Yahweh/Jehova's all-sufficient sacrifice, Jesus Christ the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world
Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Jan 31, 2016 at 09:57
I have watched the YouTube video Staci, Rabbi Singer has a lot to say doesn't he, and I listened carefully to what he has to say, much of which I reject, most especially what he has to say about "do it yourself salvation, by being crucified ourselves," and this is my primary focus in my lengthy response to him.
Rabbi Singer's "offer," his "deal" certainly "not making sense." This is a grotesque parody of the Lord Jesus Christ's death on the Cross followed by His glorious resurrection to eternal life. Our salvation is a sovereign work of Yahweh/Jehovah, and apart from our acceptance of His wonderful gift, we contribute nothing to it, we're not worth it, we don't deserve it, we can't earn it, do we want it?
It's beyond my understanding, that in his reading of the Hebrew Bible ("The Old Testament"), Rabbi Singer doesn't see that the Lord Jesus Christ is Yahweh/Jehova, and what follows, is what I would say to him and to those who might be swayed by his teaching.
Please turn with me to Psalm 102 and let's read a text about Yahweh/Jehovah from it; reading verses 25 – 27 we read,
"Long ago You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will remain; Just like a garment they will all wear out. Just like clothing You will replace them, and they will pass away. But You are the same, and Your years will never end."
Who is this about? Please also read with me verse 21 where we read,
"So that the name of Jehovah will be declared in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem."
This is about Yahweh/Jehovah isn't it? and it's saying He is immutable and unchangeable, it's saying how He founded the earth's foundations, and of how the heavens are the work of His hands isn't it? of how they will perish but that He will endure, all of them will wear out like a garment, and like clothing they will change, but He is the same, and His years will not come to an end, this is all about how Yahweh/Jehovah is absolutely unchanging, and the creator of all things, this couldn't be describing anyone else could it? please keep your finger at Psalm 102 and turn with me to Hebrews chapter 1 and let's start reading at verse 6, this is about Jesus Christ isn't it?
"But when He again brings His Firstborn into the inhabited earth, He says, 'And let all of God's angels do obeisance to Him.'"
With verse 7 saying,
"Also He says about the angels: 'He makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.'"
With verse 8 saying,
"But about the Son, He says: 'God is your throne forever and ever, and the sceptre of Your Kingdom is the sceptre of uprightness.'"
The point here being the connecting phrase at the beginning of verse 8 But about the Son He says with verses 10-12 saying (and continuing speaking of the Son) "And at the beginning, O Lord, You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish but You will remain; and just like a garment they will all wear out, and You will wrap them up just as a cloak, as a garment, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will never come to an end."
Let's now look at a passage in the New Testament, and then let's go back to the Old Testament. Please turn with me to John chapter 12 its context being the end of Jesus' public ministry, which is right before the private ministry to His disciples, with verses 38 – 42 saying "So that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, who said "Jehovah," who has put faith in the thing heard from us? And as for the arm of Jehovah, to whom has it been revealed? The reason why they were not able to believe is that again Isaiah said: 'He has blinded their eyes and has made their hearts hard, so that they would not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts and turn around and I heal them.' Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory, and he spoke about Him. All the same, many of the rulers actually put faith in Him, but they would not acknowledge Him because of the Pharisees, so that they would not be expelled from the synagogue, for they loved the glory of men even more than the glory of God."
"Go, and say to this people:'You will hear again and again, but you will not understand;
See what John is saying in chapter 12 when he says Isaiah said these things, because he saw His glory and he spoke of Him, if we ask Isaiah who he saw, he would answer "Yahweh/Jehovah" but if we were to ask John who Isaiah saw, John would answer "Jesus," the One sitting upon the throne was Jesus.
