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The BIBLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writers of the Bible
Scientific Accuracy
Historical Accuracy
Summary - C.S. Lewis
Message - in 1 sentence
Content of the Bible
Finding your way round the Bible
Testaments & Proof of God
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.   Who wrote it?

 

The Bible is actually a whole library of books. The word "Bible" comes from a word that means "library". The Bible is a library of 66 different books written originally in 3 different languages by 40 different people from 3 different continents, from many different walks of life over about 1600 years (approx 1500 before Christ and 100 after Christ).

 

They wrote on many different and controversial topics including the afterlife. Despite the number of books, the different languages, the vocations and locations of the writers, the number of topics and long time span over which they were written, all the books agree and they all point to one person, Jesus Christ!  He is behind every book.


.   The Author behind the Writer

As you read the Bible you discover that the writers themselves credit God as being the author and that they, the writers, he inspired (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Timothy 3:16). Thus the Bible is the inspired word of God. As God has inspired it, it is his revelation about himself and his involvement in history. The Bible is HIS-STORY. Furthermore, because the Bible is God's revelation and because God is Holy, the Bible is authoritative and therefore entirely trustworthy. When it says, Jesus was raised from the dead, this is not a myth but reality. See the separate pages on this site: "Crucifixion" and "Wwho is Jesus".

 

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Writers of the Bible

 

While God is the author of the Bible, the 66 books of the Bible were written by people from a variety of occupations:

kings

fishermen

tax collectors

shepherds

prophets

and even a doctor

Some were well educated and some were described by those who persecuted them as being "unlearned and ignorant men" (Acts 4:13). Yet at the same time, these same persecutors recognised that these "ignorant" fishermen spoke with boldness, authority and power.

Some of the books of the Bible were written in a king's palace, others from prison. Amazingly, many of the writers didn't even know each other and did not have access to the others' writings. This coherent masterpiece written over 1600 years was not some some clever human conspiracy, if that were possible, but rather, inspired divine revelation.

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Scientific Accuracy of the Bible

 

Those inspired by God wrote about things which at that time were not humanly possible to understand yet through science today have been proved beyond doubt to be true. Here are some examples:


.   1.  The earth is spherical...

(round) and not flat (recorded in Isaiah 40:22, 750 BC).  

.   2.  The earth is suspended in space...

and not held up by elephants standing on a cosmic turtle who swam in a cosmic sea. The earth is not held up by the strong shoulder and hands,of the Greek god Atlas. The Bible says, "He suspends the earth over nothing" (Job 26:7). These words were written about 1500 BC and give an accurate picture of what is seen from outer space.

.   3.  The Number of the Stars in the Universe are countless...

In 161-126 BC, Hiparchus, said to have pioneered the study of astronomy, counted 1080 stars. 300 years later it was still thought to be quite accurate when Ptolemy put the number at 1,056. But the invention of the telescope changed all that. It put the number in the countless millions. Around 600 BC the prophet Jeremiah in the Bible said the number was as "countless" as the sand on the seashore (Jer. 33:22). Scientific estimates put the number today at 50,000 billion billion. Thus the actual number of stars is "countless" to precisely count. But God, who is all knowing, knows exactly how many there are, "He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name" (Psalm 147:4).

.   4.  The universe is dying...

It is know known that all physical processes in an ordered system become more disorganized over time. They also lose energy in the form of heat, and slow down - everything gets old and wears out, or runs down. This is called "entropy," and in physics is described by the "Second Law of Thermodynamics." The Bible says, "In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end" (Psalm 102:25-27, written about 1000 BC!). Today scientists have discovered that old stars wear out, they burn out and get "heat-death". The Bible says, "For the creation was subjected to frustration ...in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay..." (Romans 8:20-21, written in 1st C AD). The Bible accurately describes the law of increasing entropy, where all matter runs down and loses available usable energy, in a process of "decay."

 

Around the 1800's and the time of so-called "enlightenment" some people started saying that now we have science, we don't need the Bible. Others however were not fooled. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) Swiss-born U.S. naturalist, geologist and teacher said,

"Every scientific truth goes through three states: first, people say it conflicts with the Bible;
next, they say it has been discovered before lastly, then they say they always believed it."

As seen in the examples above, the Bible's scientific accuracy has been proved true time and again.

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Historical Accuracy of the Bible

 

Quotable Quotes

 

Time and again, archaeological discoveries prove the Bible to be historically accurate – as well as scientifically accurate. Consider the following quotes...

 

There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.

