A DOCTRINAL EXEGESIS
OF THE "WE BELIEVE" STATEMENT
OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MESSIANIC
CONGREGATIONS

A Compendium of Messianic Bible Studies

By Norman Manzon

PAGE 6 OF 6:
ADDENDUM STUDIES, Page 1


MAJOR TOPICS IN SYSTEMATIC PROGRESSION
:
PAGE 1:
The Scriptures; God the Triunity; Angels; Satan and Demons; The Doctrine of Man; Salvation
PAGE 2: Israel; The True Roots of Anti-Semitism; The Believer and the Law of Moses
PAGE 3: The Church or Body of Messiah; The Ministries and Gifts of the Holy Spirit; Divine Healing: Another Perspective
PAGE 4: The Future, the Afterworld and Eternity
PAGE 5: The Future, the Afterworld and Eternity - continued from
page 4.
PAGE 6: ADDENDUM STUDIES, Page 1

16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17. so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~

CONTENTS: PAGE 6 OF 6

ADDENDUM STUDIES, Page 1
FOREWORD
1. THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND

2. EVIDENCE UPON EVIDENCE: THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, PART 1


~ ADDENDUM ~

FOREWORD

Dear Friends,

In 2005 we began our series of a detailed exposition of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations which we completed in January of 2017 with "The Heavenly Ages." Little did anyone know when I began, including me, that it would turn out to be a fairly well developed systematic theology, a topical exposition of the Scriptures presented in a logical sequence. To use formal terminology, we've covered Bibliology, the doctrine or study of the Scriptures that addresses such questions as how we know that the Bible is the written, inerrant, infallible word of God and how He composed it through human writers; Theology Proper, the study of God, which includes, but is not limited to, the study of the Trinity and God the Father; Christology, the study of the Son; Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit; Angelology, the study of angels; Satanology, the study of Satan; Demonology, the study of demons; Anthropology, the biblical study of man (not to be confused with the sociological science of anthropology); Hamartiology, the study of sin; Soteriology, the study of Salvation through the ages; Israelology, the study of Israel; Ecclesiology, the study of the Body of Messiah or the Church; and finally, Eschatology, the study of future events.

Though the sequence has been completed, the author has found it necessary to back up and fill in some blanks, which he has done with the first study to follow, "The Ambassadorial Band" which, in theological sequence, fits right after "The Local Church."

It has been my great privilege and blessing to do this.


For Yeshua and you,
Nachum ben Avraham,
Norman Manzon

WE BELIEVE
~
THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND

By Norman Manzon

In theological sequence, "The Ambassadorial Band" fits in right after "The Local Congregation" on  Page 3.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.

~ Matthew 9:37-38 ~

20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ~


TABLE OF CONTENTS

AMC STATEMENT: EXCERPTS
THE CALL OF THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND
THE NECESSITY TO ACCOMMODATE
THE ACTIVITIES AND PERSISTENCE OF THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND
THE NECESSITY OF A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE MISSION
THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND AND LOCAL CONGREGATIONS
THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND AND MODERN TIMES
CONCLUSION
FOOTNOTES


As always, we will lay a foundation by considering relevant sections of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations.

AMC STATEMENT: EXCERPTS (1)

Salvation

We believe that anyone who by faith trusts Messiah Yeshua as Savior and Redeemer is immediately forgiven of sin and becomes a child of God. This salvation is not the result of any human effort or merit, it is the undeserved favor of God. Further, there is no other way of salvation apart from faith in Messiah Yeshua for any person, whether Jewish or Gentile. We believe that Messiah Yeshua died as the sacrifice for man's sin and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood alone. We believe that all believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God through the new birth and the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 15:6; Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 9:4-6; Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12,13; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 1:16,17, 3:28, 8:9,15-17; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8,9,19; Titus 3:5)

