“Our Authority: The Bible”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA
BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE
BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Dr. Ed J MacWilliams
COURSE: BIBLE DOCTRINE:
Part One: The Bible
You are encouraged to study this Guide in detail, discuss the contents with your class and your instructor. Review each section separately, and refer to every Scripture which is noted. You should also add other Scriptures which your discussion or study will produce.
Some people, claiming to have “an education,” contend that the Bible is not truly the Word of God. As is often the case, these “educated” people have limited their learning to only one source of education—that which comes from a sinful, Christ-denying world. This intellectual dishonesty is clearly seen when a person of average understanding begins looking at the wealth of information about the Bible. This is information available to everyone, but the Bible-denier is a person who has closed his eyes and heart to studying it.
The Christian knows that the Bible is truly the God-breathed Word of the Lord and that it is essential to our understanding of God, salvation, the purpose of life, and so many other vital issues. If the Bible was simply the best ideas and wisdom which men compiled from their own intellect, the Bible would not be not sufficient to be our authority in the Church and in our individual lives.
This is a crucial doctrine, which separates those who simply call themselves Christians from those who truly follow the will of God and are Christians in fact.
WE DEPEND UPON THE BIBLE FOR:
1. Information about the past, so we can know what to believe.
2. Information about the future so we can know what to do, and how to prepare.
3. Information about God, and how to please Him.
4. Information about ourselves, so we know our weaknesses and flaws, and commit ourselves to the Lord more completely.
5. Information that will motivate us to live for the Lord Jesus.
(2 Cor. 5:8-11, 2 Peter 3: 10-14)
“NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.” —HEB. 11:1 The Bible helps to provide that “substance” which makes our faith. Without the Bible, we would have only the leadings of men, which, as we know, can fall very short of the intentions of God.
These are the basic categories of evidence that the Bible is truly written by God.
1. MATHEMATIC EVIDENCE
2. PROPHETIC EVIDENCE
3. HISTORIC EVIDENCE
4. INTERNAL EVIDENCE
1. CONSIDER THE MATHEMATICAL EVIDENCE
There are clear facts that provide evidence that the Bible is truly the “God-written Book.”
The Bible was written in primarily two languages. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. However, Both Testaments had a small amount of the Aramaic language; and the Old Testament was written over such a long period of time that several major language changes occurred in Hebrew during that time. Nevertheless, God preserved His Word, and made it available to everyone throughout the world.
The Bible was written over a period of more than . . .
1500 years, through
44 authors, with
44 different personalities, with
44 varied educational and cultural backgrounds,
from 30 different generations,
writing this material in
6 different languages or dialects, and wrote
from 12 different countries, in
44 different sets of circumstances….
…yet, the writings which they put down became one unified Book, the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, we have a Book which came from God, and is given to us as a way by which we can come closer to Him and learn to do His will.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT human writers would never contradict one another, nor depart from the central theme of a book ? Yet, when the Bible was compiled, they did not disagree in even the smallest detail with events which occurred. In fact, they often complemented one another’s information by what they were told to put down in writing by God. It is the fact that God gave the words which makes the difference between a humanly written book, and the Book written by God.
Here’s Some More Evidence:
Let’s conduct an experiment. We will hypothetically take 44 people from around the world who can read and write. We will bring them to the fine hotel, and isolate them each in a separate room. They cannot communicate with one another, nor have any intermediate contact by way of phone or any other communication.
We will leave them with some paper and a pen, and instruct each one to write about God.
However, they must also predict the future (prophecy), and describe events as they are occurring today in their manuscripts (history).
What do you think the chances are that these 44 people…
(1). will agree on their descriptions and analysis of God,
(2). will give accurate information about current events,
(3). and will give precise, accurate details about what will occur one hundred years from now ?
The fact is, these 44 men would write amazingly different descriptions of God, and what He has done. They will describe historical events from their own prejudices and viewpoints, so that they would contradict the writings of the others. And, they would all attempt to tell the future, but would fail miserably. But, keep in mind that we are giving these 44 people a better mathematical chance of accomplishing the assignment than existed for the actual penmen of the Bible.