(Sir Isaac Newton)

 

I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history . . .  (E. M. Blaiklock, Professor of Classics, Auckland University)

 

If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.  (F. F. Bruce, Manchester University)

 

There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies . . . Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.  (Clark Pinnock, Mcmaster University)

 

For the New Testament of Acts, the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming.  Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted.  (A. N. Sherwin-White, Classical Roman Historian)

 

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A Flood of Evidence

 

What documented evidence supports the biblical record of the universal flood?

 

Flood stories have been discovered among nearly all nations and tribes. Though most common on the Asian mainland and the islands immediately south of it and on the North American continent, they have been found on all the continents. Totals of the number of stories known run as high as about 270.

 

Although these traditions have been modified through the ages and some have taken on fantastic elements, most of them have certain basic elements in common.

 

1. 88% of them single out a favoured individual or family.

2. 70% point to survival due to a boat.

3. 66% see the Flood coming as a result of human wickedness.

4. 67% speak of animals saved along with human beings.

5. 57 % record that the survivors end up on a mountain.

6. 66% indicate that the hero receives warning of the coming catastrophe.

 

The assertion that many of these flood stories came from contacts with missionaries will not stand up because most of them were gathered by anthropologists not interested in vindicating the Bible. Moreover, they are filled with fanciful and pagan elements, evidently the result of transmission for extended periods of time in a pagan society. A third factor is that the ancient accounts were written by people very much in opposition to the Hebrew-Christian tradition.

 

Most important of all the flood stories is the Babylonian account. Interest in it rises because it comes from the same Semitic context and the same geographical area as the Genesis narrative and because it is similar to the Genesis account in so many ways.

 

The Babylonian flood story was part of the library of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668 - 627 B.C.) found during the British excavations at Nineveh in 1853 and 1873. The story was the eleventh tablet of a twelve-tablet piece entitled the Gilgamesh Epic, an account of Gilgamesh’s search for immortality. Gilgamesh (king of Uruk, biblical Erech) interviewed Utnapishtim, the “Babylonian Noah,” and learned from him the story of the flood and his securing of immortality.

 

Subsequently an early Akkadian story of the flood, written in Mesopotamia about 1600 B.C. and known as the Atra-hasis Epic, and a Sumerian version of the Babylonian flood story (dating circa 1700 B.C.) have come to light. The story in all these texts is similar and the flood hero is known variously as Ziusudra in Sumeria and Atra-hasis or Utnapishtim in Akkadian.

 

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Up Tight about the Hittite

 

According to the Bible a nation called the Hittites lived about 4. It suggested that they lived nearly 2000 years BC (Genesis 23:10). For a long time, people such as archaeologists and historians, said the Bible was wrong because there was no mention of the Hittites outside of the Bible.

 

As Napoleon Bonepart once said, “Man will believe anything as long as its not written in the Bible.

 

So without any documents or buried cities to support what the Bible said, people used this as another reason why the Bible should not be believed. Even Encyclopaedia Britannica contained nothing in about Hittites. Then a discovery was made of Hittite texts in 1906 (written by the Hittites themselves) at Bokasköy, the location of Hattusha which is modern Turkey. The writings spoke of a Battle with the Hittites. The Bible speaks of a battle with the Hittites.

 

The next edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica contained significant information about the Hittite people! You will not have any problem finding the Hittites on a web search

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A Pagan Prism that supports Bible Belief

 

Why is the “Taylor Prism” so important?

 

Taylor’s Prism, also known as the Sennacherib Prism, discovered about 1850, records Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah, and mentions king Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:13-16; Isaiah 36:1).

 

Sennacherib was king of Assyria and Babylonia from 705 to 681 B.C., the son of Sargon II and father of Esarhaddon. He besieged Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah. Sennacherib left copious records of his reign, the final edition of his annals being known as the Taylor Prism, and a better copy known as the Oriental Institute Prism.

 

These remains tell us a lot about his military campaigns, his buildings projects, his literary ability, his invasion of Judah and his death.

 

The account of the siege of Jerusalem has so often been quoted that only a brief portion will bear quoting: “As for Hezekiah the Judean who did not submit to my yoke, 46 of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small cities in their neighbourhood, which were without number, by escalade and by bringing up siege engines, by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breaches, I besieged and took...Himself like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city.”

 

Evidently the Taylor Prism is important because it parallels so closely the biblical record of this king’s conquests and life. If corroboration is needed to the biblical record, we do have three-dimensional evidence from the pagan king himself.

 

[Information on the flood and Hezekiah were sourced from Truth for Today by Paul Mizzi, http://www.tecmalta.org/tft301.htm]

 

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Summary of the Bible - by C. S. Lewis

 

[C.S.Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia from which a recent Disney movie was made.]

