Category: Biblical accuracy proved


Archeologists find evidence of St Peter’s prison

Archeologists find evidence of St Peter’s prison – Nick Squires – www.telegraph.co.uk
 
Archaeologists have discovered evidence to support the theory that St Peter was imprisoned in an underground dungeon by the Emperor Nero before being crucified.
 
The Mamertine Prison, a dingy complex of cells which now lies beneath a Renaissance church, has long been venerated as the place where the apostle was shackled before he was killed on the spot on which the Vatican now stands.
 
It been a place of Christian worship since medieval times, but after months of excavations, Italian archaeologists have found frescoes and other evidence which indicate that it was associated with St Peter as early as the 7th century.
 
Dr Patrizia Fortini, of Rome’s department of archaeology for Rome, said: "It was converted from being a prison into a focus of cult-like worship of St Peter by the 7th century at the latest, maybe earlier.
 
"It was a very rapid transformation. We think that by the 8th century, it was being used as a church. It would have been wonderful to find a document with his [St Peter’s] name on it, but of course that was always going to be extremely unlikely."
 
St Peter and St Paul are said to have been incarcerated in the jail by the Emperor Nero.
 
The two apostles are said to have caused an underground spring to miraculously rise up from the ground so that they could baptise their guards and their fellow prisoners.
 
Peter was then crucified, upside down, in AD64. He was buried on a low hill on which, 250 years later, the Emperor Constantine built the first Basilica of St Peter.
 
The hellish prison in which the founder of the Roman Church supposedly spent his final days consisted of two levels of cells, one on top of each other.
 
The lower cell could only be reached through a hole in its roof and was purportedly where the Romans imprisoned their most formidable enemies, including a Gaulish chieftain, Vercingetorix, who had fought against Caesar in 52BC.
 
Some prisoners starved to death and their bodies were tossed into the Cloaca Maxima, the city’s main sewer.
 
In the 17th century a church – St Joseph of the Carpenters – was built over the Mamertine Prison and it still stands today, overlooking the ruins of the Roman Forum.
 
Its exterior bears the words "The Prison of the Apostolic Saints Peter and Paul" and a marble carving of the two bearded martyrs peering glumly through prison bars.
 
When Charles Dickens visited the site in the 19th century he described "the dread and gloom of the ponderous, obdurate old prison".
 
Hanging on the walls he found "rusty daggers, knives, pistols, clubs, divers instruments of violence and murder brought here fresh from use".
 
Historians have long believed the dungeon was built in the 5th century BC, under Servius Tullius, one of the kings of Rome before it became a republic.
 

Defending a Lion

Defending a Lion – Jack Kinsella – Omega Letter Editor – www.omegaletter.com
 
Simply as a book of history, the Bible is an amazing document. It begins before the beginning of the universe, and ends with its destruction and replacement. In between is the story of mankind.
 
There are those who recognize the Bible’s greatness but believe it is nothing more than that — a great book written by holy men. But they draw the line at calling the Bible the ‘Divinely Inspired Word of God."
 
Indeed, that is the official position of the primate of the world-wide Anglican congregation, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams.
 
Dr. Williams believes the Bible is the foundational religious document of Christianity and Judaism, but he believes it was written by men. Not by God Himself.
 
(It must be terribly difficult to devote one’s life to serving what one believes in his heart is a lie. Or maybe not. Archbishop of Canterbury is a pretty good gig.)
 
But the Bible is more than a collection of historical documents and letters written by men. It claims of itself that every word contained within its pages is "God-breathed" — Divinely-Inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
 
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2nd Peter 1:20-21)
 
The word ‘prophecy’ as used here, isn’t limited simply to foretelling the future. Prophecy actually means ‘speaking Divine Truth’ — or, more formally, "discourse delivered under Divine inspiration."
 
In that sense, when Moses writes of events of the distant past, such as relating the Creation Story, he is actually delivering prophecy. It was not published as riddles subject to private interpretation by a cabal of wise men, as was the custom of the pagan religions of the time.
 
Neither was it something either invented by its authors nor by their whim. Peter tells us the writers of the Bible were ‘holy’ men — men ‘called out’ by God and ‘moved’ (inspired) by the Holy Spirit to record what they were told.
 
Thus, the Prophet Daniel could pen the entire history of the world from the perspective of Israel, from Babylon to Rome, and finally, through the Tribulation Period to come, and not have a clue what he was talking about the whole time.
 
("And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" (Daniel 12:8)
 
Alone among the sacred writings of the world’s religions, the Bible claims for itself the mantle of infallibility. Even the Koran dare not make that claim — in fact — it’s writers knew it already contained contradictions and made allowances for them.
 
The Koran says that if a later verse contradicts an earlier verse, the later mention is Allah’s final word on the subject.
 
Thus, while the Koran says ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ that is nullified by the later verses that require non-Muslims to submit, either by conversion or dhimmitude, or be put to death.
 
But the Bible allows for NO contradictions, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. So, the Bible says of itself that it is infallible, Divinely-inspired and, most significantly of all, a completed work. When the Holy Spirit’s Divine dictation session was over, He ended it with a ‘period’ (Amen) and signed off with a warning:
 
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book."
 
Even if one has never actually read it, the mere continued existence of the Bible stands as the most convincing and undeniable proof of its contents. No Book in history has withstood greater opposition, both to its existence and to its purported accuracy. Uncounted millions have perished in fires kindled by stacks of Bibles.
 
Over the centuries, the Bible has been sliced and diced and pureed and dessicated by philosophers, scientists, panels of experts, self-appointed ‘rationalists’, religious unbelievers, writers, lecturers and thinkers, all seeking to become that most famous of all thinkers — the One Who Proved The Bible Wrong.
 
My own journey to Christ began along that same road. One of my sisters had read Hal Lindsey’s "Late, Great Planet Earth" and started babbling on about Jesus and salvation.
 
I determined to set her straight by proving Lindsey’s conclusions were as wrong as the Bible he based them on. The harder I tried to disprove either, the more obvious it became. One cannot disprove the truth.
 
The history of the Book itself defies any claim of human inspiration. The Old Testament consists of 39 separate ‘books’ — the New Testament another 27.
 
The story of man’s rebellion against God is equal to the ‘number of man’ — 66 books. The authorship of 55 of them are well-accepted by history and tradition.
 
The other 11 (Judges 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ruth, Samuel 1 and 2, Kings 1 and 2, Esther Job and Hebrews cover such long periods of time they likely represent collections of ancient records brought together and edited the way that Moses ‘edited’ the Pentateuch covering the period from Creation to the Giving of the Law. Psalms and Proverbs also have several authors.
 
All the authors were Jews except possibly Luke, and all wrote from the context of Judaism. But the Bible has more universal appeal to all men in all nations across all time frames than any words ever written.
 
David and Solomon were kings. Jeremiah and Ezekiel, priests. Luke was a doctor, Paul a Pharisee, Matthew a tax collector, Daniel a politician, Peter and John fishermen, Ezra a scribe, Joshua a soldier and Nehemiah was a butler.
 
Some, like Moses, were highly educated. Others, like Peter and John, were probably semi-literate at best. The various ministries of the writers of Scripture cover a period of more than 1,500 of the most violent and turbulent years in human history.
 
With all this diversity, the books they wrote are necessary elements in a perfect whole product; each book seamlessly flowing to the next, each developing the same original theme, never contradicting each other, with such perfect economy of language as to speak to the hearts and minds of men with every single word.
 
Not only does it relate God’s Word as it applies to human conduct, it also contains historical, scientific, medical and ethical data centuries ahead of its time, and some of the best dramatic and poetic passages ever written.
 
It is therefore unique among all the sacred writings of all the religions of the world from antiquity to the present in six distinct ways.
 
1) It is the only sacred text to give an account of what came BEFORE the creation of the universe and the future account of its destruction.
 
2) It is the only book of antiquity to contain a running narrative from the first human being to the present era.
 
3) It is the only sacred text that not only relates history, but EXPLAINS its purpose in detail.
 
4) Ethically, the Bible stands alone among all the ancient and modern texts of the world in terms of standards of pure morality.
 
5) The Bible is the ONLY text among the world’s religions that contains detailed prophecies of future events.
 
6) The Bible is the ONLY Book that has the power to convict men of their sin and lead them to the ONLY One Who can free them from that sin.
 
According to somebody who took the time to count, the Pentateuch (the first five Books of Moses) claim Divine inspiration 680 times — the Prophets, 1,307. The Historical Books make 418 claims of Divine inspiration, Poetical, 195.
 
In all, according to Dr. Henry Morris, the Old Testament makes more than 2,600 claims of Divine inspiration. We already noted the warning not to add to the Scriptures at the end (Revelation 20:19) — note also that Moses gave a similar warning at the beginning. "Ye shall not add to the Word that I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it. " (Deuteronomy 4:2)
 
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)
 
The Bible could NOT have been written by men. Neither could it have been edited after the fact. It was preserved miraculously through the centuries, and then, just as the Final Generation was about to kick off, its preservation was confirmed by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
 
There is NO ‘rational’ explanation for the Bible. No historical explanation. In fact, apart from Divine inspiration and preservation, there is no explanation at all.
 
