sresurrection. In verse 8 the Father speaks of the Son as being at Hisright hand, "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He isat my right hand, I will not be shaken." Then the Son speaks,"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also willdwell securely For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; neither wiltThou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay" (Psalm16:9-10). The Holy One was going to go to Sheol [Greek - Hades], the resting placeof the soul following death. However, this One’s soul was notgoing to be abandoned to Sheol, and He was not going to be dead longenough for His flesh to see decay (the pit).
Hissuffering- Isaiah prophesies the suffering of the Messiah: "I gave My back tothose who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; Idid not cover My face from humiliation and spitting" (Isaiah50:6).
Hisentrance into Jerusalem- "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout intriumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you;He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey,even on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah9:9). Not only was the king coming in on a donkey, butHe was endowed with salvation!
These sevendetails in the life of Jesus illustrate the extent to which the OldTestament proclaims the truthfulness of the New Testament record.Jesus, for instance, could have rigged the riding of a donkey intoJerusalem, if He were smart enough. But there is no probable way toreally arrange for Roman soldiers to gamble for clothing just tofulfill some writings 1000 years old, while you conveniently hang on across overhead - unless it has been ordained by God. And there is nopossible way to come back from the dead in a resurrection, unless thathas been prearranged by God also.
We have, in thissection, listed only a few of the Old Testament prophecies pertainingto Jesus. There are at least 150 specific prophecies concerning a manwho was to come, all of which were clearly fulfilled by the Jesus ofthe New Testament. The number and scope of such prophecies are farbeyond the range of human arrangement. There is really only onepossible explanation - Divine planning and action. Such Messianicprophecy is some of the strongest proof that the Bible is indeed theword of God and the story of Jesus.
Old Testamentprophecies prove that the Author of the prophecies is also the Authorof history. Prophecies of history prove that the Old Testament is theword of God. The Old Testament prophecies also prove that Jesus is theChrist the Messiah, and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the wordof God. Since most of the New Testament - the book of Acts, theepistles, and Revelation - relates to the church, and indirectly toJesus, the question is: Is all of the New Testament the word of God?Another way of asking the same question is: Is part of the Bible theword of God, and part of it merely the word of men? Did the earlychurch "make up" parts of the New Testament to justify its existence?
In this section,we intend to show that, because of The Plan, theentire New Testament is the word of God, and that the Bible as a wholeis one complete, inspired unit.
The Planbegins at the beginning. According to the Bible, God said, "Let us makeman in Our image..." (Genesis1:26).Man, made in the image of God (who is Spirit - John4:24),is a spirit being - different from animals, with spiritual needs. Oneof those needs is fellowship with God.
When Adamand Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they died (Genesis2:17)- they lost their fellowship with God. At that point, according to theBible, God began implementing the Plan. Animal sacrifices now began tobe offered in atonement for sins.
But,in spite of sacrifices, mankind degenerated rapidly fromThe Fall, and it became necessary for God to essentially destroy thehuman race in the Flood of Noah’s day. Following the Flood,God said, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, forthe intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I willnever again destroy every living thing, as I have done" (Genesis8:21).The lesson of the Flood is that men left to themselves becomeabsolutely corrupt.
FollowingtheFlood, God implemented Phase 2 of thePlan. Dealing with a faithful man named Abram (later Abraham), Godpromised him, "In you all the families of earth shallbe blessed" (Genesis 12:3). So from Abraham the Hebrew came theIsraelites, who took their name from Jacob (whom God renamed Israel),Abraham’s grandson. The Israelites grew into a mighty nationin the land of Egypt, where they settled in the land of Goshen.
Buthere, at thebeginning of the nation Israel, we have God making a promise to blessevery family on earth through Abraham. Note that this is an "un-Jewish"thing to write. There are those who maintain that Israel’sreligion and theology developed as their great thinkers thought newthoughts and added to Jewish tradition. Furthermore, many have the ideathat the priests, following the Babylonian captivity of 605 to 536 BC,edited the Old Testament works so as to exalt the priestly position. Ifthese positions were true, given Jewish non-acceptance of the Gentiles,we would never find Genesis 12:3 with its promise of God’sblessing on all the families of earth. But here it is, a clearfoundation piece of a definite plan for God to do something special forall peoples through Abraham.
Then,throughMoses, after the people of Israel hadbeen in Egypt for 400 years, Phase 3 was put into effect. The people ofIsrael crossed the Red Sea to the wilderness of Sinai where they weregiven the Law. The Law incorporated three things:
- Lawsby whichthe people were to live.
