Jesus and the Apostles’ View of the Bible

Scripture: Matthew 4:4
Date: 04/18/2020 
Lesson: 3
'Jesus taught His disciples obedience to the Word of God and the law. There is never a hint of Him doubting the authority or relevance of Scripture. On the contrary, He constantly referred to it as the source of divine authority. '
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Jëan Ross: Now, before we get into our lesson, we'd like to let our friends know about a free offer that we have. It's one of the Amazing Facts books. It's entitled "Down From His Glory," and we'll be happy to send this to anyone in North America. If you'd like to receive it, the number to call is 866-788-3966, and just ask for Offer Number 701. You can also text the code "SH139" to the number 40544, and we'll be able to send you a digital copy of the book "Down From His Glory." Well, Pastor Doug, before we get into our study today as we always do, let's start with a word of prayer.

Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Jëan: Dear Father, we thank You once again that we're able to gather and open up Your Word and study even though we are using various digital equipment to study the Word. We are grateful that Your Spirit is here, and we just ask for Your guidance as we look at a very important subject, focusing on Jesus' view of the Bible and how did the apostles relate to the Scriptures. So bless our study today in Jesus' name, amen.

Doug: Amen. Well, I'll tell you, this is--it's wonderful that we have this technology where we can connect with our friends. Amazing Facts has been doing Sabbath School online for, oh, probably 20 years now, almost.

Jëan: Mm-hmm. Doug: And we know that we have people who are participating in the study from around the world, of course, different times. We have our social media coordinator back here. Santiago, you're getting some messages from people in different parts of the planet? Santiago: Yeah, we got Niko Watra from Austria. Doug: Austria, Niko? Santiago: Yeah, Carl from Ottawa.

Doug: Carl from--where? Santiago: Ottawa. Doug: Ottawa, yeah. Santiago: And then Rhonda from Naples. Naples, Florida. Doug: Naples, Florida, yeah.

Santiago: Yeah, and then Ishimue, Ishimue from Rwanda? both: From Rwanda?

Jëan: Okay.

Doug: These are just some that are scrolling by as he's looking, there's thousands of people from around the world. Who else you got?

Santiago: We have Godfrey from South Africa.

Doug: Godfrey from South Africa?

Santiago: Yeah, Winnie from Kenya.

Doug: From Kenya?

Santiago: And Billy from New York City.

Doug: Billy from New York City. They're having a tough time there right now.

Jëan: They are, yup. Now, Pastor, maybe I should mention this. If you're watching on Facebook and you'd like to interact with us in our study today, we'd be happy to take a look at the questions that you send in. We'll try and answer some of them on the air. So if you have a Bible question, we're asking that you try and keep your question related to our subject, which is the Bible, how Jesus responded or related to the Bible and the apostles. If you would like to send in a question, just type it in on the Facebook page. That's Pastor Doug's Facebook page, also the Amazing Facts Facebook page. We have some of our team here, and they're gathering those questions, and they'll be sending it to me right here on my computer, and we'll try to answer those questions as we go through the program today.

Doug: Amen. And so, with that, we should probably get into our lesson. You know, one of the favorite things we do at Granite Bay every year, we have a message or two that deals specifically with the subject of Scripture because we think it's a foundation of all that we teach. And, you know, it occurred to me, if there wasn't a Bible, I wouldn't have a life because my whole life revolves around reading the Bible, writing about the Bible, preaching about the Bible, teaching about the Bible, studying the Bible, and it's like it's the axis on which my life turns, and it should be for the church. It's the foundation. Jesus said, "He that hears these words of mine is the wise man who builds on the rock." It's a rock of the church. And so, every year, we usually emphasize the Bible.

I'm thrilled we're taking the whole quarter to talk about the Scriptures and the importance of the Scriptures right now. Our lesson today is "Jesus and the Apostles' View of the Bible." How did Christ and the apostles feel about the Bible? And we have a memory verse, and I know that in your places around the world, you're going to say this with us. And this is from Matthew 4:4. I think most people know this one by heart anyway. Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said to them, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."'" And that comes up again a little later in our study. And so I think it's important to remember that, when we're reading the New Testament, we're really asking, "How did the New Testament writers, Jesus and the apostles, feel about the Old Testament and Scripture?"

Jëan: Well, you know, Pastor Doug, there are so many different opinions today about the Bible. There are those who feel like the Bible is just a collection of historical myths, stories, questions. People question the inspiration of the Bible. Some people say that science contradicts the Bible. But what we're interested in knowing is how did Jesus relate to the Bible? What was His attitude towards the stories that we have in Scripture, the authority, the inspiration of the Bible? How did the apostles feel about the Bible? And that's really the focus of what our study is: How does Jesus relate to the Bible? It's a very important point. I mean, Jesus is God. He didn't have to refer to Scripture. After all, He is the source of truth, and, yet we find often Jesus, in His life on earth, quoted the Scriptures. Matter of fact, our memory text, Jesus is quoting the Old Testament.

Doug: Exactly. You know, the gospel of Mark and John begins, really, with the baptism of Jesus, and it's got John the Baptist. And so before Christ even goes out teaching and before the temptation, which we'll get to in a moment, when John the Baptist is preaching, the religious leaders come, and they say, "Who are you?" And what does John do? He quotes from the Bible. He says, "I am the voice--" I believe it's a prophecy in Isaiah: "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness." So right from the very beginning, they understood that the whole message of the Messiah was going to be founded on the Old Testament Scriptures, that he would be a fulfillment of these Old Testament prophecies.

