We live in a universe with three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. These characteristics of the universe are created dimensions and are indivisible . That is, according to Einstein's theory of relativity, you cannot have time without space because they are coupled. Additionally, matter as we know it is also coupled to time and space. Therefore, if these are created characteristics of the universe, then the creator m# demonstrate that he exists outside and separate from them.
The God of the Bible demonstrates that he is the creator by demonstrating that he exists outside of our dimension of time. We humans are irreversibly trapped in this time domain and can only know the present and the past. It is impossible, under natural circumstances, to know anything that is in the future of our time line. If we received information about an event in our future it could only come from a source that existed outside our time domain. Since this could not be a natural source, it would be by default a supernatural source . This is exactly where the God of the Bible claims he dwells. The Bible is the he only book on planet earth that can demonstrate it's text comes from a being who exists outside our time domain. It does this by telling us things before they happen with incredible accuracy.
God's First Testimony to us that He is the divine author of the Bible:
The bible was written by 40 men, chosen by God to write it. It was written over a period of 1,500 years. Those 40 men who wrote were on 3 separate continents, and were all writing the same thing, at the same time. The gospel of Christ. In that day, they had no mail delivery trucks, no drop ship planes, no Federal Express, no UPS and no e-mail. So how could it be then that they all wrote the same things while on 3 separate continents? Because as the men wrote, God spoke.
God's Second Testimony to us that He is the divine author of the
Prophecy. The bible is approximately 40% prophecy. There are over 7,000 verses of prophecy in the bible. Of those over 7,000 verses, 90% of them have come to pass with excruciating accuracy. The remaining 10% are either in the works now, or will be coming to pass soon. Only God can tell our entire trajectory of history from the beginning to the end. And God has not been wrong yet. God's prophetic program has proven to be precise and exact.
Below are just a few interesting prophecies:
"Thus says the Lord God: 'behold I am against you o Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets...it shall become plunder for the nations...behold I will bring against Tare from the north King Nebuchadnezzer, King of Babylon.. he will slay your people by the sword and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timbers, and your soil in the midst of the water...l will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken. Will the coast lands not shake at the sound of your fall.. then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments...and be astonished at you". (Ezekiel 26:3)
These are the very specific prophecies for the city of Tyre made by a Hebrew prophet 2600 years ago.
In the year 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzer, the King of the Babylonian Empire began to attack the city of Tyre. The Babylonian army was the greatest fighting force up to that time and besieged the city of Tyre for 13 years. When they finally broke down the gates and walls of Tyre he found that the people had moved out to an island 1/2 mile off the coast of Tyre. #l fulfilled. City besieged.
In the year 332 B.C. Alexander the Great laid siege against the island city of Tare because they would not submit to his authority. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that because Alexander the Great had no fleet of ships he demolished old Tyre on the mainland and he threw the debris (stones and timbers and dirt) into the ocean and made a causeway (jetty or wood/stone bridge) connecting the mainland to the newer island city of Tyre.
Secular historian Phillip Myers stated in his textbook of history that:
" Alexander the Great reduced Tare to ruins in 332 B.C. Tyre recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. the larger part of the site of the once great city is now as bare as the top of a rock- a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry" #2,3,4,5 fulfilled.(1)Secular historians have stated that the ruins of Tyre are highly unique. Tare ruins are the only ones in the world that have been completely thrown into the ocean.
After Alexander the Great, the island city persisted in various degrees of strength. during the next 16 centuries. Many kings besieged the city until its final destruction by the Moslems began in 1291 AD
Currently, there is a flat rock area with not one stone upon another. The stones that were thrown into the sea are still there. Other than a few nearby small fishing villages, there is no evidence of the former great city. On the flat former foundation stones you find to the present day fishermen drying their nets. #6 fulfilled.. Never rebuilt.
Secular historians record that when Alexander the Great besieged the city of Tyre that many of the neighboring kings submitted to his authority without a battle. #7 fulfilled. Princes give up their thrones.
How could Ezekiel know these things? Because he served the creator of the universe. i.e. the God of the Bible who told Isaiah, Ezekiel and the other prophets that he would tell them things before they happened so that when they happened the people would know that he was truly God. This is only one of hundreds of Hebrew prophecies that have come true to the very word. God states that he can see the beginning from the end; that he is outside of time; that he can see all the history of man like we would look at the pages of a book. Sounds impossible doesn't it? Well it is if you happen to live in our four dimensional universe.