- Regulationsfor sacrifices offered by the priests (the service), and worship by theJews in general.
- Theestablishment of the priesthood.
Fromthebeginning, the Law of Moses was designedto eventually be destroyed, and to be replaced by a superior system:
- Thepeoplewould not keep the Law.
- Theregulations for sacrifice, including the design of the Hebrewtabernacle were designed to foreshadow elements of the Christianreligion (seeHebrews chapters 8-10).
- Thepriesthood was to foreshadow the priesthood of the Christ, the eternalHigh Priest.
Notonly arethese points brought out by Christian authors in the New Testament, butthey are manifested in Old Testament prophecy as well:
"‘Behold,days are coming,’declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenantwith the house of Israel and the house of Judah; not like the covenantwhich I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand tobring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which theybroke, although I was a husband to them,’ declaresthe Lord" (Jeremiah31:31,32).
Jeremiah makes two points here: a) The people would not keep the Law -they broke the covenant which God made with them through Moses; b) Godwas going to make a new covenant with them which would be differentfrom the one given on Mt. Sinai. It would also be a superior covenant."I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will writeit’’ (Jeremiah31:33).
"AndHe[Messiah the Prince]will make a firm covenant with many for one week but in the middle ofthe week He will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering" (Daniel9:27).
Daniel points out that in the middle of a week (a week of years isseven years - a Jewish week could be seven days or seven years - andthe middle of a week is three and one-half years), the Messiah wouldput a stop to Old Testament service, with its grain offerings andsacrifices. If the Messiah were the perfect sacrifice Himself - offeredas a guilt offering for the transgressions of all men, His death wouldcertainly put a stop to the other offerings and sacrifices - therewould be no more need for them. And it is interesting that the Messiahwas cut off after ministering three and one-half years on earth,exactly in accordance with Daniel’s prophecy.
- "TheLord hassworn and will not change Hismind, ‘Thou arta priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’"(Psalm110:4).
Priests of the Mosaic covenant were of the order of Aaron (descendedfrom Moses’ brother Aaron) and were of the tribe of Levi. Thenew priest would be of the order of Melchizedek (Genesis14:17-24), and He would be a priest forever! Just as theOld Testament pointed to the cessation of sacrifices and offerings, soit also pointed to a change in the priesthood, a priesthood of One whowould be a priest forever!
Here’sthe point: from its very foundation the Israelite religion was designedto be set aside and replaced by a new religion with superior law,superior service and worship, and a superior priesthood. Ask yourself aquestion: What man, if he were to design a religion, would design it toself-destruct (especially the priesthood)? Ask yourself anotherquestion: What man, if he did design a religion to self-destruct, couldguarantee the destruction of that religion, and the formation of thesuperior religion out of it 1400 yearslater?
Ofcourse, inhistory, we find that the real core of the Israelite religion is gone.There is no temple, no priesthood, no sacrifices. In 70 AD, all thesewere swept aside, as Jesus predicted, by the hands of the Romans. Allthat is left is the written record of the teaching ordinances which noJew today can follow.
Allthis pointsto the existence of a transcendent Designer carrying out His planthrough the ages, and revealing it to man through His written word.
Forthree andone-half centuries Israel hadno king; it was governed by judges. Thepeople demanded to have a king like the other nations around them, soGod gave Samuel the prophet orders to anoint Saul of the tribe ofBenjamin as king. When Saul turned away from God, David the shepherdboy of Bethlehem became the new king, and Phase 4 of God’splan was underway. God promised King David, "And your house and yourkingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall beestablished forever" (IISamuel 7:16). So the Messiah, the Childwho was to be born, was to sit on the throne of David forever (Isaiah9:6,7; Luke1:32,33).
Not only was theMessiah to be king, accordingto the Old Testament, but Healso would be High Priest." Thus says the Lord of hosts,‘Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch outfrom where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord ...and he…will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus,He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will bebetween the two offices" (Zechariah6:12,13). Physically, it is not possible for one man to beboth High Priest and King; kings were descended from the tribe ofJudah, and priests were of the tribe of Levi. And for centuries thebattle for leadership of God’s people had gone on. Sometimesthe High Priest was dominant, sometimes the king. With the coming ofthe Branch [Nazarene], as Zechariah had prophesied, as both High Priestand King, there would be the counsel of peace between the two offices.
