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 segment of our program, we are revealing Dave Hunt’s new book—small book, it’s only 120 pages; a little different for you, Dave—but a book that we think is important, and it’s a book that we’ve been saying over and over again, because we really believe it—here’s a book that you can give out to those who maybe want to understand or have a desire to know what you believe if you’re a biblical Christian, what you believe about salvation, about God, and it’s called Seeking and Finding God: In Search of the True Faith. And, Dave, you tried to avoid controversy in here, but in a sense, you can’t do it, because God’s Word is controversial. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me.” So that’s controversial, but again, this is searching for truth. Chapter 6 is maybe the most controversial because the title is, “Shortcut to Truth,” and, Dave, you have some statements in there that “beliefs of many religious people are little more than sanctified superstitions.”
Tom: You say, “A faith that is not based upon truth cannot be defended and should not be relied upon. It can only lead one day to taking a final leap in the dark.”
And then again you say, “Where are truth and certainty to be found?” Well, the B-I-B-L-E! (Laughs) That’s the book for me!
Tom: Well, what do you say about that?
Dave: Well, Tom, on the one hand, you just said this is a controversial statement, because in university today, and, sadly, in many seminaries, they tell you, “Well, we’re all taking different roads, but if it’s true for you, that’s okay. That’s not true for me. Everybody’s got their truth.” Well, that’s absurd. It won’t work in mathematics, I can guarantee you that. Even university professors (who a lot of them lean in that direction), they’re not going to grade an exam—if it’s a factual exam—doesn’t matter what answer you give. People think God has no rules? Tom, it’s absurd. They’re controversial because people don’t want to face the facts. But it’s rational, it’s logical.
Dave: You don’t get to the moon or—our probes into space are not going to get where we intend them to go if we say, “Well, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve got your truth. All roads will lead to Mars.” (Chuckles) “Just aim it any direction, you’ll get there.” It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t work. I do a lot of flying. You do quite a bit yourself. You don’t get on a United Airline’s jet to Frankfurt, from Portland to Frankfurt, with a ticket to the Matterhorn Ride at Disneyland! They just won’t let you on! Well, that’s narrow-minded, isn’t it? How can they have these rules? Well, like the law of gravity, there shouldn’t be a law of gravity, so you step out of an airplane—you find out Granny was right! There is a law of gravity! And you hit the ground pretty hard, and that’s the last time that will happen to you. It’s like the cartoon I saw the other day: it’s a suicide bomber school, did you see that one? And the instructor is saying, “Now, watch closely, because I’m only going to do this once!” (Laughs) Well, you only die once, and you better know where you’re going, okay? So, Tom, we have every reason to examine our beliefs. I don’t want to step into eternity on a wing and a prayer and hope it’s going to work out. Now, there are many religions and I guess we start out in this chapter mentioning that fact. You couldn’t live long enough to study all the world’s religions. And I say it to people all the time: “Well, I can save you a lot of time, give you a shortcut to truth. Go to the Bible first.” Now, the Bible claims that all the rest of them are wrong, and you just said it…
Tom: Makes it controversial.
Dave: “I am the way,” Jesus said. He didn’t say, “Well, Buddha’s got some good ideas, too.” The Bible says all the rest of them are wrong. I think we’ve mentioned before, Tom, but let me just review it again quickly. You remember Simon Greenleaf: brilliant lawyer—Greenleaf on Evidence, even cited by the Supreme Court.
Tom: Right, Harvard Graduate School of Law.
Dave: Right, one of the co-founders. And he examined the evidence, and he said, “There is no question Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be. He is God and became a man, died for our sins on the cross, rose again the third day,” and so forth, and as a result of this investigation, he wrote a book—I think you probably have a copy of it as well—The Testimony of the Evangelist, and in that book, he challenged the members of his legal profession: “You guys are supposed to honestly examine evidence and arrive at a just and sound conclusion. I’m going to lay the evidence out for you. There is no other way.” And in fact, in that book he said, “Christianity doesn’t aim for an ecumenical partnership with other religions, it destroys them all. It says they are all false.” Now, [if] somebody gets upset at that, I would say that 2+2=4 destroys the idea that 2+2=5! You don’t like that idea? Then let’s check it out, okay? And this is too important to take a chance.
