The Strength of Special Revelation
When we study the religions that are in existence in our world today, almost all have a written record of some sort that is considered to have authenticity and authority. Hindus have the Upanishads and the Vedas. Muslims have the Koran. Mormons have the writings of Joseph Smith – The Book of Mormon. Jehovah’s Witnesses have the Watchtower Society’s propaganda materials and the new World Translation of the Scriptures. In oriental cultures the writings of Confucius and other sages are prevalent. Here is the idea that a written record bears the mark of a significant witness. In our courts of law, appeals are made to records of previous trials and the interpretation of statutory, civil, and criminal laws. Deeds are recorded in the courthouse along with records of real estate sales and other documents. We keep receipts of transactions to prove that such transactions took place.
God gave us a written record of His revelation for the purpose of unity of witness, so that the same record would be available to all humanity and to restrict the weakness of the human race in passing down false information from one generation to another. It is only reasonable and logical that a God of infinite wisdom, who loved and was responsible to His creation, would give a revelation in the form of a written record, instructing and guiding humanity by divine light which could in no other way be discovered.
This revelation, to be accurate, would have to be generated by God Himself. None of the other religions have a book or record that claims to be inspired as does the Word of God, the Holy Bible. This is the only record that gives an accurate account of creation, of the generation of the nations, historical information, and has never been proven to be inaccurate in any of its assertions. Other “holy books” tell of some sort of plan of salvation, after the fact, that is, after the birth and life of their so-called “messiahs” or “saviors.” But the Bible prophesies from the very beginning of the coming of One who is to be the “seed of a woman,” when He would come, where He would be born, and giving in explicit detail the characteristics of His ministry and last hours on this earth, leading up to His death on the cross. Scripture also foretold His resurrection which would occur within three days of His death and burial. One writer forcefully sets forth the supposition that the prophecies of Isaiah alone could have happened to no other person in human history than Jesus Christ of Nazareth of Galilee. With this proposition he sets forth a mathematical statement that for the events prophesied about Christ in Isaiah to come to pass in one person’s lifetime would have a mathematical probability of one to a zillion. The following probabilities are taken from Science Speaks to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. The author says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to just eight prophecies, “we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017.” That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, he illustrates it by supposing that these prophecies were either given by inspiration of God or the prophets just wrote them as they thought they should be. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 1017 of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in Christ. This means that the fulfillment of these eight prophecies alone proves that God inspired the wiring of those prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 1017 of being absolute.
History records fulfillment of these prophecies. A book that prophecies the future with such pointed accuracy should be enough to convince any reasonable individual that this book requires obedience.
John Wesley said that the Bible had to “be the invention of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God.” He goes on to elucidate on this issue: It could not be the invention of good men or angels, for they neither would nor could make a book, and tell lies all the time they were writing it, saying, “Thus saith the Lord,” when it was their own invention. It could not be the invention of bad men or devils for they would not make a book which commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to hell to all eternity. Therefore, I (Wesley) draw this conclusion, that the Bible must be given by divine inspiration.
This post may contain information from one of these references: Myer Pearlman, Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, (Rev. ed.: Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1981), p. 17 ; a website in which the info was pasted into Microsoft Word and saved as a file. Resource information is not available.; Robert W. Burtner and Robert E. Chiles, Editors, John Wesley’s Theology, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1984), p. 20; Donald a. D. Thorsen, The Wesleyan Quadrilateral, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), pp. 31-62; Thorsen, pp. 128-129.; Albert C. Outler, Editor, John Wesley, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), pp. 1-33.; Thorsen, p. 168,. 170