While the Bible is full of history, poetry, and principles for living, all are tied to a single main theme. This theme begins with the very first words of the Old Testament (OT) and is consistent across both testaments, right to the end of the book of Revelation. This is a summary of that theme.

1. The very first words of the Bible (Genesis 1:1) are "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This can be called in a word, "Creation." According to the Bible, there actually was a beginning of time and space, so one can actually know the historic origin of things. 

This most basic verse in the Bible states more, however, for it makes plain that at the time of the "beginning", God existed. He is in fact "eternal." So at the outset the Bible takes into account the fact of what has been called a "supernatural reality." Everything there is, in other words, cannot be judged on a materialistic or physical basis. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed before the beginning, and it was this Trinity Who decided to create. Which is also another way of saying that we live in a personal universe.

The Bible therefore begins by assuming God's reality and thus explaining the origin of the material world. But it also answers a question troubling many persons: "Who am I?" Rather than just a "speck of protoplasm floating on a sea of meaninglessness," as one person described him, man according to the Bible is a creature made by God, and as such bears His image. Man really is somebody! He has value and worth! And furthermore, as God's creation, he has been given a purpose. God designed him with something particular in view, and man despairs until he fulfills it.

So God began by creating the first man, Adam, and the first woman, his wife Eve, and He put them in a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden. Here the first couple enjoyed their worth and purpose before God. It really was paradise!

Now God certainly showed that He loved man, but He also wanted man to love Him. God is personal after all. He's living. He can be known...communicated with...loved. So God arranged for the testing of man's love for Him. Would man choose to maintain his wonderful relationship with his Creator, or would he go independent? The Bible states that under the temptation of Satan, a rebellious and fallen angel, Adam and Eve wilfully chose to go independent. In effect, they rebelled against God and His love. So in this way, sin historically came into the world. The covenant--God's arrangement with man--was broken. Man by his choice had brought down on himself and his descendents all the consequences of his rebellion of which God had warned him...guilt, shame, misery, and ultimately, death.

Now the whole story could have ended here. God could have just wiped everything out and started again. But His plan was to establish another arrangement or covenant by which He would restore a people for Himself. In Genesis 3:15, God declared that He would bring this about through "the seed of the woman," and that's what the rest of the Bible is all about...how God would do it.

This promise was first given to Adam and Eve. Later God renewed it to Noah, the man who built the ark at the time of the Great Flood. Still later God appeared to a herdsman named Abraham and said that through his "seed--a person--all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Abraham's son Isaac was next to hear the promise, and his son Jacob (later called Isreal) was chosed to get this good news. Jacob had twelve sons, and the choice fell on Judah, the one from whom the name "Jew" derives. Thus, through the descendents of Jacob or Isreal, God made clear His Messiah, His annointed One, would come.

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2. When you begin reading the second book of the Bible, Exodus, the children of Isreal, you'll find, had become a nation down in Egypt, and God was going to lead them back to Canaan--what is now modern Isreal--by a man named Moses. Moses led all these people across the Red Sea and on toward the Promised Land until they came to a place called Mount Sinai. There on Sinai, a craggy peak you can visit today, God summoned Moses to meet with Him, and on that historic occasion God gave Moses his "Law", what has been commonly called the "Ten Commandments."

Now this Law came from God, Whom the Bible describes as holy, pure, good, and everything right. And the Law showed that kind of character. That is why there is a right and a wrong; because of the way God is. But when man looks at this Law, he discovers that he's not that way himself...he is unGod-like. This Law, being perfect and righteous, suddenly makes a man or woman realize how different from God he or she has become when it comes to character. Loss of temper, depression, self-centeredness, discontent, hate, murder, war, ...on and on we could go naming evidences of the stark truth that man is a law-breaker. While it is often hard for a person to admit this, at least it gives a plausible answer to his or her question, "What am I like?" The answer is simply, a rebel against God and His Law, and also suffering the consequences. Unlike what many people think, God gave Moses his Law in Exodus 20 so man could know his real condition. It's like what one reads in the New Testament (NT) in Romans 3:20; "...through law comes the knowledge of sin."

With this Law, however, came hope as well, for God also gave careful instructions to show how such sinful persons could worship and find acceptance with such a holy God. Since the first sin committed by Adam brought death and its curse, so it could bo only through death (sacrifice) that God would accept man. That may sound strange, but that really is the way it is, according to the Bible. Consequently, God gave detailed directions for offering sacrifices, including a place of worship called a Tabernacle (or tent), and elaborate duties for a regiment of special priests. Now the Bible explains that the ritual itself did not make the people holy or acceptable to God, but rather it pointed to the coming Messiah--the seed of the woman as promised --Whose predicted death would make man acceptable to God. The "Old Testament", therefore, the first part of the Bible with its kings like David and Solomon, through whose descendents the promise would come, all looks forward to this Coming One...the seed of the woman.

