The Story of Liberty
Looking for a program? Search above

Receive weekly emails from The Story of Liberty
Video Transcription. Please excuse any errors which occurred during transcription: 
Hello again. John Bona here, with the Story of Liberty. When I heard those words in the Bible, in the book of Mark 13:31 that, "Heaven and earth may pass away but my words shall not pass away." That was a life changer for me. True believers of the Bible believe that the Bible is not of man but is the teaching of God Himself. The spirit of God spoke through men who wrote the Bible.

The least we can do is read it and pray that we understand it. Scriptures do tell us that holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In 2 Peter 1:21. How could they be holy men if what they wrote was not from Heaven? All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. The Bible is a divine revelation. So we ask the question, a divine revelation of what? Briefly the answer is a four persons. 

Three classes of people in three places. God the Father, whose love is manifested throughout the Holy Scriptures, God the Son, whose abundant sacrifice is shown and God the Holy Spirit, whose ministry is described and Satan whose diabolical purposes are unmasked. The three classes of people are the Jews, the nation chosen by God for his divine purposes. The gentiles which is the rest of mankind apart from the Jews and the church composed of Jews and gentiles. The three places are Heaven, the dwelling place of the triune God and the angelic host and the redeemed by Christ.

Earth is the sphere where we presently are; the human souls. It's a place of sin and sorrow. Hell, the terrible abode for the lost. Did you know that it was not up until around 1200 A.D that the Bible had chapters and verses? For example, the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy was one roll, a scroll or a book known as the Book of Moses. Dwight Moody said that there are about 30,000 Bible promises.

"Take the promises of God," he said, "Let a man feed for a month on the promises of God and he will not talk about how poor he is." He will lift up his head and proclaim the riches of God's grace. King David in the Bible, he asked a question once, a very profound question. He said, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" What David is saying here that, when being right is no longer right, it's perverted by society and corrupted and Christians are despised, what are the children of God to do?

We can exercise our faith in God because his sovereignty; God's sovereignty, is able to make right all the wrongs. The fundamentals of the Christian faith are still being attacked today. What are we to do? The Liberals and the Humanists will try to destroy the foundations, but it's impossible. They can't do it. Scripture tells us that they know not and neither will they understand because they're walking in darkness. They are lost. When the Bible is attacked, what must we do to defend our faith?

The Lord will enable us to do it. I was listening to a radio program once when I was driving down the road in my car, and there was this atheist on the radio just ripping up Christians as they were calling in to him and talking to him. You know I didn't hear one single Christian answer the question correctly. He had the same technique, this atheist, for everything.

They would call up and say, "The Bible says this and that". The atheist would say, "I don't believe anything about that." Then they would say, "Well, surely you believe in the Bible." The atheist would say, "The Bible? Why would I believe in the Bible? Do you believe in the Bible?" The caller would always say, "Yes I believe in the Bible." The atheist would say, "Why do you believe in the Bible?" I did not hear one single Christian answer that question correctly. One guy said, "I have the Bible down in my heart." That was a nice answer. The atheist said, "I don't have it down in my heart and I don't believe it either." and he would just hang up on the caller. He did it over and over again. Not one of them could answer the question. Why do you believe in the Bible?

I tried to call up but I couldn't get through. But let's look at why Christians should believe what we believe. The scripture tells us to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear, 1 Peter 3:15. We should be ready to give an answer why we believe anything we claim we believe. See the Bible is not based on blind faith. Unbelief on the other hand, is based on blind unbelief but Christianity is not. We know we have specific prophecy that has been fulfilled.

There's all kinds of people walking around us today, the humanists, the secular humanists, the liberals. They try to challenge what we believe. They mock the Bible. They mock the word of God. These people are on TV and the radio and magazines and movies. They make fun of us and Christianity and they say, "Why do you believe this stuff?" 

Our morality, our ethics forms what we believe; our theology if you will. But what we believe will determine how we live, right? And for Christians, we believe what the Bible says about things. There's many reasons, like I said, the Christians should believe in the Bible. Here's one good reason. God has raised up men who have predicted, prophets the future and we're going to share that with you here at the story of Liberty.