It is humanly impossible to write anything even similar to the Bible without a sole Writer who was able to live throughout the entire time being spoken about, and Who also was able to see into the future, and know what would happen yin the future.
Because there was such a Writer (God), Who gave His Word (by the Holy Spirit) to men (the prophets and Apostles), we have our Bible today. And, despite the efforts of many men to destroy the Bible, God has preserved it for all eternity. It is nothing less than a miraculous Book.
2. CONSIDER THE PROPHETIC EVIDENCE
A powerful evidence that the Bible is truly from God is that it contains things which only God could foresee. It would be impossible for man, even the smartest of men, to predict what the Bible does and expect each and every prophecy (hundreds of them are in the Bible) to come true.
It is important to remember that every prophecy of the Bible which is waiting to be fulfilled shall be fulfilled in the exact specific details which the Bible says would it occur. Even the BEST of man’s prophecies contain SOME errors. The Bible’s prophecies have contained NO errors or failures whatever.
Examples of Non-Messianic Prophecies
- The Progression of Human Government (Daniel 2:37-42). Daniel foretold the governments in order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. No other prognosticators could come close to the accuracy which the Bible had in foretelling what would occur.
- The Birth and Rule of Cyrus, King of Persia (Isaiah 44:28-45:1). Since Isaiah lived between about 740 and 690 BC (2 Kings 25-21) and Cyrus did not make his proclamation for Israel to return from exile until about 536 (Ezra 1), there would have been no human way for him to know what Cyrus would be named or what Cyrus would do. With hundreds of years between the prophecy and its’ fulfillment, it would have been impossible for man to know what would occur, and especially that his name would be called Cyrus.
- Israel Would Be Returned to The Promised Land Again. (Isaiah 11:11-12). The first time was under Nehemiah and Ezra, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The second time was in March, 1948. No other culture in history has been restored, after such a long time frame and the continual attempts to destroy the Jewish people.
- The Sealing Shut of the Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:2-3). The Golden Gate is the eastern gate of Jerusalem, through which Christ made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before the crucifixion (Matthew 21). Ezekiel predicted its closing and in 1543 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent closed the gate and walled it up, not knowing he was fulfilling prophecy. It remains sealed to this day exactly as the Bible predicted, waiting to be re-opened when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.
- The Destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-14). The prophecy was partly fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and left it in ruins. Most of the citizens then fled to the remaining part of the town, located on the island which adjoined the mainland city of Tyre. However, when Alexander the Great later attacked the seemingly impregnable Island of Tyre by taking the stones, dust, and timber from the ruined mainland city to build a causeway to the remaining part on the Island, resulting in such erosion, that the island itself was swallowed up by the Sea, thus completing the prophecy. It is now underwater, and cannot be rebuilt, thus proving the prophecy to be true.
- The Rejuvenation of the Desert in Israel. (Ezekiel 36:33-35). Since before the turn of the twentieth century, Israel has been irrigated and Israel’s agriculture is flourishing. Today, Israel is the world’s third largest exported of certain kinds of citrus fruits.
- Destruction of Jerusalem, especially the Temple. (Mark 13:1-2). Fulfilled literally when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple buildings in 70 AD.
The Old Testament Prophesied that Jesus Would Be The Messiah.
(Consider the clear logic of this argument).
If over 300 O.T. prophecies are true, Jesus is the Savior, and Messiah….
If He is the Savior and Messiah, then His Word cannot lie, and He is also God in Flesh (Isaiah 9:6,7)….
If He was God in Flesh, He could not lie in later writings (Heb. 6:18)….
If He could not lie, He was truthful when He said His Word was truth. (John 17:17)
Therefore, we can depend upon what He tells us in His Word.
The evidence is solid and strong. Either people will ignore all the evidence, or they must accept the fact that the Bible is God-given, and not the work of man.
