The Bible Has The Answer
* Who Are We?
* Things To Come
* Where Did We Come From?
* Why Are We Here?
* After Death What?
* What Is The Source of Life?
* The Surety of God
The BIBLE Has The ANSWER
We confront questions every day we live. Here we are, living beings on a planet called Earth.
Why are we here?
Where did we come from?
Where are we going?
We are part of a tremendous world of mountains and plains, rivers and oceans. Why?
Our world is teeming with life. There are many, many people—more than seven billion of them. And there are animals. Some fly, others swim, or walk, or crawl. Altogether we are a huge family. Where did we come from? Did we all just “happen”?
A marvelous world it is, and we are equipped to enjoy it. We have eyes to see, and our world is filled with color and light and beauty. We have ears to hear, and there are sounds and music, words and language. We are able to think, remember, reason and relate one experience to another. How is this possible?
People in every part of our world have been trying to answer these questions for centuries. Some have said that everything just happened to be–but what made the first thing “happen”? Was it mere “chance”?
Some say there is no plan, no purpose, no future, that this life is all and when you’re dead, you’re dead. This means there is no design behind nature, no intelligent governing power—but have you ever looked up at the heavens on a clear night? If there is no designer, where did all that splendor come from, all those bodies of light, the eternal sun, the moon and myriads of stars?
Thousands of people live from day to day without giving any thought to the meaning or purpose of life. They eat and sleep and work and think of nothing else. To them, this life is all. But does that mean there is nothing more?
Some people believe a superpower has predetermined the course of all events, that nothing a person can do can change anything; that there is no hope, no ambition, no improvement. To such the future offers nothing. But can you believe it? Is there no supreme blessing to which we may look forward and toward which we may strive?
Other people believe they can make images with their hands, out of clay or wood or stone, and bow to them and receive help and guidance. But what reasoning being can believe that? Can something which has no power to see, or hear, or talk, or move give any spiritual blessing to the one who fashioned it?
Some believe we are here solely for the good that we can do to others. We are here to love and serve one another, to relieve suffering and promote goodwill; that is the supreme good of life. But is it? Is there nothing more?
Still others believe life is an endless round of existence, changing constantly from one form to another. This is called reincarnation, and the whole round is either perpetual or it ends somewhere in the perfection of absolute nothingness. But is there any evidence for such a belief?
What is THE answer? Where shall we look?
There is only one source of reliable, sure information, and that is THE BIBLE.
One Creator, God
We believe in one supreme, all-powerful, all-knowing God. He is and always was and always will be, and every problem and question of the human mind can find its complete solution in Him. Why? Because He is the Creator and Supreme Ruler of all.
Consider the house in which you live. Did it just happen, or did someone put it together? You have clothing. Did the threads just happen to fall together in order, or did some hand weave them? You walk down a road. Did all the stones just happen to lie in order to make a smooth path, or did someone place them?
Nothing can make itself. Everything that is made is living evidence of a maker. And so, everything in our world—including ourselves—had a Maker, a Creator, a Designer—God.
But God is in heaven. We are on earth. How can we know anything about what He is doing, about His purpose or His plan for us?
The Bible, Our Creator’s Message to Us
Through the ages God has used many different means of communicating with men, and He could use many more if He wished. He could sound His voice like thunder and shake the earth so that all would stop and listen, if He wished. Or He could send personal messengers to tell us what He wanted us to know, if He chose to do so.
But right now God is not using any of these methods to communicate with us. Right now He is using “silent” means of communication, not openly audible but no less clear and understandable. Long ago He planned this and made provision for us, so His people would not be left without help. To meet their need during this time He caused a Book to be written, in which He recorded all we would need to know about Him and His purpose. He preserved that Book, and today it is available in almost all parts of the world. We call it the Bible.
The Bible is not an ordinary book written by ordinary human authors. It is not a book which gives us the imaginations, speculations and philosophies of men. It is not fantasy or fiction. The Bible is the information our Creator wanted us to have, His thoughts written down for our instruction. God Himself supervised the writing of this book, as “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). They wrote what they could not or would not have written on their own.
The Bible tells of the dealings of God with His human family through the ages. It is about people who actually lived. It tells how God revealed Himself and His knowledge, and how He worked with them, and through them.
