The Apple Of God's Eye

March 18, 2010

Fulfilled Messianic Prophecies Prove Bible Is Accurate!

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For the gospel writers, one of the main reasons for believing in Jesus was the way His life fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. Following is a list of some of the main prophecies:

  1. Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem – Old Testament, Micah 5:2 – New Testament, Matt. 2:1–6, Luke 2:1-20
  2. Messiah was to be born of a virgin – Old Testament, Isaiah 7:14 – New Testament, Matt. 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38
  3. Messiah was to be a prophet like Moses – Old Testament, Deut. 18:15, 18-19 – New Testament, John 7:40
  4. Messiah was to enter Jerusalem in triumph – Old Testament, Zech. 9:9 – New Testament, Matt. 21:1-9, John 12:12-16
  5. Messiah was to be rejected by His own people – Old Testament, Isaiah 53:1,3, Psalm 118:22 –  New Testament, Matt. 26:3-4, John 12:37-43, Acts 4:1-12
  6. Messiah was to be betrayed by one of His followers – Old Testament, Psalm 41:9 New Testament, Matt. 26:14-16, 47-50, Luke 22:19-23 (more…)

April 17, 2009

Death of Judas Iscariot: Four Apparant Contradictions Solved!

127Is there a contradiction about the death of Judas Iscariot between Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18? Did Judas, after betraying Christ, hang himself or just swell up and burst open? Does it matter that history is completely silent on this issue?

First, to explain to the critics (though it will hardly satisfy), we should understand that God had His Word recorded in such a way that it could be misunderstood. Through one of the prophets we find that the Bible is written “here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:10). Each part is true, but the whole truth about a particular subject may not be found in any one verse or chapter. This is one reason Paul said that the Word of God must be rightly divided (II Tim. 2:15). 

By putting the two accounts of Judas’ death TOGETHER we get a clearer idea of what happened. Both events are true, yet there are some details which give critics a hard time, though we have only to apply some common sense. 

1) The first contradiction: Two separate deaths — Both events did not happen at the same time – simple. Matthew wrote that Judas “hanged himself” (Matt. 27:5), giving the means of death. He never denies that Judas fell and had his entrails gush out. Luke explained what happened later. He does not tell us that this is the means of Judas’ death, and he also does not deny that Judas hanged himself. He merely reports the end result. 

2) Second Contradiction: Why does Acts say the body of Judas burst open after a fall? — “Consider the following. When a person dies, the body begins to decompose. If left to itself (and not acted upon by the attempt to preserve the body), bacteria soon begin to break down various tissues. As a result, gases are released within the body, which in turn cause it to swell. A few years ago, the news media reported how a 50-ton sperm whale had beached itself on the shores of Taiwan and died. While on its way to being transported through a Taiwanese city to a particular research center, the swollen whale literally exploded and soaked pedestrians and motorists in blood and entrails. According to one Taiwanese scientist, “Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure build-up was too great, the whale’s belly exploded” (“Whale Explodes…,” 2004). In light of such events, it certainly is not difficult to imagine that a dead human body, which may have been swelling for a number of days, could have fallen a short distance (from wherever it was hanging), and easily burst open when striking the ground.” (Apologeticspress.org)

This idea has promise for several reasons: 

a) Judas hanged himself on Passover and before a Sabbath, and no Jew was going to touch the hanging corpse (touching a dead body caused defilement; it would have been work to take it down on the Sabbath; added to that, death by hanging was especially a disgrace; and hoisting a dead body isn’t an attractive vocation if it isn’t on your property). So it may be assumed that Judas hanged himself, his body was heated by the Palestinian sun, blew up, broke or slid through the knot of the rope, and fell down bursting open because of decomposition.

b) Another point to consider why the rope around Judas’ neck broke. Approximately six to nine hours had elapsed, and it was during this time that Judas hanged himself. The Bible relates that when Jesus died, there was an earthquake so mighty that rocks were broken and graves were opened. One may assuredly presume that an earthquake strong enough to rend a rock might also be powerful enough to break a rope or cord, specifically the rope from which Judas was hanging. Consequently, it follows, that while Judas did in fact hang himself, the cord from which he was suspended broke. 

