How can I find and know the Words of God? (Bible and prophecy)
Many people in many parts of the world claim to have the words of God. In what Christians call the Bible, we find the true words of God. The New Testament states: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV). In the Bible (the Scriptures) we find two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament we find the story of creation, the fall of mankind into sin, God choosing a special people to whom He revealed his words, and the mighty acts of God. We also find prophecies about the future and about the life and death of Jesus Christ. Only God knows the future and in the Old Testament we find historical accounts of God’s words and acts as well as the fore-telling (prophecies) of future events. Many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled, but others still await fulfillment.
In the New Testament we find historical accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We see God acting in history and making a way for his people to be united to Him and find deliverance from sin. Many of the prophecies in the Old Testament have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. The New Testament also contains letters to God’s people and prophecies about the end of the world as we know it.
All in all, there are 66 books in the Bible. Christians believe that the Bible is God’s word to the human race. In it we find what God expects of us, and how we can be brought into a restored relationship with God Almighty. We find the words of eternal life in the Bible (John 6:68). The Holy Spirit given to God’s children led them to compile the Bible. All of the books in the New Testament were written while the 12 apostles (or some of them; Jesus’ chosen disciples), who saw Jesus alive after his death, were still living. The church (God’s people) recognized that those books written by the apostles (or written in close relationship with an apostle) in the New Testament are enough to enable us to know about the way to God and how to be saved for time and eternity. The Bible is the standard for us to distinguish truth from falsehood, truth from error and righteousness from unrighteousness.
Because there was no printing press or electronic media for centuries, there are literally thousands of handwritten copies of the Bible (of the original manuscripts, called “the autographs”) and parts of the Bible. God led His people, the church, to make many copies of the original manuscripts over the centuries to preserve His words. Because so many manuscripts were copied over the centuries, human errors do occur. But in comparison to the large number of manuscripts available (more than 5,500 containing the New Testament or parts of it), these errors are few. They comprise only about 1 % of all the words in the manuscripts. This is so because the manuscripts were meticulously and carefully copied by the people of God. And what is more, the errors that do occur are mainly of a grammatical nature. They do not have an impact on the core truths about Jesus, God, life, righteousness or our salvation.
All the handwritten copies of the Bible have a striking similarity in the main message and doctrines of God, his acts in history and what we need to know in order to be saved for time and eternity. The Bible, in all of its thousands of manuscripts, has the same clear message: how we should live a life pleasing to God and how to be reconciled to Him for time and eternity. Therefore, we can trust God’s words in the Bible, and know that through his people, He has preserved for us in the Bibleall that we need to know to have a blessed relationship with Him.
Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away.