The Bible is utterly unique
Patrick Henry said: “The Bible is worth all the other books that have ever been printed”, and John Wesley stated: “This book had to be written by one of three people: good men, bad men or God. It couldn’t have been written by good men because they said it was inspired by the revelation of God. Good men don’t lie and deceive. It couldn’t have been written by bad men because bad men would not write something that would condemn themselves.
only one conclusion…
It was given
inspiration of God.”
After a lifetime of studying the Bible, Dr Chuck Missler
made 2 critical discoveries:
Firstly, that the Bible is
We have 66 books,
written over a period of 2000 years, yet we discover that
is anticipated by deliberate, skillful,
The second startling discover is that this
incredible message system provably
has its origin from
outside our time domain.
In this study, pastor Barry gives a
wealth of evidence
to support these discoveries, and then looks at the
implication of this for each one of us.
Could the Bible itself
Lamb’s book of Life?
Could your name
within its pages?
The very idea that God could
the people of Israel over all the others
and can be
hard to swallow
Both Jew and Gentile alike have been known to puzzle at this apparent favouritism. How are to we believe that God is just and loves everyone,
but at the same time “sets his affection” on one people group
And how are we supposed align ourselves with
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD
your God has chosen you out of all the peoples
on the face of the earth
to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did
not set his affection on you and
because you were more numerous than other peoples,
for you were the fewest of
But it was because the LORD loved you and
kept the oath
he swore to your ancestors
that he brought you out
with a mighty hand and redeemed you from
land of slavery,
from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
This theme of his passionate love for his people is repeated throughout the whole Bible – sometimes with conditions such as following the law, and sometimes in spite of their breaking all the conditions. He refers to Israel as
his “special treasure” (סגולה)
“apple of his eye”
among other tender and affectionate designations. His anger and fury is aroused if they are hurt, and their unfaithfulness pains him like no other.
And this is not even thrown out of the window on the safe arrival of
Yeshua the Messiah. He states that
he was sent
"the lost sheep of Israel”
and Paul says the gospel should go
to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
God’s distinct choice of Israel right to the
end of Revelation,
calling and gifts are irrevocable
How are we to align
ourselves with this passion of God’s heart, when it seems
contrary to our sense of justice and fair play?
Indeed, contrary to God’s revealed heart for every nation, and
his declared lack of favouritism?
(“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism”,
declared Peter in Acts 10:34).
LORD, COULDN’T YOU CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE?
We often think of God’s choice of Israel
as an honour and privilege, but it also
More than one Jewish person has verbally
wished that the choice
had landed on another people group instead.
God warns Israel,
“You only have I chosen
of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.”
God calls Israel to a higher standard,
precisely because of
choice of them
Just as a judge
might “make an example” out of a criminal,
Israel serves as an example and a lesson to the world.
The curses and punishments in Deuteronomy promised to Israel
if they fail
are eye-watering in their severity and extremity.
Psalm 147 declares:
“He has revealed his word
his laws and decrees to Israel.
He has done this for no other nation.”
God wanted us all to have access to the scriptures –the
"oracles of God’
as Paul calls them –
of God to. the world.
He also wanted to
bring his Messiah
into the world
through a people group.
A personal delivery.
The Jewish people are
guardians and messengers of
gifts to the world.
Israel may be the nation that was
but they have been chosen for a
The reason is not merited by themselves, but
is to bless all the nations on
THAT WAS AN EXAMPLE TO THE WORLD –
NOT OF HOW THEY BEHAVE,
HOW HE BEHAVES
We can learn by observing
the twists and turns of the love story between
God and Israel
what kind of character it is that
we are following.
We can see his faithfulness.
We can see his standards.
We can see his compassionate love and mercy,
as well as his jealousy and wrath
when he is rejected for other lovers.
The Bible cannot be understood without appreciating the
place of Israel
in his grand scheme –
beginning to end.
Indeed, looking through the
dealings with Israel
is like a
key that unlocks the scriptures.
However, a cursory glance
through history shows how
time and time again,
while the people of Israel may be the
object of God’s undying affection,
they are also
targeted for special hatred –
the unquenchable, Satanic drive to annihilate them
continues throughout the generations.
It is enough to make anyone
envious of the chosen people
retreat from that position with gratitude.
Part of our problem is that we have
bought the lie
that uniformity is good.
