Donald R. Fox

Do you have a sense of ought? Webster defines the word ought in part as: “obligation or duty: as, he ought to pay his debts.” Further, the word oughtness is defined as “The state of being as a thing ought to be; rightness.” I must admit I have a strong sense of ought. I do not recognize this in a bragging way or anything like that. This feeling of ought, I believe comes from one's upbringing. Sadly, too many folks have not been brought up, raised in any sense of the meaning. Ought or obligation and duty contain the idea of rightness and not wrongness. With our upbringing, all of us choose to accept or reject what he/she has been taught. We are all free moral agents with the power to choose right or wrong. It is very good to have this intellect of doing and acting right.

As an illustration: In our upbringing, one could be taught that it is right to hate a certain race of humans. As one matures, he/she learns, that they were wrong and therefore, changes their past view. As the apostle Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) A further illustration: It is reported that one robbed and severely beat up an old couple. We are repelled and disgusted by this action. Why? We know that this is not right. Our thought process, our reasoning and logic are right. Oughtness is triumphant! The conscience must always be in tuned with rightness. Unfortunately, too many do not have this wisdom of right/wrong. The enemy of a lack of ought is sin.

A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian... and most of all, his family ought to know.” (Dwight L. Moody)


Our nation, the USA, is founded on principles contained in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. This is our heritage! Because of internal and external evidence of the Word of God, the Bible, I know this must be our true standard. Oughtness will prevail when we comply with the rightful standard, the Word of God.

Light and truth will come from our heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have light of life.” (John 8:12) “.. and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (Psalm 37:6)
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97:11)


Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)


God and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Probability by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


God and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Probability

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


A typical misconception about science is that it can tell us what will definitely happen now or in the future given enough time, or what would certainly have happened in the past, given enough time. The truth is, science is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood. Science observes the Universe, records evidence, and strives to draw conclusions about what has happened in the past, is happening now, and what will potentially happen in the future, given the current state of scientific knowledge—which is often times woefully incomplete, and even inaccurate. The late, prominent evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson discussed the nature of science and probability several years ago in the classic textbook, Life: An Introduction to Biology, stating:
We speak in terms of “acceptance,” “confidence,” and “probability,” not “proof.” If by proof is meant the establishment of eternal and absolute truth, open to no possible exception or modification, then proof has no place in the natural sciences. Alternatively, proof in a natural science, such as biology, must be defined as the attainment of a high degree of confidence (Simpson and Beck, 1965, p. 16, emp. added).
In other words, science observes and attempts to answer for mankind such things as: what could have happened in the past; what most likely happened; what is probably happening now; what could happen in the future; or what will likely happen in the future. Science does not necessarily tell us what will certainly always be or has always been the case. Rather, it tells us what has always been observed to be the case and what will almost certainly always be the case, without exception, and which coincides with logic, intuition, and mathematics. When enough evidence is gathered and all that evidence points to some truth and therefore yields an extremely high level of confidence in that truth (i.e., the probability of the same truth always being the case is considered so high that it is beyond doubt), the truth is made a law. Such a step is not taken lightly. Extensive observation must be conducted before doing so. Therefore, the laws of science are highly respected and considered to be essentially beyond doubt. However, there is always the slightest potential that a law could be broken in the future by some unknown event. Thus, probability is intimately intertwined with science. Mark Kac, famous mathematician and professor at Cornell and Rockefeller Universities, said, “Probability is a cornerstone of all the sciences, and its daughter, the science of statistics, enters into all human activities” (as quoted in Smith, 1975, p. 111, emp. added).
Many evolutionists understand the significance of probability in science and yet go too far in their use of the laws of probability, presumptuously claiming that they can do more than they profess to do. These assert that anything—no matter how far-fetched—will inevitably happen, given enough time, as long as it does not have a probability of zero. Supposedly, objects will pop into existence, and eventually, those things will come to life and transform into humans. Many evolutionists have long cited the principles of probability in an effort to support such unscientific dogmas (e.g., Erwin, 2000). As far back as 1954, George Wald, writing in Scientific American concerning the origin of life on Earth, penned the words:
However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps it involves, given enough time, it will almost certainly happen at least once. And for life as we know it, once may be enough. Time is the hero of the plot…. Given so much time, the “impossible” becomes possible, the possible becomes probable, and the probable becomes virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs miracles (Wald, p. 48, emp. added).
There are at least four problems with such assertions about the laws of probability.


First of all, we are not “given enough time” for macroevolution to have occurred. We at Apologetics Press have documented this fact time and time again (cf. Jackson, 1983; Thompson, 2001). Years ago, in his article “The Young Earth,” Henry Morris listed 76 scientific dating techniques, based on standard evolutionary assumptions, which all indicate that the Earth is relatively young (Morris, 1974). Donald DeYoung documented extensive, compelling evidence for a young Earth as well, in the book Thousands…Not Billions (2005). This fact alone dispels the preposterous contention that we are the descendants of ape-like creatures.


