Documenting Evidence for the Supernatural Lamb
There is another peculiarity in the Hebrew texts written hundreds of years before Jesus’ time that looks like a contradiction. That is perhaps until we see a possible solution recorded by people many generations later. There are verses in the Bible that talk about people seeing God and verses which say God cannot be seen. Is this proof that the authors of the Bible couldn’t get their story straight? Look at this contradiction contained in just one chapter of the Old Testament, Exodus 33:
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. – Exodus 33:11
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. – Exodus 33:20
There is perhaps one way that the Bible does not contradict itself here and that is if God is more than one “person”; one that can be seen, and one that cannot be seen. But how can God be more than one person when Deuteronomy 6:4 says “The LORD our God (is) one LORD!” How can God be one entity and more than one at the same time? However, the word “one” here in the original Hebrew is “echad” which seems to come from a root Hebrew word meaning “to unify”. It is the same word used in Genesis 2:24 to explain marriage which is the union of two persons to become one (“they shall be one flesh”).
If the Jesus described in the New Testament (who can be seen) is also God along with the Father (who cannot be seen) it would explain this apparent contradiction. It would seem the Christian doctrine of Jesus the Messiah being God’s Son is a convenient explanation for this contradiction in the original Hebrew texts of Judaism.
Does the New Testament actually teach that Jesus claimed to be God along with His father? The answer appears to be yes.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-14
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. – John 8:58 (an apparent allusion to Exodus 3:13-14)
Jesus answered them…I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. – John 10:25-33
In Christianity, God’s Son is how God relates to humanity. We cannot directly relate to God the Father because He is a consuming fire whose awesome power, glory, and holiness would undoubtedly destroy us if we were to be in His presence in our natural sinful state. But we can see God the Son, God in human form who voluntarily gives up His privilege and wrath and extends mercy.
No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the father, has made God known. – John 1:18 (NET)
Has anyone seen God or not? Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry. Retrieved from http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/has-anyone-seen-god-or-not
Note on word “echad”: Hebrew Lexicon :: H258 (KJV). Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H258&t=KJV
All undesignated quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible (public domain in Canada). Quotation designated NET is from The Net Bible, copyright 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., www.bible.org All Rights Reserved
The Bible is not one book written by one person in one person’s lifetime. One of the most compelling aspects pointing towards the ultimate supernatural origin of the Bible is the complexity of stories and themes developed over hundreds of years, recorded by human authors that never saw each other. In the Hebrew Scriptures (or Old Testament), human authors recorded odd situations and events without fully explaining their reason or purpose. Generations later, other authors would declare witness to new stories helping the old ones to make sense or achieve greater significance.
God will provide a lamb
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. Genesis 22:8
so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many… – Hebrews 9:28
On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29 (NET)
How can the blood of an animal make redemption for a human?
But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. – Genesis 9:4-6
‘For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it [is] the blood [that] makes atonement for the soul.’ – Leviticus 17:11
For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. – Hebrews 10:4
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. – 1 Peter 1:18,19
What’s the bizarre purpose of a snake on a pole?
The LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous snake and set it on a poll. When anyone who is bitten looks at it he will live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a poll, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.” – Numbers 21:4-9 (NET)
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life – John 3:14,15 (NET)
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
How Can God take back people He divorced without breaking His own law?
…Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that [is] abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance. – Deuteronomy 24:1-4
They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD… And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce – Jeremiah 3:1-8
And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him – Colossians 1:21,22 (NET)
It would seem that God in Christ kills Himself so that He can reconcile Himself to the people (bride) He loves (who have committed spiritual adultery) without violating His own law!
“Blue Letter Bible” http://www.blueletterbible.org Hamp, Douglas and Skiba, Rob. According to the Scriptures with Rob Skiba. radio/ (11 February, 2013) Missler, Chuck. 66/40 With Chuck Missler, Contradictions? – K-House Bible Study Nov. 27, 2012 Norten, Michael. Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts; The Prophecies in the Feasts of Leviticus. Bloomington, IN: Westbow Press, 2012 The NET Bible. The New English Translation, Copyright 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.bible.org (all verses marked “NET”) All unmarked verses are from the King James Version of the Bible (public domain)
Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: – Isaiah 46:9-10
Is the God of the Bible real?
