The Bible is a book that was written over a period of about 1,400 years by about forty people from different walks of life, from king to fisherman.
It was people who put pen to paper, but the Bible claims to have been inspired by God:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God... (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Bible is God's autobiography. At the same time it is a history book that tells the story of this world from start to finish.
The main hero of the story is a Man by the name of Jesus who lived on this earth about two thousand years ago. This Man's life story was told in advance in the section of the Bible that has come to be called the Old Testament. This might be referred to as the blueprint of his life.
Jesus Himself said of the Old Testament,
"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me." (John 5:39)
Two thousand years ago, this Man was born into our world and lived on this earth for 33 years, acting out the life that had been written for Him hundreds of years earlier. At the age of 33 he was tortured to death by the hands of the Romans, and the Bible tells us that soon after this He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Ten days later, his followers began to proclaim His death and resurrection and they still do so to this day.
Many remarkable facts are written in the Bible about this Man, but perhaps the most remarkable is that the Bible tells us that He was the Son of God.
Many people have their own preconceived ideas about the Bible, and before they even open its pages, they have already made up their minds as to what it is and what it means. As a result, people often misunderstand or are simply unaware of what the Bible actually says.
Anyone who approaches the Bible with a genuine desire to learn, needs first of all to examine what it says with an open mind to see whether or not what it says is true.
The Bible talks about very weighty subjects: the existence of God, heaven, hell; the meaning of life; what happens after we die; etc.
If the Bible isn't true, we can conclude that God, heaven, and hell do not exist, and we can live our lives as we wish without concerning ourselves about what will happen after we die. If, on the other hand, all of this actually is true, it isn't something to be taken lightly; it's an extremely important matter.
David was an ordinary man, but he was not an average man. He was anointed by God to be a prophet and a king, and the psalms he composed were the words of God.
The word of God was written when the Holy Spirit entered a person and worked through that person.
If you look at the writings of the apostle Paul, for example, you will find that sometimes he said these were his own words:
Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. (1 Corinthians 7:25)
Paul said here that he had "no commandment from the Lord." That is to say, he had not received a direct order from God. He then said, "I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy." In other words, Paul was speaking as one who was led by the Holy Spirit, and therefore these words are also the words of the Holy Spirit
There were also times when Paul indicated that his words were a revelation from God.
Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart
from her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:10)
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you. (1 Corinthians 11:23)
If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37)
Either way, Paul was writing through the Holy Spirit.
In David's case, too, you should not think that he received revelations from God moment by moment as he was writing these psalms. The Holy Spirit was present within David's character, and this was the way in which he lived his life. So, when his heart was moved, he wrote these psalms, and in this way the voice of the Holy Spirit was revealed. Thus we can see that the psalms of David were also the Word of God.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place, once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."
If the sins of the past, present and future needed to be dealt with separately, Jesus would have had to die three times: once for our past sins, once for our present sins, and once for our future sins. But He only died once, and at that time, as it says in this verse, He obtained eternal redemption. He did this once for all.
Our thinking is governed by the concept of time, so we categorize events into divisions: past, present, and future. We look back on the past; we are living in the present, and the life that lies ahead of us is our future. This is not the case, however, for God. He is beyond time and space, and so He exists in the eternal present. When Moses asked God for His name, God said, "I am who I am" (Exodus 3:16). There is no past and future with God; with Him everything is always present, and so He sees everything from start to finish, all at one time.
When Jesus died on the cross, He obtained eternal redemption for all of mankind. In John chapter 1 verse 29, John the Baptist revealed Jesus' identity when he said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. This includes the sins of everyone throughout the history of mankind, from the sins of Adam to the sins of the very last person to be born into this world. Since we are also living within these confines, the sins of our past, present, and future are also included. Our sins have been forgiven once for all. This message is expressed clearly in other verses as well:
He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26),
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10),
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, He received the judgment for all our sins committed before and after we realize this truth.
Even though you may not have thought at the time of your salvation about the sins you would commit in the future, and may not have realized that these were forgiven as well, if you believed without a doubt that all your sins had been forgiven through the cross of Jesus Christ, and peace entered your heart as a result of this realization, that is the experience referred to as salvation.
If you are still troubled by your sins and do not have this peace in your heart, however, please read carefully the booklets to be found on this website, paying special attention to the Bible verses contained in them.
There are various terms that are used to describe this very definite experience: being saved, realizing the truth of the gospel, receiving pardon, or forgiveness, for sins ...
It is important to remember that you cannot bring this about yourself. In John chapter 1 verses 12 and 13 it says:
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
They were "born ... of God." It is God who brings this about:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
God brings about a realization of the truth of the gospel in the heart of the individual through His word:
Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
A full explanation of this matter is to be found on this website in the booklet entitled "God So Loved (I)."
