By Keith Leroy Brooks
How We Know the Bible is a Divine Record:
For two reasons the Christian should be familiar with some of the best arguments in support of the fact that the Bible is a divine record. 1. The firm establishment of his own faith. 2. For the purpose of refuting the arguments of skeptics.
By "inspiration of the Scriptures" is not meant that every act recorded in the Bible is an inspired act, but that the record in the original, is a correct record from start to finish, for the reason that the writers were "borne along by the Holy Ghost."
1. A Makeup That Is Mysterious.
Everywhere in the universe we read that God has a mathematical mind. Study the stars and you will find many in groups of seven. In the sphere of light, there are seven colors. In the sphere of music there are seven whole tones in the scale. In the sphere of time there are seven days in the week. In the sphere of birth of animals and fowls, seven is seen in many ways: in the hatching of eggs (hen sits three sevens, pigeon two sevens after the eggs are laid, etc.), the hatching of fish ova. In the sphere of human life, seven is written everywhere: the body is completely renewed every seven years; the seventh, fourteenth and twenty-first days are the critical days in diseases. In fact, wherever we turn we find seven in nature.
The mathematics of the Bible attract attention. Over 300 times the number seven is on the surface, and it is always significant, indicating "perfection or completion/' It is the perfect number. The best proofs we have of the divine origin of the Bible, are from accidental details which develop as we study the Bible deeply. These sevens keep coming to light. Great doctrines will naturally divide under seven points; divine conclusions will come under seven statements; prophetic times will fall into periods of sevens.
No human foresight could have arranged this. It only comes out with deep study.
Conclusion:—The God who wrote the perfect number seven all over the universe, must be the God who inspired the writers of Scripture.
2. A Unity That Is Marvelous.
Composed of many separate books; written by many men who lived in many countries; in many centuries; engaged in many walks of life in the midst of many different circumstances; spread over 1500 years in preparation how shall we account for the marvelous UNITY of the Scriptures as they are assembled?
God's plan of redemption by the blood runs through every book. Without any one of these books the Bible would be incomplete.
Some allege to find discrepancies in the Bible, but always under careful study, these apparent contradictions vanish and perfect unity remains.
Conclusion:— A great master-mind, that of God Himself must have been back of the Bible, inspiring each writer.
3. A Depth That Is Matchless.
Man's books are soon exhausted and tossed aside, for the reason that when the human mind has possessed their contents they are no longer needed. Man's books are ever changing. These are the days of loose-leaf encyclopaedias and dictionaries.
It is said that out of every 1000 publications 600 never pay the cost of printing; 200 just pay, 100 yield slight profit; fewer yet are profitable. Six hundred and fifty books out of 1000 are forgotten within a year; 150 more in three years; less than 50 out of 1000 survive 7 years' publicity. Out of over 50,000 publications of the seventeenth century only about 60 are known to have been maintained and reprinted.
Most libraries are cemeteries of dead books, because man's writings are so soon exhausted and because their statements so soon go out of date or are found to be erroneous.
How is it with the Bible? A lifetime of study cannot exhaust it. Generations of men giving their time .to it cannot get to the bottom of its wisdom. Thousands of volumes are written yearly in comment on Bible themes. Thousands of volumes are written yearly in criticism of the Bible, a fact which in itself proves the Bible has a mysterious quality, that so many intelligent men devote their time to fighting it. But the Bible lives on in spite of those who are trying to fathom it; in spite of those who write against it; in spite of the fanaticism of many of its friends.
Its promises are still being tested. Its prophecies are still coming to pass. No changes have ever been necessary in it .
Conclusion:—The Bible cannot be a humanly devised book because human beings cannot exhaust it.
4. An Existence That Is Miraculous.
Men have always fought the Bible because it is the one book that fights them in their sins. It is "The sword of the Spirit."
Demons and men have employed everything to put the Bible out of commission, and never with such organized force as the present day.
The infidel Voltaire said that it took 12 men to start Christianity, but that one (himself) would destroy it. The very room where he wrote afterward fell into the hands of the Foreign Bible Society and was stored full of Bibles. The very desk on which Ingersoll wrote much of his infidel literature, fell into the hands of a great Bible student who has sent Christian literature throughout the earth.
The more the Bible is fought, the higher it rises. It never had such a mighty hold upon the world as it now has.
Conclusion:—If man wrote the Bible he could get rid of it. "The Word of the Lord abideth forever" therefore no man can defeat it or destroy it.
5. An Influence That Is Mighty.
The Bible is the only miracle working book in the world. It is an ever-present and everlasting miracleworking power. Its message has picked up thousands from the gutters and given the most helpless human wrecks power to stand victorious over sin and to serve God.
Where there is no Bible, sin runs rampant. No infidel chooses to live in a land where there is no Bible. Where pulpits are untrue to the Bible, Godlessness and worldliness exist to an alarming degree. The greatest nations are what they are because of their attitude to the Bible. Nations that have sunk back into heathenism, and those that are today sinking, have everyone of them, turned their backs on the Bible for their self-devised philosophies.
The only reason men do not want the Bible is because it would change their lives. The water in the pipes will rise as high as the level of the reservoir. The Bible is the Book that lifts men to God. From whence then, must it have come?
Conclusion:—A Book which has such mighty power to elevate life toward God must have been inspired by God.
6. A Fulfillment That Is Manifest.
The claims of the Bible are overwhelmingly proven by fulfillment of its prophecies hundreds of years after they were written. So detailed and specific, uttered so long before the events transpired, are its prophecies, that it is certain no human foresight could have anticipated the events.
(a) Some argue that predictions were written after the events. But what of the fact that, although nothing has been added to the prophecies, they are still being fulfilled before our eyes and that details of prophecies partly fulfilled years ago are only recently being completed? This is clearly seen in the prophecies concerning the Jews and the events of the closing of the present age.
(b) Some argue that predictions are mere guesswork. If the keenest men today who are guiding the destinies of our land, men having perfect knowledge of present conditions and tendencies and dangers, were asked to write what would happen in detail ten years from now, they could not do it. It is the unexpected that happens. The anticipations of the most farseeing are constantly mocked by the bitter irony of events.
(c) Some argue that the predictions suggested the fulfillment to men. But prophecies have been, and are being fulfilled by men entirely ignorant of them or men who have struggled desperately to avert their fulfillment or by the very elements.
Conclusion:—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. 2 Pet. 1:21.
7. A Proof That Is Maturable.
(The testimony of personal experience.)
God sets a divine seal of the authority of the Bible in the soul of the believer. Those who accept the salvation it offers are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. The believer who has thus become the '"temple of the Holy Ghost" knows of a surety that the Bible is true.
Why do men continue to believe in the Bible in spite of the enmity and scoffing of the world? Because faith has been verified in vital personal experience. When one has been born of the Spirit, they need no argument. (But see 1 Cor. 2:14).
God has provided a way of access to the truth. If a man will put himself right before God, as the Bible demands, his experience will kill all his arguments. The unbeliever has access to thousands of competent witnesses who have experimentally tested the Bible, therefore there is no excuse for unbelief.
Conclusion:—The fact that millions have had the seal of the Holy Spirit placed in their own souls proves that no other than God could have inspired the Bible.