Much of the Bible is the recorded history of the people of Israel. Collectively, Israel is a witness to God’s intervention on earth. The text of the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) is held sacred by both followers of Judaism and Christianity.
In the Hebrew Bible, we can find prophecies which seem to point to a Messiah just like the Jesus whose life was later recorded by the various authors of the New Testament. Since followers of Judaism do not believe Jesus was their prophesied Messiah, they would most probably have not recorded these prophecies unless they were written before His life on earth. Think about it, millions of religious Jews worldwide prove that any Old Testament prophecies potentially made about Jesus or anything else were made before Jesus lived on earth!
Below are a few examples of Bible Prophecy in two sections. Each of the statements in the Prophecies Fulfilled section will begin with text held sacred by Judaism.
God’s justifying people through their faith, not just by their keeping laws
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. – Genesis 12:1-3
…he believed in the LORD, and he accounted it to him for righteousness. – Gen. 15:6
Many special laws, had not yet been given for Abraham or his descendants to break at this point, but God still declared Abraham righteous since he believed and acted on God’s promise. This is a prophecy of salvation by grace through faith (Galatians 3:6-14). A definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1.
An accurate prophecy of Israel’s inability to keep its own law.
For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. – Deuteronomy 31:29
God gives Israel, through Moses, a code of living containing approximately 600 laws. With it, a conditional promise to either bless or curse. What religion, in its most sacred text, predicts that its followers won’t keep its own law which was just given?
Anti-Semitism, the dispersion and persecution of Israel.*
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee…And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee…And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, [even] wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind” – Deuteronomy 28:15,37,64,65
And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. – Leviticus 26:32-33
*Although the persecution of Israel continues today there are other prophesies of Israel’s future restoration as well as God’s pronouncement of judgement on those who trouble Israel. Israel was created miraculously by God and the Bible teaches in both the Old and New Testament that God will never cast off Israel completely! (see Leviticus 26:42,44, Jeremiah 31:3,35-40 32:37-42; Ezekiel 36; Romans 11:11-32)
Two or three witnesses
A single witness may not testify against another person for any trespass or sin that he commits. A matter may be legally established only on the testimony of two or three witnesses. – Deuteronomy 19:15 (NET)
In John 5:31, Jesus is recorded as saying, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true”. In verse 37 of the same chapter Jesus says, “the Father who sent me has himself testified about me” (NET). God in Jesus, seems to abide by this same law he has given people. Also, the Bible, written by multiple authors over hundreds of years, shows a progressive revelation with multiple witnesses. The life of Jesus itself is recorded by four separate gospel writers in the New Testament.
God has a “Son”
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession…Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him. – Psalm 2:6-12 (Matthew 3:17)
Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son’s name, if thou canst tell? – Proverbs 30:4
A prophesied Messiah
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed. – Daniel 7:13,14
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. – Jeremiah 23:5,6
Messiah means “anointed One”; He is a king who is going to establish victory over evil. Both followers of Christianity and Judaism agree that the Old Testament scriptures prophesy of such a person. Christians believe that the Messiah is Jesus.
The Messiah will be a man, the offspring of a woman
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. – Genesis 3:15 (see also Matthew 1:16; Galatians 4:4)
A male born of a woman (her “seed”) would be attacked, but not fatally, by the devil (Jesus rose again from the dead). In turn that person would crush the devil.
The Messiah will come from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
But look, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but instead a son who comes from your own body will be your heir.” – Genesis 15:4 (NET) (Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:34)
And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him. – Genesis 17:19 (Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:34)
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel… – Numbers 24:17 ( Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:34)
The Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him. – Genesis 49:10 (NET) (Luke 3:33)
The Messiah will be a descendant of Jesse…
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots…And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. – Isaiah 11:1-10 (Matthew 1:6)
This Jewish text predicts One day, non-Jews (Gentiles) shall seek after a Jewish descendant, which is exactly what has happened with Jesus!
