A Voice in the
"This is the disciple who bears witness concerning these things, and writes these things; and we know that his testimony is true." (vs24)
"This...disciple", the one to whom Peter points and says, "But Lord, what about this man?" (vs21) The disciple "whom Jesus loved". (13:23) This is the one who was given the extraordinary privilege to write this gospel that addresses Jesus as the "SON OF GOD" (1:34,49, 9:35, 10:36, 11:27, 19:7, 20:31)
Two and a half years ago we began this series. The book begins: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (1:1-4)
The Bible begins by saying: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen1:1, 2:7)
Throughout the Bible, when it records man speaking to other men about God, or praying to God, God's identity is intimately wrapped up in His essence as "Creator". Two examples: "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." (Ac17:24) "Our help is in the name of Jehovah, who made the heavens and the earth." (Ps124:8)
One of man's primary rebellions against God is regarding His work as Creator. Thus, the ludicrous and unprovable -theories- related to so-called "evolution". And as the saying goes, "Repeat a lie often enough and loud enough, and write books about it, in people's minds it becomes -fact-"; thus it has become with evolution. Most people 'assume' evolution to be true. But they cannot prove it.
Hand-in-hand with rejecting God as "Creator" is man's rejection of God's "Documentation" of His essence and work as the Creator. The Scriptures.
Man in his foolishness excavates some archaeological site, finds some OBSCURE 'corner' of some piece/fragment of artifact, and from that SINGLE PIECE of pottery, wood or metal, will conclude a complete narrative of the people who made that MINOR piece of material, even concluding their social structure and religion. They will find some minor ancient bone FRAGMENT, and from that single piece, backwards-reconstruct the entire animal, suggesting it's eating habits, behavior; and most of all, its place in the Darwinian order of evolution. They might find an obscure clay tablet with a FEW MINOR INSIGNIFICANT words of an ancient language, and will conclude an entire litany of the culture and commerce of the peoples who inscribed those few words.
On the other hand, the Scriptures: There are HUNDREDS/THOUSANDS of pieces of manuscripts that were copied over the centuries. They take these segments, even crossing the century boundaries, being able to match up text from one century, and having it agree with other segments from other centuries, to come up with the whole of the Scriptures as we have them today. The Scriptures, made up of 66 books, written over a span of roughly 1500 years, various segments by various -different- "holy men of God" (2Pt1:21), and copied over a span of 3500 years by how-many-hundreds of copyists and translators; has a seemlessly continuous message that agrees with itself from beginning-to-end. It is the message of God Most High, Creator of the heavens and earth, who created man, who called out a nation for Himself (Israel Gen48:4, Ex19:6, 1Pt2:9), who promised and fulfilled His promise to send a Redeemer, His Son (Jn3:16), the "Seed" of the woman (Gen3:15), and Abraham's "Seed". (Gen22:18) And who made the promise to Israel that if they disobeyed, they would be scattered to the winds to the "four corners" of the nations, but from there He would regather them again. (De30:4, Ezek36:24, Is11:12, Jer23:3) And after roughly 2000 years of a barren wasteland, today, just according to Scriptural prophecy, there is again a nation called "Israel".
But man's wisdom REJECTS the Bible as...what? "UNRELIABLE"? Not enough "proof" as to its "authenticity"?
They reject the Biblical account of Noah's flood, even though there are also -many- native cultural folk-lore accounts of an ancient man with a boat/canoe/raft, who saved all living things during a flood; and instead postulate the so-called theory of "uniformitarianism" to support evolution. Guess what? The Bible even predicted this theory way before man came up with it; the Bible prophesied that man would have this theory in the "last days"; "..For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were since the beginning of creation. For of this they are WILLFULLY ignorant: that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water." (~2Pt3:3-6)
Thus, evolution, which man thinks disproves the Bible, is actually a point of UNMISTAKABLE 'PROOF' -OF- the Bible...because the Bible (God) prophesied that "uniformitarianism" (evolution's primary foundation) WOULD BECOME a philosophy of the last days; just as it is, as we see it.