Tom: Dave, that’s our exhortation to our listeners—and we know there are a lot of people, we talked about this on the way in here this morning, that we want people to be thoughtful, to be thinking, because your eternal destiny depends on your belief on the choices that you make, and we’re not saying just follow us because this is what we’re saying, you know, buy into it because Dave Hunt is saying so, or T.A. McMahon, we’re saying check out what we say, but be thoughtful. Try to be discerning, because again, it’s not just your temporal life that it’s going to affect, and it will affect that, but it’s your—where you’re going to be for all eternity, and again, Dave, the title of your book is Seeking and Finding God: if you’re not doing that, I’m speaking to our listeners out there, then, you know, tune into another program! (Chuckles) But if you have heart for these things, if you want to know God, all we’re doing is pointing you in a certain direction, and we’re saying, “Check it out.” And, Dave, bam! Shortcut to truth. Keep going with that.
Dave: Well, you can check the Bible out. The atheists have been checking it out for centuries, examining it with an electron microscope, to put it in a modern term, and I’ve probably mentioned before, when I was in university, I read everything I could find—in the UCLA library (chuckles) for sure-that all the skeptics and critics had said. I have files of it, Tom, at home. I’ve gone through this again and again, and I can tell you that the more I read of the criticisms of the Bible, the more it strengthened my faith to see what pitiful arguments they had. They had no arguments. The Bible has the evidence, and here’s a Book written by 40 different authors over a period of 1600 years—we’ve mentioned this a number of times, but it bears repeating—most of them never knew one another; they came from different times in history, different cultures…you read Moses, for example. Schooled in the wisdom of Egypt. You go back and read their science in the day that Moses was there. You don’t find any of the nonsense that he was taught in the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. You find advanced thinking. This is revelation from God; it’s not speculation but if you went just to the hygienic laws that God gave Israel through Moses, it was not accepted by medical science until the late 1800s. You remember the case of the doctor who—well, what they do, the first thing the doctors would do is cut up the cadavers to try to learn something and then they would—without washing these instruments—they would deliver babies or operate on somebody. People were dying like flies, and this man, very innovative idea—it’s been in the Bible for 2000 years—he said, “Well, why don’t we start washing these instruments and we’ll wash our hands.” And the death rate went down!
Tom: Plummeted. Unbelievable.
Dave: Yeah! And they hounded that man. They drove him out of the hospital, and when they got rid of him, then they went back to the old practice and the death rate went back up again, and they still were blind to the facts. Well, we could point to many things like this in the Bible: that God hangs the world on nothing, Job says. I don’t know how better you could describe it. It talks about the binding together of the drops of water and so forth. Water has a peculiar binding that no other molecule has which—by the way, water is an amazing substance. Everything shrinks as it gets cooler, and expands as it gets warmer. Everything except water. Water shrinks until it gets to 4/10ths of a degree centigrade, then it expands, reverses itself. Incredible! If it were not for that, ice would form from the bottom up and kill all the fish in the lakes and rivers and so forth. No, it floats to the top and it makes an insulating film up there which can get pretty thick at times. I mean, Tom, we can go on and on about what the Bible has to say, not that the Bible is intended to be a scientific book…
Dave: …but when it deals with science, when the writer to the Hebrews says, “By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the Word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things that do appear…”
Dave: ...This is beyond science at that time.
Tom: Dave, and it’s very simple: if the Bible is, at it claims, to be God’s revelation, more than 4,000 times it says, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” so it claims to be God’s revelation. Well, simply, if it is God’s revelation and there are mistakes in it, we’ve got some problems with God.