Phase5 in theBiblical plan is the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus inaccordance with all the Old Testament prophecies. The person of the Messiah, and His crucifixion and glorification arethe central points of the whole Bible. These events were predicted inthe Old Testament, and were covered in the previous section onprophecies of the Messiah.
Phase6 was theestablishment of the church, the kingdom of God. This was thefulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the kingdom and thenew covenant.
Thepurpose ofthe church was to take the "good news" of salvation to the Jews first.Man lost his fellowship with God through Adam’s sin in theGarden of Eden, and by his own personal guilt. This fellowship with Godis restored through the reconciliation which is available only throughJesus Christ (IICorinthians 5:18,19). By being "born of water and Spirit" (John3:5)through immersion in Jesus’ name (Acts2:38),the Jew received the promise of fellowship with God through the HolySpirit (Acts2:39),which met his deepest need, and which had been unavailable until thecoming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, 30 AD.
MostJewsrejected this covenant, preferring to look for a kingdom of their ownimagination, as Isaiah had prophesied, "Go and tell this people:‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, butdo not understand’ "(Isaiah6:9).
Butfor thoseJews who turned to Christ (descended from Abraham), fellowship with Godwas restored, and a portion of God’s plan to bless allfamilies through Abraham was fulfilled.
Phase7 was theextension of salvation to the Gentiles some ten years following theestablishment of the church. This was really contrary to Jewishthinking, but was carefully laid out by God in His Plan centuriesearlier when He promised Abraham that through him all families of earth would be blessed. As Heexplained in Hosea: "And it will come about that, in the place where itis said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ it willbe said to them, ‘You are the sons of the livingGod’ "(Hosea1:10).The Gentiles, who were not God’s people under the terms ofMosaic Law, were to be the people of God [by faith] under the terms ofthe covenant yet to come. As the prophet Joel had spoken: "And it willcome about that whoever calls upon the name of theLord will be delivered [saved]" (Joel2:32). Whoever includes Gentile as wellas Jew!
Thecentraltheme of the New Testament is the need for teaching, exhorting, andedifying the church. And the reason for this is that the church is tocarry out God’s Plan for taking the message of salvation toall those in every nation - to whoever will call on the name of theLord.
Noticehow thisPhase of the Plan binds the Old and the New Testaments together as onesingle unit, committed to one purpose of seeking and saving the lost,who have been separated from the fellowship of God as a result of theirown sin. It is revealed by Abraham’s time that God iscommitted to blessing all those of every nation who will turn to Him;yet because of the nature of man, it was necessary to carry out HisPlan in various stages. The New Testament church is the consummation ofHis Plan on earth; and it is clear that the instructions to the churchare a vital part of the Bible.
Ithas beensaid: "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the NewTestament is the Old Testament revealed." The Plan is contained, in asomewhat hidden fashion, in the Old Testament. It is clearly revealedin the New Testament.
Phase8 of thePlan is not yet in effect. Phase 8 is the Judgment of God, foretold inboth the Old and New Testaments. For those who have not metGod’s requirements, there is the eternal lake of fire; forthose who have, there is eternal life. From the Old Testament: "‘For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; andall the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that iscoming will set them ablaze,’ says the Lord of hosts,‘so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But foryou who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing inits wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from thestall. And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashesunder the soles of your feet on the day which I ampreparing,’ says the Lord of hosts" (Malachi4:1-3). And from the New Testament: "Therefore havingoverlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that alleverywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He willjudge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, havingfurnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts17:30,31).
Theoldhomesteader’s shack on the prairie is proof of the one-timeexistence of the homesteader. This evidence of design is proof of theoperation of a human mind.
Whatdo we seeas we scan the prairies of history? We see, first of all, a few roughbrush strokes of an idea emanating from a transcendent Mind in theantediluvian era. Following the flood, the general idea is sketched outin Abraham’s day. Then, beginning with the Mosaic Law, we seethe Divine Architect earnestly, painstakingly, at the drafting table,laying out detail after detail in blueprint of the Old Testament.
Then,on thegreat and glorious day, we see the cornerstone (Jesus the Messiah) of aspiritual building set carefully into place. Much detail in theArchitectural drawings had gone into the cornerstone, and its being setinto place was exuberantly celebrated.
Followingthelaying of the cornerstone, the foundation consisting of the apostlesand the New Testament prophets was completed. The blueprint requiredthat part of the foundation be Gentile as well as Jew, and it was withno small effort that suitable materials for the foundation were found.With the laying of the foundation, the building has continued in itsconstruction, and when the last living stone is set in place, then theDesigner will move in, that He might fill all in all.
