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"Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Jesus Christ; the fascinating future"

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the Old Testament

Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Jun 2, 2009 at 15:32

To Mohammad Waqas Raja

I greet you in the precious Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, Son of God, the sinners all-sufficient Saviour, the Prince of Peace, the author and distributor of peace, and I wish for you His peace.

Declaration about future events is a major feature of the Bible. It claims to contain the words of God ("Thus says the Lord" occurs 3,808 times!), the only person who is able to "make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come"

Isaiah 46:10

Over a quarter of all the verses in the Bible contain a prediction about the future. Altogether, 737 separate forecasts are made, from some only mentioned once, to others mentioned hundreds of times.

Of these, 594 (over 80%) have already come true. Since those that have not, are all concerned with the end of the world, which obviously has not happened yet, the Bible has actually achieved 100% accuracy. All that could have taken place already has done so, which should be ample grounds for confidence that the rest will also be fulfilled. (These statistics, with a detailed analysis of every prediction, may be found in the Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy by J.Barton Payne, Hodder and Stoughton, 1973.)

Fulfilled prophecy, especially as in Jesus' case, massive cumulative fulfilment, gives us a valid basis to believe in and trust the author of the prophecy, and whilst Jesus had various credentials to support His claims to being the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, one often overlooked credential, one of the most profound, is the fulfilment of so many prophecies, in His life, death and resurrection from the dead.

Over and over again, Jesus appealed to the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, to substantiate His claims as the Messiah.

Galatians 4:4 says:-

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law."

And on the first resurrection morning, walking along the road to Emmaus, with Cleopas and his friend, we read that Jesus:-

"Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."

Luke 24:27

And when the risen Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem, He said:-

"These are My words which I spoke to you whilst I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Luke 24:44

and speaking to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, who criticised Him for healing a lame man on the Sabbath, Jesus said:-

"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life."

John 5:39

"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"

John 5:45-47

And again speaking to the religious leaders, Jesus said:-

"I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death. At this, the Jews exclaimed, 'now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died, and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?' Jesus replied,-------------- 'your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.' The Jews said to Him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!' 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!' at this they picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus slipped away from the temple grounds.'

John 5:51-59

In saying "I am," Jesus was referring His listeners back to the Old Testament book of Exodus 3:13 & 14, where Moses says to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel and I shall say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you. Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" God answered Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel 'I AM has sent me to you' "

Looking at the reaction of the orthodox Jews who heard Jesus' words, demonstrates they understood exactly what Jesus was claiming for Himself, and their reaction went beyond just being shocked at what He said, they were hearing blasphemy, unless Jesus' claim to be "I Am" were true, which is why they picked up stones to kill Jesus because of what they heard Him say. The words of Jesus were so strong that people either had to believe in Him or condemn Him. Jesus left them with no other choice.

The Apostles, the New Testament writers etc. constantly appealed to fulfilled prophecy, to substantiate the claims of Jesus as the Son of the Living God, the Saviour, the Messiah.

"But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled."

Acts 3:18

"And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, 'this Jesus Whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.' "

Acts 17:2&3

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."

1 Corinthians 15:3&4

In the Old Testament there are sixty major messianic prophecies and approximately 270 ramifications that were fulfilled in one person, Jesus Christ, with His precise lineage, the place, the time, and manner of His birth, people's reactions to His teaching, His betrayal, the manner of His death, and His resurrection from the dead. These are some of the details making up the CV identifying the Son of the Living God, the Messiah and Saviour of the world, and an attractive, well-prepared site examining the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies by Jesus Christ, is titled Of Whom The Prophets Speak and is at,

http://tinyurl.com/lwjy3w

Dr.Peter Stoner, Professor Emeritus at Pasadena College, describes, in his book "Science Speaks" ( Stoner Peter W. and Newman, Robert C Moody Press, 1976 ) how he took just 8 of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and using the law of compound probabilities, calculated the probability of one man fulfilling them. Dr.Stoner wrote:-

"we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time, and filled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 raised to the power 17." Written out longhand, this is 100, 000,000,000,000,000, and in order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Dr.Stoner illustrates it by supposing that:-

"We take 10 to the power 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas (267,000 square miles!!). They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now, mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel wherever he likes, but he must pick up one silver dollar, and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance the prophets would have of writing these eight prophecies, and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them down in their own wisdom."

