Story - The portrait of the Son.
A wealthy man had a hobby of collecting very valuable paintings. After many years he had amassed a wonderful collection, which was the envy of many art enthusiasts. This man had a son, whom he loved dearly. But war came, and the son went off to fight for his country. The father, however, was now too old to go to war.
During a fierce battle, one of the son's army friends was shot by the enemy. He lay wounded and unable to move on open ground. When the son saw what had happened to his friend, he ran to his aid, lifted him on to his shoulders and began to run back towards the safety of his own lines. However, as he was doing this, the son was also shot. Nevertheless, he still managed to carry his friend back to safety. The friend eventually recovered from his wounds, but the son died from his.
When the father heard that his beloved son had been killed, he was absolutely devastated. Even his wonderful art collection could not console him. A few months later, there was a knock on the father's door. Standing at the door was a young soldier who introduced himself as a friend of the son. "In fact" he said "I was the wounded soldier that your son was rescuing before he was shot and fatally wounded."
The young soldier continued "I do a little painting. I am not that good, I am only an amateur. But I painted a portrait of your son, and thought that you would like to have it." The soldier gave the portrait of the son to the father who was delighted with it. It clearly wasn't that good a painting, but what made it special to the father was that it was that it was of his son. He gave the portrait "pride of place" in his collection, and it always remained his very favourite.
The years passed, and eventually the father died. In accordance with his last wishes, auctioneers were brought in to sell off the father's famous collection of valuable paintings. Many art collectors gathered, each hoping to purchase a valuable painting. The auctioneer began the sale "The father has instructed that the first item to be sold is the portrait of the son. Now, will anybody start me off with a bid of $100?" There were murmurs among the crowd, and people were heard to say "That's not a valuable painting." "It was obviously painted by an amateur." "It's not even worth $100."
"How about $50 then?" said the auctioneer. No bids. "Will someone give me $20?" No bids. "Surely someone will start me off with a bid of $10?" Suddenly a voice from the back called out "I bid $5 for the portrait of the son." Everyone turned around to see the old gardener who had worked for the father for many years. He explained "The father was very good to me, and so was the son. I would like to have the portrait to remind me of them, but $5 is all I can afford."
"At last we have an opening bid" said the auctioneer. "Now, who will give me an advance on $5?" Silence. At last someone spoke up. "Let the gardener have the portrait of the son, so we can get on with bidding for the valuable paintings That is what we are here for." A murmur of approval spread through the crowd. "Very well" said the auctioneer." If there are no other bids, the portrait of the son is sold to the gardener for $5. He banged doun his gavel to indicate that the sale was complete.
"That concludes today's sale" said the auctioneer. There was an uproar among the bidders "What do you mean? What about the valuable paintings? Why aren't you selling those?" The auctioneer replied "The father left exact instructions in his will. He said that whoever gets 'the son' gets everything else as well! Therefore, all the other paintings, the house and all it's contents, all the father's money goes to the gardener, because he was the one who got the son.
Conclusion. Because the gardener got 'the son', he got everything else as well. It is just like that in God's Kingdom. If you have the son (Jesus) in your life, then all the riches of heaven - eternal life, forgiveness, victory, grace, peace, success, joy, etc. etc. - belong to you as well.
"He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5 v. 12).
Illusion - Blowing a paper into a bottle.
Find an empty narrow-necked bottle (e.g. a soft drink bottle). Take a small piece of paper and screw it up into a small ball. Hold your bottle in a horizontal position, and place the paper into it's neck. Get your friends to try and blow the paper into the bottle.
You will find that your friends will be unable to blow the paper from the neck into the main body of the bottle! In fact the opposite will happen, and the paper will be propelled backwards right out of the bottle. The harder someone blows, the faster and further the paper will be propelled away from the bottle.
Explanation. There is already air in your 'empty' bottle, and when someone blows more air into the bottle (whilst attempting to blow the paper in), this will result in the air pressure inside the bottle now becoming higher than that outside - with the result that the paper is forced away from the bottle rather than into it.
Laugh break - More of George's favourite jokes.
1. Why did the Hippo. cross the road? - It was the chicken's day off.
2. Where do cows go on holiday? - cowlifonia!
3. If that is true, how do they get there? - Automoobile.
4. What do snakes learn at school? - Hisstory.
5. What is as big as an elephant, but weighs nothing? - An Elephant's shadow.
6. What does Batman's mum say when his dinner is ready? - Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Batman. Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Dinner - - - Batman.
7.If there were ten cats in a boat and one jumped out, how many would be left? - None. (All the other cats were copy-cats).
8. What is black and white and red all over? - A sun-burnt zebra.
9. When is a piece of wood like a king? - When it is a ruler.
10. What did Adam say to his wife on the day before Christmas? - It's Christmas Eve.
Your question's answered - Did God write the Bible?
The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. In other words it was written by God, Himself. (See for example 2 Timothy 3.16 and 2 Peter 1.21). Christians believe that to be true. Here are seven reasons why we believe this.