However, an interesting outcome of Einstein's theory of relativity was the discovery of dimensions of time and space that exist separately and distinct from the four dimensions we experience. In fact, these dimensions may even be in our midst but not visible to us. More recently mathematicians have shown that up to eleven dimensions may exist in the universe. Many physicists believe that there are places in the universe where time ceases to flow. One of these places is in a black hole. Now it is interesting that the Bible tells us that God dwells in a place where time does not flow. For centuries this concept was mocked by scientists. Such a place is now scientific fact.
If one were to be sucked into a black hole, or any other realm where time ceases to flow, we could see the flow of time, in places where there is time, like we were reading the pages of a book. Since we would experience no flow of time, the beginning and the end of time filled dimensions would be present and observable all at once.
These strange facts of physics may be evidence for the truth of what we call the supernatural "spirit realm". However, if these supernatural dimensions can be shown mathematically possible then they are not really supernatural. Rather, they are natural. People believe in a lot of things we can't see ( wind, atoms, heat, electromagnetic radiation, luck). Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not real.
The Skeptics Reply
Now the skeptic immediately says that the book of Ezekiel must have been written after these events took place. However, archaeological finds have produced Ezekiel texts that are dated to as far back as 400-600 B.C. In this century an almost complete Ezekiel text on stone tablets was found. The type of Hebrew on these tablets indicates that it was from the time of Ezekiel i.e. 500-600 B.C. There are many scholars who believe that this stone work may be from the hands of Ezekiel himself. Alexander the Great didn't invade the city until 332 B.C., long after Ezekiel's death. The final fulfillment of the prophecy did not happen until 1291 AD i.e., about 1700 years after Ezekiel's death. The story of Tyre is in the oldest text's known.
Another interesting fact is that these 2500 year old stone tablets contain exactly the same text as the Hebrew Bible you can buy today.(2) So much for text being lost or changed because of faulty translation.. Others might argue luck. Well, the mathematical probability that Ezekiel could have guessed so many unlikely events happening is staggering. But this is only one small prophecy. There are hundreds that have come true. For an extensive treatment of this prophecy see Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell.(3)
God told the prophets that he would tell them things that would happen in advance so they would recognize him as a supremely intelligent all knowing creator that exists outside time and space. This kind of evidence was very impressive to men in those days. However, in today's world most people live with very little awareness of God. We tend to rationalize prophecies like these saying that there must be a "natural explanation". Many people don't want to see this kind of evidence because they are comfortable with their agnostic view that a knowledge of God is not possible; or worse yet, that there is no God. Many people are like the man that says "don't confuse me with facts my mind is made up". However, whether we choose to believe a fact does not alter the truth of it . That is, you can choose to believe that there is no gravity. However, this is not rational since the abundance of evidence seems to point to the truth of gravity. There is at least a 50/50 chance that there is a God.
The more evidence that we find that seems to support this fact the higher the probability that there is a God.
In the 44th and 45th chapters of Isaiah he names the man who would give the decree to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem. At the time of Isaiah's ministry the Jews were still in Israel and they simply scoffed at Isaiah.
"The Lord who says of Cyrus "he is my shepherd, and he shall perform all my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, you shall be built, and to the temple, your foundation shall be laid. Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held - to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut.. That you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servants sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you though you have not known me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God beside me. I will gird you though you have not known me.. I am the Lord and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity. I the Lord do all these things...Isaiah 44:28,45:1,3-7
This prophecy has several major predictions:
This prophecy was written in 703 B.C. According to historians Isaiah and the kings he served under lived between 745-695 B.C. Cyrus, the Medo-Persian Emperor, was born about 100 years later. Starting in 606 B.C. the we a series of three sieges upon the nation of Israel by the Babylonian Empire led by Nebuchadnezzer. The siege of 606 B.C. began the seventy year captivity prophesied by Isaiah (39:5-7) and Jeremiah (chapt 25&27).
At the end of this seventy year captivity in the year 537 B.C., the general of the Medo-Persian province, second in line to the throne, overtook the city of Babylon and the Babylonian empire without a battle. His name was Cyrus.
The Greek historian Herotidus records that drunk Babylonian guards left the large gates open to the city of Babylon in the middle of the night. He records that Cyrus and his army simply walked through the gates and overtook the city. He records that many of the citizens did not even know the city had been taken until three days later. This same man, Cyrus, soon became emperor with the death of his father. That same year, 537 B.C. he gave the command that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild their temple. The Jewish Talmud records that the prophet Daniel showed a scroll of Isaiah to Cyrus and showed him that God had named him 100 years before he was born..