The second problem with the assertion of evolutionary inevitability is implied by the work of the renowned French mathematician, Emile Borel, for whom the lunar crater, Borel, is named (O’Connor and Robertson, 2008). In 1962, Borel discussed in depth the law of probability known as the Single Law of Chance—a law that he said “is extremely simple and intuitively evident, though rationally undemonstrable” (1962, p. 2). This principle states that “events whose probability is extremely small never occur” (1965, p. 57). He further stated that we “at least…must act, in all circumstances, as if they were impossible” (1962, p. 3, italics in orig.). The law, he said, applies to
the sort of event, which, though its impossibility may not be rationally demonstrable, is, however, so unlikely that no sensible person will hesitate to declare it actually impossible. If someone affirmed having observed such an event we would be sure that he is deceiving us or has himself been the victim of a fraud (1962, p. 3, italics in orig., emp. added).
To clarify the meaning of “extremely small” probabilities, he defined different categories of events in which the probabilities are so small that they are “practically negligible,” including events from the human, terrestrial, and cosmic perspectives (1965, p. 57).
In his discussion on the probabilities of certain cosmic events, he argues convincingly from mathematical calculations and intuition that reasonable human beings consider probabilities of chance cosmic events that fall below one in 1045 to be negligible (1965, p. 59). In other words, if the probability of a certain event happening in the Universe is less than one in 1045 (i.e., a one with 45 zeros after it), human beings intuitively categorize that event as so unlikely that we consider it to be an impossible event.
Several years ago, evolutionist Harold Morowitz of Yale, and currently professor of biology and natural philosophy at George Mason University, estimated the probability of the formation of the smallest and simplest living organism to be one in 10340,000,000 (1970, p. 99). A few years following Morowitz’s calculations, the late, renowned evolutionist Carl Sagan made his own estimation of the chance that life could evolve on any given single planet: one in 102,000,000,000 (1973, p. 46)! Note also that these calculations were made before the last several decades have revealed with even more clarity the complexity of life (cf. Deweese, 2010). These probability estimations for the formation of life, made by the evolutionists themselves, are, of course, so far beyond the limit articulated for cosmic events by the Single Law of Chance that we must respond in shock, rather than humor, at the big lie that has been perpetrated on the world at large by so many in the scientific community in thrusting macroevolution on the masses. The distinguished British astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle once said regarding evolution, “the chance that higher forms have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein” (1981b, 294:105). He further stated:
At all events, anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cubic faces at random. Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling at just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order (1981a, 92:527, emp. in orig.).
Borel’s Single Law of Chance certainly lays plain the impossibility and incredibility of the evolutionary proposition. However, Borel tried to distance himself from the implications of his findings and their application to the spontaneous emergence of life by noting that the laws of chance do “not seem possible to apply” to some evolutionary events (1963, p. 125, emp. added). He further stated:
[I]t is generally held that living beings are the result of a slow process of evolution, beginning with elementary organisms, and that this process of evolution involves certain properties of living matter that prevent us from asserting that the process was accomplished in accordance with the laws of chance (1963, p. 125).
In other words, evolutionary processes are not considered a succession of random, chance events. Instead, it seems that they are considered intentional events that somehow occur without intention. However, since non-living matter has no mind of its own, the progression of events that would have to occur to lead to the optimal arrangement of that matter allegedly to bring about life would have to be just that—a succession of random, chance events. In making the assertion that the laws of chance do not apply to evolution, he tacitly acknowledges the fact that the evolutionary model would actually require multiple, successive random events taking place gradually over time in order to bring even the pre-living “organism” to a place in which life could allegedly burst into existence. And as if to further drive the tombstone into the grave, according to Borel, himself, “[i]t is repetition that creates improbability” (1962, p. 3). Such almost endless successive random events would actually create more of a problem for evolution. “[I]t is their [the successive repetition of improbable events leading towards significant complexity—JM] almost indefinite repetition that creates improbability and rightly seems to us impossible” (1962, pp. 3-4, emp. added). After all of these successive evolutionary events leading towards life, the final random, chance event in which all the circumstances happen to be “just right” to bring about the jump from non-life to life is so improbable, according to the evolutionists themselves, that the Single Law of Chance would consider the event impossible and not worthy of human attention. [NOTE: We are not suggesting that it is possible for life to be spontaneously created from non-life, no matter what the circumstances or arrangements of matter may be. We are only noting the implications of the evolutionists’ own arguments and their application to the laws of science.]


There is yet another problem with the assertion that macroevolution will happen, given enough time, as long as it does not have a probability of zero. Several of the events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true, indeed, have a probability of zero, according to the scientific evidence. The whole question is not really even one of improbability, but impossibility. How can one calculate the probability of something happening for which there is zero evidence that such a thing can even occur? Chance applies only to events or circumstances wherein possibility is present.
For instance, before the Big Bang was allegedly a small, condensed sphere comprised of all of the matter in the Universe [see May, et al., 2003]. Consider for a moment the spontaneous generation of that sphere of matter. Its appearance and subsequent organization, being a random, chance event, would fall under the guidelines of the Single Law of Chance as well. Unfortunately for evolutionists, since all scientific evidence indicates that matter cannot spontaneously generate (according to the First Law of Thermodynamics; see Miller, 2007), the probability of such an event would be much less than the “one in 1045” barrier set by the Single Law of Chance, namely, zero.
Also, what proof is available that leads to the idea that life could spontaneously generate (i.e., abiogenesis)? What scientific evidence is available that would lead to the idea that abiogenesis has a probability of anything but zero? Speculation abounds concerning the sequence of events that could cause precisely the right conditions for it to occur. However, there is zero scientific evidence to support the idea that it could happen even if those improbable conditions were ever in effect. In actuality, the scientific evidence is not “neutral” on the matter, as though there is no evidence for or against abiogenesis. Rather, the scientific evidence is not only unsupportive of abiogenesis, but all experimental scientific results are contrary to it! The experiments of renowned 19th-century scientist Louis Pasteur long ago killed the possibility of the spontaneous generation of life, and recognition of the well-respected law of science known as the Law of Biogenesis (i.e., life comes only from life and that of its kind) drove the nails into its coffin (cf. Thompson, 1989).
These truths alone create impenetrable barriers for evolutionists—non-traversable, gaping chasms that would have to be crossed in order for the theory of evolution to be plausible. According to the scientific evidence, there is a probability of zero that abiogenesis can occur. According to the laws of probability, specifically Kolmogorov’s first axiom, when the probability of an event is zero, the event is called an “impossible event” (Gubner, 2006, p. 22, emp. added). Since several events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true have a probability of zero, according to the laws of probability, these atheistic theories are impossible.


Further, even if there were not a probability of zero when it comes to macroevolution, it is important to note as was discussed earlier that probabilities do not guarantee that an event will or will not happen, regardless of how much time is allotted. Sproul, Gerstner, and Lendsley correctly observed:
The fact is, however, we have a no-chance chance creation. We must erase the “1” which appears above the line of the “1” followed by a large number of zeroes. What are the real chances of a universe created by chance? Not a chance. Chance is incapable of creating a single molecule, let alone an entire universe. Why not? Chance is no thing. It is not an entity. It has no being, no power, no force. It can effect nothing for it has no causal power within it, it has no itness to be within. Chance…is a word which describes mathematical possibilities which, by a curious slip of the fallacy of ambiguity, slips into discussion as if it were a real entity with real power, indeed, supreme power, the power of creativity (1984, p. 118, emp. in orig.).
We certainly agree. There is only one causal Power capable of creating the Universe, and there is certainly nothing random about Him.


