Why I am Convinced that the Bible is the Only True Word of God and that the God of the Bible is the Only Real God and Creator of the Universe – Part 1

Why I am Convinced that the Bible is the Only True Word of God and that the God of the Bible is the Only Real God and Creator of the Universe – Part 1

Simply put, I believe the Bible is True and the Only Word of God, and believe that the God of the Bible is the Only, Living and True God … because of Truth and that these beliefs I hold to fully Align with Reality.  I will explain this much deeper as we go along, but we need to address a few assumptions before we get into digging deeper into the set of Reasonable Reasons for Faith in God and His Word. In all discussions of seeking Truth, or seeking to Find the Truth, we must, FIRST, all have a common starting point.  We must all have some “planet-wide”, human, common, base assumptions.  Since, we are all humans (i.e.: we are all related to each other genetically) there must be some sort of common assumptions we all have. Throughout history it has been clearly seen that there is an overwhelmingly simple set of common assumptions that all humans have used and continue to use today to “Find the Truth” about anything they are seeking in normal, everyday living. Again, we are starting with a base assumption that all humans have, even young children.

IsBibleReliable_cropped

We must have a base assumption or idea of what we mean by “Truth” or if something is “True”. That concept or idea relates to the concepts of consistency, integrity, faithfulness, and something that can be tested in some way (i.e. can be verified) in most cases.  The best definition I have found regarding telling the “TRUTH” is: “the accurate reporting of reality and/or of the actual facts”.  Truth is always about REPORTING something, about some event or about someone. If I tell you a LIE, I am either “twisting the facts”, “holding back some of the facts”, “suppressing some of the facts”, “not telling you the ‘whole story’”, or “I am making up something entirely NOT aligned with the facts or reality of the situation, etc.” I am not talking about making a mistake about forgetting some of the facts, in this case, but being intentional about misleading someone about what happened, etc.  Thus, I would be “reporting to you NOT what really happened” – I would, intentionally, NOT tell you the Truth about what happened, about the character of a person, or about something. We would all agree, a LIE –> is Telling or Reporting something that is NOT Aligned with Reality, NOT Aligned with the Facts as they Really happened, etc.  Once the “Facts” of the “situation” are “found out”, people can determine if the “story” or the “reporting” lines up with Reality or the Facts.  That is when folks find out that what was told to them was a LIE.  Therefore, from this base, common assumption regarding “Truth” … we can see that TRUTH is the Opposite of LIES. Yes, it is “Black and White”, always.  Again, we are not talking about shoe style preference here, but Truth compared to Lies.  “IT” is either TRUE or FALSE.  There are no GREY areas regarding TRUTH.  This is why the Judicial Courts of most countries in the World want witnesses to Tell the Truth.  Have you ever wondered why Judges do not just ask the witnesses, “please, make up a believable story about ‘such and such’, we are not really concerned about ‘The Truth’”?  I know that sounds ridiculous, but I think you see my point, here.  When “push comes to shove” we demand the truth, especially from other people.

Thus, in everyday life, we are confronted with and deal with a myriad of choices and situations in which we must DISCERN Truth compared to Lies or that which is False.  In most cases, within those situations, the Truth is obvious and the FALSE or LIES are also obvious.  The base sense we have of “does this match with reality or of the facts presented?” … “Truth” therefore is Discover-able, Observable, and Experiential, in most cases.