Everything about the Bible is real and in harmony with the facts of history and science. It is the real record of men and women who actually lived. It tells of events that actually happened. It was written in and about places that actually existed.
Even more than all this, the Bible involves us because it tells us about our own possibilities for the future. It tells us how we can fit into God’s great ongoing plan, and how it will affect us. On the pages of the Bible we see the plan of God–a plan not yet complete but which is progressing slowly, steadily toward completion.
The Bible is a book of facts. This is all-important, because our future life is a matter of life and death–eternal life, or eternal death. In something so important as our own future existence we must have facts, evidence, certainty.
The Book We Can DEPEND on
How can we know that the Bible is not just another book?
How can we be sure that the Bible is a book of facts, and not just another book by human authors? How can we know that its writing was directed by the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth? The Buddhists have their sacred scriptures and give glowing testimonies of what their religion does for them. The Hindus have their sacred Vedas, the sacred writings of their holy men. And the Moslems have the writings of Mohammed, and so on and on. How can we know that the Bible is not the same as all these other writings, just the words of some more men who had more ideas? How shall we be sure the Bible is the Word of God?
We need evidence. Either the Bible is all true, and can be depended on, or it is all false and should be wholly rejected. It is either the Word of God or it is not; there is no neutral position.
The Bible is the written Word of God made available to us through God’s instrumentality for our instruction and salvation.
The Bible is our only source of knowledge about God and His plan available today.
What is the evidence behind these facts?
1) The harmony of its teachings.
The Bible is composed of sixty-six different books, written over a period of 1600 years. The authors of these books were men, human as we are, and they came from all walks of life. Some were kings, some fishermen, some herdsmen, statesmen, doctors. These different men wrote in three different languages, and on three continents. Yet they all proclaim one message of salvation–how could this be unless all were moved and guided by the same supreme God?
2) Its miraculous preservation.
The Bible has had the fiercest of enemies. It has been burned and its advocates have been persecuted and tortured, to say nothing of the ridicule it has suffered in the hands of intellectuals. Yet it has survived these thousands of years and is available worldwide today in nearly every written language on earth.
3) Evidence from fulfilled prophecies.
Within the Bible are hundreds of prophecies which were fulfilled as predicted, and often hundreds of years later. This feature is unique, not being attempted in the Vedas or the Koran or any other “scriptures” of any other religion. No man has power to foreknow the future. This ability belongs to God and God alone, and the quantity of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible attests to the fact that it is the written Word of God.
Just consider the multitude of prophecies about Jesus, the majority of which were written hundreds of years before His birth. The prophets foretold such specific details as the city in which He would be born, the family lineage—even the year of His birth. They foretold the effects of His ministry, the method by which He would be betrayed and the price for which He would be sold, numerous details about His suffering and death, His resurrection. His ascension to heaven, and so on. All these forecasts proved accurate to their finest detail. How was it possible? There is only one answer. The God of heaven was behind it, a God who can know the future with as much certainty as we know the past.
4) The Accuracy of Bible Accounts
The Bible supports all true science and its accounts have proven again and again to be historically correct. Archaeology has confirmed and continues to confirm details of custom, circumstance and setting incorporated in many of its accounts. This proves that the Bible is accurate, and that it was written by people who lived at that time.
The accuracy of the Bible is also marvelous when we consider the unknown number of times it was copied by ordinary men who could easily have distorted its record. But newly found manuscripts differ hardly at all from those discovered years ago–more evidence that God was at work, preserving His message for men and guarding its accuracy so that those who would need it for the knowledge of God would be able to depend upon it.
5) The Testimony of Bible writers.
The Bible writers themselves testify to the God who was speaking through them. They realized that they were not “on their own,” that they were instruments in His hand. Phrases such as “The word of the Lord came,” or “Thus saith the Lord,” or “The Lord said” or “The Lord spoke” occur literally thousands of times in Scripture. Here is a feature which the writers of any other so-called “sacred scriptures” could not duplicate. And all the words of all its authors combine into one overall teaching and one plan of salvation–a total impossibility were the Bible the work of ordinary writers.
Christ ascended to heaven and will return to set up a new and universal government upon earth.
This prophecy is repeated in different words more than 300 times in the New Testament alone.