Many people have claimed to be speaking for God, but are they indeed speaking for God or are they false prophets? There's a way you could know. It's pretty simple. Scripture tells us, when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing doesn't happen, or doesn't come to pass, that's not the thing the Lord has spoken. But the prophet; the person has spoken it himself. Don't be afraid of him, he's a phony. But the book of Isaiah tells us, "For I am God, and there's none else. I am God and there's none like to me, declaring the end from the beginning and from the ancient times the things that are yet done."

There you have it folks. One of the main reasons for believing the Bible is specific prophecy that has been predicted and fulfilled over time. The Bible says we should examine prophecies, yet most of us don't ever really read them or examine like we should. This is what makes Christianity so unique. There are no other specific and fulfilled prophecies in any other religious writings of Muhammad, Buddha, the Koran or any founder of any other religion. They don't even go there. 

What's missing from all these other religions is a matter of specific and fulfilled prophecy. They just don't have it. I remember when I was growing up, there were all these famous false prophets in America. People that tried to predict elections and it was amazing. They would get it wrong all the time. You would think they would get it at least half the time right? They would be wrong almost all the time and it takes a lot of talent to be wrong all the time.

There's a story of the great Emperor of Rome named Maxentius. Constantine, you remember, he was the great Christian Roman Emperor in the third Century. Constantine was coming down from the North to attack Rome. Maxentius was in control of Rome. Maxentius asked what would happen if he attacked Constantine as he approached Rome on the other side of the river. The Oracle replied, "In that day, the enemy of Rome will be destroyed." Confident of victory, Maxentius decided to attack Constantine on the other side of the river but Maxentius was destroyed. Why? Because the Oracle failed to define one thing, who was the enemy of Rome.

There's some very vague predictions at one time or another. Often, the very opposite of what they predict is what actually happens but in the Bible some 2000 specific prophecies have already been fulfilled. They cannot have been made after the events but they were written long before these events were fulfilled. Consider the great city of Babylon, probably the greatest city in ancient times we're told. 

The walls were about 14 miles long. The city consisted of almost 200 square miles of the most beautiful architecture. Hanging gardens, palaces, temples and towers. Babylon invented the alphabet. They worked out problems of math. They invented implements to measure time. They were advanced beyond all previous cultures, yet God said of Babylon, when it was the greatest city in the world at that time. "Babylon, the glory of the kingdoms, the beauty shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

There are more than a hundred specific prophecies concerning Babylon's faith. Consider the great walls of Babylon. The historians tell us that these walls had towers that extended above the 200 foot walls to a height of 300 feet. The walls themselves were almost 200 feet thick. Think of that! That's about 60 yards or more thick and they were 14 miles long. 

The city of Babylon, during that time was impregnable but God said of those towers, "The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken. It shall be desolate forever." Jeremiah 51. Is that prophecy vague or ambiguous in any way? I don't think so. We see that in the 4th Century A.D, Julien the apostate (apostate means departure from the faith in case you didn't know), came to the throne of Rome.

His one great desire was to destroy Christianity and make the Pagan religion like Humanism; the dominant religion in Rome. While engaged in the war were the Persians, near to the remains of Babylon, Julian the apostate completely destroyed the remains of the walls of Babylon. The prophecy was fulfilled by one of the greatest enemies of Christ. Isn't that interesting that an enemy of the Christian faith, an enemy of Christ fulfilled the prophecy that Babylon would be overthrown. 

Our Lord had more to say about the city of Babylon. He said, "Because of the wrath of the Lord, it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate. It shall be no more inhabited forever." Babylon was situated in the most fertile part of the Euphrates valley. 2500 years have come and gone and Babylon, to this day, remains an uninhabited waste. Nothing but heaps remain of the city. 

Ezekiel told us in the Chapter 26 about the city of Tier which meant rock when it was at its height and he said, "They shall destroy the walls of Tier, and break down her towers and I will also scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea for I have spoken it." says the Lord God.

Did that happen? He also said that they would lay the stones and the timber and the dust in the midst of waters. 250 years have passed. Ezekiel the prophet was long gone in heaven, but the walls of Tier still stood. They were supposed to be destroyed. The prophecy had not been fulfilled. All the mockers and all that said, "All this is baloney."

Millions of tons of stones and rubble and timbers were still left. Yet God said in His word 250 years earlier, that it would be scrapped like a rock. The stones and the timbers and the very dust of the city, would be cast into the sea. Who would come along 250 years later and fulfill a prophecy as this? It seems as if God was wrong. It had not happened. Yet God said, "I the Lord have spoken it."

