Chapter Two – Can We Trust God’s Word?

11 November


“The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.”
- Psalm 119:160

 

The Bible.

Can we trust it? Is it reliable? With so many ‘learned scholars’ out there pointing out the problems and loopholes in the Scripture, it is hard to think of the Bible as an authority for our faith and religious practice. Yet at the same time, these ‘learned scholars,’ while pointing out the errors, also claim that their belief in God is predicated on the very Scriptures they hold to as having errors. This presents a problem.

The Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith. From it we are to learn what God has instructed us to do, how He wants us to live, and the promises God offers. Just like a building, a solid foundation is crucial to supporting the structure above it.

Jesus Himself spoke of the importance of this solid footing when he told the story of the wise man and foolish man in Matthew 8:

 

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house (remember we are the temple of Christ) on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”– Matthew 8:24-27

 

For Christians, Jesus is our example and God’s Word is our instruction manual. Without it there is not a solid belief system. Cracks in a foundation weaken the entire structure, destabilizing the building that rests upon it. Cracks in the foundation of someone’s faith put their very soul in peril. That is why it is crucial for a person seeking to know God to have a rock solid foundation in something that they can turn to with the utmost confidence—a final authority that has the power to direct their faith.

You must first determine your belief in the Bible, whether it is corrupt or not before you can determine what your beliefs are. Christianity rests on the assurance that the Bible is 100% accurate. If there are any errors in Scripture the book can no longer be our standard of truth. You either believe the Bible is the Word of God or you don’t. You either believe God when He said His Word will stand forever or you don’t.

If I or any other person, even one claiming to be a prophet, can decide individually which statements in the Bible are corrupt and which are accurate then that person—not the written text—becomes the final authority and standard of truth. I become the standard of truth, as I determine which Bible statements are corrupt and which are not. If I can’t trust God when He says that His Word will stand the test of time, how can I trust Him with other areas of my life like salvation, and the place that He is preparing for me in His kingdom?

Unfortunately, some religions do just that. They take the word or declaration of an individual to be the same as—or better than—the Bible. These extra-biblical decrees and texts open the door for confusion and abuse. Suddenly the foundation of a person’s faith isn’t standing on the solid rock of God’s eternal Word. Instead it becomes the shifting sand of man’s doctrine.

 

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” – Luke 21:33

 

If the Bible is not true or if it is filled with errors, Read More

The Truth of the Bible

 

One of the strongest arguments for the truthfulness of the Bible is its 100% accuracy in predicting the future.  The Old Testament was written between approximately 1450 BC and 430 BC. During that time, God’s prophets recorded many predictions of the future in the Bible. Of the events that were to have taken place by now, each and every one happened just the way the prophets predicted it would.

 

“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.” -2 Peter 1:20-21

 

Now if God gave us His Word through His prophets, do you really think it would be in God’s nature to let His book get corrupted? The Bible has stood the test of time. It is 100% accurate. No one has ever been able to disprove the Bible, and the Bible will never get corrupted. God will not allow it!

If faith alone isn’t sufficient to prove the validity of the Bible, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls found between 1947 and 1956 have proven that the Bible has been almost completely unchanged since it was written down. The few minor differences between the accepted text and the scrolls do not change the meaning of the text. The Word has remained intact. The discovery itself is verification of the truth Jesus spoke of in Matthew:

 

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.” – Matthew 5:18

 

The most important prophecy contained with Scripture is of the coming Messiah as laid down in the Old Testament. Messiah means, ‘Anointed one.’ His coming was to change everything, and His coming, His life, and His very presence is what the entire Bible is centered around. Since these prophecies were written down at least 400 years before they happened, there is no doubt that the Bible’s writers were inspired supernaturally—by God. These very texts were being read in the Temple when Jesus was born. The predictions were astoundingly accurate, down to minute details that no one could have manipulated or duplicated.

Yet, it is this miracle of prediction and beauty that Joseph Smith challenged when he claimed that many “plain and precious parts” were removed from the Bible thereby demeaning the whole. By casting a shadow of doubt on the completeness of scripture, it opened the door for a variety of interpretations and new edicts.

This is by no means a new tactic. Still, by challenging the truth and accuracy of the Bible, it allowed Mormonism the room it needed to incorporate aspects they deemed important such as the law of polygamy known as ‘The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage.’ This is something we will cover in greater detail later. Needless to say, this, among other things, allowed Joseph Smith to add his own doctrine—doctrines that deviate greatly from anything found in the Bible.

