Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!’ Psalm 119:105.
“The word of the Lord endureth forever”
(1 Peter 1:25)
In this lesson and in the next, we plan to do something a little different from what we normally do. We would like to share with you some questions usually asked by some people. To answer each question,
we will use only the Holy Scriptures,
since the Word of God is the only sure light that can guide us in the darkness. As it is written in the Psalms: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!” (Psa. 119:105).
1) The first question is:
Long ago, God put it in our hearts to seek the truth—His Truth. We wanted to know for ourselves the Word of the one true God. In our research in the Bible, that is, the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the Books of the Prophets, and the Gospel, we recognized that Jesus Christ is
the Holy Savior
of whom all the prophets wrote. Jesus is the perfect and final sacrifice which God gave to erase the debt of sin of the children of Adam so that whoever believes in Him might live in the presence of God forever. Jesus Christ, who came from God, is the only One who can bring us to God. We have staked all our hope on Him.
Who are we then?
We are disciples of Jesus Christ. Many people call us Christians, meaning Christ’s people. In telling you that we are Christians, we remind you that many people call themselves Christians, but that does not mean that they are truly Christ’s people. Just as a log does not become a crocodile by soaking in water, so a person does not become a Christian by merely doing the things that Christians do. Following a religion cannot give you a relationship with God.
How blessed we are to have Christ as our Savior and Lord and Friend! He has given us a wonderful relationship with God and confidence in the face of death. Every day He shows us His faithfulness and His love. In the Lord Jesus Christ, God has given us everything that relates to eternal life!
We have in Him everything our hearts need!
2) The second question is important and deserves a clear answer. Somebody once asked, Something really troubles me. I have read in the Qur’an where the prophet Muhammad commands all Muslims to believe certain books contained in the Bible such as the books of Moses and the Gospel. I respect the Bible and have started to read it. However, my friends tell me that we cannot trust the Bible, because it has been corrupted and altered. They claim that the Bible I am reading is different from the original Bible.
What do you say about this?
Before we answer this question, we have a few questions for those who claim that the ancient books of the prophets have been
“corrupted and altered.”
Where did they get the idea that the Bible has been falsified? What is their basis for such a serious accusation? Tell us, when was the Bible altered? Who altered it? Where was it altered? What changes have been made? How do they know this? Can they give a single proof that the Holy Scriptures have been corrupted? If you honestly search out the facts about the Bible, you will discover that
which He inspired His prophets to write. Those who claim that the Bible has been falsified are simply believing floating rumours. There is no evidence to support the idea that the Bible has been altered. There is much evidence however to prove that
the Bible has not been altered.
Today, in the great museums and universities of the world, scholars have preserved approximately 24,000 ancient books (scrolls/ manuscripts) of the Gospel Writings, that is, the New Testament. These books existed hundreds of years before the time of Muhammad, as did the books of the Old Testament such as the Pentateuch and the Psalms. If you compare those ancient books with the ones we have in our hands today, you will discover that
God has preserved His Word for us.
The Bible we read today is in wonderful harmony with the Bible that existed in Muhammad’s day.
The prophets wrote God’s words in scrolls made from animal skin or plant fiber. Jewish scribes copied God’s Word on new scrolls. The trained scribes were extremely careful to ensure that
the copies were the same as the original text.
The number of letters in a book was counted and its middle letter was given to ensure that the copy was the same as the original. If there was an error,
the entire scroll would be destroyed!
These Jewish scribes believed that to tamper with God’s Word was to tamper with God Himself! Perhaps you have heard of the famous
Did you know that these Old Testament scrolls were copied one hundred years before Jesus was born? Yet these ancient scrolls are consistent with scrolls copied one thousand years later!
The Bible has not been altered!
No one can really alter the Bible. If someone wanted to change the Bible, he would have to change all the copies of the Bible, which would be impossible! In the period following the time of Christ, scholars began to translate the Bible from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into many different languages. No one could change all the Bibles throughout the world! Today, the Bible (in part or in whole) is written in
more than two thousand different languages.
God has preserved His Holy Word and His servants are translating it into the languages of the peoples of the world, because
God wants everyone to hear it
with their own ears, understand it in their own minds, receive it into their own hearts, and be saved.