neh_8_2_ezra_the_priest_brought_the_law  

The next “concept” is: PREDICTIVE MODEL.  A Predictive Model tends to be a Principle, a Premise, a Statement, a Conceptual Framework, and/or a Report of a Historical Event that “says” that it is TRUE and REAL.  A PREDICTIVE MODEL typically produces an Expectation or a Set of Expectations.  Here is an Example that I hope will illustrate this concept of “PREDICTIVE MODEL” ==> “If you put your unprotected hand in the fire or in a flame (not quickly) it WILL get burned to some extent.” OK, so we see that this is a Principle or a Premise that is “spoken” or “written” and can be understood. It is TESTABLE. It gives us the Expectation that if I disobey this WARNING … ==> If I actually stick my unprotected hand in the flame of fire then I should get burnt by the fire. So, I can test this. If I put my hand in the fire, very, very quickly, only my hair gets singed. But, upon a deeper, microscopic view, I do see some of a few skin cells did get slightly damaged. So, this PREMISE, this PREDICTIVE MODEL is correct and lines up with Truth. The Expectations it presented are testable and we can see by verification that it is true. So, I can explain that predictive model this way … “I expect to see my hand to get burned in some way if I put my hand in the flame”. In the same way, the Bible is a PREDICTIVE MODEL or presents many PREDICTIVE MODELS within its text, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. Not everything can be “Scientifically Tested” within a laboratory, but many of its PREDICTIVE MODELS it presents, their sets of Expectations can be tested in some way… the TRUTH can be Discovered.

JudgmentForTheBible

Let me give you an example of what I mean when I say that the Bible presents Predictive Models. Let’s look specifically at the case study of the Flood during the time of Noah. We can read about this purported historical account in the book of Genesis, in chapters 6 through 9. Parts of Chapters 8 and 9, also, contain the accounts of what happened after the Boat (i.e.: Noah’s Ark) landed and the 8 people (survivors) and all the animals aboard the Ark came out, etc.  The focus we are going to look at right now is the contents of information that relates to the actual Global Flood.  Genesis 6 – 9 makes the claim that God flooded the whole world with a World-Wide, Global Flood of Water. Genesis 7:11-12 records: “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights.” In this passage it seems to point to an exact Calendar day in which certain events occurred. It mentions “all the fountains of the great deep burst open” and the “floodgates of the sky were opened”.  It wasn’t just rain, it was “fountains of the deep” What are fountains of the deep?  We still have them today, deep on the ocean floor.  They pour out subterranean super-heated water, gases, and lava (or other materials that make up normal “soil”, etc.).  When the passage mentions “all the fountains of the deep burst open” … this expresses violence and explosive power.  We can study, today, rain causes massive erosion of mountains and hills.  This action can be seen today. We watch news stories all the time on TV regarding massive flooding in various areas of the world because of hurricanes bringing in massive rains for several days.  We can see the devastating effects.  Multiply this millions of times more massive, just the rain aspect of Noah’s flood. Now add to this the effective of all the millions of ocean floor volcanoes (and maybe those above the water line, on land) all exploding at the same time all over the world.  This would be a massive, chaotic, watery, muddy mess.

noahs-flood-judgment

So, what would I expect to see today, IF the “story” of Noah’s Flood is true, as recorded in Genesis 6-9?