Dave: Right. Throw it out right away.
Dave: But then, Tom, what we’ve talked about so far, that’s minimal proof. Prophecy—wow! The prophecies in the Bible, everything that would happen to Israel…
Tom: Yeah, Dave, before you go into that, let me set that up, because you have a section here that says, “Their actual fulfillment is part of recorded history.” It says, “The Bible stands upon a four-fold foundation.” Let me lay out foundation and you get into prophecy, okay? Dave, right here, you say, “The Bible stands upon a four-fold foundation, every part of which can be examined and verified,” and that’s our encouragement to our listeners: check it out! Number one: prophecy, foretelling events and doctrines in advance; number two: fulfillment of those prophecies in detail; number three: secular history testifying to the fulfillment of prophecies and events, and four: factual data corroborating by archaeology and science. None of this is the case with the teachings of any scriptures of world religions.
Dave: No, you won’t find that in Koran, certainly not in the Hindu Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, you name them, the sayings of Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith with the Book of Mormon, writings of Mary Baker Eddy…
Tom: Yet 28% of the Bible is prophecy.
Dave: Right. And, Tom, these are not cheap psychic predictions like you would get out of a séance, but these are, as you mentioned, these are history-making, world-shaking events that have been foretold centuries, some of them thousands of years before they came to pass, and no one—I just challenge anyone, you cannot be an agnostic, you cannot be an atheist, you cannot deny that God has foretold history in advance, okay? Now, that’s pertaining to Israel. He doesn’t tell every detail of every person’s life. But He has laid out the history of Israel, and what is happening in the Middle East today? Jerusalem would be a burdensome stone around the necks of all the nations of this world. The United Nations has spent 1/3rd of its time deliberating, discussing about Israel, that Israel would be hated and persecuted, the Jews would be slaughtered all over the world. I mean, in detail the Bible lays that out. Never happened to any other people that in spite of that, they would be brought back into their own land, they would be preserved. That is really a miracle. And Tom, I…
Tom: Well, they were to be His witnesses. Israel is His witness…
Tom: …of who He is.
Dave: His witnesses to the world. Tom, I have studied this (chuckles) in great detail, and I can tell you, as you know, that Israel exists today is a miracle, a series of miracles of God. They have been opposed—I mean, when these Israeli settlers declared their independence, well, they were given the authority to do so by the United Nations. The British mandate, the British backed out of this thing, they said, “We can’t handle this anymore,” and they ended their mandate. Israel declared its independence. Immediately they’re attacked by regular armies of six Arab nations with overwhelming superiority in weapons and numerical superiority with tanks and planes against these Israeli settlers, and you know who won, who won every war. And there have been more than 60,000 individual votes cast against Israel in the United Nations. Israel has been opposed, but God said they would be like fire that would devour the nations around them. You couldn’t have believed that.
Tom: Dave, I’m thinking about Mark Twain visiting Jerusalem—what was it, the late 1800s. He said, “This is nothing but a wasteland!” There was nothing there. Compare that with what you just said.
Dave: God said He would make the desert bloom like a rose, and what has happened over there is amazing. But, Tom, that’s only part of it, and the prophecies we have for the Messiah—how would we know who the Messiah was when He came? In fact, Tom, without these prophecies, without the prophets foretelling that the Messiah would be hated, that He would be persecuted, that He would be killed by His own people, rejected, that He would be crucified, would that happen to Him? You couldn’t believe this was the Messiah, and this is why many Jewish people today, they say, “Well, that Jesus, He couldn’t have been the Messiah. He didn’t bring peace, He got Himself killed! He couldn’t be the Messiah.” That’s why the rabbis mocked Him on the cross: “Oh, You’re the Messiah? What are You doing up there? We’ve proved You’re not the Messiah! We’ve proved we can kill You!” No, Jesus said, “Nobody takes my life from Me. I lay it down of Myself.” If He had not laid His life down, nobody could have taken it from Him, but He submitted Himself, because way back in Exodus 12 it said—I think it’s verse 6—it’s talking about the Passover lamb, a lamb for each household; and then it changes to the singular, and it says, “The whole assembly of the congregation of Israel will kill it.” This one lamb in the evening, which is when they crucified Jesus. The very time the Passover lambs were being slain, Jesus was on the cross dying for our sin.
