The Bible is acknowledged by many as divinely inspired — yet others, including theologians, condemn it as unbelievable myth! If YOU have ever doubted, wondered or taken for granted God's Word — this message from our Correspondence Course Staff is for YOU!
THERE is no other book on earth like your Bible! The Bible IS DIFFERENT! But do you know why? Bible societies distributed 31 MILLION COPIES of the Bible last year, and plan to give away 150 MILLION COPIES per year by 1966! The Bible has been translated into at least 1,181 different dialects and languages, yet recent surveys indicate that 29% — NEARLY ONE THIRD — Of Bible owners consider it irrelevant in this modern 20th Century! The plain fact is most people have simply taken their Bibles for granted! Attempts to discredit the Bible as a source of divine truth are made by theologians as well as atheists, by politicians as well as scientists and agnostics. Economists would deny the Bible is relevant to problems of finance and business. Ministers frankly state they think the Bible is NO HELP in solving marital problems! People have come to regard the Bible with superstitious awe, yet they never take it off their shelves and let it speak for itself! As a result, the faith of millions — perhaps YOUR FAITH — is on mighty shaky ground!
What Is Your Bible?
What is it that makes the Bible different? Is it the quality of paper and ink, and a fine leather binding? Or is it the message that is conveyed to your mind by the words of the Bible that distinguishes this book from all others? Of course, there is nothing sacred about the pages of gold-edged paper and printer's ink of your Bible. Actually the word, "Bible" comes from the Greek word, "biblios" which means "books." The Bible, in our common versions, contains 66 books. The reason it is called the "HOLY Bible" is that the message conveyed to our minds by the words of those 66 books is HOLY! The Bible is actually the Message of God written down in print! Yet most people venerate the paper and ink of the Bible, but still refuse to live by it!
What Ministers Say About the Bible
You would be shocked to know what today's religious leaders have to say PUBLICLY about your Bible! Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote in his book, The Modern Use of the Bible: "We know now that every idea in the Bible started from primitive and childlike origins..." and that it is an "impossible attempt to harmonize the Bible with itself, to make it speak with unanimous voice, to resolve its conflicts and contradictions..." Dr. Fosdick believes the Bible to be anything but God's inspired word. In his earlier writings he said, "But we do not need to apologize for their crudities... Their lack is a lack of maturity..." Dr. Fosdick, a leading American minister, labels the Bible CRUDE! Its writers, he says, ARE IMMATURE! Dr. Fosdick's voice is not the only one in this chorus of religious leaders who have become the LEADING DETRACTORS of the Bible. He is joined by Dr. James Moffat and Dr. Edgar Goodspeed — supposedly "learned" men — who reject the DIVINE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE. Dr. Moffat labels earlier portions of the Bible, "the natural desire to gather up the primitive traditions of the people." You need to know whether the Bible is merely a collection of PRIMITIVE HUMAN TRADITIONS or whether it is God's INSPIRED WORD. Dr. Goodspeed says of the first twelve books of the Bible: "It is man's first attempt to organize his knowledge of his past into what we would call an outline of history." What you need to ask yourself is: "Is the Bible what it claims to be — the inspired revelation of Almighty God to mankind? And does it have any authority — should YOU be expected to LIVE BY IT?" The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "All scripture is given by INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (II Tim. 3:16). Jesus Christ said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!" (Matt. 4:4) Actually Jesus was quoting this vital statement of Biblical authority in your life from the Old Testament. You can read it in Deuteronomy 8:3. Jesus Christ said man should LIVE BY every word of God — both New and Old Testaments!
Bible Reveals Invisible Laws!
Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if all the Bibles in the world were stacked together and burned? Would the truth change at all — simply because it wasn't written down? Of course not! Just as the invisible laws of the universe operate perfectly without being written in science books, so the spiritual principles and laws of your Bible are inexorable. They would still be living, acting principles whether they were written down or not. Homes broken by divorce would still be unhappy, eroding the moral strength of a nation, even if the seventh commandment had not been written down for us to read. Without a written command, the worship of idols — any manufactured product that man puts ahead of God in importance — would still produce a society of empty materialism based on a "get-for-self" principle — and the complete frustration of man's search for peace of mind. God has preserved the written Bible so that man could know of these invisible principles and not have to suffer the lessons of cruel experience through disobedience. The Bible reveals in print the inexorable, immutable, but invisible spiritual principles governing the universe. The Bible is a handbook — a guide so that you can really enjoy life by living within its laws. But even more than that the Bible is the expression of God's mind — in print. Jesus Christ came to live the principles of the Bible as an example of the way man ought to be living. Christ lived in absolute harmony with and in absolute obedience to God's will. Christ's life was a perfect reflection of God's laws as they are expressed in your Bible. He is therefore called the "Word of God!" (Rev. 19:13) Perhaps you never thought of it that way before. Well, it is high time you did. Because the Bible has a great deal to say TO YOU about how you ought to be living! Jesus Christ was God's Word made flesh and blood — He was the exact expression of God's mind IN ACTION — just as the Bible is God's Word on paper and in ink! Speaking of Jesus Christ, John said, "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!" (John 1:14) John explains further, "that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life!" (I John 1:1) The apostle Paul said, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by a son... who being the brightness of His glory and the EXPRESS IMAGE of His person... sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High" (Heb. 1:1-3). Jesus Christ was stamped with the impress of God's own character — and His actions are preserved for us in the Bible. Your Bible is the Word of God in paper and ink. It is the mind, attitude, outlook, goals, rules and plans of Almighty God put down on paper for you to read, study and LIVE BY! Because the Bible is God's mind in print it is HOLY! The Bible is the LIVING Word of God. It is full of active living principles — as definite yet invisible as the law of gravity — which have been preserved so that man would not break them and suffer because of it. Because the Bible describes the living principles of the universe which are UNSEEN but very real, it is DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER BOOKS! The Bible is God's revelation to man of those basic principles, truths and laws that man couldn't otherwise discover for himself.
