Course: History and Authenticity of the Bible
Scripture Cannot Be Broken
Okay, now back to our subject in Hebrews 1:1-2, dealing with whether or not the Bible is a complete revelation from God and whether or not it is direct revelation from God. Here is a statement that you will read in books: “The Bible contains direct revelation from God.” Well, they have not told us anything because that is rather obvious. They quote: “and God said” or “thus saith the Lord.” Of course it does, but whether it’s accurately reported or not is an issue also. But is the Bible itself (all of it) direct revelation from God? That is a very important question.
Hebrews 1:1-2 provides a very important passage. It says, “God who in sundry times and in diverse manners”—that means at various times. So the Bible was not written in one moment of time; actually, it was probably over a good 1400 years. “And in diverse manners” means various ways. These could have been dreams, visions, and a lot of different ways. But God spoke. Notice the verse says “God spoke.” Is the Bible, in all these various ways and through various means and times, a direct revelation from God? According to this verse it is. “God spoke.”
Now, how did He do it? He did it by the prophets. Did God directly speak to men, who then in turn wrote it down under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit? And the answer is yes, that is what it says. Now how that happens is a matter that we are going to be discussing. And you can understand why cults and religions immediately say, “Well, there you have it. We have the same.” So now I have to say, “Wait a minute, how do I know the Bible is that and these writings are not?” So we will get to that in a minute but let’s read in verse two.
“This God who spoke, hath in these last days.” Now it is interesting when we hear the words “last days,” we immediately are prophecy buffs and so we are thinking prophecy. But actually the Greek text says in its proper order, very literally, “in the last of these days,” that is what it says. “The last of what days?” Hebrews 1:2, “The days in which God spoke.” Now in the last of these days in which God spoke, in other words, what you need to see at this point is that God is setting a time limit. He is going to stop doing this. There is going to be a time when we say “this is the end, the last of these days in which He spoke.” In the last of these days—when was that? Well, He spoke unto us by His Son.
“Wait a minute! I thought you said it was by the prophets.” Well it is, but it is also by His Son. Okay. What book did He write? I mean, I know the four gospels are about Him, but He didn’t write those books. So what book did He write? The book of Revelation! You see in the book of Revelation, its title is in the first verse. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which He is going to give to His servants. Now watch this carefully. Hebrews, written before that time—probably twenty to twenty-five years before that time—says that God in the last in the days in which He speaks directly is going to speak by His Son, through His Son.
Well, that is really interesting. Even in terms of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, it is greater in the book of Revelation than anything you have in the Bible. There are more titles and names of Jesus Christ in Revelation than in any other book of the Bible. There are more names and titles of Jesus Christ in Revelation than all the New Testament books combined. I’d say that’s a pretty strong revelation. As a matter of fact, the picture of Him is totally different than anything you read in the gospels. Just read chapter one of Revelation, you will find out how different it is. All of a sudden, He is in His glorified, resurrected state. And the information that He gives us goes clear into the future, to the eternal state.
Listen to me carefully. I would find it very hard to believe that if this is the last of the days in which God speaks and He does it through His Son, I find it very hard to believe that anyone else could be additional to that. Especially since the information His Son gave us in that book of Revelation extends clear into that eternal state. Now how are you and I going to add to that?
If you think that’s bad, go to Revelation 22, the very book we are talking about, and look at what it says at the end of that book. Revelation 22:18-19. This is the very book that is the last of the days in which God spoke that was through His Son, not through anybody else. If you want to know whether it was Him or not, Revelation 22:16; 22:18-21 says,
I, Jesus, have sent mine angels to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David and the Bright and Morning Star. [verse 18] For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take way his part out of the book of life and from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, ‘Surely I come quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Folks, here is what many people who are in other religions say. “Well, that only deals with the book of Revelation. You can’t add to it or take away. It doesn’t deal with the whole Bible.” But you see when you go from Hebrews 1:1-2 to Revelation 22:18-19 you realize it does refer to the whole Bible. But it refers to the whole Bible because God has been speaking and in the last of the days in which He speaks, He’ll speak through His Son. He’ll give us a final revelation. And the last book is called the Revelation of Jesus Christ and no man can add to that or take away from it. Plus the fact that the very content of the book of Revelation militates against the view that just because it is revelation, it some how allows us to add additional revelation to other books of the Bible. Excuse me, that is impossible, because from the standpoint of the content of the book it takes us all the way into the future. It already maps out what is going to take place. You can’t add to it. You can’t change it. You can’t take anything from it.