Jëan: Absolutely, and so when you get into the public ministry of Jesus, you have the baptism that Pastor Doug alluded to, and then you'll find Jesus being led by the Spirit, up into the wilderness, where He fasted and prayed for 40 days. And you know the story, how that the devil came to tempt Jesus there in the wilderness. Jesus did not fight against the devil or defend Himself by quoting His position or authority, but Jesus went back to the Bible. And there are some lessons in that. There's important lessons for us as Christians, where do we find our defense against temptations?

Doug: Yeah, the reason the world is in trouble now is because Eve tried to argue with the devil, using rationalization, and the real answer is "God has said," and to stay with that. And so sometimes, if you try to rationalize and try and talk your way out of a temptation, you can get in trouble, but just say, "This is what the Word of God says," and this is what Christ did.

Jëan: So the first temptation that we read about in Matthew chapter 4, verse 4, this is the response of Jesus, and we read it in our Scripture reading. "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" And I think, Pastor Doug, one of the things that, to me, is being emphasized by Jesus in this response to the devil's first temptation--the trustworthiness of the Bible. You need something that you can trust, especially today. So many different ideas and theories. What do you trust? Jesus said, "We ought to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." That is the Word of God.

Doug: It also strikes me that, when the temptation came to Jesus, it says He's out in the wilderness. He's been there 40 days. I suspect He was not carrying a backpack full of scrolls--that He had learned the Scriptures on His mother's knee, and so when temptation came, He had it memorized, and I think it's essential for Christians to know we need to be filling in our minds now with the truth of God's Word, especially now. We did a little video, oh, I guess about a week ago, talking about, sort of, a--what's the word for it? A little bit of a provocative title. It said, "How to hoard food for the storm." And I wanted people to watch it. We're not telling people to be stripping the shelves in the market. We said we need to be storing food for the coming storm. Here, Jesus was going through a storm of temptation, but He was prepared because He had hidden the Word in His heart so that he could recite it and claim these promises when they came.

Jëan: So that's the first temptation. Jesus says, "Man shall not live by bread alone," but, again, the devil tempted Christ. In Matthew chapter 4, verse 7, you have Christ's response again, and "Jesus said, 'It is written again, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God."'" Now, I like the way it's worded. Jesus says, "It is written again." So he quoted, "It is written," and then, on the second temptation, he says, "It is written again." And, to me, that's Jesus affirming the authority of the Scripture. The final word is found in the Scriptures, the Word of God.

Doug: Amen. Yeah, He could've said, "Well, I mentioned the Bible last time. I'm going to use something else this time." He just kept going back to the Bible. Something else about this, it tells us, "The devil took Him into the holy city, set Him on the--" and this is Matthew chapter 4, verse 5-- "set Him on the pinnacle of the temple--" which was very high. I understand, from Josephus, it was, like, over 200 feet high-- "and said, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written--" so now the devil is quoting the Bible, and he actually only quotes half of it, so he takes it out of context-- "it is written: 'He'll give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against the stone.'"

So the devil leaves out the part that says, "to keep you in all your ways." And part of that means you do not tempt the Lord. That's one of the ways. So Jesus also uses the Bible correctly here. Where the devil used the Bible, he misquoted. He used it incorrectly to try to manipulate. Now, there's a lot of people in the world today that say, "I'm a Christian. I believe the Bible," and they're wolves in sheep's clothing. So we've got to remember, the devil can quote the Bible and--but we need to know the Bible well enough that we're going to be able to spot if it's misquoted. Say, "No, that's not what it says."

Jëan: Somebody asked a question along those same lines. They just texted in, and they said, "How does one rationalize with the devil?" or "What do you mean by 'rationalizing with the devil,' and how does one do this?" Doug: Well, I don't think you should engage the devil because the only--you know, the devil is so--the Bible says man is made lower than the angels. The devil was the highest of the angels. Though he is incredibly evil, he's incredibly brilliant, and if you try to engage in an argument with him without the Holy Spirit and supernatural power, trusting our own words and rationalization, we'll be overcome. So you don't want to parlay with the devil. Jëan: Absolutely. The best thing to do when a temptation comes its way, start quoting Scripture, and send up a prayer right away—

Doug: And run.

Jëan: And don't--yeah.

Doug: Flee temptation.

Jëan: That's right.

Doug: Bible says Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife. Jëan: Right. The longer we stay around the forbidden tree, you might say, the more likely we are to fall. Doug: Thank you, a good point.

Jëan: Somebody asked another question, Pastor Doug, dealing with the Bible. "What would you suggest as being the best way to memorize Scripture?"

Doug: Well, there's a lot of good ways. Mrs. Batchelor was telling me that we ought to be mentioning there's a special Bible program called the FAST program, and they probably have a website people can go to. They've got cards and a little program. It's not much. They can purchase. And you go through memorizing segments of Scripture, the most important promises that you're going to use later. In fact, I'll jump ahead. We're not going to forget the third temptation, but I want to jump ahead and just say, Peter tells us, 2 Peter chapter 1, verse 4, "By which we have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Through the Word of God, the promises of God, we quote these, we memorize them, and they comfort our hearts, and they give us ammunition against temptation.

So I'd start by getting a "Bible Promise Book," or get the Bible memorization program that has some of the best promises to help live the Christian life, to bring comfort. They're in categories. And then, in a program like this, you take a Scripture, and you try to commit it to memory during that day. Then you can have your alarm timer on your phone go off again, and say, all right, repeat it again, and two or three times during that day, you repeat it. The next day, you add a Scripture, and then repeat the one you remembered the day before. You've got to stay at it. I had a neighbor. He memorized the entire New Testament. It just--and I tested him on it too, and he did, so it can be done.