Can the Lord God Almighty protect His Word from Satan and those who want to alter and corrupt it? Yes, He can preserve it and He has preserved it!
Of course we are aware that from the beginning of the world till today Satan has attempted to alter the Word of God—in the minds of people. For example, in the first book of the Bible, we heard God say to Adam, “The day you eat of this tree thou shalt die!” But Satan denied what God had said, telling Adam and Eve,
“Thou shalt not die!”
Thus, Satan attempted to alter the Word of God. As you know, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan and ate the forbidden fruit. As a result, their souls died and their bodies began to wither and die, just as God had said. Dear friends,
God’s Word is sure.
The devil is a liar and a deceiver. Satan wants to deceive people and make them believe that the Bible has been altered. But the Lord Jesus Christ says, “The Scripture cannot be broken!” (John 10:35) “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away!” (Matthew 24:35)
3) The third question is this: Why do you call Jesus the Son of God? God does not beget, and God was not begotten, therefore
how can Jesus be His Son?
We have answered this important question many times already, yet we will gladly answer it again. Ignorance in such an important matter can be deadly! As the proverb says: “Before you know it, ignorance will kill you!” The question asks,
First, we must remind our students that we did not give Jesus the title “the Son of God!” God is the One who calls Jesus His Son! Second, we must remember that the name “Son of God” does not mean that God took a wife and had a son! As we have seen, Jesus has hundreds of names and titles in the Bible.
These names help us to understand better who He is.
For example, He is called “the door,” but that does not mean that Jesus is a door of wood or of sheet metal. He is also called “Bread of Life” but that does not mean that Jesus is food, like rice with meat which we eat. God’s prophets called the Messiah “the Lamb of God,” but that does not mean He is a sheep. Similarly, when God calls Jesus His Son, you should know that this does not mean that God took a wife and had a child by her!
That is blasphemy!
If I leave the country, they call me “a son of Botswana” because I come from Botswana. But that does not mean that Botswana took a wife and had a child! Similarly, God and the angels and the prophets called the Messiah “the Son of God” because
He came forth from God.
Jesus was born of a virgin. He had no earthly father. Even before He was born, He was living in heaven, because He is the Word which was with God
in the beginning.
That is what the Scripture declares: “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:1,14,18) Jesus is the Eternal Son of God, the Word of God that appeared on earth in a human body.
Perhaps you will answer that the Word of God is the Holy Scriptures which God inspired the prophets to write.
You are correct.
The Writings of God’s prophets are God’s Word to us–like letters sent to us by God. But allow us to ask you about your good friend who lives in another town. Which would you prefer: that your friend merely writes you some letters, or would you rather he come and visit you in person? Of course you would prefer that he come in person, so that you can talk with him face to face. Similarly, since
God is great and nothing is impossible for Him,
and since He wants to make known to people what He is like and what His will is for us, do you think He would merely send us some letters or would He come in person to visit us? Friends, the good news which the prophets announced is that
God Himself would come to visit sinful humanity!
In the Gospel, we discover that God has sent down His Son as a Man to live among people so that He might save them from their sins.
That Man from heaven is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is worthy to be called the Son of God, because He is the Word which was with God in the beginning. Jesus is God’s Eternal Son, God’s perfect representative – the One who has revealed God’s character to man. We often say of a young man, “He is just like his father!” So it is with Jesus.
To know Jesus, is know what God is like. Thus the Scripture says: “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things,
by whom also he made the worlds;
who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3).
One final word.
God does not say that you must fully understand why He calls Jesus His Son—only that
Remember, God is the One who inspired the prophet David to write in the Psalms: “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice in trembling. Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry,
and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they who put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:11,12) God is also the One who inspired the apostle John to write in the Gospel: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written,
that ye might believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30,31) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth in him” (John 3:36)
In the will of God, in the coming lesson, we will continue with more questions and answers.
God bless you as you consider this quotation from the Bible:
“For all flesh is like grass, and all the glory of man like the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and its flower falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever” (1 Pet. 1:24,25)
We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have