The only way it COULD be explained would be if it could somehow be compared to a similar book of antiquity. Out of all the literary works of all the men who ever lived from the beginning of time to the present era, the Bible remains unique and incomparable.
 
Ray Comfort once quoted the great 19th century evangelist, Charles Haddon Spurgeon; "Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself."
 
Said Comfort, "Notice that it does not deny that lions sometimes need defending; it merely recognizes that the best way to do that is to turn a lion loose and it will defend itself."
 

The God of Absoluteness

The God of Absoluteness – Jack Kinsella – Omega Letter Editor – www.omegaletter.com
 
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Psalms 14:1). It seems rather harsh to call someone ‘a fool’ for what at first glance appears to be ignorance.
 
A person who doesn’t know God is clearly ignorant, since the word "ignorance" means ‘not knowing’. Ignorance is not a pejorative, although it is often hurled as an insult.
 
Babies are ignorant. People are ignorant of those things they haven’t either discovered for themselves or been taught by others. But the Bible uses instead the word, ‘fool’ which means, "a person who acts unwisely or imprudently."
 
The word ‘fool’ is independent of educational background or innate mental acuity. And by its application, it means ‘only the unwise and imprudent would say there is no God’.
 
"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse," Paul writes in Romans 1:20.
 
It is obvious to any unbiased observer that the earth is too intricately and perfectly designed not to have a Designer. It is at the minimum, ‘imprudent’ to deny the obvious.
 
Paul anticipated the evolution vs creation argument (1850 years before Darwin first articulated it) and dismissed it out of hand as ‘foolishness’:
 
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (Romans 1:23)
 
Read it in reverse order. From creeping things to four-footed beasts, to birds, to man — Darwin’s ‘Evolution of Species — the sacred text for secular humanism.
 
Which culminates precisely as Paul predicted, with the elevation of man to the role of supreme being.
 
There are five unassailable arguments that demand the existence of God, not the least of which is the ontological argument offered in Romans 1:20.
 
In brief, the ontological argument for God is that the existence of the idea of God can only be explained if God really exists.
 
In other words, it is beyond man’s intellectual ability to imagine the existence of something for which there is no frame of reference.
 
There are but three prime colors for example, red, yellow and blue. All the rest are shades and hues of these three obtained by mixing these three.
 
Since no fourth prime color exists, whatever color we might imagine it to be, it would actually be a mixture of the three prime colors. There is no frame of reference upon which to imagine a fourth.
 
For example, we can imagine pink elephants only because elephants exist and pink exists.
 
Human beings have no frame of reference upon which to imagine the existence of a Personal Being Who exists outside of space and time, that is all powerful, all knowing, present in every atom of the universe, yet intimately concerned with the well-being of the inhabitants of one of the billions of created planets in the universe on a personal level.
 
We could not have imagined Him; yet the most widely-read Book of all time is all about Him. Just look at the very word, ‘history’ – His Story.
 
The second unassailable argument is the one from cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the processes of the cosmos, whose fundamental operating law requires that the cosmos be in motion. And for the cosmos to be in motion, there had to be a Prime Mover.
 
Cosmology points to the Big Bang, but in so doing, ignores its own fundamental law. Something (or Some One) had to light the fuse that set it off, first.
 
The third unassailable argument is that of teleology. Teleology is the study of goals or ends and it presents the argument that the evidence of order and design in nature indicates purpose, which in turn demands a Designer.
 
The fourth unassailable argument is that offered by aesthetics. Aesthetics is the study of beauty and truth. It argues that there exist relative standards of beauty and truth. That is to say, some things are more beautiful than others, some truths, more absolute than others.
 
The aesthetical argument demands some absolute standard against which all things must ultimately be compared, or the concepts of ”beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ could not exist.
 
The fifth unassailable argument for the necessity of the existence of God is that of morality. Morality is also subjective, but still, some actions are considered more moral, or immoral, than are others.
 
For there to be a concept of morality demands an absolute standard of morality against which the relative standards can be measured.
 
For each of these systems to work, there is an absolute necessity for the existence of an absolute God of absolutes.
 
"Absolute" means, "not subject to any limitation." God IS the ultimate Absolute. Without the existence of God, the word ‘absolute’ has no meaning.
 
It takes willful rejection of simple and unassailable evidence to say in one’s heart, "there is no God" because if such were true, there remains no explanation for the existence of beauty, truth, morality, science or logic.
 
Despite the evidence, however, if somebody’s mind is set against believing in God, all the evidence in the world won’t convince them. Faith still plays a critical role.
 
The Scriptures say, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
 
So, no matter how strong your argument, or how unassailable your evidence, no argument or combination of arguments will move the truly dedicated unbeliever to submit to God.
 
All we can do is offer the evidence and pray the Holy Spirit will impart the necessary faith to receive it.
 
To summarize the five unassailable arguments, they are:
 
1. Ontology: The evidence for the existence of God is that the existence of the idea of God can only be explained if God really exists.
 
2. Cosmology: For the cosmos to be in motion demands a Prime Mover to set it all in motion in the first place.
 
3. Teleology: The evidence of order and design in nature cannot be explained apart from a Designer.
 
4. Aesthetics: For both beauty and truth to exist, there must first exist absolute standards against which relative beauty and truth can be measured.
 
5. Morality: The argument from morality also demands absolute standards of morality against which relative standards can be measured and judged. As in the case of beauty and truth, morality as a concept cannot exist apart from the assumption of the existence of absolutes.
 
A Creator God MUST exist to explain the existence of these abstract concepts. To argue otherwise is obviously both imprudent and unwise. It is imprudent because it is a irrevocable judgment call that defies the evidence and it is unwise because any argument against the existence of God is illogical. It is illogical because one cannot KNOW there is no God.
 
Given all that we know, and all that we don’t know, the best an unbeliever can say is "don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up."
 
Romans 1:22 anticipated that, too.
 
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."
 

The Copper Scroll

The Copper Scroll – Joseph Chambers – jrc@pawcreek.org  
 
Revised & Expanded – The Copper Scroll: Temple Treasures
 
In 1952 one of the greatest discoveries of an ancient script, written on copper, was found near Qumran. It took several years to open or unroll the scroll in order for the deciphering of the text to begin. Because it was a very fragile document — nearly two thousand years old – there was great fear that it would be destroyed before it could be translated. The disagreements of the assigned scholars and the intrigue of such a valuable possession led to years of delay. There are still differences of opinions, but a fairly solid consensus is that the treasures noted in this scroll are indeed from the Jewish temple and they do exist.
 
The entire world is watching every event and every idea that relates to Israel. Numerous Bible prophecies concerning this chosen nation are emerging, this Copper Scroll being one of them. The leaders of Gog and Magog as named in the Bible are each in place and bellowing out their plans. Thirty years ago Persia (Iran) was our ally, but Bible prophecy scheduled that historic part of the world for a different course. For Biblical truths to be fulfilled, people of many stripes are used — often or actually in most cases — without one semblance of understanding about their role. Persia/Iran has been completely transfigured until they are ready to be the point nation leading the war to their own holocaust. Gog and Magog may well occur in 2010.
 
Nothing relating to Israel is more exciting than their talk of the coming Messiah. Their speaking about the Jewish Messiah cannot be separated from talk about their temple in Jerusalem. Yet, that temple site is already occupied by an opposing strategic religious center. Well over one billion adherents to that religion would fight to the death to stop a Jewish temple. This issue between the Islamic religion and Israel’s preparation to build their temple is one of the world’s hottest subjects. Only the Sovereign God can possibly solve this problem and He will.
 
The Copper Scroll treasures contain almost enough gold and wealth to rebuild the temple. A Catholic priest, Josef Milik, was assigned as the research scholar responsible for writing the official findings. He said that the gold and silver represented over 200 ton or 400,000 pounds. The entire treasure was estimated to be valued at two to three billion dollars some years ago. That has more than doubled at today’s value. Of course, these estimates are considered too small by some scholars and too large by others. There is some speculation that the final Copper Scroll’s trove of treasures will identify the location of the “Ark of the Covenant.”
 
Hershel Shanks, the editor of the Biblical Archaeological Review, tells about a meeting of scholars and experts in which the majority agreed that the treasure is real and that it all came from the Jerusalem Temple. (The Copper Scroll, Hershel Shanks, p. 51.) It is believed that before the Romans finally took and destroyed the temple in AD 70 that this wealth of gold and treasures was hid from them. Whether or not the “Ark of the Covenant” is part of this trove of temple treasures does not mean the ark has not been preserved.
 
The Copper Scroll treasures were almost assuredly from the Second Temple, but the Ark of the Covenant was not ever discovered after the First Temple. It seems certain that faithful priests had hidden the ark when Nebuchadnezzar was camping beyond Jerusalem’s Walls in preparation to destroy the city. This was 586 BC. From research, it is evident that Nebuchadnezzar sought diligently to save the Temple of Solomon, probably for Daniel’s and Jeremiah’s sake. Nebuchadnezzar’s general was instructed to take Jeremiah from among the captives and protect him. He was allowed to either stay in Israel and return to his own estate or go to Babylon to be cared for by his own people.
 