…and his son King David
And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee…And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. – 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (Matthew 15:22; 21:9; Mark 10:42; Luke 3:23-38)
A messenger would proceed the Messiah
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1 (Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 7:27)
The Messiah will come from Bethlehem
As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah –from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past. – Micah 5:2 (NET) (Matthew 2:4-6)
There were two Bethlehem’s in Israel; this prophesies the correct one in Judea
The Messiah would be born of a virgin
So Isaiah replied,“Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God? For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:13-14 (NET) (Matthew 1:23)
In the above text, the original word in the Hebrew language is Almah (transliterated) which means literally a young woman who could either be a virgin or not. The context seems to suggest that the verse is speaking of a baby born in the time of Isaiah. How then could this be a prophecy of a virgin birth of the Messiah in the future? Before answering this question we must do a little groundwork.
We have shown so far that the Messiah must come from the line of King David. However, in the book of Jeremiah, which was written decades after Isaiah, God curses the descendant of King David on the throne at the time (Jeconiah) saying, “Enroll this man in the register as though he were childless.Enroll him as a man who will not enjoy success during his lifetime. For none of his sons will succeed in occupying the throne of David or ever succeed in ruling over Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30, NET). So God curses the line from which is supposed to come the Messiah. How can God redeem this problem?
Jeremiah was written after Isaiah, but after Jeremiah was written, Isaiah was translated from Hebrew to Greek (and this translation was done before Jesus was born). In the Greek translation of Isaiah 7:14, when coming across the words “young woman” the translator for some reason chose to translate using the Greek word that can only mean “virgin” (“parthenos”). So Isaiah 7:14, when originally written, tells of a young woman giving birth. Years later, the royal line of David is cursed (Jeremiah 22:30) and after this occurs, when Isaiah is translated into Greek, the young woman becomes a “virgin”. Does this text now become a supernatural prophecy of the Messiah’s virgin birth before Jesus (the Messiah), was ever born?
What was perhaps a coincidence, however, becomes even more interesting.It is recorded in Matthew 1:1-16 that the adoptive father of Jesus, Joseph, was a physical descendant of the cursed king, Jeconiah. If Jesus had been the physical descendant of Joseph He could not be the Messiah since the royal line following Jeconiah (in Joseph’s family tree) was cursed by God. However, Jesus is a physical descendent of the virgin Mary, who also being a descendant of David (but not through Jeconiah) also fulfills the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 showing the Messiah would come from the physical seed of the woman. But being born of a virgin, Jesus could not merely be the product of Mary’s DNA since science now shows us that the genetic contribution from the mother without male sperm would be entirely female! Luke 1:23 says that Jesus was miraculously conceived by God’s Holy Spirit. No male sperm required. It is as if God is trying to show just how impossible and miraculous the birth of the Messiah had to be. Finally notice the name of the baby in Isaiah 7:14: Immanuel; which literally means “God with us”. Is this also a clue?
The Messiah would come to Jerusalem on a donkey
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your king is coming to you: he is legitimate and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey -on a young donkey, the foal of a female donkey. – Zechariah 9:9 (NET) (John 12:14,15)
The Messiah would be rejected
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. – Isaiah 53:3 (John 1:11, Luke 23:18)
The Messiah taking on Himself the sins of people
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. – Isaiah 53:4-6 (Romans 3:23-26)
The death of the Messiah
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. – Isaiah 53:7,8 (Matthew 27:35)
When will the Messiah be killed?
“So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times. Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them …” – Daniel 9:25-26 (NET)
The word “weeks” in the above text is an interpretation of a Hebrew word (“shabuwa”) which means “seven”. When understood as years (seven groups of sixty-two sevens), the prophesy tells us that 483 years would pass between the rebuilding of Jerusalem and Messiah’s death. The declaration to rebuild Jerusalem is recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8 and states it occurred in the month of Nisan on the Jewish calendar and in the twentieth year of the reign of the king Artaxerxes Longimanus. Calculated from this point at around 445 B.C., the death of the Messiah would be about 30 A.D., at the end-part of the life of Jesus!
Who would cause the Messiah to be killed?
Though the LORD desired to crush him and make him ill, once restitution is made, he will see descendants and enjoy long life, and the LORD’s purpose will be accomplished through him. – Isaiah 53:10 (NET)
Jesus says in John 10:17-18, “I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father.” (NET) Jesus was crucified by people but mere humans could only do what God allowed. It was God who suffered on His own by His own purpose.