Tom: Right, and John the Baptist saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.”
Dave: Tom, you couldn’t have written a book with computers that we use—all these prophecies, the doctrines, the truth from Genesis to Revelation is woven in there in an amazing way. So, we go to the Bible…
Tom: Dave, let me say this: the form of death, crucifixion. Now, wait a minute, this was a Jewish man. He should have been stoned.
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: Where did this crucifixion come through? And where did this crucifixion come from? And then, when the prophecies were given, this was not the normal way of death.
Dave: No, crucifixion wasn’t even known at that time. Well, Tom, so we say, “Go to the Bible. You want to know God? You want to know truth? You want to know what happens after death?” I was sitting on the train in England talking with a woman, rather influential in government—that was one of her questions: “Well, what happens to you after death?” We’d better find out, because when you step out there, it’s too late! And we’ve dealt with reincarnation and all these other ideas—they won’t work. So you want to know the truth? Well, you better! There’s nothing more important. Well, then, let’s go to the Bible, because the Bible claims to be the Word of God, claims to have all the answers, and it claims all the rest of them are wrong. And if you can prove the Bible’s true, you save a lot of time, okay? Now, we’ve already given you enough evidence for that, but investigate it further for yourself. There are a number of books out there that we could recommend—for example, I think we offer In Six Days, don’t we?
Dave: In Six Days is a collection of 50 essays by 50 top scientists from many different fields: from astrophysics to biochemistry to genetics to nuclear physics—you name it, and they all tell you why they believe, from science, what the Bible says is true—that the universe was created in six literal 24-hour days. Somebody laughs at that, “Oh, you see, I didn’t learn that in university.” Okay, these men will stand up with your university professors and debate them. But the evidence is laid out. All we’re saying is this question of where you will spend eternity is too important to take a chance. So, that’s what this book is about, Seeking and Finding God: In Search of the True Faith. We mention in this chapter, Tom, some people—I mean, it’s incredible, you quoted where we say the beliefs of many religious people are little more than sanctified superstitions—and some people have the strange idea that it’s even more commendable to have faith in something for which you have no evidence! In fact, even against the evidence.
Tom: Right, even to the point of absurdity. In other words, I can hang onto something and everybody thinks it’s absurd and I have no reasons for it, that makes me one of great faith.
Dave: Yeah, right. Tom, well, as you just said, it’s absurd. So, what we want to do is head for the truth, let’s seek it out. And we have this promise from God—and, Tom, I talk with many people all over the world, and it’s one of the things that distresses me the most—are people really seeking God? Here is the God of the universe, the Creator of the universe—He makes a promise: He will reveal Himself to anyone. “You seek for Me, you will find Me,” God says (now here’s the key to it), “when you seek for Me with all your heart.” Not a casual “Okay, God, if you’re really there, well, speak with an audible voice,” or, “Show me some sign or something,” no, no. This comes from the heart. You must have a heart that really desires to know God. Now, why would you really desire to know God? So that you can worship Him, so you can honor Him, so you can love Him as He deserves, so you can know Him, and so you can do His will. You really want to do God’s will—Tom, He created us for a purpose! If we miss that, you go through life and you miss knowing God, and you miss the purpose for which He created you, you have missed everything!
Tom: And Dave, it is a will thing. To desire to be with God for all eternity, all that you said, you have to know Him, you would desire to know Him. And there are only two options: either you’re going to be with Him for all eternity or you’re going to be separated from Him for all eternity. Those are the choices.