  1. I would expect to find billions, if not trillions, of dead things, in sedimentary layers of rock all over the world. Massive amounts of fossils created quickly because of the layers of mud flowed quickly and covered many animals before they had a chance to decay or be eaten by other creatures, etc.  I would also expect to see more aquatic creatures than land animals in these layers of mud that turned into sedimentary layers of rock.  I would expect to find fossils of ocean creature on the top of the highest mountains (do some research regarding the amount of and the kind of fossils found on the top of Mt. Everest and other very high mountains, you’ll be amazed).
    FossilsWithOriginalTissues  FossilsWithSoftTissueList
    Also, I would expect to find “fossils” that would still be “young” enough to have remnants of collagen, blood cells, blood vessels, bone, Carbon-14 and other remnants of living material. This would be expected. And guess what? This is what has been found, over and over again. see the following links for more on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMsIqmdvUMs ,  http://kgov.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UIStXAmSyw , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eoxZvV6YY8 . Collagen can only last around 30,000 years (best case scenario): http://www.icr.org/article/how-long-can-cartilage-last/
    DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bonehttp://goo.gl/DCa99c
    …  
  2. I would expect to find Mountain Ranges that have not had much erosion on them (i.e.: new mountain ranges) and some remnants of “older” Mountain Ranges that have had a lot of erosion
    … 
  3. I would expect to see massive Inland Seas, or remnants of them (think: the Great Lakes; think: of the “Great Basin” and parts of Utah that were clearly “ancient” inland seas)
    … 
  4. I would expect to see massive Canyons carved out of soft sedimentary rock beds, but have now hardened into sedimentary rock (think: the Grand Canyon. The river did not form that canyon over millions of years… the Canyon was formed while it was still moist and massive water drained out of the inland sea like a damn bursting, that action caused the canyon to be gouged out in one or a few events, quickly. This same type of event was recorded on film in the Mt. Saint Helens area, etc.)
    … 
  5. I would expect to see sedimentary rock layers that have bends in them, unexplained bends … because they were bent and reshaped while they were all still fresh and moist (i.e. bendable)
    (ref.: https://answersingenesis.org/geology/rock-layers/rock-layers-folded-not-fractured/ )
    BendingSedimentaryRockLayers
    … 
  6. Polystrate Fossils: I would expect to see upright and upside-down Trees in many layers of sedimentary rock, since those trees were stripped by the flood and then re-deposited in new locations. Some with roots in tact, other with no roots (such as what we find in “petrified forests” all over the world) [ many images: http://goo.gl/Soxb7d ]
    Polystrate7_zps6a5db13b
    … 
  7. I would expect to find more water deep under the ocean floor. I would expect to find all the water necessary to have a world-wide global flood as described in Genesis 6 through 9. (see http://www.weather.com/science/news/oceans-water-discovered-deep-beneath-north-america-20140613 for proof of more than enough water necessary)
    DeepOceansUnderground
    … 
  8. I would expect to find Genetic issues regarding humans. Thus, if some skeletons of people are discovered that are from the time period of before the Flood, they would be people who did not make it onto the Ark. Their descendants didn’t continue on after the Flood. So, their Genetic lines, Genetic nuances and Genetic differences would NOT make it into the present Human Race. The present human race, according to the Bible, is descended from the 3 sons of Noah and their wives.  We are their genetic descendants.  We are NOT the Genetic descendants of those that did NOT make it onto the Ark. Thus, if some skeletons of people are found in some caves, hunkered down, large and old looking, etc…, and they are found as if they are hiding from something, they could be those that were fleeing from the Flood but died in the Flood.  We might find some skeletons with some testable DNA in them. If scientist do find such skeletons, they would test positive as humans, but might have Genetic nuances, Genetic markers that no human today has. That would be expected if the Bible’s Account of the Flood of Noah is true. If certain skeletons are found that have no relationship with the 8 survivors of the Ark (i.e. Noah and his family), they quite possibly could have many Genetic nuances that just are NOT seen in our Human Genome, today. Yes, this would be completely expected.
    (although this link points to a study by atheistic, evolutionary scientists… this article exposes the truth regarding missing DNA from modern humans compared to this recently discovered skeleton found in Russia that is “Neaderthal-like” … proves that some “ancient” human DNA sequences from these “ancient” skeletons cannot be found in any human alive today … http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/11/37000-year-old-russian-skeleton-has-neanderthal-dna-thats-gone-missing/ , again this is fully expected if the Flood during Noah’s time actually took place as described in the Bible)
    DNAMissingAncientHumans

Some of the expectations that we just discussed above, Atheistic Evolutionists have no explanation for, based upon their worldview, using their theories or Predictive Models. Just to let you know, I also used to be an atheist. So, I know what I am talking about. I know their arguments for proving “atheism”, very well. The findings discussed, above, Evolutionists would simply call them ‘anomalies’. But, the Biblical Expectations regarding the world-wide flood of Noah’s time fit perfectly with what we actually do find, in reality. Regarding the rest of the Bible, what would be expect to find, if it is really true? Regarding the various Theories of Evolution, if any one of them are true, what would we expect to find? Remember, each (i.e.: The Bible or “Evolution”) presents its own set of PREDICTIVE MODELS from which we can test to see if their respective Expectations line up with reality. They are TESTABLE.
ScientificTesting

In our next few installments, in this series, I will enumerate and explain my reasonable reasons regarding why I believe the Bible is the true and only Word of God, and that the God of the Bible is the Only True and Living God, the Creator of the Universe, etc.