This must have blown his mind. It impressed him enough that he let the Jews go and stated that their God must be true. Thus all four prophecies were literally fulfilled 163 years after they were written. Again, God showed his power by predicting events before they happened..
"Lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel. After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year." (Ezekiel 4:4-6).
At the time of this visitation the Jews were in captivity after being overthrown by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzer in 606 B.C. This 70 year captivity of the Jews had been prophesied extensively by Isaiah almost 100 years earlier (Isaiah 39:5-7) and (Jeremiah chapt 25&27).
Now the prophecy in Ezekiel chapt 4 predicts a total of 430 years of punishment for the nation of Israel. 70 years of this period of punishment are accounted for in the 70 year Babylonian captivity. That leaves 360 more years of punishment unaccounted for. For centuries biblical scholars could find nowhere in history a period of punishment on Israel that could corresponds to the remaining 360 years of punishment.
In the book of Leviticus, chapt 26, we are told that if the nation of Israel did not hearken (obey) unto the Lord that she would be punished. Then after being punished, if the nation continued to be in rebellion toward God that the punishment would be multiplied by seven:
"If you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant...I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies. If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over." Leviticus 26: 14-22.
Recently Biblical scholars have applied this Levitical principle of multiplying Israel's punishment by seven to the remaining 360 years of punishment and found a phenomenal discovery.(4)
The Biblical prophetic year in the Jewish calendar is 360 days long. This discovery was made by Sir Robert Anderson in his book The Coming Prince.(5) In fact, all ancient calendars of the world, at one time calculated the year as 360 days. So if you multiple the 360 years of remaining punishment x 360 days/year x 7 times punishment (Levitical principle) = 907,200 days. 907,200 days is 2483.8 years (modern Julian calendar years). So, 907,200 days of punishment remained for the nation of Israel after the 70 year Babylonian captivity. The question is where do you begin calculating the remaining 907,200 days?
The Babylonian captivity began July 25th 606 B.C. and ended July 23rd 537 B.C. This was the very day that the Medo-Persian emperor Cyrus gave the decree that allowed the Jews to return to Israel. If you begin counting the 907,200 days of remaining punishment from July 23rd 537 B.C., the day of Cyrus' decree and the end of the first 70 years of the servitude, and go foreword 907,200 days you get May 14th 1948.. This was the very day that David Ben Gurion announced to the whole world the official formation of the nation of Israel. Skeptical? Read on.
How could Ezekiel have predicted this? He couldn't unless he was instructed by one that lives outside of time. Truly god sees the beginning from the end and is outside of time as we know it.
In a city called Babylon, around the year 537 B.C., a Hebrew slave named Daniel claimed that while deep in prayer he was interrupted by an angel named Gabriel. Daniel had been praying for the people and nation of Israel when the angel stated that he had come to give Daniel "skill and understanding" regarding the future of the nation of Israel.
In the book of Daniel 9:24-26 the angel stated:
"Seventy sevens are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah. the Prince, there shall be seven sevens and sixty two sevens; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty two sevens the Messiah shall be cut off. But not for himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary". Daniel 9:24-26
This message pinpointed the time of the coming of the long awaited Messiah.
At the time of this visitation Jerusalem was completely desolate. The nation of Israel had been destroyed by the Babylonian empire 70 years earlier. The Hebrew people were, however, about to befreed from seventy years of captivity by the Medo-Persian king Cyrus.
The prophecy states that "seventy sevens "are determined for the people of Israel. In Hebrew the word translated as "seven" is shabua which actually means a week of years; much like the English word decade means ten years.
Now the prophecy states that Daniel should understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah comes that there will be sixty two sevens and seven sevens. Thus if a seven (shabua) is seven years, then 69 sevens is 483 years (69 x 7=483). It is a well established fact that at that time in history all of the known ancient calendars calculated a year as 360 days (Chinese, Mayan, Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylonian ).
It is well known that for prophecy the Jews use a 360 day calendar. Therefore, 483 years times 360 days per year equals 173,880 days. Gabriel was telling Daniel that 173,880 days after the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem the Messiah would come.. Remember, at the time of this prophecy the city was desolate.