The Copper Scroll reveals the hidden place of sixty-four different troves or groups of treasures. Here are two of those locations, along with the list of items included: “In the basin that is in the valley of […], in the tomb of its source, a black stone 2 cubits (away); it is the entry: 300 talents of gold and 20 indemnity vessels.” (Ibid., Location 49, p. 100.) “In a cavity that is in the bright place north of Kohilt, opening to the north, and (where there are) graves at its entrance a duplicate of this document and an explication and their measurements and a detailed inventory of everything, one by one.” (Ibid., Location 64, pg 101.) In the location of the 62nd treasure, the amount of gold and silver is 600 talents (45,000 pounds).
 
When will this great abundance of treasuries be discovered? Actually, there is no need for this discovery until the Temple Mount is purified and vacant. I am convinced that most, if not all of these temple items, along with the wealth of gold and silver, is hid beneath the exact location of the ancient Temple of Solomon. If the Ark of the Covenant was directly beneath the Second Temple’s Holy of Holies, the priest could have offered the Blood sacrifice behind the veil and above the ark in Christ’s day. This would be the reason that the veil before the Holy of Holies was rent when the Son of God died at Calvary.
 
It seems fitting that the firestorms that will destroy the armies of Gog and Magog and obliterate the Islamic religion will also sweep the Temple Mount and purify it with fire. The promise of God’s defense of Israel includes prophecy stating, “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 38:19b). Ezekiel further prophesied, “And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground” (Ezekiel 38:20b). I add this possibility, “All the treasures of God’s temple shall be revealed.” When the war of Gog and Magog is finished, it will be time for Israel to build their temple.
 
The Book of Revelation gives reference to two different temples, the Heavenly prototype and the Third Temple in Jerusalem. This last great book of the Bible is written primarily to the church, but it would be impossible to eliminate the presence of Israel or the city of Jerusalem. The 144,000 Jews, who are converted to Christ immediately after the Rapture (Revelation 7:1-8), clearly show that God never forgets His Son’s earthly family. The nation of Israel will continue in unbelief until the Seven Years of Tribulation is finished, but many Jewish individuals will come to faith as the countdown moves toward the Millennium.
 
Jerusalem’s rebuilt temple is the focal point in the very middle of the seven years of the Great Tribulation. In His Olivet discourse the Son of God called this temple the “Holy Place.” That settled the fact that God will honor this Third Temple, even though it is rebuilt by Jews that will still be waiting for their Messiah. The temple is part of God’s process in preparing for the total redemption of Israel. The fact that the Antichrist desecrates the temple, as Jesus plainly taught, shows that this will end the Jewish effort to complete the re-establishing of Old Testament worship.
 
Jesus said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand): Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:15-22).
 
The Book of Luke gives us an additional look at Jerusalem and this brief moment of what is happening at the middle of the seven years. “Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:21-24).
 
Since the Book of Revelation is about the entire universe and God’s complete redemption of all things, Jerusalem’s new temple only receives a simple explanation. John is given the task of measuring this grand place and showing the Antichrist’s purpose to defile this highlight of Jewish rebirth. He stated, “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1-2).
 
It’s clear that the nation of Israel will still be under the thumb of her enemies among the Gentiles and will not be free until the Great Tribulation is finished. This period is called “The Times of the Gentiles.” Dispensations in the Bible are distinct periods. They never suggest that God is uninterested in the rest of the world, but that His actions are precise.
 
Revelation does not show us the Antichrist and his image in the temple actually desecrating this “Holy Place,” but Jesus Christ prophesied that it would happen. John the Revelator described this event without renaming this location. “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:14-15). The Third Temple must be rebuilt and it will be a grand place. If it were not, the Antichrist would not have any interest in defiling it in his blasphemy against God.
 
As the Seven Years of Redemptive Tribulation comes to its closing moments, the great prototype temple in Heaven comes into view. I do not believe that it is possible to understand the significance of what the redeemed are going to behold. Any one of the three temples – Solomon’s, Herod’s, or this Third Temple – were or will be the grandest structures this world has ever seen. The Temple of Solomon was the greatest but the beautification by Herod of the Second Temple was almost as grand. Hershel Shanks quoted Josephus, “The gold Herod used in the construction of the sanctuary on the Temple Mount equaled 8,000 talents (600,000 pounds or 300 tons.).” (The Copper Scroll, p. 47 from Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews (Loeb edition) 14.105.) That’s 9,600,000,000 ounces at $1,000/ounce or nine billion, six hundred million in today’s gold value of $1,000/ounce. And that is just the gold and not the glory.
 
But, the things that we know on earth that are beyond description — as these earthly temples represent — will pale when that grand worship center of Heaven comes into view. The glory of this temple that could contain the combined sovereignty of the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit must become visible to the saints as the Great Tribulation ends. “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail” (Revelation 11:19).
 
The sacred treasures of the past Jewish temples — Solomon’s and Herod’s — had to be removed from human hands and human imaginations. I believe God ordained that these treasures be hid from piercing eyes until His timing to establish His Son on the Throne of David. Jerusalem is the only city that could contain this divinely planned and blessed “Holy Place.” I’m delighted that Jesus Christ gave this last temple in Jerusalem a sacred title. For mortal flesh to call a city or a man-made temple a “Holy Place” could be questioned, but for the God-Man to call it such is breathtaking. I believe the treasures of the “Copper Scroll” and the original Ark of the Covenant are a part of God’s plan for His city of Jerusalem and His Golden Temple, where His Son will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
 
Applying the Science of Probability to the Scriptures – By David R. Reagan
Lamb & Lion Ministries – www.worldviewweekend.com
 
For years I have been quoting a book by Peter Stoner called Science Speaks. I like to use a remarkable illustration from it to show how Bible prophecy proves that Jesus was truly God in the flesh.
 
I decided that I would try to find a copy of the book so that I could discover all that it had to say about Bible prophecy. The book was first published in 1958 by Moody Press. After considerable searching on the Internet, I was finally able to find a revised edition published in 1976.
 
Peter Stoner was chairman of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Pasadena City College until 1953 when he moved to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. There he served as chairman of the science division. At the time he wrote this book, he was professor emeritus of science at Westmont.
 
In the edition I purchased, there was a foreword by Dr. Harold Hartzler, an officer of the American Scientific Affiliation. He wrote that the manuscript had been carefully reviewed by a committee of his organization and that "the mathematical analysis included is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound." He further stated that in the opinion of the Affiliation, Professor Stoner "has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way."
 
The book is divided into three sections. Two relate directly to Bible prophecy. The first section deals with the scientific validity of the Genesis account of creation.
 
Part One: The Genesis Record
 
Stoner begins with a very interesting observation. He points out that his copy of Young’s General Astronomy, published in 1898, is full of errors. Yet, the Bible, written over 2,000 years ago is devoid of scientific error. For example, the shape of the earth is mentioned in Isaiah 40:22. Gravity can be found in Job 26:7. Ecclesiastes 1:6 mentions atmospheric circulation. A reference to ocean currents can be found in Psalm 8:8, and the hydraulic cycle is described in Ecclesiastes 1:7 and Isaiah 55:10. The second law of thermodynamics is outlined in Psalm 102:25-27 and Romans 8:21. And these are only a few examples of scientific truths written in the Scriptures long before they were "discovered" by scientists.
 
Stoner proceeds to present scientific evidence in behalf of special creation. For example, he points out that science had previously taught that special creation was impossible because matter could not be destroyed or created. He then points out that atomic physics had now proved that energy can be turned into matter and matter into energy.
 
He then considers the order of creation as presented in Genesis 1:1-13. He presents argument after argument from a scientific viewpoint to sustain the order which Genesis chronicles. He then asks, "What chance did Moses have when writing the first chapter [of Genesis] of getting thirteen items all accurate and in satisfactory order?" His calculations conclude it would be one chance in 31,135,104,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 31 x 1021). He concludes, "Perhaps God wrote such an account in Genesis so that in these latter days, when science has greatly developed, we would be able to verify His account and know for a certainty that God created this planet and the life on it."
 
The only disappointing thing about Stoner’s book is that he spiritualizes the reference to days in Genesis, concluding that they refer to periods of time of indefinite length. Accordingly, he concludes that the earth is approximately 4 billion years old. In his defense, keep in mind that he wrote this book before the foundation of the modern Creation Science Movement which was founded in the 1960’s by Dr. Henry Morris. That movement has since produced many convincing scientific arguments in behalf of a young earth with an age of only 6,000 years.
 
Peter Stoner’s Calculations Regarding Messianic Prophecy
 
Peter Stoner calculated the probability of just 8 Messianic prophecies being fulfilled in the life of Jesus. As you read through these prophecies, you will see that all estimates were calculated as conservatively as possible.
 
#1 – The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
The average population of Bethlehem from the time of Micah to the present (1958) divided by the average population of the earth during the same period = 7,150/2,000,000,000 or 2.8×105.
 
#2 – A messenger will prepare the way for the Messiah (Malachi 3:1).
One man in how many, the world over, has had a forerunner (in this case, John the Baptist) to prepare his way?
Estimate: 1 in 1,000 or 1×103.
 