Jëan: Wow. All right, well, then that comes to our third point here in the temptations of Christ. And, finally, this is the temptation that the devil kind of put everything on the line, hoping that he could get Christ, and he said, "If you bow down and worship me, I'll give you all the kingdoms of this world." Jesus responded, Matthew chapter 4, verse 10--and I like this. Jesus said to him again, "Away with you, Satan. For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord God, and Him only you shall serve.'" There is a demonstration of the power of the Word.

You want to get the devil to go away? Quote the Scripture, the power of the Word. Doug: That reminds me of when, in the book of Jude, Michael comes to resurrect Moses, and then the devil comes, and he basically argues. He said, "You can't have him. He sinned. You know, he's mine." And Michael would not parlay with the devil. He simply said, '"The Lord rebuke thee," which is essentially, "Get thee behind me." And that's what happened. So I want to remind our friends that may have joined us since we began, this is our "Sabbath School Study Hour." You can ask questions, and that website, again, if they want to send us questions about the lesson?

Jëan: It's just the Facebook page, Doug Batchelor Facebook page, or the Amazing Facts Facebook page, and thank you for the questions that you have sent in, and I know many of them are related to the lesson, so we appreciate that. If you have any question about the Bible, how to understand the Bible, something relating to Christ and the Bible, or the apostles, we'd love to hear from you. Well, Pastor Doug, that brings us to our next section. Just, sort of, to wrap that up, I think the point that we just want to take away from that is that Jesus made it clear in His life, that ultimate authority is in the Scriptures, and we can trust the Scriptures, and that it's a power against the enemy.

Doug: Yeah, one more thing is, in those three temptations that came to Jesus, you know, some people say, "Well, that's nice that He was able to use the Scripture for that particular temptation, but I've got this temptation. You know, Jesus never had to worry about tobacco in His day," or whatever it is. Those three temptations really cover all categories of sin. You can read in 1 John chapter 2, verse 15, "Do not love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--" now, here's the three categories of sin-- "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he that does the will of God will abide forever." And so in these three temptations, it's the same three areas where Adam and Eve fell. Jesus overcame through Scripture. Whatever the temptation, there is a Scripture promise for you.

Jëan: Absolutely. Well, that brings us to our Monday lesson. If you follow along with your lesson, we're on Monday now, and the title for that is "Jesus and the Law." How did Jesus relate to the law? And, firstly, I think it's very clear that Jesus taught obedience to the law. Now, some people get confused as to the ceremonial law, what part of that do we need to keep, if any, but really, the point that we're emphasizing is the moral law. That is the Ten Commandment law. There's no question as to Christ's position about the law. We actually have that verse Pastor Doug, in Matthew chapter 5, verse 17, where Jesus made it very clear. He said, "Do not think that I've come to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy but to fulfill."

Doug: Absolutely. You know, when you look at the Bible, and you take your Bible, and you go to the New Testament--all right, I got it here just so you have a visual. This is a unique Bible in that I have almost no notes in this Bible. It's almost nothing but Scripture. I did that so I could get the font as big as possible. Here, you got the New Testament. Here, you've got the Old Testament. You can quickly see the New Testament is only about a quarter of the whole Bible. Three-quarters of it is Old Testament.

And then, in the Old Testament--let me see here. I'm going to go to--here you've got the books of Moses. Matter of fact, a little more of Deuteronomy here. Don't want to leave Moses out. And then Moses wrote the book of Job. So here you've got the foundation for the Bible in the five books of Moses. This is what's often called "the law." And then you've got the history, the books of Joshua, Judges, 1st and 2nd Kings, 1st and 2nd Samuel, Chronicles. This is the history.

Then you've got the minor prophets, the major prophets. But they call this the "Law and the Prophets," and even though it had books of poetry, and it had the history in it as well. This is the foundation, in particular, the teachings of Moses. For every other prophet, for every other psalm, matter of fact, they almost all quote Moses at some point. The other minor prophets, major prophets, Psalms, they reference Moses. One of the Psalms is actually a song of Moses. And so that was the foundation.

Now, some people say--reason I'm going through this whole point--that "Some of the things Moses said, you can't really trust. They're allegories. They're fables. Adam and Eve is just an allegory. You know, we know evolution happened," they say, or "Noah and the flood is an allegory about how God feels about evil," and "The Tower of Babel, that's not how the nations separated." And they sort of--even Christian pastors and scholars say--they're very dismissive about some of the law of Moses and his teachings. But listen to what Jesus said. John 5:46, "For if you believe Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" And so it's not an option for a Bible Christian to say, "I think I might or may not believe Moses, literally." Jesus quotes Moses as literal. So you can't believe Jesus if you don't believe Moses.

Jëan: Pastor Doug, we have a question about that passage in Matthew chapter 5. Verse 19, says, "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men to do so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." So the question is "Well, does that mean that those who break one of the Lord's commandments will be in the kingdom of heaven? They'll just have a lower place in heaven?" Doug: Yeah, they got a lower rank? No, that's often misunderstood. When it says, "Those who break them and teach others to break them will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven," doesn't say they're there. It means those in the kingdom of heaven call that person the lowest person. It's talking about those in heaven are calling them the least. They're not there. So when you look at how heaven values the greatest and the least, "Those who break the commandments, and teach others to break even the least, are called the lowest by the people in heaven." Jëan: Absolutely.

