Item printed from The Restored Church of God (rcg.org)
After covering the vital subject of who and what God is, the next vital step is proving the authority of the Bible. These subjects go hand-in-hand—whatever evidence proves the validity of the Bible also proves the existence of an all-wise Creator God! In this lesson, we will prove the Bible from the aspects of fulfilled prophecy, history and archaeology.
Our booklet Does God Exist? presents some of the major proofs of God’s existence. This lesson will reinforce that booklet. With the understanding that fulfilled prophecy, history and archaeology are proofs of God and the Bible—His Word—we push forward into these fascinating subjects.
I Thessalonians 5:21 states, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Proving issues through hard physical evidence does not nullify the faith that later comes through the Holy Spirit—the faith of Christ. That is why the Bible endorses proving all things—not passive acceptance, which does not generate deep conviction. God can only work with people who are capable of being deeply convicted. This state of mind is receptive to acquiring the fear of God and is capable of serving Him wholeheartedly. Those whom God calls like to see things proven, and become excited at how the various proofs fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, forming a much bigger picture.
The most important pursuit in your life should be proving God’s existence and the validity of the Bible. We will examine some key prophecies and find out whether they were fulfilled. We will then prove from sources outside the Bible that patriarchs such as Abraham really existed—as well as Joseph, King David and other key Bible figures. Then we will examine the geological record for proof of the great Flood of Noah’s time.
(1) Does God challenge the skeptics concerning His ability to exercise His will over the entire creation? Isaiah 45:21-23.
(2) Does God claim the power to declare what will happen in the future and then bring it to pass? Isaiah 46:9-10.
Comment: Now notice God’s statement at the end of verse 11: “Yes, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have proposed it, I will also do it.”
(3) Does God challenge the skeptics to declare the future and bring it to pass, as He is able to do? Isaiah 41:21-22.
Comment: Here, God openly taunts skeptics, just as He knew they would taunt His Word.
(1) What did God declare to be the fate of the ancient city of Babylon? Isaiah 13:19-22.
Comment: Babylon became a waste and desolation—never to be inhabited. It is interesting that after 2,520 years, a modern Babylon is forming, as described in Revelation chapters 13, 17 and 18, and many other prophecies.
Concurrent with this restoration has been the restoration of ancient Babylon as a religious shrine, as well as a museum attraction. Yet for 2,520 years, it did remain desolate. The current site of Babylon, though now greatly restored, remains uninhabited. The subject of this 2,520-year period (“seven prophetic times”) will be addressed in a future lesson.
(2) Was ancient Egypt—so exalted for many centuries—prophesied to become the basest of kingdoms, a diminished people never again to rule nations? Ezekiel 29:14-16.
Comment: This prophecy has been in effect since Ezekiel recorded it. Egypt has been brought low and ruled by non-Egyptians from the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, about the year 600 B.C. Afterward, they were ruled by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, French and British.
This prophecy still stands. Today, the Egyptians are ruled by Arabs (Ishmael and Esau). The current population of Egypt is overwhelmingly Arab. The actual Egyptian people have truly diminished, just as this prophecy indicates!
Comment: Today, at the site of ancient Tyre, there is no village, city or other enterprise. Just as Ezekiel prophesied, the site is a complete desolation. God decreed that ancient Tyre (also called Phoenicia) would remain a desolation, never to be rebuilt or inhabited. This stands as another testimony that whatever God declares, He is able to bring to pass.
(4) What was to happen to Sidon (Zidon), the sister city of Tyre? Ezekiel 28:20-23.
Comment: Here, God foretold constant trouble, and bloodshed from warfare, which has been the fate of this city for centuries. God did not say this city would become desolate, but rather that it would suffer exactly such trouble as it has!
Comment: Just as prophesied, Ashkelon became desolate, and has remained so for many centuries. By now, we have seen a pattern—the Bible’s prophecies stand proven! Skeptics would love to find just one exception, but there are none!
(6) What did Jesus say would be Jerusalem’s fate? Luke 21:24.
Comment: Although the Jews now control Jerusalem, the old city and surrounding territory are occupied mostly by Arabs erroneously calling themselves Palestinians. Since the Jews’ defeat in A.D. 70 and A.D. 135, Jerusalem has been primarily populated and ruled by Gentiles.