Now, is there anywhere where a command of this sort is given? Yes. In the second chapter of the book of Nehemiah it states that:
"In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took wine and gave it to the kin. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore, the king said to me why is your face sad, since you are not sick " (Nehemiah 2:1-2)
Nehemiah, went on to explain that he was sad because he had heard a report that the city of his people, Jerusalem, was desolate. Nehemiah requested that he be allowed to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city. The king granted his wish on the spot.
The Encyclopedia Britannica states that Anaxerxes Longimanus ascended to the throne of the Medo-Persian empire in July 465 B.C. By Hebrew tradition when the day of the month is not specifically stated, it is given to be the first day of that month. So, the day of the decree by Artaxerxes was the first day of the Hebrew month Nisan 445 B.C. The first day of Nisan in 445 B.C. corresponds to the 14th day of March in 445 B.C. This was verified by astronomical calculations in the British Royal observatory and reported by Sir Robert Anderson.(6)
Now remember, the prophecy states that 69 weeks of years (173,880 days) after the command goes forth to restore the city of Jerusalem the Messiah will come. If we count 173,880 days foreword from 14th of march, 445 B.C. We come to Sunday, April 6th 32 AD. Again this date was verified by British Royal Observatory.(6)
Here's the calculations:
March 14th 445 B.C. to March 14th, 32 AD is 476 years. (1 B.C. to 1 AD is one year. there is no year zero) 476 x 365 days per year = 173,740 days Add for leap year = 116 days (three less leap years in four centuries )*** March 14th to April 6th = 24 days total = 173,880 days. *** leap years do not occur in century years unless divisible by 400.
What happened on April 6th 32 AD? A humble carpenter rode into the east gate of Jerusalem on a donkey while the crowds cried "Hosanna, hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". This man's name was Jesus of Nazareth. This was the first day that he allowed his followers to proclaim him as their Messiah. He had previously told them that his day had not yet come. This day (April 6th 32 AD is commonly known as palm Sunday. Skeptical? Read on
Is there any other way to check the accuracy of this date? Yes. In chapt 3 of the gospel of Luke, a Roman physician. Luke states that in the l5th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar that Jesus was baptized and began his ministry. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the reign of Caesar Tiberius started on August 19th in the year 14 AD Most scholars believe Jesus was baptized in the fall season. Therefore, the fall of the 15th year of Tiberius' reign would have been 28 AD The day that a Roman ruler ascends to the throne begins his first year. Consequently, according to Luke chapt 3, the ministry of Jesus started with his baptism in the fall of the l5th year of the reign of Caesar Tiberius and lasted 3 1/2 years (4 Passovers). The fourth Passover of his ministry was the day of his crucifixion and would have fallen in the year 32 AD The Passover in the year 32 AD fell on April 10th. The Sunday before that Passover was April 6th.. This day April 6th, 32 AD Was exactly 173,880 days after Artaxerxes gave the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on March 14, 445 B.C.... These dates are historically sound and have been verified by Royal British Observatory and many other scholars.(6)
Daniel's prophecy stated that 483 years(173,880 days) after the command went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem the Messiah would be revealed.. That day was April 6th 32 AD, Palm Sunday, the first day Jesus of Nazareth allowed his disciples to proclaim him as Messiah..
I know what your thinking. This calculation and prophecy is contrived by over -zealous Christians. However, ancient Jewish Rabbinical writings in the Talmud, which are dated from the time between Daniel and the time of Jesus Christ, reveal without a doubt that the Hebrew scholars recognized this prophecy of Daniel as Messianic. That is referring to the coming of the Messiah.(7)
After the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans in 70 AD, Rabbinical writings by Mamonides and other well respected Jewish rabbis discuss their dismay about the Messiah not coming in the first century AD They knew that according to the prophet Daniel, the Messiah was due to come in the early part of that century.. The writings revealed that they knew that the 483 years that the prophet Daniel had prophesied were up. They didn't understand why the Messiah had not yet come.(8)
They were counting the years and were expecting the Messiah about the time of the time of Jesus. However, they needed to read Daniel's prophecy further.
Daniel states that the Messiah would be "cut off". The word translated cut off "karath" in the ancient Hebrew language literally means to be put to death for a capital crime. Jesus was tried and convicted for blasphemy and insurrection against the Roman empire, both capital crimes.
The prophecy then states that after the Messiah is "cut off", the people of the prince who is to come would "destroy the city and the sanctuary". In the year 70 AD ten legions of Roman soldiers under the Roman general Titus destroyed the city of Jerusalem. A Roman historian, named Josephus dramatically records the events of that period of time in Jerusalem. He records that the city was burned to the ground and millions of Jews were killed. Still skeptical? Read on.
