One true witness of the truth—It is not possible for any man to prove and convince another person that God’s word is absolutely true. I cannot prove to anyone the things that I have personally received as true by the faith that has been produced in me by the words of God. Man’s only affective and totally reliable witness of the truth of the Holy Bible is the Spirit of God: “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1John 5:6; Romans 8:16; 1John 5:8). An Odinist once wrote to me from prison asking me to prove that my God was greater than his god. This no man can do, but I did advise him to get a Bible and read it, and to give God an opportunity to reveal himself to him through his word and by his Spirit.
Disclaimer—Regretfully the belief that the King James Bible is the incorruptible and preserved word of God can be a source of spiritual pride in some men. I am not proud of my faith in this truth, but I am extremely thankful and greatly blessed to be “fully persuaded” (Romans 4:21) that I can hold the word of God in my hand, read it, and trust it will all my heart. I completely agree with the psalmist, who wrote: “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it” (Psalm 119:140). By faith, God’s word “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105) in every area of my life. And as I walk in the light of God’s word I enjoy a continual fellowship with the Lord (1John 1:7).
The falling away—The scriptures prophesy that in these last days “the day of Christ” would not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2Thessalonians 2:2-3). There have been heresies and false gospels since the very beginning of the church age on the day of the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But since 1881 when Westcott and Hort published the corrupt Revised Standard Version of the New Testament, translated from two Roman Catholic manuscripts, literally hundreds of bibles have been published using the same manuscripts. [The King James Bible (also known as the Authorized Version) will be identified as the true preserved word of God in a future study]. Resulting from this confusing situation, according to recent polls only about ten per cent of those who profess to be Christians believe the five fundamental doctrines of the faith (Jude 1:3), four of which must be believed by any born again believer: 1. The deity of Christ: that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; 20:28-29; Hebrews 1:8-9). 2. The virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:28; Luke 1:27). The blood atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25; 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14). The bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1Corinthians 15:1-7, 14-15). The inerrancy of the scriptures (Psalm 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2Timothy 3:16-17; 2Peter 1:20). This last point is not essential to salvation. For example I was saved while reading ‘The Living Bible,’ a paraphrase written by Kenneth Taylor.
The Lord’s sheep—In the light of such universal unbelief, it is not surprising that the Lord referred to his disciples as a “little flock” (Luke 12:32). His flock is “little,” because most of the men in this world reject the truth. The Lord’s sheep are saved and secure for eternity. The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).
Anything that is incorruptible, ‘cannot corrupt or decay’ (Noah Webster, 1828); is ‘indestructible, perpetual, reliable, and trustworthy’ (Thesaurus.com); and is ‘unspoiled and unseduced’ (Online Etymology Dictionary).
Begotten by God’s incorruptible word—God the Father, “Of his own will begat [procreated; generated] he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (James 1:18). The seed of the word of God (Luke 8:11) sown in the prepared and believing of man generates and brings forth into existence “a new creature” (2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), one of the born again “sons of God” (Romans 8:14, 19; 1John 3:1-2) who have been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1Peter 1:23). The psalmist said, “I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me” (Psalm 119:93).
Incorruptible body—At the first resurrection our dead bodies “shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1Corinthians 15:51-53).
Incorruptible inheritance—We shall be raised “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1Peter 1:4). And in addition to these great blessings of God, if you have laboured together with God (1Corinthians 3:9) in his easy yoke (Matthew 11:28-30), “ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).
Immutable means: ‘unalterable; not capable or susceptible of change’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
God’s immutable word and oath—“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:17-20).
The word of God in heaven—The inspired psalmist declared: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). God is able to do this because “his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5); therefore “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).
God sent his word from heaven to earth—The Holy Bible was written over a period of almost two thousand years when “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Peter 1:21). According to the scriptures Moses was the first man commanded to write the words that he received from God “in a book” (Genesis 17:14). The Lord Jesus verified that Moses wrote scripture. He told the unbelieving Jews: “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47).
Old Testament—Concerning the scriptures written before the first coming of Christ, the scripture says that the LORD sent his words “in his spirit by the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:12). When the Holy Ghost moved these men they either wrote down the scriptures themselves, as did Moses (Exodus 24:4); or they spoke the word to another man who wrote it down. Baruch wrote down the words spoken by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 45:1). David said, “Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalm 17:4).
New Testament—Concerning the scriptures written after the first coming of Jesus Christ, it is written that “the mystery of Christ” was “revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:1-5). The “great salvation,” which God offers as a gift to all men, “at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him” (Hebrews 2:3). In the case of both old and new testaments, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it” (Psalm 68:11). After his resurrection from the dead, and before he returned into heaven, the Lord Jesus commanded his disciples: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). It should be the desire of every born again believer for everyone in the world to hear “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), which “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
TRUST GOD ALONE
The Holy Bible makes it very clear that the word of God is the only safe and reliable source of knowledge and wisdom in which mankind may safely trust. The word of God proclaims, “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalm 84:12); and, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9); and: “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30); and: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).
