Session 1: The Ancient God for the Modern Man
This presentation sets the framework and foundation of the entire series. We looked at some basic facts and figures, both from the Bible as well as from external sources as we considered why the Bible, written so many centuries ago, can be relevant to this modern day and age. More importantly, we journeyed through some key findings that revealed an Ancient God who has been and will continue to reach out to us, the modern man and woman.
1. Meet God through the Bible, not only through Christians
- An ancient Bible, and an ancient God, doesn’t denote something that’s antiquated or obsolete, but rather one that has eternal and everlasting origins (Psalm 90:2)
- Christianity should be defined by what the Bible says and not solely by Christians’ behaviour.
- Christians of course, are called to be like Jesus and should reflect His love. However, in the end, Christians are still human beings who make mistakes.
- To truly understand and know the God of the Bible, we need to get into the Bible itself. An imperfect an inadequate metaphor to this – it would be like trying to figure if surfing is for you by only talking with surfers (instead of actually trying it). That doesn’t meet we shouldn’t talk to surfers though to know more about surfing. J
2. The Bible is a compilation of 66 books, written:
- On three continents in three languages
- By about 40 different people – kings, shepherds, scientists, attorneys, an army general, fishermen, priests, a tax collector, and a doctor.
- Over a period of approximately 1500 years (1400 B.C to 100 C.E).
- On the most controversial subjects.
- By people who, in most cases, had never met.
- By authors whose education and background varied greatly.
- The 66 books maintain harmony with each other
- Often new concepts on a subject are expressed, but these concepts do not undermine what other Bible writers say on the same subject
The Bible claims to be inspired by God and the authors spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit
- 2 Timothy 3:16 - “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”
- 2 Peter 1:21 - “…for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
3. Facts and figures
- Up 6 billion copies sold
- 50 bibles sold every minute
- The United Bible Societies (UBS) estimate they have distributed nearly 9 billion Bibles, whole or in part, since 1947.
- According to a U.B.S. report, by the end of Dec 31st 2011:
i. The Bible is available in 2,538 languages
ii. The complete Bible, in 475 languages,
iii. The New Testament in 1240 languages.
iv. Other Bible portions, in 823 languages
- In 1995, UBS distributed 565 million Bibles and Bible portions to 200 countries.
4. Formation of the Bible
- The Old Testament consists of three sections – Torah (Law / “Pentateuch”) Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings), with the “newest” book completed around 400 B.C (Malachi / Ezra-Nehemiah).
- Jewish tradition notes that the OT canon was decided around this time (refer to quote in slides by Josephus)
- Archaeology evidence include the Moabite Stone, Cyrus’ Cylinder, the Lachish Letters, and most importantly, the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- Donald Wiseman (archaeologist and professor), in “Archaeological Confirmations of the Old Testament”, estimated that there were more than 25,000 discoveries that confirmed the truthfulness of the Bible.
- The New Testament canon was started around 100 A.D, and substantially completed by 175 A.D.
- It was the Synod of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) that officially validated the 27 books of the New Testament as we have it today.
5. Prophecy in the Bible
- According to Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy, by J. Barton Payne, there are 1,239 prophecies in the Old Testament and 578 prophecies in the New Testament involving 8,352 Bible verses.
- There are many fulfilled prophecies include Cyrus the warrior capturing Babylon (predicted about 160 years earlier in Isaiah 45:1-3), Babylon never to be inhabited again (Isaiah 13:19,20, Jeremiah 51:37) and Egypt to never had a commanding position among the nations (Ezekiel 29:14,15; 30:12,13)
- One of the greatest prophecies of all time is Daniel 2, in which the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (occurring in 604 B.C and recorded in 530 B.C), foretells the future of the world and all the major world empires from the time of Babylon. They are listed below:
Daniel 2 symbolism
Head of Gold
BC 605 – 538
Chest of Silver
BC 538 – 331
Thighs of Bronze
BC 331 – 168
Legs of Iron
BC 168 – AD 476
Feet of Iron and Clay
AD 476 – 2nd Coming
Rock that destroys the statue and becomes a great mountain
God has a plan in place even now, a plan to reach out and connect with us through His word. Ultimately, we will see Him face to face but in the meantime, this incredible Ancient God of love wants to reveal Himself as a God who wants to meet with us through His Ancient Words. Even though these Words have been written in the past, they change lives in the present and gives hope for eternity. Our journey through this entire series will be focusing on this theme.