Recall what Borel said of events prohibited under the Single Law of Chance—that sensible humans “must act, in all circumstances, as if they were impossible” (1962, p. 3, italics in orig.). Unfortunately, so many scientists today do not act sensibly. They do not follow this simple and intuitive truth when it comes to the matter of origins. Rather, they hold to the impossible, pouring thousands of hours and billions of dollars into researching it, writing on it, speaking on it, thrusting it into the minds of people of all ages, and attacking anyone who contradicts them. They, themselves, admit that the spontaneous generation of life from non-life has never been observed and that the odds are shockingly against it, and yet, since they start with the presumptuous assumption that there is no God, they believe the existence of life is proof enough that spontaneous generation occurred. But if the scientific evidence is so strongly against it, how can it be considered scientific? Even if there was a 0.0000…1% chance that macroevolution could happen, why would a scientist stake his/her name and entire career on such astronomical, outrageous odds when, if biased assumptions are dropped, there is a much more plausible explanation for the origin of this Universe? Prominent evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, himself admitted, “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer” (1982, p. 130, emp. added). We certainly agree, and sadly, the implication of that alternative is the very reason so many people irrationally hold onto impossibilities—the intelligent Designer has expectations to which this rebellious generation refuses to submit.
Nevertheless, in the words of Emile Borel:
When we calculated the probability of reproducing by mere chance a work of literature, in one or more volumes, we certainly observed that, if this work was printed, it must originally have emanated from a human brain. Now the complexity of that brain must therefore have been even richer than the particular work to which it gave birth (1963, p. 125, emp. added).
And if we might add another line to Borel’s statement: “And further, the complexity of the Mind that gave birth to that brain must be truly incomprehensible!”


Borel, Emile (1962), Probabilities and Life (New York: Dover).
Borel, Emile (1963), Probability and Certainty (New York: Walker & Company).      
Borel, Emile (1965), Elements of the Theory of Probability (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
Dawkins, Richard (1982), “The Necessity of Darwinism,” New Scientist, 94:130-132, April 15.
Deweese, Joe (2010), “Has Life Been Made From Scratch?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240389.
DeYoung, Donald (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Erwin, Douglas (2000), “Macroevolution is More Than Repeated Rounds of Microevolution,” Evolution and Development, 2[2]:78-84.
Gubner, J.A. (2006), Probability and Random Processes for Electrical and Computer Engineers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Hoyle, Fred (1981a), “The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, 92:521-527, November 19.
Hoyle, Fred (1981b), “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, 294:105,148, November 12.
Jackson, Wayne (1983), “Our Earth—Young or Old?,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/yng-old.pdf.
May, Branyon, et al. (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” Reason & Revelation, 23[5]:32-34,36-47, May, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Morowitz, Harold J. (1970), Entropy for Biologists (New York: Academic Press).
Morris, H. (1974), “The Young Earth,” Acts & Facts, 3[8], http://www.icr.org/article/young-earth.
O’Connor, John J. and Edmund F. Robertson (2008), “Felix Edouard Justin Emile Borel,” The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Borel.html.
Sagan, Carl, ed. (1973), Communications with Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (Boston, MA: MIT Press).
Simpson, George G. and William S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World).
Smith, Anthony (1975), The Human Pedigree (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippencott).
Sproul, R.C., John Gerstner, and Arthur Lendsley (1984), Classical Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Thompson, Bert (1989), “The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 9[6]:21-24, June, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/330.
Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.
Wald, George (1954), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191:45-53, August.



Donald R. Fox

When you are a young person, and you forget a name or something you were supposed to do, we just chuckle, as it is no big thing. When you are much older, and you make the same mistake of forgetting, we worry. I am now a very senior member in my early eighties. Yes, I forget names and sometimes I forget a word I want to use in a conversation. This is frustrating to say the least. The following is a pretty good example, definition of a senior moment, a temporary mental lapse (humorously attributed to the gradual loss of one's mental faculties as one grows older)."

The following are examples of symptoms that should trigger an evaluation by a physician:
  • Forgetting what an item is used for or putting items in inappropriate places–for example, puts groceries away in the dishwasher instead of refrigerator.
  • Not knowing or recognizing a familiar person.
  • Losing the ability to have a conversation.
  • Losing a sense of the time of day.
  • Not remembering recent events that have happened.
  • Having trouble learning any new information or how to use new objects or systems.
  • Becoming lost or disoriented in familiar places.
  • Decrease in good judgment.
  • Increase in difficulty handling money or other complex household tasks such as cooking.
  • Changes in mood or personality.” (Source unknown. DRF)
A greater problem than a now and then senior moment is when the masses of people prefer to forget God Almighty. A senior moment is not a selection we want. It is a natural development of growing older. I understand there are produced food and medical items that can help slow down forgetfulness. An older person is not required to leap and jump like he/she did as a teenager. Do the best you can, and don’t give up. Remember, “Never give in." (http://essaysbyfox.org/html/essays/NEVER%20GIVE%20IN.doc)
End Note: Growing old is a challenge. Wait, any age is a challenge. All of us need to do the best we can by using God-given instructions of what is right and wrong. To be obedient and doing the will of God will take us through our youth until the end of our life. God be with us all!
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)