#3 – The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a king riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
One man in how many, who has entered Jerusalem as a ruler, has entered riding on a donkey?
Estimate: 1 in 100 or 1×102.
 
#4 – The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend and suffer wounds in His hands (Zechariah 13:6).One man in how many, the world over, has been betrayed by a friend, resulting in wounds in his hands?
Estimate: 1 in 1,000 or 1×103.
 
#5 – The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).
Of the people who have been betrayed, one in how many has been betrayed for exactly 30 pieces of silver?
Estimate: 1 in 1,000 or 1×103.
 
#6 – The betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13).
One man in how many, after receiving a bribe for the betrayal of a friend, has returned the money, had it refused, and then experienced it being used to buy a potter’s field?
Estimate: 1 in 100,000 or 1×105.
 
#7 – The Messiah will remain silent while He is afflicted (Isaiah 53:7).
One man in how many, when he is oppressed and afflicted, though innocent, will make no defense of himself?
Estimate: 1 in 1,000 or 1×103.
 
#8 – The Messiah will die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16).
One man in how many, since the time of David, has been crucified?
Estimate: 1 in 10,000 or 1×104.
 
Multiplying all these probabilities together produces a number (rounded off) of 1×1028. Dividing this number by an estimate of the number of people who have lived since the time of these prophecies (88 billion) produces a probability of all 8 prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of one person. That probability is 1in 1017 or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. That’s one in one hundred quadrillion!
 
Part Two: The Accuracy of Prophecy
 
The second section of Stoner’s book, is entitled "Prophetic Accuracy." This is where the book becomes absolutely fascinating. One by one, he takes major Bible prophecies concerning cities and nations and calculates the odds of their being fulfilled. The first is a prophecy in Ezekiel 26 concerning the city of Tyre. Seven prophecies are contained in this chapter which was written in 590 BC:
Nebuchadnezzar shall conquer the city (vs. 7-11).
Other nations will assist Nebuchadnezzar (v. 3).
The city will be made like a bare rock (vs. 4 & 14).
It will become a place for the spreading of fishing nets (vs. 5 & 14).
Its stones and timbers will be thrown into the sea (v. 12).
Other cities will fear greatly at the fall of Tyre (v. 16).
The old city of Tyre will never be rebuilt (v. 14).
Four years after this prophecy was given, Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre. The siege lasted 13 years. When the city finally fell in 573 BC, it was discovered that everything of value had been moved to a nearby island.
 
Two hundred and forty-one years later Alexander the Great arrived on the scene. Fearing that the fleet of Tyre might be used against his homeland, he decided to take the island where the city had been moved to. He accomplished this goal by building a causeway from the mainland to the island, and he did that by using all the building materials from the ruins of the old city. Neighboring cities were so frightened by Alexander’s conquest that they immediately opened their gates to him. Ever since that time, Tyre has remained in ruins and is a place where fishermen spread their nets.
 
Thus, every detail of the prophecy was fulfilled exactly as predicted. Stoner calculated the odds of such a prophecy being fulfilled by chance as being 1 in 75,000,000, or 1 in 7.5×107. (The exponent 7 indicates that the decimal is to be moved to the right seven places.)
 
Stoner proceeds to calculate the probabilities of the prophecies concerning Samaria, Gaza and Ashkelon, Jericho, Palestine, Moab and Ammon, Edom, and Babylon. He also calculates the odds of prophecies being fulfilled that predicted the closing of the Eastern Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-3), the plowing of Mount Zion (Micah 3:12), and the enlargement of Jerusalem according to a prescribed pattern (Jeremiah 31:38-40).
 
Combining all these prophecies, he concludes that "the probability of these 11 prophecies coming true, if written in human wisdom, is… 1 in 5.76×1059. Needless to say, this is a number beyond the realm of possibility.
 
Part Three: Messianic Prophecy
 
The third and most famous section of Stoner’s book concerns Messianic prophecy. His theme verse for this section is John 5:39 – "Search the Scriptures because… it is these that bear witness of Me."
 
Stoner proceeds to select eight of the best known prophecies about the Messiah and calculates the odds of their accidental fulfillment in one person as being 1 in 1017.
 
I love the way Stoner illustrated the meaning of this number. He asked the reader to imagine filling the State of Texas knee deep in silver dollars. Include in this huge number one silver dollar with a black check mark on it. Then, turn a blindfolded person loose in this sea of silver dollars. The odds that the first coin he would pick up would be the one with the black check mark are the same as 8 prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of Jesus.
 
The point, of course, is that when people say that the fulfillment of prophecy in the life of Jesus was accidental, they do not know what they are talking about. Keep in mind that Jesus did not just fulfill 8 prophecies, He fulfilled 108. The chances of fulfilling 16 is 1 in 1045. When you get to a total of 48, the odds increase to 1 in 10157. Accidental fulfillment of these prophecies is simply beyond the realm of possibility.
 
When confronted with these statistics, skeptics will often fall back on the argument that Jesus purposefully fulfilled the prophecies. There is no doubt that Jesus was aware of the prophecies and His fulfillment of them. For example, when He got ready to enter Jerusalem the last time, He told His disciples to find Him a donkey to ride so that the prophecy of Zechariah could be fulfilled which said, "Behold, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey" (Matthew 21:1-5 and Zechariah 9:9).
 
But many of the prophecies concerning the Messiah could not be purposefully fulfilled – such as the town of His birth (Micah 5:2) or the nature of His betrayal (Psalm 41:9), or the manner of His death (Zechariah 13:6 and Psalm 22:16).
 
One of the most remarkable Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures is the one that precisely states that the Messiah will die by crucifixion. It is found in Psalm 22 where David prophesied the Messiah would die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16). That prophecy was written 2,000 years before Jesus was born. When it was written, the Jewish method of execution was by stoning. The prophecy was also written many years before the Romans perfected crucifixion as a method of execution.
 
Even when Jesus was killed, the Jews still relied on stoning as their method of execution, but they had lost the power to implement the death penalty due to Roman occupation. That is why they were forced to take Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, and that’s how Jesus ended up being crucified, in fulfillment of David’s prophecy.
 
The bottom line is that the fulfillment of Bible prophecy in the life of Jesus proves conclusively that He truly was God in the flesh. It also proves that the Bible is supernatural in origin.
 

The God of Absoluteness

The God of Absoluteness – Jack Kinsella – Omega Letter Editor – www.omegaletter.com
 
"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Psalms 14:1). It seems rather harsh to call someone ‘a fool’ for what at first glance appears to be ignorance.
 
A person who doesn’t know God is clearly ignorant, since the word "ignorance" means ‘not knowing’. Ignorance is not a pejorative, although it is often hurled as an insult.
 
Babies are ignorant. People are ignorant of those things they haven’t either discovered for themselves or been taught by others. But the Bible uses instead the word, ‘fool’ which means, "a person who acts unwisely or imprudently."
 
The word ‘fool’ is independent of educational background or innate mental acuity. And by its application, it means ‘only the unwise and imprudent would say there is no God’.
 
"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse," Paul writes in Romans 1:20.
 
It is obvious to any unbiased observer that the earth is too intricately and perfectly designed not to have a Designer. It is at the minimum, ‘imprudent’ to deny the obvious.
 
Paul anticipated the evolution vs creation argument (1850 years before Darwin first articulated it) and dismissed it out of hand as ‘foolishness’:
 
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (Romans 1:23)
 
Read it in reverse order. From creeping things to four-footed beasts, to birds, to man — Darwin’s ‘Evolution of Species — the sacred text for secular humanism.
 
Which culminates precisely as Paul predicted, with the elevation of man to the role of supreme being.
 
There are five unassailable arguments that demand the existence of God, not the least of which is the ontological argument offered in Romans 1:20.
 
In brief, the ontological argument for God is that the existence of the idea of God can only be explained if God really exists.
 
In other words, it is beyond man’s intellectual ability to imagine the existence of something for which there is no frame of reference.
 
There are but three prime colors for example, red, yellow and blue. All the rest are shades and hues of these three obtained by mixing these three.
 
Since no fourth prime color exists, whatever color we might imagine it to be, it would actually be a mixture of the three prime colors. There is no frame of reference upon which to imagine a fourth.
 
For example, we can imagine pink elephants only because elephants exist and pink exists.
 
Human beings have no frame of reference upon which to imagine the existence of a Personal Being Who exists outside of space and time, that is all powerful, all knowing, present in every atom of the universe, yet intimately concerned with the well-being of the inhabitants of one of the billions of created planets in the universe on a personal level.
 
We could not have imagined Him; yet the most widely-read Book of all time is all about Him. Just look at the very word, ‘history’ – His Story.
 
The second unassailable argument is the one from cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the processes of the cosmos, whose fundamental operating law requires that the cosmos be in motion. And for the cosmos to be in motion, there had to be a Prime Mover.
 
Cosmology points to the Big Bang, but in so doing, ignores its own fundamental law. Something (or Some One) had to light the fuse that set it off, first.
 
