Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
In this first segment, we’re going through Dave Hunt’s book, Seeking and Finding God: In Search of the True Faith and, Dave, we did go through Chapter 6 to some degree last week, but I think we can finish it up this week, the Lord willing. The title of Chapter 6 is “Shortcut to Truth,” and the premise here is whoever is seeking after God, you can save them a lot of time, can’t you?
Dave: Well, yeah. Often people say, “I’m investigating various religions.” Well, you wouldn’t live long enough to investigate them all and to understand them well. You don’t have to do that to make a choice. Just like you don’t have to investigate every sin, you don’t have to try everything in this world. You can know that things are not right. And so I suggest go to the Bible first. The Bible claims to be God’s word. It claims to be the only Scriptures from God and it says all the rest of them are wrong. Now, if we can prove the Bible’s true, you’ve saved a lot of time. You don’t have to investigate anything else. And indeed we can prove that the Bible is true, 100 percent.
Tom: Dave, this isn’t without controversy. You have a quote, “Christianity does not seek accommodation, much less partnership with world religions. It seeks their overthrow as hopelessly false and destructive to mankind.” And then you also say, “The beliefs of many religious people are little more than sanctified superstitions.”
So, when you say you’ve got a shortcut to truth, you’re not messing around here. You’re saying God’s word is completely different than the religious views of the world’s religions.
Dave: Tom, we have an idea today that we need to dialogue. Let’s get all the religions together and dialogue. You know the Catholic Church has been dialoguing with Buddhists and with Hindus, with Muslims, we’ve talked about this before. You don’t dialogue about truth. I don’t dialogue about mathematics. What do you think? Do you think pr2, is that a proper formula?
Well, we don’t dialogue about something that we know is a fact. And Paul did not dialogue. And Jesus did not say go into all the world and dialogue. He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”
Now our listeners have heard us say that over and over. They have read the Bible. So, the Bible is not seeking an accommodation with other religions. It’s not an ecumenical book. There are good reasons for that. I put it like this sometimes, Tom, my ridiculous illustrations, but I think they get the point across.
You go to a doctor and he examines you. And you say, “Doc what’s the diagnosis and the prognosis?”
Well, he says, “I wouldn’t be so narrow-minded and dogmatic as to presume to come up with a definite diagnosis. What would you like? Open-heart surgery’s been very popular lately, or I could transplant a kidney. I think everyone’s entitled to the operation of his choice.”
Well, of course you are, but we hope you have enough sense to consult a doctor who can make an accurate diagnosis. And it’s not eenie, meenie, minie, mo; it’s not a cafeteria.
“Oh, well, Doc, should I have a heart transplant this week, or you want to redo my kidneys?” You know. No! There is a diagnosis.
Now, medical science is not an exact science, nor is any science an exact science, but I think people get the point. But God, when he says it, this is it! He makes the rules. I don’t negotiate with Him. And so, if people don’t like this—why don’t you suggest that maybe you are in university and you take an exam. I guess some people like to take courses that there’s no real answer anyway. You take an exam [in] mathematics, you take an exam in physics or chemistry. We know what happens when two chemicals are put together in a test tube. You get the same reaction every time. These are laws that God has established.
So—“Well, we’ll be tolerant”—no, God is not that way, okay? He’s gracious, He’s merciful, He will forgive you if you will acknowledge your sin and accept Christ as the one who paid the penalty.
But the Bible seeks—why does it seek the overthrow of all religions? Because they’re all false. They’re leading people astray. It’s that simple.
Tom: Dave, in the programs for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to make a distinction between biblical Christianity and all the other religions. I mean we wouldn’t even call biblical Christianity a religion.
Tom: Nevertheless, it comes down to this. It’s man’s achievement—that would be the religions of all the world. Trying to get to God, trying to come up with rituals, practices and so on…
Dave: Appease God.
Tom: …right, to get to God. Okay? So that’s man’s accomplishments. On the other hand, we have what God has done: what He has accomplished versus man’s achievements, all right?
