Course: History and Authenticity of the Bible
Introduction — Part Two
Now, we need to talk about the importance of the Bible as it relates not only to reliability, but also to what we call revelation. Now class, don’t get mixed up between revelation and inspiration or inerrancy. They are all different terms. What does revelation mean? Revelation, in the standard religious sense, is talking about God communicating to man. That is how simple it is—God communicating to man. And so the question is: how did He do that? If He is God and we are men, how did He do that? And that is the subject of revelation.
Inspiration refers to what was written only. Does God communicate to man in ways that are not written? Yes. But it is the written record that tells us how He did that. So, revelation is how God communicates with the creation that He made.
We have five things we want you to see regarding how God does communicate. And then we are going to ask the question, “Well how do we know the person is speaking from God’s revelations or not?”
The other day some guys came up to me and said, “Boy I really had some interesting vision last Thursday night.”
I said, “Really? Did it match with anything the Bible teaches?”
“Hey look, I know you, David, just leave that out for a moment. Let me just tell you what God said.” He told me.
I said, “You know what? I would check into what I ate before I went to bed. God didn’t tell you that.”
“He did too!”
“No, He didn’t and here’s the proof.” I opened my Bible…
And he said, “I don’t want to hear that Bible stuff again. You know that’s…you’re limiting God by just…”
“Excuse me? I’m limiting God by getting the information on what you are telling me out of the Bible? No I’m not. I’m giving God all of His proper place and His authority and His glory. I don’t want to trust you at all. Do you understand?”
A lady told me the other day that Jesus sat on her bed.
I said, “What did He look like?”
She said, “Well, He had long hair. It was blonde.”
I said. “That offends my Jewish blood, but okay, it’s blonde. What else?”
She said, “Oh, He kind of glows.”
She said, “There’s no doubt about it.”
I said, “Well, I don’t think He paid you a private visit.”
She said, “Why?”
Because He says in the Book, He is not going to do that until He comes again. She made a mistake of asking where? So we looked at it, the whole evidence.
“He told His disciples that He is leaving and He is not coming back until He comes again. He does not leave the right hand of the throne of God where He constantly makes intercession for us and pay a special little trip down to see you. He does not do that. He is not coming back until the Second Coming. That is what the Book says.”
“Well then what was in my room?”
I said, “Well, now that is another interesting subject. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11 “the devil can transform himself into a minister of righteousness and an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Do you see this kind of deception? Did you know on the Internet… how many of you use the Internet? It’s like a disease. You get on there and you get into it with people and you can’t stop. They keep writing back and writing back and you think you are witnessing, but I’ve come to believe it is a very poor way of witnessing. You may disagree on that. But anyway, on the Internet they’ve got a whole thing on Mary now—the apparitions—where you can go and see them and the evidences that Jesus is also appearing and all this stuff. I think we have just begun to see what is going to happen to the minds of this culture. You are going to see a continual turning away from this Book even among evangelicals.
Those who have been in my classes know that there are some little pet peeves of mine, little things I’ll say along the way. One of them is that I am watching Christians in evangelical churches coming to church without their Bibles more and more now. I almost feel like going back to Sunday school. Okay all of you now, raise your Bible, now. Let’s make sure you have your Bible. I don’t want to get into that silly stuff, but I’m telling you, there is something wrong going on in our culture with [Christian] people who ought to know better.
I was sitting at Calvary Chapel the other night, listening to my pastor and I looked over and a guy and his wife who were sitting there without their Bibles. And I looked at my wife’s Bible. We both had one. I said, “Honey we can look on. Let’s give this Bible over there.” I handed my Bible. He said, “No, we’re just listening.” I couldn’t wait until that study was over.
Boy, as soon as that study was over, I came to him and I said, “Could I say something to you?”
He said, “What?”
“Are you folks Christian?”
He said, “You bet. We’ve been here a long time.”
I said, “Being here doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes you a mechanic. The important thing is that you know the Lord.”
“We know the Lord.”
I said, “Let me just tell you something, it really grieved me when you didn’t want to look at the Bible. Our pastor’s doing an in-depth study on the book of Ephesians and you need to look at it for yourself.”
“Well, we trust him. Whatever he says…”
I said, “Don’t. He is a wonderful man and I thank God for him, but he is not the authority. God and His Word is.” You better watch this.
I said, “What’s with this?” on the way out.
My wife said, “People just aren’t bringing their Bibles are they?”