3) Third ContradictionJudas did not really die? — Those who say the narrative is not literal but figurative need to consider Acts chapter 1.  Peter says that he fell headlong, burst asunder in the middle and his bowles gushed out, making it fairly clear that he is talking about someone who died. Luke, who was part of the early church, had no problem believing that Judas Iscariot died.  Also, if Judas Iscariot had not died, he would not have needed to be replaced.  

4) Fourth ContradictionHow could the body of Judas fall headlong if tied by the neck? — Can a body fall headlong from hanging? Would not he legs crash to the ground first? I’m not sure why this particular issue is such a stumbling block to people. The word here rendered “headlong” – πρηνής  prēnēs means properly “bent forward, head-foremost.” So there is little denial this happened. But how did his body rotate 180 degrees upon the rope breaking?

14First, we don’t know the height of the tree. Judas could have used a high branch to hang himself and his body hit another branch as the rope loosed, causing his body to flip? This is possible, but would it not make more sense for Judas to simply choose the lowest branch that he could find; one that was sufficiently high? Probably, since a branch with a branch underneath it may have only gotten in the way. But then again, the lower branch may have caused doubt and since the state of mind of someone bent on suicide is not the most stable, this scenario cannot be fully discounted.

Another scenario would simply state that Judas chose a branch suitably higher than himself and used a nearby rock to climb up to it – perhaps it was right underneath the branch. Once the rope broke, the body would have crashed down feet first into the rock (which could have been of a suitable size) and as such, the body simply pitched forward and fell headlong the rest of the way. It certainly is not an impossible circumstance!

Conclusion

I hope people stop making a huge deal out of nothing at all. The amount of information on the internet about this subject is tremendous, yet most is erroneous and proves a huge lack of faith. The Bible does not always give every detail, yet this does not mean the incident is fictitional. It simply means we have to look deeper into the matter, use faith and common sense. We also have to under stand that critics approach the Bible from the angle that God is lying, which contradicts what the scriptures say, “that God cannot lie” (Tit 1:2).

April 12, 2009

Bet You Don't Know Who Is The Real Jesus?

 

Editors Comment: This great little article is from the Trumpet.com which really highlights the deficient view of a false Saviour by mainstream Christianity. I can’t say it enough times that most denominations are seriously deficient in Bible knowledge; in any real depth of scriptural understanding or interpretation. What a testament to how many people are deceived by man made religions with unbiblical doctrines and an abundance of pagan traditions.

It doesn’t matter if one argues against my statements; they are easily provable from the Bible. If critics are happy being deceived, that’s fine. But here you’ll only find biblical truth. Have a go at the article below and prove it from your Bible. I’ll guarantee your particular denomination’s beliefs will start to look silly – mighty fast.

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The Real Jesus

By Stephen Flurry

The Trumpet.com, April 10, 2009

This is the time of year newsmagazines often grace their covers with a pale, tender-skinned, soft-spoken, long-haired, womanish figure wearing a beard. It’s supposed to be Jesus. But these erroneous depictions of Christ look nothing like the Jesus described in your Bible.

The real Jesus was a powerfully built, masculine man—a rugged outdoorsman. He was a man who was master of every situation. He was a people-person and a dynamically persuasive teacher. He was a man of upstanding character—an upholder and promoter of God’s perfect law of liberty.

Isn’t it time you became acquainted with the Jesus of the Bible?

Christ’s Family

Prior to his 3½-year ministry, Jesus Christ was brought up in a large family as the oldest of five brothers and at least three sisters (Matthew 13:54-56). Traditional Christianity depicts Jesus’s stepfather as some kind of uneducated, deadbeat dad who was baffled by his stepson’s remarkable genius. Joseph was supposedly married to a superior woman.

