July 26, 2011

The Inerrancy of Scipture I: Prepare the Way For The Lord !

You know the story of John the Baptist. I’ll be telling it to you again from the viewpoint of the Old Testament prophets & the (4) Four Gospels. I will do this to show how the plan of God all fits together in a perfect manner. I’ll show how men …often centuries apart…from different walks of life corroborate one another in Scripture….and point to John the Baptist (and more). By showing these things we will be able to see the omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign character of God. It will show how things foreknown by God are given to men because God sees all time at once…He is above & beyond time. He knows what will happen in the future…He has already seen it. For God… prophecy is not foretelling the future. For God… it is Him revealing the plan He already made.

By showing these things happened in history we validate the accuracy of Scripture. We directly link God’s plan for humanity in real time and space. The prophecies we read unfold exactly as they are foretold by the Prophets of old. This thereby shows God is sovereign and in control of His Creation. If God is sovereign and in perfect control we know that any book written by Him can and would be Inerrant. A book with His words…(the Bible)…would be an outflowing of His Will. A will and mind that is perfect and infinite.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

God being the Word is therefore perfect or inerrant. When I say inerrant it simply means that the Bible always tells the truth about what it talks about. Scripture is inerrant and authoritative! All words in Scripture are God’s words given to man though inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

To disbelieve / disobey any word in the Bible is to disbelieve or disobey God! The truly amazing thing about Scripture is as Paul said:

2 Timothy 3:16-17”…All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So…in the Old Testament prophets we read the following and it is comfort for God’s people:

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5

Make no mistake “the voice here crying in the wilderness” is John the Baptist. Isaiah wrote these words (7) centuries before John the Baptist’s birth 700BC. These words foretell of a person that will be a king’s runner preparing the way for a king…The King.

The idea of “every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low” is clarified in very next clause “the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain”. This refers to the work of workmen leveling and smoothing roads dignitaries or kings would soon travel when they came to visit and area. It’s metaphor to tell that us that someone special was coming and this “voice” was preparing the way. Today we’d say this person was “rolling out the red carpet” As we see Isaiah refer to the “voice of one calling in the wilderness”…we’ll know unequivocally that we will see this again in the NT. It would be a voice that will be calling people back to a relationship w/God. This voice would be a prophet - in the wilderness - calling people into God’s Kingdom. Isaiah’s telling of a day God’s people would be restored to God in proper relationship. It would start with another prophet-John the Baptist. God’s people will be comforted - after all the judgment/punishment they’d face in the Old Testament.

We must remember at the time of Isaiah the ntire Israelite nation was in a spiritual wilderness. North Kingdom had just been destroyed and carted off to Assyria in 722. The Southern Kingdom of Judah was hot on the heels of the North’s backsliding and would end in the Babylonian exile in 586BC

But remember… Someone special was coming and the Glory of the Lord would be revealed.That voice would be Johns and he prepared the way for the Jesus Christ.

We now jump ahead 350 years to the prophetic ministry of Malachi and again we see a shadow of things to come…we see a messenger and a Messenger of the Covenant:

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness…Malachi 3:1-3

We see reference to a mysterious messenger again in Malachi 4:5 and this time he is referred to as Elijah…and this is the way the Old Testament ends.

Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.”

Again I categorically state right now that I believe this messenger is a foretelling of John the Baptist. Even Jesus says as much in Matthew 17:11-12

Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”

John inevitably will not be recognized as the Elijah foretold in Malachi 4:5, just as Jesus will not be wholly recognized as the Messiah. For context we must realize that by the time of this prophecy by Malachi Israel had returned Babylonian exile and had already begun apostatize and fall away from God and disobey Him. They had begun cheating God w/ blemished sacrifices. God’s people were again corrupt. God had done all He was going to do …----all to no avail---. God judges His people with silence…for 450 years. It was called the Inter-testamental period. A span time equal to that from Martin Luther until now…..Silence. Absolute and utter silence from God. In this 400+ year hiatus God would be working on bringing His perfect plan to fruition but meanwhile in the world...


..............                 Nothing                       .............


And then 450 years later…a “voice”...crying in the desert near the River Jordan.

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him!!!”

1 comment:

Andy Pierson said...

This is a brief outline of the manuscript of sermon delivered to a congregation that had left their old church becuase the "shepherd" of that church did not believe the Bible was inerrant. I got news for him, he's wrong. Anyone that believes the Bible has 300+ contradictions in it is probably not even Christian. There are two more posts to follow for this small breakaway series based on my most recent sermon. :P-eace All! Andy

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