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3. As one begins to read the "New Testament", he discovers something is indeed new! The Promised One is coming. Born of a young virgin named Mary, supernaturally conceived in her by the Holy Spirit, God's Son came into the world. He was named Jesus for He would "save His people from their sins." Thus, born in Bethlehem in poor conditions and reared in Nazareth in his stepfather's [stepfather becasue Jesus was God incarnate and not the blood son of Joseph] carpenter shop, Jesus Christ spent the first thirty years of His earthly life.

Now at this point, the Bible tells us He began to carry out His specific purpose in coming. A man called John, nicknamed "the Baptizer", introduced Him to the world one day by saying: "Look, The Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world."(John 1:29) This title sounds strange, unless of course one remembers what has been said about the necessity of sacrifice for acceptance with God. The significant thing about this statement is that God Himself sent Jesus into the world to be His sacrifice for sin. God in history was in the act of carrying out His promise or covenant through the "seed of the woman", Jesus.

Everywhere Jesus went, He went about doing good. Where Adam had refused to love God and obey Him, Jesus was perfectly responsive to doing God's will.  He served God by choice. He kept the Law of God absolutely perfectly. He was in the sight of God really righteous. But in addition to this, He showed that He had come from God by healing the sick, curing the crippled, and even on an occasion or two, raising the dead! Everything about Jesus' character and life pointed men to God. He was in fact God in the flesh. So the Bible says.

But Jesus also preached. He told men about God, about themselves, and about the world...and about why He had come. He showed by His love and concern that people--men, women, and children--had worth, yet he spoke plainly to them of sin and the judgement of God on sin. He bluntly told people,"Repent!" He commanded them to tury from self-centeredness and independence back to God. But while what He said was true, lawbreakers usually do not like to hear the truth. So the people with their leaders drummed up false charges and pressured the Roman governor, Pilate, to sentence Him to death. There at a place called "Calvary", outside Jerusalem, Jesus was nailed to a cross, where He died. People--in the heat of their sin--had actually killed the Son of God. But their plot fell into the plan of God, for in fact, they had been the means by which God's sacrifice for sin had been offered. The Lamb of God had died. But three days later, Jesus miraculously came back to life, His work on earth completed [no other payment for sin is necessary, either in this life or the next.  On the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished."].

This is the heart of the Bible's message. In a few words, it can be said this way (I Corinthians 15:3,4): "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures." This focal point of history, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, points out the answer to man's question, "What do I need?" Of all the things that man wants and needs, he basically needs to be brought back into a right relationship with his Creator, God. It is really of first importance, because through the perfect life and death of Jesus, God actually does restore man to His fellowship. And according to the Bible, that is the ONLY way God does it. But in order to appropriate the work of Christ, man is commanded by God to put his faith and confidence in Jesus. In other words, God offers mercy and forgiveness to all who look to Jesus' death on the cross as the complete sacrifice for their sins and then follow Christ as their King. And according to the Bible, such persons receive eternal life.

A short time after Jesus rose from the dead, and after having shown Himself to His friends, He returned to heaven. And the Bible states that He is there today, alive and ruling. When He went back to heaven, however, two angels told His disciples, "This same Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven."(Acts 1:11) So, Jesus will, in time and space, come to earth again.

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4. Unlike His first coming, Jesus' second coming will be with power and splendour. The Bible states that everyone will see Him, and everyone will appear before Him in judgement. Simply put, He will confront every person and pronounce his or her destiny. In John chapter 5, verses 28 and 29, Jesus said it this way: "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life (or heaven), and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of 'damnation'(or hell)."

So, when a person asks the question, "What is going to happen to me?"--a very important question to everyone--the answer in the Bible is clear.  Each is going to meet Jesus Christ; and Christ, as God's appointed Ruler, will pronounce judgement. Those persons who have put their trust in Christ's sacrificial death on the cross [which means they must first admit their guilt and repent] and submitted to His rule over them will enjoy everlasting life in the presence of God. As it states in II Peter 3:13, "But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." On the other hand, those who have neglected or refused Christ's sacrifice for sin and persisted in their own independence and rebellion from God...well, they must suffer the consequences. It's simply an eternal future of hell and God's anger.