Not Ashamed of Christ By D. Gene West


Not Ashamed of Christ

By D. Gene West

In virtually every one of the so-called sitcoms that one sees on television these days there are open and frontal attacks made upon what the world calls “Christianity.”  Those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of the only true and living God are attacked and ridiculed, and many jokes, some of them not so nice, are made at the expense of believers.  Christianity is made out to be some kind of stodgy, antiquated religion that is about to pass away.  They also depict ministers as inept, sinful, hypocritical and lazy.  If any other group of people, such as homosexuals, for example, were singled out and depicted in such a way, there would be a scream heard all over the earth, and the ACLU would immediately start a lawsuit against someone. But this is not the only persecution that is directed at those who call themselves “Christians” in the land in which we live.  The federal government feels that it has the right to step in and investigate the doctrine of various churches.  It feels that it has the right to overturn, by making illegal, such doctrines as they feel are opposed to “civil rights.”  There is a movement at this very hour to have homosexuals treated as a minority race in this country, and, if that movement succeeds, you and I will not be able to tell a person who is living that lifestyle that he is a sinner!  There is no sin in being black, white, Asian or Indian.  All these people are dear and precious in the sight of God, and he wants them to come to Christ who has the ability to save them from sin.  There is no similarity between race and the sin of homosexuality!  One is the way a person is born; the other is a life-style that has been adopted and is a preferred way of living.  These people come from all races!  They are not a race, nor are they born that way, nor is there a genetic predisposition to live such a life-style.  There is not one shred of evidence to prove any of the above-mentioned claims by the homosexuals!
But let us come back to the original thought of this article by asking ourselves how we are going to react to the kind of persecution we see in our nation today.  It seems to this observer that we are going to have to react in one of two ways.  First, we can become ashamed of our religion and pull ourselves into a shell of privacy, having nothing to say about any of the things going on today.  That is the kind of reaction that will make the world, which brazenly opposes Christianity, very happy because they have thrown down the gauntlet and we will have refused to take it up!  They will continue the pressure by telling the world that if we really believed what we claim to believe we would be fearless in meeting them, and we would be unhampered in answering their stereotypes of Christianity.  We can go quietly about worshipping God, until the day comes when we are forbidden to do so, or we can take another path.
Second, we can adopt the attitude that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, nor the Christ of the Gospel, just as was the case with the apostle Paul in Romans 1:14-17.  In 2 Timothy 1:8, Paul admonished Timothy not to be “. . . ashamed of the testimony of our Lord . . .”  In the very same chapter (v. 12), Paul said that he was suffering persecution even as he was writing that letter, but he said, “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him until that day.”  In verse sixteen of the same chapter, Paul prayed that the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because that family had often helped him, “. . . and was not ashamed of my chain . . .”  In other words, Onesiphorus and his family, in spite of the danger from the Roman government, had no shame regarding the imprisonment of Paul, and they had fearlessly refreshed him from time to time.
If the intimidation of the pagan world causes us to move into a shell and refuse to say what the Bible says regarding sin, then we have become ashamed of Christ and his Gospel.  We do not mean that we be ugly, uncaring or hostile toward the world, but that we should fearlessly deliver the same Gospel that was delivered first under Jewish persecution, then under Roman persecution in the first century.  Paul, in Romans 1:18-32, spoke of the life-styles of all kinds of pagans as being sinful, and against which the wrath of God is revealed.
To stand for Christ and to fight against the paganism of our time, using the Gospel as our sword against sin, has never been easy, and it will not be in the future!    The pagans control the government with all its bureaucracy, the media, the film industry and most all other forms of communication.  But with God as our helper we can once again bring the Gospel to the world even if it means imprisonment and death!  This was done in ancient times, and it can be done again!

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Waiting For The Promise (1:12-26) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                   Waiting For The Promise (1:12-26)


1. After Jesus ascended to heaven, His disciples returned to Jerusalem...
   a. As instructed by Jesus - Ac 1:4
   b. To wait for the promise of the Spirit - Ac 1:4-5

2. Today, we are waiting for a promise...
   a. Not the promise of the Spirit
   b. But the promise of the Son - cf. Ac 1:11

[How the disciples of Jesus waited for the promise of the Spirit provides
some insight as to how we should wait for the promise of the Son.  So
let's first consider what is said about how they waited for...]

      1. The disciples returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olivet - Ac 1:12
         a. From which Jesus ascended to heaven
         b. A distance described as "a Sabbath day's journey" (2000 cubits, or 0.6 miles)
      2. The apostles assembled in an upper room - Ac 1:13-14
         a. With "the women" (likely those who had accompanied Jesus
            from Galilee and witnessed the crucifixion and empty tomb)
            - cf. Lk 8:2-3; 23:49,55-56; 24:2-11
         b. With Mary the mother of Jesus (the last time she is mentioned in the NT)
         c. With Jesus' brothers (who had not believed prior to His resurrection) 
             - Mk 6:3; Jn 7:5

      1. They continued with one accord in prayer and supplication - Ac 1:14
      2. "It is likely that they were praying constantly that the
         promised Spirit would descend" - ESV Study Bible 

      1. Peter outlines the need to replace Judas Iscariot - Ac 1:15-20
         a. Who had died a gruesome death
         b. Whose death and replacement was foretold by the Spirit - cf. Ps 69:25; 109:8
      2. The apostolic requirements are given - Ac 1:21-22
         a. Someone who had accompanied the apostles
         b. From the baptism of John to the day Jesus ascended
         c. Who could then serve as a witness of the resurrection
      3. The replacement selected - Ac 1:23-26
         a. Two men put forward:  Joseph (Barsabas) Justus, and Matthias
         c. Matthias is selected and numbered with the eleven apostles

[In this manner the disciples of Jesus waited for the promise of the
Spirit.  In a similar way, so should disciples today wait for the promise of the Lord's return...]


      1. A practice we are not to forsake - He 10:24-25; 1Th 5:1-11
         a. Important to remaining encouraged and motivated
         b. Especially since Christ's return can happen at any moment
      2. Especially on the Lord's day - cf. Ac 20:7; 1Co 11:26
         a. When we assemble on the first day of the week to break bread
         b. In which we proclaim the Lord's death "till He come"
      3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...
         a. We will not forsake the practice of assembling
         b. We will encourage one another with our presence

      1. Jesus taught His disciples the need to pray - Lk 18:1-8; 21:34-36
         a. Lest they lose heart and faith
         b. Lest the Day come upon them unexpectedly
      2. Thus we are to pray - Col 4:2; 1Co 16:22; Re 22:20; 2Pe 3:11-13
         a. Earnestly, with vigilance
         b. Anxious for His coming
         c. Looking for and hastening that Day
      3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...
         a. We will be fervent in our prayers
         b. Expressing hope and anticipation concerning His return

      1. Jesus taught His disciples the need to be prepared - Mt 24:45-51; 25:1-30
         a. Like a wise and faithful servant
         b. Like wise virgins waiting for the bridegroom
         c. Like faithful servants putting their talents to work
      2. Thus we are to be prepared and productive - 2Pe 3:11-14; 1Co 15:58
         a. With holy conduct and godliness, found in peace, without
            spot and blameless
         b. Steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord  
      3. If we truly long for our Savior's return...
         a. We will not only watch, but work!
         b. Growing in grace, knowledge, and service!