The third unassailable argument is that of teleology. Teleology is the study of goals or ends and it presents the argument that the evidence of order and design in nature indicates purpose, which in turn demands a Designer.
 
The fourth unassailable argument is that offered by aesthetics. Aesthetics is the study of beauty and truth. It argues that there exist relative standards of beauty and truth. That is to say, some things are more beautiful than others, some truths, more absolute than others.
 
The aesthetical argument demands some absolute standard against which all things must ultimately be compared, or the concepts of ”beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ could not exist.
 
The fifth unassailable argument for the necessity of the existence of God is that of morality. Morality is also subjective, but still, some actions are considered more moral, or immoral, than are others.
 
For there to be a concept of morality demands an absolute standard of morality against which the relative standards can be measured.
 
For each of these systems to work, there is an absolute necessity for the existence of an absolute God of absolutes.
 
"Absolute" means, "not subject to any limitation." God IS the ultimate Absolute. Without the existence of God, the word ‘absolute’ has no meaning.
 
It takes willful rejection of simple and unassailable evidence to say in one’s heart, "there is no God" because if such were true, there remains no explanation for the existence of beauty, truth, morality, science or logic.
 
Despite the evidence, however, if somebody’s mind is set against believing in God, all the evidence in the world won’t convince them. Faith still plays a critical role.
 
The Scriptures say, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
 
So, no matter how strong your argument, or how unassailable your evidence, no argument or combination of arguments will move the truly dedicated unbeliever to submit to God.
 
All we can do is offer the evidence and pray the Holy Spirit will impart the necessary faith to receive it.
 
To summarize the five unassailable arguments, they are:
 
1. Ontology: The evidence for the existence of God is that the existence of the idea of God can only be explained if God really exists.
 
2. Cosmology: For the cosmos to be in motion demands a Prime Mover to set it all in motion in the first place.
 
3. Teleology: The evidence of order and design in nature cannot be explained apart from a Designer.
 
4. Aesthetics: For both beauty and truth to exist, there must first exist absolute standards against which relative beauty and truth can be measured.
 
5. Morality: The argument from morality also demands absolute standards of morality against which relative standards can be measured and judged. As in the case of beauty and truth, morality as a concept cannot exist apart from the assumption of the existence of absolutes.
 
A Creator God MUST exist to explain the existence of these abstract concepts. To argue otherwise is obviously both imprudent and unwise. It is imprudent because it is a irrevocable judgment call that defies the evidence and it is unwise because any argument against the existence of God is illogical. It is illogical because one cannot KNOW there is no God.
 
Given all that we know, and all that we don’t know, the best an unbeliever can say is "don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up."
 
Romans 1:22 anticipated that, too.
 
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."
 
 

And There Was Evening And There Was Morning

And There Was Evening And There Was Morning – Commentary by Jack Kelley – www.gracethrufaith.com  
 
The other day I received an interesting response to my answer stating that the Bible supports an approximate 6000 year history for the human race. This person didn’t dispute the Bible, only our interpretation of it, in disagreeing with my answer.
 
The essence of his response was that since science has found what it considers to be persuasive evidence that contradicts the literal view of the creation account, then our traditional interpretation of the language in Genesis 1 has to be flawed. 
 
The writer is a scientist and a Christian. He presented a calm and reasoned response claiming that every relevant field of science is in agreement that “enormous amounts of very convincing evidence exists for an old–very old–earth and even for evolution, including humans.”
 
Now I’ve said before that I’m OK with an old Earth. In other articles I’ve shown how an old Earth and young civilization are entirely compatible with a literal interpretation of Genesis 1. But in his view the old Earth includes animals and other life, some of whom later evolved into humans. I’m not OK with that because the Bible says that animals came along on day 6, same as man.  
 
He went on to ask, “So what is more likely, that thousands of highly educated, highly experienced, highly motivated, life-long scientists and thinkers are wrong about immeasurable amounts of finely done, peer reviewed data or that your interpretation of a document which is thousands of years old is ever so slightly incorrect?”
 
Then he repeated that He’s not contesting the accuracy of Scripture, only man’s interpretation of it. 
 
Let’s set aside the fact that most of those thousands of highly educated, highly experienced, highly motivated, life-long scientists and thinkers are non-believers who don’t think the Biblical Creation account is even a remote possibility.   We’ll consider only the believers among them, because they’re the ones who say that the Scripture is accurate, but our interpretation of it is flawed.
 
For all the generations from the dawn of creation until the early part of the 20th Century, almost all believers accepted the Lord’s account of the Six Day Creation. So what is it that we’ve “misinterpreted” for all these thousands of years?
           
It’s About Time
 
All believers agree that ultimately God is our Creator. So the basic conflict between the differing views of our origin really comes down to the time involved. Evolution requires millions of years, but the Bible says the creation was complete from start to finish in 6 days. Now there’s there’s only one sentence in the entire creation account that concerns time. Therefore the whole argument boils down to a claim that for all these generations we’ve misinterpreted one sentence. That one sentence, repeated 6 times, reads like this. “And there was evening, and there was morning, day (1-6) “ (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31) Furthermore, within that sentence there are only three words that relate to time; evening, morning, and day. If there’s been a misinterpretation, it has to be in one of those three words.
 
By the way, let’s address the Bible’s accuracy here in case you’re thinking maybe some words got changed along the way to cause our misinterpretation. According to Rabbinical sources, there are 79,847 words in the Torah, as the first five books of the Bible are called, made up of 304,805 Hebrew letters. Fewer than 2 dozen of these letters are in dispute, and then only for spelling differences. That means the Torah we have today is a 99.99% accurate copy of the one Moses originally wrote. We know this because every letter in Hebrew has a numerical value, so every line and every column of text has a correct sum. In hand copying the text every line was checked for accuracy by adding the sum of its letters and comparing it with the correct total. In the case of a difference, the page was destroyed, and the copyist started over. Remember, these people were entrusted with the very words of God and took that trust seriously.
           
Three Little Words
 
With that said, let’s take a look at the three words having to do with time. 
 
The Hebrew word for evening is erev. It’s always translated evening, sunset or night.
 
The word for morning is boqer. There’s no question that it means morning. Hebrew speaking Jews greet each other at the beginning of each day with “Boqer tov” (good morning).   
 
And the word for day is yomn. As does its English counterpart, yomn can have a figurative meaning as well as a literal one. Of its 2287 appearances in Scripture, 2008 describe a literal 24 hour day. In the figurative sense it can mean a longer span of time, such as in the phrase “Day of the Lord “ in Amos 5:18 where it refers to the 3.5 year long Great Tribulation.   
 
But common sense tells us that when combined with evening and morning, as it is in each of the six references of Genesis 1, it’s meant to be taken literally, a single 24 hour period, because there are no figurative applications for the Hebrew words erev and boqer. And the Bible doesn’t say there were evenings and mornings, it says there was evening (singular) and there was morning (singular). One of each. And that means one 24 hour day. 
 
We also have the first mention of the word day in Genesis 1:5 and it demonstrates the Lord’s intention for the word’s use. 
 
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5)
 
This verse established the way time would be reckoned. First there was evening, the beginning of the dark period, night, and then there was morning, the beginning of the light period, day. This cycle has repeated itself every 24 hours throughout history.
 
Are we supposed to believe that for almost all of human history the words evening, morning, and day haven’t meant what people thought they meant?
           
How Could This Be?
 
In an effort to reconcile the creation account with evolution, some believers try to give the Lord more time to do His work of creation. They call the six days of creation by a new name, “creation days”, implying that each one is more like an age than a 24 hour period. But the accepted meanings of the words evening, morning, and day don’t accommodate this dramatic stretching of time. The Hebrew language has other words for that purpose, so these words are never used to describe an age, especially when used together.
 
I also realize that some believers don’t accept the Bible as being the word of God. They say it merely contains it. This allows them to discard parts of the Bible with which they disagree. Some discard the entire Old Testament, including the creation account, as little more than a collection of folk tales. But in Romans 15:4 Paul said that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. In 1 Cor. 10:1-11 he cited a number of events from Israel’s history when the people rebelled and were disciplined. Then he said that these things happened to them as warnings for us on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. And in 2 Timothy 3:16 he said that all scripture is God-breathed, or as we would say written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.   In all these cases he had to be referring to the Old Testament, since the New testament didn’t exist yet. Who are we to dispute this and ignore his warnings? The Old testament is the inspired Word of God, just like the New, and is meant to play an important role in a believer’s life.  
 
But between the liberal denomination I grew up in and the public schools I attended, evolution was the only explanation of our origins I ever heard until I was well into adulthood. Sure God was our creator, but evolution was the way He did it. No body I knew thought to even question it. It wasn’t till I was born again at age 40 that I heard any teaching about the Creation, and then it was something I had to seek out for myself. I’m sure thousands of you had similar experiences growing up.   
 
In the last 100 years or so, a heresy called the documentary hypothesis has infested liberal theology. This hypothesis makes the claim that Moses didn’t write the Torah, but that it was pieced together long afterward from writings by several unrelated groups. Proponents of this view ask us to ignore the fact that Moses is mentioned by name in 85 verses of the New Testament, and that among them are multiple references to his authorship of the 5 Books of the Torah, including direct quotes from the Lord Himself. Was Jesus unaware of the real authors of these passages He quoted? Was he just going along with a tradition He knew was false, or did He know that Moses had written them? 
           