The BIBLE Confirmed By the Rise and Fall of FOUR WORLD EMPIRES
“In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.”—Daniel 2:44
The reliability of the Bible is amply proven by the rise and fall of Four World Empires, predicted in two prophetic visions recorded in the book of Daniel when only the first of these empires was in existence.
Now all kinds of so-called “prophets” and “wise men” have been telling visions and dreams through the ages. What makes those in the Bible different? The difference lies in the detail and precision which accompanied the fulfillments Bible prophecies–because they were divine predictions not human guesses.
The Vision of the Great Image
Read about this remarkable prophecy in the second chapter of the book of Daniel. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had a God-inspired dream, in which he saw a great image, having a head “of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay” (Dan. 2:32-33).
When the king awoke, he knew that he had had an important dream, but he could not recall it. He called in all his magicians and wise men, and they were helpless to recall the dream to the king. “Tell us the dream,” they said, “and we will interpret it. But do not ask us to tell you what you dreamed!”
But the king was not satisfied. So the prophet Daniel was called to reveal and interpret the unusual dream. The explanation which follows is recorded in Daniel 2 (verses 36-45). “Thou art this head of gold,” he told the Babylonian king. But Babylon was not to rule forever.
“After thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,” the prophecy continues, and it describes what was the kingdom of Medo-Persia. But this kingdom was also to fall in due time, and a third kingdom “of brass,” the kingdom of Greece, was to replace it. In due time the kingdom of Greece would also fall before a “fourth” kingdom “strong as iron,” the Roman Empire. The prophecy goes even further by describing the dividing of the Empire into East and West, represented by the two iron legs of the image. Then, much later, its broken and divided remnants are represented by the feet and toes of the image, “part of iron and part of clay.”
History confirms that these kingdoms did rise and fall, just as the Prophet said they would, and the Prophet spoke these words when only the first of these world kingdoms was in existence. What better evidence could we find of the verity of Bible prophecies! Can we not trust the word of a God who can foretell the future of nations with such accuracy? Here is the whole purpose of the Bible’s predictions–to give us faith in God, faith in His Word, faith in His plan. The Bible itself presents this challenge to us: “How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?” it asks. And the answer: “When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken” (Deut. 18:21-22).
But there is more in the prophecy in Daniel. The Prophet went on to tell of a fifth world kingdom, represented in the vision as a “stone…cut out of the mountain without hands,” which struck the image on the feet and “brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold,” all the kingdoms of this world, and “became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” What is this fifth kingdom? The Prophet tells us plainly: “In the days of these kings [when their days are completed] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed:…and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).
The Vision of the Four Beasts
The book of Daniel records a parallel prophecy of this same significant history using another set of symbols: four different beasts, each amazingly descriptive of the singular likeness of these four world kingdoms. This prophecy is contained in another God-inspired dream, this one given to the prophet Daniel himself. Read the account of the vision, recorded in Daniel 7. In this vision the four world empires are represented by four beasts, and the description of each individual beast is amazingly parallel to the singular features of that empire.
Many years ago our founder, Rev. L. T. Nichols, engaged with a noted infidel in debate. The infidel questioned him. “How do you know, Mr. Nichols, that you can depend on the Bible? How can you place your confidence in such a book as being God-inspired? Where is the original? And how is it that He placed so little value on it that He did not preserve it, but that it comes to us as a counterfeit so full of mistakes, absurdities, inconsistencies, and contradictions that the wonder grows how any intelligent man can be imposed upon by it?”
Our founder used the seventh chapter of Daniel to point out an important fact to the infidel. “Why do I believe the Bible to be Divine?” he said. “Why have I my confidence in it?
“Suppose that you and I had never traveled from here to a certain distant city, and we were inquiring the way, and someone told us, ‘There is a way I can direct you that will be impossible for you to make a mistake, if you follow my directions.’ We agree to this and start out with his directions, which are these:
“‘Travel along in that direction until you come to a corner where you find erected a lion with eagle’s wings. Turn to the right and travel in that direction until you come to a bear with three ribs in his mouth, and turn left; travel along until you come to a leopard with four heads and four wings, and turn to the right. Travel in that direction until you come to a great and dreadful and terrible beast, with seven heads and ten horns, and turn left again. Travel in that direction until you come to the same beast with a little horn arising. After you see this little horn pluck up the other horns, travel along that way 1260 miles, and then you may begin to look for the city you seek.’