The Body of Messiah

We believe that all believers in Yeshua are members of the universal body (community) and bride of the Messiah. The body of Messiah began at Shavuot (Pentecost) with the baptism of the Holy Spirit after the ascension of Yeshua. Membership in the body is based solely on faith in Messiah. This body is distinct from Israel and is composed of both Jews and Gentiles made one in Messiah. These members are under the solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of love. We believe that the ordinances of the local congregation are water immersion and the Lord's Supper. We believe that the purpose of the local congregation is to glorify God through worship, instruction, accountability, discipline, fellowship and outreach. Its eldership is open to men who fulfill the qualifications for elder as set forth in the New Covenant. The Scriptures encourage the active participation and regular assembly of believers in the local body. (Matthew 16:15-18 Luke 22:24-27; Acts 1:5, 2:14-36; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 2:11-18, 5:23-27; Colossians 1:18, 3:14,15)

~

THE CALL OF THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND

It is the call of the body of Messiah as a whole to Go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but it is the pronounced call of particular evangelists (Acts 8:5; 26-35) and the ambassadorial band as a whole to do the actual taking of the gospel to regions it had never touched before. As Paul said to the Romans,

I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man's foundation; but as it is written, THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE, AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND (Isaiah 52:15).

~ Romans 15:20-21 ~

And to the Corinthians: to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another (2 Corinthians 10:16).

20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ~

THE NECESSITY TO ACCOMMODATE

Within the limitations of holiness, Paul strove to accommodate to every culture and individual to establish common ground for communication.

19. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21. to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

~ 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 ~

In Colossians 4:6, he wrote, Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person; and in Acts 17:22-23, we see Paul walking out that exhortation as he used the Athenians' altar with the inscription, "To the unknown god" as a springboard for communicating the gospel to them.

THE ACTIVITIES AND PERSISTENCE OF THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND

Paul and his band preached the gospel, established churches, appointed elders and trained new believers to carry on and multiply the Word and the work of the Lord in all of its aspects (2 Timothy 2:2). They preached in hostile areas as readily as safer ones, not hesitating because of what may befall them (Acts 4:19-20, 23-29; 2 Corinthians 11:21-33). The Lord changed their plans in mid-stream (Acts 16:7-9) and they had strong disagreements among themselves (Acts 11:2; 15:36-40; Galatians 2:12-14); yet, the urgency of their mission superceded all resistance and human shortcoming, and they persevered, trusting that God would do His work through them; and He did. As Yeshua promised, so He performed: I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it (Matthew 16:18).

THE NECESSITY OF A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE MISSION

Paul’s band had a clear understanding of their mission: It was the mission of their leader, to be an apostle to the Gentiles. It is noteworthy that although God called Peter to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7), yet, wherever the apostle to the Gentiles went he always preached to the Jew first (Romans 1:16) because it was necessary (Acts 13:46) for the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham: in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). As God used the Jews to bring forth the Law of Moses and the Messiah; as He used them to establish and lay the foundation for the body of Messiah (Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10) and bless the world with the writings of the New Covenant; as He will yet use them to complete the evangelization of the world (Revelation 7:1-9); so God desires for individual Jews to receive the gospel first in every locale so that they may have the privilege of being the first to share with others. This is not to say that we are to ignore others until we have first shared with every Jew in a particular locale, but it is to say that it is biblical to focus on them first. It is consistent with God's promise to Abraham. A careful reading of the Book of Acts will affirm that Paul always preached to the Jew first. Even when he returned to a place in which he had previously ministered he again preached to the Jew first (Acts 18:19; 19:1-8). To the Jew first is a principle that has never been rescinded, and if the apostle to the Gentiles' practice and proclamation mean anything, it is still necessary for the gospel to be brought to the Jew first in every outreach in every locale where there are Jews.

THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND AND LOCAL CONGREGATIONS

The local congregation and the ambassadorial band each recognized the other as an authorized and specialized form of the Lord’s work. They recognized each other as equals in authority and responsibility, and served each other. When the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them, the leaders of the congregation at Antioch sent them out with fasting, prayer and the laying on of hands (Acts 13:1-3). When Paul’s journey was diverted by the Lord from Bithynia to Macedonia, he immediately. . . sought to go into Macedonia (Acts 16:7-10), not requiring the permission of either the Antioch or Jerusalem elders.

Members of local congregations joined Paul’s band (Acts 12:12; 16:1-3; 20:1-4), opened their homes to them (Acts 16:14-15), prayed for them (Colossians 4:13; Ephesians 6:19), assisted them financially (2 Corinthians 8:3,5, 11:9; Philippians 4:14-16), and took great risks for them (Romans 16:3-4). Conversely, the ambassadorial band established local congregations and remained with or returned to them for long periods of time, when necessary, to ensure that they were well-trained and established in the Word.

And [Paul] was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (Acts 15:41).

He settled [in Corinth] a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them (Acts 18:9-11).

To the Ephesian elders, he wrote, night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears (Acts 20:31).

To Titus, he wrote, For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5.)

Also, Acts 20:28-32; Romans 16:17-19; Philippians 3:15-16; 1 Corinthians 5; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22.

Paul also ministered to local congregations by means of letters, and he and his band assisted in meeting the practical needs of congregations, as well. When the saints in Jerusalem needed practical assistance, members of his band received donations from local congregations for that purpose (Acts 11:29-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3).

THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND AND MODERN TIMES

Times have changed, and modern ministries have arisen: Bible translation ministries, mercy ministries, modern evangelistic organizations and the like. In addition, we can now spread the Word through means of communication that would seem inconceivable to Paul and his company. These are well and good; yet, according to the Joshua Project of the U.S. Center for World Mission (joshuaproject.net, 2017), the world is still forty-two per cent unevangelized, and ambassadorial companies akin to Paul’s are still needed.

CONCLUSION

What Yeshua said two thousand years ago still applies: The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).

May God raise up strong, bold, wise and gifted men and women to perpetuate the ambassadorial band and send it to regions beyond. Let us be open to a call beyond the people and places that are closest and most familiar to us, even as Paul reached far beyond his own Jewish brethren.

1. The entire We Believe statement of the Association of Messianic Congregations may be found at http://www.messianicassociation.org/believe.htm.

~

The Ambassadorial Band
~ a messianic Bible study ~
© Norman Manzon, 2017.
All rights reserved.

Scriptures chosen by the author are in the New American Standard version unless otherwise noted. Scriptures in quotes by others may be in different translations. Names, titles and other terms within quoted scriptures and elsewhere may have been changed from the English to the Hebrew form for the sake of cultural sensitivity.

~

WE BELIEVE
~
EVIDENCE UPON EVIDENCE: THE BIBLE IS
THE WORD OF GOD, PART 1

By Norman Manzon

This is our forty-eighth study in a series that provides scriptural underpinnings for each of the points in our AMC doctrinal statement. Links to all studies composed thus far may be found in our Library.

In theological sequence, the placement of this study ought to be the very first in this entire sequence, which begins on Page 1.

Please note: This study originally appeared on the author's website, www.BibleStudyProject.org, and was written to a non-believing, as well as to a believing, audience. This edition contains exactly the same content, but certain names and terms have been changed for appropriateness for a messianic readership.