The book of Isaiah, chapt 53 and Psalm 22 foretold of the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. Isaiah 53 states that
"He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.. He was wounded for our transgressions.. Bruised for our iniquities.. By his stripes we are healed . He was oppressed and afflicted yet he opened not his mouth.. He was cut off from the land of the living.. He poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors.. He bore the sin of many and made intercession for us.."(Isaiah 53:3-5)
This is exactly what happened to Jesus. He was rejected, beaten(stripes), opened not his mouth, crucified next to two transgressors( thieves), and poured out his soul (bled to death). Psalm 22 gives a graphic description of crucifixion 700 years before it was invented by the romans.
"I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax, it has melted within me...My tongue clings to the roof of my mouth.. They pierced my hands and my feet.. They divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots". Psalm 22:14-16,18
Finally, in the book of Zechariah 12:10 the Messiah states that when he comes to set up his kingdom in the last days they( the Jews) will mourn when they see me whom they have pierced.
Again, ancient Rabbinical writings from the Talmud and Mishna written prior to Jesus' life have shown that there was no doubt that they knew these were all Messianic prophecies.(9)
Why did they reject him? Again, writings from before the time of Jesus indicated that they expected the Messiah to be a mighty warrior who would wipe out the Roman empire and set up God's kingdom. Jesus of Nazareth taught them to love their enemies, do good to those who hate you, turn the other cheek, he ate with sinners and he was also highly critical of the Jewish religious leaders, calling them hypocritical, selfish, self-righteous, white washed sepulchers (a real insult 2000 years ago). So they began to conspire to kill him.
On April 6th 32 AD As Jesus rode near to the city of Jerusalem he stopped and wept, saying:
"If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace. But now they are hid from your eyes." Luke 19:42
Hid from your eyes.. Whose eyes? The Jews.
I believe Jesus held them accountable for recognizing that the 483 years were up. However, he was not what they expected or wanted in a Messiah.
Modern archaeologists and ancient document experts have dated all four new testament gospels and Paul's letters as being written prior to 70 AD In fact, the gospel of Luke indicates that he had consulted eyewitnesses and even older documents about the life of Jesus. He used these earlier eyewitness accounts to help him compose his gospel. History tells us that the men that wrote these accounts were all tortured and murdered for what they wrote. Peter states "For we did not follow cunningly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of his majesty." II Peter 1:16
In the new testament it states that when Jesus was hanging on the cross the sky became black from the 6th hour to the 9th hour. This was on Passover, which is always on a full moon. At least three Roman historians recorded for all mankind to read an episode of total mid-day darkness that occurred during the full moon during the reign of Caesar Tiberius. (10) Two of them recognized the impossibility of this being a solar eclipse because it was at the time of a full moon. This correlates with the darkness that came over the land during the crucifixion of Jesus...
Now, why would the disciples falsely "Messianize" a man who did not fit any of the preconceived expectations of the Messiah? If they wanted to fabricate a Messiah, they would certainly create a story which fit the mold better. This would make it more believable. And why would they be willing to be ripped apart by lions, crucified, burned at the stake, torn apart by chariots, beheaded, stabbed, stoned, imprisoned, humiliated for something they knew was a lie.. Surely, if they fabricated the story, one of them would have recanted, when faced with death. I know that many people have died for a lie in the past (e.g. Kamikazes); however, they died for something they thought was true. No sane man dies for something he knows is a lie, especially when offered life if he recants the story.
The foundation upon which the Christian church rests is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event in history is either true or not. There is no third option. When examining the evidence for the resurrection we must look for the explanation for the empty tomb which best fits all the facts of history.
There are excellent books on the evidence for the resurrection, written by men who were initially trying to refute Christianity by disproving the resurrection. Two of the best books are Who moved the Stone by Frank Morrison and The Resurrection Factor by Josh McDowell. Both of these men were anti-Christian skeptics who thought Christians were crazy, but when confronted with the evidence, concluded that the body of Jesus was in fact resurrected.
Why am I going through all this? Because Jesus of Nazareth is the most controversial person in history. Why? Because the claims he made about himself are radical. In fact, he said that all men are either "for me or against me"(Matthew 12:30). Did you hear that. He states that your either with him or against him. There is no neutral position.