In this context, this identification of Jesus Christ as Yahweh/Jehovah is a lot stronger than it appears at first look, because there is an interesting textual variant in the Greek Septuagint rendering of Isaiah 6:1 which says "and I saw His glory," exactly the same words that John uses at John 12 in identifying Jesus Christ as Yahweh/Jehovah. John, knowing what his readers were reading, made sure that they knew exactly what text he was referring to, and exactly what point he was making. John very clearly identifies Jesus Christ as Yahweh/Jehovah, and if we can show Jewish people this from the Hebrew Bible, it's truly amazing what the Holy Spirit can do to set them free from, because the principal denial in the doctrine of Judaism, is the denial of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In seeking to deny that "The wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23 by saying it is a lie, and wrongly saying that 'the Apostle Paul lied to you,' if you had quoted Romans 6:23 in full Rabbi Singer, you would have seen how the verse ends, after one of those lovely "Bible buts," we read, "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Denying that the wages of sin is death, and wrongly saying that the Apostle Paul lied in teaching that it is, prompts me to ask doesn't Rabbi Singer know that the Old Testament prophets often and strenuously preached against sin and its penalty? There are many Old Testament passages which speak against sin, and when Yahweh/Jehovah said through Ezekiel "the soul that sins shall die" Ezekiel 18:13,18&20 He meant just that, saying that if a wicked man turns from his wicked ways he will live vv 21-23 and saying that if a righteous man turned from his righteousness and does evil, he will die v 24 The soul that sins shall die. To put it another way, to save your soul, your life, you must live a godly life. The more we sin, the more we invite our own deaths. While death may well not always be immediate, sin very clearly never pays, the soul that sins shall surely die
This theme is prevalent in the Book of Proverbs. Over and over again we read statements like the following: "The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened" Proverbs 10:27. "In the way of righteousness there is life, and in its pathway there is no death" Proverbs 12:28. "Evil pursues sinners" Proverbs 13:21. "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death" Proverbs 14:27. "Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates correction will die" Proverbs 15:10. "He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow" Proverbs 22:8.
Speaking of Yahweh/Jehovah, and saying of Him, Is it My desire to punish the wicked? No, No, No, No!! you speak well Rabbi Singer, and at Genesis 18:25 we read of Abraham saying "Far be it from You to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from You! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" and we read at 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance,"
Were I to interact with everything Rabbi Singer asserts, my response would be even longer than it already is, so I will restrict myself to denying his assertion that there is no "Christian Voice" in the Hebrew Scriptures ("The Old Testament"), and I refer to the very many prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures pointing forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, from His birth to a virgin to His death by crucifixion followed by His glorious resurrection from the dead.
Drawing to a close, I comment that fulfilled prophecy is an extremely powerful thing, validating what the Triune God has planned, purposed and accomplished, being recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, and recorded in the New Testament Scriptures.
Declaration about future events is a major feature of the Bible. It claims to contain the words of God, "Thus says the Lord" occurring 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 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 the Lord Jesus Christ 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, the Lord Jesus appealed to the Messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures (The "Old Testament") to substantiate His claims to being the Messiah, with Galatians 4:4 saying
"But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,"
Let's remind ourselves when Isaiah saw Jesus' glory, Isaiah chapter 6 verse 1 is Isaiah's vision of Jehovah sitting upon His throne. "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Jehovah sitting on a lofty and exalted throne, and the skirts of His robe filled the temple."
With verses 9 and 10 saying,
"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, with Cleopas walking along the road to Emmaus with his unnamed friend, we read that the Lord Jesus,
"Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
And when the risen Lord Jesus appeared to His disciples in Jerusalem, He said,
"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?"
And again, speaking to the religious leaders, the Lord 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."
The Apostles, the New Testament writers etc. constantly appealed to fulfilled prophecy, to substantiate the claims of Jesus Christ 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 fulfilled."
"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'"
"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 up on the third day."
In the Hebrew Scriptures ("The Old Testament"), there are 60 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 Jesus said,
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
Dr Peter Stoner, Professor Emeritus at Pasadena College, describes in his booklet, "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 fulfilled 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 to comprehend this staggering probability, Dr Stoner illustrates it by supposing that (and living in the USA as you do Staci, you may appreciate the use of Texas for illustrative purposes).
"We take 10 to the power 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas (267,000 square miles, ~69.15 million hectares, ~170.9 million acres) They will cover all the Lone Star state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Now blindfold a man and tell him he can travel wherever he likes, but he must pick up one silver dollar, and say 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 8 prophecies, and having them all be fulfilled 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 Christ didn't fulfil just 8 or 48 prophecies, He fulfilled over 300!! How can one maintain intellectual integrity if this kind of evidence is ignored, and ask is Rabbi Singer correct in asserting there is no Christian voice in the Hebrew Bible?
With kind regards and all good wishes
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"
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