How Did Jesus Confirm the Bible to be God’s Word ?
He quoted from almost every book of the Old Testament, as if those quotes were authoritative.
He used O.T. prophecies in His own preaching, especially in the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, Matt. 24, etc.)
Here’s Some More Prophetic Evidence:
There are over 300 O.T. prophecies concerning the Messiah, all of which were fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
Peter Stoner (from Science Speaks Ministries) says that if you took just 8 of these prophecies, the odds of a person coincidentally fulfilling all eight of these would be one in 10 to the 17th power. That is essentially mathematically an impossible thing to occur.
Let’s look at another experiment to see how impossible it would be for someone—other than the real Messiah—to fulfill these prophecies:
Consider this imaginary test. Cover the entire state of Texas with silver coins to a depth of two feet. Mark just one of these silver coins before you do. Chose one person to assist this effort. Blindfold him. Then, tell him to find that same marked silver coin that is located somewhere in the state of Texas. He must do it on the first try, and with a blindfold on.
That is the mathematical possibility of having all the prophecies of the Bible being predicted by a mere man. It is simply an impossible feat.
What are the chances of him succeeding in getting the marked silver coin on the first try ? About the same chances that Jesus is NOT the Messiah ! Bible prophecy therefore reveals the true Savior, and much, much more.
Examples of Messianic Prophecies
|Topic||Old Testament||New Testament|
|Messiah to be the seed of the Woman||Gen. 3:15||Luke 2:5-7, Gal. 4:4|
|Messiah to be the seed of Abraham||Gen. 12:2-3, 18:18||Mat.1:1-2, Luke 3:34, Acts 3:25, Gal.3:16|
|Messiah to be of the tribe of Judah||Gen. 49:10||Mat. 1:1-2, Luke 3:33|
|Messiah to be of the seed of David||2 Sam. 7:16, Ps. 132:11, Jer. 23:5, 33:15||Mat. 1:6, 22:42-45, Luke 1:31-33, Acts 2:29-30, Rom. 1:3|
|Messiah to be born to a virgin||Is. 7:14||Mat. 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38|
|Messiah to be born in Bethlehem||Micah 5:2||Mat. 2:1-6, Luke 2:4-6|
|Tribute paid to Messiah by great kings||Ps. 72:10-11||Mat. 2:1-11|
|Messiah to be heralded by a messenger||Is. 40:3. Mal. 3:1||Mat. 3:1-3|
|Messiah to be the Son of God||Ps. 2:2,7||Mat. 3:17, Luke 1:32-33|
|Messiah to be anointed by the Holy Spirit||Is. 11:2||Mat. 3:16-17|
|Galilee to be the first area of Messiah’s ministry||Is. 9:1-7||Mat. 4:12-16|
|Messiah to be meek and mild||Is. 40:11, 42:2-3, 53:7||Mat. 12:18-20, 26:62-68|
|Messiah to minister to the Gentiles||Is. 42:1, 49:6-8||Mat. 12:21, Luke 2:28-32|
|Messiah will perform miracles||Is. 35:5-6||Mat. 9:35, 11:3-6, John 9:6-7|
|Messiah to be a prophet like Moses||Deut. 18: 15-19||Mat. 21:11, 24:1-35, John 1:45, 6:14, Acts 3:20-23|
|Messiah to enter the Temple with authority||Mal. 3:1-2||Mat. 21:12|
|Messiah will enter Jerusalem on a donkey||Zech. 9:9-10||Mat. 21:1-11|
|Messiah to be betrayed by a friend||Ps. 41:9||John 13:18-21|
|Messiah to be forsaken||Zech. 13:7||Mat. 26:31, 56|
|Messiah will be smitten||Is. 50:6||Mat. 26:67, 27:26,30|
|Messiah to experience crucifixion (long before crucifixion was invented)||Ps. 22:15-17||Mat. 27:34-50, John 19:28-30|
|Messiah will be pierced||Zech. 12:10||John 19:34-37|