~

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ~


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
DEFINING TERMS
I. THE TESTIMONY OF THE BIBLE ITSELF
A. The Bible Claims it is the Word of God

1. The Bible Refers to Various of Its Sections as the Word of God
2. The Bible Claims that It Is, in Its Entirety, the Word of God
B. The Bible Claims to Contain Ver Batim Statements Made by God

C. The Bible Claims to Tell Us How God Conveyed His Word to Us
II. EVIDENCES
A. The Bible Stands Alone in its Uniqueness

1. The Bible Is Unique in the Way It Was Written
2. The Bible Is Unique in Its Subject Matter
a. The Bible Alone Declares How the Universe Came to Be
b. The Bible Alone Declares the Existence of Only One God
c. The Bible Alone Declares a Loving God
d. The Bible Alone Identifies Sin as a Condition of the Human Spirit
e. The Bible Alone Declares that Deliverance from Sin Is a Work of God
f. The Bible Alone Declares that One’s Favor with God Is Predicated on Faith in God, Not on Good or Penitential Deeds

Part 2 of Evidences will appear in our Winter 2017 Shofar with further evidences of divine inspiration from the Bible, and also from the physical and sociological sciences and other areas.

As always, we will lay a foundation by considering relevant sections of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations.

AMC STATEMENT: EXCERPTS (1)

The Scriptures

We believe that the Scriptures, both the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures) and the Brit Hadasha (New Covenant), are fully inspired and are God's complete and final revelation to man until the Messiah returns. The 66 books of the Bible are inerrant in the original autographs. They are true and authoritative in every category of knowledge to which they speak. (Proverbs 30:5,6; Isaiah 40:7,8; Jeremiah 31:31; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Pet.1:19-21)


INTRODUCTION

If there is no authoritative word from God, then, for all intents and purposes, we are but flotsam and jetsam cast about without known purpose or direction on a vast and turbulent sea. But if there is an authoritative word from God, then it stands to reason that, by listening to it, we will gain insight into the nature and reason for our existence and how we stand in relationship to God and all else.

In this study, I present evidence far beyond the threshold of proof that the Bible is the Word of God. Attorneys have studied the Bible to disprove it, and have come away believers! If you are not yet convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, I implore you to give these evidences serious consideration as the consequences for believing or disbelieving the Bible could not be more profound. Your eternal destiny and the quality of your earthly life are at stake. If you do know that the Bible is the Word of God, these evidences will strengthen your faith and increase your ability to launch a strong defense against attacks on your faith, and to logically present a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).

It is because the authorship of the Bible is such a critical and fundamental issue that I have piled evidence on top of evidence that it is the Word of God. I will present evidence from within the Bible itself and from the natural and sociological sciences.

Faith Pushed Aside?

The believer may wonder if I push faith aside by appealing to evidences, an intellectual consideration. That is not the case. God appealed to evidences to convince Job to trust Him (Job 38-40). Furthermore, to the intellectual, we must be as the intellectual. Paul said,

20. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; . . . 21. to those who are without law, as without law. . . that I might win those who are without law. 22. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.

~ 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 ~

and in Colossians 4:5-6, Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.

The study is extensive, but - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Happy dining!

DEFINING TERMS

If I am to prove that the Bible is the Word of God, I must first define what I mean by “the Bible,” “God” and “the Word of God.”

The Bible. I define “the Bible” as that compilation of sixty-six books that comprise the Protestant Bible, is included in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bibles, and includes all of the thirty-nine books held sacred by Jews.

God. I define “God” as the one true God of the Bible who eternally exists as three divine Persons in one Supreme Being. He is divine spirit, is everywhere present (omnipresent), knows all things past, present, and future (omniscient), and is all powerful (omnipotent). God has other attributes, but the ones I have noted include all of the attributes necessary for Him to have authored the Bible.

The Word of God. One of the biblical uses of “the Word of God” is in reference to the total content of the Bible itself. As such, “the Word of God” is the total message that God spoke to chosen men who, under His initiative, power and superintendence, wrote that message in the sixty-six books of the Bible infallibly (with unfailing accuracy) and inerrantly (without error).