You can see why the person who understands and believes the Bible knows what is ahead. It's no mystery really. The next great event in history will be the coming of Jesus Christ and the final judgement. We today do not know how long it will be from now until then, though we do know how long it has been since Jesus died and rose. The Bible just does not give that information. But just like it explains the origin of all things, so the Bible predicts the end of world history. Every event is another step toward that moment when Christ will come, the judgement will be pronounced, and the new heavens and new earth established. And there you have a summary of the Bible.

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Contents of the Bible

 

OLD TESTAMENT

BOOKS

CONTENT

1. Moses & the Law


Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Creation of world, fall of mankind, promise of salvation, hero's of faith, slavery in Egypt, miracles, birth of nation, ten commandments, wilderness wanderings, regulations re: the priesthood, the temple and worship.

2. History
(On God's chosen people)

Joshua, Judges, Ruth,
1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther

God's people struggle to establish themselves as his people and not follow the ways of the world. Stories of war, love, bravery, foolishness, great kings, despots, exile & hope. God's faithfulness through generations.

3. Wisdom
(Wisdom, poetry, songs)

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

These books are not afraid to ask the tough questions about life and death. They talk about Satan, suffering and sin in ways that sometimes shock. They speak of love, hope and purpose to get you through life. Their blunt and honest wisdom is unmatched.

4. Prophets
(Beginning with 5 major prophets)

Major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations Ezekiel, Daniel.
Minor prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

These prophets spoke to God's people before and [because God's people wouldn't listen] after their exile. They share visions and prophecies, some that involve the coming of Jesus and some the end of the world. It also has some strong words calling people to live a life that honours God's moral law because (a) God loves them and they owe their existence to him and (b) they will not escape his judgement if they forget him.

NEW TESTAMENT

BOOKS

CONTENT

5.Gospels
(Jesus Life & Purpose)

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

Birth of Jesus - God in the flesh, Life of Jesus – grace & truth, Miracles of Jesus – signs for faith, Death of Jesus – sacrifice for sin, Resurrection of Jesus – power over all. Each gospel devotes most of its attention to events surrounding Jesus death and resurrection.

6. History
(About the early church)


Acts

The risen Jesus speaks to his disciples giving many “infallible proofs” (1:3) before being taken up to heaven in front of their eyes (1:9-10). They are told he will return in the same way. But first, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to indwell believers. This happens at Pentecost when the church is born. Many signs and wonders are done by the apostles testifying that the Lord, by the Holy Spirit, is still with them as he promised. Today, the same Holy Spirit comes to live in those who repent and trust in Jesus for salvation.

7. Letters 
(To 1st  Century Churches)

Romans, 1 Corinthians,
2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,
1 & 2, Thessalonians,
1 Timothy, 2 Timothy,
Titus, Philemon,

Letters by Paul, who after his miraculous conversion stopped persecuting Christians (even to death) and became the apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews). He writes to the early Churches and to some dear friends. This window into the early church shows that while Jesus death brought forgiveness of sin, those claiming to be his followers had much to learn about practicing what they preached. Much like today. Yet, they were God's people, forgiven, growing daily to be more like Jesus and looking forward to his return to take them to heaven.

8. Other letters

Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

Letters by other writers: James, Peter, John, Jude. Topics include, how to love others, leadership issues, false doctrine, angels & demons, relationships with parents, spouses, children and even employers.  Many similar themes to Paul's letters above.

9. Apocalypse
(Prophecies about the end of the world)

Revelation

Jesus appears to exiled John. He gives messages to 7 of the early Churches and visions of heaven and hell and the end of the world. It speaks of the final battle, Armageddon, a new heaven and a new earth. It brings severe warnings to those who reject God and eternal hope to those who repent and trust Jesus. It proclaims Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords through his blood shed on the cross.    In the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Bow the knee now and live forever with him, wait till after death and suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire.  In the end, as in the beginning God reigns supreme.

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Testaments & Proof of God

 

What is a Testament?

A testament gives a testimony.  A testimony testifies that certain things/events are true by giving reliable evidence.  

The Old and New Testaments of the Bible testify about God by giving evidence of God's existence, what he is like and his activity the world.  However, these testaments are not proof of God's existence. That might sound strange but it is perfectly logical.  There are two reasons why the Bible, although completely true and inspired by God, is not 100% proof of God.  Before digging into that, lets briefly put things into perspective. 


From God's perspective, we have no excuse for not believing because the evidence is there (Romans 1:20).
From man's perspective, faith is required to believe since the evidence points to something unseen (Hebrews 1:1).

So, from God's perspective, the testimony is true but from man's perspective he/she still needs to receive and believe that testimony (John 3:31-33) for its truth to be experienced. 

 

Are the Old and New Testaments Proof?