Stop And Think
 
As you can see, these reasons for denying the 6 day creation won’t stand the test of rational thought. They’re just excuses people use to disregard the truth.
 
Most scientists don’t say, “Our science is based on universally accepted assumptions, and yet our findings disagree with the Creator’s account of what He did.   Our assumptions must be incorrect. “
 
Instead they say, “Our science is based on universally accepted assumptions, and yet our findings disagree with the Creator’s account of what He did. His account must be incorrect.” 
 
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" (1 Cor. 2:16)
I can understand non-believers searching for an alternative to the Biblical account. They have to find one in order to justify their disbelief. But how can scientists who are Christian actually think man can know more about how we were created than the One who did it, to a point where they can dispute the accuracy of the Creator’s account?
 
For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." (1 Cor. 1:19)
 
The time will come when we’ll know everything, just like God does. At that time we won’t have to take His word for anything. As Paul said, “We will know fully as we are fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) Until then I don’t believe we have the right to pick and choose what parts of His Word we want to believe. We certainly don’t have the perspective. "Who has known the mind of the Lord? we’re asked, Or who has been his counselor?" (Romans 11:34).
 

Israel and Prophetic Proof Part I

Israel and Prophetic Proof Part IJudgment Day Book Cover
Dave Hunt

"And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them….And they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God." Amos 9:14-15

         

About 150 years ago, the King of Sweden had troubling doubts about whether the Bible was really true in every word. He asked Count von Zinzendorf, bishop of the MoravianChurch, to give him proof that the Bible was truly inspired of God. The King had set aside 10 hours to hear what might be said. To his majesty’s surprise, Zinzendorf informed him that the time allotted was far too much. He only needed to say one word. Astonished, the King asked what that could be. The Count replied, "Jews."

Today we would add one more word, "Israel." In Zinzendorf’s day, that tiny and beleaguered nation, born on May 14, 1948, did not exist except in the hearts of Zionists who had never given up awaiting the fulfillment of the "God of Israel’s" solemn promises. The continued existence of Israel today, surrounded by more than a billion Muslims who have sworn to exterminate her and who continually plot and repeatedly attack her in the attempt to do so, is one of the most astonishing miracles of modern times.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has blessed the Jewish people with a brilliance that generally far exceeds their cousins the Arabs and the rest of the Gentile world.

The Arabs have the oil, but the Jews have the brains. Lest I be accused of racism, one need only compare the numbers of Nobel prize winners among them. In the Arab/Muslim world of 1.4 billion there are 6 Nobelists: 3 for Peace, and 1 each for Chemistry, Physics, and Literature.

In the Jewish population of 14 million (one hundredth of the Arab world) there are 165 Nobelists: 51 for Medicine, 45 for Physics, 27 for chemistry, 22 for Economics, 11 for Literature, and 9 for Peace. This is astonishing!

Supporting the amazing facts surrounding Israel, there are literally dozens of biblical prophecies foretelling her sudden rise to become the world’s premiere military power, the persistent attacks upon her from Muslim nations, and the fear of Israel that grips hostile Arab neighbors today. Yes, well might they fear her. Israel could wipe them out very quickly if she chose to do so. Instead, she has all too patiently endured their outspoken hatred, insults, repeated open threats of extermination, persistent rocket and terrorist attacks, and their continued feverish efforts to build the nuclear capability to destroy her.

Israel’s patience ends when the threat becomes too dangerous. As it was with Syria, that may soon be the case with Iran, which is hoping one day to launch a nuclear attack on Israel. Iran would then become the hero of the Islamic world. If such an attack became possible, it would force Israel to preemptively destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, as it did after Syria’s attempt to develop nuclear capabilities.

For months, by satellite, Israel followed ship after ship from North Korea as they landed in Syria and watched the convoys of trucks as they discharged their cargo in a "secret" desert destination. She patiently watched the construction of a nuclear facility disguised as a "cement plant" and ridiculously surrounded by the latest Russian radar and surface-to-air missiles. The evidence was shown to President George W. Bush, including photos taken inside the facility and missiles and radar protecting the unusual "cement."1 (Condoleezza Rice, whose "Replacement Theology" prevents her from being a true friend of Israel, was not consulted. The State Department has long been the enemy of Israel.)

With Bush’s tacit approval, Israeli planes went in and destroyed the nuclear facility along with the latest Russian protection surrounding it. How did Israeli planes pierce these sophisticated defenses? They are not sharing that secret with anyone, least of all with our "friends" in the State Department.

These current events, like so many others, have been foretold in the Bible. In spite of their accuracy, critics deny their relevance. Some claim to be former Christians. One can only wonder what kind of "Christians" they were to remain in such complete ignorance of the Bible while pretending to know it so well. Gary Lenaire, for example, says that he "spent 15 years in the church…released nine contemporary Christian music albums, was nominated for six Gospel Music Awards…preached the gospel…around the world [and] served as a voluntary Chaplain for the Military Department."2 He writes in An Infidel Manifesto:

Biblical prophecy is perhaps the most powerful tool for religious delusion….Look at any so-called prophesies [sic] in scripture: the wording is so general that you could attach almost any event and say, "Look, this is a fulfilled prophecy!" That is exactly why there are thousands of people today saying that they are witnessing prophecies being fulfilled in our generation….Most of the so-called prophecies were never intended…as prophetical in the first place…the words are so general you could make them to mean almost anything. Take a look at them without the dogma of your local preacher.3


This is so pitiful that it is embarrassing. This "expert on Bible prophecy" offers little more than inexcusable ignorance and prejudice. He says, "any so-called prophecies." While some prophecies are difficult to understand, there are hundreds that clearly have been fulfilled to the letter and some are still in the process of being fulfilled.

"So general you could make them to mean almost anything"? In fact, they are so specific that Lenaire’s statements would be laughable were they not influencing so many to turn from God.

Here is one of numerous prophecies (circa 600 BC), of which the specificity cannot be denied. "Therefore behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that they shall no longer say ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I have driven them’" (See Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8).

Notice the detailed prophetic elements. As the deliverance from "the land of Egypt," spoken of in the book of Exodus, was what Jews looked back to each year in the Passover as a reminder of God’s love and power, that event would fade from its prominence in their minds to be replaced by something more recent. The prophecy has two distinct parts: 1) a confirmation of many previous prophecies that the Jews were going to be led captive into "every nation" (Lk 21:24), and 2) their eventual deliverance and return to Israel would almost eclipse from the national memory their deliverance from Egypt. And so it has happened.

The great proof that the Bible repeatedly offers of its veracity is the fact that God, through His prophets, tells what will happen centuries and even thousands of years in advance. There is no arguing with the precise detail and accuracy of any of the Bible’s hundreds of prophecies. Yet, Lenaire, in typical atheist fashion, declared that most prophecies were so general that one could make them mean almost anything. Not so!

Lenaire is either deliberately attempting to mislead his readers, or he is displaying an abysmal ignorance. Most prophecies are, in fact, so specific that no one could argue with their meaning.

In Joel 3:2 (circa 800 BC), God declared that the day was coming when all nations would join to divide the land of Israel: "I will also gather all nations…and will plead with them [punish them] for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

This is remarkable! Throughout its entire 3,000-plus-year history, the land of Israel had never been divided. It had been conquered by various nations, but even when the Turks held it as part of their Ottoman Empire for 400 years, they did not divide the land. A conqueror keeps the land he has conquered intact for himself. Why divide it?

This division of Israel has occurred only in our day. Britain, which had been placed in charge of "Palestine" by the allied forces who had conquered it in World War I, had been given the mandate by the League of Nations to see that this land should remain as a refuge for the Jews, who had been scattered everywhere.

Instead of fulfilling this mandate, Britain gave about 75 percent of the land to the Arab Muslims in exchange for oil. In 1947, the United Nations, through Resolution 181 and in fulfillment of Joel 3:2, formalized this breach of trust. Israel finally received a mere 13 percent of what they had been promised. This is now history. Britain and the UN infamously fulfilled Joel 3:2 and parted God’s land.

The God of Israel, knowing all that would happen, had warned in advance that He would avenge Himself for this brazen robbery of His people. After being attacked by Muslim nations, who were following Allah’s edict through Muhammad that all Jews must be destroyed, Israel, in self-defense recaptured some of this land.

Christ himself made a number of prophecies before His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Like many other Hebrew prophets, Christ foretold the scattering of Jews all over the earth and the coming Great Tribulation (Luke 21:24-26). Also in Luke 21:24, there is a remarkable and very specific prophecy concerning Jerusalem itself: Jesus declared "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

When did this "treading down" of Jerusalem by Gentiles begin? In fact, it has been going on for centuries, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem(2 Ki 24:10-11), dated 587-586 BC. This prophecy tells us of what Christ called "the times of the Gentiles." As it has so often, the existence of the United Nations played a key role. In partial fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy, a vital part of UN Resolution 181 was the declaration that Jerusalem would be a corpus separatum, never part of Israel and never under the control of Jews.