|Details of Messiah’s suffering and death and resulting salvation||Ps. 69:21, Is. 53:2-12,||Mat. 26-27, Mark 15-16, Luke 22-23, John 18-19|
|Messiah’s death in 33 AD, can be precisely determined because we know the date of the command to rebuild the Temple.||Dan. 9:24-26||33 AD is the widely accepted historical date of the crucifixion|
|Casting of lots for His garments||Ps. 22:18||John 19:23-24|
|Messiah to be raised from the dead||Ps. 16:10||Acts 2:25-31, 13:32-37, 17:2-3|
|Messiah’s resurrection||Job 19:25, Ps. 16:10||Acts 2:30-31, 13:32-35, 17:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:20-22|
|Messiah to ascend to heaven||Ps. 68:18||Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9, Eph. 4:8-13|
|Messiah to be at the right hand of God||Ps. 110:1||Mat. 26:64, Mark 14:62, Rom. 8:34, Heb. 1:3|
|Messiah, the stone which the builders rejected, to become the head cornerstone||Ps. 118:22-23, Is. 8:14-15, 28:16||Mat. 21:42-43, Acts 4:11, Rom. 9:32-33, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:6-8|
MAJOR PROPHETIC EVIDENCE
The Flood: Prophesied by Noah, Confirmed by Geological Science—II Peter 2:5
Jude 14-16 (Enoch 1:2-9, a non-canonical book)
Last Days Judgment:: Tribulation—Matthew 24:21
Tyre: Prophesied Destruction Confirmed by Modern Archeology
Ninevah: Nahum’s Prophecies of Its’ Destruction.
Daniel’s Prophecies regarding downfall of Babylonian Empire.
Daniel’s Prophecies of the Image with Ten Toes.
Resurrections of the Roman Empire. Dan. 2:36-45, Rev. 17
Letters to Church-Ages: Fit historic descriptions. Rev. 2-3
Character Changes for the Last Days: II Timothy 3:1-9
Return of the Jews To Israel In Last Days: Ezekiel 37:1-14, 38:16, Jeremiah 32:37
Abrahamic Covenant–Gen. 12:1-3—Proven to be true over time.
Davidic Covenant–II Sam. 7:8-9 (I Chron. 17:7-15)—Includes establishment of everlasting kingdom. (Future, but we can see it developing)
God will give His Son the Nations for Inheritance—Psalm 1
(Future, but we can see the failure of man to govern himself will lead
to the government under Jesus).
Messiah will reign over all the earth—Psalm 72 (Future)
Judgment on the Earth: The Tribulation—Matthew 24:21, Revelation 6:16.
MORE EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC PROPHECIES IN THE BIBLE:
THE DESTRUCTION OF TYRE (Accomplished in stages, with exact fulfillment of Bible prophecy for each stage of destruction).
1. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy main Tyre. Ezek. 26:8
Nebuchadnezzar sieged city for 13 years (583-573 BC). In 538 BC, Tyre surrendered to him, but first moved entire city to island directly offshore. Nebuchadnezzar leveled the mainland city.
2. MANY nations will come against Tyre. Ezek. 26:3
After the Battle of Issus (333 BC), Alexander the Great demanded the surrender of the island. When Tyre refused, he built causeway 200 feet wide out of the debris from the old mainland city to the island. In 332 BC, he destroyed the city. It was later rebuilt.
—Antigonus (314 BC) destroyed the rebuilt city. It was built again.
—Ptolomy of Philadelphia destroyed the rebuilt city. It was built again.
—Moslems destroyed it again in 690 AD.
PRESENT CONDITIONS OF TYRE SHOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE:
3. Will be made as top of a rock. Ezek. 26:4
(As a result of Alexander scraping the old city to the rock base it was built upon in order to get material for the causeway).
4. Fishermen to spread nets over her. Ezek. 26:5
(As result of erosion resulting from Alexander’s causeway).