You know, I’m ready to get those old time family editions. Carry it up here and man, Amen. The B-I-B-L-E. People will carry any other book, so what’s the matter with carrying this? I love carrying this. The Bible calls it a sword. That’s the most powerful book in all the world, right there—the Bible. So don’t walk around like you are sneaky. Some of you put your New Testament in your pocket so nobody can see it. God help you. If all you have is the New Testament, you don’t have the Bible. You have only the New Testament. The Bible has the Old Testament and the New Testament. Do you understand that? There are sixty-six books, thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament in the Protestant Bible. Twenty-two in the Hebrew, but they are the same books, thirty-nine.
In Psalm 19, how does God speak to us? How does He communicate to us? Now according to the Bible, again, this is the Bible’s record of how He does this, we admit that. First, He speaks through what He has made. Now you don’t learn a whole lot by skipping church, going out under a tree and meditating. Some people think they’re learning more about God. No, you are not learning much about God. You are learning two things that we will show you here in a moment. How does God speak?
He speaks through what He has made. “The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament, [the expanse] shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). So what He created reveals something about Him. It doesn’t tell you everything. But what does it tell you?
Go over to Romans 1 and you learn that there are two things about God that the Bible says are clearly seen by anyone, even if they are not a believer. They may not want to admit it, but there are two things—when God speaks through what He has made—that we will understand about God. They are so simple. We make them more difficult than they are.
The Bible says in Romans 1:19, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them.” Now the reason he said this is because of Romans 1:18, where he said that the unbeliever is “holding down, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” It is because of his sin, he does not want to face the truth. And the text says: “because that which is known of God is manifest.” Well, how is it manifest to unbelievers? It says, “God has shown it unto them.” How? Romans 1:20 answers:
The invisible things of Him [God is the invisible God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [And here are the two things.] even His eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
All men are without excuse if they don’t live up to the light they have in creation. Now what do they learn? Number one, whoever made this had to exist before it was made. That’s not tough is it? God is eternal.
Now without going into details with an unbeliever about the eternal nature of God, you simply tell them all that verse means is: whatever thing, whatever force, whoever it was, who made it, (obviously by a priori argument) had to have existed before it was made—if He made it. You learn that whoever made this obviously had to exist before it was made in order to have done that.
Don’t you understand now secular humanism and evolution, the whole argument in our culture is very fundamental. You see, unbelievers do conclude that whoever made this [universe] had to exist previous to it being made if He made it. So, since they don’t want to live under God’s authority, they’ve got to get rid of God. So they’ve got to come up with an argument as to how we explain the origin of the solar system.
I have a little book in my library called “The Origin of the Solar System.” It lists nine different views that are prevalent today on the origin of the solar system. They are all crazy. The one that still holds sway, over our major universities and intellectual centers, is still the big bang theory. What is the big bang theory? Well, let me simplify it for you without going into ramifications on it; but, it basically means that there were some sort of eternal chemicals floating in space. You can’t have those from the beginning because you have to have something in order to produce something. Because it is against the doctrine of secularism to believe that something comes out of nothing. If you say that, you’ve got to go back to God again. So something has to come out of something. So what did something happen out of something in relation to creation? Answer: these chemicals by an unknown way collided with each other, caused an explosion, and as a result solid mass was created by winging through space at really rapid speeds—the Big Bang Theory.
Now the number one proponent of that in our world was Dr. Steven Hawking. He has been called the most brilliant man since Einstein in mathematics and astronomy. He has been in a wheelchair late in his life. But he was the number one proponent of the Big Bang Theory. I don’t understand what he was talking about, but here’s basically what he said: “In order for big bang to occur—he has demonstrated this from a laboratory point of view—there has to be perfect atmospheric conditions for that to occur.” He says, “So there must have been some gigantic bubble in which the bang took place that provided a perfect environment.” He said, “Now some religionists will say, ‘Where did the bubble come from?’” His answer: “We simply do not know.” The smartest man in the world does not know where the bubble came from, but he can’t have bang without bubble. I’m sorry, it is a lot easier to read, “In the beginning God….” Case closed.
How does God speak to us, class? He speaks through what is made. And I have found this to be an overwhelming argument with unbelievers. If Satan has blinded their minds and if the Lord, the Holy Spirit has not moved them to be interested in the gospel, you will find them running away. They have no answer. They cannot deal with it. We do not laugh with glee, we run with broken hearts and say, “Please listen.” But unless the Holy Spirit works on somebody, they are not going to be saved through our apologetics.