And even though God's people (Israel) stare them right in the face, and are the substance of practically each day's news lately, and is the focus of current geo-politics, they label their maps with "Palestine"; not "Israel". This even includes so-called 'christians'!
For one example of this: Recently I made a project of converting all the old DOS PC-Bible Atlas maps (Parsons Technology) into a format compatible for use with Online Bible, for my own more convenient personal use (the old DOS program does not run on today's large HDs without making special configurations, or running it off a zip disk, etc), and was amazed that NOT ONCE do any of those maps label Israel as "Israel". Either the map will be 'blank' in terms of a label, or it says "Palestine"...and that's even from something claiming to be "Bible" Software!! Even those promoting something that would be considered to be so-called "Christian" rejects Israel's true God-given name. That is because the very name, "Israel", means literally, "The Mighty God prevails". And they want none of that! IN THEIR HEARTS.
But remember why the Scriptures have been written? "...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (Jn20:31) When the Law was given, God gave it very simply. It does not require the extensive imaginative contortions so-called scientists go through to contrive their theories of evolution and so-called "histories" of past civilizations, based on a few miniscule pieces of artifacts. But God gave it: "And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart." (De6:6) And again: "..the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it." (De30:14)
Ahhh but...that's the key. The HEART. The heart of man is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I Jehovah search the heart, I examine the soul, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." (Jer17:9-10)
The Scriptures don't have enough "proof" of "authenticity"? It is not the purpose of this article to wax apologetic regarding the Scriptures. However, there are so many hundreds/thousands of fulfilled Bible prophecies that history authenticates. And also, any time science discovers truth, if Scripture addresses the subject, Scripture has always been true. e.g. For how many years did man's wisdom say the world was "flat", and some were even martyred for suggesting otherwise, as being "heretics"? But all along, the Scripture spoke of the "circle of the earth". (Is40:22) Well, any simple picture from outer space verifies the truth, does it not.
There is likely 100-to-1000 times more "evidence" (or more?) for the truth of Scripture, than the evidence that often convicts a criminal in a court of law, to receive the death penalty. The so-called "preponderance" of evidence.
And yet, man in his wisdom rejects it, because he does "not know God". Therefore God devised something that to man is the "foolishness of the message preached". (1Co1:21) It is a thing called "Faith". Even though there is so much "evidence" to prove God's existence and the authenticity of His Scriptures, God's requirment of man is "Faith".
Salvation is a "spiritual" birth, "from above". (Jn3:8,3) We are told that "faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God." (Rom10:17) But how does man receive God's Word?
"This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Ga3:2)
Man keeps looking for empirical "evidence", evidence which is -already- staring him in the face, and shouts out to him, "the Heavens declare the glory of the Mighty God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork." (Ps19:1) "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb11:6)
What is faith? "Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb11:1)
In a strange sort of way, when it comes to man's relationship with the Creator God, this is the 'twist' to it all: Even though all the evidence stares man in his face, he is only able to believe and understand that evidence through faith in that which is not seen. (read that sentence again) "No one has seen God at any time..." (1Jn4:12) But God has shown Himself through His Son (Heb1:2-3) and His works: "Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men." (Ps66:5) These are the things by which God "...did not leave Himself without witness.." (Ac14:17)
The reason man cannot receive all of God's obvious evidence, is because the evidence is that which God placed there. And the "natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1Co2:14) You see: to understand all this evidence that is lying all around, for the obvious observation, it requires having the "mind of Christ", being instructed by the Lord. (1Co2:16) It is that built-in "conscience" in the "heart" that all mankind is born with. (Rom2:15) But unless man acknowledges the Most High, he will never receive it. It is a matter of the HEART.
But the evidence is there, obvious, for the taking, by FAITH. God's evidence is true. His "holy men" who wrote His Word were true.
Their "testimony is true".