5. Her debris thrown into water. Ezek. 26:12
(Done by Alexander’s armies making causeway).
6. Never to be rebuilt. Ezek. 26:14
(It is under water, home only to fish).
7. Never to be “found” again. Ezek. 26:21
(Only columns and stone arches remain. City is gone).
MORE PROPHETIC EVIDENCE:
SAMARIA: REBEL CITY OF TEN TRIBES.
*(Samaria was known as a city where Jews and half-Jews lived. Under the Mosaic Law, Jews were forbidden to marry outside their own people. However, in Samaria, many Jews inter-married with the people of other nations and religions, thus bringing about the anger of God).
HOSEA 13 (748-690 B.C.) MICAH 1 (738-690 B.C.)
1. SAMARIA WOULD FALL VIOLENTLY (HOSEA 10:7-15)
–IT WAS TAKEN IN 722 B.C. BY SARGON
–IT WAS TAKEN IN 331 B.C. BY ALEXANDER THE GREAT
–IT WAS TAKEN IN 120 B.C. BY JOHN HYRCANUS
2. WOULD BECOME AS A HEAP IN THE FIELD (MICAH. 1:6)
3. VINEYARDS WILL BE PLANTED THERE. (MICAH. 1:6)
4. STONES TO BE POURED DOWN INTO THE VALLEY (MICAH 1:6)
5. FOUNDATIONS “DISCOVERED.” (MICAH 1:6)
THIS HAS BEEN VERIFIED BY SECULAR ACCOUNTS FROM
THE 1600’S TO THE PRESENT
CHANCES OF ALL 5 POINTS COMING TRUE:
1 IN 4 CHANCES FOR ITS’ TOTAL DESTRUCTION
1 IN 5 FOR LYING IN FIELDS RATHER THAN BEING REBUILT
1 IN 100 FOR IT BECOMING A GARDEN SPOT
1 IN 10 FOR STONES BEING ROLLED INTO VALLEY
1 IN 2 CHANCE OF FOUNDATION STONES BEING REMOVED.
= 1 IN 40,000 CHANCE OF THIS PROPHECY COMING TO PASS, OR 1 IN 4 X 104
(In other words, it would be a virtual impossibility for this prophecy to have come true. Man would certainly not venture to prophesy such a thing since it was so unlikely. Only the God Who knew what would happen could make such an accurate prediction of Samaria’s fate).
3. HISTORIC EVIDENCE THAT THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD.
Men have tried to disprove the Bible by stating that the people, places, and events mentioned in the Bible are lies. However, within the last 50 years, amazing discoveries have been made which reveal the following people, places, or things that were used by Bible-deniers in their arguments against God’s Word. As always, the Bible has been proven to be true each time !
DAVID’S REIGN. RECENT ARCHEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES VALIDATE
THE BIBLICAL CLAIMS.
HOME OF BALAAM: ARCHEOLOGY HAS FOUND THE HOUSE WHERE HE
TAUGHT OTHERS TO BE FALSE PROPHETS, AS WELL.
THE SIGNET RING/FINGERPRINT OF BARUCH, THE SECRETARY
GOLD MINES OF OPHIR
SODOM & GOMORRAH—BURNT CITIES.
–POSITIONS OF SKELETAL REMAINS
–GEOLOGICAL FEATURES: STRATA, SILT LAYERS
–DISCOVERY OF NOAH’S ARK ON MT. ARARAT
4. INTERNAL EVIDENCE
(This is evidence provided by what the Bible says about itself).
It claims to be the Word of God.
“Thus saith the LORD…” – 281 Times
“Thus saith the Lord…” – 134 Times
“God said…” – 46 Times
“The LORD spake…” – 143 Times
The Bible claims to “carried along” by God, not man.
2 Peter 1:20,21
“moved”=Greek word is fero=meaning, ”carried along”
The Bible claims to the breath of God.