I. THE TESTIMONY OF THE BIBLE ITSELF

Dr. Charles Ryrie said, "The Bible, . . . like any other witness, has the right to testify on its own behalf." (2) If the Bible declared that it was not the Word of God, then the matter would be settled out of hand. If it made no declaration at all, then its lack of testimony would lend no strength to any claim that it is the Word of God. But the Bible repeatedly and emphatically claims that it is the Word of God and contains in its narrative actual statements made by God. It even goes so far as to tell us how God conveyed the biblical narrative to us. These claims are repeated strongly and unwaveringly and need to be examined and reckoned with.

If you believe that the Bible has been authored by God, the scriptures that declare God’s authorship will serve as affirmation to you. If you do not yet believe that the Bible has been authored by God, you can be sure that I will not say to you, “Believe that the Bible is the Word of God because it says that it is, and the Word of God can be trusted.” To do so would be a begging of the question as the matter in question would be presented as a presupposition. If you are in the latter category, then accept these scriptures as the testimony of the defendant in your court of judgment. Then consider the evidence that will follow.

Before we examine extrabiblical evidence from various fields, please consider the Bible’s affirmation to believers and testimony to all:

A. The Bible Claims it is the Word of God

1. The Bible Refers to Various of Its Sections as the Word of God

Some examples are as follows:

a. Sections of the Old Testament

1) The Law of Moses
In Deuteronomy 1:6, Moses said, The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, "You have stayed long enough at this mountain [Sinai].”

The words spoken to Moses by God at Horeb, which were concluded by this declaration, constitute the Law of Moses, which comprises a major portion of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Yeshua referred to the Law of Moses as the commandment of God and the word of God (Matthew 15:3,6). He also quoted the Law of Moses three times when the devil tempted Him. In Matthew 4:4, He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3; in 4:7, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16; and in 4:10, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:13.

2) The Entire Old Testament
Yeshua held the entire Old Testament to be the Word of God. He spoke of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Berechiah [not the prophet Zechariah] (Matthew 23:35). Abel was killed in Genesis (4:8), the first book of the Old Testament, and Zechariah was killed in 2 Chronicles (24:20-22), the last book of the Old Testament according to the Jewish arrangement. Thus, by this declaration, Yeshua declared the entire Tanach (Old Testament) to be the Word of God.

b. Sections of the New Testament

1) All of Paul’s Letters
In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peter referred to all of Paul’s letters as Scripture:

15. just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16. as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

~ 2 Peter 3:15-16 ~

Paul wrote thirteen of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. The apostle Peter called them Scripture.

2) The Book of Revelation
John declared the Book of Revelation to be the Word of God: The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John (Revelation 1:1).

2. The Bible Claims that It Is, in Its Entirety, the Word of God
In light of all the Old Testament scriptures quoted in the Book of Hebrews, and all the New Testament teachings alluded to in it (Hebrews 4:2, for example), it is clear that the phrase, the word of God in Hebrews 4:12 (For the word of God is living and active) refers to the entire Bible. Paul wrote to Timothy, All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Peter referred to the Bible as the Word of the Lord :

23. You have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24. For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, 25. but the word of the Lord abides forever (Isaiah 40:6, 8)."

~ 1 Peter 1:23-25 ~

John recognized the entire Bible as the Word of God:

18. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19. and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away from his part in the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

~ Revelation 22:18-19 ~

"This book" refers to the Book of Revelation, if not the entire Bible, and its dire warnings can only be predicated upon John’s belief that the Book of Revelation is the Word of God (He declared that it is prophecy); but inasmuch as the Book of Revelation alludes to hundreds of Old Testament prophecies and to the core teachings and prophecies of the New Testament, it is clear that John recognized the entire Bible to be the Word of God.

B. The Bible Claims to Contain Ver Batim Statements Made by God

It stands to reason that, if the Bible is the Word of God, it would likely contain actual statements made by God. If all such statements were compiled, they would fill a large volume; but here are some examples:

1. From the Old Testament
In Genesis 1, the words God said appear eleven times and are followed by the words that the writer claims God said (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14-15, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29-30). Exodus 9:1 declares, Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and speak to him, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me.'" In Joshua 1:1, The LORD spoke to Joshua . . . saying. . . . In 1 Chronicles 17:3, The word of God came to Nathan, saying . . . .