Then the mighty conqueror out of the North appears on the scene. Alexander the Great shows up one day and he's ready to attack the Persian army. He crossed the waters and he crushed the king of the Persian army. The mighty Persian army turned and fled to the south east with Alexander on hot pursuit. Instead of going after the Persian army, the great general, he decides to sit down and strategize. 

He decides to nullify the Persian navy another way. He decides to seal off all the ports in the cities, one after another. He forces them to surrender. Alexander the Great comes to new Tier. The old Tier had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and they built a new city with walls on an island, a half a mile out into the sea.

Alexander commands them to surrender, they laugh at him. They're out a half a mile protected by the ocean. Alexander, his engineers, they strategize, and they conceive a plan that was one of the boldest military plans in the history of warfare. They built a causeway across a half of a mile of the Mediterranean Sea to the Island of new Tier. Where would they find materials to build a causeway?

The word was issued by the great king, "Tear down the walls of Tier. Take the timbers and the stones, the rubble and the logs and cast them into the sea. The great army of Alexander began to fulfill the word of God, 250 years later. Rubble, logs, stones and dust. These are the very same words Ezekiel the prophet had prophesied some 250 years before. Amazing to say the least. Still, the prophecy was not completely fulfilled because God said that He would destroy the wall of Tier and make it like the top of a rock, and that it would become a place for the spreading of nets.

Do you know that Christians have traveled to that city of Tier, and they've have taken pictures. Pictures of nets, spread out to dry on the flat rock that was once the proud city of Tier. The prophet Ezekiel had said some 250 years before that it would be scraped and become like a top of a rock, and it would become the place of spreading of nets.

Again, folks, how did the prophet know? We know God's word is true. God's word will never return void. That is true liberty.  

[end]

Predictive prophecy stands as one of the most viable proofs of the Bibles divine inspiration. Ezekiels prophecy concerning the city of Tyre provides an excellent example of such evidence.

Ezekiels prophetic message is one of the easiest to place in an accurate time frame. In verse 2 of the first chapter, the prophet noted that his visions and prophecies began in the fifth year of King Johoiachins captivity. The date for this captivity is virtually unanimously accepted as 597 B.C. during the second deportation of citizens from Judea to Babylon, which is documented in detail in 2 Kings 24:10-20. Furthermore, not only is the deportation recorded in the biblical account, but the ancient Chaldean records document it as well (Free and Vos, 1992, p. 194). Since Ezekiel visions began five years after the deportation, then a firm date of 592 B.C. can be established for the beginning of his prophecy. The prophet supplies other specific dates such as the seventh year (20:1), the ninth year (24:1), the eleventh year (26:1), and the latest date given as the twenty-seventh year (29:17) [Note: for an outline see Archer, 1974, pp. 368-369].

Due to the firmly established dating system that Ezekiel chose to use for his prophecy, the date of the prophecy regarding the city of Tyre, found in chapter 26, can be accurately established as the eleventh year after 597, which would be 586 B.C.

THE CITY OF TYRE

According to history, the Phoenician city of Tyre, located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, stood as one of the most ancient and prosperous cities in history. Herodotus, known as the father of modern history, lived and wrote between about 490 B.C. and 425 B.C. (Herodotus, 1972, p. i). During a visit to the temple of Heracles in Tyre, Herodotus inquired about the age of the temple, to which the inhabits replied that the temple was as old as Tyre itself, and that Tyre had already stood for two thousand three hundred years (Herodotus, 2:44). From Herodotus, then, it can be supposed that the city goes back to 2,700 B.C.

Due to its advantageous geographical position and good ports, Tyre became one of the wealthiest trading cities in history. Fleming noted that it was the most important of all Phoenician cities (1966, p. ix). During the reigns of King David and King Solomon (circa 1000 B.C.), Hiram, king of Tyre, played a major role in the acquisition of building materials for important structures such as the Israelite kings houses and the first temple. In numerous biblical passages, the text states that Hiram sent cedar trees, carpenters, masons, and builders to Israel (2 Samuel 5:11) because of the Tyrians renowned skill in timber cutting (1 Kings 5:1-18). In addition, the Tyrians were equally well known for their remarkable ability to navigate the seas during Solomon’s era. Second Chronicles documents that Hiram sent ships and “servants who knew the sea to work with Solomon men in acquiring gold from foreign lands (2 Chronicles 8:18). Continue Reading....