Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It is amazing to note that the Bible is scientific and historically accurate, but there is one other feature that is awesomely breathtaking—it can tell the future. The Holy Scriptures stand alone as being completely accurate when it comes to prophecy. While other men and other writings have made prophecies (such as Nostradamus) they have often been in error. There is no error in God’s word!
Last week I mentioned that the prophecy of Cyrus giving the order to rebuild the destroyed temple in Jerusalem was made around 150 years before the time of its fulfillment. This would be amazing if it were the only one, but one third or more of the Bible is prophecy. The claims that the Bible makes about Christ all rest on the accuracy of these prophecies. So are they really accurate? Let’s take a few predictions about Jesus, the suffering savior, and find out.
There have always been scholars and skeptics that felt Jesus manipulated Old Testament prophecies in order to appear to be the messiah. However, there are some events in the life of the messiah that could not be controlled or manipulated. How did Jesus make himself to be born in Bethlehem as Micah 5:2 states? This prophecy from Micah also states that the savior predates his birth by being eternal. How could he have made it appear that he was a descendant of King David as Isaiah 16:5 states? He would have also had to arrange a virgin birth to accommodate Isaiah 7:14, or cause himself to be born in the lines of Judah and Jesse as Isaiah 37:31 and 11:10 state. Did he arrange the massacre of the innocent children by Herod that was predicted in Jeremiah 31:15? Could he have made his parents flee to Egypt as Hosea 11:1 said? There are just too many to prophecies that could not have been controlled by anyone but God.
The crucifixion itself had many very clear and obvious predictions all written between 400 and 1000 years or more of his birth and death. Psalm 22 alone has such stunning predictions. He would be despised by many—verse 6. His bones would be pulled out of socket as would happen hanging on a cross—verse 14. His hand and feet would be pierced –verse 16. He would be encircled by wicked men and gentiles at his death—verse 16. His clothes would be gambled for—verse 18. The very first verse of this Psalm written by David around 1000 years before the birth of Jesus is the cry he made while on the cross—“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” He was forsaken when he carried our sin!
Another of the many passages that predict the cross is Isaiah 53. The prophet says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 KJV) At his death he would be buried with the wicked and the rich—verse 9. His soul would be an offering for sin in verse 10. Amazingly, it later says God would prolong his days and Messiah would see the travail of his soul in verses 10 and 11. The only way for this to be possible is to have a resurrection.
Only around half of the prophecies that involve the savior have been fulfilled. The rest of them involve a return someday. Before that return, many things would happen such as a battle where Russia, Iran, Turkey and several other nations invade Israel. Ezekiel wrote this prediction 3500 years ago and we are beginning to see this alignment of nations today. The Bible predicted the exact time that Israel would reenter its land, prosper in the land, and become a nation in a day after being disbanded for around 2000 years. The Bible predicted that there would be an exponential explosion in the amount of knowledge men would have, and it predicts that the Messiah will someday return to Jerusalem (which would become a problem city for all men just like we see today) and the Jewish nation will look on him whom they pierced.
The Bible treats the future much as we treat history. Isn’t it time you read it anew? What can it hurt? As Blaise Pascal challenged, “If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.”
Monday, December 28, 2009
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! There is much in the news, so lets see it.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Men have always been blasphemous, but the Bible warns that it will increase as we near the last days! This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Timothy 2:1-5 While the church celebrates God's unspeakable gift, foolish men see it as a time to blaspheme the Holy One.
Islamic plan to criminalize
Gospel message crumbling
Gospel message crumbling
“In view of the overwhelming mass of authentic and well-attested evidence now available, as I thought of the skeptical criticism which from the eighteenth century onward would fain have demolished the Bible altogether, there kept hammering in my brain this one sentence: The Bible is right after all.”—Werner Keller
Many skeptics throughout the centuries have tried numerous ways to prove that the Bible cannot be trusted, and one of the most notable methods is to attack the historical accounts recorded in the text. The idea was that the prophecies contained in this work had to have been recorded after the fact since they were so accurate. There were many clear Old Testament prophecies that Christ fulfilled; however, at that time, the oldest copies of scripture were produced hundreds of years after the time of Christ. The theory was that overzealous believers changed the text to make it appear that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies. In order to prove this all one needed to do was prove that the Bible was full of historical inaccuracies and then, as a result, it would prove the supernatural events of the Bible were false too. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls nearly destroyed that argument since the writings predate Jesus by many years.
