This article deals with: how do I know the Bible is the Word of God? – That’s a legitimate question and it should be asked – and answered. There are many answers to that question and equally as many ways we can know the answer is true and one of those ways is from internal evidence. Previous articles have dealt with some of those internal evidences and we will thoroughly examine each one individually as we come to and move through the Bible text.
One of the objective – or, external – truths has been the marvelous preservation of the Bible. There have been times in history that the Bible has been reduced to just one volume. We will read about a king in Jeremiah who, when the Word was sent to him, he took a knife and he cut it into pieces! But even with Bible burning and actions such as the king in Jeremiahs day, and even with the antagonism surrounding believers – we have His Word today.
We think we are a little too savvy and civilized to burn books today. So, what we do is just outlaw them altogether in schools and many other places. And yet, we talk about how we have freedom of religion and how we have freedom of speech! If that were true, wouldn’t a person be free to read and speak about the Bible if he chose to do so? – Some of the greatest literature ever inked is contained in scripture and is being denied to young people today. That literature has been outlawed in place of “fine” American and foreign prose.
However, in spite of all the attacks that have been made upon it – it still exists! It is still one of the best sellers, although it is not the best seller, as it was for many years as I was growing up. I regret to have to report that; and I had no idea the distribution had slipped below that of mans conjecture until now in my research. I dare say that is a sad commentary on our contemporary society and as intellectual thinkers who have designated themselves the “leaders” of a “free” world. But the truth is that it is not the best seller at the present time! What that ultimately reveals is that the Bible does not occupy the same position as it once did in our great nation. So, I think the preservation of the Bible is worthy of consideration for an answer to our question.
Another external indicator and means by which we can know the Bible is the Word of God is through archeology. The spade of the archeologist has turned up so many things that prove the scripture is the Word of God.
For instance, there were many years in which men denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. This denial was made upon the basis that writing was not in existence at that time in history – in Moses day. For that reason many believed he could not have written the first five books of the Bible – or anything, for that matter.
Nobody is pursuing that theory today because, for years now, we have been turning up writings that date back much further than Moses. That became an invalid argument overnight for those people who want to negate our answer.
Digging down in the dirt has also uncovered the city of Jericho and its walls that tumbled down. There was some dispute between Kellogg and the man that excavated there initially, but irrespective of their bickering it has been well established that the walls fell down. I will leave the debating about the time it happened and that sort of thing to them. I will just accept that the Bible was substantiated in regards to the walls of Jericho.
There are many other ways in which archeology has demonstrated the accuracy of the Word of God. Many manuscripts demonstrate that; such as when the Isaiah – or Dead Sea – Scrolls were found; the liberal jumped up and clicked his heels because he thought they had uncovered a sure-fire argument that would discredit the Bible. It’s quite interesting how it did not discredit the Bible and how the liberal media quietly abandoned interest in this discovery. I have a thousand or more examples likewise – but this is an area in which Christian’s shouldn’t be drawn into at any great length.
Proof positive that the Bible is the Word of God can be summarized in two words – fulfilled prophecy. I believe that fulfilled prophecy is conclusive evidence from which we cannot escape. There’s just no “getting around” fulfilled prophecy; and the Bible is chock full of prophecy that has been literally fulfilled.
One fourth of the scripture was prophetic when it was written; that is, it announced events that would take place in the future. More prophecy has been fulfilled than most Christians realize. We could turn to many passages that have been prophesied and fulfilled and many of the local situations were fulfilled during the day of that particular prophet.
For instance, Michaiah warned Ahab that when he went out into battle he was going to be killed. Ahab didn’t like that very much because his false prophets had told him he would have a victory and that he would return as a great king. So, Ahab locked Michaiah up because he didn’t care for his prophecy. They fed Michaiah bread and water and that’s it! The king told his men he would take care of Michaiah when he got back from the battle. But Michaiah had the last word because he said to Ahab, “If you come back the Lord has not spoken by me”! It turns out that the Lord did speak by Michaiah because Ahab didn’t come back. He was killed in that very battle by a stray arrow and the army was defeated. Ahab attempted to camouflage himself, but one of the opposing soldiers “…pulled a bow at a venture”! The battle was about over and this soldier had just one arrow left in his quiver; so he took it and shot it into the air – magic bullet style! Well, that arrow had Ahab’s name on it! That arrow went over trees and around rocks and down a road and up a path and finally found ole king Ahab. Of course, it really just went right to its mark like an arrow! Why? – Because Michaiah had made an accurate prophecy.
In the same connection, Isaiah said the Assyrian wouldn’t shoot an arrow into the city of Jerusalem. There were 300,000 soldiers and not one of them shot “a bow at a venture”; wouldn’t you think that one of those men would have lobbed one over the wall for good measure? – Isaiah said that if the enemy shoots an arrow inside this city then he was not Gods man. Well, none did! Those were local fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah also said a virgin would bring forth a child 700 years before hand.
A final example: there were over three hundred prophecies concerning the first coming of Christ that were all fulfilled. He was hanging there on the cross dying – and there was one prophecy that had not been fulfilled – giving Him vinegar to drink. When He cried out “I thirst” the enemy himself went and got the vinegar and thereby fulfilled the prophecy. That is a most amazing thing.
