It's a summer-like day here in Oceanside and I'm at my desk enjoying the aroma of orange blossoms drifting in the window. A good beach day, but here I sit committed to my blog....and loving the opportunity. My friend Karen suggested I blog on the Book of Revelation, and I told her 'I don't think so', and here I'm doing it! Maybe the Lord put the 'bug' in her ear instead of mine and she just passed it on to me.
It occurred to me this morning that since I'm going to be discussing a prophetic book, we all need the assurance that Biblical prophesy is accurate, has been validated and is worthy of our trust.
Peter W. Stoner, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, in his book, Science Speaks, lists eight of the more than three hundred prophecies detailing the coming of Jesus into the world. Then, he mathematically spells out the probabilities of one man fulfilling all eight. Jesus actually fulfilled all three hundred in detail.
Here are the eight prophecies.....
1. Micah 5:2 predicts that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. This was written 500 yrs before His birth.
2. Malachi 3:1 stated that a messenger would come to prepare the way for Christ. This was John the Baptist of course and you can read about him in John, Chap 1. Malachi wrote in the 5th century B.C.
3. Zechariah 9:9 - Jesus would enter Jerusalem riding upon a colt. Yup, sure enough, we read about that in Matthew 21 and celebrate this day as 'Palm Sunday'. This was written in the 6th century B.C.
4. Zechariah 13:6 predicted that Jesus' friend (Judas) would produce wounds in His hands. His hands were wounded as He was nailed to the cross.
5. Zechariah 11:12 states that Jesus would be sold for exactly thirty pieces of silver. Read about this in Matthew 27.
6. Zechariah 11:13 says that these thirty pieces of silver would be thrown on the floor of the temple to be given to a potter. Again, Matt. 27 describes this scene.
7. Isaiah 53:7 predicted that Jesus would not open His mouth during His questioning by the high priest. This was fulfilled in Matt. 26:63.
8. Psalm 22:18 describes the means of death, crucifixion. David wrote this about 1,000 years before Christ and hundreds of years prior to the Roman innovation of death by crucifixion.
Now I'm not a mathematician, in fact I barely was able to conquer algebra - much to my patient dad's annoyance, but these figures will blow you away! If you apply accurate principles of probability, the chances that one man in history will appear and fulfill all eight of these prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 28th power, which looks like this....
1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
I'm getting crossed-eyed counting, but that is nine sets of three zero's! This is not according to me, but according to scientists, based on mathematical principles. I don't know how you react to this, but this is a staggering figure to me! Now that Biblical prophesy has been put into proper perspective, maybe we can look afresh at how the person of Jesus Christ will be revealed to the world.
This book was written to motivate first-century churches to 'keep the faith'.
*John sees a remarkable vision with symbolism difficult to unravel.
*Jesus writes to the seven churches in which He follows a pattern...
- describes Himself
- tells them the good things they are doing
- tells them what needs correction
- gives them a challenge
- states a promise
So what? That was 2,000 yrs ago! True, however it is relevant to our church today. Keep in mind that in the Old Testament the 'temple' was a specific building and place of worship, in the New Testament, the church is the body of believers. WE WHO BELIEVE ARE THE CHURCH.
Also remember that "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes"....Romans 10:4. Jesus exhorts these seven groups of people scattered about to live like who they are in God's eyes, righteous and holy. We're all stuck in a fleshly body, and until death do us part from this body, will always struggle with being 'good'. It is important that the world see 'good' as this is how they judge our faith. WE know what is good is 'Christ in us', see Colossians 1:27, but all they see is our behavior and actions, and hear our words.
To emphasize this point, let me share a recent happening. We have a friend, a spirit-filled Christian, whose husband died recently. He wasn't very nice to her. He mocked her Christianity and wouldn't have anything to do with it. He didn't go to church, read a Bible, but during his last days he did come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He told his wife that he knew 'Jesus was for real', because he saw HIS LIFE in the way she lived. Yes, the Lord knew all along that this man was one of His sheep, but we have a dramatic Lord and we can sit back and enjoy the drama! Amen?
Thank you Lord that you have a very tight grip on us and never let us go.
More on the Book of Revelation in a few days.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.