If this article was helpful, please spread the word
… so that more folks can benefit and be in encouraged in the LORD
… and have more confidence in His Holy Word, the Bible.

🙂

May God Richly Bless you and yours

Pastor Andy Thomas
   (843) 814-1110
   http://www.NewLifeFellowship.us
   luvjcnow@yahoo.com

What can we learn from Paul’s use of the Altar to the “Unknown God”? (Mars Hill, Athens Acts 17:22-31)

What can we learn from Paul’s use of the Altar to the “Unknown God” (Mars Hill, Athens Acts 17:22-31):

This is a great case study in the Book of Acts of sharing the Gospel with people who have no Biblical background or worldview.  We can learn some things regarding this from this passage that might help us in our Gospel efforts.

Many Christians will read this passage and have no idea of the Amazing and Miraculous History behind the scenes regarding the “altar to the Unknown God” that the Apostle Paul used to his advantage to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This background history blew me away when I find out.  So, I encourage you to click this link, read the article and then come back for the rest of this study.  The Historical background to Acts 17:22-31 – go to this link for more historical background:  http://christiansincrete.org/news/to-an-unknown-god/

Let’s analyze and see how Paul handles this golden opportunity to share the Gospel:

  1. Paul the Apostle had an opportunity to speak to the pagan Philosophers and other Stoics about Jesus Christ, about the Gospel of God.  Those he was talking to would have no basis or understand very little of the Israeli/Hebrew Bible of their day.  These hearers of Paul did not have a Biblical Base from which to draw from.  Paul could have quoted directly from Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., for Example:
    “Athenians, in Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14 God says… a virgin will bring forth a son…” 
    Paul recognized their basis for their World-View, in which Quoting the Bible would be meaningless, in their case.
  2. Paul does not quote the Bible (any of the Old Testament) in this passage.  He does use Biblical Concepts/Principles in his Speech to them on Mars Hill.  He mentions God is creator, that we all need to repent and believe in the Resurrected “Man” who will Judge the world, etc.  Paul does not shy away from Biblical Concepts, but he does not quote directly from the revealed Word of God to his hearers.
  3. Paul understands their Culture and History and knows of a real, historical event (mentioned above, please go the link above for more on this)
    Paul uses that artifact in their midst, something irrefutable, something undeniable: the “altar to an unknown god”  as his launching point to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.  He used something well known in their cultural and historical consciousness as a place to START with them.
  4. How does this passage help us, in our Post-Biblical, Post-Literate, Nintendo society?  How can it help us in spreading the Gospel?
    FACT:  We live in a society that is NOT like the society in which our Christian, God-fearing founders of the USA lived.  They used and respected the Bible in all aspects of life (home, family, politics, business, etc.)   Those “founders” lived in a Bible-saturated society and culture.
    We no longer live in that kind of society, today.  We can wish things would go back to the “good old days”, the way it used to be, but until then, we have to live in the NOW.  Yes, it is sad, but we need to face reality.  We are, today, very much like Athens was during the time Paul was preaching the Gospel to them.