Exodus 24 refers to the Law of Moses as All the words which the LORD has spoken (vv. 3, 7) and all the words of the LORD (v. 4). In fact, God is said not only to have spoken the Ten Commandments (which appear in Exodus 20:2-17), but to have written them (Exodus 24:1, 32:16).

In numerous instances, the prophets professed to record actual declarations made by God. Some examples: Thus says the LORD . . . (Isaiah 56:1); Thus says the LORD of hosts. . . . introduces a statement purported to be made by God forty-nine times in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:6, 9, et al); Then the word of the LORD came to me saying. . . (Ezekiel 12:1). Bible teacher Winkey Pratney writes, “‘The LORD spoke’ appears 560 times in the first five books of the Bible and at least 3800 times in the whole of the Old Testament!" (3)

2. From the New Testament
The New Testament contains numerous statements purported to have been made by God. For example, the four Gospels are filled with the words of Yeshua, which He Himself recognized as divine: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away (Matthew 24:35). In Acts 9:11 we read, the Lord said to him . . . . In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul testifies, And He has said to me . . . . In Revelation 1:8, John writes, as the oracle of God, “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

C. The Bible Claims to Tell Us How God Conveyed His Word to Us

We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God. The Greek phrase translated inspired by God is Theopneustos, which means “God-breathed” and emphasizes the exhalation of God. Inspiration, then, is really outspiration, the “outbreathing” of God. God “outbreathed” the Bible through human writers.

2 Peter 1:20-21 makes the concept and process of inspiration even clearer: No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

"Prophecy" refers to revelation received directly from God - directly, not by means of an intermediate person, such as a teacher, or by means of an intermediate means of communication, such as a scroll or book. Such revelation was spoken by God to prophets, people specially chosen by God to hear revelation from Him infallibly and inerrantly. God inspired some of His prophets to write down their revelations as Scripture. He also inspired some of His compilers of records and researchers to write down the results of their labors as Scripture (See Luke 1:1-4, for example). What Peter says about the prophecy of Scripture - that men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God - applies, as well, to the compiled records and research results of Scripture because God inspired the writing of them also.

But what does men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God mean? The Greek word for moved is the same word used in Acts 27:15 and 17 to refer to a ship being driven along the water by powerful winds. A prophet was one whom God moved upon in such a way that His Word was both heard and delivered by that prophet infallibly and inerrantly. We can therefore conclude that all who wrote the Scriptures - whether prophets, compilers or researchers - were driven along by the Holy Spirit of God as they wrote their revelations, compilations or research results. God “outbreathed” the powerful Word-bearing wind of His Spirit into the sails of His chosen vessels to drive them along in the writing of His Word.

So we see that the Bible not only declares that it is the Word of God, but explains how God delivered it to us.

Five more points need to be made about inspiration that serve the purpose of this study:
1. Inspiration applies only to the writing of Scripture, not the inerrant hearing of a word from God. The biblical term for inerrant hearing from God is revelation, though not all uses of revelation in the Scriptures have this meaning. Not all inspiration was preceded by revelation (Luke 1:1-4), but most inspiration was. An example of inspiration that was preceded by revelation is: Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel” (Exodus 34:27). So under the inspiration of God, Moses wrote the entire Law that God revealed to him - a major part of the Old Testament.

Whether the human author compiled materials through strictly human means or whether he received revelation from God, God inspired him to write down what he compiled or received for the sake of producing an infallible and inerrant record.

2. Inspiration includes superintendence. God did not simply drive His writers to write: He superintended their writing so that they wrote exactly what He wanted them to write. He gave them free rein to write in their own styles and vocabularies, but His superintendence assured that they wrote exactly what He wanted them to write and not one concept or word more or less.

