This article is a continuation of Part I
Now let’s look at The New Testament claims:
In the Gospel narratives, the living God spoke directly out of heaven three times during Christ’s public ministry: at His Baptism (Matthew 3), at His Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5), and as He approached the Crucifixion (John 12:27). John continues in his narrative about the living God as He spoke to Christ: "Then came therefore a voice out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’" (John 12:28).
Paul claimed to receive his revelation from God: "If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandments" (1 Corinthians 14:37-38).
"And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God’s message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performed its work in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep" (1 Thessalonians 4:15).
Peter links his teaching and words with the Old Testament word:
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. ‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.’ And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:23-25; Isaiah 40:6-8).
John, the apostle, adds a solemn warning, and he links his warning to Moses and King Solomon in the Old Testament: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the prophecy of this book: God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18-19; Deut. 4:2; Proverbs 30:6).
Lutzer wrote: "The sixty-six books in the Bible speak with a consistent voice that these are the words of God. In effect, God signed every page of the Bible. We have every reason to believe that His signature was not forged. God has spoken, and He has spoken very clearly."5
If the Bible claims divine origin, then how is it different from other religious books in the area of prophecy?
Professor Baxter advanced this fact about Biblical prophecy:
"The word prophecy involves two meanings: forth-telling and fore-telling. The primary meaning at the time the Old Testament Scriptures were written was probably in the realm of forth-telling, meaning the proclaiming or preaching of God’s message, though the element of fore-telling was also present and became more meaningful with the passing of time."6
In Biblical prophecy, we have a history of the life of Christ was written more than fifteen hundred (1,500) years before He was born. This detailed account of the life of Christ could not have been written in advance unless the Creator, the living God, who created man, guided those who wrote.
Historian James Orr, speaking of the Muslim, Zoroastrian, and Buddhist scriptures, said:
"It is the simple fact that there is nothing that can be properly called history in these other sacred books of the world. They are, as every student of them knows, for the most part, jumbles of heterogeneous materials loosely put together, without order, continuity, or unity of any kind. There is no order, progress, or real connection of parts . . . The Bible, on the other hand, is a history with a beginning, a middle and an end; a history of revelation; a history of the developing purpose of God, working up to a goal in the full-orbed discovery of the will of God for man’s salvation in His Son Jesus Christ. There is nothing like this, nothing even approaching it, in any other collection of sacred books in the world."7 Unguided men, left to themselves, could not have such a great degree of unity over thousands of years as is found in the Bible.
C. P. M’llvaine adds the following:
"The history of pagan nations, indeed, abounds with stories of auguries, and oracles, and detached predictions. . . . But what an immeasurable distance separates all the pretended oracles of paganism from the dignity of the prophecies in The Bible. The avowed end of the former was to satisfy some trivial curiosity, or aid the designs of some military or political leader. . . Who could think of comparing such pitiful mockeries of divine omniscience with the dignified, and sublime, and holy prophecies which are spread out so openly and widely in The Scriptures."8
The Old Testament prophets described Christ as "The Seed of . . ." to emphasized His ancestry. Observe the following passages:
1. The Seed of woman (Genesis 3:15).
2. The Seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3: 22:18).
3. The Seed of Isaac (Genesis 21:12).
4. The Seed of Jacob (Genesis 28:14).
5. The Seed of Judah (Genesis 49:10).
6. The Seed of David (2 Samuel 7:12-14; Psalm 89:3-4; 132:11).
The following is a list of prophecies listed in The Old Testament and their fulfillment in The New Testament:
Old Testament Prophecy New Testament
Gen. 12:3 Family of Abraham Luke 3:23
Gen. 49:10 The Tribe of Judah Matt. 1:1
Jer. 23:5 Family of David Matt. 1:1
Isa. 7:14 Born of a virgin Matt. 1:22-23
Mic. 5:2 Place of birth Matt. 2:1-6
Zach. 9:9 Entered Jerusalem on a donkey John 12:15
Deut. 18:15 A prophet Acts 3:20
Isa. 53:3 Rejected by his Own people John 1:11
Psl. 2:7 Declared to be the Son of God Matt. 3:7
Psl. 41:9 Betrayed by a friend Matt. 26:14-15
Zac.11:12 Betrayal price Matt. 26:15
Zac.11:13 Betrayal money be returned Matt. 26:31-56
Zac.13:7 Forsaken by His disciples Matt.13:55-61
Isa. 53:5 Betrayed Mk. 27:28-29
Isa. 53:12 Nailed with criminals Mk. 15:24-27
Psl. 22:18 His garment divided John 19:23-24
Psl. 69:21 Gall and vinegar John 19:28-29;Matt. 27:34
Psl. 34:20 Not a bone broken John 19:31-36
Zech.12:10 He was pierced John 19:33-37
Amos 8:9 Darkness in day-time to signal crucifixion Matt. 27:45
Isa. 53:9 Buried with the rich Mk. 27:57-60
Psl. 16:10 Arose from the Dead Matt; 28:6;Mk. 16; Lk. 24; John 20;
Acts 2:22-47;Rom. 1:4;13:32-37
Psl. 68:18 Ascended into Heaven Lk. 24:51; Mk. 16:19;Acts 1:9;
The prophecies and their fulfillments listed are clear and hundreds of years intervened between the prophecies and their fulfillments. In every case the agreement is perfect.