As was mentioned about the scientific concepts found in Holy Scripture, the Bible is not a history book, but rather it is His story set in the context of real world events. It is widely known that the Bible stands alone as an extremely historically accurate work. The constant attacks on its ancient record have done more to prove its authenticity and have proved the text to be a useful tool in the study of archaeology. As the old quote says, “the Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.”
In Exodus there is an account of the Jewish slaves constructing buildings in Pithom with bricks made of straw. When Moses challenged Pharaoh, the slaves were forced to gather stubble for the bricks. Eventually, they made bricks without either. In the late 1800s and early 1900s archaeologists, Naville and Kyle, found buildings where the bottom section was bricks made with well cut straw. On top of these were bricks with less straw and containing stubble. The top layer of bricks contained no straw. The Bible record was clearly accurate.
I remember well studying the Hittite Empire when I was a sophomore in high school. For centuries, the only record of this people was in scripture. Several critics cited this as an example of biblical exaggeration since no record could be found anywhere and the Bible claimed it was a large empire. However, during an excavation in 1876 evidence was found of this civilization and the Word of God was proved to be true again. Today, we have overwhelming knowledge of this once great empire.
The book of Isaiah mentions a king from Assyria named Sargon. It was the only reference to him found anywhere in antiquity, and again skeptics concluded this was proof of the Bible’s lack of trustworthiness. In the 1840s the palace of Sargon was excavated by archaeologist, PE Botta. This discovery proved that this prophetic book was written at the time it claimed to be written. Why is this important? Isaiah mentioned a Medo-Persian king, Cyrus, specifically by name over 100 years before his reign!
The New Testament too has proven to be just as accurate. The books of Luke and Acts were both written by Luke who was a physician. As most doctors would do, Luke was extremely detailed in his record keeping of the events surrounding the time of Christ. Many would be attackers saw several very specific but undiscovered historical details in these works as being proof that these records were not written by an eyewitness of Jesus’ and the early churches time period, but the critics felt that they were written one to three hundred years later. As always, archaeologists have now proven these specific details to be an extremely accurate account of the time when God’s Son walked this planet.
The Bible truly is an amazing work, and it gives every reader a special invitation to become a part of His story through child like trust in the atonement purchased at the cross.
“I prefer to believe those writers who get their throats cut for what they write.”—Blaise Pascal
Saturday, December 19, 2009
U.S.: Iraq 'Not Going to Be Pushed Around' by Iran
Friday, December 18, 2009
[[A Psalm of David.]] "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head." Psalm 110
God watches His people! As a believer in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God is watching over you constantly. Yet, due to His manifold promises to Israel, He is watching over them too. God does not sit by idly while His people are maligned and abused by Hell's forces. Yes, He loves the children of men and, above all, desires them to turn to Him. However, His mercy has limits, and He will eventually arise in anger at the unrepentant and fight against them personally.
Exodus 15:3 reminds us of this great truth as well. "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." Those who are seeking to destroy Christianity and annihilate Israel will soon see that God protects. Prophetically, He will do this for the nation of Israel soon! He will make their enemies their footstool. He will restore the covenant land and fill the valleys with their dead enemies as He restores that land of promise to the rightful owner. Those who are preparing the worst of man's weapons to destroy Israel need to be careful as God will defend that nation while upholding His eternal promises.
Who created the atom? Whose power is manifest when the nucleus is split? Is it not the Lord's power that holds the universe in place? Is it not the very power of His creative word that holds all matter together? Can men use God's own power against Him and succeed? Even God's weakness is greater than all that man can do. His greatest act of "weakness" was seen on the cross, and we understand that that very weakness has enough power to set all of humanity free from the debt of sin if they will just accept it.
Watch the news carefully as Israel soon gains while their enemies and their godless leaders fall like chaff!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:4-7
What a touching an humbling story! The very God of creation found lying in a feeding trough in a barn where the animals were born. Surely God could have chosen a better place for His Son to be birthed. Yet, the long awaited savior of humanity promised in Eden, the Messiah and deliverer of Israel prophesied about for centuries, the Son of God /Son of David was born in a foul smelling stable in a back woods town where the main means of livelihood was sheep farming.