Dave: And what He requires.
Tom: Right. So when you say a shortcut to truth, give us some of the particulars to this shortcut. Why just turn to the Bible to know—and I really mean know—what God has declared?
Dave: Well, first of all, the Bible claims to be the Word of God. Bhagavad Gita doesn’t claim that. It’s just a fanciful story and there’s so many different accounts and so forth. The Qur’an claims to be the word of Allah through Gabriel the angel.
The Bible is not just a set of fancy tales. It is history. It’s one of the things that is so impressive. You read Genesis, you’re reading about the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Israelites. These are real people, real events, real places and you can check it out from the Bible archaeologically. It is accurate. You want to know where to dig to find an ancient civilization, or an old well, or an old city, go to the Bible. It will tell you in those areas that it describes, the Middle East.
The Book of Mormon? They can’t even find a pin. They haven’t found anything. The museums of the world are filled with evidence that the Bible is true. Okay? So that’s historically.
Scientifically, the Bible doesn’t make mistakes. Moses was schooled in the wisdom of the Egyptians. Just the hygienic laws that they had at that time and the hygienic laws that God gave Moses, you don’t find any of the superstition, any of the nonsense, unscientific, ridiculous stuff that the Egyptians believed in in those days. You do not find that in the books of Moses. You don’t find that anywhere in the Bible. When the Bible says, “He hangs the world upon nothing,” that’s in Job, the oldest book of the Bible. You couldn’t improve upon that. We don’t even know what gravity is. We don’t know what holds things in balance. We don’t even know what space is and so forth. When the Bible says, Hebrews:11:3, “We understand the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things that do appear.” You can’t improve upon that.
We don’t even know what energy is made out of. Well, maybe energy is the basic substance. Well, I don’t know. What’s an atom? What is an electron? We don’t even know what an electron is. So you don’t find this speculation and nonsense in the Bible.
Tom: Well, for example, Dave, who was it—the Hindus believe that the earth sat on the back of a tortoise? These are not just metaphors. This is actually what they believe. You can look at the Qur’an. You give some examples from the Qur’an.
Dave: Yeah, the Qur’an says the sun gets tired every evening and settles down in a slimy pit. And Alexander the Great found it. No, that’s not true. So you do not find that sort of mistake in the Bible, and the Bible is a far longer book than the Qur’an.
You think [missing audio] the Bible deals with. It is incredible.
Tom! You and I, we’re not very good at it, but we try to write books, right? Newsletters and so forth. You know how hard it is to go back and reread it and look for typos and look for some blunder. I thought I was saying what I meant to say, but I didn’t say what I meant to say. You don’t find any of that in the Bible. The Bible has been examined under a microscope by skeptics, atheists. I used to read everything I could find. I have files on what these guys would say trying to pick holes in the Bible.
Tom, I could pick holes in the Qur’an very quickly. I could pick holes in almost anything. You can’t pick holes in the Bible. There are no contradictions. But you have 40 different authors over 1600 years—and we’ve mentioned this a number of times—most of them didn’t know one another. They came from different cultures, different times in history. You do not find a reflection in their writings of the culture that they lived in, or the time of history that they lived in. This is a revelation that comes from outside of human understanding and human wisdom, and it is brought to man and it claims to be a revelation from God.
Tom: Dave, there may be some listeners out there saying, “Well, wait a minute, I’ve heard that there were contradictions in the Bible.”
Dave, I just recently went through an international bestseller called The DaVinci Code, and that’s an out and out attack on the accuracy of the Bible. It just says over and over again that the Bible didn’t come from heaven. It was not God’s revelation, that this is what man made up and it corrupted it. It moves us from a patriarchal view which the Bible presents to a matriarchal and it says that was overthrown by Constantine and others who have corrupted the Bible for their own purpose and so on.