Doug: They won't be there. Jëan: Yeah, so there's no question as to how Jesus felt about the law. He believed that it needed to be kept. The law is a transcript of God's character. Jesus kept the law. His followers kept the commandments. Revelation talks about a group of people in the last days that keep His commandments and have the faith and the testimony of Jesus. But the next point that's brought out in our lesson is the foundation of the law. What is the law based on? Of course, you've got the Ten Commandments divided into two parts. You've got the first four are the commandments dealing with our relationship with God. You have the last six of the Ten Commandments, dealing with our relationship to our fellow man, but Jesus summarized the law with love. And we have a story, Pastor Doug, in Matthew chapter 22, where a man came to Jesus and asked, "What is the greatest commandment in the law?" And here's His response. Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart--" this is Matthew 22, verse 37-- "'with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.' This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You should love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

Doug: Absolutely, and I've heard some say those two commandments now have replaced the Law and the Prophets. It's interesting that, those two commandments, Jesus is quoting the Old Testament. He's quoting from Deuteronomy, chapter 6, and he's quoting from Leviticus 19:18. And so, when Jesus says, "A new commandment I give to you," how could He call it a new commandment when He's quoting Moses? Or maybe He was saying, "A new concept I have for the Pharisees and the scribe, that the law of Moses is summarized in love." If you love your neighbor, you will not break the first, you know, last six commandments, and if you love God, you'll not break the first four commandments, love. That's why Paul says, "Love is--"

Jëan: Fulfilling of the law.

Doug: It's the fulfilling of the law. You know, one other thing, Pastor Ross? If you go through the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, people often say, "Well, Jesus was fulfilling and doing away with the Old Testament because He says stuff like Matthew 5:21." "You have heard it said, but I say to you," and He says, "'You shall not murder,' but I say to you, whoever murders his--but I'm saying, if you're angry with your brother without a cause, you're guilty of murder. You have heard it said by them of old, 'You shall not commit adultery,' but I say to you, if a man looks on a woman to lust, he's committing adultery. Furthermore, it has been said--" again, he quotes the-- "'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give a certificate of divorce,' but I say to you--" and then you go to Matthew 5:33, "Again, you have heard it said by them of old, 'You shall not swear falsely but perform your oaths.'"

So Jesus keeps quoting the Old Testament. Look at the authority. But he's not quoting it and saying, "But I say something different." What Jesus did is he went deeper. He showed that the law was not just an action. The law was an attitude. So I'm always a little stunned when I hear pastors say, "See, Jesus, he did away with the law because his teaching, it fulfills it." Well, Isaiah explains what Jesus did in Isaiah 42, verse 21. It's a prophecy about the Messiah. It says, "The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake. He will exalt--" that word there is "He will magnify the law and make it honorable." The law had become dishonorable.

Christ, He took a magnifying glass. He didn't take an eraser to the law. He took a magnifying glass to make it bigger and clearer. And so the teachings of Jesus is founded on the teachings of the Bible. He just expounded it, and that's what a pastor is supposed to do.

Jëan: Amen. Doug: You take the Word, and you expound it, magnify it, make it clearer. Jëan: You know, somebody just sent in a question, and they're asking about the Book of Enoch. And the question is "Since it's quoted in the New Testament, in Jude, at the book of Jude, what do we know about the book of Enoch? Is it a truth-filled book?"

Doug: You know, this is a very--it's a great question. There is a book of Enoch. The book of Enoch was not a book that Enoch gave to Noah that somehow survived the flood and made its way down to our day. The book of Enoch was an allegorical book that was written, and parts of it were inspired during the Babylonian captivity. It's like, when we read the book, "Pilgrim's Progress," that is an inspirational book. There are certain inspirational statements in history. You can even read where, you know, Benjamin Franklin says something like, "Early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise." Well, you find that teaching kind of in Proverbs. He talks about slothfulness. And so, an inspired Bible writer might quote from another book, an inspired quote in that book. So Jude took an inspired quote from that book of Enoch, but the whole book of Enoch was not inspirational on the level of the Bible.

Jëan: All right, I think also there's some questions as to the authorship of the book. We know Enoch didn't write this book. It kind of got his name attached, but we don't really know who actually wrote the book. Apparently, it was around at the time of Christ, but, again, the authorship is-- Doug: Some John Bunyan who lived during the time of the Babylonian captivity. We don't know his name so-- Jëan: Yeah, right.

Doug: Some inspired Jew who was writing an inspired commentary. But, yeah, the whole book of Enoch has some things in it that are not inspired, so that's why a person needs to be careful. There's some things in there that they took some liberties with.

Jëan: Right, there's a statement that we find in the book "Christ's Object Lessons," and it talks about Christ's attitude towards the Bible. I'd like to read it. It's "Christ's Object Lessons," page 39 and 40. It's a short quote. It says, "He," talking of Christ, "pointed to the Scriptures as the unquestionable authority, and we should do the same. The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, and the end of all controversy, the foundation of all faith."

Doug: Amen. It's like that parable that Jesus shares in Luke 16, where everyone knows the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and it only appears that one time in the Bible, and people use it to argue the state of the dead, and the parable really had nothing to do with the state of the dead. They often say that, you know, the moral of the story is at the end, or the punch line is at the end of the joke. At the end of this parable about the rich man talking to Abraham, and the poor man in Abraham's bosom, and he's in Hades, and he said, "Oh, if someone rises from the dead, then they'll believe." And Jesus said, "If they do not believe Moses and the prophets, then neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead," and that's Luke 16:31. Again, if you don't believe Moses, you can't believe Jesus.

