Lesson 2 - Is the Bible the Word of God?

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The world is full of religious books. Different groups have different books. Aren't all these books on the same level? Aren't they all the same? Why revere the Bible above the others? IF the claims of the Bible are not true, then it does make arrogantly exclusive claims for itself. Consider the following:

Look up Hebrews 1:1-2
", who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"

It says that God has spoken through the prophets and has completed His revelation by sending Jesus. God has nothing more to say. He needs to tell us nothing else! It has already been given to us. The attitude of the biblical writers was uncompromising.

Look up Ephesians 2:12
"That at that time ye were Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the convenants of promise, having no , and without in the world:"
Here Paul refers to people who are not Christians as 'without God' -- from this word we derive the word 'atheist.' Other books may contain profound human insights, shrewd observations of the nature of things, subtle philosophical reasonings or noble ethical principles. But according to the Bible they are useless to do the one most important thing human beings need -- to introduce people to their Creator. Only through Jesus Christ will they be able to come to know God. The Bible, unlike many of the false religious leaders of our day and days gone by, judges truth quite rigidly.

Look up Deuteronomy 18:21-22
"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow , nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt be afraid of him."

Look up Isaiah 41:22-23
"Let them bring them forth, and shew us what happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together."

The real test of the Bible is it's prophecies. Are they accurate? If they are only partially accurate, God has told us we do not need to pay attention to the rest of the Bible! A very rigid measurement indeed. Yet the Bible is the only Book that measures up to such a standard! Let's check the Bible out!

Consider the following fulfilled prophecies:

Tyre

Ezekiel 26 is a chapter detailing the destruction of the city of Tyre. The prophecy of its demise was fulfilled by the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar, and he destroyed the city just as Ezekiel had described. Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the city of Tyre is surely one of the greatest in the entire Bible. Tyre was actually two cities, one on the coastline, some 60 miles northwest from Jerusalem, and the other on an island, a half mile out in the Mediterranean Sea. In this prophecy, Ezekiel predicts the following:
A. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, was to capture the city.
B. The city was to be scraped and made flat, like the top of a rock.
C. It was to become a place for the spreading of nets.
D. The city was never to be rebuilt.

Look up Ezekiel 26:7-9
"For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against , and lift up the buckler against . And he shall set engines of war against walls, and with his axes he shall break down towers."

Look up Ezekiel 26:14-18
"And I will make thee like the top of a : thou shalt be a place to spread upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee. And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy ."
Has all this taken place? Consider the following historical facts:
A. Ezekiel wrote all this around 590 B.C. It began to be fulfilled 4 years later...in 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the city of Tyre. The siege lasted 13 years, and in 573 B.C. the coastal city was destroyed. But he could not capture the island city. During the next 241 years, the island city of Tyre dwelt in safety and would have doubtless ridiculed Ezekiel's prophecy concerning total destruction.
B. But in 332 B.C. Alexander the Great arrived upon the scene, and the island city was doomed. Alexander built a bridge leading from the coastline to the island by throwing the debris of the old city into the water. In doing this, he literally scraped the coastline clean.
C. Several years ago, an American archaeologist named Edward Robinson discovered 40 or 50 marble columns beneath the water along the shores of ancient Tyre. After a seven month siege, Alexander took the island city and destroyed it. From this point on, the surrounding coastal area has been used by local fisherman to spread and dry their nets.
D. Tyre has never been re-built in spite of the well-known, nearby fresh water springs of Roselain, which yields some 10,000 gallons of water daily.
All of this just like God had predicted! The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

Jericho

In the 6th chapter of Joshua we have described for us the fall of Jericho's walls and the subsequent destruction of the city. Immediately after this, Joshua makes an amazing 3-fold prophecy about this fallen city. He stated:

Look up Joshua 6:26
"And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: shall lay the foundation thereof in his , and in his son shall he set up the gates of it."
A. That Jericho would be rebuilt again by one man.
B. That the builder's oldest son would die when the work on the city had begun.
C. That the builder's youngest son would die when the work was completed.
Joshua uttered those words around 1450 B.C. Did it happen? Some five centuries after this, in 930 B.C., we are told the following:

Look up I Kings 16:34
"In his days did the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his , and set up the gates there of in his son Segub, according to the of the , which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun."
A. That a man named Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho.
B. That as he laid the foundations, his oldest son, Abiram, died.
C. That when he completed the gates, his youngest son, Segub, died.
The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

Nineveh

During the time of Jonah, God had spared the wicked city of Nineveh by using that Hebrew prophet (after an unpleasant fish trip) to preach repentance. But the city had soon returned to its evil ways. So then, around 650 B.C., another prophet, Nahum, predicted the complete overthrow of Nineveh. At the time of this prophecy, Nineveh appeared to be impregnable, with her walls one hundred feet high, and broad enough for chariots to drive upon. The city had a circumference of 60 miles and was adorned by more than 1,200 strong towers.

Look up Nahum 2:8-13
"But is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but shall look back. Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture. She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness. Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid? The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. Behold, I am thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall be heard."