Comment: This condition of the Jews being a reproach, a proverb and a taunt, has existed since Jeremiah recorded this prophecy. But the willingness of the Jewish authorities answering Pilate that Christ’s blood be on them has amounted to much more serious consequences. The suffering of the Jews in A.D. 70 was tremendous. Many tragedies—including the Holocaust of the 1940s—have since befallen them.
(8) Were the Jews to re-establish themselves in their homeland of Judah as an independent nation in the latter days (for the first time in 2,520 years)? Zephaniah 2:7.
Comment: This prophecy was never fulfilled in ancient times. Judah never laid claim to the ancient city of Ashkelon. Only recently has the small country of Israel (given back this land by the British in 1917 and declared a nation in 1948) laid claim to coastland in the region of Ashkelon. This “remnant of the house of Judah” was prophesied to be given this land over 2,520 years before they received it.
Also in regard to the modern remnant of Judah, Zechariah 12:2-9 prophesies the power and might that this small nation would have to wield in order to survive amidst the vengeful hate of her neighbors. This prophecy is fulfilled partially, as pertaining to the current remnant of Judah, but the main fulfillment will be during the kingdom of God.
The small nation of Israel currently possesses what some experts regard as one of the three most powerful military forces in the world, along with the United States and Britain. However, prophecy also shows that they will be eclipsed militarily by the coming beast power.
The above examples constitute only a sampling of the many hundreds of Bible prophecies. They were selected because they could be covered in a condensed way, with minimum explanation. The fact that the Bible is one-third prophecy shows how prominent this issue becomes. Many prophecies deal with the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They give great detail about the birthright promises to ancient Israel—Ephraim and Manasseh.
Many prophecies deal with Israel and Judah’s captivity, and the four great world-ruling empires (Daniel 2; 7; 8). The majority of Bible prophecies deal with events just before and during the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth and beyond.
To true Christians, prophecy—God’s declaration of future events (Isaiah 46:9-10)—is fascinating and compelling. Those who reject the truth discount and despise prophecy, calling it mere speculation and fanaticism.
Comment: If all the different peoples on earth came from Noah, then we would expect to find many accounts of this flood in ancient legends handed down over the millennia, with the common thread of a worldwide flood and an ark in which only one family survived. This is precisely what we find.
Consider this quote from Halley’s Bible Handbook, concerning the universality of the Flood tradition: “Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, Greeks, Chinese, Phrygians, Fiji Islanders, Esquimaux, Aboriginal Americans, Indians, Brazilians, Peruvians, and indeed every branch of the whole human race, Semitic, Aryan, Turanian—have traditions of a Great Deluge that destroyed all mankind, except one family, and which impressed itself indelibly on the memory of the ancestors of all these races before they separated. ‘All these myths are intelligible only on the supposition that some such event did actually occur. Such a universal belief…must be based on an Historical Fact’” (pp. 75-76).
Archaeological evidence is equally overwhelming: “George Smith, of the British Museum, found…in tablets from the library of Assur-banipal at Nineveh, accounts of the Flood curiously parallel to the Bible account, which had been copied from tablets dating back to the first dynasty of Ur, a period about midway between the Flood and Abraham…In these tablets the expressions repeatedly appear: ‘The Flood,’ ‘the age before the Flood,’ ‘inscriptions of the time before the Flood’” (Ibid., p.76).
Comment: In the center of Babylon, George Smith (cited above) found an ancient tablet reading: “The building of this illustrious tower offended the gods. In a night they threw down what they had built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange their speech” (Ibid., p. 84). To this day, the remains of a number of ancient ziggurat structures exist, the largest attributed as possible sites of the tower of Babel.
Another ancient tablet quotes Marduk (Nimrod) declaring, “Let us build a shrine…Construct Babylon, whose building you have requested. Let its brickwork be fashioned. You shall name it ‘The Sanctuary’…Having built a stage-tower as high as Apsu [the gods]” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, James Pritchard, 1969, pp. 68-69).
Comment: Unger’s Archaeology and the Old Testament shows that ancient cities and towns in Mesopotamia were named after Abraham’s forefathers: Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah. Genesis 24:10 directly refers to one of these cities named after Nahor.
(4) Is there any way to verify the Bible’s claim that Joseph ruled Egypt, directly under Pharaoh? Genesis 41:39-41.
Comment: The following is attributed to Djoser (Joseph) during Egypt’s seven-year famine: “I was in distress on the Great Throne, and those who are in the palace were in heart’s affliction…since the Nile had not come in my time for a space of seven years. Grain was scant, fruits were dried up, and everything which they eat was short. Every man robbed his companion…The infant was wailing; the youth was waiting; the heart of the old men was in sorrow…The courtiers were in need. The temples were shut up…Every[thing] was found empty” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 31).
