Corroboration of the Word of God

1 Thessalonians

Corroboration of the Word of God

December 8th, 1957 @ 7:30 PM

1 Thessalonians 2:13

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
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CORROBORATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Thessalonians 2:13

12-8-57    7:30 p.m.

 

 

In our Bibles, let us turn to the first Thessalonian letter, the second chapter.  We shall read down to the text which is the thirteenth verse.  First Thessalonians, the second chapter, reading the first thirteen verses – and the text is the thirteenth verse – First Thessalonians 2:1-13.  Speaking tonight on the Word of God: First Thessalonians, the second chapter, the first thirteen verses.  Now everybody together:

 

For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you that it was not in vain.

But even after that we had suffered before and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile.

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God which trieth our hearts.

For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness–God is witness.

Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ.

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail; for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe;

As yeknow how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

That ye would walk worthy of God who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory. 

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 

 [1 Thessalonians 2:1-13]

 

And now the text is: "As it is in truth, the Word of God."  The whole verse: "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" [1 Thessalonians 2:13].

Now, the first thing we shall do is this.  There is a decided consciousness on the part of the apostle and the prophet that the message he delivered and the word that he spake was the Word and message of God.  That’s illustrated here in this text: "When ye received the Word we preached, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God" [1 Thessalonians 2:13].  Paul identifies the gospel message that he preaches with the Word of God.  This is the Word of God: the message that Paul is delivering – the gospel of the Son of God.

Now, Paul avows that time and time again.  For example, in the first Corinthian letter, the eleventh chapter and the twenty-third verse, he says: "For I received of the Lord Jesus that which also I delivered unto you . . ." [1 Corinthians 11:23].  "For I have received of the Lord Jesus."  That is, he did not originate it, nor did he think it up, nor was it of him, but the thing that he delivered was something he had received. He says the same thing in the first Corinthian letter, the fifteenth chapter and the third verse: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: how that . . . " [1 Corinthians 15:3] then he declares to them the message that he received by direct revelation from God.

In the letter to the churches of Galatia, in the first chapter, he says: "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which ye have received, let him be accursed" [Galatians 1:8].  Or, he says: "This gospel I received not from men, neither was I taught it by men, but by revelation of Jesus Christ" [from Galatians 1:11-12].  The message Paul delivers, the gospel that he preaches, he received directly by revelation from Christ Himself, and the message that he preaches and the word that he writes is, in the words of my text, "in very truth the Word of God" [1 Thessalonians 2:13].

Now, that same thing that you find in the Apostle Paul, you find in all of the writers of the Bible – the apostles and the prophets.  They were conscious that they were delivering the very Word and will and message of God.  It says in the second chapter of the Book of Acts that the new converts continued in the apostles’ doctrine [Acts 2:42] – in the didachē, in the teaching in the Word of God; and that didachē – that teaching, that doctrine – was written down.  And I have it here in my hands: the Word of God.

For example, the apostle Peter said in the first chapter of his [second] letter: "I will endeavor after my departure that ye may be able to bring these things to remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised tales.  We’ve made known unto you the truth of Christ . . . the majesty of glory" [from 2 Peter 1:15-16].  He says there that before he dies he’s going to write down these great revelations in Jesus, and you call that the Gospel of Mark which is the gospel of Peter.

Then he continues.  Listen.  "We have also a more sure word of prophecy . . . For the prophecy came not in old by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" [2 Peter 1:19, 21].Peter says there: "This message that we have received from God, I’m going to write it down before my departure."  So these apostles wrote down for us, in the gospels and in the epistles, the revelation that they received – the apostle Paul, by direct revelation from Christ in heaven; the apostle Peter, sitting at the feet of the Lord in the days of His flesh.  They wrote out, and it’s ourNew Testament – the gospel of Christ – which Paul says is the Word of God [1 Thessalonians 2:13].