Man can’t guess like that. The weather man has come along way in recent years but when we hit the changes of season they don’t always do so well – in fact, your guess is as good as theirs. In Israel, a prophet had to be accurate or that would be his last prophecy! Inaccuracy meant certain death. God Himself defined what accuracy meant. The prophet had to speak to a local situation first, like Isaiah did in our example. Then – and only then – a prophet could speak out about some future prophecies. Thus, we can look back and know that it was fulfilled.
There are so many examples, such as Tyre and Sidon. Those lands are in exactly the condition that Gods Word said they would be in 2,500 years ago. Egypt is in the precise position that the Bible said it would be in today. These are amazing truths we can take as proof because man simply can not be that accurate; man can’t guess like that.
There is a mathematical law known as “problematical conjecture”. This is the law regarding why man could never, ever prophecy today on his own volition. Quite simply, suppose I said it was going to rain tomorrow. Just by making that statement I would be reduced to a fifty-fifty chance of being correct; it’s either going to rain or it’s not going to rain – one or the other is where I would be. For some people it would be accurate and for others it would be false. But suppose I add that the rain tomorrow will start at 9:00 in the morning. Adding that next uncertain element takes my fifty-fifty chance and reduces it to a twenty-five percent chance of being right. So, each element added reduces a further twenty-five percent against the odds of being correct.
Now, suppose I say that the rain will not only start at 9:00 in the morning, but I also add that it will stop at 2:00 in the afternoon? – Well, a twelve and one-half percent chance of being correct is slim, to be sure. Can you imagine my realistic chance of being correct? – Suppose 300 uncertain elements were then added? – There is not a ghost of a chance of being close! We simply would need to have ourselves committed to the nearest institution for making such claims. But the Bible hits it – every time – and a lot more than 300 times, by the way! It is most accurate all the way through. Man making a prophecy based on his own man-made conclusions will just never come to pass – you can write that down!
There is nothing you can compare to this on the face of the earth whatsoever. To me, this is conclusive and not debatable, as no fruitful knowledge will result from debate. The examples I have given are but a drop of water in an ocean of them. In the Word of God there is prophecy after prophecy that has been fulfilled – and fulfilled literally. This also gives us the method for the future in which prophecy is to be fulfilled.
This will be the second to the last reason regarding proof that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is real – transformed lives!
I have seen what the Word of God can do in the lives of men and women that come to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I’m not going into great detail here, but there is a man that was just about as sinful, dirty and mean as a man could be. After hearing a very short Biblical message on the radio, this man became very angry and antagonistic. He said that if he could have gotten to the speaker he would have become seriously violent with him. But, for some reason, that man was compelled to keep listening until he had a change of heart. That change took many years. That is what the Spirit of God can do for you in making the Bible real to your heart.
This is another one of those areas in which I could multiply the examples into sheer volumes of work – but – I am going to give you one last personal example from my life. I am generally personal in these reports but this may be a little more personal than the norm.
Seeking answers to Bible questions through intellectual statements and then turning around and using those answers to criticize is rampant today. Some of those answers are as sharp as a Samurai sword. The worst thing in the world a Christian can do is criticize another man intellectually; the moment you do that is the instant you alienate a person that might otherwise be able to be ministered to. You will never win over anyone with that approach. I had a revelation of self-defeat.
Only the Spirit of God can Make the Bible Real
With that we move out of the realm of apologetics. I am not an apologetic. That’s all you’re going to hear about it from me. Now I try to give out the Word of God simply. I am not writing to you to convince you of anything. If this is not becoming real to you by now in your reading you probably aren’t even still reading!
The reason for all of this is certain developments in my own life. I have reached a place that I can honestly say I not only believe the Bible is the Word of God – I know it is the inspired and true Word of God! At the risk of being overly dogmatic, I would say I know it is the Word of God. And the reason I know is because God has made it real to my own heart – in my own life; that’s how I know.
Paul said to the Colossians that [he prayed] they would be filled with the Spirit of God and with all knowledge and understanding. I thank God mainly for the people that pray for the work that I am trying to do. I need physical strength. I also need to be filled with His wisdom, knowledge and spiritual discernment. I have found out that God can and will confirm these things to your heart if you invite Him to do so.
Christians don’t need archaeology to dig up the truth out of the dirt and brush it off to explain what it is to us. Many people think that these discoveries are exciting – okay – I don’t see anything inspiring in dirt, rocks and bones – personally. I know I can be nothing but a big disappointment to my readers, too, but – the Spirit of God made this real to me long before I could even pronounce the word archeology. Only the Spirit of God can make it real to you.
Pray for me as we enter the text that the Spirit of God will take these human writings and open up a whole new life to you – eternal life – it’s all the bible really teaches. I pray you will not only incorporate the Word into your living but that He will give you the assurance so that you can say you know the Bible is real! If the Bible says two plus two equals five then there has been or will come a day that the math will add up – but the Bible does not teach such crazy things – only man makes those kinds of mistakes with figures – not the Word of God!