If there is to be any denunciation of the prophecies as they are seen as a clear case of developing historical events; then, one has to conclude that the prophecies were not about Christ, and will have to conclude, that the prophecies were written about another person. But who could that person be if not, Christ Himself?
The Old Testament Prophets described Christ as "The Seed" emphasizing His ancestry and His Descendants:
a. Seed of woman (Gen. 3:15).
b. Descendant of Shem (Gen. 9:27; Luke 3:36).
c. Seed of Abraham (Gen.12:1-3; 22:18).
d. Seed of Isaac (Gen. 21:12).
e. Seed of Jacob (Gen. 28:14).
f. Seed of Judah (Gen. 49:10; Matt. 1:2; 2:6; Rev. 5:5).
g. Of the House of David (Isa. 9:7; Jer. 23:5).
h. Seed of David (II Sam. 7:12-14; Psl. 89:3-4; 132:11).
The New Testament writer Luke tells us that the Old Testament foretold the coming of Christ (Luke 24:44).
Abraham prophesied of Christ (John 8:56-58; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8).
Moses prophesied of Christ (John 5:46; Deut.18:5; Acts 3:22; 26:22-23; Luke 24:27).
Samuel prophesied of Christ (Psalm 34:20; John 19:36; Psalm 16:8-10; Acts 2:25-28).
Isaiah prophesied of Christ (John 12:41; Acts 8:32-34; Isaiah 53).
Zechariah prophesied of Christ (Zech.12:10; 13:7; Matt. 26:31; John 19:37).
All the prophets desired to see the days of Christ (Matt. 13:16-17; I Pet. 1:12-13).
More Messianic Prophecies fulfilled in Christ:
Jesus pointed this out (Luke 18:31-33; 22:37; 24:27, 44, 46).
John the Baptist pointed this out (John 1:23).
Philip pointed this out (John 1:45).
Peter pointed this out (Acts 2:25-28; 3:18, 24; 10:43; I Pet. 1:10-11).
Paul pointed this out (Acts 13:27-29; 17:2-3; 26:22-23; 28:23).
How could the remarkable unity of the Scriptures have been achieved if there were no one central Mind that guided all the writers? How could the various prophecies of the Old Testament have been made hundreds of years before their fulfillment if there were no divine fore-knowledge of future events? Is there anything like this in Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, or any and all other religions? No!
(5) It would have to adapt to Mankind’s Spiritual and Moral needs:
Mankind is incapable of providing for his own spiritual needs, and when he tries to provide for his own spiritual needs, this is what happens: "Now when Paul waited for them (his traveling companions) at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry" (Acts 17:16).
Paul came to Athens, Greece. Athens was the center of human learning, at that time, a city given to idolatry, and a people very religious. Here were highly intelligent, educated people, intelligent in human leaning, trying to provide for their spiritual needs by turning to handmade ‘gods’ they made (themselves to try to meet their needs). Man, when left to himself to meet his own spiritual needs apart from his Creator, simply cannot!
The doctrines of The Bible are reasonable. Biblical doctrine speaks of suffering, a purpose in life, guilt, shame, death, life, accountability, judgment, why we are here on earth, and life after death. The Bible, and no other book or books have ever told the world what it needs. Therefore, Man, in through his conversion, adapts to the Bible demands.
This article is continued in Part III
5 Lutzer, p. 44.
6 Batsell Barrett Baxter, I Believe Because, Baker Book House, (Grand Rapids; Michigan), 1971, p. 186.
7 James Orr, as quoted by Baxter, p. 186.
8 C. P. M’Ilvaine, as quoted by Baxter, p. 188.
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