Now, the apostle [Peter] says that these prophets also – and he says the "more sure word of prophecy" [2 Peter 1:19]is the real authentication and affirmation of the truth of the gospel message.  He says those men who wrote back there in the Old Testament that they also were conscious that they were writing and speaking the immutable, infallible Word of the living God.  They were moved by the Holy Spirit – spake not of themselves [2 Peter 1:21].  The word and message they delivered was not something they invented or that originated with them, but it was a word and message they got from God.  And the Word that they write, and that I hold here in my hand, is the unchanging and immutable and fixed Word of God.

Now, I’m going to take three as an example.  First, Moses: "And God said unto Moses, ‘Come up unto the Lord’ . . . And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments" [Exodus 24:1, 3].  And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord.Moses heard them from God Himself and Moses wrote them down and I have them here in my hand. 

"And Moses took the Book of the Covenant" – that’s what he calls it after he wrote it down – "and read it in the audience of the people . . . And Moses took blood and sprinkled it on the people" and sprinkled it on the book [from Exodus 24:7-8].  The people and the Book were alike the possession of God.  Not only that, but the Lord said: "Moses, come up to Me again . . . and I’ll give thee tables of stone, and a law and commandments which I have written, that thou mayest teach them to the people" [Exodus 24:12].  So old Moses felt that the thing that he wrote down was the actual Word of God.  He received it from the Almighty Himself.

Now, let’s take another one: Jeremiah.  "And it came to pass" – in the thirty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah –

 

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim . . . that the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying:

"Take thee a roll of a book and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee . . . from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

 [Jeremiah 36:1-2]

 

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord.

 [Jeremiah 36:4]

 

And I have it here in my hand.  He wrote them upon a roll of a book.  "And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading in the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house" [Jeremiah 36:8].

I take just one other.  They’re all alike.  Thus saith the Lord in the second chapter of the Book of Ezekiel: "And the Lord said unto me, ‘Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.’  And the Spirit entered into me" [Ezekiel 2:1-2].

 What did Peter say?  "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" [2 Peter 1:21].

 

And the Spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet; that I heard Him that spake unto me.

And the Lord said: "Thou shalt speak My words unto them . . . whether they will hear or whether they will forbear . . ."

Moreover He said unto me, "Son of man, eat that thou findest; take this roll . . .

So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat this roll.

And He said unto me, "Son of man, cause thy stomach to eat, and fill thyself with this roll that I give thee."

 [Ezekiel 2:2, 4-5; 3:1-3]

 

That is the Word of God.  And he ate it [Ezekiel 3:3], and stood up and delivered the Word of God to the people.  And I have that Word here in my hand.

Now, we could continue that all night long.  I am just illustrating the fact that these men, holy and set aside – the prophet of the Old Testament and the apostle of the New Testament – that, in each one, he was conscious of the fact that the word he received and the message delivered was of heaven.  It was of God.  It came from the courts of glory itself. 

And I have it here in my hand.  So I can look at it.  I can examine it.  I can read it for myself.  These men say this is the Word of God.  These men say they received it from heaven.  These men say they are delivering a message not that they invented or that originated with them but that they received it from God, and they wrote it down.  And I have it here in my hand so I can look at it.  I can examine it.  I can verify it or I can prove that it is not the Word of God – it is fallible, it is the origination and invention of man.So I shall pick it up and look at it, this thing that they say they got from heaven itself. 

Well, any man who will examine that Book with an unbiased mind will stand in amazement and in wonder at what he reads.  You can hardly believe that you could hold in your hand the miracle, the unbelievable wonder of what has been written in the page of this sacred, sacred volume.

For example – we’re going to look at it and just see for ourselves.  For example, I am amazed at its scientific accuracy, written thousands and thousands of years before the word "science" was invented.  Before men ever heard of a microscope or a telescope, before logarithms and weights and balances and chemicals and the laws of astronomy and physics and chemistry were even known or heard of, these men speaking by the revelation of God yet speaking scientifically accurately thousands of years before any science was named or known.