The Messiah will be resurrected
I constantly trust in the Lord; because he is at my right hand, I will not be upended. So my heart rejoices and I am happy; My life is safe. You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit. Psalm 16:8-10 (NET) (Acts 2:31-32)
The above psalm was written by King David but does not refer to him only since David is still in the grave (Sheol) and his body decayed (being in the grave for longer than three days) when this Psalm is quoted in Acts 2:24-32. Other Old Testament allusions to the Resurrection may be found in Genesis 22, Hosea 6:2, Jonah 1:1.
There would need to be a resurrection in order to fulfill all the prophecies made concerning the Messiah which had not yet been fulfilled (e.g. Jesus came and died but the prophecy of Jeremiah 23:6 that Israel would dwell safely in His time is not yet completely fulfilled and is prophesied to be fulfilled at His second coming.)
The God of “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”
And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. – Exodus 3:13-15
The name of God is very important. Romans 10:13 quotes Joel 2:32 and says that “whosever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved”. There are many names used for God in the Bible. The “name” of God is a description of His nature and everything He does. The Hebrew behind the English “LORD” here is the sacred proper name for God which Jews will not even try to pronounce. It literally means “the existing One.” The name of God is inextricably connected with work of God’s Son, the Messiah (Isaiah 42:1-9). The name “Jesus” literally means “the existing One is salvation”. How is He our salvation? Consider the prophecy of His name in Jeremiah 23:6 “he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Here God is also referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In a number of places in both the Old and New Testaments, God is referred as the God of these three persons. God repeatedly links His promise of the land of Israel to these three persons (Genesis 15, 28:13; Deuteronomy 1:8, 30:20; Psalm 105:9-11). Isaac was the son promised to Abraham by God (Genesis 17:19; 21:1-2). In Genesis 22 God tests Abraham’s faith in Him by asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to Him in a certain location. Three days journey later (Genesis 22:4), but just before Abraham kills Isaac, God intervenes and prevents Abraham from killing Isaac. The text sacred to Judaism is a remarkable analogy/prophecy of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Jesus, being “God’s son” sacrifices Himself to death for three days (as Abraham would have been in sorrow for three days) rises again and by his actions provides opportunity for redemption of humankind. Isaac’s son Jacob perhaps becomes an analogy/prophecy of redeemed people (God blesses Jacob and changes his name to Israel in Genesis 32:22-32). Alternatively, Jacob could symbolize the Holy Spirit (the third memeber of the trinity) who sanctifies believers (1 Peter 1:2). So it could be that Abraham is a picture of God the Father, Isaac a picture of God the Son, and Jacob (now Israel) a picture of redeemed people transformed into righteousness. Why would the author of these sacred books of Judaism create such powerful imagery of the work of God through Jesus?
PROPHECIES BEING FULFILLED/YET TO BE FULFILLED
The Messiah would bring a message of justice and compassion to the non-Jews (prophecy from the Jewish Bible, it’s not for Jews Only!)
“Here is my servant whom I support, my chosen one in whom I take pleasure. I have placed my spirit on him; he will make just decrees for nations. He will not cry out or shout; he will not publicize himself in the streets. A crushed reed he will not break, a dim wick he will not extinguish; he will faithfully make just decrees. He will not grow dim or be crushed before establishing justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait in anticipation for his decrees.” – Isaiah 42:1-4 (NET)
The prophecy of persons who are not Jewish waiting for the Messiah is more interesting when we realize that Jesus did not intentionally go out and preach to them Himself when he was alive on earth (Matthew 15:24). Yet his message, as predicted, has now gone out to millions of non-Jewish people who find comfort in it!
Worldwide advance of Christianity.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. – Matthew 24:14
Jesus Himself foretold the advance of His message almost 2000 years ago. What percentage of false prophets or teachers can claim this effect? Today portions of the Bible exist in 2,479 languages; of these 451 have complete Bibles and 1185 have the New Testament.
Jesus prophesies that others will try to hijack His identity
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. – Matthew 24:4,5
An abundance of false teachers and cults
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
Religious people forbidding marriage?
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. – 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (NET)
How does the Roman Catholic Church excuse forbidding marriage among priests and nuns with this verse in the Bible?