3. On certain occasions, biblical inspiration was accompanied by excited emotional or mental states; but inspiration is not, in itself, an emotional or mental state. It is solely the outbreathing of God upon His chosen writers to write exactly what He wanted them to write.

When we use the word inspiration colloquially, that is, in everyday speech - and I will be using it colloquially later in this study - we do refer to an elevated, excited, and even euphoric emotional state that often precedes or accompanies an insight into the natural world, an invention, the creation of a work of art, etc.; but it is important to remember that the Bible's use of the word is solely in reference to the writing of the sixty-six books of the Bible, that it carries in its meaning the sense of being superintended by God, and that the canon of Scripture is closed (Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 22:18-19). People may sense the presence of God as they paint, write music or preach the gospel, but their works or words must never be reckoned to be on a par with Scripture as an authoritative, supervised, infallible, inerrant word or work from God.

4. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, ALL Scripture is inspired by God. Inasmuch as God outbreathed all of the Scriptures, all of the Scriptures are inspired to the fullest degree. Therefore, all Scriptures are equally inspired: the despondent words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes as much as the words of Yeshua in the Gospels. This does not mean that God wants us to be despondent, but that He moved and superintended Solomon to record his despondency infallibly and inerrantly.

5. Inasmuch as inspiration refers to the Lord’s direct work in and through the writers of the Scriptures, it is only the original writings that were inspired. Inspiration did not extend to copies of the original writings, nor does it extend to any translation or any other work. (Nevertheless, the Scriptures that we have today are accurate, as will be explained below.)

To sum up, the Bible’s testimony to its own divine origin is consistent, strong, unwavering and certain.

II. EVIDENCES

Some of the evidences that follow cannot stand on their own as proof of divine authorship, but add to the weight of evidence presented. Others, however, lend much weight to the claim that the Bible is the Word of God, while yet others are sufficient in themselves to stand as powerful proof that the Bible is the Word of God. We will now examine a representative number of them.

A. The Bible Stands Alone in its Uniqueness

1. The Bible Is Unique in the Way It Was Written

No other book was ever written as the Bible was written. It was written over a period of 1600 years in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) by about forty different men employed in at least eleven different occupations (kings, priests, prophets, soldiers, statesmen, shepherds, fishermen, a tax collector, a tent maker, a doctor, a farmer) and in at least six different countries (Israel, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Arabia) spanning three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe). There are many compilations of books in the world, but the Bible is no mere compilation. It is a fully integrated unit of sixty-six books combining to form one Book. Consider the likelihood of the production of such a book over a period of 1600 years. One might think that only God could superintend such a project.

2. The Bible Is Unique in Its Subject Matter

The Bible is unique in much of its subject matter, particularly in its declarations concerning the fundamental issues of existence and life, such as:

a. The Bible Alone Declares How the Universe Came to Be
According to Dr. Henry Morris, “There are only three creationist ‘religions’ in the world - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - and all three base their belief in creation on the record of Genesis [1:1-2:25]. Without exception,” writes Dr. Morris, “all the other religions and philosophies of the world have based their beliefs concerning origins on some form of evolutionism. That is, they all begin with the universe (space, time, matter) already in existence . . . . Only Genesis even attempts to tell us how the universe itself came to be." (4)

b. The Bible Alone Declares the Existence of Only One God
During the entire span of time in which the Bible was written, and throughout the lands in which it was written, the nations surrounding Israel worshiped pantheons of gods. Yet, the Bible declares the existence of but one God.
1) In the Old Testament:
Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one (Deuteronomy 6:4).
2) In the New Testament:
We know . . . that there is no God but one (1 Corinthians 8:4).

c. The Bible Alone Declares a Loving God
Paul declared that the so-called gods of the Gentile pantheons were actually demons: The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God (1 Corinthians 10:20).

