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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fact or Fiction?

Initially, I thought that I'd plan and organize my blogs. They would follow a well prepared outline, be squential, etc. I quickly realized I'd have to blog the way I do everything - intuitively, randomly and spontaneously. Drives my husband crazy! But never fear, I may not know, but the Lord knows who reads this blog and what He wants you to know....more than that, when He wants you to know it. As we've learned, timing is everything in life! I'm just going to trust the One who's in charge of time.

If we are going to refer to the Bible as our source of wisdom and truth, we need to feel comfortable that the Bible is what it says it is.....God's Word. We have a dear friend, Glenna Salsbury, who wrote a little book many years ago - THE BIBLE...Fact or Fiction???. I'm sure that over hundreds of years there have been enough books and articles written about the validity of the Bible to fill a library. The first one I read was - The Evidence Demands a Verdict.

I like Glenna's little book because it's so concise and completely trustworthy. She's in the process of another printing, and when they're available, I'll let you know.

Archaeologists have 'dug up' a lot of evidence throughout the years to substantiate the writings of the Bible, its history, places of interest, people, and events. A HUGE find was the Dead Sea Scrolls. We had a wonderful exhibit of the scrolls in our own Balboa Park in San Diego in 2008...or was it in '07? These scrolls were found in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel in 1947. They are over 1,000 years older than other copies previously discovered, and contain almost the entire Old Testament. And guess what? The contents are nearly identical to what you have in your Bible today. God preserves His Word!

We visited Israel in 1999 and went to a beautiful museum in Jerusalem to see these scrolls displayed in a special building designed to protect them from the elements. They had previously been protected in large jars that were sealed, water-tight, and hidden in a cave. I'll never forget standing in the small building looking at the scroll of Isaiah, Chapter 53. Every word was there, in Hebrew of course. Read that chapter and you will see it's all about Jesus. Yes, I know, Jesus wasn't even born! Isaiah lived until 681 B.C. and probably wrote this prophesy during his later years. So what do we read here about Jesus Christ and future events?

* He was despised and rejected by men - vs. 3

* He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows - vs. 4

* He was pierced for our transgressions (on the cross), crushed for our iniquities and by his wounds we are healed (sin forgiven, forever) - vs. 5

* He poured out his life and bore the sin of many to intercede for us - vs. 12
Note: Notice it doesn't say 'all', it says 'many'.....we'll explore the meaning of that later.

Is this not exactly what Christ did some 600 yrs later? I think the verse in Hebrews 9:24, New Testament, describes the passage in Is. 53 perfectly so we can see the 'whole picture'...."For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence".

This verse says that when we die and at some point appear before God to be 'judged', Jesus will be standing right next to us and will say, 'I gave my life for this believer'. Even in our system of justice today, a crime can only be paid for one time. I've had a jail ministry for women for almost 9 yrs now and they always can relate this Hebrew verse to standing in a courtroom in the presence of a judge waiting to be sentenced. I tell them to picture Jesus coming beside them and telling the judge, "I've paid for the crime" and the judge saying, "You're free to go". They get it!

We can't 'pay' for our own sin, we need a Savior to do that. Poor choices and bad decisions have consequences in life.....sin has consequences eternally.....but thanks be to God who loved us and gave His life for us, we're free from the eternal consequences!

It's time to make dinner.....more to come in a couple of days.