1. The apostles received the promise of the Spirit...
   a. In ten days, on the Day of Pentecost - Ac 2:1-4
   b. Equipping them for service as witnesses for Christ - cf. Ac 1:8

2. One day we will receive the promise of the Son...
   a. Even though it has almost been two thousand years - cf. 2Pe 3:3-9
   b. Rewarding us with the promise of wonderful blessings! - 2Pe 3:14; Re 21:1-7

Until then, let us wait for the promise of the Son by assembling, praying, and preparing...!

"THE BOOK OF ACTS" The Return Of Christ (1:10-11) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                    The Return Of Christ (1:10-11)


1. As the disciples watched Jesus ascend to heaven...
   a. Two men stood by in white apparel - Ac 1:10
   b. With a promise that Jesus would one day return - Ac 1:11

2. Those who look for the Lord's return often differ greatly over the details...
   a. The premillenialist looks for Christ to come in order to
      establish a literal kingdom on the earth, over which He will reign
      for a 1000 years
   b. The postmillenialist believes that Christ will at some point
      begin a thousand year reign from heaven, at the end of which He 
      will come to judge the world
   c. The amillenialist believes that Christ has been reigning as King
      of kings, and Lord of lords ever since His ascension to heaven, and
      that His coming will be to raise the dead, judge the world, and 
      usher in the new heavens and new earth

[In this lesson, the amillenial view will be presented, which I believe
most accurately teaches what the Bible reveals about the Second Coming of
our Lord.  Beginning with...]


      1. The "two men...in white apparel" - Ac 1:9-11
      2. Who said that "This same Jesus, who was taken up from into
         heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." - ibid.

      1. Peter - Ac 3:19-21; 2Pe 3:1-13
      2. Paul - 1Co 11:26; 15:22-23; 1Th 1:9-10; 2:19; 3:13; 2Ti 4:1
      3. John - 1Jn 2:28
      4. The writer to the Hebrews - He 9:27-28

[In the OT one finds the recurring theme "The Messiah is coming!"  In the
NT we learn not only "He has come!", but that "He is coming again!"  To
the certainty of His coming, we can add..]


      1. "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come..."
             - Ac 1:11
      2. "the Lord himself will descend from heaven..." - 1Th 4:15-17

      1. "This same Jesus...will so come in like manner as you saw Him
         go into heaven" - Ac 1:11 (referring to verse 9: "He was taken 
         up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight")
      2. "...in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." - 1Th 4:17
      3. "Behold, He is coming with clouds..." - Re 1:7

      1. "...the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night." 
         - 1Th 5:2
      2. "For when they say, 'Peace and safety!' then sudden  destruction comes..."
             - 1Th 5:3
      3. "...the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night..." - 2Pe 3:10

[Of course, this unexpected coming of the Lord will not surprise the
faithful, who seriously watch for the Lord's coming (cf. 1Th 5:4-11). 
With joyful anticipation, they await the personal return of their Savior.
What will happen when the Lord returns?  To answer this question we now consider...]


      1. "...for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves
         will hear His voice and come forth..." - Jn 5:28-29
         a. Note that there is but one resurrection, including both the
            good and evil, that will occur at one time ("the hour")
         b. As Paul said, "...there will be a resurrection of the dead,
            both of the just and the unjust." - Ac 24:15
      2. Those who are alive at the Lord's coming...
         a. Will be "changed" in "the twinkling of an eye", being
            clothed with immortality and incorruption - 1Co 15:50-54
         b. Then "caught up...to meet the Lord in the air." - 1Th 4:16-18  

      1. Contrary to the view that Jesus has yet to establish His
         kingdom on earth, He has been ruling over His kingdom since He first ascended to heaven!
         a. In fulfillment of the prophecy that God would raise up the
            Christ to sit on the "throne of David", Jesus was raised from the dead 
              and made "Lord" - Ac 2:30-36
         b. All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Him - Mt 28:18
            1) He is far above all principality, power, might, and
               dominion, with all things placed under His feet - Ep 1:20-22
            2) At the right hand of God, angels and authorities and
               powers are made subject to Him - 1Pe 3:22
         c. Christians are said to be "in" His kingdom
            1) Having been "delivered...from the power of darkness and
               translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love" - Col 1:13
            2) They are "in the kingdom...of Jesus Christ" - Re 1:9
         d. Christ will continue to reign "till He has put all enemies under His feet" 
                 1Co 15:25
            1) Note that His reign will be concurrent with the fact enemies are still present
            2) As prophesied by the Psalmist:  "Rule in the midst ofYour enemies!"
                - Ps 110:1-2 
         e. Thus Christ is NOW "the blessed and only Potentate, the
            King of kings and Lord of Lords" - 1Ti 6:15; cf. Re 19:16
         f. And He will reign "till He has put all enemies under His feet" - 1Co 15:25
            1) The last enemy that will be destroyed is death itself - cf. 1Co 15:26
            2) Which we have seen will be destroyed at the coming of
               the Lord when He will raise the dead - 1Co 15:51-54
      2. So when Jesus comes, it will not be to set up His kingdom, but
         to deliver up His kingdom!
         a. As Paul clearly told the Corinthians - 1Co 15:23-26
         b. As taught by Jesus in His Parable of the Tares - Mt 13:36-43
            1) His kingdom will last until "the end of this age"
            2) After which "the righteous will shine forth as the sun
               in the kingdom of their Father" (i.e., the heavenly kingdom)