Consider how specific the following is from the prophet Zechariah:

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zec 12:2-3)


Two groups are distinguished by the prophet: "all the people round about Judah and Jerusalem" and "all the people of the earth." These groups are identified by two separate prophecies. To the first group, Jerusalem will be "a cup of trembling" and to the second group, "a burdensome stone." The first group is further identified as being united together "in a siege" against Judah and Jerusalem, the second group as "gathered together" against her.

Why will Israel be a "cup of trembling" to her neighbors? As we have just pointed out, Israel is the premier military power in the world, and she could wipe out her Arab neighbors very quickly but refrains from doing so. As for being a "burdensome stone," how better to show the fulfillment of this specific prophecy than by the fact that.from 1967-1989 out of 865 resolutions in the Security Council and General Assembly of the UN, 526 were against Israel.

As we have pointed out, that was the first time that Israel had ever been divided. Now we also see the first time that all nations surrounding it have been united in a common goal. Traditionally, these nations had been enemies. What unites them now? They are all Muslims, and it is Islam (which did not even exist at the time of the prophecy) that joins them in the common desire to destroy Israel.

For all nations to be united against Israel, there would have to be an organization of "all nations." The United Nations came into existence in 1945, just in time to be the means of fulfilling this prophecy.

This 2,500-year-old prophecy is both specific in its details and flawless in its accuracy.

Another amazing prophecy concerns anti-Semitism. There is no rational explanation for this implacable hatred that has continued over several thousand years. What fuels this insane obsession is the determination to exterminate the Jews. No other national people have been the long-term targets of such a goal. In The Secret War Against the Jews, Mark Aarons and John Loftus write:

For more than twenty centuries [Jews] have…been persecuted, uprooted, and annihilated. [Yes] many [other] groups have suffered grievously at the hands of tyrants, but there is a crucial difference….

In each of these cases, the genocide was intended to serve a deeper purpose-the conquest of territory, the acquisition of wealth, the enlargement of political power….In contrast, the genocide of the Jewish people was not…attempted in order to achieve a more fundamental purpose. It was the fundamental purpose. This is what makes the Nazi Holocaust unique.4 [Emphasis added]


Yes, many groups of people have suffered  greatly. The Muslims wiped out more than a million Armenians as well as millions of other peoples throughout history. Thousands of blacks were transported from Africa to become slaves in a trade begun by Arabs and assisted by Africans. However, the quote above indicates that the intent was not to exterminate these people, as has been (and still is) the Muslims’ goal with the Jews.

Incredibly, the obvious lie persists by religious and political leaders such as recent popes, former leaders President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and now President Obama, that Islam is a religion of peace and has been maligned by critics. In fact, Muslims have murdered millions in their long-standing goal to take over the world, and there is an ongoing slaughter that continues to this day in Indonesia, Sudan, Nigeria, and elsewhere.

In contrast to the persistent praise of Islam as a force for peace in the world, Israel, which has never voiced unprovoked threats against other nations and has acted only in self-defense, has been accused repeatedly in the United Nations of aggression against innocent neighbors.

Fulfilled biblical prophecy stands as undeniable proof that the God of the Bible exists. Furthermore, these many prophecies, of which we will, God willing, have more to say next month, stand as a warning to the world of coming judgment. We will also review the many promises of blessing for those who will heed God’s Word concerning Israel.        TBC
 
Endnotes

1.http://www.nysun.com/foreign/israel-north-korea-helped-syria-build-nuclear/64545/;also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/20/AR2007092002701.html.
2. Gary Lenaire, An Infidel Manifesto: why sincere believers lose faith (Baltimore: PublishAmerica, 2006), back cover.
3. Lenaire, Infidel,120-21.
4. John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994).

EVIDENCES OF JESUS CHRIST’S RESURRECTION

 

EVIDENCES OF JESUS CHRIST’S RESURRECTIONChuck Missler

"I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history …"
E. M. Blaiklock – Professor of Classics, Auckland University

The Resurrection of Christ is the most powerful event in history.  It has affected the last 2000 years of history and politics, from peasants to kings to nations.  Christianity has spread across the entire world, into every country and into a vast number of ethnic groups and languages. Billions of people have experienced the life-giving, healing, forgiveness and freedom offered by God because Jesus Christ conquered death and rose again from the grave.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15:12-22 that without the resurrection of Christ, the Christian faith is useless. "And if Christ be not raised," Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

There are many skeptics who disregard the resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth as a fable.  However, the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is extremely strong, even to the point of converting some who sought to disprove it:

The Empty Tomb: Though well-trained Roman soldiers guarded the tomb of Jesus Christ, it was empty 3 days after Jesus’ death as Jesus had repeatedly foretold (Matt 12:40, Mark 8:31).  The guards had fled (a death penalty offense). The massive stone had been rolled away, and the body was gone – and was never produced by the enemies of the Christians.  The linen grave clothes in which the Jews bury their dead were still in the tomb, undisturbed. From the Jewish historian Josephus to a compilation of 5th-century Jewish writings called the "Toledoth Jeshu", even Jewish sources and traditions admit that the tomb was empty.  The body was never found.

Living Witnesses:  There were a multitude of witnesses who saw Jesus Christ alive after his death.  The disciples, the travelers on the road to Emmaus and a number of women all spoke to Jesus alive. Thomas doubted until he was able to put his fingers into Jesus’ wounds (John 20:26-27).  He later spread the Gospel all the way to India.  The apostle Paul tells of 500 people to whom Jesus appeared at one time, most of whom were still alive and available for questioning when Paul wrote his letter  (1 Cor 15:6).  When several people testify in a courtroom that they witnessed an event, and their accounts are found consistent with each other, their testimony is considered factual information.  Jesus Christ was seen alive many times by hundreds of different people over the course of forty days after his death (John 20-21, Acts 1:3).

The Disciples:  Christ’s followers, who had been fearful and who had run away when Jesus was arrested, were completely changed after the Resurrection and became courageous witnesses.  Peter, who had denied knowing Christ when recognized by a simple servant girl, became the powerfully bold leader of those who had seen Christ alive, speaking to the thousands gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot – Pentecost.   A person may die for a lie if they do not know it is a lie.  But people do not give their lives up and face severe persecution to spread a lie they themselves invented.   The fact that the disciples willingly suffered beatings and persecution and death is strong evidence that they had actually witnessed the resurrection they refused to stop telling people about.

Saul of Tarsus:  A devoutly religious Pharisee, who persecuted the Church and had Christ’s followers thrown in prison, Paul had his life absolutely changed by his encounter with Christ.  He became a devoted follower of Christ himself, spreading the Gospel throughout Turkey and Greece in the face of beatings and shipwrecks and imprisonment and, finally, execution.

"If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt." – F. F. Bruce, Manchester University

Skeptics’ Arguments Against the Resurrection:

The Hallucination Theory claims that the witnesses who met the resurrected Jesus were all "seeing things" – they were hallucinating.  However, this goes against common sense as well as psychological principles. Five hundred people do not all hallucinate the same thing.  Jesus appeared to many people at many different times.  Also, the body was never produced.

The Swoon Theory argues that Jesus did not die – that he simply fainted from loss of blood and exhaustion.  However, this also goes against common sense.  The Romans were professionals who severely whipped Jesus, hung him on a cross, and then stabbed him in the side with a spear to make sure he was dead. He was in the grave for three days, wrapped head to foot in a burial cloth, without food or water or medical treatment.  When he appeared to his disciples he was completely whole and healthy and his appearance inspired awe and worship that lasted throughout the rest of the disciples’ lives.

The Disciples Faked the Resurrection:  Discouraged, fearful fishermen and former tax collectors, whose teacher had been viciously murdered, were in little position to take on a detachment of trained Roman soldiers guarding the tomb.  They would have had to create a fantastic plan in order to fight off or bribe the professional soldiers, raid the tomb, unbind the grave clothes from Christ’s body, take the body away, and hide it where nobody would ever find it. The Roman soldiers faced death if they failed in their guard duty, and the disciples had little money for bribing anybody.  Many people would have had to be involved in the conspiracy, and all those involved would not only have known the truth, but would know that they were risking meeting the same fate as their recently crucified leader. And what purpose could it possibly serve, if Jesus were dead?  They would have had nothing to gain.  Their leader was gone and they would have only faced persecution and death for their invented resurrection story.

And again, the disciples’ attitudes completely changed after the Resurrection and especially after Pentecost. They became bold and courageous in spreading their message, fearless of beatings or imprisonment. They never sought to fight Rome or to establish any position or kingdom or authority for themselves.  They had nothing to gain, physically speaking.  They simply went about the known world, telling their story in spite of persecution and suffering, poverty and ridicule. Their message quickly spread across the Middle East and Europe and even into Asia without any military conquest or political support involved – and in spite of strong opposition. Only belief and hope based in the reality of their experiences would have produced such dedication in the lives of Christ’s followers.