There are numerous other archaeological references to Joseph and the Hebrews in Egypt. In fact, no reliable archaeological evidence exists that contradicts the biblical record.
Comment: As an extension of the description of the four major world empires in Daniel 7, chapter 8 is a more detailed account of the Medo-Persian and Grecian empires, leading up to the break-up of the Grecian empire into four divisions.
Pertaining to the time that Alexander the Great traveled through Jerusalem before confronting the Persians in a decisive battle, Josephus records, “…and when he [Alexander] went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians [Daniel 8:5-8], he supposed that himself [Alexander] was the person intended…” (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. XI, ch. viii, sec. 5).
Just as Nebuchadnezzar finally acknowledged the supremacy of God (Daniel 4:34-37), Alexander also respectfully honored God according to his understanding. Thus, here again, military leaders of empires more readily acknowledge the supremacy of God and His written Word than do scholars, skeptics and theologians who claim to be experts on the Book they discredit and doubt.
In the fields of history and archaeology, there are hundreds of other verifications of the Bible record. (What we have covered is only a brief sampling to stimulate the reader’s interest.)
When God renewed the face of the earth, He adjusted the orbit of the earth with respect to the sun, and the moon with respect to the earth. He then put the flora and fauna on the earth after first modifying the land masses and oceans, as well as the atmosphere. This renewal of the earth took place about 6,000 years ago. But many millions of years before this re-creation, a great destruction occurred, resulting from Satan’s rebellion and God casting him back down to the earth with one-third of the angels (now demons) under his command.
This great destruction has correctly been termed the “Pre-Adamic Destruction.” While many Bible scholars have attributed this awesome devastation to the Noachian Flood, the geological record reveals that it occurred many millions of years ago. The destruction that preserved ancient dinosaur remains was a powerful and sudden catastrophe of colossal proportions.
Fossilized fishes and other sea life are found in the highest state of preservation—further evidence of the sudden pre-Adamic destruction. The rigid fins and open mouths of these fossil fishes show their stark terror. Unprecedented shock waves must have killed all animal life. Sharks over five feet long were pressed to a thickness of only one-fourth of an inch. Evidently, they were trying to swim in water suddenly saturated with sediment. The action of this sediment-laden water actually produced most of the earth’s strata as we know it today. These sediment layers then hardened into rock. The strata containing plant and animal life on the surface became compressed and stratified, as well. The coal deposits in the earth resulted from this great catastrophe.
The Pre-Adamic strata were deposited in quick succession. Vast numbers of fossilized trees and plants are often found in upright positions, extending across successive layers of strata. So sudden was the destruction that delicate plants and rushes have been found in perfect condition, preserved in sandstone. These strata of the pre-Adamic destruction are much harder and thicker than strata caused by the Flood. The animals preserved in that destruction were huge reptiles. Animal and plant life was unlike that of the earth today, in size and scope. The fossil remains of dinosaurs weighing up to 40 tons stand as stark testimony of this alien world.
The Flood also left evidence such as vast erosion of the Grand Canyon and other similar traces. But the evidence in the strata was not as prominent as the pre-Adamic destruction.
Isaiah 14:12, 15, Ezekiel 28:16-17 and Revelation 12:7-9 record the casting down of Satan as a result of this titanic battle. The point here is that the physical evidence of the pre-Adamic destruction is lost upon religionists who suppose that life has only existed for 6,000 years. Evolutionists also grossly misinterpret the evidence in the earth’s strata. But the key to this truth is found in Scripture.
After the earth’s renewal, mammals appeared for the first time. The geological record is perfectly compatible with the biblical record. Certainly, the fossils of plants and animals are billions of years old, but, as we see, this does not contradict the Bible. The creation of Genesis 1 was indeed a re-creation. Psalm 104:30 states, “You send forth Your spirit, they are created: and You RENEW the face of the earth.”
All of the evidence, whether geological strata, history and archaeology, or fulfilled prophecy, fits together in perfect harmony in light of the truth of the Bible. Our booklet Bible Authority...Can It Be Proven? looks at some of this in greater detail and should be carefully read in conjunction with this lesson to fully appreciate the proof of the bible. Also consider reading What Is the “Seventy Weeks” Prophecy?