What are some things we can learn from Paul on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17:16ff):

  1. We should understand the people, the culture and the history of those we are attempting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with.  No need to stress out, just learn and relate to folks in the process.
  2. It would be good to find something in their personal culture/history or our shared culture/history that they/we can relate to that is irrefutable and undeniable… in which God has intervened.In our Western World culture, such as in the USA … our cultural worldview is very much influenced, more and more by anti-christian, secular, humanistic, atheistic values… with Evolution as its basis.  This is why I find myself using, increasingly, the Truth about The DNA / RNA / Protein Information System within our Cells when I attempt to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost.  I found that I can help a person agree with the 10 Commandments, that they may have broken them, and they might be considered “sinners”.  But, when I move to the next step: to God’s Authority over us, based upon the Bible, that is when things tend to go south.  Most folks tend to disagree that the Bible is the Word of God, and thus, God and the Bible have NO authority over them, nor are they accountable to God because of the Bible, etc.  So, it seems to be almost futile to try to “prove” that the Bible is the True Word of God at that point… but I can use something that “speaks” about God, who to them, might be the equivalent to being an “unknown god”.  This “unknown god” has a history and has intervened. Introducing the “unknown god” in their midst … by using the DNA / RNA Information System.  This SYSTEM is in all living cells and is undeniably Designed by Intelligence.  Prescriptive Information ALWAYS comes from Intelligence. Always!  This can be an “altar to an unknown god” – a starting point in our culture, right now.  Today, we find almost every Police/Crime Drama on TV uses “DNA Evidence” in almost every episode.  The concept and the word “DNA” is everywhere in our culture. DNA and Genetics are talked about all the time, such as with people trying to find their ancestry, ethnicity, etc. and folks are using DNA Testing for Medical reasons, etc.  Because DNA is used so much in our culture and so many folks use “Evolution” as their excuse to reject the Bible …  I use this as the “altar to an unknown god” for our Gospel advantage.  I ask folks who deny that the Bible is true and authoritative
    “Where does the Highly Complex and Ordered Information in our Cells, in our DNA, come from?” — Then I just wait for their answer.  If they don’t have a clue, I help them a wee bit.If this is over their head, I try to find something else as a starting point … I find out why they are rejecting God and the Bible, etc.  But, it seems, increasingly, more people are understanding the implications of DNA regarding INFORMATION.  The overwhelming reason folks REJECT the Bible today, in the USA, is because of “Evolution”.  “Evolution” is the Main EXCUSE used by those who REJECT the Bible … so if they are going to use that Excuse then…
    ==> Ask them for Evidence to support their premise.
    Then be armed with some basic facts about DNA such as “it is a Digital Software Information System” – it might be good to memorize that phrase.

    A famous quote to use is one by Bill Gates (if they don’t know who he is, ask them if they ever heard of Microsoft Windows or just Microsoft – then let them know Bill Gates is the founder, etc.)
    Bill Gates said: “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”

    billgates_dna_computerprogram

    Then ask them, to explain how an “Advanced Computer Software” designed itself by accident and then somehow found its way into all of the 100 trillion cells of their body and in all of the living organisms all over the earth.
    God might use this undeniable, irrefutable TRUTH to cause them doubt in their own atheistic, evolutionary belief system (God willing), if they are honest with themselves.

    DNA_StupidAtoms_PaulDaviesQuote

    Then, if they respond with humility and honesty ==> “I am not sure …” or “Maybe something or someone did this…”  we may have brought them, face-to-face with their “altar to an unknown god” and they might actually see it standing right in front of them (ref. Acts 26:18).

    The next step is to help them with the concept of this “unknown god”, that He is knowable and He designed and created the whole universe, not just LIFE, but everything that is.

    At each step, we need to pay attention to how they respond. If they respond with humility and honesty, move on to the next step…:

    ==> God created us to have relationship with Him, but our original parents sinned against God and we, today still suffer the consequences of that sin, we inherited that sinful nature, etc.  
    God must judge sin, because He is holy (you can ask,” does this make sense”?)

    If these truths do make sense to them, then you can use the 10 Commandments and go through a few of them, just to help them see that they,  indeed, are sinners, etc.   If there is a real God who created everything (as seen in DNA),  then He has the right to want us to obey His rules.  Since, He created and owns the Universe, it is His Universe, He calls the shots, etc.   These concepts might be hard for some folks.
    .   .   .