And so Christ, He said that Moses and the prophets, the Word of God--and this is--you know, I've just got to tell my friends, you know, we've got a small crew here in the studio doing online church for you on online Sabbath School. We'll do church in a minute. But I realize there's thousands that are watching. I'll tell you something that is on my heart. I visit other churches.

I know we have some friends that are watching from other denominations, though this is a Seventh-day Adventist congregation, and I go into their churches, and they provide Bibles. And I'll pull the Bible out of the back of the pew, and it's just the New Testament. And I'm thinking, "Don't you provide the Bible that Jesus read, the Bible the apostles read?" There is so much truth in the other three quarters of the Bible that it always amazes me they say, "We've got Bibles in your pews," and they only talk about and teach the New Testament. When the New Testament was written, they were looking at the Old Testament as the primary Scripture. And so that's just something we can't forget. It's all the Word of God, but don't neglect the Old Testament.

Jëan: Matter of fact, that's an excellent segue to Tuesday's lesson, which is entitled "Jesus and all the Scripture." Of course, when you talk about Jesus and the Scripture, you're talking about the Old Testament. He didn't have the New Testament. One of my favorite stories--and I know it's one of yours, Pastor Doug, because I've heard you preach sermons on it--is Luke chapter 24, where Jesus had a rather interesting discussion with two of the disciples walking to Emmaus.

Doug: Yeah, the road to Emmaus experience, this is the Sunday morning after the Resurrection. No, it's actually Sunday afternoon at this point. And two of the disciples are--they're just brokenhearted, you know. They saw what they believe was the Messiah die. They thought he was going to conquer the Romans, and they don't understand, and they're walking from Jerusalem, which means "City of God," down to Emmaus, a town, means, "hot water." There are hot springs there, evidently. And so they're going downhill. They got their back to the New Jerusalem. They're discouraged. They're talking about everything that happened. Jesus draws near, and they don't recognize Him. He listens for a while, and He says, "Why are you so sad? What is this communication you have with one another as you walk and are sad?" Christians should be happy, should be positive, good news. And they said, "Oh, haven't you heard about Jesus and what happened, or are you a stranger? Where have you been?" I'm paraphrasing.

And then Jesus said--He finally couldn't take it anymore, and he said, "O fools and slow of heart to believe that all the prophets have spoken. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." There was no New Testament, and he says all the Scriptures talk about Jesus. And, you know, I was so excited about that theme. I wrote a book called "Shadows of Light," Christ in the Old Testament, and I just see Jesus everywhere in the Old Testament.

Jëan: You know, the amazing thing about that story, here is Jesus, he rose from the dead. He's the Son of God, but before He reveals Himself to the disciples, He wants to ground them in the prophetic Word, the authority of the prophetic Word. Before even revealing Himself, He points them back to the Scripture. So an example of Jesus, how did Jesus relate to the Bible? He recognized the prophetic authority of the Scriptures, the Old Testament. Of course, you can extend that to the New Testament, but we can trust the prophetic utterances that we find in the Bible. They came true. The Book of Daniel points out the different histories and stories. We can trust what the Bible says.

Doug: Yeah, and that, to me, is what you would call a slam-dunk Scripture. He says, "all the Scriptures," and Jesus could've said, "I want you to believe I'm the Messiah because I'm telling you to." He didn't. He said, "I want you to believe I'm the Messiah because of what the Scriptures say. So the authority for Christ and the authority he gives the churches, what does the Bible say?

Jëan: Well, Pastor Doug, that brings in another question that somebody is asking, and that is, "How do we know that all of the books in the Bible that we have is, indeed, the Scriptures, and who chooses what book to be in the Bible, and what book not to be in the Bible?"

Doug: Well, that's a great question, and I invite you to help me in answering this. But all of the books that we have in our modern Bible--of course, the Old Testament was complete before Jesus was born. So there's very little dispute about that. You know, there are some who argue that the book of Maccabees should be between the testaments, but you go from Malachi, backward, and all of the rabbis and Christian scholars agree that those books are inspired. So the big dispute comes in how do they organize which books would be included in the New Testament? And there's several things that happened.

First of all, those that wrote them were alive and witnesses of the life and teachings of Jesus. Now, Paul wrote quite a bit, but he did have a personal encounter with Christ, and so that's why he's included. The other thing is, those Bible writers cross-referenced each other. You can hear where Peter references Jude, Jude references Peter, Peter references Paul, Paul references Peter. They cross-pollinate each other to endorse one another's writings.

And then you find that the early church fathers, they were using the books--you know, there's, over time, other mystery books have popped up, you know, "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene," and "The Gospel of Judas," and these things are what they call "apocryphal." They're books of doubtful origin. They're usually forgeries that were kind of slipped in, and someone said, "Hey, guys, look what I found in this old, dusty, old library," because they had a point they wanted to teach. But by 120 A.D.--and, you know, John died about 100, the apostle. Those, Polycarp and the early church fathers, they knew some of the apostles, and they had pretty much decided the books that we have now.

The organization of the books, a lot of that came out of the Reformation. It's very interesting. Like, the letters of Paul, I was surprised to learn they're organized from the longest to the shortest. It's not that complicated. Romans is longer than 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, of course, they're in bunches, and then, by the time you--until you get to the--Revelation is a book of prophecy. It's added at the end. And you get to Jude. It's a little bitty letter, you know, and so the writings of Paul were arranged in order of their length.