Paul writes to the Galatians that there is no longer “Jew nor Greek” (3:28),
but then he also says there is no “male nor female”, so we
that he does not mean those identities vanish when
we come to faith,
but rather that
we are all equally valuable
in God’s sight.
Our identity in the
does not give us preferential treatment
status before God.
Clearly, we remain either male or female, and our gender is part of
who God created us to be –
these differences are roles, and functions in
God’s created order
which we can either respect or ignore.
As time goes by, in the drive for equality, the human race is
difference with value and
the differences that God has put in place,
thinking that if we are different then one must be better than the other.
This is a mistake.
The fact that we can be different but equally precious is a truth that the enemy is trying to hide.
We see this strategy insidiously
contaminating many areas of life –
we must be the same –
we must have the same – we must look the same.
This is not the will,
nor is it the
purpose or the desire of God.
We just have to consider the flora and fauna around us to see how God takes great delight in variety working in harmony together, and then compare that with Communist apartment blocks that
drown out any hint of individuality with a monotonous, monochrome drone.
is unique, and his plans
are also tailor-made.
We often fall into the trap of thinking “But everyone else…” and
believing that we are
rightfully due the same.
After his resurrection, Jesus has a conversation
with Peter about his future.
He bestows great honour upon him
but also gives him a
about his painful end.
Peter immediately looks over at
When Peter saw him, he asked,
“Lord, what about him?”
“If I want him to remain alive
until I return,
what is that to you?
You must follow me.”
Jesus tells Peter, and all those who read these words, that we are not to look at others and insist on identical treatment,
but to accept the privileges we receive
from God with understanding –
and also the challenges
that he has
uniquely put before us.
for each one of us is different.
It’s hard not to compare,
Body of Messiah
depends upon each one
unique calling, giftings, privileges and
celebrating those of others
(1 Corinthians 12).
In other words, we must
covet the package
that others have
Following this commandment means learning to be
satisfied and content
with what God chooses for us, and not
what he chooses for others.
Even graciously rejoicing in the blessing of others, and
appreciating their contribution.
A deepening trust in God’s sovereign plan
perfect goodness to us can help us
accept the differences we see –
our privileges well and generously,
humbly accept the difficulties we experience
that others seem
to escape from Scott-free.
It is a command against the
greed and bitterness that we so easily
This can only be done when we truly believe that
God really loves us.
Satan whispers to us that God is rejecting us,
that he prefers another,
that someone else is getting better treatment and that we are losing out.
But these too are lies.
We need faith
to believe in God’s goodness to the whole world,
and every individual in it.
He loves each one passionately,
but he has different plans
and a different
relationship with each of us.
JOINING GOD’S HEART FOR ISRAEL
If we believe God is loving and wise,
we must trust
God with his choice of Israel.
We can rejoice in God’s divine plans for us all,
enjoying what God has chosen for us
to its full extent
without believing that we are any less esteemed at all.
It’s a beautiful thing to forego a demanding attitude that
insists on exactly the same treatment for all, and is ready instead to
draw alongside our Father God – to join him and and
share his heart for his people.
It requires that we refuse to believe the lie that we are rejected or second best
– or that
God’s grace and favour must be merited.
All those who have come to love the God of Israel and have
been forgiven by Yeshua the Messiah
have been brought into the commonwealth of Israel to
share in God’s riches,
and have been
grafted into the chosen people.
Ephesians 2:12-13 says,
“At that time
you were separate from Messiah,
excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to
the covenants of promise,
having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Messiah Yeshua, you
who once were
have been brought near
the blood of the Messiah.“
We all have equal standing before God
and free access
to the Father through his son,
Yet the tribes of Israel are still there
right to the end of
just as God promised that they always would be
(Romans 9-11, Jeremiah 31:35-36). It is easy to see the unique role that God had for Israel in the past, bringing us the Scriptures and the Messiah,
the story of God…
but we have the amazing privilege today of
seeing God’s faithfulness in action
as we see his ancient promises to Israel coming to pass
before our eyes today.
Israel was, and still is, like a fuzzy felt illustration to the
rest of the world to teach us what God is like.
He will not give up on Israel, he will not
renege on his promises
(despite Israel’s unfaithfulness),
he says he will do something,
he will do it.
Israel is our concrete proof of this truth, and will
continue to testify
to the certainty of God’s word by being a
living example of it.
The fact that God is a covenant-keeping God is