Lets have a closer look at why the Old and New Testaments are a testimony (and a true on at that) but not 100% proof of God's existence.


  1. Proof is a very subjective thing. Some people need more proof than others. Some will never have enough. For example: one of Jesus disciples, called Thomas, was given the dubious name: doubting Thomas.  The reason is that after Jesus resurrection he proclaimed that no matter how many of his friends claimed to see Jesus, he would not believe their testimony unless he saw Jesus himself.  Read what he said from John's gospel, chapter 20, verse 25....

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

Jesus did eventually appear to Thomas but rebuked him when he did. We read this a few verses on in John 20:29...

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

There are also those who don't want to believe, despite the evidence, because their hearts are hardened towards God. Thomas' heart was not hardened, he just had lots of doubts.  However, some of the religious leaders of the day had heardened hearts. To keep the account of Jesus resurrection from being spread, they bribed the Roman guards who were guarding the tomb to say Jesus' disciples stole the body. This was not what the guards experienced. We read what really happened in Matthew's gospel, chapter, 28 and verses 1-4...

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look a the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, from an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.”

  1. You need faith to believe.  The other reason why the Old and New Testaments are not 100% proof of God is that if they were, you would not need faith to believe! This is vital to understand because the Bible says without faith, you cannot please God. Faith is of the utmost importance. We are saved by faith and through grace (Ephesians 2:8). The Bible itself says you must have faith to believe that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 6 in the New Testament). If you are earnestly seeking him, he will reveal himself to you through his word but he will still require faith of you. Faith that shows itself by your actions.  The first actions are to repent of sin and begin following Jesus as the risen Christ.  If the Bible was 100% undeniable proof, there would be no need for faith! However, having said that, faith is not blind, it acts on evidence. 

God has provided powerful evidence in creation, your conscience, his inspired Word (the Bible), the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus Christ himself (check out the athiests page for more on this).
 

In fact, while the evidence is not 100%, which would require no faith at all, it is so undeniable that God says on the day of judgement those who reject him will be without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).  So please, check out the evidence and don't let your doubts or pride keep you out of heaven.  The Bible says that all who receive Jesus by faith, he will accept and welcome into his eternal kingdom as his children (John 1:11-12)

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Faith Parachutes and Wheelbarrows

 

You don't need faith to know that God exists, you just need eyes that can see and a brain that works.


That's why all who reject God are without excuse because the evidence is there. However, you need faith to come to God and live a life that pleases him. When the Bible talks about being saved from God's wrath against your sin by having faith in him, the faith spoken of is not simply intellectual acceptance of God's existence. The devil believes in God in this way but he most certainly does not have faith in God – and he will never be saved. When the Bible speaks of faith that saves, it is talking about personal TRUST. Personal trust is more than belief with your mind. Its personally putting your life in God's hands and showing that by obeying what he commands.

 

Here's a couple of examples: the PARACHUTE and the WHEELBARROW

  1. You don't believe in a parachute, you trust in a parachute and put it on. You can say, “Sure I believe that this parachute will save a person when they jump out of a plane.” Or you can show that you trust in the parachute by putting it on and jumping. You need to put Jesus on because one day you will make the jump from this life to the next and to jump without Christ will mean you end up in hell. You need to put your personal trust in him.

  1. Since a parachute is not a very personal thing, here's a more personal example of the difference between belief and trust. In 1860 a Royal party from Britan saw the French acrobat, Charles Blondin cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope. Blondin was 160 feet above the falls on a rope over 1,000 feet long. They watched him cross the tightrope on stilts and blindfolded. He then stopped halfway and cooked a meal on a portable cooker. Next he wheeled a wheelbarrow from one side to the other, and returned with a sack of potatoes in it. Blondin then approached the Royal party. He asked the Duke of Newcastle,

"Do you believe I could take a man across the tightrope in this wheelbarrow?"

"Yes, I do" , said the Duke.

"Hop in, then" , replied Blondin.

The Duke declined. He believed Blondin could do it, but he was not willing to trust him with his life. The Bible says, it takes faith (trust) to please God. And God has given us all the evidence we need to know that he is trustworthy. Will you trust him?

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Finding your way around the Bible


Old and New Testaments

The Bible is divided into two sections: the Old Testament (OT) which was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic, covers the time from creation to before Jesus birth; the New Testament which was originally written in Greek, covers the time from just before Jesus birth to the death of the apostle John who was inspired to write the book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible.