In contrast to the pagan gods, some of whom required child sacrifice of their worshipers, the Bible does not portray God as a monster given over to lusts and jealousies and treacheries, but as One who sacrificed His own Son, not only for His worshipers, but for the whole world.
1) In the Old Testament:

4. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. 5. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him.

~ Isaiah 53:4-6 ~

2) In the New Testament:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

d. The Bible Alone Identifies Sin as a Condition of the Human Spirit
Some religions identify evil in the deeds of men, but only the Bible identifies evil as an inherent (though not original) condition of the human spirit. Paul wrote, 9. Are we [Jews] better than they [the Gentiles]? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10. as it is written, "there is none righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:9-10)

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (Matthew 15:19)

e. The Bible Alone Declares that Deliverance from Sin Is a Work of God
Whereas some other religions and holy books prescribe certain disciplines for the overcoming of evil, only the Bible declares that deliverance from the power of sin is a work of God.
1) In the Old Testament
And [a seraph sent from the Lord] touched my mouth with [a burning coal] and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.” (Isaiah 6:7)
2) In the New Testament
He [the Father] saved us . . . by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. (Titus 3:5-6) (Notice how all three Persons of the Godhead are active in the work of salvation.)

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

f. The Bible Alone Declares that One’s Favor with God Is Predicated on Faith in God, Not on Good or Penitential Deeds

I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written [in Habakkuk 2:4], "But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

~ Romans 1:16-17 ~

8. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9. not as a result of works, that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

In the midst of a pagan world with its wicked gods who required human sacrifice, what or who caused a book to be written that offers a reconciled, loving relationship with the one God on the basis of the sacrifice of His own Son? It is reasonable to believe that if there were such a loving, sacrificial God, He would let us know by means of a permanent written record how we might avail ourselves of the means that He provided for our salvation.

~

Part 2 of Evidences will appear in our next Shofar with further evidences of divine inspiration from within Scripture itself,
and also from the physical and sociological sciences and other areas.


FOOTNOTES

1. The entire We Believe statement of the Association of Messianic Congregations may be found at http://www.messianicassociation.org/believe.htm.
2. Ryrie, Dr. Charles C., Basic Theology, Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1986, p. 67.
3. Pratney, Winkey, "The Holy Bible - Wholly True," Pretty Good Printing, Last Days Ministries, Lindale, TX., 1985.
4. Morris, Dr. Henry M., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishing, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 1498.

Evidence Upon Evidence:
The Bible Is the Word of God
~ a messianic Bible study ~
© Norman Manzon 1999.
All rights reserved.

Scriptures chosen by the author are in the New American Standard version unless otherwise noted. Scriptures in quotes by others may be in different translations. Names, titles and other terms within quoted scriptures and elsewhere may have been changed from the English to the Hebrew form for the sake of cultural sensitivity.

Evidence Upon Evidence originally appeared on the author's website, www.BibleStudyProject.org.


All Pages of A Key Doctrinal Exegesis
 

Major Topics in Systematic Progression

Page 1

* THE SCRIPTURES
* GOD THE TRIUNITY
* ANGELS
* SATAN AND DEMONS
* THE DOCTRINE OF MAN
*
SALVATION

Page 2

* ISRAEL
*
THE TRUE ROOTS OF ANTI-SEMITISM
* THE BELIEVER AND THE LAW OF MOSES

Page 3

* THE CHURCH OR BODY OF MESSIAH
* THE MINISTRIES AND GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
* DIVINE HEALING: ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE

Page 4 and Page 5

* THE FUTURE, THE AFTERWORLD AND ETERNITY

Page 6

ADDENDUM STUDIES

* THE AMBASSADORIAL BAND
* EVIDENCE UPON EVIDENCE: THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD, Part 1

 

The We Believe Compendium
© Norman Manzon, 2005 - 2017.
All rights reserved.

Norman Manzon is a Bible teacher in Hawaii
and may be reached at
BibleStudyProject @ hawaiiantel. net.

When email, remove the spaces.