The Bible has proven that it can stand-alone. It needs not any assistance, and it surely does not need any help in bringing us to God. Alone it can take us to God. Alone, it can bring us to salvation. Alone, it can teach us to have a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Alone, it is sufficient. Since no one alive today, or in Smith’s day, was present when the Bible was written, no one can bear witness to the complete or uncompleted Scriptures. Thus, we must ask ourselves if the Bible, as a work of God, can stand-alone. Is it sufficient for my faith? For nearly two thousand years it was for millions of people. Then comes one man who claims it is not.

For me, this deception kept me confused and did not allow me to find my faith in the inerrancy of the Scriptures alone until I was able to break away from Smith’s claims and put the Bible to the test for myself. Searching the Scriptures has brought the truth and clarity of God’s Word to my life. It has brought me the peace of knowing I am saved by grace alone. Because of God’s grace I have grown more in my faith and I am filled with the love God has promised me. This has strengthened me and allowed me the opportunity to develop my ministry in loving others to Christ. God’s Word alone saves and transforms. I pray you will search the scriptures for yourself and allow God to transform your life with His Word.

Jesus Christ Himself constantly quoted from the Old Testament Scriptures and showed full confidence in their completeness and accurate transmission as they had survived down to His time. When Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness and sought to twist the meaning of scripture to meet his own ambitions, Jesus was not swayed. He knew what the Word said and understood it in perfect context.

But, take a verse alone outside of its context, or claim a verse should not be there, or better yet, add any number of verses that say what you like and you can support any position you like. A careful study of the Bible as a completed work, however, will keep you from falling for these distortions.

Jesus declared in Mark 13:31, “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” Later in John Read More 

The Power of the Bible to Change Lives

 

The Bible can change your life. If you would get into it, learn from it, memorize it, study it, and meditate on it, you will discover a rich resource that will never be tapped out. It has answers for every conceivable situation. It has guidance for anyone who finds himself or herself cut off and adrift.

Trust in the Word and you won’t be steered wrong.

 

  • It is holy, inerrant, infallible, and completely authoritative (Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17; Psalms 119:89).
  • It is profitable for teaching, reproving, correcting and training me in righteousness (2 Timothy 3 :16).
  • It matures and equips me to be ready for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).
  • It is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalms 119:105).
  • It makes me wiser than my enemies (Psalms 119:97-100).
  • It brings me stability during the storms of my life (Matthew 7:24-27).
  • If I believe it’s truth, I will be set free (John 8:32).
  • If I hide it in my heart, I will be protected in times of temptation (Psalms 199:11).
  • If I continue in it, I will become a true disciple (John 8:31).
  • If I meditate on it, I will become successful (Joshua 1:8).
  • If I keep it, I will be rewarded and my love perfected (Psalms 19:7-11; John 2:5).
  • It is the living, powerful, discerning Word of God (Hebrews 4:12).
  • It is the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
  • It is sweeter than honey and more desirable than gold (Psalms 19:10).
  • It is indestructible and forever settled in Heaven (2 Corinthians 13:7-8; Psalms 119:89).
  • It is absolutely true about God (Romans 3:4; Romans 16:25, 27).
  • It is absolutely true about man (Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm 8:4-6).
  • It is absolutely true about sin (Romans 3:23).
  • It is absolutely true about salvation (Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9).
  • It is absolutely true about Heaven and Hell (Revelation 21:8; Psalms 119:89).
  • Every word of God proves true (Titus 1:2).[5]

 

As we continue to look at the truth of God’s Word through these chapters and discover the freedom of knowing the God of the universe personally through His Word, I hope that you’ll continue to reflect on these scriptures. God gave His word so He could walk in relationship with us. Jesus said that His burden was easy and His yoke was light. Step out from under the weight of religion and step in to the freedom of faith in God.

 

A Prayer of Healing

 

“I thank You Lord for Your word, the Bible. Please forgive me for even one moment thinking that You were not powerful enough to preserve Your Word. You are a good Father and Your desire is to guide us and save us. I pray for Your wisdom and discernment Lord. I pray You will walk with me through the Bible, giving me great wisdom. I will read only Your Word, the Bible, to know You, and I will have faith in Your Word alone. Amen.”

 

 



[1] Joseph Smith, Documentary History of the Church (DHC, vol. 4), p. 461.

[2] Bruce R. McConkie, The Bible, a Sealed Book, (BYU, 1984).

[3]For an extensive look into the DNA evidence get a copy of the DVD entitled DNA Evidence of The Book of Mormon – Produced by Living Hope Ministries of Utah

[4]Thomas W. Murphy, Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics

 

[5] List used by permission – Excerpt taken from The Love Dare Day by Day by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick, c. 2009 B&H Publishing Group.

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