The Bible Offers Proof!
Did you know that God actually wants you to prove for yourself whether or not the Bible is His inspired Word? Moreover, in I Thessalonians 5:21, He challenges you to put Him to the test! "Prove all things!" Enclosed within these three simple words is the most unique, yet absolutely irrefutable way to "check up" on your Bible! For hundreds of years the visible "academic" proofs of God and the Bible have been available to mankind. They are still available today, but some people consider them "inconclusive." However, the simple method God proposes in I Thessalonians 5:21 can convince even the most cautious student. Checking and studying the scripture in an academic way is only one method you can use to prove all things. The real personal confirmation of God's Word must come in another way! God has written the Bible so that you can prove it to be true! You can test its veracity for yourself. That's why the Bible IS DIFFERENT. Almighty God wants you to know that He stands behind every line of scripture. He will bring to pass the principles, the laws and the prophecies written in its pages.
Put the Bible to Work
The Bible itself answers the question, "How can you 'prove all things?' " The KEY lies in the word, "prove" used in I Thessalonians 5:21. Let's understand. In Luke 14:19 you will find the Very same Greek word used and translated "prove" that is used in I Thessalonians 5:21. The word is "dokimazo" in Greek, and means "to test by doing." Luke is writing of a man who excuses himself from a great supper because he was going out into his field and "prove" five yoke of new oxen by putting them to work. The oxen would be tested by doing some work! That is exactly what God challenges you to do with His Bible. He challenges you to "prove" His word by PUTTING IT INTO ACTION. In Malachi 3:10, the Hebrew counterpart of this Greek word is used. The Hebrew word for "prove" in verse 10 is "bachan," and means to "try or test by doing." If you want to PROVE your Bible, put it to the test by DOING what it says. This is God's challenge to anyone seeking to know the truth. Notice HOW to do it. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and PROVE ME NOW HEREWITH, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it!" God offers to prove He exists and that He stands behind His Word — the Bible. All He wants you to do is to take Him at His word! God's Word must be tested by putting it into action. By taking it out into the "field" of daily living to see whether it will work in a down-to-earth situation. God gives the example of tithing — paying one-tenth of your income to God — because tithing is a law of finance that man couldn't learn for himself by observation and experimentation. Tithing is a law that God has revealed to mankind only through the pages of the Bible! And man can't begin to understand the real ECONOMY of tithing — by making God your business partner — until he begins to tithe! (If you would like to know more about God's way to solve your financial problems and relieve your financial worries, read immediately our free booklet, "Ending Your Financial Worries.") Notice Jesus Christ's personal instruction to those who might question doctrine! "If any man will DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." (John 7:17) To really prove doctrine, Jesus said, PUT IT TO THE TEST! Do God's will and you will experience the proof of God's Word! The Bible is the ONLY BOOK that will stand up to this sort of test!
Follow the Bereans' Example
Acts 17:11 gives the concrete example of the Berean converts. With what sort of an attitude did the Bereans search the scripture? "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11) Notice what it was that the Bereans studied. Not the ideas of men about the Bible, not the traditions of their ancestors, but they "searched THE SCRIPTURES DAILY"! Their approach to the Bible was not critical, not skeptical, they didn't have a negative attitude — seeking to find fault with God's Word. They were truly open-minded! They were willing to accept the Bible for what it said — to take God at His Word! Read again Luke's evaluation of them, "These were MORE NOBLE than those in Thessalonica..." It was the Thessalonians who needed Paul's admonition to "prove all things." The Bereans sought the PLAIN TRUTH with a positive mental attitude, willing to accept the challenge of God — to put the Bible into action in their lives. They were willing to accept the instruction, correction and reproof of the Bible (II Tim. 3:16). If you have the courage and the faith to act on what you are learning, through the pages of The PLAIN TRUTH, as the Bereans did, then it can be written of you, "therefore MANY OF THEM BELIEVED!" (Acts 17:12) Almighty God has challenged you to put His Word to the test by putting it into action in your life! "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only...!" (James 1:22) If you would like to really study your Bible as you never have before, enroll immediately in the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. There is no charge for this unique Bible Study Course! It is offered free of tuition cost — and the only textbook you must have is your own Bible! You will find it interesting, engrossing, and surprisingly easy! The Bible Correspondence Course is not at all difficult. Many of the over 60,000 students already enrolled are people who have never completed high school. Yet they are learning the plain truth of God's Word and the meaning to life they have never before understood. You can enroll today!