My point is that the Bible is under attack and another aspect of The DaVinci Code is that there are so many inaccuracies and there are all kinds of gospels and Constantine selected which gospels were going to be in. Now here’s my point: with that attack, people don’t know any better and they say, “Well, it seems to make sense,” and so on.
You wrote a book In Defense of the Faith. You deal with numerous supposed contradictions. If somebody’s interested again in checking this out, going the shortcut, as you say, I think your book In Defense of the Faith would help them.
Dave: Well, Tom, the danger in books like The DaVinci Code, which I have read as well, it throws these things out, but without any basis…
Dave: …any evidence. I can take you to all kinds of books written by brilliant men and they will tell you the truth about the Bible. And we’ve talked about Simon Greenleaf for example, and we know that Simon Greenleaf, cofounder of the Harvard Graduate School of Law, one of the most brilliant lawyers in the history of the US, he wrote a book called The Testimony of the Evangelist. You have a copy of it as well. He wrote this to the members of his own profession and he said, “Look, guys, you are accustomed to examining evidence—testimony introduced in court and so forth—in order to arrive at a just and a sound conclusion.” He wrote this to judges, etc. “Now, I’m laying out the evidence for you and if you are willing to examine the evidence from the Bible, you cannot deny that this is the Word of God.”
So, we have The DaVinci Code, and the author throws out little snippets like that, you know, the inaccuracy. He’s not giving you evidence. It’s not fair what he does, because it’s an emotional, exciting story and he’s catching people up in that mode….
Tom: Right, and he sets it in a sort of a historical…
Tom: …factual environment. Which again, whatever he wants to add to that you buy it, as you may buy some historical facts that are accurate that he does present. So, but, Dave, again, it’s man’s way of undermining—of taking away from what God has presented; what He has revealed.
Dave: But, Tom, when you read the gospels, for example, one of things that I always marvel at: “They brought many false witnesses,” it says, “to testify against Jesus.” But the witnesses didn’t agree with one another and you think they ought to be able to do a better job than that. This author of The DaVinci Code is probably a very bright man, but you get to the end, Tom, and [chuckles] is this some kind of a joke? He’s been trashing Jesus. We have evidence for Jesus. We have prophecies for Jesus that were fulfilled in His life. We have all the proof that you could ever want and you get to the end of it—what’s He been—where is He?
He’s bowing before the shrine of Mary Magdalene and this is really what we’re seeking and here are the answers. Tom, it’s pitiful. I’m sorry.
Tom: Well, it is, but it’s only pitiful if somebody has taken the shortcut, has gone to God’s Word. When you have an understanding of it, you can see how absurd these things are. But if you don’t, it seems to make sense. That’s the problem, Dave.
Dave: Well, I think people ought to check things out for themselves. That’s what we’re trying to encourage people to do.
Tom: Okay, so we’ve gone through scientific accuracy…these are the claims that the Bible makes. If it’s God’s Word, you would expect it to be accurate. Not just 99.9 percent, but 100 percent accurate…
Tom: …historically, archaeologically, as we’ve said. But then the major thrust, in terms of content that reveals it to be the Word of God has to be prophecy. And, Dave, there are two parts as you point out. Two major topics of prophecy: Israel and the Messiah.
Dave: Tom, we don’t have time in this program. I’ve written books about it, but this is the proof God gives. Now, He does say, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” Psalm 19. Paul does says in Romans 1 that, “The invisible things of God are clearly seen from the things that he’s made. Everybody is without excuse.” Okay? We can point to the universe around us.
Tom: Right. This [is] general revelation.
Dave: Right. We can point to DNA. Come on! The information in a pinhead’s worth of DNA, if you put it in books, it would take a stack of books 500 times as high as the distance from here to the moon. We don’t have computers that can do that. So we can go on and on about scientific evidence. But the major evidence that God Himself points to in the Bible is prophecy. Isaiah:46:9-10, for example, God says, “I’ll tell you what’s going to happen before it happens.” And these are major history-making, earth-shaking events, okay? And God says, “I’ll tell what will happen before it happens and when it does happen as I said, you will have to acknowledge that I am God and this is my Word.”