 

Books, Chapters and Verses

When you look up the contents section, the names you find there are not the names of chapters but the 66 individual books which the Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books) are made up of. Many of the books are named after those who were inspired by God to write them. For example, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the first four books in the New Testament. Matthew and John were two of Jesus 12 disciples whom he also named apostles. Matthew was a tax collector and John a fisherman. John was the only one of the 12 disciples who stayed near to Jesus when he hung on the cross. The others had taken off in fear that the same would happen to them. However, after the resurrection, they renewed their love for Christ and all went on eventually to give their life for him and were martyred. These are the kinds of people God inspired to write his word, people prepared to give up their lives for him.

Some books only have one chapter, others have 20, 30, 40 or 50 chapters. One has 150. But each chapter is quite small with most being no more than a couple of pages. Each chapter is marked out by verses. A verse may include one or a few sentences. Chapters and verses were not part of the original writing of the Bible but were added later as a reference system to make it easier to look things up in the Bible.

For example, John 3:16 refers to the Book of John in the New Testament (NT), Chapter 3 and Verse 16. Sometimes the name of a book might be abbreviated: Jn. 3:16. If you were to the New Testament in the Bible and look up John 3:16, this is what you would read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” From the King James Version.

So with these few pointers, you should be able to find your way around the Bible. There's just one more topic that might be helpful to cover in this section.

 

Contents and Index

Although the Bible is not like any other book because it's author is God, you can still find your way around it like any other book. It has a Contents section at the beginning and some Bibles contain an Index that may cover topics such as: key passages, parables, miracles, or people in the Bible. There are Bibles which also contain maps showing the location of key places during certain times in Bible history. Finally, some Bibles will have a reference system which shows you where to look when you are .... The reference systems are additional to the Bible text but are there to help you find your way around the Bible. You would expect to pay a bit more for a Bible that has these in it but it would be money well spent if he helps you get to know God better through his Word.

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The Message of the Bible - in 1 Sentence

 

The verse in the box below is probably the most quoted sentence in the whole Bible

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
(Jesus words from the gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16.)


Read on see this verse unpacked


This might be the most important thing you read on this website!


For God

The Bible starts with these words, “In the beginning, God... (Genesis 1:1)” Before time, space and matter existed, God existed. God is eternal. There is only one God existing in three persons, Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. God created the heavens and the earth. God created mankind. God blessed mankind and walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. All life comes from God and life makes no sense without God. We were created for a personal relationship with God that was intended to be eternal and perfect. But we blew it!

so loved

The Bible says that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Love doesn't just describe God's actions but his very nature. The Greek word used for love, “agape”, means love which gives 100% with no conditions attached, regardless of how the person being loved might respond. Note it says God “so” loved. His love was “so” great that he did not hold back his only begotten Son but freely gave him as a sacrifice for your sin. His love was “so” great that he gave Jesus while you were in sin and rebellion against him. His love was “so” great that he gave Jesus to pay the penalty for his enemies. The Bible says it is rare that someone would die for a righteous person though this may happen (Romans 5:7-8). But God “so” loved the world, he died for his enemies . In their hatred they crucified him but he prayed “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

the world,

The world includes everyone and everyone includes you. God created the world. The world rebelled against God. God came to rescue the world because “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one... For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:10-12, 23). It couldn't be clearer. If you compare yourself to others, you may come up looking pretty clean but its a different picture when you look at yourself through God's eyes. Listen to what the Bible says, “Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2). We all need rescuing and the death of Jesus was for all. Some may be evil in your eyes but we are all evil in the eyes of him who sees the heart. Yet, no matter who you are, no matter what you've done, no matter who loves you or not, no matter what others think of you, no matter whether you feel you are deserving of hell or not, Jesus died for all and that includes you.

that he gave

We did the crime, he paid the fine. He paid a debt he didn't owe because we owed a debt we couldn't pay. God's love demands justice, that your sin be paid for. God's love is also seen in his mercy, so God himself paid the penalty for your sin. It's not that God was going to sacrifice you on a cross but the cross was the ultimate place of curse and rejection at that time and God chose that as the place to put the curse of sin on Jesus and reject him in your place. Because he was the perfect sacrifice and had not sinned, God raised him from death. While his justice demanded you suffer the curse for sin and be rejected in hell for ever, his mercy paid the price so you could go free. It was your sin that put Jesus on the cross but he went there willingly. You are loved “so” much to God, that he took the initiative to bring you back after you had strayed. The value of a thing is shown by the price paid. You are of great worth because you were purchased by the blood of the Son of God. That's how much God wants you in heaven!