What were his claims? He stated that he was "...the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet he shall live"(John 11:41). He said, "I and my father are one." (John 10:30) To his disciple Philip he stated that "He who has seen me has seen the Father."(John 14:9) One day when teaching in the temple he said to the Jews "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24 )
While under arrest he stated to the Jewish leaders and the local Roman procurator that he was the Messiah. Then they all said, "Are You then the Son of God?" And He said to them, "You rightly say that I am." (Luke 22:70 )
To his disciples he said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 He was claiming to be God and claiming to be the way to eternal life. He also claimed that by rejecting him would result in damnation (John 3:18). No wonder he offends so many.
Another interesting thing that he stated was that by being one of his followers we would not be liked by the world in general. He said we would be persecuted for his name sake. Now I think this is interesting. Usually when a religious crock comes around they will say things like n follow me and you will have peace, love, joy, nirvana, happiness, salvation and you can become like god- through good works of course." Jesus didn't say that. He did claim that a life in him would create peace, joy, a changed meaningful life, but he also promised that we would probably be hated, persecuted, despised and maybe even killed for his name sake. He claimed to be the human incarnation of God, the Creator of the universe.
No religious leader ever made claims like these: not Bhudda, Mohammed, Krishna. It is these radical claims that made the Jewish leaders want to kill him. And it is these claims that make men today reject him. However, if the historical evidence supports his claim, then an honest person will examine the evidence and act on it. Many people are like the man that said "don't confuse me with facts, I've made up my mind". But this is not intellectually honest. However, it is also not surprising because the apostle Paul, a man who met Jesus face to face, stated that "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing." 1 Corinthians 1:18. By this he meant that the whole message of Jesus would offend many because the message was so convicting.
Jesus claimed to be God in human form. The Bible claims that man is sinful by nature 1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." and that God will not accept man into heaven without a covering for sin and that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood (previously done by blood animal sacrifice) Leviticus 17: 11 "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.". The Bible says that Jesus was to be killed to provide the blood sacrifice for all mankind for redemption of sins. John 1:7 "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
The Bible claims that by believing in Jesus we can receive remission of sin and have eternal life and that this salvation is a free gift available to all who will just take it. It cannot be earned by good works. This is the message of the gospel (good news)of Jesus Christ.
The prophecy I've gone through above is stunning evidence of the truth of the life, death and messianic claim of Jesus. Open your mind and heart and begin your own search to answer the question "Who was Jesus of Nazareth?"
I believe there are only 4 options for who he was:
However, a great man doesn't claim to be something he knows he's not(i.e. son of God) that makes him a liar. Secondly, if he thought he was God, but wasn't, no matter how sincere. he's a lunatic.
When Jesus was on the earth he said "Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden, for I will give you rest." The emptiness, anger, anxiety, frustration, fear, loneliness, guilt that can overwhelm us at times, can be replaced with love, joy and the knowledge that the creator of the universe is in charge of all things. The Bible says that God proved to the people that he was God by telling them things that would happen before they did. God also states that to have eternal life in heaven we must be sin free.
One of Jesus' claims was that he had the authority to forgive sins and that simply by believing in him we could have that forgiveness. There is a lot of peace in knowing that all my sins are forgiven . To obtain this you need only to confess Jesus as your Lord and savior. You don't have to follow a whole lot of rules or do a lot of works. Salvation is by grace (a free gift) and by believing in the completed work of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, who rode on a donkey into Jerusalem exactly on the day prophesied by Daniel.
The God of the Bible says that he made man for his pleasure and for communion with him. He gave man free will to choose the recognize and serve him or to choose to reject him. He also states that the penalty for rejection would be death. This is not my opinion but is stated in the ancient scrolls of the Hebrew prophets. The interesting thing is, that it is our choice. God will not force himself on you. He will allow uncomfortable circumstances to occur so that you will reach out for him. The free will on our behalf ensures that those who choose God do so by choice. This is what makes a relationship meaningful. How meaningful would a relationship with a spouse be if she was pre-programmed to love you. She has no choice but to love you in this situation. This is why God gave free will to man. He knew that some would reject him; but he also knew that some would recognize him for who he is and serve him. If the prophecies of the Bible can be shown to be true; and if they can't be explained away by "natural explanations" then the God of the Bible must be that Creator.
I Dare You.... Search the evidence for the claims of Jesus of Nazareth
It's Your move.. God Bless You. Read The Gospel of John "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6 -7 "He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. " Isaiah 8:14
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:"Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried atone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily." Isaiah 28:16
Believe on Him who God has sent and you will not be sorry.