Chapter 1 CREDIBILITY
Unknown to the vast majority of mankind, preparations are being made today for the last great battle of earth. Today, strategy is being laid, weapons are being produced, and the propaganda which is required to condition the masses of earth is being spread in great abundance. Yet so subtle is this total preparation that its effect on the minds of men goes largely unnoticed from day to day.
In order to gain a thorough understanding of the events which will take place during earths final hours, one must, of necessity, undertake an extensive study of the Bible because original information on final events is found in the Bible and in almost no other place. One can never have a good understanding of these events unless he understands the principles and philosophy of the Bible. The information and detail available from Scripture form a story in future reality that greatly surpasses in power and grandeur the best in fictional imagination.
Many prophecies concerning events of recent history have been fulfilled precisely as the Bible predicted thousands of years earlier. These prophecies have been fulfilled so accurately that in some cases skeptics have claimed that the Bible account could not possibly have been written before the event occurred.
One example of this Biblical accuracy is the astounding fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation chapters eight and nine. In fairly recent times the noted Bible scholar and historian, Josiah Litch, after an extensive study of this prophecy, published1 two years before the event occurred that the Ottoman Empire would fall in August of 1840. Although he was ridiculed, he continued studying prophetic Scripture. A few days before the event happened, he announced the exact day, August 11, 1840. When the Ottoman Empire fell on that date, precisely as scheduled in Bible prophecy, many people were deeply moved, and great interest was generated in studying the Word of God.
As one studies and realizes the accuracy of prophecy in the Bible, he begins to understand that this Book is indeed the Word of God. He begins to understand that what God promises He will do, He will indeed do, and what God says will happen will indeed happen.
The archeologists spade has uncovered vast quantities of evidence which substantiates Biblical history, yet nothing has ever been found which shows the Bible to be in error.
One of the most convincing pieces of evidence that the Bible is true is the following sequence of events relating to Noahs ark, the huge ship which brought Noah and his family safely through the flood and finally came to rest in the mountains of Ararat in Eastern Turkey. Genesis, chapter eight, verse 4 (Genesis 8:4) relates: And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. If the Genesis account of the flood is true, then perhaps the ark is still up there near the top of the mountain. Is it there today? Has anyone ever seen it?
George Hagopian, an Armenian who grew up in the foothills of Mount Ararat, has seen it. When he was a boy, he and his uncle climbed the mountain and saw the huge ship lightly covered with snow. Recently, as he related his story, his narrative was recorded. The recording of Mr. Hagopians testimony was subjected to analysis by a Psychological Stress Evaluator, an electronic instrument capable of detecting the presence of micro tremors in the human voice, which are prevalent whenever a person lies. This instrument is so accurate that its analysis is accepted as legal evidence. The analysis of Mr. Hagopians interview shows that he was telling the truth completely! He had indeed seen the ark of Noah; he had personally walked on the huge ship, which he described in detail.2 The Bible says the ark landed in the mountains of Ararat. Mr. Hagopian has seen it there, and his testimony has been verified.
Many others have also seen the ark resting near the top of the mountain. Just before the Russian Revolution, a group of Russian army pilots was stationed near Mount Ararat. One day while flying over the mountain, two of them spotted the ark and examined it as well as they could from the air. Upon returning to base, they reported their discovery. Their commanding officer, seriously interested in the reported sighting, had the pilot take him to the ark so he could see it for himself. He then sent a report to the Russian government, and the Czar promptly ordered two special companies of soldiers to investigate. They took complete measurements and made detailed drawings of the ark. Many photographs were taken, and maps showing its exact location were made. Shortly after this report was sent to the Czar, however, the Russian government was overthrown by the atheistic communists, who have never made the report public and who probably destroyed it.3
Here is more evidence that the Bible is Gods book. The place where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea has been discovered. Chariot wheels, human bones, and other artifacts have been found along the path they took through the Red Sea. Here is a picture of a gold-plated chariot wheel from one of pharaohs chariots. Since coral does not adhere to gold, the gold on the wheel was preserved in excellent condition. However, the wheel cannot be moved, because the wood beneath the gold has long since rotted away, and any attempt to move the wheel would destroy the very thin layer of gold. This picture is from the www.pacinst.com/route/redsea.htm web site, and can be seen in color on that site. This site also has a map and pictures where the crossing took place.
When most people read the Bible, much of what they read they do not understand. The greatest understanding is achieved by investigating individual subjects separately, rather than by simply reading as one reads a novel, for the Bible is not written in chronological order, as many assume. The Bible itself in Isaiah, chapter twenty-eight, verse 10 (Isaiah 28:10) tells us the most effective way to study. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. In order for one to gain the greatest understanding, he must build more advanced precepts upon more fundamental precepts. One cannot understand the complex without first understanding the simple. The last part of the verse, Here a little, and there a little, refers to the distribution throughout the Bible of verses pertaining to a specific subject. When all the verses which pertain to a particular subject are collected and studied in the proper sequence, a clear understanding of that subject results.