      1. God has appointed a "day" in which He will judge the world - 2Pe 3:7
         a. The one appointed to be the Judge is Jesus Christ - Ac 17:31; 2Co 5:10
         b. The standard by which He will judge will be the words He has spoken - Jn 12:48
      2. It will be a day of perdition (utter destruction) of ungodly men - 2Pe 3:7
         a. Those who know not God and have not obeyed the gospel will
            be punished with everlasting destruction - 2Th 1:7-10
         b. Those not in the "Book of Life" will be cast into the "lake of fire" - Re 20:11-15

      1. As taught by Peter - 2Pe 3:10-14
         a. This will follow the "passing away" of the present heavens and earth
         b. It is in fulfillment of God's promise - cf. Isa 65:17-19; 66:22-23
         c. It is something we are to "look for" (13-14)
         d. It will be a realm where righteousness dwells, therefore
            the need for us to be found "in peace, without spot and 
            blameless" when Christ returns (13-14)
      2. As taught by John - Re 21:1-22:5
         a. It will follow after the first heaven and first earth have
            "passed away" - Re 21:1; 20:11
         b. It will be the place where the New Jerusalem will abide
            when it "comes down out of heaven" - Re 21:2; 3:10; 21:10
         c. God will dwell with us in this "New Jerusalem" that has
            "come down out of heaven" - Re 21:3-27; 22:1-5


1. The purpose of Jesus' second coming can be summed up by His
   statement in Re 22:12...
   "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, 
   to give to every one according to his work."

2. That Jesus has not yet come is only an indication of God's
   long-suffering, but rest assured "that day" will one day come! - 2Pe 3:8-9

3. In the meantime, what should be our attitude be toward the coming of
   our Lord?  One of...
   a. Prayerful preparation - Lk 21:34-36; 2Pe 3:14
   b. Joyful expectation - Php 3:20-21
   c. Patient endurance - He 10:35-39
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

How Paganism Affects Reality: Hinduism and Nepal Airlines by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


How Paganism Affects Reality: Hinduism and Nepal Airlines

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

State-run Nepal Airlines is not a large company by any means. The carrier runs international flights to five cities in Asia. When an electrical glitch developed recently in one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the airline found it necessary to suspend some of its services temporarily. As part of the solution to the problem, airline officials sacrificed two goats to appease the Hindu sky god, Akash Bhairab (“Airline Sacrifices...,” 2007). That’s correct—in keeping with Hindu rituals, two goats were sacrificed in front of the ailing aircraft at Nepal’s international airport in Kathmandu. Situated on India’s northeast border, sacrificing animals in this Himalayan country to appease Hindu deities is common.
When humans embrace pagan superstition, their judgment becomes impaired. The behavior that results from an animistic belief system may seem quaint and harmless—but it can be deadly, both physically and spiritually. Listen to the apostle Paul’s observations on the matter:
[A]lthough they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (Romans 1:21-25, emp. added).
[Y]ou should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus (Ephesians 4:17-21, emp. added).
Sacrificing a couple of goats on an airport runway seems trivial enough. However, it hardly inspires confidence in the capability of airline personnel.


“Airline Sacrifices Goats to Appease Sky God” (2007), Reuters, September 4, [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070904/od_nm/nepal_airline_odd_dc.

The Nature of Bible Inspiration by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Nature of Bible Inspiration