Isaiah 43, He says to Israel, “You are my witnesses to yourselves and to the world that I am God.” How are they His witnesses? Because He lays out the history of Israel from the beginning to the end. You can go back to Genesis:49:1 and this is Jacob, and he’s called his twelve sons before him. And what does he say the very first verse of that chapter? He says, “I will tell you what will befall you in the last days.” Okay? And then you get some amazing prophecies.
So, God says this the major evidence that I give. Isaiah:48:5, He says, I’m not going to let you give credit to your idols. I will tell you what will happen before it happens. They can’t do that.”
Then we have prophecies concerning the Messiah. “How would I know who the Messiah was when He came? Particularly if He gets crucified and He’s rejected by everybody. Well, I sure wouldn’t want to follow this man.” Well, wait a minute, but the prophets said exactly that would happen. That He would be crucified. So, the Bible lays it out ahead of time and, Tom, I will challenge anyone out there that’s listening: you think you can find a false prophecy in the Bible? Please write to us. You cannot do it.
But you don’t even have prophecies in the Bhagavad Gita. You don’t have prophecies in the Qur’an, in the Book of Mormon and so forth. Oh, Joseph Smith tried to make some prophecies…
Tom: Fulfilled prophecies.
Dave: It was ridiculous. So Tom, this puts the Bible in a category all of its own.
Tom: Dave, the amazing thing about this—we talk about prophecy related to Israel, that God gave this land to Israel. He brought them out of Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham and so on to the land of Canaan. They end up in Egypt. He said, “No, the time is not right yet.” The iniquity of the Amorites has not reached the certain point where God was going to turn the land over to them. Four hundred years in Egypt and so on. Yet, all the way, this is God’s doing. These people at many times were in rebellion against him.
Dave: Mm-hmm. But nevertheless, he was gracious. He fulfilled His promises. The Bible says, “For the sake of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to whom he gave those promises.” So twelve times in the Bible God is called, or calls Himself, He says, “I am the God Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. This my name and this is my memorial forever.” Okay?
Tom: And, Dave, what’s amazing about that is you took us to the Messiah. We have all the details from the Old Testament prophets, the Jewish prophets of how the Messiah would be crucified, where He’s going to be born, the death He was going to die, in detail. You can create a scenario just from the prophets telling us exactly how Jesus was going to die, who was there and so on.
Dave: And Tom, as you know, this is how Paul and the apostles preached the gospel. Peter, for example, speaking to Cornelius’ household, Acts 10, he says, “To him (that is to Jesus) give all the prophets witness that in his name you can be forgiven of sins that you could never be forgiven of by the law of Moses.” Paul writes to the Romans, Romans 1, he says, “I’m an apostle separated unto the gospel of God.” This is not the Methodists, Catholic, Presbyterian—this is the gospel of God. Now, that’s quite a claim that he makes. Well, Paul, how do we know it’s the gospel of God? He says, “Which he promised by his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” Everywhere he went, and of course in every city he went to the Jews first. He went right into the synagogue. He opened their Scriptures; these are the Old Testament Scriptures. And he read out of them. He said, “Look, look what your own prophets have said about the Messiah. You cannot deny it was all fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.”
For example, Daniel the prophet in Chapter 9 of the Book of Daniel, he gives the very day the Messiah would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Then he says He’s going to be rejected. He’ll be killed! This is not a story that was made up; this is something that was promised. And we know it is one hundred percent accurate because it was all fulfilled.
Tom: Right. Dave, what’s amazing, although the Jews as a nation reject the Messiah, the Messiah was received by hundreds of millions of non-Jews throughout the world. Stunning.
Dave: And that was foretold in Malachi:1:11, “From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name will be great among the Gentiles and in my name they will trust.” Tom, I love this book—the Bible. It is fantastic. You cannot escape it.