You see, everything that is written in the book of Revelation is going to take place exactly the way He said. And all that unfulfilled prophecy there will one day be fulfilled. “Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35), and all these things will be fulfilled. Is everybody following me, now? Do you understand that we have a complete and final, written revelation of God? Wow!
You say, “Well, wait a minute! How did they know which books were in it?” Oh, we are going to discuss that too. We are going to get into all of it. We are just talking revelation, about how God communicates. The Bible teaches that God speaks to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. We just saw that in Hebrews 1:2.
But let’s go to John 1:14,
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory [What? His glory!], the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
So has God the Father been revealed in His Son Jesus Christ? Yes. He has. In John 1:18 it says, “No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him,” or put Him on display. Is Jesus Christ a revelation of the eternal God? Yes, He is.
In John 14:8-9, Philip asked kind of an amusing question. He said, “Lord show us the Father and it sufficeth us”—you know, it will be enough—just show us who God is. Well, I guess it would be!
Jesus said to him,
Have I been so long a time with you and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father and how sayest thou then, show us the Father?
Is Jesus Christ a revelation of God in human form? Yes.
In 1 Timothy 3:16 it says, “Great is the mystery of godliness. God manifest in the flesh.” In fact, in 1 John 4:2-3 it says if you don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, you are a part of the spirit of antichrist and you do not have God or the Father, Christ or the Father, either one of them. So do you have to believe that God’s revelation is seen in Jesus Christ? Yes, or you are not saved.
In Colossians 2:9-10 it says that, “All the fullness of God dwells in Him in bodily form.” Is He a complete revelation? Yes. All the fullness of God dwells in Him. So if I asked you, class, could you name the two complete revelations of God? The answers are the Bible and Jesus Christ. Everything else is partial.
Now the fifth thing about revelation is what we have been implying all along. So let’s just say it. God speaks to us today through the Bible. Do you believe that? Sure He does. Can I tell you that God spoke to me this morning? Yes I can. How did He do that? Was it an audible voice? No. Well how did He do that? Through His word, He spoke to my heart this morning. In fact, He does every day, I have noticed. Sometimes I am more belligerent one day than another one and I do not see clearly all that God wants me to see, but God speaks everyday through His word to me. Does He speak to me by His word if I do not open it? No.
You see, the essential nature of the Christian life in terms of growth and our salvation is that you have to depend upon the Bible—God’s final, complete, written revelation—to know what He wants you to do. If you want to hear God speak, the way He is going to speak is through His Bible. That is the way He’s going to speak. And He holds you accountable for it now. All the way through that Bible He holds you accountable for it. You are supposed to listen to what He says in this book. Well, isn’t that interesting!
The whole Psalm 119, all 176 verses, is a testimony as to how God speaks to us through the word. There are 22 sections of 8 verses each, total of 176 verses. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Every section of eight verses begins with a word whose first letter is that letter of the alphabet in sequential order. For instance, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is aleph. There are 8 verses that begin Psalm 119, verses 1 to 8. Every verse in the Hebrew begins with a word whose first letter is aleph. When you come to the second section, verses 9 to 16, it’s beth. And every verse begins with a word whose first letter is beth. And it goes that way straight through the Hebrew alphabet. Many people who have studied that passage in Hebrew say that if there ever was a reason to believe that the Bible is the word of God, it is because of Psalm 119. Human ingenuity just could not have done that. It is incredible. God’s ability is fantastic!
It is generally thought that David is the author. I don’t have any problem arguing for King David but a lot of people do. I am kind of simple on that issue. To me the human authors are not important, but a lot of people make a big deal over it. People say to me, “Well, how could Moses write Deuteronomy 34 on his death? I mean, if he’s dead, how could he have done it? What are you going to do with that?” My answer is that I think Joshua could have handled that okay. What is the problem? He was the servant of Moses and I don’t see any problem with that, do you understand? There is too much emphasis on the human authorship of the Bible and not enough on the divine authorship of the Bible. That is where our problem lies today.