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

What does it mean to say: “The Bible is inspired”? Answers to this question are legion (cf. “Theories...,” 1864, 6:312-349). Some regard the Bible as “inspired” in the same way that great authors in history have risen above the average person in their literary pursuits, e.g., Homer, Shakespeare, Dickens, or Eliot. Others would say that the writers of the Bible were influenced by supernatural connections, but that their written records of those connections suffer from the same flaws that mere humans are prone to make. Many people fail to assess the Bible’s own claims regarding its inspiration. Before the Bible can be determined to be “inspired,” it is necessary to conceptualize the meaning and nature of that inspiration. The Bible literally is filled with descriptions of the essence of its own inspiration.
Paul boldly claimed, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek term underlying the word “inspiration” means “God-breathed” (Vincent, 1900, 4:317). Paul was affirming that Scripture, referring primarily  to the Old Testament, is the product of the breath of God. God actually breathed out the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s Word—not man’s—though He used man to produce them. Three verses later (4:2), Paul declared, “Therefore...preach the word...” Why? Because it is God’s Word. Just as surely as God’s breath brought the Universe into existence (Psalm 33:6), so the Bible is the result of God’s out-breathing.
Peter alluded to the momentous occasion of Christ’s transfiguration when God literally spoke from heaven directly to Peter, James, and John (2 Peter 1:19-21). God orally boomed forth His insistence that Jesus is His beloved Son, and human beings are commanded to listen to Him (Matthew 17:5). Peter then declared, “We also have the prophetic word made more sure,...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.” Peter was saying that the Scriptures provided to us by the prophets are just as certain, and just as authoritative, as the voice of God that spoke on the mount of transfiguration.
Peter further explained that the prophetic word, meaning the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures, did not originate on its own, or in the minds of those who wrote them (the meaning of “private interpretation”). Scripture did not come from “the will of man.” Scripture was not the result of human research or human investigation into the nature of things. Scripture was not the product of its writers’ own thinking (Warfield, 1974, 3:1474). Where, then, did Scripture come from? Peter claimed, “but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The word “moved” in the original language is the usual word for being “carried” or “brought” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, pp. 862-863), hence, to be moved or under a moving influence (Perschbacher, 1990, p. 427). Peter was stating that the Holy Spirit, in essence, picked up the writers, the prophets, and brought them to the goal of His choosing (Warfield, 3:1475). That means that the Scriptures, though written by means of human instrumentality, were so superintended by God that the resulting writings are truly God’s.
This same Peter, while awaiting the coming of the Spirit in Acts 2 on Pentecost, stood up among fellow disciples and declared, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas,” and then he quoted from the Psalms (Acts 1:16ff.). Peter affirmed that the Holy Spirit governed what David wrote, and the results of David’s writing therefore are designated as “Scripture.”
This same Peter, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, explained: (1) that the inspired spokesmen of the Old Testament did not always understand all the information given by God through them; (2) it was the Spirit of Christ that was operating upon them; (3) this same inspired information was being presented in Peter’s day by the apostles; and (4) the same Holy Spirit was directing their utterances. It is very important to note that Peter was claiming that inspired men had their own minds engaged as they produced inspired material, but the product was God’s, since they did not always grasp all of the significance of their own productions.
This same Peter, in 2 Peter 3:15-16, referred to “our beloved brother Paul” as having “written to you.” He then noted: “as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” Peter made clear three salient points: (1) Paul wrote epistles; (2) those epistles are classified with “the other Scriptures,” which means that Paul’s letters are Scripture every bit as much as the Old Testament and other New Testament writings; and (3) these writings are divinely authoritative, since to twist them is to invite “destruction”—an obvious reference to God’s disfavor and the spiritual/eternal harm that results from disobeying God’s words, not man’s words. Cornelius well-understood this principle, for when Peter came to his house, he stated: “Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God” (Acts 10:33, emp. added).
 While on Earth, Jesus demonstrated a high regard for Scripture, i.e., the Old Testament. On one occasion, He involved Himself in an interchange with some Jews who accused Him of blasphemy (John 10:33). He repelled the charge by quoting Psalm 82:6, referring to the passage as “law” (vs. 34). But how could Jesus refer to a psalm as “law,” since the Psalms were poetic wisdom literature and not a part of the Torah (the Pentateuch)? He referred to a psalm as “law” in the sense that the Psalms are part of Scripture. Jesus was thus ascribing legal authority to the entire corpus of Scripture (Warfield, 3:1475). He did the same thing in John 15:25. Likewise, Paul quoted from the Psalms, Isaiah, and Genesis and referred to each as “the Law” (1 Corinthians 14:21; Romans 3:19; Galatians 4:21).
After Jesus quoted from a psalm and called it “law,” He added, “and the Scripture cannot be broken” (vs. 35). Notice that He was equating “law” with “Scripture”—using the terms as synonyms. When He declared that “law,” or “Scripture,” “cannot be broken,” He was making the point that it is impossible for Scripture to be annulled, for its authority to be denied, or its truth to be withstood (Warfield, 3:1475). Jesus considered every part of Scripture, even its most casual phrases, to be the authoritative Word of God (p. 1476).
This attitude toward Scripture as an authoritative document is intimated by the customary formula: “It is written.” For example, when facing Satan, Jesus repelled his attacks all three times with a simple, “It is written,” which was sufficient to establish authoritative credibility (Matthew 4:4,7,10)—so much so that Satan attempted to copy Jesus in this respect (Matthew 4:6). After His resurrection, Jesus equated the entire Old Testament (i.e., the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms) with “Scripture,” and again noted “it is written” (Luke 24:44-46). He insisted very emphatically that “all things” in the Scriptures concerning Himself “must be fulfilled.” Earlier in the chapter, He equated “Moses and all the prophets” with “the Scriptures” (vss. 25-27).
No wonder Jesus would rebuke His religious challengers with such phrases as, “Have you not read even this Scripture?” (Mark 12:10; cf. Matthew 21:42); or, “You do err, not knowing the Scriptures” (Matthew 22:29); or, “if you had known what this means...” (Matthew 12:7); or, “Go and learn what this means...” (Mark 9:13). The underlying thought in such pronouncements is that God’s truth is found in Scripture, and if you are ignorant of the Scriptures, you are susceptible to error. Jesus therefore was affirming that God is the Author of Scripture.
Even the words of Scripture that do not constitute direct quotes of deity are, in fact, the words of God. For example, Jesus assigned the words of Genesis 2:24 to God as the author (Matthew 19:4-6). Yet, in the original setting of Genesis 2:24, no indication is given that God was the speaker. Rather, the words are simply narratorial comment written down by the human author—Moses. By Jesus attributing the words to God, He was making clear that the whole of Scripture was authored by God. That means that even the words of Satan, or the words of evil people, are the words of God—in the sense that God has given us an accurate report of what those people said. Paul treated the matter in the same way (1 Corinthians 6:16).
Over and over again, the apostles and writers of the New Testament did the same thing that Jesus did, i.e., they referred to Scripture in such a way that it was clear they considered it to be the authoritative, inspired words of God (e.g., Acts 8:35; 17:2; 18:28; 26:22; Romans 12:19; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:16; James 2:8). Perhaps Luke well summarized the prevailing mindset of the Bible writers: “[T]hey received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). In other words, what Scripture says, God says.
Additional evidence of the Bible’s own view of itself is manifested in statements like, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh” (Romans 9:17), or “And the Scripture...preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand” (Galatians 3:8). But Scripture did not speak to Pharaoh, and Scripture did not preach the Gospel to Abraham. Rather, God did! So the word of Scripture is the word of God! The inspired writers of the New Testament considered “God” and “Scripture” to be so closely linked that they could naturally speak of “Scripture” doing what Scripture records God as doing (Warfield, 3:1477).
It works the other way as well. God is said to say certain things that are, in their original setting, merely words of Scripture. For example, Hebrews 3:7 reads, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says...,” and Psalm 95:7 is then quoted. In Acts 4:25, God is said to have spoken, by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David, the words of Psalm 2:1. In Acts 13:34-35, God is represented as having stated the words of Isaiah 55:3 and Psalm 16:10. Yet, in both of these cases, the words attributed to God are not, in their original setting, specifically His words, but merely the words of Scripture itself. So the writers of the New Testament sometimes referred to the Scriptures as if they were God, and they sometimes referred to God as if He were Scripture. The Bible thus presents itself as the very words of God.
In Hebrews 1:5-13, the writer quoted seven Old Testament passages: Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; and Psalm 110:1. The Hebrews writer attributed each of these passages to God as the speaker. Yet in their original setting in the Old Testament, sometimes God is the speaker, while sometimes He is not the speaker, and is, in fact, being spoken to or spoken about. Why would the writer of Hebrews indiscriminately assign all of these passages to God? Because they all have in common the fact that they are the words of Scripture, and, as such, are the words of God.
The same is true with Romans 15:9-12 where Paul quoted from Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, and Isaiah 11:10. The first one he introduced with the formula “as it is written”; the second one is introduced by “again he says”; the third with simply “again”; and the fourth is prefaced with “Isaiah says.” Yet, in the Old Testament setting, only in the Isaiah passage is specifically God talking—and Paul assigns those words to Isaiah. So “it is written,” “he says,” and “Isaiah says,” are all different ways of saying the same thing, i.e., “God says”! Sometimes the New Testament writers assigned Scripture to its human authors. Yet it is clear that when the writers said, “Moses said,” or “David said,” such was simply another way to say, “Scripture says,” which, again, was the same thing as saying “God says.”