The answer to this question can be found in Isaiah chapter 14.
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?'" (Isaiah 14:12-17)
This chapter from Isaiah is actually talking about the king of Babylon, but here this king is used as a metaphor of the devil, referred to here as "Lucifer, son of the morning." Originally, Lucifer was an angel. There are various references to angels in the Bible, but apart from Lucifer, only two are referred to by name: the archangels, Gabriel and Michael. Lucifer was also an archangel, having numerous lesser angels under his command.
Ezekiel chapter 28 also describes Lucifer in his original state, this time using the metaphor of the king of Tyre:
"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you."'" (Ezekiel 28:12-15)
Clearly Lucifer was originally a magnificent archangel; that is, until something went wrong: "till iniquity was found in you."
"By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you." (Ezekiel 28:16-17)
What was the sin that Lucifer committed? From these passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah, we can see that this splendid archangel became proud and wanted to be like God. "Your heart was lifted up" and "You have said in your heart: I will ... exalt my throne above the stars of God ... I will ascend above the heights of the clouds and I will be like the Most High."
As a result, God drove Lucifer out and cast him down to the ground, and in this way Lucifer became the devil, otherwise referred to as Satan or the fallen angel.
To begin at the beginning, Genesis chapters 1 and 2 show us that man and animals were created differently. On the sixth day of the creation, God said,
"Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:24-25).
When it came to the creation of man, however, God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), and when He formed man out of the dust of the ground, He "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." (Genesis 2:7)
Man consists of body, soul, and spirit (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23), while animals have only body and soul. The evidence of this extra component inside of man may be seen from the fact that only man has religious tendencies; religion only exists in the world of man. All religions concern themselves, in their own way, with the activities of the spirit.
You may teach a chimpanzee to put its hands together and close its eyes in imitation of a person praying, but you cannot teach a chimpanzee to pray. You may see monkeys climbing on the altars of a temple somewhere in Southeast Asia, but those monkeys will not indicate any reverence or respect for the deity for whom the temple has been erected. There is not a nation in this world, however, that has never had a religion in some form or other.
Further evidence of the spirit inside of man is provided by the conscience. If a pet dog does something that will not please its owner, it may hide with its head down and its tail between its legs. This is not because the dog feels guilty; the dog behaves in this way because it is aware from previous experience that it will probably be punished. Man, on the other hand, will be troubled when he does something he knows to be wrong, even if there is no chance of being found out. A person may do something to harm someone else, but his action will weigh on his mind, and sooner or later he will experience feelings of regret and guilt. An animal may injure or even kill another creature and experience no such feelings.
Finally, there is an emptiness inside of man that is not experienced by other creatures. Pigs, for example, can be very noisy when they are hungry, but as soon as they are fed, they will find a shady spot, lie down and go to sleep. Man may be physically satisfied by a wholesome dinner, but food cannot fill the emptiness or general feeling of dissatisfaction inside of man.
All religion is man's attempt to find God and to find inner peace. The spirit inside of man has been created in the image of God and so man has the essential requisite which allows him to know God. This is why man is able to grasp the concept of God and has the tendency to search for Him; a characteristic not to be found in animals.
For more information, please read the books provided on this website.
Sometimes when you pick up the telephone receiver to call someone, you find the line is dead. If you ignore this and just talk into the telephone anyway, will the person at the other end hear you and respond?
In the Bible it says,
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:1-2).
It is not that God cannot hear your prayers or that He does not want to listen; the problem lies in the individual: "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you."
It is important to understand that unless the barrier of sin between man and God is fundamentally broken down, a person's prayers are of no avail. If the sins of an individual are blocking the way, even though he may pray, his prayers are not appropriate before God, and God does not hear them.
It is no use just crying out to God when things go wrong in your life and forgetting about Him the rest of the time. A relationship between you and God must be established and then your prayers will flow as naturally as breathing, and God will hear and answer them.
To establish that relationship, you must first believe without any doubt that God exists. Then through the Bible, you will be able to see what kind of person you are before Him, as your sin is revealed to you through the mirror of His word. The next step is to allow God to solve the problem of your sin for you. When the problem of your sin has been solved once and for all, you will find that the conversation between you and God will be able to flow freely.
In John chapter 9 verse 31 it says, "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."
It says very clearly here that God does not hear sinners. There is, however, one prayer that God will listen and respond to, even if you are still struggling with the problem of your sin. If you are sincerely looking for God and cry out to Him deep down in your heart, you can be sure that He will guide you to the place where you can find Him.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)
If you have not found a definite answer to the problem of your sins, please read the books listed on this website, looking up the references in your own Bible. Before you can talk to God, you need to listen carefully to what God is saying to you. Then you will know how to respond to Him.