2 Tim. 3:16
“inspiration”=from the GREEK word, theopneustos, which is a combination of two Greek words, “theos” (meaning, ‘God’), and “pneus” (meaning, ‘breath’). Thus, that Scripture says that all Scripture is by the “Breath of God.”
Also see Gen. 1:3,6, and Psalm 33:6
(God’s breath and Word are used interchangeably).
EVIDENCE FROM THE CONTENT: A THEME OF THE BIBLE IS THAT MAN NEEDS SALVATION AND CANNOT GET IT WITHOUT GOD.
This is an unpopular idea. Man likes to think highly of himself, and look at his accomplishments, not his failures. Despite this theme, the Bible has been the biggest selling book and the most widely used religious material in the world. It is a contradiction to what makes a book and a religion popular. Therefore, there must be something greater behind it than merely man’s ideas.
THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE NEED TO REPENT OF OUR SINS.
THIS IS AN UNPOPULAR CONCEPT. MAN WANTS TO BE PROUD OF HIMSELF.
MAN DOESN’T WANT TO BE DEPENDENT UPON A HIGHER AUTHORITY.
MAN DOESN’T LIKE THE IDEA THAT HE MUST DO SOMETHING TO GET FORGIVEN.
THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE NEED TO GET RIGHT WITH GOD.
An ESSENTIAL element in this process is REPENTANCE:
LUKE 24:46-47, HEB. 6:1-2
Note the following outline where extremely unpopular concepts regarding man’s own character are revealed by God.
1. IT IS NOT WITHIN MAN TO “NATURALLY REPENT.”
—HE WILL MAKE EXCUSES.
—HE WILL ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY HIS ACTIONS.
—HE WILL DENY DOING THE SIN.
2. IT IS THE ACT OF GOD THAT BRINGS REPENTANCE.
A. GOD’S GIFT. ACTS 11:18, ROMANS 2:4, II TIM. 2:25
B. IT ISN’T WITHIN MAN NATURALLY. HEB. 12:16,17
C. GOD WANTS EVERYONE TO EXPERIENCE. IT. II PET. 3:9
3. MAN MUST RESPOND TO GOD’S GIFT.
A. THROUGH RIGHT KIND OF SORROW OVER SIN.
II COR. 7:9-10
B. THROUGH DIRECTING THAT SORROW BY ASKING
FORGIVENESS. MATT. 27:3 (JUDAS LEFT OUT PART).
C. THROUGH A CHANGE IN ACTIONS. MATT. 21:28-32
4. ONE PERSON’S UNWILLINGNESS TO REPENT AFFECTS HIS SOCIETY.
*MATT. 11:20-21, REV. 9:20-21, 16:9, 16:11
Man’s desire to look good to himself and before others would naturally turn him away from the message of the Bible. Yet, the fact that the Bible is sought after by those looking for the Truth, reveals a super-natural force (The Holy Spirit) behind the Word of God.
The evidence which we have examined is true and compelling. A person might think that such overwhelming evidence would convince any logical person immediately that the Bible is the Word of Almighty God, and must be believed. However, few people receive the evidence in a logical manner.
We must remember that because of sin, every part of us, including the ability to reason has decayed. Therefore the lost person often is unable to understand or logically process the truth, as those who have been born-again can do. In our efforts to reach those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, we must be faithful in our prayers, because without the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they will remain blinded to the Truth, no matter how logical it is.
Luke 8:10 And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
John 6:44 No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The Truth is given to those who are willing to receive it. The more they receive, the more God will give them. We cannot expect lost people to understand the details of such an amazing work which God has done to provide us with salvation through Jesus Christ. However, we ourselves are made stronger and are blessed by the truths which His Word reveals to us.
For most people, a completely logical argument concerning the evidence of Scripture will fall upon deaf ears and a stony heart. They must first be prepared by the working of God’s Holy Spirit within them. Pray and get others to pray for their hearts to be ready to receive the truth, and repent of their sins, receiving Jesus by faith.