Book Entry: Chapter 1
November 15th 2017
The Bible is God’s revelation to man. Over 400 times within the King James Version (KJV), the Bible states “thus saith the Lord.” The Bible is set apart when it is compared to all other “holy books” that are used by the various religions of the world. One reason that the Bible is unique is due to the fact that it is the only religious work grounded in past history. As the world’s most thorough and accurate history book, the Bible also predicts future history. This predicting of future history is known as prophecy and it is prophecy that makes the Bible axiomatic (self-provable).
All other religions of the world, unless they rely upon the Bible for their history, do not depend upon being historically accurate. These non-Biblical religions base their writings upon a philosophy, guidelines for mankind, or ethical teachings. The writings of these non-Biblical religions do not stand or fall on whether they are historically accurate or not. Though the Bible contains theology and ethics, it stands the test of being actual revelation from God based upon whether what it says actually occurred within history and whether or not what it prophesies will occur in the future actually comes to pass.
The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and it presents His outline for history. Many of the world’s religions and worldviews believe that history is an endless cycle of events continually repeating themselves. This viewpoint leads to existentialism – a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world – and thus the conclusion that life is meaningless and history is going nowhere. In contrast to this circular worldview, the Biblical view of history is linear, has a purpose, and is going somewhere. The history that you and I live in had a beginning and it will have an ending. The Bible tells us that God is the creator (the author) of the ages (known as epochs) found within history. God planned all the events that have and will occur throughout history. God has revealed their purpose and the meaning behind these events within His Word, the Bible.
Roughly 40 different human authors contributed to the Bible. The Bible was written during a period that spanned over 1500 years. These authors were farmers, kings, fishermen, doctors, priests, government officials, and shepherds. Out of all this diversity comes an incredible unity within the Bible, with common themes and zero contradictions woven throughout the texts. The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that it has one Author, God Himself. The Bible represents itself as being authored by God or “God-breathed”:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
[2 Timothy 3:16-17]
The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, while using their unique personalities, experiences, and emotions. The result of God using these “human instruments,” under the direction of the Holy Spirit, was the perfect and holy Word of God:
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.
[2 Peter 1:21]
The Bible instructs us as to who we are as human beings. It defines for us our purpose for being here on planet Earth. It clearly documents, without apology, how long human beings have been on planet Earth. It tells us what we are called to do in this life. It also tells us where history is headed in the future.
The Bible represents that God created the heavens and the Earth in six literal days. The Bible represents that the Earth’s age is just under 6,000 years. God has communicated this information to us through His written (special) revelation, the Bible. The truth of the matter is that the evidence for a “young earth” is all around us and is testified to through what theologians call general revelation. The scars on planet earth from events that took place many centuries ago are spread throughout God’s creation and testify to the accuracy of God’s Word. The Bible clearly indicates that history is not just a cyclical series of meaningless events. Rather, it teaches us that history is progressing in a linear fashion through God-ordained events that are moving this world towards a goal. That goal is the removal of evil and the glorification of God for all of eternity. God is the source, the sustainer, and the rightful end of everything that exists:
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
[1 Chronicles 29:11]
The Bible can be said to be an “integrated, yet distributed, messaging system of kingdom principles.” It is “integrated” in that it is 66 books in one, written by over 40 different authors, during the span of over 1500 years, without error and without contradiction between those various authors. It is “distributed” in that the teachings of the Bible are dispersed throughout those 66 books and by those 40+ different authors. Most of the doctrine and theology found within the Bible is distributed between various books within the Bible and recorded by various authors whom God used to provide us the finished work. You will not be able to find the “one chapter that speaks to atonement.” You will not be able to find the “one chapter that speaks to baptism.” Instead, one must expend the energy in studying what the various authors had to say regarding any area of theology and it involves moving between chapters and moving between books within the Bible to accomplish that task (Systematic Theology).
Realize that the Bible is a messaging system. God chose to write a book and He chose to communicate with man through that book. DVD’s are a new technology. Sky-writing is temporary. Oral tradition always ends in distortion. Thus God chose a medium that would withstand the centuries and the millennia of history that this young earth has existed through. Since the Bible is a messaging system, its structure and its design must be understood since every word, letter, and number has been placed in the Bible by design. Every chapter within the Bible reveals an attribute of God. It is said that every page of the Bible establishes the identity of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). As stated earlier, the Bible is axiomatic, it is self-provable, since prophecy authenticates His message to His Creation.
One of the central themes within this integrated, yet distributed, messaging system is how it is that sinful man can be reconciled to a holy God. The Bible speaks abundantly to the subjects of faith and salvation. That said, one could argue that, after faith and salvation, the topic of the Kingdom is a key theme within all of Scripture. All of Scripture is moving toward the fact that God rules, that God is sovereign, and that the goal of redemptive history is an eternal Kingdom in which God reigns. Anyone who is going to truly understand the Bible must understand the Kingdom that is promised by God.
The concept of the Kingdom of God, however, takes on various shades of meaning within different passages of Scripture. The Kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal, sovereign God over all the universe:
The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
God’s Kingdom is an eternal Kingdom:
How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who willingly submit to God’s authority through repentance. The Kingdom of God involves repentance and a new birth, as God rules in the hearts of His children in this world in preparation for the next:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Within Scripture, the Kingdom of God also refers to the literal rule of Christ on Earth during the Millennium:
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The chronology of the book of Revelation is explicit and the promises of the Old Testament concerning the Kingdom, the throne of David, and the city of Jerusalem are unconditional and unfulfilled. These promises talk about a real, earthly Kingdom. The promises talk about a time of refreshing, of restitution; a time when Israel is in the land and prospering and the desert blossoms like a rose; a time when hostility and warfare and conflict is ended; a time when people live prolonged lives and someone who dies at a hundred dies as a baby; a time when the animal kingdom lives without bloodshed; a time with a completely renewed and regenerated world that is more like the Garden of Eden than our current world.
Scripture indicates that the Kingdom is eternal and 1 Corinthians 15:21-28 states that the resurrection is a key component to that Kingdom. We, therefore, want to understand how the resurrection is part of God’s prophetic timeline and how the resurrection relates to the coming of His Kingdom.
The Bible, as an integrated, yet distributed, messaging system of kingdom principles, stands as the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of the Living God. It reveals to us where history is headed, it speaks to every area of life, and it shapes one’s worldview accurately.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.