Jëan: I think in order for one of the New Testament books to be part of the New Testament, there needed to be no doubt as to the authorship of the book. Of course, the letters were copied by different churches. There were a number of manuscripts around. People weren't questioning whether or not Paul wrote a particular book. They knew he wrote the book or Peter wrote the book. John wrote Revelation. So knowing who wrote the book is very important.

Doug: Yeah, the authorship, and we knew it says holy men wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost. These were Spirit-filled--they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost or from Christ Himself, like Paul, and they were the authors.

Jëan: Now, we spoke about Jesus emphasizing the authority of the prophetic word when he met with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, but Jesus also affirms the doctrinal accuracy or trustworthiness of the word when Jesus gives the Great Commission to His disciples, that we find in Matthew chapter 28. I think we're all familiar with the Great Commission, but the point I just want to highlight here is verse 20, Matthew 28:20. Jesus said, "Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you." Well, what are those things that Jesus commanded them? If you look at what the disciples said, they would quote the Old Testament. So it was very clear in their minds that the foundation of truth that Jesus taught them was rooted in the Old Testament. It was rooted in the Scriptures.

Doug: Great point. You know, we were talking about the road to Emmaus before, and I quoted Luke 24:25. So when they get to Emmaus, He tells them all the Scriptures, right? Then He appears that same day in the Upper Room. Those disciples run back to the Upper Room. He appears to all 12, well, Judas is gone. He appears to 11 of them, plus the other disciples that were there. "And He said, 'These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled that are written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms,'" the psalms, a lot of powerful Messianic psalms, like Psalm 22 and 69, and others, "concerning Me." And then it says, "He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." What Scriptures was He opening?

Jëan: The Old Testament.

Doug: There's no New Testament then. I mean, he's just risen from the dead. And so Jesus establishes the very foundation of the church there in the Upper Room, the Scriptures. Every time Christ appeared after the Resurrection, He taught them the Bible. He was opening the Scriptures to them. So, yeah, very important.

Jëan: Well, that brings us to our study on Wednesday. If you're following along with your lesson, the point on Wednesday is entitled "Jesus and the Origin and the History of the Bible." Today, there's a lot of questions about how much of the Old Testament is trustworthy from a scientific perspective. "Was there really a worldwide flood? Did everybody come from a man and a woman, Adam and Eve?" And, yeah, there's a lot of questions as to the trustworthiness.

Doug: Noah.

Jëan: Noah, yup.

Doug: Who can believe Jonah?

Jëan: Three days in the belly of the whale. So how was Christ's attitude? Well, how did Jesus feel about these stories that we find? Matthew chapter 19, verse 4 and 5, "He answered, and He said unto them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and Female," and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"?' No question in the mind of Jesus. This is Christ speaking that the Genesis account of Adam and Eve is absolutely historic and trustworthy.

Doug: Yeah, he states it as a fact, and he almost reproves them. He says, "Have you not read?" I heard a great sermon--I didn't really hear it. I read it--by Spurgeon, on those words, "Have you not read?" "Have you not read?" And you've probably heard it. He can take just a few words and--and he says, "You know, we should be reading the Bible. Have you not read?" And Jesus is reproving them: "Have you not read?" And so He's assuming that we should read and believe these things, and He states it as fact. I mentioned Jonah a minute ago. One reason we know the story of Jonah is true is not only is Jonah mentioned in other books in the Bible as a prophet who lived during a specific time in history, about 700 A.D.--or B.C.--sorry. But Jesus said, "As Jonah," you know, "was in the belly of the great fish." Jesus states it as fact, so you have to say you cannot believe the words of Jesus if you're not going to believe the Old Testament stories like Jonah, and Noah, and the other miracles. Look at the amazing plagues that fell on Egypt. You get to Revelation, and you look at the plagues there, it's all stated as fact and true.

Jëan: Question that somebody has sent in, Pastor, that "What is the difference between the major prophets and the minor prophets?"

Doug: Well, I think it's the size of the books.

Jëan: Okay.

Doug: You know, Isaiah's got 66 chapters, and you look at Daniel and Ezekiel, and these are--Jeremiah. And, I guess, the Lamentations is really an attachment to Jeremiah. The minor prophets are usually--they're smaller books. Is that-- Jëan: Yeah, I think you're right. Also we have--sort of, the major prophets would be almost career prophets. For example, Isaiah, he wrote a big book, but the Lord used him time and time again, over a long period of time, and he was giving instruction to Israel. But then you have, maybe, some of the minor prophets. They have a shorter book where they have a brief message, and we have no real record of their interaction after that. So the major prophets, Jeremiah, we know a lot about him and the work that he did. Isaiah, we know a lot about the work that he did. So I think that's part of the distinction. Doug: Daniel, from beginning of his life to the end, he's a prophet. Yeah, good point.

Jëan: All right.

Doug: And any other questions, just call them in. We'll keep going though.

Jëan: Yes, we'll get to that question in just a minute. So not only do we find Jesus affirming the authority of the Word, the Old Testament, Pastor Doug mentioned the historical facts or history events of the Old Testament. Jesus was very clear on this. Matthew chapter 10, verse 6, Jesus said, "But from the beginning of Creation." Christ was not mixed up as to origins, how did we get here. He knew it was creation, of course. Jesus could've said, "I was there," you know? "I made the earth." But He doesn't say that. He says, "The Bible, 'From the beginning--'" He quotes Scripture. So it's amazing to me that He, who is the truth, turns to the Scripture as being the foundation that we need to put our trust in.