Now, if I had about five weeks, we’d start again in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis.  Well, I preached from that chapter about six months and then didn’t get good and started – just taking all that we know about science and finding everything we’ve discovered, finding it exactly said back there in the Bible thousands of years before a man ever thought it, before he ever discovered it.  Now, I’m just going to take two passages as illustrative. 

Look at this unusual verse in the twenty-sixth chapter of Job and the seventh verse.  Listen.  "God stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing."  What an amazing, scientifically accurate statement.  He says two things there in that one little verse.

"God stretcheth out the north over the empty place" [Job 26:7].  There is in the north, in the heaven of the heavens, there is a vast empty space – fathomless abyss of the night as though the universe of the worlds had come to an end. Up there in the north: a vast, vast emptiness, an abyss of unfathomable blackness and night.  "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place and hangeth the earth upon nothing" [Job 26:7].

When Job wrote that sentence, the latest scientific, accepted facts of the day were this: that the earth was held up by a great giant, and that giant stood on a platform of the backs of big elephants, and the elephants stood on a great big gigantic tortoise, and what the tortoise stood on nobody ever said.That was the latest science.  That was the accepted explanation of the world.  But when Job wrote, he said, "God hangeth the earth on nothing!" [Job 26:7]  Thousands of years ago he wrote that.

And I just take one other.  We could be here all night long with just looking at this.  In the fortieth chapter of the prophet Isaiah, in the twenty-second verse, Isaiah says: "It is He" – talking about who’s like unto the Lord God – "it is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth" [Isaiah 40:22].  When Isaiah wrote that, then for a thousand years after, the latest scientific theory of the world was that it was flat and square, and if you’d got to the edge, you’d fall off.  That’s the reason when they gathered around Columbus, they said, "You’d better not go out there.  In the middle of that ocean is a great monster; and when he breathes – he’s taking a breath – the tides of the sea come up on the seashore, and when he exhales his breath, the waters of the sea go back.  Great big monster – and if you go out there in the middle of the sea, you’ll go right into his gut."  That’s what they said.  That was science in that day, and the world was flat in that day.  But Isaiah said, a thousand years, "It is He that sitteth above the circle of the earth" [Isaiah 40:22].  It’s round, Isaiah said.

Well, we haven’t time for that.  We’re looking at the Word of the Lord.  Sir Herschel [Sir William Herschel, 1738-1822] said – one of the great astronomers of all time – he said, "It seems that every discovery of man is for the purpose, more and more and more strongly, to confirm the accuracy of the sacred Scriptures."  And it seems that way.  Wherever a man digs in the earth, wherever a spade is placed in the soil, wherever they search among the ash heaps of ancient Egypt, dig down into the mounds of Tyre and Nineveh, Babylon and Palestine, there they unearth the corroborated testimony of the infallible Word of God.

For example, just comparatively recent years, the fourteenth chapter in the Book of Genesis where you have listed the five kings under Chedorlaomer [Genesis 14:1-2], they said that’s just historical trash – no authenticity in it.  But the shovel and the spade, digging down in the earth, has unearthed corroborated testimony, and every syllable of the fourteenth chapter of Genesis is exactly as it is written in the Book.

Why, I can remember when the scholars and the scientists said, "The Hittites.  The Hittites: ha, ha, the Hittites!  There weren’t any Hittites!"  But the Bible’s full of Hittites.  You know that?  All through the Old Testament, you got the Hittites.  Well, they hadn’t seen a Hittite.  You hadn’t seen a Hittite, had you?  You don’t know what a Hittite looks like.  You don’t know what a Hittite looks like.  Well, they never had seen a Hittite either.  So the scientists came to the conclusion there weren’t any Hittites – that it’s just a fabrication of the Word of God.

Now, may the Lord wash out my mouth once again.  In Life magazine about a year ago – remember?  In Life magazine, about a year ago, they had a whole issue on the Hittite Empire.  Do you remember that, all of you people who read that trash?  They had a whole issue.  They had a whole issue on the Hittite Empire.  A great empire had been on earth just like it says in the Word of the Lord.