But in spite of all her fortifications, the city fell, less than 40 years after Nahum's prophecy. An alliance of Medes and Babylonians broke through her walls during August of 612 B.C., after a two-month siege. The victory was due in part to the releasing of the city's water supply by traitors within. The destruction was so total that Alexander the Great marched his troops over the desolate ground which had once given support to her mighty buildings, and never knew there had once been a city there!

The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

Jerusalem

Look up Matthew 24:1-2
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here stone upon , that shall not be thrown ."

These sad words were uttered by no less than Jesus Himself. He predicted here that Jerusalem would be destroyed, her citizens would be slaughtered, and that her temple would be completely wrecked, with not one stone left upon another. This all literally happened less than 40 years later. In February of 70 A.D., the Roman general Titus surrounded Jerusalem with 80,000 men to crush a revolt that had begun some five years back. In April of that year, he began the siege in earnest. Conditions soon became desperate within the city walls. Women ate their own children, and grown men fought to the death over a piece of bird's dung for food! Finally, in September of the same year, the walls were battered down, and the slaughter began. When the smoke had cleared, over a half-million Jews lay dead. A number of these were crucified by Titus. Eventually the Temple was leveled, and each stone was pulled apart for the gold that was in between them and the ground under it plowed up, just as our Lord had predicted!

The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

Josiah

The following incident is recorded for us in 1 Kings 13:1-2 and concerns a wicked Israelite King named Jeroboam:

Look up I Kings 13:1-2
"And, behold, there came a of out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's shall be upon thee."

This prophecy took place in 975 B.C. Some 350 years went by. The year was 624 B.C. In 2 Kings 23, we are told of the actions of a new king of Israel:

Look up 2 Kings 23:15-16
"Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he down, and the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the . And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the out of the sepulchres, and them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words."

The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

Cyrus

Perhaps the greatest Old Testament prophet was Isaiah. For some 62 years, this eloquent and godly man wrote and preached. But even though Jerusalem was at rest when he ministered, Isaiah predicted her captivity (as did also Jeremiah, see Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10) and subsequent restoration.

Look up Isaiah 44:28
"That saith of , He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy shall be laid."

Isaiah penned these words around 712 B.C. By 606 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king had captured Jerusalem and had led many Jews captive (see Psalms 137) into his capital. For 70 long years, they remained here. This was all predicted of course by Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10). Then, in 536 B.C., the miracle happened!

Look up Ezra 1:1-2
"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
So then, Isaiah rightly predicted that Cyrus would allow the Jews to return and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem 176 years before it happened!

The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

John the Baptist

In Isaiah 40:3-5, the prophet correctly describes the future message of John the Baptist seven hundred years in advance.

Look up Isaiah 40:3-5
"The voice of him that crieth in the , ye the of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."

Look up Matthew 3:1-3
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ye the of the Lord, make his paths straight."

The Bible Shows It Is Reliable!

There are a multitude of other prophecies we could look at. In the Old Testament, there are some 37 basic prophecies concerning the earthly ministry of the anticipated Saviour. While upon this earth, Jesus Christ fulfilled literally every single prediction! We will look at some of these in a later study. The Bible is accurate in prophecies having to do with this world, and surely we would be wise to pay attention to its instruction on eternity and a relationship with God. How God views your life will matter in eternity. Every man will one day stand before God in judgment.

Look up Romans 14:11-12
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, knee shall bow to me, and tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give of himself to God. God has told us that His judgment of us will be according to truth."

This judgment will not be like some court proceedings of our day where judgments are often made on limited infomation. Yet when God judges mankind He will do it with a full understanding.

Look up Romans 2:2
"But we are sure that the of God is according to against them which commit such things."
If we can find out what God will use as His criteria to judge us we can be prepared for the day of judgment. God has recorded His view of truth in the Bible.

Look up John 17:17
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy is truth."

Can you have a genuine, unmistakable relationship with God, of a kind that transforms your life by its impact? This is the vital question -- and you can judge for yourself by reading further in the Bible. Obviously, if God can be met -- and only the Bible contains the secret -- the Bible is far more important than any other book in the world. The Bible gives us the standard by which we will be judged.

In our next study, we will look at what God sees when He looks at mankind.

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Lesson 1 Where Do We Find Truth?


Instructions

Welcome to the second lesson in this Series of eight Bible Studies! Remember, throughout each lesson there will be an opportunity for you to answer a question or fill in the blank. We encourage you to look up each verse in your own personal Bible so you can see that we are not taking the verses out of context or misquoting them, however, we have also included those verses in this lesson for your convenience. When Bible verses are referenced you may click on the reference to read that verse. Each verse is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.

After you complete the study, please click on the Send Lesson button at the end of the lesson to return it to us. When we receive the completed study we will review it, answer any questions you may have asked, and then send you the next study in this series. If you would like to receive subsequent lessons by mail, also include your mailing address.

Feel free to ask questions at the end of this study. Our prayer is that God will use this series of study to help you understand the Bible better as well as to establish a relationship with the God that made you.

Emmaus Road Bible Study International
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