“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will
not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I
declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
Since gracethrufaith.com is a world wide
ministry, reaching into places with diverse religious
traditions, I get emails from time to time asking how to respond
to those who want to know why Christians believe the God of the
Bible is the one and only God.
The answer to that and a number of other
questions can be found in a portion of the Book of Isaiah that
is packed with more information about God than just about any
other place in the Bible. It begins in chapter 41 and runs
through chapter 53.
Among lots of other things, it lists God's clearest and most
powerful claims to exclusive deity, and tells us how we can
authenticate His claims beyond any reasonable doubt.
The Lord began by saying His strongest
claim to deity lies in His ability to proclaim the End from the
Beginning. We call
this predictive prophecy.
It's essentially history written in advance.
Let's read His challenges to the false gods of the
nations to demonstrate their ability in this area.
“Present your case,” says the LORD. “Set
forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.
“Bring in your idols to tell us
what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so
that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or
declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds,
so we may know that you are gods. (Isaiah 41:21-23)
Here's a two question test for the other
“gods”. Tell us
what has happened since the beginning, and then tell us what
will happen in the end. From this challenge and God's
declaration in Isaiah 42:8-9 above we can see the
answer to our question already.
You can prove that God is who He claims to be
by comparing the Bible with history and learning how time
after time God disclosed to His people things that would happen,
things that only someone who knows the end from the beginning
could know. But
He's just getting started.
Lead out those who have eyes but are
blind, who have ears but are deaf ( a reference to the
powerless gods of the nations).
nations gather together and the peoples assemble.
Which of them foretold this and proclaimed to us the
former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they
were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have
chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that
I am he.
Before me no god was formed, nor will
there be one after me. I, even I,
am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign
god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the
LORD, “that I am God.
Yes, and from ancient
days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse
it?” (Isaiah 43:8-13)
The gods of the nations have not
demonstrated any foreknowledge of the histories of their people,
nor have they
revealed anything about the future.
In the so-called Holy Books of other religions there's no
reliable record of either.
But the people of Israel are God's witnesses that He
has done this over and over again for them, and with unblemished
Next the Lord gave these gods another
chance to provide evidence to support their claims of deity .
Perhaps they do have knowledge of the past and the future
but chose not to
reveal it to their worshipers.
“This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD
Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there
is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim
it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened
since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come—
yes, let him foretell what will come. (Isaiah 44:6-7)
As He issued this challenge, God reassured
“Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I
not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my
witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other
Rock; I know not one.” (Isaiah 44:8)
This must be very important to the Lord,
because for the third time He
declared His deity in terms that are unmistakably clear.
The only ones who can't understand this are those who
choose to remain ignorant.
is what the LORD says— he who created the heavens, he is God; he
who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not
create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited— he says:
“I am the LORD, and there is no other.
have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness;
I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I,
the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.
together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations.
Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to
gods that cannot save.
Declare what is to be, present it— let
them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who
declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from
me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me.
me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God,
and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:18-22)
The phrase “I am the Lord and there is no
other” appears four times chapter 45 alone.
(Isaiah 45:5, 45:6, 45:18, 45:22)
Four is often considered to be the number of Earth
because by the end of the fourth day of Creation the Earth was
five and six are devoted to populating it.) There is no God on
Earth but the Lord our God.
“Remember this, fix it in mind, take it
to heart, you rebels.
Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God,
and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.
make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what
is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do
all that I please. (Isaiah 46:8-10)
Having put the false gods of the nations on
trial for our benefit, it now becomes clear that He's turned His
attention to His people.
I foretold the former things long ago, my
mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I
acted, and they came to pass. For I knew how stubborn you were;
the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze.
Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened
I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My idols did
them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.’ You have
heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them?
Here the Lord left no doubt that the main
reason He disclosed things in advance is He knew how stubborn
and resistant to belief we are.
By revealing them in advance, He made it impossible for
us to say someone else made these things happen.
There are lots of other things the Lord had
Isaiah say in chapters 41-53, such as His repetitive claims to
have been Earth's sole Creator, His purpose in choosing Israel, and the mission of the
Messiah. But His
one overarching message to us is this.
If you want proof that God is who He claims to be, study
Old Testament prophecy and compare it to history.
You'll come away with an unshakeable foundation for your
faith. No other
deity can survive this test.
Don't ask me or someone else to do this for
you. It's like the
manna in the wilderness, that everyone had to gather for
themselves. There are plenty of ways to go about it.
For example there are over 100 historically proven
prophecies in the first 35 verses of Daniel 11 alone.
But perhaps the easiest approach is to take a handful of
the things you know about the life of Jesus and see if you can
find an Old Testament prophecy to match them.
For example, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Was there a prophecy to that effect? Yes.
It's found in Micah 5:2, written 750 years before
the fact. Jesus was
crucified. Is there
an Old Testament prophecy for that? Yes. Psalm 22
actually begins with words the Lord spoke from the cross, verse
16 speaks of them piercing His hands and feet, and verse 18 says
the soldiers cast lots for His clothing. It was written about
1,000 years before the event.
There are 300 more of these so keep going
until you're convinced.
As you do this, remember that the Old Testament was
completed over 400 years before the Lord was born, and its
authenticity can be verified beyond question.
In less time than you spent in High School studying for a
final exam you no longer remember, you can prove beyond any
doubt that God is who He claims to be and there's none like Him.
You will also come away convinced that the things He has said
about the future are just as certain as those He said about the
One of the signs of the times in which we
live is you can't believe anything you hear about what's going
on in the world. It's comforting to know that there is still one
place you can go to find the truth. Selah 01-22-11