Doug: And that is so important. There are a number of cults that are out there today, where they say, "Yeah, we know the Bible says this, but we have new light now because our prophet says something different." Now, I believe in the gift of prophecy, and in the Adventist church, we often quote from Ellen White. Ellen White said, "Don't believe anything I say if it doesn't go along with the Bible, and everything I say needs to either support or endorse Scripture or discard it." And so Jesus even used that same approach. He said, "I'm not asking you to believe what I'm saying instead of what the Scriptures say. I'm pointing you back to the Scriptures as the final foundation."

Jëan: Pastor Doug, just maybe a question we have here. You mentioned the parable, in Luke chapter 16, of the rich man and Lazarus, and somebody's asking--maybe they've heard. I've never heard this before that that parable isn't really a parable, that somehow, it's a teaching of the state of the dead, because a name is given. This person's name is Lazarus, and later on in the story, you read about Abraham. So some people say, "How do you know that that's a parable?"

Doug: Why don't they give the--why didn't Jesus give the name of the rich man?

Jëan: Right.

Doug: The reason we know it's a parable is, first of all, Lazarus is a very common name in Bible times, but even beyond that, the ending, he--the rich man says, "If Lazarus would go back from the dead, then they would believe." And Jesus said, "They have Moses and the prophets." "Oh, no, but if someone went to them from the dead, then they'd believe." Jesus said, "If they don't believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead." The most amazing resurrection Jesus did, right in Judea, in Bethany, He raised a man named Lazarus, as evidence of His Messiahship, and it says they were plotting to kill Lazarus, even though they knew he had risen from the dead, because he was such a living testimony. And so I think that's why He used Lazarus's name.

Jëan: And the parable was told before Lazarus was resurrected, just a fairly short period of time. So it's interesting that Jesus puts a name in Lazarus, and then a few weeks later, or months, whatever it is, Lazarus dies and is resurrected, and then, of course, they plot the death of Lazarus and Jesus. So I think Jesus is making the point. Of course, the rich man in the story would represent the Pharisees, the religious leaders who rejected the needs of those who were seeking truth, the Gentiles surrounding them.

Doug: It is so clearly an allegory because who believes that everybody who dies is going to somehow fit into Abraham's bosom? That's a figure of speech. So Jesus, in that story, it's an incredible paradox. He has the rich man, a symbol of the Jewish nation. He goes to the Greek place of torment, Hades, and He has the Gentiles, and Lazarus is a symbol of--they need to take the Gospel to the Gentiles at their gate. He's going to the Jewish place of reward. That's why Jesus said, "Do not think to say, 'We are children of Abraham.' Many will come from the East and the West, and sit down in the kingdom, and the children will be on the outside." So that's the message of the parable. It's not meant to teach the state of the dead. I mean, heaven forbid that people in heaven and hell can talk to each other. That'd be awful.

Jëan: A couple of historical events that Jesus pointed out as being trustworthy and true. Jesus in Matthew 24:38, spoke about the flood. And He says, "For as it was in the days before the flood." No question in Christ's mind, He believed in a worldwide flood that we have in Genesis. And then some Bible characters in the Old Testament, Jesus, by name, mentioned David, and this is Matthew chapter 12, verse 3, "But He said unto them, 'Have you not read what David did?'"

Doug: Now, I've not done the math, but I read somewhere that up to 10% of everything Jesus said was either a quote or an allusion or reference to the Old Testament. So that's phenomenal when you think about it, but no question, Jesus' teachings were rooted in the Bible. Now, we only got a moment left or five minutes to talk about the apostles in the Bible, so we probably ought to dive in there. In the lesson, it mentions that one scholar compiled a list of 2,688 specific references to the Old Testament, found in the New Testament. Just as a sample, 400 from Isaiah, 370 from Psalms, 220 from Exodus, and so on. And not only did Jesus do this, but what about the apostles? Were they quoting the Old Testament as an authority?

Jëan: Absolutely. Matter of fact, Paul, who probably wrote most of the New Testament--I'm wondering, is it Luke that wrote more? Because you got the gospel of Luke, and then you have Acts.

Doug: If you include Acts, I think Paul still—

Jëan: Paul still wrote more? And in Galatians, chapter 3, verse 8, he says, "All the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles, by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all nations shall be blessed.'" Well, here we have Paul quoting the Old Testament. He's actually quoting Genesis chapter 12, verse 3, and that was the foundation of his argument. So he's using the Old Testament to justify the Gospel that he's preaching in the new.

Doug: And Paul actually quotes Jesus as well. So they recognize Jesus' teachings as Scripture, like Paul says in, I think, it's 1 Corinthians, "It's better to give--it's more blessed to give than receive." Well, you don't find that phrase anywhere in the four gospels. He's saying, "Our Lord told us," because it's in red in Paul's writings, but he's quoting the teachings of Jesus.

And then you have--let me just look real quick here. Acts chapter 4, verse 24, "So when they heard that, they raised their voices to God with one accord and said, 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said--'" so the disciples are together, and they're now quoting David, "Why did the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?"

I think that Psalm 2. "The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ." So even in their prayers, they're saturating their prayer with promises and quotes from the Old Testament. You can go to Acts chapter 17, verse 1: "Now when they passed through Amphipolis, on to Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, and there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was--" so he does this all the time-- "he went in to them, reasoned with them from the Scriptures--" now, what Scriptures was he reasoning from? Everywhere they went, they'd go and meet with the Jews. Of course, the Jews believed the Bible. He says, "I'm going to prove to you from the Bible that Jesus was the Messiah." That was his pattern wherever he went, "explaining and demonstrating that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead. 'This Jesus who I preach to you is the Christ.'" So they, the apostles, were always referencing the Scriptures to make their points.