Why, it hasn’t been any while when those infidels and those higher critics were laughing at Sergius Paulus [Lucius Sergius Paulus, first century CE].  Luke said he was the proconsulate of Cyprus when Paul went there to preach the gospel – Sergius Paulus [Acts 13:1-8].  And they laughed and scoffed.  Sergius Paulus: never was anybody lived like that much less was he a proconsul of Cyprus.  That little, humble, homely spade, digging down in the ruins of the ancient cities of Cyprus, dug up coins and on those pieces of money was stamped the image and the name of Sergius Paulus!  And if I had about five days here, we’d just go through a thousand instances like that where they used to laugh and scoff and ridicule, but the spade digging down into the earth, the archaeologist found it to be exactly according to the Word of God.

Those trenches of Tel el-Amarna, those key letters of the Rosetta Stone, that black but speaking face of the Moabite Stone, those great cuneiform inscriptions on the Behistun Rocks, all of those things they dig up of the papyri in Egypt, the palimpsest – cracked and covered and crinkled and old, down into the earth from the very heavens – from the depth of the sea rising testimony to the infallible, immutable and accurate Word of the living God.

Why, I can remember when I first started out in this.  I can remember when the critics, the higher critics, were saying the Gospel of John, "Why, that was a creation of the Christian community two or three hundred years after Jesus."  And lo and behold, a fellow digging down in the ash heaps of Egypt found a papyrus quoting the Gospel of John as the sacred Word of God, and that papyrus was written between 100 and 125 AD, a good hundred years before the higher critics said John’s Gospel had even been composed.  All of these things verify the Word of the Lord.

Now we come to the great, great authentication and verification.  So far as I know, the only faith and the only religion that has any prophecy – what is to come to pass – is in the pages of this Book I hold in my hand, and there’s a certain reason for that.  A man can’t prophesy.  A man can’t predict what’ll happen.  A man doesn’t know, but God knows.  He sees the end from the beginning.  And this Book is a book of prophecy, and it tells things that are to come to pass thousands and centuries of years before they are fulfilled – the Book that I hold in my hand: God’s Book.

All right, let’s look at it.  Let’s take just a few of the things about the Lord Jesus.  I don’t know when God said the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head [Genesis 3:15].  Thousands and thousands and thousands of years before, God said He shall be born of a woman – of the seed of the woman, a virgin Son [Isaiah 7:14].  A good two thousand years almost before Christ, Israel – Jacob – lay dying, and he turned to the fourth boy.  He rejected Reuben [Genesis :3-4].  He rejected Simeon [Genesis :5-7].  He rejected Levi [Genesis :5-7].  He turned to the fourth boy, Judah, and he said, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes" [Genesis :10].  That was a prophecy almost two thousand years before it was fulfilled that Judah, the tribe of Judah, should be intact and have a government – until Jesus should come. 

Listen fellow, if you can predict six months in advance, you’re a genius.  You’re unlike anybody ever born in this earth.  And if you can predict even ninety days in advance, I’ll tell you how to get rich.  Can you predict ninety days in advance?  No?  Well, you can’t be rich.  Can you predict ninety days in advance?  Then you’re going to be poor all your life!  I can tell you how to get rich if you know just ninety days in advance. 

Go down here to Merrill Lynch Center, Bean – brother, I forgotten one of them.  What?   Pierce?  Pierce.  Yeah, I forgot Mr. Pierce.  Well you go down there, and if you know just ninety days in advance what’s going to happen, you buy stocks that are going up.  Then when you know they’re going to go down, sell them.  Then start again: buy a stock that’s going up, then when it starts going down, you know it, sell it.  Then start again, and you’ll be rich in no time – even government taxes or no taxes.  But a man doesn’t know what’s going to happen six days in advance, much less ninety days, much less a year.  But here is a man of God picking out his fourth son and prophesying two thousand years in advance what’s going to happen.