1. The Bible does not contradict any scientific fact.
The Bible claims to be the TRUTH - and all its scientific statements have proved to be correct! Here are a few examples.
In ancient times, the earth was generally thought to be supported by huge pillars. But this conflicts with what Job said of his Creator 4,000 years ago: "He spreads out the northern skies over empty spaces; he suspends the earth over nothing. " (Job 26.7).
At the time of Christopher Columbus, navigators were concerned that by travelling too far they might fall of the edge of the world. Scientific observation had shown that the earth was flat - water finds its own level, so the sea must be flat! However, some 2,700 years ago Isaiah said of his Creator, "He sits enthroned above the circle (literally ball) of the earth." (Isaiah 40.22).
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus referred to a future event that would happen in a split second (the blinking of an eye). In the same passage (Luke 17) Jesus said that it would be day with people working in the field (verse 31) and night with people asleep in bed (verse 34). How was this possible? It used to be thought that when it was daytime, it was daytime all over the world. We now know, however, that when it is daytime at one longitude, it may be night at another - thus enabling us to understand Jesus' statement.
And so we could go on. The Bible has proved to be remarkably accurate in all of its scientific statements. The people that God used to write down these statements doubtless believed, along with their contemporaries, many unscientific notions. However, God ensured that no such untruths came to be included in His Word,
2. The fulfilled prophecies.
A prophecy is usually a prediction about a future event. Hundreds of prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled, exactly as foretold, often hundreds of years later.
Biblical prophecies are not vague and rambling such as those of Nostradamus and other supposed prophets. Bible prophecies deal with specific places, people and events. Their fulfilments can be verified by reference to subsequent history. For example Isaiah (chapter 53) foretold the death of Christ with minute accuracy more than 700 years before His crucifixion. In fact, over 300 Biblical prophecies about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus have been completely fulfilled.
Biblical prophecy can only be explained by divine inspiration. God, the Creator of time, is outside of time. He is the One who controls the future and, therefore, the only One who knows the future.
3. There are no contradictions in the Bible.
This is quite remarkable when you consider that the Bible is a collection of 66 books written by at least 40 different people over a period of about 1,600 years. You would normally expect such a collection of different books to have many contradictory statements, but the unity of the Bible is extraordinary for every book agrees with all the others, like some gigantic jig-saw.
4. There are no proven errors in the Bible.
Because of its remarkable claims, no book has ever been scrutinised by its critics as closely as the Bible. Yet, despite this, there remain no proven errors in the Bible.
Much of the Bible concerns a record of the conflicts between the Israelites and neighbouring nations. For centuries there was no evidence for these wars outside of the Bible itself, and critics claimed they were a mixture of legend and invention. Today, however, 'myth' after 'myth' have proved to be true history. Archaeologists have discovered numerous cities beneath the sands of the Middle East, together with countless inscriptions, letters and other items all proving conclusively that the biblical accounts are an authentic record and that the characters referred to truly existed at the times stated.
5. The remarkable Mosaic Laws.
Our public sanitary laws date back less than 200 years. The Bible, however, contains a remarkably good sanitary code. Modern public health officers are concerned with public cleanliness, purity of water supplies, dispersal of sewage, clean food, education of the public, and control of infectious diseases. The Mosaic law (The Ten Commandments and other laws that God gave to Moses) covers all these aspects in Leviticus chapters 11 - 16.
When plagues such as the black death swept across Europe in the Middle ages, the Jews, in stark contrast to the other peoples, survived in large numbers. This was because of their healthy habits and high moral standards, as a consequence of their keeping the Mosaic laws. The Jews themselves did not know anything about germs or how diseases spread. Their motivation for keeping the laws was simply "The Lord said." And we know that it was essential for God's plan for the Jews to survive. Their survival and the subsequent formation of the state of Israel was a result of God's protection and the fulfilment of His promises as foretold in the Bible.
6. The Authority of Jesus.
Even a brief glance at the Gospels will convince anybody that Jesus Himself accepted the scriptures (what we now call the Old Testament) as directly from God. Jesus quoted from the scriptures frequently and always treated them as God's Word "which cannot be broken" (John 10.35).
As Jesus accepted the scriptures as God's Word, how can anyone who claims to follow Him not do likewise?
7. The life changing power of the Bible.
Amongst the countless thousands of books that have been written, the Bible is the only one that claims to be alive and have the power to change lives (see Proverbs 4. 20 - 22, Isaiah 55. 11, and Hebrews 4. 12). These amazing claims have been completely vindicated as down through the centuries countless multitudes have found them to be true for themselves. As people have READ, BELIEVED and OBEYED the Bible, their lives have been completely transformed.
The above was extracted from a Booklet "The Bible. The work of man or the Word of God?" that I wrote a number of years ago. If you would like a free copy of the complete booklet and you live in Britain, I understand they are still available from New Life Centre, Prestwick, KA9 2PA, Scotland. If you live in New Zealand, please email me your postal address, and I will send one on to you.