It was in this very spot that the life of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz played out. The very place where we are introduced to the beauty of a kinsman redeemer who would pay the ransom price to set his beloved free and to repurchase all that was lost to them. It was the place that also reminded us of another Kinsmen Redeemer who would offer the ultimate ransom for all the world.
Many nights were spent here watching the sheep by a little shepherd boy named David. This may be the very place of inspiration for such beautiful poetic verse such as, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:3-4 The beloved Psalm of the Shepherd, Psalm 23, may have been put to music here. This may be the place where Samuel would anoint that boy, David, to be King over Israel.
This is also the place where a prophet named Micah predicted the very event recorded in Luke 2. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2 A prophesy describing the Eternal God Incarnate born in Bethlehem.
However, none of these events record the reason that God's Son would be found in His mother's arms in a place of such utter humility--a borrowed stable. That is where we have to consider the words of John the Baptist and the words of the Old Testament concerning the Lamb of God. John said this Lamb would take away man's sin, and Moses foreshadowed Jesus in the narrative of the Passover lamb.
Jesus was born in a barn because all of the sacrifice lambs were born in a barn or a field! His birth predicts his death. Shepherds were the first to see Him because shepherds were usually the first to see the lambs born. Magi would visit and offer Him Myrrh among other gifts. Myrrh was used to anoint dead loved ones to reduce the odor of decay. It was associated with death. Where else but a barn would you expect the ultimate sacrifice for sin to be born?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Israel has been pushed into a corner to the place that war will inevitably soon erupt in the Middle East. This is due, in a large part, to American and European pressure on Israel about the West Bank settlements. It seems we are seeing what God clearly predicted. In the last days people would turn their backs on the Jews which would bring God's judgment on them. Who doesn't seem to hate Israel today just as God said?
The time that is being wasted in arguments about settlements is being used by Israel's enemies to arm themselves adequately for war.
Now that the Palestinians feel they have foreign support, they will push even harder to take more of Israel's land. They ultimate goal is not to gain peace, but to destroy the Jewish problem. Remember what Jesus said when men are clamoring for peace and safety!
But the trick here is to make the world think your intentions are peaceful!
The point is to drive the Israelis to indefensible borders in order to easily defeat them. However, they seem to have forgotten that Israel has survived many other attempts to destroy them when all hope seemed futile. That is because the God of Jacob is defending the nation.
Britain seems to feel that arresting Israeli government officials is the way to handle the situation. This trick has awoken the Jews to see that they have very few options left in this struggle.
|Iran: We successfully test-fired improved missile|
Activists planning Temple Mount ascent Here is the real problem, the temple mount! Look for major building projects here soon!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6:7-8
More on this later!
Since this scripture comes form the first eleven chapters of Genesis, most who read this will already dismiss it as ramblings about an ancient myth. However, the integrity of God and His word lies in the truthfulness of the entire revelation of Himself that is made in His word--the Bible. If any part of it is lie, all of it is a lie. Atheistic and deistic "scientists"of the last few centuries suddenly had "proof" that this event as well as creation didn't happen. However, most do not understand that they based their interpretations of the evidence from a pre-conceived notion about the history of humanity from a perspective that left God out of the equation. They are simply seeing what they wish to see! Rather than understand God and His power and holiness, many Christians panicked and began to compromise the Bible to accommodate the interpretations of data and evidence from the depraved, compromised, and fallen brain of sinful man by adding to scripture while explaining away God and His true record. Yet time and again, it has been shown that scripture is an accurate account of the history of man. Do you know why? It is an eyewitness account from one who was there and who never lies--God Almighty. Either Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of Adam or the whole revelation of the atonement is a fabrication. Either God did judge the ancient world for sin or there is no basis for prophetic events that point to Him doing it again.
Most have decided that there may have been a local flood as a part of the great flood myth. They accept this opinion as true without thinking of the consequences of such a statement. Also, they purposefully ignore the overwhelming evidence that this event is a real history just as Simon Peter predicted would happen. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:" 2 Peter 3:3-5
The fossil record, my friend, is an accurate record that God does as he says! Just as that world perished due to sin, this generation will soon see that the Omnipotent, Immutable God does as he says while proving the scripture, "For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;" Romans 3:3-4a