his only begotten Son,

Jesus is God incarnate, God in human form, God in the flesh (John 1:14). As in the words of the Christmas carol: “God of God, light of light... very God, begotten not created.” He was not created because he already existed as almighty God. Yet, by the power of God's Spirit, he was also made human and this life began in the womb of Mary. As God gave him human life, in that sense, God was his Father. He was the only begotten sent from the Father. He was begotten from God but not created by God. He was not God's Son in any sense before he entered the world in human form. He existed before the creation of the world; he made the world (John 1:1-3) and by his power it is held together (Colossians 1:16-18). When he took on human form, he did not stop being God. But, in the greatest act of humility the world has known, he laid aside the use of his divine power, subjected himself to God as Father and lived on earth as a human. His miracles were not the result of exercising the divine power he used to created the universe but were a result of a perfect faith in God. He was the perfect man. He was in every sense, the second Adam but without sin. “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-9). God's law demanded that sin could only be paid for by a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was that sacrifice!

that whosoever

We have already seen that “God so loved the world” and that includes you. “Whosoever” personalises it even more. “Whosoever” shuts out no one. No one can say God doesn't love them because God has made it clear that whosoever will, may be saved from his wrath against their sin. No one has to be cast into the lake of fire. If anyone goes to eternal hell, it is by their own choice! It is because they have rejected God's personal invitation. The invitation is to anyone and everyone. God does not want anyone, any human soul, to miss out. If only we understood how patient God was in not destroying the world already for its sin. He did it before and he will do it again (2 Peter 3:6-7)! Listen to what the Bible says, “The Lords is not slack concerning his promise [to judge the world] as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering [very, very patient] to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Any and all, includes you. He is pleading and waiting for you to come to your senses, humble yourself, repent and trust Christ - or do you choose eternal hell?

believeth in him





[don't miss this]

The Bible says that “devils” (ie. demonic beings, fallen angels, evil spirits) believe (James 2:19). But their belief does not save them for it also says that they “tremble” in fear since they know the day of judgement is coming (Matthew 8:29). So you need to understand what the Bible means when it says that those who “believeth in him” will not “perish” but have “everlasting life”. Simply put, the belief spoken of means putting your personal trust “in him”. Its not just belief in your mind that Jesus is God and he died for sinners (like the devils believe), it's belief “in him”! Its personal. It's belief that trust's “in him” with your very life. Trust that shows itself in action.

The action that God requires of you to demonstrate that what you have come to believe in your heart is true (you are a sinner and Jesus died for you) is confession. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). The Bible also says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Belief with the heart and confession with the mouth go together to save you and make your righteous before God.

What does it mean then to “confess” Jesus before men? First of all, because confess means to speak, your confession must be to others. You do not need to confess your sin to a priest but to God in prayer. He's the one you've sinned against. When you have done that, you must make that confession public by telling others what God has done for you (John 4:28-9). Secondly, because your confession is about Jesus (who he is and what he has done for you) it will mean openly admitting you're a sinner and you accept Jesus death as payment for your sin. It will be a confession that declares you repent, turn away from, a life controlled by sinful self. It will be a confession that declares personal trust in Jesus to forgive your sin and your choice to serve and follow him. Note: it will not be a promise to be perfect but a confession that you are not.

Its worth saying a bit more about repentance. Repentance is not simply regretting the wrong you've done or even saying “sorry” to God. That doesn't save you. Repentance means to TURN. It's an “about-turn” in the attitude of your mind that will be demonstrated in the way you live. Repentance and trust are two sides of the same coin. To put your trust in Jesus, you must first turn your back on sin. Repentance does not mean being perfect or making a promise never to sin again – we would all fail. Repentance involves confessing to God you have been going the wrong way, your way, naming the ways you have gone astray (ie. your many sins). Repentance means making a conscious decision of your own free will to turn your back on all known sin. On the one hand, you are turning away from evil because you are ashamed of it and know it to be wrong. On the other hand, you are choosing to follow Jesus, to seek out and do his will for your life as shown in the Bible. This is called doing the works or, “fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8) - not good works to get you into heaven since no one is good enough for that. Rather, outward evidence of the change that has taken place in your heart. Confessing Christ before men, and living a life that honours the one who saved you may cost you in this life, but it will save your soul from eternal hell and you bring you the gift of eternal life. See next to boxes...

should not perish,

Eternity in Hell, the lake of fire: torment;shame: separation; gnashing of teeth; regret; hate; outer darkness; Satan; for ever and ever and ever. Repent now or this is where you are going!

but have everlasting life.”

Eternity in Heaven, beauty beyond understanding, pleasure; glory; fellowship; no weeping; gratitude; love; light; God; for ever and ever and ever. God's free gift to all who humble self, repent and put their trust in Jesus. All paid for by God on the cross because he loves you!

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