Asa physicalbuilding, built over a period of weeks or months, is proof of theexistence of a human mind, so the erection of a spiritual building overperiod of thousands of years is proof of the existence of a DivineMind. And, as a set of blueprints for a building, found inside thatstructure, prove that the blueprints and the building itself are theresult of the operation of one mind, so the Old and New Testaments maybe shown to be the product of one Mind, and thus one inseparable unit.The prophecies of history essentially prove that the Old Testament isthe word of God. The prophecies of the Messiah establish that Matthewthrough John is the word of God. And prophecies of the church, thespiritual building, prove that Acts through Revelation is the word ofGod.
Onthat basis,we submit to you that we have proven our contention that the Bible isin fact the word of God. Our case, we admit, in this booklet is but akernel of what could be presented. But the towering oak of evidencewhich would constitute detailed and all-encompassing proof would onlybe the extension of those ideas which are contained in this seed. Tothe reasonable mind, our case is, at this point settled.
Itis clearly,and in successive detail, revealed in the Bible what God’sPlan is. It is clearly from the earliest times that the Plan is to save"whoever will" turn to Him with an honest heart. God used the Jewishnation to foreshadow the coming church, the church being the means,which He is using to carry out His Plan to the ends of the earth. TheDay of Judgment will be the final phase of the Plan, with itsrespective rewards.
ThePlan isproof that the hand of God is in the whole Bible. The Plan is proof ofthe existence of a supernatural Designer. The Plan, relentlesslycarried out in successive stages from Genesis through Revelation, makesit clear that both the Old and New Testaments are one unit, written byone Author, dictated through 40 different men over a span of 1500years. The unity of the Plan requires that we accept the whole Bible asbeing what it claims to be, the inspired word of God. "All scripture isinspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, forcorrection, for training in righteousness..." (IITimothy 3:16).
Theproof thatthe Bible is the word of God comes from fulfilled prophecy. Theprophecies of historical events, written hundreds of years before thehistory occurred, accurate down to fine details in many cases -including names - prove that the Author of the Bible is also the Authorof history.
Thepropheciesof the Messiah, predicted in the Old Testament, add weight to the claimthat the Bible is the word of God. The fact that the propheciesconcerning the Messiah were clearly written prior to the coming ofJesus provides a crushing blow to claims that the prophecies in the OldTestament were written after the events prophesied occurred. Theprophecies of Jesus begin building a bridge linking the Old Testamentand the New.
Finally,thePlan - traced from Adam’s fall in the Garden, throughpatriarchal sacrifices, through the Mosaic covenant, through theoffering of Christ’s blood and His resurrection, and Hischurch and second coming for judgment - offers proof of a Supreme Mindwhich carries out His design through the centuries. The Plan not onlyoffers proof of the existence of the Designer, but it completes thebridge between the Old and New Testaments, making it clear that theyare component parts of one complete unit.
TheBible is theword of God for these two reasons:
- The Bible isaccurate in dealing with external matters. It is accurate in its recordof archeology and natural science. In order to be the word of God, theBible must be accurate in its portrayal of observable facts. The Biblemeets this requirement of accuracy in external matters, and thereforecan be the written revelation from God.
- The proofthat the Bible is the word of God comes from its internal contents. TheBible contains the following categories of internal evidence, whichprove it to be the word of God:
- Fulfilledhistorical prophecies.
- Fulfilledpredictions of the Messiah.
- A Planrevealed, then carefully carried out - proof of the existence of thePlanner, and a bridge binding the Old and New Testaments together asone complete unit.
For moreinformation about Bible Creation and theFlood:
Henry Morrisand John Whitcomb. This excellent book discusses unifonnitarianism,showing why catastrophism is the only plausible explanation of theearth’s present landforms. Shows why the earth’stestimony of its world-wide flood must be believed by any objectivestudent.
Edited byHenry M. Morris, developed as a textbook. Sets forth both creation andevolution models for the development of life, and shows in clear,understandable terms the superiority of creation over evolution as anexplanation of the earth’s life forms based on scientificdata. Explodes the myths surrounding uranium decay into lead as a meansof determining the age of fossils and rocks. Examines mutation, randomaction, and other subjects relating to evolutionary thought. This bookis a must for the serious questioner.
Man’sOrigin, Man’s Destiny
A.E.Wilder-Smith, 320 pages. In depth examination of evolution. Excellentpictures documenting dinosaur and man tracks in the Paluxy River.