But my point is, you, in what you believe, stop running away from this. It is true. God has spoken. The heavens declare the glory of God. It is a wonderful thing. We learn that whoever made this was in existence before it was made.
What’s the other thing we learn? Very simply, whoever made this had to have the power to do so. When was the last time you made a galaxy? You understand the whole universe is a testimony to the enormous power of whatever it was that produced it. That’s why they call it Big Bang, because they’ve got to have a tremendous surge of energy to cause it. They’ve got to come to some conclusion as to how this would have been done. The truth of the matter is that we do learn. God does speak. When you look at the stars, we know in the Bible it is even more detailed, isn’t it. These are the two simple things every unbeliever can conclude, which the Bible says they (unbelievers) don’t, they suppress it. So God holds them accountable.
People say, “Oh, does God hold people accountable way out in some jungle somewhere who have never heard the gospel?”
And the answer is: “He doesn’t hold him accountable for he doesn’t know.”
“Oh boy, that’s great.”
“Well, it is not so good. God does hold them accountable for what they do know.” What do they know? They know from creation that somebody bigger than you or I had to make it and He had to be in existence before it was made.
You may say, “Well, that is not the gospel.” Listen, God gives more light, according to the Bible, to those who respond to the light He gives them. You see, the problem is in the human heart. The problem is not in the apologetics of the universe. The universe is a constant witness to God. Even the stars and we can go on and on in the details of the very processes of nature and the laws of gravity and all of it is a testimony to who God is. God does speak through what He has made. And therefore, they [unbelievers] are without excuse.
Now God also speaks through supernatural acts. So what is the tactic of the enemy?—to deny the supernatural. Now when I talk supernatural acts, I am not talking about many of the psychosomatic, inward disorders that are healed on public television. I am talking about real miracles that are attested by the unbelieving mind.
Now, when we come to God speaking through supernatural acts, what does the unbelieving mind prompted by Satan come to the conclusion [of]? That it did not happen. There is not an unbeliever in the world who as ever read the Bible who isn’t aware that it is a book of miracles. Why, even in pagan literature they say that. But they do not believe they [biblical miracles] happened. I just want to establish the fact that God does speak, according to the Bible, through supernatural acts. In Exodus 7:5, concerning those plagues in Egypt, it says,
And the Egyptians [these are the unbelievers not the believers] shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch forth my hand upon Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
The Egyptians will know…
In 1970 I’m in the Egyptian museum in Cairo, one of the most fabulous museums in the world. We were in the mummy room. These are the mummies of all the pharaohs that had been uncovered from the Valley of the Kings and Queens down at Luxor. And here are these mummies. The man leading the tour was a graduate of Harvard and a specialist in hieroglyphics and archaeology. We were on the row of kings that lead us to believing that Ramses, the great builder of Egypt whose statuary is all over Egypt, was the pharaoh of the exodus. I do not believe that at all. I believe what the Bible says. The chronology is different; it is about two hundred years off. But anyway, he was waxing eloquently about it all and I was listening to it. After he was done, he asked if there were any questions. I said, “Yes, I have one.”
He said, “What’s that?”
I said, I looked down this row at these glass coffins and I was counting them, and all the pharaohs are here.
He said, “Well, of course. We had them all down at the tombs and they are all up here now.”
I said, “No, you don’t understand. According to the Bible you should have one missing.”
He said, “Why is that?”
“Well, because he drowned in the Red Sea.” He looked at me, and then he looked at his audience. Now some of them were not believers and everybody was asking, “Yeah, what about that?”
He said, “Do you have another solution?”
I said, “Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do. But we need to go over two more rows of mummies down there.”
“Two more rows?” he said, “that’s going backward. You mean that you think the children of Israel came out of Egypt a couple hundred years back?”
I said, “Yes. Uh-huh.”
“Well let’s go over and hear the man.”
So we walked out. I walked through and started with Tuthmosis I, a great military conqueror. I said, “Interesting name, Tuthmosis? But anyway, Tuthmosis II died very quickly. His wife was Queen Hatshepsut, who was the daughter of Pharaoh, so she began to be very powerful. Now there was a step-son of Tuthmosis. He had had sex with some harlot off the street and they had a boy and they tried to make him out like he was the next pharaoh. Queen Hatshepsut had nothing to do with that. First of all, it wasn’t her boy. Plus she didn’t want to tolerate the immorality of her husband who had died. So she became the ruler herself and ruled for about twenty years—a daughter of pharaoh ruling, how interesting! She’s the one who found Moses.