Take another one.  Micah stands up 750 years – how old is America?  1776 to 1957 – not two hundred years yet.  Ah, here’s a man stand up and 750 years before the event, he says, "And He’s going to be born in that little town of Bethlehem" [Micah 5:2]: the prophecy of the Word of the Lord.

And Zechariah stands up, and five hundred years before the event, he says how he’s going into the city of Jerusalem: "riding on an ass, even the foal of an ass, humble" [Zechariah 9:9] – not on a charger; gentle and sweet.  "And His dominion shall be from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth" [Zechariah 9:10].  Why, when I read in the Book, I can hardly believe it: thousands of years in advance, prophesy what’s going to come to pass.

Now, we could be here all night long about this.  When you read in those prophets and what they’re saying and how it was fulfilled, oh, it’s a miracle.  When Ezekiel stood up in the twenty-sixth chapter of his book, Tyre was in its glory.  And Ezekiel lifted up his voice and said, "Thus saith the Lord God, and Tyre shall be like the top of a straight rock" [Ezekiel 26:4].  And 250 years later – 250 years later, that’s a good seventy years longer than the United States is old – 250 years later, Alexander the Great came, and he built a causeway from the land to the island of Tyre.  Tyre had never been subdued.  It had never been captured.  It was impregnable, they said.  And Alexander the Great stormed the city and tore it down and destroyed it and made it like the top of a straight rock.  And the prophet said, "And it shall be that way forever" [Ezekiel 26:20-21].  And it is to this day.  It’ll always be that way.

When Nahum stood up, the prophet, Nineveh was in its glory, and Nahum prophesied exactly how Nineveh would be destroyed [Nahum 2:1-3:13].  He wrote it down in a book.  And years and years and years later, Nineveh was stormed by the great combination of the east and the west under Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, and he besieged Nineveh for two solid years and was unable to break the ramparts.  And then the prophecy of Nahum came to pass: The Tigris River rolls out of its banks and beyond its boundaries, and the furious floodwaters of the Tigris River beat against the wall of Nineveh and dissolved it and washed it away.  And when the tide subsided, Nabopolassar and his confederates entered through the breach and destroyed Nineveh forever.  And Nahum wrote that years, and years, and years before in his book, and you can read it for yourself.

"All right, preacher, you have these prophecies of a thousand years ago and centuries ago.  How about today?  How about today?  How about now?  Does the Bible prophesy now, and I can see it with my eyes?"  Yes, sir.  The Bible prophesies now, and you can see it with your eyes.

I have chosen three things that the Bible prophesies among a multitude of other things.  I have chosen three things that the Bible prophesies concerning now, and I can watch it with my eyes.

Here’s one of them: "And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast full of names of blasphemy . . . And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand" [Revelation 17: 3-4].  Ah, haven’t I seen that: arrayed in scarlet, covered with jewels, raising the cup, ah, the mother of harlots – mother church.  "And I saw the woman, drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs.  And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration" [Revelation 17:6].  And who couldn’t?  "An angel said unto me, ‘Wherefore dost thou marvel? I’ll tell thee the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carrieth her . . . Here is a mind which hath wisdom: The woman sits upon the beast, and that beast are the seven mountains on which the woman sitteth" [Revelation 17:7, 9].

Do you know a great city called "the city built on the seven hills?"  Did you ever see one in that mother church dressed in scarlet, covered with jewels, lifting up the host to the Lord, drunken with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus, riding on the back of the beast supported by the government?  Why, I can just see it, read it in the Book.  There it is.  I turn the page.  It isn’t just here.  It’s all through this Book. 

This age is entering, the Bible says, a time and a last time, when this world will be an armed camp.  A nation will be a nation for an arsenal and secretly and clandestinely and furtively and openly and avowedly preparing for war, preparing for war, preparing for war.  That’s what the Book says.  That’s what the Book says, and I see it with my eyes. 