GOD THROUGH THE BIBLE
In GENESIS - BREATH OF LIFE, the CREATOR GOD
In EXODUS - the PASSOVER LAMB
In LEVITICUS - OUR HIGH PRIEST
In NUMBERS - PILLAR OF CLOUD BY DAY & PILLAR OF FIRE BY NIGHT
In DEUTERONOMY – MOSES’ VOICE
In JOSHUA - THE MIGHTY CONQUEROR
In JUDGES - THE LAW GIVER
In RUTH - OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER
In 1st and 2nd SAMUEL – THE ROOT OF JESSE and the SON OF DAVID
In KINGS & CHRONICLES - THE SOVEREIGN LORD
In EZRA –THE TRUE and FAITHFUL SCRIBE
In NEHEMIAH - THE REBUILDER OF BROKEN WALLS, The RESTORER OF BROKEN LIVES
In ESTHER – DELIVERER FROM OUR ENEMIES
In JOB – THE TIMELESS REDEEMER
In PSALMS - OUR MORNING SONG, our REASON TO SING
In PROVERBS - WISDOM'S CRY
In ECCLESIASTES – THE TIME and SEASON
In the SONG OF SOLOMON – THE LOVER’S DREAM
In ISAIAH - WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, THE EVERLASTING FATHER, THE PRINCE OF PEACE! He’s ALL YOU NEED!
In JEREMIAH - BALM OF GLIEAD, the SOOTHING SALVE FOR SIN SICK SOUL
In LAMENTATIONS - CRY FOR ISRAEL
In EZEKIEL – THE CALL FROM SIN
In DANIEL – THE STRANGER IN THE FIRE, the ANCIENT OF DAYS and the EVERLASTING GOD
In HOSEA - FOREVER FAITHFUL
In JOEL - SPIRIT'S POWER
In AMOS – THE ARMS THAT LIFTS US UP
In OBADIAH - LORD OUR SAVIOR
In JONAH – THE GREAT MISSIONARY
In MICAH – THE PROMISE OF PEACE
In NAHUM - OUR STRENGTH and SHIELD
In HABAKKUK & ZEPHANIAH - PLEADING FOR REVIVAL
In HAGGAI - RESTORER OF THE LOST HERITAGE
In ZECHARIAH - OUR REDEEMING FOUNTAIN
In MALACHI - THE SON OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, RISING WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS
In Matthew – THE KING OF THE JEWS
In Mark – THE HUMBLE SERVANT
In Luke – THE SON OF MAN
In John – THE SON OF GOD
In Acts - THE POWER BEHIND THE EARLY CHURCH, SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
In Romans - the righteousness of God
In 1st and 2nd Corinthians - the rock that followed Israel,the triumphant one that gives victory
In Galatians - OUR liberty who sets US free
In Ephesians - head of the Church
In Philippians - our joy
In Colossians - our completeness
In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians - our hope and our glory
In 1st and 2nd Timothy - OUR faith and our stability
in Titus – THE REDEEMER FROM OUR INIQUITIES
In Philemon – OUR benefactor
In Hebrews - OUR perfection
In James – THE power behind our faith
In 1st and 2nd Peter - our example and our purity
In 1st, 2nd and 3rd John - our life, our pattern, our motivation
In Jude - foundation of our faith
In Revelation, He OUR COMING KING.
He is the KING OF KINGS & LORD OF LORDS, the GREAT I AM, the ALPHA & OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST, THE WHO WAS, AND IS, AND IS TO COME. HE IS OUR GOD and OUR SAVIOR. He is JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD
And if you look through history, you’ll find that
HEROD couldn’t kill Him
The PHARISEES couldn’t CONFUSE Him
The ROMANS couldn’t INTIMIDATE Him
The GRAVE couldn’t HOLD Him
IDEALOGIES, EMPERORS, KINGS, even TIME itself could not CONTAIN HIM!
He is the ANCIENT GOD for the MODERN MAN
And He wants to meet us in THESE ANCIENT WORDS for a MODERN WORLD