Last Days Prophecy
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WHAT is the Bible?
The Bible is the Book of God’s plan for mankind, for all people, for all time. It is a Book like NO other anywhere in the world, in a class all by itself.
Sixty-six different books make up the Bible. They include Books of law such as Leviticus and Deuteronomy; historical books, such as Ezra and Acts; books of poetry, such as Psalms and Ecclesiastes; books of prophecy, such as Isaiah and Revelation; biographies, such as Matthew and John; and epistles (letters) such as Titus and Hebrews.
The Bible . . . its Authors
About 40 different human authors wrote the Bible, which was written over a period of about 1500 years. The authors were from all different occupations of life: kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds and doctors. The wonder of it all is that from all this varied assortment comes an incredible and unbelievable agreement, harmony and unity with common themes woven throughout.
The Bible’s perfect unity is due to the fact that it has ONE Author . . . Almighty God Himself. The Bible is inspired by God! 2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (KJV)
Yes, human authors wrote the Books, BUT, they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and Holy Word of God (Ps.12:6; 2 Pet.1:21).
The Bible . . . its Divisions
The Bible is divided into two main parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the story of the nation of Israel, and the New Testament is the story of a fantastic Man. Israel was God’s way of bringing the Man, Jesus Christ into the world.
The Old Testament describes the founding and preservation of the nation of Israel. God’s Promise to use Israel to bless the whole world is being fulfilled! Genesis 12:2-3 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)
When Israel was established as a nation, God raised up a family within that nation through whom the blessing would come: the family of David. Psalm 89:3-4 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. (KJV) . . . It was from the family of David that the Promised One, the Man Jesus, was promised, Who would bring the promised blessing! (Isaiah 11:1-10).
The New Testament brings us the details of the Coming of that Promised Man. His Name was/is Jesus, and He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament as He lived a perfect life, died to become the Saviour of mankind, rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven where He now sits at the right Hand of God (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Rom.8:34; 1 Pet.3:22).
The Bible . . . Jesus is the Main Character
Jesus is the central character in the Bible. The entire Book is really all about Him. The Old Testament predicts His Coming and sets the stage for His arrival into the world. The New Testament tells us of His Coming and His Work to bring salvation to our sinful world.
Jesus is SO much more than a historical figure! Many people believe that He did exist historically. BUT . . . Jesus Christ is more than a mere human Man. Yes, He was/is a Man (John 1:1,14), BUT He is God in the flesh (Rom.8:3; 1 Tim.3:16; 1 John 4:2-3), and His Coming was the most important event in the history of the world. God Himself became a Man to give us a clear, understandable picture of Who He is. WHAT IS GOD LIKE? He is like Jesus; Jesus is God in human form (John 1:14, 14:9).
The Bible . . . A Brief Summary
God created man and placed him in a perfect environment (Gen.2) . . . BUT . . . man rebelled against God in disobedience and fell from what God wanted him to be. When that happened, God placed the world under a curse because of sin but immediately set in motion a Plan to restore humanity and all creation to its original glory. What an awesome and wonderful God we have!
God called Abraham out of Babylon into Canaan (about 2000 B.C.). God promised Abraham that his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob (also called Israel) that He would bless the world through a descendant of theirs. Israel’s family emigrated from Canaan to Egypt, where they grew to be a nation.
About 1400 B.C., God led Israel’s descendants out of Egypt under the direction of Moses and gave them the Promised Land, Canaan, as their own. Through Moses, God gave the people of Israel the Law (the Ten Commandments) and made a covenant (agreement) with them. IF they would remain faithful to God and NOT follow the idolatry of the surrounding nations, they would prosper . . . BUT . . . IF they rejected God and followed idols . . . God would destroy their nation.
About 400 years later, during the reigns of David and his son Solomon, Israel grew into a great and powerful kingdom. God promised David and Solomon that a descendant of theirs would rule as an Everlasting King (Ps.2:8-9; 24:7, 9; 110:1; Isa.9:6-7; 11:1-5; 32:1; Jer.23:5; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-36).
After Solomon died, the nation of Israel was divided. It only took a few years after the death of Solomon (I Kings 11:43) for the Jewish kingdom to divide and become two separate kingdoms. The ten northern tribes made their own government and were called Israel with their capital the city of Samaria. The two southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, remained loyal to the House of David centered in Jerusalem. They became known as Judah (from where the word “Jew” eventually came).
Israel lasted about 200 years before God judged them for their idolatry. Assyria took Israel captive about 721 B.C. Judah lasted a little longer, but in time they, too, turned from God. Babylon took them captive about 600 B.C.
About 70 years later, God graciously brought a remnant of the captives back into their own land. Jerusalem, the capital, was rebuilt about 444 B.C., and Israel once again established a national identity. This is where the Old Testament closes.
The New Testament opens about 400 years later with the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Jesus was the descendant promised to Abraham and David, the One to fulfill God’s plan to redeem mankind and restore creation. Jesus faithfully completed His work . . . He died on the cross to pay our sin penalty, BUT he rose from the dead. He LIVES! The death of Christ is the basis for a new covenant with the world. All who believe God (1 John 5:10-13), and have faith in Jesus’ Work on the cross, will be saved from God’s wrath and live eternally (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; Rom.6:23; 1 John 5:20; Mat.25:41, 46).
After His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples to spread the news everywhere of His life and His power to save (Mat.28:19-20). Jesus’ disciples went in every direction spreading the good news of Jesus and salvation that only He could bring. They traveled through Asia Minor, Greece and all the Roman Empire. The New Testament closes with a prediction of Jesus’ Return to Earth (Rev.19:11-21), judge the unbelieving world and free creation from the curse. Also see: http://www.godcannotlie.org/zec_ch14.htm
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