The real Joseph, however, was the loving head, provider, protector and primary educator of this extraordinary family. He was a “just” man, Matthew wrote, with sterling character. Upon learning that Mary was pregnant, Joseph initially intended to secretly dissolve the engagement for the sake of his own reputation—and Mary’s.

But while Joseph “thought on these things,” an angel appeared unto him and said that Mary had conceived of the Holy Spirit. In response to the angel’s instructions, Joseph obeyed God, risked his upstanding reputation in the community, took a pregnant woman to be his wife and accepted her firstborn son as one of his very own.

In northern Galilee, Jesus became known as the son of Joseph (John 6:42). As a teenager and young adult, Jesus worked outdoors, developing into a master craftsman on his stepfather’s carpentry crew.

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). This was due, in large part, to the indomitable influence of His mentor and stepfather, Joseph.

When Jesus was 12, for example, Joseph took his wife and children to Jerusalem to observe the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. Only males were required to go to Jerusalem for the three annual festival seasons (Exodus 23:14-17). But Joseph was a successful businessman and family man—so he took the entire family.

It was during this trip to Jerusalem that Jesus wound up in the temple reasoning with the doctors of the law. Having learned to be an exceptional student under His father’s direction, Luke’s account says that Jesus was “hearing” and “asking questions” (Luke 2:46). He was listening and learning from some of the most distinguished educators of His day—this was no ordinary 12-year-old.

His parents, having lost track of Jesus on the way home, returned to Jerusalem to find Him in the temple. They were “amazed.” The teachers of the law were “astonished at his understanding.”

From that point forward, Scripture says, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (verse 52).

The real Jesus grew up in a well-balanced, God-fearing household where His physical father served as head and His mother as a submissive and loving helpmeet and homemaker.

Jesus as Master

In his Trumpet column last week, Robert Morley wrote about the dearth of male teachers in elementary and primary schools today. “Why is society robbing young boys of the masculine role models they need?” he asked. When Morley was a boy, his favorite teachers were the stronger, more authoritative male role models he could look up too.

Isn’t it the same for you? Think back on the male teachers who impacted your life most when you were younger.

Now think about Jesus Christ—the greatest orator and teacher who has ever lived. Why should we imagine Him to be an effeminate weakling who somehow moved the masses while speaking in hushed tones?

“Follow me,” He supposedly whispered to the fishermen, tax collectors and businessmen of His day and, of course, they promptly dropped everything to learn a new profession.

That is not the Jesus of your Bible. The real Jesus “waxed strong” physically and spoke with such powerful conviction and clarity that He astonished the masses! “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:29).

Jesus Christ did not teach or even look like the self-righteous religious figures of His day. After the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the Jewish commoners wanted to make Jesus a king (John 6:15). His wildly popular impact early on in His ministry enraged the jealous chief priests and Pharisees. “If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation,” they reasoned in John 11:48. They demanded their officers to apprehend this persuasive scholar. But none of the officers would lay hands on Him.

“No man ever spoke like this man!” they said in John 7:46 (Revised Standard Version).

Jesus Christ simply did not fit into the mold of what people thought a religious leader should look and sound like. He was a hard-working, rugged-looking, masculine family man. He loved construction and numerous other outdoor activities like sailing, hiking and camping. He was an avid reader and studier—conversant in every imaginable topic.

And He loved people. He socialized so much His critics accused Him of being a glutton and winebibber! In actual fact, Jesus was the friendliest man who ever lived. He loved being among crowds. He interacted with Samaritans, the blind and lame, the elderly, and women and children. He broke bread with Pharisees, tax collectors and sinners.

Then there were His students—the disciples. Most of those who dropped everything in order to follow the Messiah later sacrificed their very lives for this impressive, God-fearing man. “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” His disciples lamented after Jesus was gone (Luke 24:32).

Jesus lived the abundant life (John 10:10). He practiced what He preached. And in living in accordance with all of God’s holy laws, He left for us a perfect example to follow (1 Peter 2:21).

Strive to follow those steps set before us by Jesus Christ—the real Jesus, as depicted in the pages of your Bible.

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