Jëan: And they spoke with authority when they quoted the Old Testament. I like this one in 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 16. Peter says, "Because it is written--" of course, that phrase, we just read how that Jesus used it. He said, "It is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy,'" and he's quoting from the Old Testament, from Leviticus chapter 11, verse 44. So here, we have Peter, just clearly stating an Old Testament passage with great authority. So the apostles looked at the Scripture as the final authority on questions of doctrine.

Doug: Yeah, you also have--I got another one here from Acts. Acts is a great example. Everywhere they went, they went preaching, quoting Scripture, and you can read, "And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him, and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ." And so he knew that Jesus believed the Scriptures, but also that was their foundation, and he said--they had a debate, but the debate was "What do the Scriptures say?"

Once or twice, I don't do it very often, but I've gotten involved where I do debates with maybe ministers of other faiths on some different Bible doctrine, and we set the ground rules before we start. We say, the only thing we're going to use is the Bible. We're not going to scholars of history, and we're not going to other extraneous books. You show me from the Bible. I'll show you from the Bible. The Bible is going to be our book. Well, this is the approach that Paul did when he was debating with the Jews, and some believed because of that. They listened to the debate, and they said, "Hmm." They followed him after they heard a debate like this, and they said, "That made sense. We want to know more about Jesus."

Jëan: Now, of course, we are looking at the clock, and we're running out of time. We just wanted to thank those who joined us on Facebook, and all of the questions that you sent in, and we're going to try and do this again next week, Pastor Doug, where we're going to study the lesson together, and, again, we'll be taking in some of your Bible questions that you have. We'd like to remind you about our free gift that we have. It is a book entitled "Down From His Glory," and we'll be happy to send this to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 866-788-3966, and you just ask for Offer Number 701. We'll be happy to send it to you. The postal service is still delivering, so we can get this to you.

Or you can download it if you're outside of North America. We'd like to get the book to you. Just simply text the code "SH139," to the number 40544, and then you'll be able to get a digital download and read the book "Down From His Glory." Talks about the gift of Jesus and how Christ is revealed to us in the Word.

Doug: Amen.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts, Changed Lives.

Gary: Early 1980s, all the baby boomers were turning 21, and the nightclub scenes were exploding, and I started a entertainment lighting company.

Female: I was the president, and there were six divisions, doing the raves in the '80s and '90s, you know, in some warehouse where you're setting up lighting and fog and, you know, who knows what's going on in there, and nightclub installations. I loved it, and it was who I was.

Gary: Bought a new house out of town, and we moved about two or three times, but we were always going into different churches. We're in a Lutheran Church, and then we were at a Methodist Church. I think we were in three different Baptist churches. My wife was raised Catholic. I was raised Methodist. Currently, I've been out, reading all the Hal Lindsey books, and watching all the "Left Behind" movies, and so I really wanted to understand what the book of Revelation was all about, but nothing really ever made sense to me.

Female: One day, Pastor Lloyd Logan came knocking, and he had that Net 99 flyer.

Lloyd Logan: We were preparing for an evangelistic series, and different people were going different directions with handbills to invite people to the meetings.

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Gary: Ran to the kitchen to quickly eat and take a shower and go back out and work a show.

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Gary: I finally sat down in my living room, and I picked up the remote, and I saw that angel holding out that scroll.

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Doug: Every now and then in the panorama of history, we hear about individuals that go from the lowest depths to the highest pinnacles. They emerge from the shackles of prison to lead and inspire a nation. Take Joseph, for instance. He's sold by his brothers as a slave, then falsely accused and thrust into prison, yet through a series of divine circumstances, he miraculously goes from the prison to the palace, ruling the ones who once imprisoned him.

Sound far-fetched? It's happened in history more than you think. South Africa is the home of just such a leader. Nelson Mandela worked tirelessly to establish peace and freedom in his country, and his influence was felt around the world. Before freedom, there must be forgiveness. Like Joseph, who was unjustly accused for a crime he did not commit, Nelson Mandela was accused of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island. He was often exposed to cruel punishment and abuse, but even in the midst of apparent failure and discouragement, he never lost heart. He never gave up.

After years in prison, a growing number of supporters rallied for his release. It eventually took place, and God used him so that he was instrumental in helping to abolish racial segregation in the country of South Africa. Incredibly, he now was virtually the absolute leader in the country that had imprisoned him. He had all of the tools and the power at his disposal to get even with the prison guards and others that had mistreated him. Instead, Mandela chose forgiveness.

It reminds me of that verse in the Bible in Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 32: "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you."

I'm so thankful that Nelson Mandela, like Joseph, chose to forgive those who were once his enemies, and to serve his nation with love and courage. You can find a number of examples of this happening in the Bible. You have Daniel, who was a captor from the land of Judah, and yet God arranged things where he becomes a prime minister in the kingdom of Babylon. You have Esther, who was a poor orphan girl in Persia, and yet God worked things out where she becomes the queen of that country. The book of Jeremiah ends with an incredible story of a young king, named, Jehoiakim, who was in the Babylonian dungeon for 37 years, and then King Evil-Merodach has mercy on him, and he has a new status, going from the prison to the palace.

This is what the Lord wants to do for you and me, friends. He gives you the bread of life. He gives you the robe of Jesus' righteousness. He gives you a seat at His table. If you accept His forgiveness and you're willing to pass it on, you and I can live and reign with Christ. Wouldn't you like that experience?

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