There have been prophecies reported on Christian television. Now you know I don’t want to be unjustly critical, but I am telling you, we already have direction in the Bible as to know whether that stuff is from God or not. I got a whole big prophecy from a guy back on the East Coast who just stirred up Christians back there something terrible. He said Jesus Christ was coming on Rosh Hashanah; there was no doubt about it. See that is not from God. And everybody’s trying to do that. Makes them feel good. Makes them feel important. Have people submit to their great authority. That is why I tell people over and over again, not to think any speaker, including me, is the authority. God and His word is the authority.
You watch out. We are being prepared by the enemy, even in evangelicalism to believe that people are the authority. You may think, “Well, he studied the Bible, he ought to know.” That means nothing. I study the Bible and the more I study, the more I don’t know. So, it makes me wonder whether the guys that know everything whether they studied or not. Please people, understand this is a serious subject!
Now let’s come to number two. If the gospel that is preached is not the gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Bible, then God did not speak it to them. Galatians 1:8 says so. It even says if an angel did it. You can’t help but think of Moroni in that deal.
Third, if what they say does not agree with the Bible, then God did not speak to them. Isaiah’s great on that. It is almost like there are Christian channelers out there. I mean, they do not call themselves that, but you know when you contact them, they really are “in touch with the Lord.” Really?
And the fourth thing, if they add any additional truth to what the Bible says, then God didn’t speak to them; and that just kills all known prophecies that people are trying to argue are from God. Now, people they hear this and they say, “Oh, you don’t believe God speaks to people, huh?” I did not say that. Yeah, I believe He speaks to people. He speaks through His word. Can He speak through circumstances? Yeah. He can. He did it in Acts 16. He can close doors, open doors and all that, but I wouldn’t trust that until I saw the results.
Does the Holy Spirit of God lead us through circumstances? Yes. But this is a most dangerous argument. Is it possible that He has led you through circumstances? Yes. I know that very strongly in my life, but I tell you it is after the fact that I usually have the evidence. The truth of the matter is the major way God speaks to me is through His word.
Now some people say, “What about the word of knowledge, or word of wisdom?” If it is wisdom and knowledge it will match with what God’s word teaches. In other words, it is a speaking gift. You don’t argue that about the gift of teaching. Everybody who believes in the gift of teaching says, “Well but it is God’s word you have to teach.” Well amen! Wouldn’t a prophecy or word of knowledge or of wisdom be the same thing? It is the ability to communicate effectively what God’s word teaches.
Did you think the prophets were coming up with original stuff? Let me give you an idea of a prophet. Aaron is called a prophet. You know, all he did was repeat what Moses said. The reason God did that was as a judgment against Moses for all of his excuses about going in to Pharaoh. And he said, “I’m not eloquent, I can’t do it.” He had all these excuses. God said, “Okay then, your brother is going to talk to Pharaoh, but you are going to tell him everything I tell you.” Can you imagine the embarrassment of Moses, who is eloquent, trained in all the education of Egypt, and has to walk in front of pharaoh with his brother, Aaron.
Is everybody following? A prophet is a proclaimer of God’s truth. It doesn’t mean you have to come up with original stuff. All the original stuff is already come up with. It is in the Bible. The beauty of the whole thing is that if you pay attention to this complete, final written revelation of God, you can experience fantastic results in your life. You can get saved! That’s pretty good, isn’t it?
We have passages like 1 Peter 1:23-25.
We are born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God which liveth and abideth forever, and this is the gospel which was preached unto you.
How is a man born again? Well, he attends a crusade? No. How is a man born again? Well, he has these vibes about wanting to give his life to Jesus. No. No. He’s born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. If there is no Bible, you better check into whether there’s a true, born again relationship.
In 2 Timothy we have this interesting passage. I like this passage very much. For a reason I will tell you in a moment. In 2 Timothy 3:14-17 it says,
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Wow. That’s pretty strong. The interesting thing is in verse 15, the word child— the Greek word brephos—is referring to a baby in the womb or one that was just born that can’t speak yet. What did he say? “From a baby in the womb even, you have known the Holy Scripture.”
You say, “Do you believe in child evangelism?”
“Yep. I believe in the evangelism of anybody who hears the word of God.”
“Can a child understand the word of God?”
“You mean to tell me that a child could develop a favorable response to the Bible before it ever comes out of the womb?”
“Yep. Sure could.”
