The Signature of God, Part One
Vol: 23 Issue: 24 Sunday, August 24, 2003
“All things are mortal, except the Jew. Other forces pass but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” So wrote Mark Twain a hundred years before there was any place on earth known as ‘Israel.’
It’s a good question; the Jew has been the target of hundreds of separate efforts aimed at his annihilation down through the centuries — more so than any other ethnic group in human history.
So, what is the secret of his immortality? The simplest answer is the best.
The Jew, by his very existence, proves the existence of God. Therefore, his destruction would disprove Bible prophecies saying that when God forgets the laws governing the sun, moon and stars, then — and only then — would Israel cease to exist as a nation before Him. (Jeremiah 31:35)
There is a movement within the Church that attempts to spiritualize the Jews, transfer God s promises to the Church, and deny Bible prophecy by claiming all was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple.
The existence of Israel is, therefore, a particularly difficult problem for their theological worldview, and so are Christians who support that existence based on the authority of Bible prophecy. They call us Christian Zionists and, if our forums are any indication, they hate us as much as they do Israel.
The Bible says, 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. (2 Peter 3:3)
The Bible is under assault in America like in no time in its history. In a nation in which its freedoms are openly acknowledged as a grant from a Creator by its founding documents, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is facing jail for displaying the Ten Commandments.
There are scoffers a plenty out there, and it is incumbent upon each of us to be ready at any moment to give the reason for the hope that is in you . (1 Peter 3:15)
Over the next three issues of the Omega Letter, we are going to look at Bible prophecy, past, present — and that which is about to come to pass.
Part One: The First Advent
About 27% of all Scripture, according to some authorities, is prophetic in nature. Bible prophecy is the Signature of God.
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)
In this God establishes His uniqueness among the pretenders. There were no prophecies heralding the birth of Buddha or Mohammed. No other world religion makes the claim of absolute foreknowledge, let alone the added claim of 100% accuracy 100% of the time.
Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. (Isaiah 41:21-23)
So, where are the fulfilled prophecies of the other gods, that we may behold it together? The Bible prophesied the coming of the Messiah to Israel, His life, death and Resurrection, with such stunning attention to detail that the world prefers to believe He staged it all to fit the prophecies, that the Scriptures were manipulated after the fact, or say it is all a matter of interpretation.
The Bible said of the First Advent;
1. He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
2. He would be preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3)
3. He would be betrayed by a friend. (Psalm 41:9
4. His price would be thirty pieces of silver. (Zech 11:12)
5. His price would be thrown in the Temple and used for a potter s field. (Zechariah 11:13)
6. His Hands and Feet would be pierced (Psalms 22:16)
7. He would be wounded and whipped by His enemies (Isaiah 53:5)
8. He would be spit upon and mocked (Isaiah 50:6)
9. He would enter Jerusalem riding on the back of a colt. (Zechariah 9:9)
10. Lots would be cast for His clothing (Psalms 22:18)
We know all these events took place in the life of Christ, and we can track each prophecy back to its source. But none of the world s explanations can explain it away. Take the it was all staged by Jesus and His disciples theory.
Compare that to Zechariah 11:13.
And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15)
Note that it is God who says ‘Cast it to the potter that magnificent (sarcasm!) price at which they valued me…’ How could man put a price on God? It didn t make sense until God Himself, Jesus Christ, came to earth and was valued and betrayed for exactly 30 pieces of silver!
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders . . .And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces . . . And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field. . . .” (Matthew 27:3,5-7)
Interpretation? Seems clear enough just as it stands.
Were the Scriptures manipulated after the fact? Every word had been studied and parsed, and each nuance extrapolated, long before Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.
If the Scriptures were manipulated AFTER the fact to make it fit with the Gospel account SOMEBODY would have noticed. The Old Testament Scriptures had been around for centuries at the time of Christ. The scribes and the Pharisees attempted to trip Jesus up by using them against Him.
Why would Judas and the Sanhedrin want to cooperate in a conspiracy to give Jesus claims of Godhood credibility?
And that explanation demands that every single Jew who has ever lived since then was part of the conspiracy of silence about the manipulation of their Scriptures. And every archeologist who s worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls and other finds that support the life and times of Jesus Christ. And so on.
And how could it have been staged by Jesus or His disciples? Jesus was in the Tomb and the disciples in hiding. This is one of the more ridiculous explanations, but it was the explanation advanced in the book, the “Passover Plot.” And there are plenty of people who believe it.
Finally, the coincidence theory. Mathematicians have calculated the probability of any one person fulfilling all these detailed prophecies in a single lifetime as a matter of random chance, and assigned the following odds.
One chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000.
Professor Stoner illustrated what that number meant by saying it was the equivalent of marking one silver dollar, covering the state of Texas 3 feet deep with silver dollars, blindfolding a man, dropping him somewhere at random, and his finding the right one on the first try.
We are living in the last days, the time is short, and there are many more people who can cite the theories than there are who know the facts.
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luke 10:2).
Tomorrow: Israel and Fulfilled Prophecy