However the United Nations may resolute, and however NATO may meet, and however the people may pray for peace, brother, we are preparing for war!  The Bible says this whole world will be an armed camp.  And, my soul, the description of that final battle: ‘"Come,’ says the angel, ‘Come that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of all them that reign, the flesh of all men, free and bond, small and great!’" [from Revelation 19:17-18]

Oh, my soul.  What a catastrophe that’s going to be, and it’s coming.  It’s coming.  When they get through with the hydrogen bombs and the atom bombs and rain death from the sky, it’ll be a world where the call of God says "the flesh" – so many, the Bible says, you can’t bury them: food for the vultures [Revelation 19:21].  I can see that.  I read it in every paper.   It’s the overtone of every conference.

 Well, I take one more.  I take one more.  The Bible has a whole lot to say about the Jew, about the Jew – prophesies about the Jew.  Now, before I begin, and this is my last one, I want you to realize that for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years, these prophesies were covered with dust and the events of the world gave the lie to every syllable.   But they were written in the Book.  "And the flower fadeth, and the grass witherith, but the word of God abideth forever" [Isaiah 40:8].  "Heaven and earth may pass away, but God’s word will never pass away" [from Matthew 24:35].

The Jew, the Jew.  All right, to start with, Jesus said, "and he’ll be here till I come again."  He’ll be here till all of these things are fulfilled – the Jew.  The Hittite, and the Girgashite, and Ammonite, and the Moabite, and the Canaanite, and the Hivite and the Jebusite, and the Hittite – all of them may go away; but the Jew, he’ll still be here [2 Samuel 7:16-17]. 

Then the Lord said some things about him.  Here’s one: The Lord said, "And he’ll go back to his land unconverted.  He’ll go back to Palestine unsaved.  He’ll go back to Palestine in rebellion and unbelief."  Hear the Word of the Lord.  Ezekiel 36:

 

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying:

"Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings; their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. 

Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it.

And I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them."

 [Ezekiel 36:16-19]

 

Then He says:

           But I had pity for My holy name –

not on their account; they’re a recalcitrant, stiff-necked people –

But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned . . .

Therefore, say unto the house of Israel, "Thus saith the Lord God: ‘I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen whither ye went.

I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ saith the Lord God, ‘when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.   

For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.’"

 [Ezekiel 36:21-24]

 

            You unconverted and obstreperous Jew!   You Israelites who have profaned the name of God!  "I’m going to bring you back to your own land."

  All right, the next verse.  Then, then, T-H-E-N!  Then, going back in unbelief and profanation, then!  Then back in the land unconverted:

 

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean. . .

A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you; and I’ll take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I’ll give you a heart of flesh. 

I’ll put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments.

And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My possession, and I will be your God. 

 [Ezekiel 36:25-28]

 

Then He goes on for the rest of a long chapter describing the conversion of Israel.  Then over here in Zechariah, he says how they’re going to be converted:

 

I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced.  And they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only [son].

 [Zechariah 12:10]

 

In that day there shall be open a fountain to the house of David and to house of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. 

 [Zechariah 13:1]

 

And one shall say unto him, "What are these wounds in thine hands?"  Then he shall answer, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."

 [Zechariah 13:6]

 

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried.  And they shall call on My name, and I will hear them.  And I will say, "It is My people;"And they shall say, "The Lord is my God."

 [Zechariah 13:9]

 

And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.  And the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst, and there shall be a great valley . . .

And the Lord God shall come, and all the saints with Him. 

 [Zechariah 14:4-5]

 

And it shall come to pass that at eventide it shall be light.

And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, half of them to the former sea, half toward the hinder sea . . .

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth.

 [Zechariah 14:7-9]

 

And every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord.

                        [Zechariah 14:21]

 

And in the words of Jeremiah:

 

"Behold,"saith the Lord, "It shall no more be said, ‘The Lord liveth that brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’

But, ‘The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the landswhitherHe had driven them.’