The inability of science to determine the exact size or bounds of the universe
Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. – Jeremiah 31:37
Denial of a worldwide flood
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished – 2 Peter 3:3-6
Earth changes and signs in the skies/space
And when you hear of wars and rebellions,do not be afraid. For these things must happen first, but the end will not come at once.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sightsand great signsfrom heaven.” – Luke 21:9-11 (NET)
The return of Jews to Israel
“ ‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land.’ ” – Ezekiel 36:24 (NET)
“‘For I, the Lord, affirm that the time will come when I will reverse the plight of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors and they will take possession of it once again.'” – Jeremiah 30:3 (NET)
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. – Jeremiah 23:7,8
Surrounding nations conspiring against Israel
They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from [being] a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: – Psalm 83:3-5
This Psalm might have already been fulfilled, but it could also be an event yet to happen. One does not need to look very far to find people calling for the destruction of Israel.
Jerusalem would be occupied by non-Jews
“…Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled…”- Luke 21:24b (NET)
Gentiles (in the form of Romans) destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In 1947, UN Resolution 181 declared that Jerusalem would be an international city with Jews receiving part of the land of Israel. In the war of 1967 Israel regained control of Jerusalem. However, Israel (Moshe Diane), then gave the Temple Mount (probably the most important real estate in Jerusalem) back to Jordan (King Hussein) and in 1974, Arafat and the PLO took it over. Did this transfer from Israel back to the Gentiles fulfill Bible prophecy? If we read Bible Prophecy carefully in its context, we learn that the “times of the Gentiles” have probably not yet been fulfilled since there are prophesies concerning international interference in Israel that have not yet been fulfilled (e.g. Daniel 9:27, Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 16:16).
Persecution, corruption and growing cynicism
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. – Matthew 24:9-12
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Thessalonians 5:9
The timing of the rapture is controversial. However, based in part on the above verses, it is speculated that true believers in the Messiah will be caught up to heaven just before the seven year tribulation (seventieth week of Daniel 9:27).
The anti-christ and mass deception
Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God…For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. – 2 Thessalonians. 2:3-10
There is some (perhaps circumstantial) evidence from current events and the Bible that the mass deception in the end-times could be related to the public, universal disclosure of “extra-terrestrial entities” or “aliens.” If an anti-Christ figure wielding seemingly miraculous technology claimed that it was E.T.’s that created or modified humans thousands of years ago what would that do to the world’s religions? Would not he and the E.T.’s now be exalted “above all that is called God?”
Centrally controlled government and economics
He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave ) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the marks of the beast – that is, his name or his number. Revelation 13:16,17 (NET)
Could this “mark” be an RFID chip or other similar technological device?
A false peace achieved
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. – 1 Thessalonians 5:3
The anti-christ makes a treaty which he then breaks
He will confirm a covenant with many for one week.But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wingof abominations will comeone who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.” – Daniel 9:27 (NET)
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…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
Obsession among nations over the city of Jerusalem
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. – Zechariah 12:2,3
Division of the land of Israel and judgment on nations
For look! In those days and at that time I will return the exiles to Judah and Jerusalem. Then I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. I will enter into judgment against them there concerning my people Israel who are my inheritance, whom they scattered among the nations. They partitioned my land – Joel 3:1,2 (NET)
Despite overwhelming opposition, an invincible Israel
In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. – Zechariah 12:6-8
Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the light shall not be clear, [nor] dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. – Zechariah 14:3-9 (Matthew 24:29-30)
The nation of Israel acknowledges the true Messiah in the last days.
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn. – Zechariah 12:9-10
Note that the “house of David” will be inhabiting Jerusalem again in the end-times before they turn to the true Messiah. Is it a coincidence that Jewish people (“house of David”) have begun to return to Israel after almost 2000 years exile?
Also, this prophecy is remarkable in that a holy book held sacred by Judaism, written before Jesus ever lived on earth, seems to imply that Jewish people will experience anguish over their past in an event that has not yet happened (Zechariah 12-14)! Followers of Judaism do not recognize Jesus Christ (who was literally “pierced” – John 19:37) as the Messiah; are they fulfilling their own prophecy unknowingly?
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