Notice that the inspiration that the Bible claims for itself is “verbal” inspiration, i.e., God’s superintendence extends even to the words of the writer. Paul based his argument on a plural noun, and insisted that God intended the word to be understood in its singular sense (Galatians 3:16). As noted previously, Jesus based an argument on the precise verbal form of Scripture (John 10:34). He based His point on a particular word in Matthew 22:43, on a particular tense in Matthew 22:32, and even on the letters and their minute strokes in Matthew 5:17-18. In the latter passage, Jesus said that Exodus 3:6 was spoken to the Sadducees with whom He was conversing—even though the original context of Exodus 3:6 has God speaking to Moses. That proves that Jesus expects all people on Earth to understand that the Bible is written to every single accountable human being, and that Scripture is intended to be authoritative for human living.
Paul also affirmed verbal inspiration in 1 Corinthians 2. He claimed that his speech and his preaching were not “words of human wisdom” (vs. 4). Rather, his words were “in demonstration of the Spirit.” He claimed that he and his fellow apostles were speaking the wisdom of God (vs. 7). He claimed that the things which they had been speaking were revealed to them by God through the Holy Spirit (vs. 10). Then he affirmed very clearly: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (vs. 13). So inspiration involves the very words, and that makes it verbal inspiration.


Most of the passages examined thus far are New Testament references to the inspiration of the Old Testament. Liberal scholars have claimed that the New Testament does not make the claim of inspiration for itself. That claim is not true. As already noted, in 2 Peter 3:16, Peter classified Paul’s epistles as “Scripture,” and he affirmed that Paul’s writings carry such divine authority that those who twist them will be destroyed. It also was noted that Peter linked the apostles with the Old Testament prophets (1 Peter 1:10-12). And, as just seen, Paul made a comparable claim in 1 Corinthians 2.
As one reads the New Testament, it is clear that the writers made the extension of Old Testament inspiration to their own writings. They did not for a moment consider themselves—the ministers of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6)—to be less in possession of the Spirit of God than the ministers of the old covenant (Warfield, 3:1482). Jesus, without question, declared the impending inspiration of the authors of the New Testament. In Matthew 10:17-20, and the parallels in Mark 13:11 and Luke 12:12, Jesus explained to the apostles that the Holy Spirit would direct their verbal activities in terms of both how and what they spoke. He reiterated the same thing in Luke 21:12-15, urging them not to worry how to defend themselves when hauled before the authorities, since He would provide them with “a mouth and wisdom” that their adversaries would not be able to withstand. So Jesus pre-authenticated the teaching of the apostles, and insured respect for their authority.
Jesus directed several promises to the apostles in John chapters 14, 15, and 16. Allusion to just one of these will suffice. Jesus promised the apostles: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:12-13). Just prior to His ascension, Jesus promised to the apostles the impending baptism of the Holy Spirit, which would enable them to be Christ’s witnesses throughout the world (Acts 1:5,8). This promise commenced its fulfillment in Acts 2 when the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit and empowered to preach the message God wanted preached.
Numerous passages indicate the fulfillment of these promises to the apostles to the extent that the words which they spoke were God’s words (Acts 4:8,31; 5:32; 15:8,27-28; 16:6-8). As already noted, Paul claimed direct guidance of the Holy Spirit for the words that he spoke (1 Corinthians 2). He did the same thing in Galatians 1:12. In Ephesians 3:1-5, he claimed that his message was made known to him “by revelation” (vs. 3), along with the other apostles and prophets (vs. 5). Other passages reflect the same point (1 Timothy 4:1; Galatians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). A good summary of Paul’s claims to inspiration is seen in his firm declaration: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). His inspiration extended to both his oral utterances as well as his writings (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6,14; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:2,15; Galatians 1:7-8). In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quoted Luke 10:7 and referred to it as “Scripture.” So Luke’s Gospel record was already available and classified with the inspired canon of Scripture.


The unbiased individual can easily see that the Bible claims for itself the status of “inspiration,” having been breathed out by God Himself. That inspiration entailed such superintendence by God that even the words came under His influence. Thus the Bible is “verbally inspired.” This conclusion does not imply that the writers merely took “dictation.” Rather, the Bible indicates that God adapted His inspiring activity to the individual temperament, vocabulary, educational level, and stylistic idiosyncrasies of each writer. The Bible is “infallible” in that it is incapable of deceiving or misleading, and is therefore completely trustworthy and reliable. “Plenary” inspiration means that inspiration extends to all of its parts. Thus the Bible is fully inspired.
The Bible is also “inerrant,” that is, it is free of error. God used human beings to write the Bible, and in so doing, allowed them to leave their mark upon it, but without making any of the mistakes that human writings are prone to make. God made certain that the words produced by the human writers were free from the errors and mistakes characteristic of uninspired writers. This influence even extended to matters of science, geography, and history. Proof for the inspiration of the Bible is a separate and necessary inquiry. However, it is important that a person understand what the Bible means when it claims for itself “inspiration.”


Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
McGarvey, J. W. (1883), “Remarks on the Preceding Lectures,” The Missouri Christian Lectures (Rosemead, CA: Old Paths Book Club, 1955 reprint).
Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. (1990), The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
“Theories of the Inspiration of the Scriptures” (1864), American Presbyterian and Theological Review, 6:312-349, April.
Vincent, Marvin (1900), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946 reprint).
Warfield, Benjamin (1974 reprint), “Inspiration,” ISBE, ed. James Orr  (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).