  3. If the person is at the point of agreeing that God exists (some sort of “unknown god” but He created everything, etc…) and he/she agrees that he/she is a sinner and that God is Holy and will Judge sin…
    Then, and only then, share the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ … His Person and His Crucifixion, Death, Burial, and Resurrection, etc… (sufficient sacrifice for our sins, etc.).
    That is when a person can receive the Truthcan Repent (“… God commands everyone everywhere to repent …”)… and Trust in Jesus Christ for his/her salvation, etc.

We live in a culture and time in which it is almost parallel with Athens on Mars Hill at the time Paul the apostle preached to those Stoic Philosophers in the AreoPagus.

Instead of bowing down to statues (idols, formal, religious idolatry), today, we have a new Idolatry: today we call it “Evolution”.  This new Idolatry is a new religion in which their “creator” they worship is themselves (humanity/humanism), worship of our “ape-like ancestors”, worship of four footed creatures, birds, crawling creatures and pond scum, etc. According to that “theory” –  All of this happened by accident, with no purpose, with no intelligence behind it… all of these things are our “Evolutionary Creator” (ref.: Romans 1:18-22).

So, in our sharing of the Gospel, we must find those points of irrefutable, undeniable interventions of God in which the hearers we are attempting to reach can relate to and agree with, in some way.  Paul did this really well as recorded in Acts 17:22-31… Therefore, we, too, can do the same, in Jesus’ Name.

Also, a bit of a WARNING … when a culture is at that point (like ours is today) …  NOT many may respond (real repentance and faith in Christ, etc).  If you read the rest of that passage in Acts 17, just a few responded to Paul’s proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If you read Acts 17:16-21 – Paul had already Reasoned with Many folks in the local Synagogue and in the Open-Marketplace in Athens prior to his time up on Mars Hill.  Of all that work and effort he did, not many responded to the Gospel he was preaching and Reasoning with, etc.

Tidbit of Info:
Reasoning implies, personal conversations with people.  Reasoning does NOT imply Open Air Preaching (a one way monologue/shouting/preaching) on a Soap Box in a town square.

What opened the doors for Paul to be able speak to that special group of “Philosophers” up on Mars Hill in the Areopagus?  It was all that work Paul was doing in town in the Synagogue and in the Open-Marketplace, prior to Mars Hill.  Someone in the “club” of the Areopagus (i.e.: Mars Hill) heard Paul speaking about Jesus (Iēsous) and the Resurrection (anastasis) and those philosophers who overheard Paul thought Paul was spreading a new religion about 2 new gods (i.e.: Iēsous and anastasis).  So, Paul was invited to the Areopagus to speak to that exclusive group.  Thus, he was invited to speak there, because of all his effort prior to that event, as recorded in Acts 17:16-21.  Paul did NOT go up to Mars Hill, on his own, plop down his soapbox and start open-air preaching (uninvited).  It was the Prior Work that started earlier… when Paul arrived, after he saw the city full of idols.  Paul was heartbroken for the folks of Athens because of their massive and open idolatry and I think he was praying, as well because of that heart-brokenness.  This compassion is what motivated him to go out and Reason in the Synagogue and in the Open-Market place with folks … which then led to the Mars Hill speech of Acts 17:22-31.

THE LESSON: each one of us might want to have some sort of ministry or some sort of “service unto God” that starts out large, hugely successful, fully mature, big, explosive at FIRST.  BUT, in most cases, it is the unseen, prior, faithful work, the plowing, while not wanting any glory for one’s self (but only for the Glory of God) that eventually leads to God opening up opportunities that leads to reaching more people, effectively.  Paul was faithful “out of sight” BEFORE God opened up the next doors.  Awesome lesson.

This passage, I am sure, has many more golden nuggets to find… search it out and share them with others and obey what you learn.

 

I hope this was encouraging to you.
If it is, please, pass this on to others.
God Bless y’all   🙂

Pastor Andy Thomas
(843) 814-1110
   New LIFE Fellowship
   luvjcnow@yahoo.com