H.Harold Artzler, of the American Scientific Affiliation, wrote:-

"The manuscript of 'Science Speaks' has been carefully reviewed by a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation members, and by the Executive Council of the same group, and has been found, in general, to be dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented. The mathematical analysis included, is based upon principles of probability which are thoroughly sound, and Professor Stoner has applied these principles in a proper and convincing way."

Fulfilling 48 prophecies by chance is just one chance in 10 to the power 157 (I won't attempt to write out all the noughts!!), but Jesus didn't fulfil just eight or 48 prophecies, He fulfilled over 300!!!. How can one maintain intellectual integrity if this kind of evidence is ignored??

The Law of Probability

http://www.answering-islam.org/Walid/10probability.htm

Let us try to illustrate 10 to the power 157 by using electrons... Electrons are very small objects. It would take 2.5 times 10 to the 15th power of them, laid side by side, to make one inch. Even if we counted four electrons every second and counted day and night, it would still take us 19 million years just to count a line of electrons one-inch long.

How many electrons would there be if we were dealing with 10 to the 157th power of electrons?

Imagine building a solid ball of electrons that would extend in all directions from the earth, a distance of 6 billion light years. The distance in miles of just one light year is 6.4 trillion miles. That would be a big ball! But not big enough to measure 10 to the 157th power of electrons! In order to do that, you must take that big ball of electrons reaching the length of 6 billion light years long in all directions and multiply it by 6 x 10 to the 28th power! How big is that? It's the length of the space required to store trillions and trillions and trillions of the same gigantic balls and more. In fact the space required to store all of these balls combined together would just start to "scratch the surface" of the number of electrons we would need to really accurately speak about 10 to the 157th power!

Assuming you have some idea of the number of electrons we are talking about; imagine marking just one of those electrons in that huge number. Stirring them all up. Then appointing one person to travel in a rocket for as long as he wants, anywhere he wants to go. Now tell him to stop the rocket, segment a part of space, take a high-powered microscope, and find that one marked electron. What do you think his chances of being successful would be? It would be one in 10 to the 157th power. Remember; this number represents the chances of only 48 prophecies coming true in one person.

All this illustrates why it is absolutely impossible for anyone to have fulfilled the Messianic prophecies by chance. In fact, a leading authority on the probability theory, Emile Borel, states in his book Probabilities and Life, that once we go past one chance in 10 to the 50th power, the probabilities are so small it's impossible to think they will ever occur.

...Mathematicians generally agree that, statistically, any odds beyond 1 in 1050 have a zero probability of ever happening.... This is Borel's law in action which was derived by mathematician Emil Borel....

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/borelfaq.html

Borel, Emil (1962), Probability and Life, Dover, translated from the original, Les Probabilite et la Vie, 1943, Presses Universitaire de France.

Here is one last illustration of the immensity of the number 10 to the 157th power and why the science of probability shows we are dealing with the miraculous… Imagine one ant traveling at the speed of only one inch every 15 billion years. If he could only carry one atom at a time, how many atoms could he move in 10 to the 157th power of years? He would, even at that incredibly slow speed, be able to move all the atoms in 600,000 trillion trillion trillion trillion universes the size for our universe, a distance of 30 billion light years! Again, by the laws of probability, all of this means that it is simply impossible for 48 prophecies to be fulfilled by chance.

This is the kind of evidence that proves there must be a God who supernaturally gave us this information. Let's keep in mind that we've only illustrated 48 out of over 456 Messianic prophecies out of over 8,000 total verses in Bible prophecy, of which thousands of verses have been fulfilled already. God challenges us; He really really challenges us!

How astonishing then, that people would rather consult satanic rigmarole or human reason than divine revelation. Part of the blame must lie at the door of the church, which has been neither clear nor confident enough in sharing her knowledge, the result of allowing scientific scepticism about the supernatural, to undermine the authority of Scripture.