The deceptive world view—To follow one’s heart is the philosophy of most worldly men. The chorus of the Disney ‘Cinderella’ theme song exemplifies the general view of the unbelieving people of the world. It says: ‘Trust in your heart and your sun shines forever and ever. Hold fast to kindness, your light shines forever and ever. I believe in you and me. We are strong.’ (Chorus from Disney ‘Cinderella’ theme song). This worldly philosophy is extremely contradictory to the words of God. Consider the following declarations from The Holy Bible:
God’s truth about yourself—The word of the LORD plainly declares that it is foolish to trust your own heart: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26). The reason mankind should not ever trust his own heart is because, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
God’s truth about other men—The word of the LORD warns against trusting other men: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Jeremiah 17:5). Most mainline churches base their faith either in the articles of faith produced by the followers of Jacob Arminius, or the ill conceived doctrines of Calvinism. These will be covered in a future study. When men are following and believing the false statements of men, there will always be confusion and disunity. Men following men is the reason for so much doctrinal disagreement among churches today.
The truth about the LORD himself—The word of the LORD declares the blessing of trusting the LORD: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7); and therefore commands men: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
GOD’S WILL FOR ALL MEN
Salvation for all the world—God’s will is for “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:4). In the following two verses the Lord Jesus uses the word “world” to refer to all mankind living on the earth. The Lord proclaimed: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
For all men to repent—“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). Therefore God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30); and, “That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1John 3:23). GOD spoke to his prophet Ezekiel: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11; 18:23, 32; Lamentations 3:33).
For all men to be saved—Many scriptures confirm that God’s will is for “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:4). The living God “is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1Timothy 4:10). In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ “died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2Corinthians 5:14-15). Christ Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1Timothy 2:5-6). By the grace of God, when the Lord Jesus died, he did “taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9)! Therefore “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). And this gift may be received by every man who believes in his heart that God has raised his Son Jesus Christ from the dead (Romans 10:9). The jailor at Philippi brought Paul and Silas out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:30-31). In the light of this great truth it is a great tragedy that the majority of the people in the world deny “the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2Peter 2:1)!
INFALLIBLE PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language has: ‘INFAL’LIBLENESS, n. [from infallible.] The quality of being incapable of error or mistake; entire exemption from liability to error; inerrability. No human being can justly lay claim to infallibility. This is an attribute of God only.’
Luke’s infallible proofs—The Holy Bible uses the word ‘infallible’ only one very important and significant time. Speaking of the resurrected Jesus Christ, the apostle Luke opened the book of Acts with the words: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:1-4).
Paul’s declaration of the gospel in one sentence—Paul wrote: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep” (1Corinthians 15:1-6). Then we read: “After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time”(1Corinthians 15:7-8).
My personal testimony—At age forty one I was at the very lowest point in my life. While I was alone in my house early one morning on a rainy day in June, 1979, I found a bible among my deceased mother’s stuff. In my backswing to toss it in the trash I changed my mind. Instead I went up into my living room and began to read the New Testament. After reading the three accounts of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, I began to read the book of John. Unknown to me, this would be my “day of visitation” (1Peter 2:12). As I was reading in the first chapter of John, the Spirit of God called me by the gospel (2Thessalonians 2:13-14; Ephesians 4:4) and witnessed the truth to my heart (Romans 8:16; 1John 5:6-8). At the very moment I believed the gospel in my heart (Romans 10:9) I was gloriously saved! God saved me by his grace through faith. That day I received the gift of eternal life from God (Romans 6:23) without any religious works whatsoever (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:16)!
MANKIND’S UNIVERSAL PROBLEM
All are born spiritually dead—They are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). The scripture plainly declares, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12; Psalm 14:3; 53:3).
Religion is not the answer!—Religion is the devil’s most powerful tool used to deceive and blind men to “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:3-4)! All religions, including some so called Christian religions teach that men must work their way into heaven. But the scripture very clearly declares that “there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:12); and that salvation is “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
GOD’S UNIVERSAL SOLUTION
Ye MUST be born of the Spirit—Because all men are born spiritually dead, Jesus declared: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” and: “Except a man be born of water [born of the flesh] and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5-8). When God justifies a man he pardons and clears him from guilt. The Lord Jesus Christ then baptizes the believer “with the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 3:11) “into one body” (1Corinthians 12:13), “the church” (Colossians 1:18). Every born again believer can thank God and say: “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
The choice is yours—God has given every man a free will to choose whether to receive or to reject his gift of eternal life, which is the free gift of righteousness by grace (Romans 5:17) that is received by faith. Many of the children of Israel “limited the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78:41). The unbelieving Jewish council also resisted “the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51; Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34). Will you resist God, or will you receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith?
Reject—If you reject him, you will be cast “into the fire that never shall be quenched” (Mark 9:45). You will have your part “in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8), where the smoke of your torment will ascend up for ever and ever (Revelation 14:11).
Receive—If you receive and believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be “born of God” (John 1:12-13). And after the first resurrection you will live for ever in a new body “like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). You will “ever be with the Lord” (1Thessalonians 4:17) in whose presence is “fulness of joy” and “pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).