Perhaps the greatest evidence today of Christ’s resurrection is the work that he is still doing in the lives of every day people.  In the name of Jesus, people are still being healed emotionally and physically and spiritually by the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  Sinners are being freed from the burden and pain and shame of sin – sometimes immediately, sometimes after long years of steady work by the Holy Spirit in their lives.  Hearts are being mended and lives are being turned around.   The best evidence today is the faithful follower of Christ who can say, "He saved me, and I am not the person I used to be" just as the apostles testified 2000 years ago.

The Foundation of My Faith

The Foundation of My Faith – by Todd Strandberg – www.raptureready.com
 
It is absolutely vital for believers to have a solid understanding of why they are members of the Christian faith. Millions of people think they are part of the body of Christ, but they have no idea what it really means to be saved. I’ve known dozens of people who confessed to be Christians for a time, but who later simply wandered away from the flock. It is like their faith in God came with an expiration date.
 
We tend to view salvation as being a boundless commodity. Jesus warned that it is a finite resource with a limited time offer: “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).
 
The key reason some people have no grasp of faith is that they never established a meaningful relationship with their Creator. True believers stand firm in both good and bad times because they have a firm foundation for their faith. Carnal Christians will blow away when adversity, comes or even when the Christian experience becomes boring to them.
 
In June of 2008, I got a first-hand look at the importance of having a good foundation of support. On a Saturday afternoon, severe thunderstorms came roaring through my area with 90 mph gusts. The force of the wind blew down two huge spruce trees in my front yard. After the storm, I was amazed to see that a group of cottonwood trees, which were twice as tall as my spruce trees, had suffered little damage. While surveying the mess, I realized why my spruce trees had fallen and the cottonwoods had remained standing: the trees’ root system. Spruces are big and broad, but they have very shallow roots. Cottonwoods endure the wind because they have deep roots. In fact, I later learned that nurseries warn people not to plant cottonwoods too close to houses because their aggressive root systems can get into sewer lines. 
 
There is a mirror reflection of my tree experience in Luke 6:47 “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
 
Don’t Lean on Man
 
I frequently receive emails from people seeking my support for their particular doctrinal views. They want me to validate their beliefs by agreeing with them. It astounds me that some people base their view of truth on a thumbs-up from someone else. The Bible is the only foundation we should use for our faith.
 
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Josh. 1:8).
 
One day, I was sorting through a bunch of old teaching tapes I had collected from as far back as the early ‘80s. I pitched many of these tapes in the trash because I know now the people who authored those tapes held to some grievous doctrinal errors. Hobart E. Freeman is one such case. He believed that all sickness was a lie from the devil, and that it was a sin to go a doctor. Despite Freeman’s claims of being able to rebuke all illness, he came to sad end in 1984, when he died of bronchial pneumonia and congestive heart failure complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg. One report said that 19 members of his church also died from needless neglect of medical conditions.
 
I didn’t learn of Freeman’s death until many years later. I had simply lost interest in his teaching because it was in conflict with the Bible. I have found that anyone preaching some new truth is most likely a false prophet. The best teachers are those who stick closely to the Word of God. 
 
Don’t Even Trust a Fool
 
The devil uses every trick in the book to deceive us. I was once searching through the YouTube site, looking at videos on evolution. I found a series of videos by someone named Edward Current, who was defending creationism. After listening to some of the messages, I was amazed at how poorly Ed was doing at defending his cause. About a month later, I was reading through the mountain of email I get each day, and I ran across a note that alerted me to the fact that Mr. Current was an atheist pretending to be believer. 
 
Some of the videos produced by this deceiver have been viewed nearly a million times, so I’m sure thousands of people have watched them and concluded that Christianity is a bunch of nonsense. Because even the fool might be working for Satan, we need to confirm everything with the Word of God. 
 
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” ( Psalm 118:8-9).
 
Firm Foundations
 
Everyone has their own reasons for placing their trust in the Bible. Some reasons have such strong basic truth, they should be universally applied to the lives of most Christians. Listed below are the top four reasons I believe the Holy Bible is the supreme authority on all matters. 
 
1 Prophecy Fulfillment
 
Many books claim to be the inspired writing of God. What makes the Holy Bible stand out from the crowd is that it is the only religious document that contains historically verifiable prophecies that have consistently been fulfilled. The Koran makes no attempt at predicting the future.
 
I’m at a loss to find a book that can be remotely compared to the Bible. Even the best soothsayer can only claim an accuracy rate of less than 4 percent. The writing of Nostradamus is widely acclaimed for predicting the future, but it’s all based on smoke and mirrors. The success of his book, Les Propheties, rests on the fact that it is nothing but a collection of vague gibberish. For example:
 
“The year 1999 seven months from the sky will come the great King of Terror. To resuscitate the great king of the Mongols. Before and after Mars reigns by good luck.” (X.72).
 
Too much good times, too much of royal goodness, Ones made and unmade, quick, sudden, neglectful: Lightly will he believe falsely of his loyal wife, He put to death through his benevolence. (X 44).
 
Any predictions that have come to pass that can be attributed to Nostradamus were made so after the event occurred. The only connection is the resolve of people’s active imaginations.
 
The Bible makes clear predictions, and there has never been a case when one of its prophecies has not come to pass. The Good Book has been so successful at foretelling the future, I believe people who scoff at it are making a "Sucker’s Bet." They fail to realize that 87 percent of end-time prophecy is already in an advanced state of fulfillment.
 
The accurate prediction of the rebirth of Israel is Bible prophecy’s most stunning achievement. The Word of God also said that China would rise to be a world power; Europe would form a single government; the world would someday have a globally integrated financial market; and that there would be a diplomatic struggle (which we’re seeing today) over who should control Jerusalem.
 
There is no need for blind faith in what God has said in His Holy Word. I trust in the Bible because it has proven itself through prophecy.
 
2 God’s Deliverance of the Jewish People
 
About 150 years ago, the King of Sweden was having personal doubts about the Bible’s divine nature. He called for Count Von Zinzendorf, who was the bishop of the Moravian Church, to provide evidence that the Bible is inspired by God. When the Count arrived, the King told him he had set aside 10 hours to be enlightened on this matter. Zinzendorf said that much time would not be necessary because all he needed to do was to say two words. The King, skeptical, asked, “What words might those be?” Count Von Zinzendorf replied, "The Jews."
 
One of the greatest miracles of God is the preservation of the children of Israel. No other group of people has ever been completely annihilated as a nation and then later reborn. The rebirth of Israel in 1948 is the key indication that we are in the end times.
 
"Therefore behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that they shall no longer say ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and lead the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I have driven them’ (Jer. 16:14-15).
 
The regathering of Israel is a remarkable task alone, but what makes one have to admit that the hand of God was involved is how the Jews managed to overcome unbelievable persecution. Each of the following nations and tribes has failed in its attempt to destroy the Jews:
 
Amalekites
Arameans
Assyrians
Babylonians
Canaanites
Edomites
Egyptians
Germany
Hittites
Midianites
Moabites
Persians
Philistines
Romans
Spain
The whole Muslim world
 
Of course, God is not finished preserving the Jewish people. During the tribulation, Satan will inspire several genocidal attacks against Israel. Anyone reading this article near the end of the tribulation will be able to add a few more names to this list of defeated foes.  
 
 
3 Testimony of Jesus Christ
 
The Bible verse, John 3:16, is regarded as the one everyone in the Western world knows: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Being familiar with this passage doesn’t make one a believer. Jesus may be a savior, but is he your Savior?
 
 What causes people to fail to connect with Jesus is a failure to realize the importance of making him Lord of our lives. You can’t get a firmer foundation than realizing Jesus is your only hope for eternal life. "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11).
 
 Testimony of Jesus in the Gospel is proof enough of His deity, but the Bible has an added bonus. The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah in great detail. They listed several prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
 
He would be a descendant of Abraham (Gen. 12:3; Gen. 22:18).
His tribe would be Judah (Gen. 49:10).
He would be an ancestor of David (2 Sam. 7:12 and 13).
He would be born in the city of Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2).
He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech. 9:9).
The Lord would lay on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:5-6).
He would remain silent before his accusers (Isa. 53:7).
He would be considered a criminal and executed with criminals (Isa. 53:12).
He would bear the sin of many (Isa. 53:12).
He would be killed (Isa. 53:8).
His hands and feet would be pierced (Ps. 22:16).
His clothing would be divided up and gambled over (Ps. 22:18).
He would be buried in the tomb of a wealthy man (Isa. 53:9).
His body would not see corruption (Ps. 16:10).
He would rise from the dead (Isa. 53:9-12).
He would ascend into heaven (Ps. 110:1).
 
 
4# The Work of the Holy Spirit
 
My last foundation of faith is the greatest one of all, but it is probably the least understood by most Christians. The Bible tells us that one of the missions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the nature of God to those who seek knowledge. I know Jesus is Lord because the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me.
 
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 Jn. 4:13).         
 
In Matthew 16:16-18, Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
 
It is the function of the Holy Spirit to reveal and confirm that we are a part of the family of God, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together " (Rom. 8:14-17).
 
Many people make the error of just assuming that the Holy Spirit is directing them. If you have any doubt about your foundation of faith, seek the Lord’s guidance and He will eventually bring you an assurance of salvation and understanding.
 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:5-7).
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