Do you know scientifically we already know that’s true. Do you know babies in the womb can tell the sound of a voice as to whether it’s favorable or not favorable? Did you know that music played while that child is in the womb, the child will immediately respond to, whereas music that has not been played while in the womb will be discordant and will upset the baby? All of these experiments have gone on now. They know the voice of the mother. They know the voice of the father. They know it all. They can even now watch the movements of the baby in the womb through the sonographs we have. They can watch them respond to sound. Very interesting and all he said here is, “From a child you have known the Holy Scriptures.”
It is interesting that one of the major problems in life is finding out what’s right and what’s wrong in a given situation. What is right to do? What is wrong to do? And here in Hebrews 5:12-14 it says,
For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need for one to teach you again, which be the first principles of the oracles of God and have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age [mature in the Lord], even those, [how did they get mature?] who by reason of use have their senses [which is a very vulnerable area of proof] have their senses [I don’t know sometimes what I’m feeling or touching or seeing or whatever, but I have my senses] exercised to discern both good and evil.
Why?—because I was using the Bible.
You know when Christians tell me they are trying to make it through this world without God’s word, I fear for them. I don’t know how you do it. Even with the word of God the satanic strategy is to destroy you. He brings all the guns of hell against you. It is a miracle that any of us can survive. I feel sorry for you. I pity you. I warn you. You cannot live without God’s word and discern right and wrong. And what do I see across evangelicalism? Compromise everywhere, toleration of sin and evil.
Do you understand, people, that over and over again I see this in the issues of our day? It is like when it really gets down to tough going, where somebody is going to have to take a stand here, and you don’t want to. You just want to tolerate everything. You don’t want to hear the facts. Your mind is already made up. You see, you don’t want to listen. It simply illustrates what is going on in society now.
A guy calls me, “Well, you can’t just trust the Bible, you know, to say everything.”
“I trust the Bible to say everything that I need to know about life. There’s not a thing that I can think of that the Bible doesn’t comment on.” Well, he did not agree.
“You are just causing a lot of trouble.”
I said, “I am not trying to. I’m just trying to preach the word of God. But if it does cause trouble, praise the Lord!” And I said, “There is one solution.”
He said, “What’s that?”
“You could follow what the Bible says and bring instant unity.”
“Well, then everyone’s going to be offended.”
Do you see what I’m saying? Folks you better learn a lesson right up front. When you say you believe the Bible is the key to knowing right from wrong, you are going to be tested over and over again.
I know what this Bible teaches. And do you understand? You are going to have to decide this, class. You are going to have to make the decision about what you think about this Book. Is it the word of God, really? Are you willing to obey it and to bow the knee to it? Are you willing to acknowledge that this is God’s truth no matter what, and will you follow your life and ministry after it—without compromise? This is a serious issue, isn’t it?
But you know what else is involved? Prayer. You say, “I want to be a prayer warrior.” Great! John 15:7 says, “You abide in Me and My words abide in you; you can ask what you want and it will be done unto you.”
We read in 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have, that if we ask anything according to His will”…well, where is His will? You and I don’t make up His will. His will is in the word. “If you ask anything according to His will, you know that He hears you. You know you have the petitions that you asked of Him.”
The prayer is to ask God for wisdom and now I know He will answer, because He says, “If any of you do lack it, you can ask of God and He gives to all men liberally” (James 1:5). And He won’t reproach you for asking. He will give it to you.
The effectiveness of prayer life is related to the word of God, also your ability to live victoriously. Psalm 119:11. “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” By the way, it’s more than memorizing the Bible. The idea is treasuring it. You see, your regard for the word of God is fundamental to it. And sometimes in an area where we are being tested, we don’t treasure it like we should. We treat it lightly and think “Well, maybe there is another view.” Before you know, the devil set a trap for you. Watch out!
Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). And one of the other great results of really depending on the Bible is the one we read in 2 Timothy 3:17, “The man of God will be equipped for every good work.” Wow. There isn’t anything that God wants to do in our life that the Bible won’t train and equip us in. “When you delight yourself in the law of the Lord, He will give you the desire of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
I don’t know how anyone who plans to go into the ministry of the word of God can do it without the word of God. I don’t understand it. Yet all over this country we have people trying to preach and teach God’s people and they don’t know the Bible. I don’t know that you’re going to be a preacher. You may not have come to college for that. But whatever your reason, just understand something: our goal is to give you as much of the word of God as we possibly can. Because we believe the word of God will achieve all the results that you need in your life.