Four world kingdoms, foretold in the Bible and confirmed in history–here is evidence for the Bible that the world cannot overthrow.
“Now I would like to know when we travel over the road and come to the lion with eagle’s wings, if our confidence would not be increased in that man’s story. And when we traveled along until we came to the next landmark, the bear with three ribs in his mouth, our faith would increase the more. If we traveled along a little further until we came to the leopard with four heads, our faith would still increase. And when we saw the great and dreadful monster, our faith would be unlimited. And when we saw this same beast again, and one horn had plucked up the other horns–wouldn’t we be foolish to doubt our guide? Could any man in the universe make us believe at that point that that man was not a proper guide?
“That is just what we have in the Bible. Here is something that all the world cannot overthrow, and it gives me faith and confidence in this Book.
“Now this is just what we have in the book of Daniel, in the seventh chapter. Here are those four beasts, representing four world kingdoms.
“We are all acquainted with the history of the rise and fall of these four world kingdoms. The first was Babylon, represented in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as the head of gold; represented in the dream of the beast as the first beast, as a lion with eagle’s wings. The second empire, represented in the dream of the image as the breast and arms of silver, was the Medo- Persian kingdom. “And after thee shall arise a third kingdom of brass which shall rule over the earth.” This represented the kingdom of Greece. In the dream of the beasts it was compared to a leopard with four heads and four wings. This is especially fitting, because a leopard is a very swift-moving animal, as was Alexander the Great in his record-breaking conquest. But when he was only 32 years old, he died, and his kingdom was divided among his four generals, fittingly described in the dream by the “four heads.”
The fourth kingdom was that of Rome, the great Roman Empire being the strongest empire of the four, “dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly.”
We find in the days of Christ that this fourth kingdom of Rome existed in its consolidated form. It was not until the fourth century that it had two legs as in the image, eastern and western Rome. And today we see the feet of the body, part of iron and part of clay; partly strong and partly weak; broken remnants throughout western Europe.
Why We Believe
Why do we believe the Bible Divine, when it predicts in advance the details of four world kingdoms, which are now recorded as confirmed history?
Do you suppose any person on the face of the earth could have predicted such unless by Divine guidance? Impossible! Utterly impossible!”
The Fifth Kingdom
Now what about a fifth kingdom? Is there any possibility? Not according to the prophecy in the vision of the image; not according to the prophecy in the vision of the four beasts. There were to be four, and only four. The fifth kingdom was to be something different–the eternal kingdom of Christ.
What does this mean?
Consider Napoleon. He attempted to conquer Prussia. Having conquered Prussia, he intended then to conquer Russia. Having conquered those two powers he could have conquered the world and established a universal worldwide empire, and his son Louis would have been its emperor.
Why did he, and Garibaldi, and Hitler, and many others fail to establish a world empire? Because the Bible is Divine, and the Bible predicts that the next or fifth world kingdom is to be none other than the kingdom of God.
The Bible tells us (citing the vision of the image, Daniel 2) that ‘in the days of these kings’–at the completion of their time–’shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom.’ No question about it, no other possibilities. Here is the kingdom represented by the little stone, which smote the image on the feet–not on the head, not on the arm, not on the thigh, but on the feet, down at the end of all these kingdoms–and “became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
We believe these things because there is no power upon earth that could have predicted such great and far-reaching events as these four world kingdoms, except by Divine knowledge.
How Prophecy Affects Us
All this prophecy affects us profoundly. We find ourselves living today right at the end of the four world kingdoms. The little stone has not yet struck the image on the feet, but it soon will. And it will grow, and grow, until it fills the whole earth.
Just as surely as the four previous kingdoms rose and fell as predicted, so we can have confidence that this fifth kingdom, the kingdom of Christ, will some day be established upon earth, just as the Bible predicts.
Christ is coming to set up a new and universal government upon earth. This prophecy is repeated in different words more than 300 times in the New Testament alone. The Bible is filled with prophecies of the blessings and prosperity that will come with that new government. There will be universal prosperity, universal peace, no more sickness, pain, poverty, war, bloodshed, suffering, crime or injury. There will be one worldwide, stable government for the good of all.
This is the hope of the Bible. This is our hope. It is no dream or vision of the night; it is sure, it is certain, it is true. It WILL come about, just as the God of heaven has decreed it!