SpecialSection of Evolution and Creation
We WalkedWhere Dinosaurs Walked
Whenwe left Ft.Worth early that Saturday morning, we weren’t sure what wewould find. We were excited, though, because we had seen the movie"Footprints in Stone" previously, and our curiosity was running high.
Asa child I hadbeen interested in dinosaurs ever since I was old enough to read. Mycuriosity had led me to become familiar with the "theoreticalrockpile," to recognize Madison limestone, to look for the "indexfossil." And now I was going to the only place in the world wherefossilized footprints of the giant Brontosaurus had been found (some ofwhich have been removed and placed in New York’s Museum ofNatural History).
Butwhatintrigued me more than even Brontosaurus tracks now was the prospect ofseeing with my own eyes fossilized human tracks inthe same sediments as the dinosaur tracks. I already had sufficientdocumentation on their existence, and their being in the samesedimentary rock as the dinosaur tracks, but I wanted to see them withmy own eyes.
Afterlittlemore than an hour’s drive from Fr. Worth, we arrived atDinosaur State Park, just past Glen Rose, Texas. Parking our car nextto the Paluxy River bed, we climbed out into the heat, and scrambled toget to the river. The river was dry. It had been so hot and dry thatthe only water in the river was in a few deep holes; there was noneflowing. So we started to walk down the dry river bed.
Wefound a fewthree-toed dinosaur tracks at first, but nothing spectacular. Wecontinued to walk down the river for a mile and a half. There we founda set of dinosaur tracks crossing (from our perspective in time) theriver. These three-toed tracks were about 18 inches across, and wereroughly six feet apart. They looked like they were made in fresh mud,but what was once mud was now hard rock.
Thenwe foundsomething really exciting! About 30 feet down river from the dinosaurtracks, in the same sediment, we found a giant man track! It was setdeep in the mud (now hard rock) and was about a foot and a half long.The track was clearly human. It was a right footprint - the outline wasclear; the heel, the instep, the toes were distinctly human. Not onlythat, but the big toe was unmistakable that you could almost see theswirl of the toe print.
Iwas impressed.I had read accounts of others who had documented the existence of humantracks with the dinosaur tracks. Here I was, seeing it for myself. Fromwhere I was standing, next to huge man track, I could easily thedinosaur tracks just ten yards away. I checked to see if there if beena change in sedimentary layers. But, no, the human track was the samesediment as the dinosaur tracks. Here it was - unmistakable proof that man and dinosaur lived at the same time!
Afterlunch wedecided to go up river. Our first find was some Brontosaurus tracks.They were unbelievable. The clearest showed the four claw marks in whatis now solid rock. The track was almost three feet wide, two andone-half feet long, and about a foot deep into the mud. What a hulkthat one must have been.
Upriver fromthe Brontosaurus tracks, we found some more three-toed Tyrannosaurustracks. They were much larger than the three-toed tracks we had foundbefore lunch, and there was a fairly long trail of them going up river.As we followed them, we noticed how the mud had squished up in front ofthe dinosaur as he walked. No erosion marks could look like these.
Thenwe foundthem - a set of human tracks coming down river along side and crossingthe dinosaur tracks! These were smaller that the one we had seen in themorning; they were about the size of my wife’s feet. One ofthe tracks, a right foot imprint, showed how the individual had slippedsideways in the mud. The heel and instep were extremely clear. In fact,there was still a slight overhang where the person had pulled his footout of the mud, and the mud had not completely fallen back in beforethe track was fossilized. No erosion mark could look like this.
Aboutten feetfurther on, the human tracks crossed the dinosaur tracks. Next to oneof the dinosaur tracks a left footprint followed by a right footprintwere clearly identifiable, with clear toe marks in the right footprint.Again, unmistakable proof that man and dinosaurs had lived atthe same time!
Weclimbed backinto the car. The 110 degree heat had pretty well drained us. It hadbeen difficult walking down the bed of the Paluxy. We had explored allday, and had been able to cover (and not completely at that) two milesof river bottom. Although I was glad that I had seen the footprintsmyself, I realized that in order to do a really effective job, a personwould have to spend months and years with a lot of equipment. And thatof course is what was done to produce the documentary film Footprintsin Stone.
Footprintsin Stone is a 45-minute documentary film or video showinghow human footprints and dinosaur footprints were found together in thePaluxy Riverbed. This excellent film, which includes interviews withboth evolutionary and creationist scientists, is available from FilmsFor Christ Association, 2628 Birchwood Circle, Mesa, AZ 85202.