And I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

 [Jeremiah 16:14-15]

 

And the Book says they shall never more be removed.  In Amos:

 

"In that day I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel . . .

And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them,"saith the Lord God.

 [Amos 9:14-15]

 

And behold, and behold!  Listen to me.  For a thousand years, the land of Palestine didn’t have a Jew in it – not a Jew, not a Jew, not a one!  For a thousand years the land of Palestine was desolate and waste and desert!But the prophecy said they’ll go back unconverted, and the prophecy said some of these days they’re going to be saved.  They’re going to look on Him, and they’re going to mourn [Zechariah 12:10], and "I’m going to put a new heart in them and a new spirit in them" [Ezekiel 36:26].   And they’re not going to say anymore, "The Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt," but they’re going to say, "The Lord that gathered us from among the nations of the world" [Jeremiah 16:14-15].  And they’re going to live in the land forever and ever, and no will ever pluck them up and cast them aside [Amos 9:14-15].

And lo and behold, when I crossed over from the land of Jordan into the land of Israel through the Mandelbaum Gate, the first thing I saw – a big placard: "And the desert shall blossom like the rose."  And every month the magazine comes on my desk entitled Land Reborn.

I have twice been up and down the length of Israel.  There, once again, you hear the lowing of cattle and the bleating of sheep.  There, once again, are the planting of orchards and the growing of forests.  There, once again, are the people in their cities and in their villages.  There, once again, the hand of God is moving in history before my very eyes, and the people are unconverted.  They’re not saved.  They’re lost.  They’re going home.   According to the word of the Lord, after thousands of years, they’re going home.   And some of these days, according to the word of the Lord, a nation shall be born in a day [Isaiah 66:8]. 

And we haven’t time for the long prophesies of the conversion of the chosen people of God.  Who would have thought it?  Who would have dreamed it?  Who would have known it?  But what I read on the sacred page, there I see developing in the story and in the history of the world as it is in truth, the Word of God. 

Now, we must close.  While we sing our song, somebody you, give his heart to the Lord; somebody you, put his life in the church; somebody you, a family, coming down this aisle, "Here I am, pastor, and here I come.I give you my hand. I give my heart to God."  To come, to work, to pray, to be with us in this ministry,while we sing this song,would you make it now?  While the Spirit of the Lord makes the appeal, would you decide for Christ?  Into the aisle, down here to the front: "Here I am, pastor.  Here I come."  While we stand and while we sing.

CORROBORATION OF THE WORD OF GOD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Thessalonians 2:13

12-8-57

 

I.          This holy, divine consciousness of delivering the Word of God

A.  Paul(1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 11:23, 15:3, Galatians 1:8, 12)

B.  The apostles(Acts 2:42, 2 Peter 1:15, 19-21)

C.  The prophets – Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel (Exodus 24:1-4, 8, 12, Deuteronomy 31:9, Jeremiah 36:1-2, 4, 8, Ezekiel 2:1-2, 5, 7, 3:1-3, 2 Peter 2:1)

 

II.         Corroboration

A.  Scientific accuracy

1.  Genesis series in creation

2.  In northern sky a space where no star shines(Job 26:7)

3.  The circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22)

B.  Historical accuracy, confirmation in archaeology(Genesis 14, Acts 13:7)

C.  Prophecy

1.  Concerning Jesus (Genesis 3:15, :10, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9)

2.  Concerning nations (Ezekiel 26:4-6)

3.  This day

a. The church(Revelation 17:3-7, 9)

b. The world

c. The Jew(Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35)

i.  Scattered, brought back in unbelief(Ezekiel 36:16-24)

ii. Saved in the land (Ezekiel 36:25-28, Zechariah 12:10, 13:1, 6, 9, 14:4-9, 21, Jeremiah 16:14-15)

iii. Israel’s settlement in the land will be permanent (Amos 9:14-15)

iv. More Jews there now than at any time since return from Babylon