This process is much like creating a mosaic, a picture made up of many small variously colored stones. One small colored stone by itself depicts little, but all the colored stones properly arranged form a complete, clear picture, with each stone contributing a small bit of information. Similarly, one verse on a given subject might not convey much information, but when twenty or thirty verses on a subject are considered together and in the proper order, a complete picture, full of detail and easily understood, is the result. The Bible can actually interpret itself by showing clearly what a particular verse means when considered with all the other verses on the subject.
God has given us an important clue as to just how to interpret the Bible. Titus 1:2 says that God cannot lie: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. In the Old Testament, in Numbers 23:19, essentially the same statement is made: God is not a man, that He should lie. Since God cannot lie, and the Bible is Gods book, can there be any contradictions anywhere in the Bible? What is a contradiction? If one statement is true and another statement contradicts it, the second statement cannot be true. If two verses apparently contradict each other, and one of them is true, then the other is apparently not true. But God cannot lie; therefore there can be no contradictions anywhere in the Bible. If two verses seem to disagree, there is an error in interpretation of one of them. An apparent contradiction may arise from an inaccuracy in translation. More often apparent contradictions are a result of insufficient understanding on the part of the reader. Such conflicts resolve with further study. Examples of apparent contradiction will be brought out in following chapters, where many of the difficult verses are discussed.
Here, then, is the key to correct interpretation of the Bible: everything read from the Bible must be interpreted in such a way that there are no contradictions anywhere. When all apparent contradictions are resolved, we have great satisfaction in knowing that the understanding gained is correct. This method of interpreting the Bible, so that there are no contradictions anywhere, is the method used throughout this book.
Unfortunately, many people twist the meaning of various verses to try to make the Bible say something that it does not say. They try to change the Bible to conform with their ideas instead of changing their ideas to conform with the Bible. This situation is referred to in 2 Peter 3:16, which speaks of various verses which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
The fact that the Bible was written by men bothers some people, and they become concerned about the validity of what they read. The men who wrote the Bible were special messengers or prophets of God. They wrote only what they were instructed to write by God, as 2 Peter 1:21 tells us. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Most of the prophecy in the Bible, perhaps ninety-five per cent, has already been fulfilled, and it has been fulfilled with such precision that one is forced to the conclusion that only God could have given the information. Many of these prophecies were given thousands of years before the actual events occurred.
Many people claim that the Old Testament was for the Jews and that we, today, are not required to abide by its teachings. However, 2 Timothy 3:16 says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Verse 15 refers to the Scriptures as the Holy Scriptures. What Scriptures are these verses talking about? The word Scripture means holy writings, and it refers to the Bible, but more specifically, in this case, to the Old Testament since the New Testament had not yet been completed. The apostle Paul was, at that time, in the process of writing some of the books which make up the New Testament. Paul is therefore validating all of the Old Testament Scripture. In John 5:39 Jesus himself authenticated the Bible, again specifically the Old Testament, by declaring: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And in John 10:35 Jesus said that the Scriptures cannot be broken.
We saw in 2 Peter 1:21 and 2 Timothy 3:16 that All scripture is given by inspiration of God. God, therefore, told His prophets what to write. Consider some pertinent passages in the Old Testament. Second Samuel 23:2: The spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. Ezekiel says over and over again as do many other Bible prophets, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . . Chapter eighteen of Ezekiel starts this way, as do many other texts. Jeremiah 30:1,2 says, The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. The Lord told Habakkuk, Write the vision, and make it plain. (Habakkuk 2:2). Thus, the Bible was written by men whom God had chosen as His prophets. These men wrote exactly what God told them to write.
The Bible was written during a period of about 1500 years by some forty different prophets, yet the parts form a harmonious whole. This unity of the Scriptures would be impossible for men to achieve by themselves without Divine inspiration. In many books written today an author sometimes even disagrees with himself in the same book.
One of the greatest promises God makes to those who diligently seek Him with all their hearts is found in Proverbs 28:5. They that seek the Lord understand all things.
Two more of Gods great promises to those who take the time and put forth the effort to understand the Bible are found in Psalms 119. Verse 130 says, The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. The Bible is not difficult to understand if it is studied properly. In verses 98 and 99 we read: Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
Think of that: wiser than your enemies; having more understanding than all your teachers. Those who understand and abide by the true message of the Bible have an enormous advantage over those who do not understand.
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