The Bible reveals its secrets to those who read it with reverence and obedience, in a humble and teachable spirit. It yields more to simple intelligence than sophisticated intellectualism. It is written for ordinary people in ordinary language (New Testament Greek is taken from the streets, not the classics). It is meant to be taken at face value and taken seriously. When it is, a clear picture of the future emerges.

Many things are predicted- personal and political, social and enviromental, moral and meteorological. But one event stands out above them all: the return to this world of a person who lived here two thousand years ago, a carpenter from the village of Nazareth. Were He simply a human being, this would seem unbelievable. If He is who He claimed to be, divine as well as human, the one and only God-man, His return becomes credible and in harmony with His claim. Rejected by an unbelieving world, it is only right that He should be publically vindicated.

This event is more frequently predicted than any other, being mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament, and dominates the Biblical preview. The question: "What is the world coming to?" is changed into: "Who is the world coming to?" or better still: "Who is coming to the world?"

History will be brought to a conclusion. And by a human being. Not by pressing the button of a nuclear attack on earth, but by breaking the seals of a scroll in heaven, on which is already written the countdown of world events Revelation 5:1; 6:1. At the climax of the crisis, Jesus Himself will reappear on the world stage to take personal control of the grand finale.

Such is the heart of the Christian hope for the future. Jesus is the only hope, the only Person with sufficient ability and authority, character and compassion, to right the wrongs of this sick, sad and sinful world. On His first visit to our planet He demonstrated that He could do it; on His second He has promised that He will do it.

In theory, the church of Jesus Christ gives His return a central place. In practice however, neglect of this vital truth is spreading. Even during Advent, any thought about His second coming is quickly forgotten in the celebration of His first, in the 'festivities' of Christmas. Some have become so confused or impatient with the doctrinal differences over it, that they have taken refuge in agnosticism on the subject. More have conformed to the world's obsession with the present, by concentrating on the application of Christian insights and efforts to the personal and political needs of the day.

That is a tragedy in a world of widespread depression and despair. The Bible describes unbelievers as "without hope and without God in the world" Ephesians 2:12. In such darkness, Christians should be shining beacons of hope. After all, they are the only ones who know how it will all end. They know that it will all end well, that good will triumph over evil, that their Lord will defeat the devil, that the Kingdom of God will come on earth as it is in heaven.

This hope is "an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" Hebrews 6:19

The raging storm of world events will get worse rather than better, until every part of the globe is affected. But as the hymn writer says, (based on this Scripture), "We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll, fastened to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviours love."

Trusting Jesus and taking Him at His word, I can confidently say my anchor holds, all praise to His name, it does.

In addition to the Old Testament prophecies that the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled in Himself, Jesus' second coming is a major component of New Testament prophecy, and is mentioned over 300 times, a good study of this by John Gilchrist, titled Nuzul-I-Isa: The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ can be found at http://tinyurl.com/kttlds and this describes how Jesus came the first time to conquer sin, to do death to death, and rise from the dead in triumph, thus securing for His followers, the assured hope of the resurrection to eternal life at the last day. Jesus will return on that day, not with a sword, but to raise all His own from the dead, to give them the fullness of eternal life, and to make them just like Himself in the Kingdom of heaven. This is the supreme meaning and purpose of the nuzul-i-Isa, the second coming of Jesus.

Jesus' second coming is an absolutely wonderful Bible study Mohammad, and needs to look at the following, Who? Where? How? When? And Why? It is a lengthy study, and shows there is a day when justice will be done. Every human being has two future engagements, neither of which can be entered into a diary, or marked on a calendar, the Bible saying, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement" Hebrews 9:27 and having sought to "shine the bright light of Scripture on the narrow way of truth, I conclude by saying I understand full well what the consequences would be for you to leave Islam and to enter into life in Jesus' Name, but also say we must respond to the all-Holy God's rescue plan before we die, since our death ends the opportunity, just as it does when we have fallen into deep water, and are drowning because we can't swim. We must accept the life-raft which is thrown to us before we drown.

You're going to live forever Mohammad, please choose your address.

With all good wishes

Lactantius Jr

"And don't forget the many times I clearly told you what was going to happen in the future. For I am God-I only-and there is no other like Me who can tell you what is going to happen. All I say will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish."

Isaiah 46:9&10

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11

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