By the way, she named him what? Moses, which means to draw out. The idea of the Moses thing is that the Nile River is the top god in the Egyptian pantheon. So we draw him out of “god.” He is a son of God. By the way, when Moses did the first little deal with turning the water to blood you understand that their god died. Is everybody listening? Every one of the plagues was an attack against Egyptian mythology. But any way, she draws Moses out of the river, teaches everybody that he’s the son of god and he deserves to be Pharaoh. Well, this step-son hates him. Interesting story!
Tuthmosis III is not going to be very favorable and he had his opportunity when Moses was 40 years old. So Moses fled. He went out to the back side of the desert. Well now, we know there is a different Pharaoh and we’ve got to have another line. And I said, to the audience, “Now isn’t this interesting, here we start the Amentet line. That is very interesting. Let’s just follow these mummies. Come on, folks, walk down here. One, two, uh-oh, we have one missing! What happened to him? He’s gone. He’s not here. This guy’s just shaking his head. So he stepped up and here is what he said. I knew what he was going to say, because I already knew that background.
He stepped up, “Folks, folks, folks, this is all very interesting but we already know what happened to that Pharaoh. We uncovered what is called a Dream Stela on a rock and in hieroglyphics, which I of course studied, we know what the message was and what happened to the pharaoh. And everybody agreed, “Oh, yeah.”
And I said, “Hold it! Hold it! Since you are a scholar, I am sure we would all be interested to know, exactly what did the Dream Stela—this rock, or slab of stone—say happened to the Pharaoh?
He said, “That’s not important.”
I said, “Oh, I think it would be very important. What happened to the Pharaoh? Since it was written by a son, it would be very important what he thought. What did he sell to the Egyptian people as to what happened to his dad?
“Well,” he says, “the Stela says he was mysteriously exited to heaven.”
“Mysteriously exited to heaven? And you expect us, twentieth-century people to believe that? No way. That is mythology. That is occultism. The Bible says that he drowned in the Red Sea.”
He said, “That’s occultism.”
We were in this little game, you see. I said, “Well, believe what you want, brother. But there is something very obvious to all of us. There is no pharaoh here where he is supposed to be. He is not here at all, he is gone. You said that he sort of went to heaven. The Bible says that he drowned in the Red Sea.”
He said, “Well, that means that the Exodus would have to happen here.
I said, “That is right. That’s exactly where the Bible places it.”
He said, “No. That means the bondage they went through was under the Hyksos rulers.
I said, “Exactly right. They were shepherd kings.”
He said, “No, shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians.”
“Yes, but the Hyksos rulers came in and took it by force.”
“No. It was a natural transition.”
“No it wasn’t. Exodus 1:8 says, “There arose a king.” The Hebrew word is to take violently by force. There was a coup and the shepherd kings took over.
Are you understanding me? I just told you this simple little story for one reason, stop being pressured by all that you read about so-called scholars. The truth is they are not dealing with facts; they are creating the facts to make us all run away. No, we are going to find out the truth, people. We aren’t going to run away from any problems.
The most accurate account of ancient history is still the Bible and every scholar knows it. So why do they attack it? God tells you why. It is the depravity of their own hearts. Do you understand every scientist that has ever studied paleontology knows that a global deluge on this earth’s surface caused the stratification of society? We know that and then why don’t they believe it? 2 Peter 3:5-6 tells us that they are “willfully ignorant” that the world perished under water. They do it deliberately. They come up with a view, evolution, the study of strata.
I sat in a major class on evolution at Long Beach State University not too long ago just to listen and see how they had improved their scientific knowledge. I was shocked that they were still teaching the same thing as thirty years ago. What they said was, “You can tell the age of the fossil by the strata that it appears in.”
If you ask, “Well, how old is the strata?”
“Well, it depends upon the fossil that is in it.”
“Well, how old is the fossil?”
“Well, it depends on the strata that it’s in.”
“What are you talking about! That’s reasoning in a circle.”
Don’t you understand that they are doing a snow job on people. And people are sitting there and saying, “Oh I guess we can’t trust the Bible.” Are you kidding? We have more evidence that God has spoken than they have ever begun to dream about. God has spoken to us through supernatural acts and more than once, which we will learn about next time.
Father I thank You for Your word. I thank You that we can have confidence in this Book. It is the word of God that liveth and abideth forever. And I pray that You will help us as we go through this course. You have the power Lord. We need You. Salvation is of God and not of man. And Lord I pray that You would teach us throughout this course to trust You. Thank You Lord, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.